Tea with Mrs C

Last week I had the pleasure of taking Maggie to her first ever tea with my friend Mrs C, or as I affectionately call her, Boofy. Mrs C is one of my all time favourite people, a wicked sense of humour, as classy as they come and one of the kindest hearts. She adores my girls and Rob and stood in as Fauxma last week at Grandparents day. I adore everything about her and her fancy ways. Mrs C even has “at home ” cards, something I never even knew were a thing before I knew her. You drop a card into your friends mail boxes when you are back from travelling so people know you are home. It’s VERY Jane Austen – just like an old fashioned status update. I LOVE them and need to get some made on thick, embossed card, even if it just means giving them out to uninterested family members and pets.


She is slowly trying to teach me all things to do with being THE ultimate domestic goddess, although I suspect it involves largely have staff to do things for you.  Having spent many years living OS and in the UK she knows all things to do with tea. I thought what we were having was High Tea – but I was wrong. It’s just tea. In the UK she tells me that children have their main hot meal for lunch and then have a thing called Nursery Tea at around 4.30pm – a sandwich, some cake and fruit and tea of course! And then they are done. Sounds smart to me!


So off Mags and I trotted on Friday afternoon for some tea (of course) champers and some of the best chicken sambos going around the Highlands. Mrs C has headed over to London this week for her son’s wedding which is on in London next weekend. In Kensington Palace nonetheless. The tea was a chance for us to see her Mother of the Groom outfit, coat and hat. She is definitely channelling Camilla and I love EVERYTHING about the ensemble. I’m so excited for the wedding – cannot wait to see how it all goes and I wish her son and his bride all the very best for their impending nuptials. They are a gorgeous couple.


Now it was pointed out to me by Mrs J, who was also attending the tea that the chicken sambos are actually HER recipe so let’s all please make that note here and now. Duly noted Mrs J. These sambos have been trotted out at many a village morning tea, wake, cocktail party and afternoon tea and they are bloody delish. There’s something about a ribbon chicken sandwich with the crusts cut off isn’t there? My FAVOURITE! Well, that and a curried egg of course. I hounded Mrs C for all the details on how to make them so you too and trot out a fancy tea.


Mrs C’s (who are actually Mrs J’s) Chicken Sambos

1 bbq chook
1 cup whole egg mayo
Thinly sliced celery
Bunch finely sliced parsley
Day old white bread (toast sliced)


Some interesting tips from Mrs C that I thought were worth noting:

  • use day old bread (if you get fresh bread on the day it’s too fresh and is difficult to cut)
  • use a BBQ chook. I was shocked by this thinking that it would be poached, shredded chicken allowed only but she reckons a good organic or free range BBQ chook is good
  • you MUST use whole egg mayo
  • you can add a toasted nut for crunch (Mrs C will trot out a toasted pine nut) but only when you are certain there are no nut allergies in the crowd
  • If you have a mandolin use that for the celery for a nice fine slice
  • make on the day of eating but they can keep in a good airtight tupperware container. Don’t be fooled into thinking a damp tea towel like our Mother’s taught us is OK. It’s not
  • Cut your parsley in a jug with scissors (this tip is from another Mrs C in the village who would be annoyed if this Mrs C claimed it as her own, so duly noted other Mrs C)


In a bowl combine the chopped chicken, whole egg mayo, finely chopped parsley and celery with lashings of salt and pepper and set aside.

Then fill in the bread without too much filling inside and not too close to the edges. Using a serrated knife cut the crusts off in a sawing action. I immediately ate the crusts and picked the left over bits of filling much to her dismay. She’s trying to make a lady of me, I’m just a bit of a pig.

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Then using the knife mark where you will cut the ribbons. Give them a mark with the knife so you know where to cut.

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Then arrange JUST SO on a platter.


She had also whipped up some cucumber sambos – wee little rounds that she cut out with a biscuit cutter and finished off with a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley.

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There were little smoked salmon tarts, and the best looking sponge I had seen in some time. As I said to one of the ladies there, Mags may as well start at the very top for her first ever tea!

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The other Mrs C of the chopped parsley in a jug fame who is also attending the wedding was not in attendance but her hat was. Mrs C made sure she was there in spirit!

