By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: When you walk along the path leading to Miele’s new gallery at Frenchs Forest, you pass a small vegetable garden that sources much of the greenery used in the cooking classes run daily inside.

Look a little closer, and you’ll realise that this plant life is not growing out of pots, but from a converted honeycomb drum recycled out of a Miele washing machine. It’s these little spots of consideration that make Miele such a global force in home appliances.

Last night was the official opening of this new showroom, which is situated in the heart of Sydney’s leafy, wealthy, upper north shore. This particular gallery has been a long work in progress, with NSW sales manager Cliff Thompson toiling to ensure that time was spent making the German brand’s Sydney home the pinnacle of Miele’s cache.

Walk in and turn to the right and you pass a wall of ovens on each side, with an island bench in the middle showcasing gas, electric and induction cooktops, the best in rangehoods, a teppanyaki plate and Miele’s sublime salamander (AR’s Appliance of the Year for 2010).

At the end of this row is a dedicated floorcare niche, where natural light mingles with an LED display to actually present the humble vacuum as an aspirational product, rather than a chore brought to life. Unlike other galleries visited by, the floorcare section isn’t hidden away or lumped together in small spare space: a welcome change.

From here you enter the Coolroom, a dedicated refrigeration setting where $19,000 Mastercool freezers sit adjacent to $13,000 fridges and a wine fridge so big you could almost live in it. Next up in this stroll is the laundry corridor, where red towels and men’s business shirts add a touch of the baroque to the traditionally prosaic washer and dryer.

Finally one comes to the cooking demonstration area, where Miele home economists entertain and educate prospective customers with daily cooking classes. There’s even a lavishly set dinner table for these students to sample their results.

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Miele Australia managing director Michael Jeanes told that this gallery was a walk-in example of how Miele is supporting its retailers (called Chartered Agents). With guests able to touch, feel, use and taste the Miele lifestyle, before being referred back to an agent to complete the sale, Jeanes said that Miele leading the fight to keep home appliances profitable for the industry.