When you’re a pastry chef, Easter is truly your time to shine – especially if you’re also a professionally trained chocolatier, like The Charles’ multi-talented head pastry chef Rhiann Mead. This is one of her favourite times of year. It’s a prime opportunity for her to flaunt her chocolate-working skills, learnt during an apprenticeship at prestigious London chocolatier William Curley.

“In my first week I was shown how to create a chocolate flower – something that was well beyond my skill level at that time and something I’ll never forget,” says Mead, who further honed her skills crafting decorations, petits fours and chocolate bars at Sydney fine diners Bennelong and Quay. “The head chocolatier, Alistair Birt, invested so much time in teaching things, from the most simple decorations to a technical chocolate sculpture.”

And this fantastically chocolate-heavy time of year is the perfect time for Mead to put those technical and artistic skills in the spotlight. For The Charles’ first Easter she’s designed mini chocolate eggs to create an elegant, adult-friendly version of the Easter egg hunt. Salted muscovado caramel is encased in a 64% dark chocolate shell, flecked with gold leaf, then wrapped in colourful foil to “really spark that childhood nostalgia”, she says.

The opulence of The Charles’ dining room, which evokes the old-world glamour of Europe’s finest restaurants, is mirrored in a collection of larger, hollow eggs.

They begin with cocoa butter shells coloured with the light pinks and burgundies that are The Charles’ hallmark, as well as a gold lustre combined with cocoa for a gold-speckled effect. Depending on which egg you select, it will be lined with either a 40% milk or a 66% dark chocolate, combined with a beautifully textural crunchy praline mix.

The extra-special finishing touch on both eggs? A smattering of gold leaf, adding some extra Easter sparkle.

And unlike your ordinary mass-produced Easter eggs, every single creation served at The Charles is hand-tempered, decorated and finished – a practice of patience, and demonstrating a deep understanding of science and flavour. (Not to mention, working with chocolate in Australia can be a difficult undertaking, thanks to our warm and humid climate.)

The Charles’ signature dessert trolley will also be getting the Easter treatment, with Mead adding classics such as simnel cake – a fruitcake widely eaten this time of year in Britain that’s popping with marzipan, and with extra marzipan balls on top representing 11 disciples (minus Judas). And, now it’s an acceptable time of year to start eating hot cross buns, there’ll also be a hot cross bun gelato on the specials list in the lead up to the big weekend.

Keen on sampling Mead’s chocolate skills beyond Easter? You’ll find her cocoa-crafting handiwork on The Charles’ menus and dessert trolley year-round. A black forest cake on the bistro menu is a chocolate-lover’s dream, with three types of couverture chocolate, as well as cocoa nibs and cacao powder. And on the roaming dessert trolley you’re sure to find deftly crafted moulded chocolates, hand-dipped rochers and moreish chocolate bars.

The Charles Easter Eggs are available on the Dessert Trolley from Monday 27th of March – Sunday 9th of April. The Charles is open for Lunch and Dinner on Easter Saturday & Easter Sunday.

Indulge in a spot of luxury at The Charles Brasserie Afternoon Tea.

After a long day trawling Pitt Street, finish your day in the luxurious surrounds of The Charles Grand Brasserie as you sip on a glass of Moet and enjoy a relaxing afternoon.    

 The Charles offers guests an exclusive afternoon tea experience with a selection of Savoury and Sweets carefully crafted by our experienced pastry team, this is an Afternoon Tea experience that you won’t soon forget.  

 This experience is $99pp and includes a glass of Moet, curated menu of savoury & sweets and flowing tea and coffee.  

 To book your Afternoon Tea at The Charles, please follow the link below or call our reservations team on 9145 8066.  

 Afternoon Tea is available from Monday-Saturday, from 12pm-5pm, in the Brasserie Mezzanine.  We require 24 hours’ notice for all dietary requirements and will do our best to accommodate all requests.  

Afternoon Tea Menu

World Pride has come to Sydney for a monumental celebration of all things Pride!
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Sydney Mardi Gras, the 50th anniversary of the first Pride Week and the 5th anniversary of Marriage equality in Australia.   


From the 20th of February – 5th of March, The Charles will donate $2 from the sale of, our take on, the classic Charlotte Royale to the LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, which delivers several programs to help LGBTIQ+ people manage their health and access inclusive health services.   


Our Charlotte Royale is made with chamomile infused sponge, fig jam, a honey and chamomile mousseline and fresh blackberries. It is then finished with a rainbow pride buttercream. 


To donate, simply order a slice of Pride on your next visit to The Charles and we will donate the the total sum to our chosen charity at the end of World Pride.    


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Every Monday to Friday from 3pm to 6pm, we invite you to join us at The Charles Bar for The Charles Hours. Grab friends or colleagues and bring them down to The Charles Bar to enjoy a Southside cocktail at $12, a glass of Moet & Chandon at $15, and wash your drink down with $10 Mini Prawn Cocktail. Simply sit back, relax and unwind with drinks and small bites after a busy day. We’ll love to see you soon at The Charles bar.

On The Pass Interview as it appeared in Gourmet Traveller Magazine December 2022

How did you get your start as a pastry chef? I didn’t really mean to get into
baking. I worked at Harrods Food Halls in London during my gap year before
starting physiotherapy at university. While I was there I saw all of the amazing
pastry creations and chocolates on display and I knew I needed to learn more.
I met one of the pastry chefs there and started hassling him everyday until he
agreed to let me do an apprenticeship with him.

What’s been the highlight of becoming head pastry chef at The Charles?
Curating the dessert trolley has been so fun. It was really exciting to have an
opportunity to do a la carte service as well as a trolley, because I feel like as
a pastry chef, you’re usually doing one of two things: either production for
a trolley or display, or service. At The Charles, I have the opportunity to do both.

You’ve created a magnificent dessert menu at The Charles. How do you
decide which pastries to feature? The Charles is a grand European brasserie,
so I’ve done a lot of research on out-of-the-ordinary Eastern European desserts
from places like Poland or Russia.

Finally, what is your favourite thing to bake at home? At home I love making
things like dougnuts, croissants, or puff pastry. Things that have a particular
formula or process. It can be so therapeutic and soothing to create a dessert
with so many layers.

The Charles, thecharles.sydney