Guests were sent a secret text message two hours before the event asking them to meet at the bottom of Fort Street under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
They were then taken through a marque to a special area where we enjoyed some colourful cosmopolitan cocktails. Every cocktail had a little plastic ice cube lit up with an LED light to compliment the light show outside. The lights blended in with the pink liquid so each person had their own Vivid festival in a glass.
Most guests had no idea where they were. That soon became apparent as we took them downstairs in an elevator in small groups and they were seated in the Gantry Restaurant at Pier One. It was a cold winters night but we were all very warm and cosy amongst this newly rennovated space right on the harbour.
We began our meal with an entree of field mushroom soup with pickled wild Blue Mountain pine mushrooms and first of the season black truffle brioche croutons. To match guests had the choice Mojo by RockBare, McLaren Vale a 2012 Chardonnay or the Provenance, Golden Plains, 2012 Pinot Noir.
For the main grilled petuna sea trout was served to guests with Iron Bark honey braised Cooks Co-Op baby turnips, white bean puree and Hawkesbury Eureka lemon emulsion. A colourful dish to match the theme of the night. The Shaw + Smith, Adelaide Hills 2014 Sauvignon Blanc was served with everyone's meal.
We then had a Q&A session with Candadian born Head Chef, Chris Irving. He's background includes working for Gordan Ramsay and the Beckham family before starting at The Gantry last year.
We saw a few looks of anguish when we broke the bad news to guests that there would be no dessert. Well, not in that room anyway.
Everyone was led through to another room at the front of the hotel. The glistening lights of Luna Park across the harbour shone back at us, the bridge was right above our heads and ferries went back and forth with 'VIVID' lit up in bright lights on the side.
There was a lot of action going on but the biggest spectacle of all was N2 Gelato. They were set up in the corner of this magical room with smoke all around them. N2 Gelato make their ice cream using liquid nitrogen and they were preparing a special apple crumble creme brulee gelato just for us! The smell of mulled wine filled the room and complemented the gelato so well.
The gelato and mulled wine weren't the only sweet things about the night. A VIP progressive dining experience with amazing views of Vivid also taste pretty good.
To see photos from the event click here