To fete my return to Sydney my mum celebrated in the way she does best; with a brunch party. We gathered croissants from Bourke Street Bakery (all the better for lathering with Apricot and Ginger or Raspberry and Rose jam, hauled back from La Chambre aux Confitures in the Marais), we brewed Caramel Damman Freres tea (also hauled back from the Marais!) and I cooked my favourite lemony peach and raspberry cake (a modified Donna Hay recipe), jet-lagged and resolutely wide-awake at five am in the morning. The table was set - in fact, it came first - and I saw family and the best of friends surrounded by the sweetest of gifts, eagerly devoured. It is this that I love the best; the ease and comfort of relations with your family, when it doesn't matter if you're twenty minutes early or twenty minutes late, when stories told a thousand times seem brand new again, and all that matters, all that ever matters, is tea (a drink with jam and bread).