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It was the most delightful afternoon of tea. I think I was the only one that sampled that sponge cake though (?!) and I was lucky enough to get a few extra pieces to take home for the girls. I may or may not have been spotted in the kitchen late Friday evening with icing sugar around my lips and sprinkled on my jumper.

Thank you Mrs C for everything you are teaching me (including Daisy’s lessons on how to polish silver).

Are you a fan of a good tea?
Do you like a good quality chicken sandwich? Or is curried egg more to your liking?
Is there room for an “at home card” in this day and age? Please say yes!


  1. This sounds awesome! How does one get invited along to these teas? Hubby and I are looking to move to the Bowral area. You’re making it sound even more enticing!

  2. What a great afternoon! I’m sure Mrs C will have a fab time in the UK and I know I’m catching up with her on her return!

  3. Oh my goodness, those chicken sandwiches look so yummy. I am reading this at lunch time, I have just eaten 3 rice cakes (pieces of cardboard) with vegemite, not quite in the same league 🙂 I may be dribbling slightly.

  4. This sounds like a perfect day! I love having the girls over for tea and always get a good attendance and they KNOW there will be beautiful sandwiches and cake.
    My Nan taught me how to make cucumber sandwiches and they are a firm favourite, you will be pleased to know it all comes down to the quality of the butter.

  5. Bring back the ‘at home’ card! I need a Mrs C in my life, it all sounds so delightful!

  6. Mrs C, Mrs C and Mrs J sound like the loveliest of Ladies (note the capital L). I think we need more Ladies like this in our lives. Lucky you for having them as friends. (PS looks like Mrs C has a devine house too!)

  7. Gosh – what a treat. We need more Mrs Cs in our lives.

    The sambo recipe couldn’t have come at a better time….We are very sadly saying our final goodbye to a dear friend tomorrow and I am on sambo duty for the after service refreshments. It seems I haven’t bought quite the right ingredients but I shall return to the shops after school pick up this arv to rectify. Nothing but the best!

    Intrigued about the Kensington Palace wedding. Hope Mrs C will permit you to publish more details after the event.

  8. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I love this and I love your Mrs C yes bring back tea and at home cards Beth Xx

  9. A bit of lemon zest (micro planed of course) in the chook mixture will lift it to another level! Dijonaise mustard is also a ‘noice’ addition?

  10. Gosh Mrs C sounds very much like my Aunty Barbara. Looks like a fabulous day out. And yes my mum cuts parsley in a jug, I’ve always thought it was a bit odd!

  11. Rowena / VintageNobility says

    My favourite lunch as a child was always (and for some reason, especially in the past couple of weeks) has been a chicken sandwich accompanied with a glass of apple juice!

    When you return from your travels in Italy – I’ll be sure to check the mailbox for your ‘At Home’ card! Perhaps just print off one and photograph it to virtual send to your ?0000’s+ followers on IG and FaceFamily and Blogfamily ?

    Having worked in Catering across the last 5 years I learned just how loved a ‘chicken sammich’ with the good ingredients, as mentioned, is appreciated!
    My youngest is often spoiled with a lunch of catered quality chicken sandwiches – and her lunch is very often envied by her friends; which is why I often pack her two sandwiches – so she can share with her friends!
    Along with their knowledge that ‘Isabella’s mum’ can cook; discussions of classroom parties means I always get kids running up to me with a chorus of requests for freshly prepared n cooked finger foods; their favourite hands down is meatballs – I have seen a class of kids devour 150 meatballs in what could only be a record time!! I’ve learned to bring with my delivery of said meatballs tongs and those large foil cupcake liners – so that a fair and even distribution can be maintained: and the boys don’t just devour them by the handful!
    Also the felafels are very popular and good for the majority of folks as they’re allergy friendly and kids don’t actually realise they’re eating legumes and herbs!!
    There is so much to appreciate when food is freshly and lovingly prepared! Many an afternoon saw us prepping food for the next day, with some colleagues humming quietly, another gently chanting her prayers, and I would often look around and smile as we each worked away on our tasks; believing that it all surely added flavour to the food!

    xxx Rowena / Vintagenobility xxx

  12. That outlook looks super familiar – I wonder how close Mrs C is to my Aunt’s property? I love tea and cute chicken ribbon sandwiches. My trick is to add some diced water chestnuts for the crunch factor {that way you don’t have to worry about nut allergies}. Oh and I have a tea pot obsession – I just inherited my Nan’s sliver teapot and milk and sugar pots.

