Visitors to the Four Seasons Sydney this month would be forgiven for thinking they had unwittingly stumbled into the Four Seasons Florence. There's a luxury Italian sports car parked in the lobby, a polished espresso bar serving macchiatos, and wild boar tagliatelle on the menu. It's an elegant dose of la dolce vita at Sydney Harbour.
This mini frenzy of Firenze-style activity coincides with Vivid Sydney, the annual arts festival. To celebrate the event with an Italian flair, the Four Seasons has orchestrated a pop-up café christened "Pei Modena". The name is a reference to Pei Modern, the hotel's much-admired restaurant, and the Italian city of Modena. Located in the Emilia-Romagna region just north of Florence, it is the birthplace of Ferrari.
For an authentic Italian feel, the hotel tapped the experts in the field. Vittoria Coffee created a bespoke bar, serving immaculate espresso, mineral water and freshly baked pastries. Nero (black) was selected for the occasion. The dark roasted blend is ideal for crafting Italian-style espresso drinks that one can toss back at the bar if desired. Patrons are also encouraged to perch at one of the 20 seats in the pop-up café
Here, they can savour hearty Italian-inspired fare by Joachim Borenius, Pei Modern’s Head Chef. Standout dishes include white bean soup with garlic bread, wild boar tagliatelle with nettles, and chocolate tarte with chestnut ice cream. From the café with a glass of nebbiolo or sangiovese in hand, guests can admire the black Ferrari California T, a two-door convertible with a $400,000 price tag, parked nearby.
Not surprisingly, the convergence of cars, coffee and culinary treats is drawing hotel guests, local workers and festivalgoers alike. "It's been phenomenal," said Rudolf van Dijk, Four Seasons Sydney General Manager. "It's about creating an informal atmosphere in the hotel during this month-long festival. You come in, see the Ferrari, smell the coffee and sit down for a bowl of soup."
Have there been any buyers for the Ferrari? "Not yet," said van Dijk. Lots of people have been taking photos. But we have a few weeks left, so you never know."
Pei Modena is open until June 18, 7am 7pm