It was a humble demand, coming from a visiting former Australian High Court judge.
Michael Kirby would be coming to deliver the annual Goldring Lecture, he told organisers at the University of Wollongong. And he would like some fruit cake.
The public lecture – next Friday – is the talk of the university’s school of law, but it has meant extra excitement for one organiser, certified Tea Master Suzi van Middelkoop.
As tea is the natural partner to fruit cake, Ms van Middelkoop has been asked to create a fruit cake-friendly blend of loose-leaf tea in Mr Kirby’s honour.
Ms van Middelkoop decided on a blend of juniper berries, organic orange and Keemun, a Chinese black tea prized for its rich flavour and depth.
‘‘I wanted to develop a really sophisticated blend that would suit [Mr Kirby] as well as match fruit cake,’’ said Ms van Middelkoop, who runs Stanwell Park cafe Tea by the Sea.
‘‘It’s a light, refreshing blend, but it’s also very full-bodied, very smooth and well rounded. The tea’s just been picked – it’s only three weeks old.’’
Ms van Middelkoop will serve the tea to Mr Kirby and university executives at a low-key ceremony.
The cake, meanwhile, is being made by Ms van Middelkoop’s mother Enneke, a Dutch-born cook who once worked for the former Queen of Holland.
The lecture, which honours the university’s foundation dean of law Jack Goldring (1943-2009), starts at 5.30pm next Friday in building 67.107. Email email@example.com to RSVP or for inquiries.