If you are someone who prepares for guests by sweeping bills, laundry and newspapers behind sofa cushions, take heart! It’s possible to be an imperfect host, but happily so.
The essential ingredient is not, paradoxically, the food, nor the perfect house to host in, but the sentiment you convey when you open the door. Do your eyes say: ‘I like you and I enjoy your company,’ or does a weepy cloud of visceral horror descend as pine nuts burn gently in the kitchen?
Special Guest is a gentle guide to turning easy basic fare into something of a celebration. For when you want to say to your friends with their spouses and ten small children, ‘Why don’t you stay for lunch?’ without hating yourself afterwards. Learn the lesson of ‘one splendid thing done well’ without regard to the hundred other things, and call the day a success. Pick up some pointers for the modern conundrum that is cooking for people with seemingly incompatible dietary requirements.
Hosting your friends is not about showing off; it is about delighting others. Your dining table might be decorated with a pile of unmatched socks and kids’ homework, but that’s no reason not to invite friends in for a chat, a sit- down and something delicious to eat.
We’re delighted to invite our own special guest Annabel Crabb for giant long table lunch taking over the whole restaurant, where she’ll talk about her new cookbook, co-authored with her oldest pre-school chum Wendy Sharpe, and hopefully gossip about Parliament House and what Christopher Pyne keeps in his kitchen cupboards!
In conversation with Sarah Martin, Federal Political Editor, The West Australian
A note on bookings: If you are a group of friends booking separately but wish to sit together, please contact us before the event. Requests to sit together without prior notice may not be possible. Please note that due to restaurant layout, single diners may be seated at a communal table.
Menu - Main course & dessert. Choice of meat or vegetarian option. Coeliac / gluten intolerances catered for as standard. Please contact us in advance if you have any specific dietary concerns.
Annabel Crabb is one of Australia’s most loved TV and media personalities. She is a Walkley-award-winning political journalist and host of her own ABC TV shows The House and Kitchen Cabinet. Annabel is in constant demand to host, lecture, give keynotes, and other appearances for everything from writers’ festivals to restaurant awards. Her tweets reach an audience of over 470,000 and she has a top-ranking podcast with fellow ABC journalist Leigh Sales, for which she is hounded by ‘Chat 10 Looks 3’ groupies. Usually they’re offering cake.
Sarah Martin is Federal Political Editor for The West Australian newspaper based in the press gallery in Canberra. Prior to joining The West, she worked for The Australian as a federal political reporter and as South Australian political correspondent. She has also worked at The Advertiser in Adelaide covering business and state politics. She began her journalism career in WA as a cadet at The Albany Advertiser. Sarah is also a director at the National Press Club.