Tarot cards and high tea afternoons at Collingwood’s Mamour Chocolates
Nestled in amongst the early morning cafes and late night drinking dens of Collingwood is Mamor Chocolates, a European style high tea salon serving up decadent food and drinks for afternoon delights.
As I walk into Mamor Chocolates, a woman is sat huddled over a table sipping tea from a rose peppered tea cup and listening to her life unfold from the mouth of a tarot card reader. I wish I had thought to book in for a reading myself. Whether you’re a sceptic of a believer, it’s always fun to have someone predict your future over a cup of lavender tea.
My host Cindy shows me to a table by the window and presents me with the tea list. I choose my favourite Earl Grey and Cindy sashays off to prepare it and arrange for the first course of my high tea to be served.
Poured from a silver teapot and into Royal Albert tea cups, the very same kind my mum and grandmother have, this is no run of the mill Earl Grey. Made locally by Tea Leaves in Sassafras, the bergamot is fragrant and floral and sets the scene for the three courses that await me.
Mamor Chocolates has been quietly hosting afternoon teas in Collingwood for five years but has recently been taken over by new owner and pastry chef Janet McKenzie, whose culinary talents set this high tea apart from others.
Unlike high teas served in hotels, Janet tells me she makes everything fresh each day on site and she caters to her customer’s dietary requirements.
If you follow a vegan or gluten free diet, high tea can be made to your liking by ordering in advance.
My first course arrives. The savouries. From smallest on the top plate to biggest at the bottom is parmesan shortbread with beetroot pesto, mini Thai infused chicken pies, mushroom pate with sweet potato and egg and lettuce sandwiches.
The first bite I take is the parmesan shortbread which are moreish buttons of crisp savouries. The pies are flaky and golden with just the right amount of gravy coating the chicken inside. I manage to eat these without the gravy pouring down my chin, which is progress for me.
In between courses i’m invited to take a look around Janet’s ‘chocolate room’ where the cocoa magic happens. Housed in a converted shipping container out in the back, the temperature must be kept at 17 degrees at all times.
Gold dust and coloured edible paints and moulds in every shape are stacked on shelves. A splash screen covered in sprays of edible colour like a Jackson Pollock painting is where the fun happens and Janet tells me they run chocolate making classes here.
The second course arrives and Cindy tells me about the scones which are made with lemonade. I’m told that lemonade makes them light and fluffy. After biting into one smothered in delicious cream and raspberry jam, I nod, eyes slightly wide with amazement at the lemonade trick.
There’s also vanilla and chocolate chequerboard cookies and cinnamon and clove shortbreads which taste lovely with the Earl Grey tea.
Cindy tells me that when they host groups, they get their phones out and start Instagraming their food once the third course arrives. I understand why when she brings mine out…
In a petite gold cup is a mixed berry Bavarian (like a mousse) with coconut meringue, gold dusted almond praline and fresh berries. It’s rather beautiful looking and I don’t want to spoil it by eating it. But of course I do eat it. And I’m very, very happy I made that decision. Everything is light: the meringues, the Bavarian, the praline – all with well placed flavours that dance around my mouth together like a harmonious sweet symphony.
A selection of petit fours rounds off the day, along with the last of pour of Earl Grey from my tea pot. A hazelnut piedemonte with an almond croquant, passionfriut curd tart with coconut meringue and freeze dried raspberry and a yuzu curd white chocolate with hazelnut praline is presented on a silver tray.
Like little sweet artworks, I examine them thoroughly, pondering how Janet made each intricate part of them. Then I proceed to pop them in my mouth and let me tongue do the pondering. Each one is a delight in its own right, full of personality and well chosen flavours and textures.
Bookings can be made at Mamor Chocolates in advance but if you’re walking past and tempted in, they can sometimes cater for walk ins.
High tea includes a glass of French sparkling wine, tea and three courses. It’s $75pp at the weekend and $65pp during the week.
It’s available for private bookings and can cater for up to 30 people. Tarot readings are available for one-on-one readings or can be booked to roam at events. Topless (male) waiters can be booked for private events and you can choose between Erik from Estonia, an underwear model, or Mr Marmalade who has a spectacular curly moustache.
153 Johnston Street, Collingwood