Hidden away in Federation Square, Gold Creek, The Abbey hosted a wonderful evening of blues and roots music and an outstanding three-course meal. Mia Dyson was the headlining act and was supported by a talented fellow blues and roots singer, Simon Meli. The country rock reverberated beautifully off the high walls of the unique venue, and by candlelight the audience wined and dined at their tables, enjoying the intimate atmosphere.

Entrees were served at 7:30 by the very attentive waiters; I had a lovely crispy calamari with rocket and aioli, and my dining partner had a smoked chicken salad which was beautifully tender and subtly flavoured. As we finished our entrees Simon Meli took to the stage, and armed with nothing but his guitar and a strong smooth voice, he entertained the crowd for what seemed like mere minutes when in fact it was nearly an hour.

Whilst Meli was performing on stage, our main meals arrived. I was served chicken on a bed of sweet potato mash. The chicken was tender and moist and I thought I could taste just a hint of lemon. My dining partner had a beef steak on a bed of mashed potato which was also beautifully cooked and very tender. These main meals came with three separate accompaniments which included a green bean, spinach and pine nut salad, honey cooked carrots and a rocket and parmesan salad with balsamic dressing. Needless to say these were all fresh, crisp and completely devoured by my partner and I.

Once the support act had finished warming up the room there was a brief interlude in which desert was served. I had a chocolate brownie with hazelnut ice cream and a chocolate wafer, and my dining partner had crème brulee with biscotti. Even though we were both almost bursting from our mains and entrees we managed to polish off desert without any problems.

Once the audience was fully fed and watered, Mia Dyson finally took to the stage and enchanted the room with her striking electric guitar skills and beautifully strong vocals. Time seemed to fly by as she delivered every song with enthusiasm and skill, alternating between guitar and piano. The pint-sized performer maintained interaction with the audience and even sent around a mailing list so we can all keep up to date with her latest developments.

Mia’s set list comprised mostly of songs from her latest album (which my partner ended up buying after falling in love with her) “The Moment.” My personal favourite song from her performance was “Jesse,” which she explained to the audience was written about a fan’s experience in having to give up her child for adoption in the sixties. However all her songs were heartfelt and sung with enthusiasm. Once she concluded her performance she came back to treat the cheering audience to an encore in which she sung two more songs, one on piano and the other on guitar. It was a shame there wasn’t anywhere for audience members to get up and dance, because I don’t think I would have been alone in feeling like dancing to Mia’s catchy tunes, but perhaps after polishing off a delicious but filling three course meal, dancing was not the best idea after all…

At the end of the evening I had the pleasure of meeting the head chef of the group who catered for the event; 2617 Catering, and complimented him on the outstanding meal. It truly was a wonderful evening of beautiful music accompanied with beautiful food in the absolutely stunning venue of The Abbey.

Photography by Mark Turner Images