A gentle spring breeze carried crescendos and diminuendos of classical music around one of Melbourne’s most beloved and breathtaking precincts. With its surrounding gardens, soaring tributes to Victorian architecture, rustic heritage spaces, and exquisite cuisine provided by exclusive caterer Bursaria Fine Foods, Abbotsford Convent was the perfect setting for the most recent instalment of Music in the Round.
Abbotsford Convent and its surrounding grounds and farm is many things to many people. A family favourite picnic spot. A collective for artists and performers. A weekend escape for concrete-wearied urbanites. Its beautiful architecture, ambience and peaceful grounds resonates with all people. This unique combination also renders Abbotsford Convent as a special spot for memorable events. The Music in the Round event was no exception.
“It is the perfect space for a cultural event of this calibre,” says Bursaria Fine Foods Sales Manager, Vanessa Surace. “My favourite feature would have to be the architecture. You simply have to walk around the precinct and look up – everywhere you turn is another beautiful building with its own unique history.”
Guests gathered within the historic grounds, excited by a day that promised world class performances and an exclusive luncheon, surrounded by beautiful heritage architecture. Soon, a selection of the country’s most celebrated classical musicians were serenading guests with stunning pieces from Schubert and Schumann, through to Brahms and Bartok.
A major highlight of the Music in the Round event was an exclusive luncheon, served between performances. Guests were given the opportunity to mingle with one another and featured musicians, all over a relaxed dining experience.
“Served down the centre of the table, our grazing menu is bursting with colour and flavour,” explains Vanessa. “This provides a wonderful communal atmosphere. And then, to encourage guests to mingle in a relaxed setting, a number of roving style desserts such as belgian chocolate and macadamia nut petit four, and lemon curd and dehydrated mandarin tartlets.”
It was an idyllic scene, the slow roasted Gippsland lamb shoulder and fresh sides dotted down the table, guests and musicians chatting freely. The gorgeous rustic setting of the space perfectly complementing the delicious lunch.
An event of this calibre is not without its initial challenges. When catering for over 150 people, organisation is the key.
“Scheduled performances were programmed either side of the luncheon,” explains Vanessa. “We designed the menu with this in mind to ensure we deliver a superior experience to our guests. We wanted to ensure they had enough time to enjoy a break between performances and also have the opportunity to mingle with other guests and the musicians.”
From first set-down to final clearing, the lunch was like a culinary ballet. Efficient without being hurried, the luncheon offered guests a progression through the dishes and roving desserts. Departing at a leisurely tempo for the next musical instalment, Bursaria Fine Foods began their pack down routine.
It was a stunning affair. The Abbotsford Convent and its historic spaces provided the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of classical music, the exquisite catering by Bursaria Fine Foods, enjoyed by all.