Gastronomy Meets Symphony: A Candlelight Christmas

Sofitel Candlelight Christmas

It's that time of the year when Christmas carols and songs fill the air. It's also time for the Sofitel and Fever Candlelight Christmas dinner where guests enjoy a 3 course meal followed by a performance of a string quartet. They playlist includes a range of Christmas movie songs from classics like It's a Wonderful Life to more contemporary song favourites from Love Actually and Home Alone, plus a special encore surprise!

Sofitel Candlelight Christmas

The Candlelight Christmas concert at the Sofitel Wentworth is a collaboration between Fever and the hotel. Fever specialises in candlelight concerts in over 100 countries, merging music from artists like Taylor Swift, David Bowie and Coldplay with a string quartet or pianist. Tickets to this evening's performance is $170 per person including a 3 course dinner and drinks or people can also book tickets for the concert itself.

Sofitel Candlelight Christmas

The candlelight Christmas concert at the Sofitel Wentworth was a relatively last minute event but sold out quickly. It pays tribute to Sofitel's Candle Ritual, a ceremony held in all Sofitel hotels. It was inspired by the tradition of lighting up the streets of Paris that dates as far back as the era of Louis XIV. The Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg was the first hotel to host the candle ritual.

Sofitel Candlelight Christmas

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry, especially if weather is involved but the event was going ahead rain hail or shine (or imminent rain as the case might be here). And instead of holding the luminescent event at the outdoor garden terrace, it was moved inside to the ballroom. Perhaps because of this moving of locations, things are running a touch late but staff top up everyone's glasses while we wait. I'm running 20 minutes late so I've missed out on the canapes. We are then led inside the ballroom. In the centre of the room is a stage surrounded by hundreds of flickering LED candles.

Sofitel Candlelight Christmas
Saltwater house cured trout gravlax

By the time we've taken our photos our first course is already waiting for us at the table. It's a saltwater house-cured trout gravlax paired with avocado, horseradish cream, confit pencil fennel, chives and herb oil. This is my favourite course for its fresh but balanced flavours. I scoop some up in the sesame cracker too.

Sofitel Candlelight Christmas
King Island crusted lamb rack

Dinner is running behind so the original plans to finish at 8pm and then take our seats surrounding the string quartet are amended and people can either eat and enjoy the music or take a seat in front of the musicians. I choose the food (no surprise) and there's an alternate serve of lamb rack or duck breast. The lamb rack is two double prong racks of King Island lamb on a bed of parsnip puree, grilled asparagus, Davidson plum and au jus. It's perfectly cooked and a sizeable portion and the accompaniments complement the succulent lamb perfectly.

Sofitel Candlelight Christmas

This evening's program by string quartet Phoenix Collective comprises of a dozen Christmas songs from movies such as It's a Wonderful Life, The Holiday, Elf, Home Alone and Love Actually. They start with Let It Snow and The Christmas Song from It's A Wonderful Life and then 4 songs from The Holiday. After that it's music from Elf, Home Alone and crowd favourite Love Actually.

Sofitel Candlelight Christmas
Hazelnut banana praline Paris brest, raspberry sorbet

I love banana flavoured desserts and Paris brest and when the two combine I have a sneaking suspicion that I will love this. It doesn't disappoint with the fresh banana mousse, hazelnuts and fresh whipped cream on split choux pastry with a quenelle of raspberry sorbet

As we finish dessert Phoenix Collective tell us that they have an encore surprise. I'm very excited to hear that it's a performance of Mariah Carey's Christmas hit All I Want For Christmas which happens to be my favourite Christmas song. Everyone greets this news excitedly, as if it was the first snowfall.

And a very Merry Christmas Dear Readers! I hope your Christmas celebrations are wonderfully memorable, delicious and fun. I'll be back after Christmas!




Sofitel Candlelight Christmas
NQN was a guest of the Sofitel but all opinions remain her own.

Sofitel Wentworth

101 Phillip St, Sydney 2000

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