One weekend to celebrate your mom is never enough. I was lucky to grow up with one of those super moms; the kind that would hand deliver a hot lunch to you at school, but not only that, make enough so you could share with all your friends. Mother’s Day is one of out the 365 days we should be appreciating our mums, however, if anything, on this day you should make a point to go above and beyond.
Mother’s Day High Tea with Anna Polyviou at Beresford House was the perfect way to treat yo’ mamma to an extraordinary experience.
Entering the picturesque banquet hall, which spilled out onto the undulating hillside and a perfectly blue sky, was nothing short of a fairy tale. A talented pianist gently filled the room with music from a white grand piano, cheerful staff greeted us with delicately sweet champagne, and gift bags brimming with beautiful take-home gifts awaited us at our table. It was a joyful experience just to be around so many amazing mums in such a beautiful space.
Anna Polyviou joined us shortly to welcome everyone and offer a toast to mothers everywhere. Anna had an energy as vibrant as her bright pink mohawk and instantly made the room feel at home, not to mention excited about the incredible food being lovingly prepared for us.
Now, not to ruin the mystique of this experience, but Lee and I are often sat at the media table. Which makes perfect sense and is often very helpful, as everyone knows not to touch the food until pictures have been taken. However, in this case, it was pure torture!
Towers of adorable, delectable bites of gourmet food sat proudly at our table, tempting us to demolish them. This time it was very hard to wait for everyone to finish their photography before diving in! Luckily, my mamma taught me manners.
Once we had documents our High Tea creations, we began my favourite part: tasting it all.
The outside of my arancini ball was light and crispy, which complemented the creamy parmesan and soft rice, melting in my mouth upon the first bite. I dipped my second bite into the accompanying aioli to bring in a little tang, which I loved among the crisp texture and predominantly creamy nature of this dish.
I’m unsure how Anna made so much happen in a such a cute, little quiche, but I don’t need to know. This was possibly my favourite complexity of taste and surprised the heck out of me. The pastry was so flaky and perfect, with a tang from the goat’s cheese and an almost creamy nature from the egg. Buttery, flavourful and comforting. Loved it!
I’m not a meat eater, so Lee enjoyed both his and my sandwich triangle, describing it as: “Creamy in texture. The chicken was soft, moist and delicate. I loved the subtle hint of watercress. Really nice!”
The bread was light and spongy and the overall mouth-feel was creamy in nature, however, the addition of cocktail sauce offered a nod to a shrimp cocktail. I so enjoyed the playful nature of these flavours.
You can’t have a high tea without a little egg sandwich, and this one in particular was simply delightful. The eggy flavours were pulled together by a creaminess and balanced with a crunch of lettuce as well as a softness from the grain bread.
Another high team staple! Spoiler: I ate two of these, that’s how good they were. Buttermilk is the star flavour of these light-as-a-cloud, melt-in-your-mouth scones. With a swatch of natural creme and dollop of locally produced mixed berry jam; these were a delightful bite and all too easy to devour.
A cute play on Anna’s name and just as vibrant as her personality, this one fights the Quiche for first place. Fresh squares of pineapple and mango sat precariously on top of this tiny tower with a sprig of aromatic coriander. The creamy coconut in the middle danced perfectly with the caramel-like banana base-layer, all elevated by a burst of tropical pears which filled your mouth with so much flavour, it’s impossible to fathom how it all fit on such a small spoon.
Strawberries ‘N’ Creme
This macaroon was so fun to eat! A strawberry almond outer layer offered the perfect soft crunch of texture. But, before I bit in, I got to perform dessert surgery. There was a little syringe of strawberry syrup sticking out from the center of my macaroon. With one quick squeeze, all that strawberry deliciousness infused into the creamy middle of this dessert, offering a playful element which I really loved.
Rolled in Chocolate
Anna had me at chocolate! She simply described this dessert as, “chocolate, chocolate, chocolate” and there was no better way to articulate how it tasted. The spongy moist cake was decadent, followed by a rich creamy chocolate icing and topped off with a thin garnish of, you guessed it, chocolate. A very divine dish.
Just like her Quiche, Anna’s tarte shell here was flaky, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth perfection. Tangy rhubarb and sweet apple creme happily played off one another, with a sweet and well-textured crumble bringing everything together.
After we indulged in these beautiful, delicious creations, we were treated to a cooking demo by Anna herself. It’s impossible not be feel happy while you watch her cook, and I think I displayed this by smiling like a fat cat the whole time. I was also a fat cat because I ate all the things, however, that’s beside the point!
Anna effortlessly prepared Loukoumades while regaling us with stories of kicking The Red Hot Chili Peppers out of her kitchen and meeting Kate Moss in an elevator. Stories only a celebrity chef would have, though somehow she made them feel relatable.
And, since this was a Mother’s Day event, we got to hear heaps about the woman who fed Anna Polyviou before she inevitably went on to feed others.
“I had my mother in the kitchen with me the other day,” Anna told us, “She was very bossy and my staff loved it. She kept telling me all my recipes were wrong!”
Right before it was time to head home, Anna walked around with a silver bowl full of hot from the fryer Loukoumades, and I was ever so quick to snag one.
Oh. My. Loukoumades! These were beyond delicious. Soft and fluffy, dripping in a warm and sticky honey which sweetened the perfectly cooked dough. However, what brought these to that next level were the fresh specs of vanilla bean infused within the Loukoumades. Little dots of flavour which made this dish my absolute fave of the afternoon. Yes, Quiche you’ve been beat! But to a worthy adversary.
So, my friends, take a moment to register how incredible this afternoon was and remember that your mom is deserving of an Anna Polyviou experience each and every day. Whether you’re taking her to a High Tea with a celebrity chef or just enjoying a cup of chai and spending quality time together, always, always, always appreciate the mamma you’ve got.
Which is why I’d like to dedicate this blog to my incredible mum, April. I love you to the moon and back, mamma! Thank you for always supporting me for the silly goof that I am.
Words by Jamieson Eileen