Entree trioDessert selectionClub MillesimeChampagne BarChampagne Bar The countdown to the arrival of the first new-build, internationally branded, five-star hotel in Sydney since 2000, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, began in earnest with an exclusive media preview dinner on Wednesday 30 August. The official opening is confirmed for 6 October.Guests, including LATTE, were spoiled with lush floral displays by Grandiflora on a table set in shades of chocolate, cream and gold.The evening began with Louis Roederer Vintage 2009 by Philippe Starck (a taste of the delights soon to be found in the Champagne Bar), and followed with a trio of entrées – bouillabaisse-inspired yellow tail crudo, Applewood-fired grilled baby cos hearts and marinated heirloom tomato – accompanied by a 2016 Mirabeau rosé from Côtes de Provence. Two main courses followed: a crispy skin WA Cone Bay barramundi fillet served with a 2011 Mt Pleasant Semillon and a wood-fire grilled Darling Downs grain-fed, 9+ wagyu rump cap served with crispy end baby carrots, confit garlic and cress, and a Georges Duboeuf Burgundy Fleurie. A selection of cheeses with a sweet finale of lemon meringue, salted caramel and apple and walnut crumble tart concluded the night’s culinary delights.The dinner was held in the new signature restaurant, Atelier by Sofitel, which will specialise in nouvelle French fare. The 590-room hotel is located adjacent to the newly transformed International Convention Centre, and is Sofitel’s first new-build property in Australia. Atelier is complemented by three bars, including the Champagne Bar and the soon-to-come Le Rivage Pool Bar for drinks with a harbour view.Joining the hotel’s team are Matt Coates, Executive Chef; Nicolas Mercier, Director of Food and Beverage; and Nathan Brown, Chief Concierge, while Greg Brady was appointed as General Manager in July 2016 to head the executive team.