We arrived at the hotel on Saturday night and as soon as we walked into the lobby we felt as though we had arrived at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, with the sweetest candy bar set up in the entrance.
The sweet treats continued when we arrived in our room and found Wonka Bars and a gorgeous plate of mini cakes + sweets!
There was also a note explaining that guests at the hotel have a chance to win their very own Golden Ticket so, naturally, we had to immediately open up the Wonka Bars! And guess what? One of our Wonka Bars contained a golden ticket! (It was a voucher for the restaurant, Pier Street Grill, such a fun touch!)
Dinner at Pier Street Grill
Our first stop was dinner at the hotel's signature restaurant, Pier St Grill, which is on the ground floor of the hotel.
Pier Street Grill is offering a divine Willy Wonka themed Pre-Theatre Menu and even though we weren't seeing the musical until the following evening, the hotel was happy for us to order off this menu.
Mum and I both started with the Scallops and Pork Belly which were served with a cauliflower puree and walnut, apple and celeriac remoulade. It was an exquisite dish.
We both had the Eye Fillet for main course which was so tender and served with a delicious potato dauphinois and a divine red wine jus. Yum! My Sydney-based sister Anna who also joined us for dinner loved her Steamed Blue Eye Cod which was served with beans and a mango and avocado salsa.
To finish, we thought we better taste test all three of the desserts, it would have been rude not too!
The Wonka Mess was such a highlight. This amazing Eton Mess inspired dessert even has pieces of Wonka Bar with gold leaf!
It was the most fantastic start to our trip, such gorgeous food and wine and fabulous service, and I would definitely recommend dining at Pier Street Grill as part of your stay at Novotel Sydney Darling Square.
The following morning Mum and I enjoyed a relaxing buffet breakfast back in Pier Street Grill, which is such a beautifully light-filled space during the day. Breakfast is included as part of the 'Sweet Stays' Package.
It was then time for a swim! The hotel's lap pool and gym is located on Level 2 of the hotel and there is a spacious terrace off the pool deck overlooking Darling Harbour.
Below is the view of the city from Novotel Sydney Darling Square's pool deck. Darling Harbour is also just a short stroll away.
When we went for a stroll on Saturday afternoon we discovered the incredible mural of Aboriginal Elder Jenny Munro which Melbourne-based street artist, Matt Adnate, painted on one side of the hotel. This incredible artwork is 10 storeys high and overlooks the Chinese Gardens (which are literally next door to the hotel).
Mum and I enjoyed a visit from my sister & brother-in-law and their baby boy on the Sunday afternoon. Baby Liam was right at home in our spacious hotel room!
After a play in our room we decided to head down to the Hotel's Pumphouse Bar, which was one of Sydney's first microbreweries and features over 60 different craft beers!
It is super family-friendly too with games to play (hello giant Jenga!), lots of space for prams and a fab terrace too.
We enjoyed some delicious fish tacos, nachos, fries and calamari and my brother-in-law enjoyed one of Pumphouse Sydney's signature beer paddles.
Mum and I had booked tickets to the 6pm show on the Sunday night. The Capitol Theatre is only a couple of hundred metres away from the hotel so we strolled to the show, past Chinatown and the array of local bars + restaurants. It was the first time I had stayed in this part of the city and it had such a fab family-friendly vibe.
The Capitol Theatre has been transformed into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory and there are some amazing candy-themed displays in the foyer.
We absolutely LOVED the show and if you haven’t booked tickets yet to Charlie & The Chocolate Factory: The Musical, go ahead and TREAT yourself to a night at the chocolate factory (along with a stay at Novotel Sydney Darling Square, of course!)
It is such a delightful production with all the songs from the original film alongside an amazing new Broadway score. The cast is incredible and it really is an absolute treat of a show!
Pictured above is one of the Candy Shop displays in the foyer of Capitol Theatre.
When we got back from the musical we had a quick drink in the hotel's PS Wine (located on the ground floor next to Pier Street Grill) and then enjoyed some delicious salads (Chicken Caesar Salad + Pumpkin, Spinach Fetta & Pinenuts) back in our room from the hotel's Room Service menu.
It really was the most perfect night out!
The next morning we enjoyed another delicious buffet breakfast in Pier Street Grill and a final stop off at the Wonka Candy Bar in the lobby.
It was then time to head back to Melbourne (and back home to my gorgeous family), with so many happy memories from our special mother/daughter weekend away at Novotel Sydney Darling Square.
The amazing 'Sweet Stays' package is being offered at the hotel until the end of June, so is a perfect treat for the upcoming school holidays!
To experience the wonder of Wonka at Novotel Sydney Darling Square, click here.