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August 15, 2017

Just one thing… at the Art Gallery of South Australia

What Would Nick Do?

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  • Story: Sharmonie Cockayne

You’d have a difficult time getting the Director of South Australia’s Art Gallery to tell you what his favourite artwork is hanging in the museum but, if you find Nick Mitzevich hanging out in the museum’s restaurant – there’s only one thing you’ll hear him order.


AGF+W is located on the lower ground floor of the Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace.

Open daily from 9am to 4.30pm.

Nick lives a fast paced life by any standards. Visiting Venice for the Biennale or taking a tour of Los Angeles contemporary art museums is all part of his job to ensure the Art Gallery of South Australia is benchmarked against the world’s best museums. Living between meetings, you might expect Nick to supplement energy levels with that sacred brown bean most of us consume by the kilo – coffee.

And with a restaurant at his workplace, you may anticipate there’d be a tendency for long lunches, entertaining benefactors and working hard to secure investment to maintain our state’s $1 Billion collection with about a billion coffees each day.

Perhaps this is precisely why Nick doesn’t order coffee from  Art Gallery Food + Wine (AGF+W).

He orders chamomile tea. Summer or winter – chamomile tea.

And AGF+W might just do the best chamomile tea in Adelaide. Served with a pot of honey and glass of ice, the order feels more special than your average serve of tea. Based purely on aesthetics, you could be forgiven for thinking the tea’s big selling point is the process involved in its creation rather than the quality of the tea. After tasting it however, all the details of its presentation are soothed away.

Normally tea-drinking folk of the peppermint persuasion, chamomile is a bit of a step outside our comfort zone. Recognising this gives us some context and contributes towards our feeling that this is such a singular experience when visiting the gallery. Emerging from the Elder and Melrose Wings, where Tom Roberts and Berlinde De Bruyckere grabbed different parts of your subconscious and stirred up all kinds of emotions you really do benefit from the calming effects of a chamomile tea.

It’s sweet (even without the addition of honey), smooth, and, for a hot drink, entirely refreshing.

The tea stocked in AGF+W is by Mighty Leaf whole leaf tea, and the particular chamomile used is the Chamomile Citrus, which is caffeine free.

It’s delicious, it feels special, and it leaves you feeling light and refreshed – the perfect accompaniment for a morning spent with our state’s art collection.

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