12 April, 2015

The strange(r)est dinner party

I received a call from my friend Jess a couple of weeks ago; “Nix, I am hosting a dinner party – I don’t want any of the guests to know each other. I just want to bring creative individuals together, eat great food and drink lots of wine”

Sounded like a perfect night to me.

The way it worked:  10 people who only knew Jess (ie. they were not connected) were asked to bring along an ‘interesting’ guest (that no one else would know)

It was an awesome idea.

It was a raging success..

The house was perfect – it fit one very long table and it was historically a brothel – therefore each bedroom had a bathroom (how could you ask for more?!).

The room was filled with an electric energy. It was absolutely buzzing as everyone introduced themselves.

So many stories. So much banter. So many laughs. With complete strangers.

I was honestly in my element.

Aside from the company, delicious food (we had salmon for main and so many beautiful salads – I made sticky date pudding for dessert!) and of course wine….however, there was something else which was a complete highlight for me…..

….the table setting.

Jess had clearly invested a lot of time and effort into styling the table. Flowers arranged in mason jars ( a piece of frayed twine tied around the rim of each jar), hand-written place cards, linen napkins, wooden biodegradable cutlery…it was like a scene straight out of a movie…or atleast pinterest. I would say it was very ….rustic-farmhouse-chic!

After 30 mins of mingling…I realised just how easy it is to get stuck in our own little ‘bubbles’. With work commitments and general life admin it makes sense that we find it so much easier to catch up with old friends – it is familiar, involved minimal effort and is comfortable. But as I am getting older, I am increasingly realising how important it is to ‘actively’ go out and meet like-minded new people. It is such an organic way to get inspired. Learn new things. Exposure yourself to new perspectives,

City bars, book clubs, the confectionary aisle of Woolworths…I guess you can meet new people anywhere. But I really enjoyed the whole ‘dinner party’ idea – it was such a relaxed and non-confronting way to meet a whole bunch of new people (many of which we already swapped numbers and organised to see each other).

I really enjoyed the way everyone was connected to someone, but collectively no one really knew anyone.

I met a guy who rode on Harley Davidson through America for 20 days with a full-blooded Cherokee Indian American.

I met a girl who went on a first date earlier that day and made the guy cry…..long story….

I met a guy who has a work shed in Chippendale and makes old-style radio’s out of timber.

I met a girl who quit her job as a corporate lawyer and now works in Darwin doing legal-aid for Indigenous Australians (she even flew in specifically for the dinner party!!).

I could honestly go on and on…..every single person around that dinner table had a story to share. It was the best.

In celebration of last nights dinner party and the beautiful table styling, I have spent this afternoon (admittedly I am a little dusty after too many red wines) finding some images to inspire the table for the next dinner party that I host…I think I shall it … ‘Brown Sugar’s Supper Club’.

Whether is is Christmas, a wedding, or a casual dinner at a friends place, these small touches often go unnoticed – the carefully arranged centrepiece, the origami folded napkins, the table cloth…but collectively these small touches add to the overall ‘vibe’ an atmosphere of the dinner. Next time you sit down. Take note.

(NB: admittedly some of these images seem to be reception dinner party settings – but, hey…a gal can only dream!)


(image via Pretty Little Things)

table setting

(image via my scandanivian home)



(image via my diary of us)

table setting

In a vineyard….

(image via thriving twenties)



This is actually my dream….tribal rugs, outdoors, hot summer night…complete magic.

(image via 100 layer cake)

table setting

How cute is this – an orchard brunch!

(Image via offbeat and inspired)


obsession overload – dinner party + indigo textiles. way too much for me to handle right now.

(image via blue moon)

table setting

Rustic. Simple. Raw. I really like this table setting.

(Image via Style Files)

OK, I best be off…to nurse this headache…



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