  13. My chicken sandwich hot tip. Cut with an electric knife, it glides through the crusts and cuts the ribbons with minimal squashing, It will do 2 at a time as well.

  14. At home cards sound lovely:)

  15. How absolutely brilliant!!!

    You ARE living the dream Beth. I love it.

    Now I’m exceedingly hungry for a fancy sambo.

  16. Verve Cliquot & sponge cake?
    Oh yes please!!!

  17. I have my own Mrs C up here in the Mountains…she catered for my Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea that I hosted at work, I brought along my lovely mis-matched vintage china which combined with her chicken sambos etc blew everyone away! I think it will become a yearly tradition for our local businesses.
    And Yes to the cards <3

  18. Yay! Good to see these traditions are still in existence. I need some women like that in my life too!
    Yes to the home cards for sure. I still write letters, so I think home cards are a nice addition.
    I luuuvvved polishing the silver when I was a kid. Used to be my favourite Sat afternoon job.
    But I’ve forgotten how! I used to use Silvo (I think??) and a cloth, but what is the best thing.
    I have just inherited some silver plated dishes, so could we please have a lesson from Mrs C, Mrs J, Mrs anyone…

  19. Um, is that a book on TIARAS I spy in one of the photos?

  20. Ahhh, how lovely! I read this post with a big smile (especially at you eating the crusts and left over filling ?). We have almost finished building our new home in the Gold Coast hinterland but I think we might just need to up-sticks and head to Bowral so I can meet Mrs C, Mrs J and Mrs C. Absolutely YES! to At-home cards. Sadly with 4 little people in tow, our most exciting holidays of late have been weekend camping trips. Does that count? ? xx

  21. Makes me miss my Nanas 🙁 I love the concept of all of this. ALL OF IT. And Mrs C’c house? LOVE.

  22. Just a couple of comments on my sambo recipe……..bread should be sandwich sliced, not toast sliced, and as you mentioned Beth, poached chicken for preference, but for convenience BBQ will do, just take the skin off.

  23. The first thing that popped up on the feed was a picture of that sponge cake and I thought WHAT is that? I had hoped you made it and were going to give us the recipe!

    Veuve Cliquot is my favorite Champers. Jealous. 🙂

  24. Oh I love the biscuit cutter idea!!

  25. AMAZING! This has made me very hungry. I love the idea of cutting the parsley in a jug. Hello, no mess! Perfection!

  26. My Mum used to make chicken sambos exactly like this.. but with pistachios… for her (boozy) bookclub! I used to LOVE getting home from school when bookclub was held at our has there there was LEFT OVERS! Best arvo tea!!! Might just have to pop out to the shops for some chicken, celery and pistachios to make one for late lunch/ arvo tea. Cheers for the flashback, Beth! Have a good weekend.

  27. I love tea! Looks like an afternoon of bliss. Love the note card idea so very Jane Austen!

  28. I very much like the sound of Mrs C and all that she personifies! What a lovely lady to have in your life. I most definitely think there is a need for her at home cards, I’m the one who would be using those bad boys willy nilly and all my gen y friends thinking here goes Emma again with her bonkers-ness. When we’ve moved (about a thousand times unfortunately) I’ve sent out new address cards…we don’t even get that much postal mail from family and friends! But it felt like the right thing to do. Chicken ribbon sambos sound very similar to the ones my sister trots out, with pine nuts for added show pony factor. Sidenote: my husband dearest has been subjected, I mean quite enjoyed, your podcast with neighbour on recent family driving holiday, last night when I pulled my roast potato cut into chunky wedges with sprinkled sea salt and rosemary from the garden out of the oven (as opposed to my usual just plain ol’ roast tatos) husband audibly neighed and galloped around the kitchen. Show pony factor was high with last nights dinner offering!


  1. […] to go to the most beautiful home I have EVER been into for some farewell drinks for my friend Mrs C. I’m telling you, I am still spinning at how one home could be SO fabulous? It was almost […]

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