Kinfolk Sydney // Wabi Sabi Messy Meal

Oct 21, 2014

Photos by Rachel Kara

Kinfolk Dinner Sydney - A Messy Meal - Embracing Wabi Sabi in the Everyday

The latest Kinfolk Gathering kicked off around the world on October 11 with Sydney being one of the first host countries to start the ball rolling. With gatherings happening in Spain, USA, Russia, NZ, Greece, Japan, Ukraine and more all on the same weekend, it is always such an honour and a buzz to be a part of the global Kinfolk community and to host the gatherings in Sydney. Our lovely friends in Perth also hosted an event on the same day too. 
And while we still reminisce about our last event in Avalon, Kinfolk really put the challenge out to hosts around the world this time. For the latest global gathering we were invited to leave behind preconceived ideas of what a Kinfolk dinner should look like and push the boundaries to create something unique and different. To celebrate the latest issue of the Kinfolk magazine - the 'Imperfect Issue' we were asked to focus on the messier parts of life. To shape this event we had the Japanese notion of Wabi Sabi to guide us. A focus on the 'less perfect', the organic and the impermanent with an emphasis on using natural materials, creating warmth, focusing on the seasonal elements around us, and of course the acceptance of decay. 

With this brief we had to find a fabulous location that truly reflected the Wabi Sabi notion. And we did - in a private rooftop loft on the top floor of The Stables Retail Concept in Bourke Rd Surry Hills. With exposed brick walls, an old brick fireplace skeleton, aged timber beams, concrete floors and a rooftop garden, this little gem was THE perfect event location. 

Together with co-host Jaclyn Carlson, and with the vision of stylist Lisa Madigan and chef Mario's Kitchen, together we went about to create a unique experience for our guests, a sense of earth, a sense of place, a sense of coming together in a really casual and intimate Sydney afternoon.  It was a magical and day of raw simplicity with humble intention and there were smiles all around on this surprisingly balmy October day. 

During lunch we put our phones away, we took off our shoes, we sat on the floor on cushions at two long shared tables. We helped ourselves to food and wine, passing bowls across the tables, and moved around from one cushion to the next to chat and enjoy. The blossoms in amber bottles had passed their height of bloom and the petals dropped on the tables. Guests entered the loft space from the lift via a walkway of gum leaves crunching beneath them. The low Henry Wilson tables were set with handwritten menus and Wasara paper plates with mis-matching cutlery. Mario's food was served in handmade bowls by Ode Ceramics, and we dined with full view of a huge floral chandelier constructed from dry leaves, foliage and blossoms hanging gracefully under the skylight. 

During our Wabi Sabi meal we shared many moments of mindful messiness. A huge thank you to all of our lovely, humble and generous guests for coming along and sharing the day with us and embracing the Wabi Sabi messiness.  Of course you are what make these days so special indeed and I loved meeting each and every one of you. 

An event like this can not go by without many sincere thank you's to all of the people who help me make this happen. To my gorgeous co - host Jaclyn Carlson (Blog Societywho I love working with always! To my dear friend Lisa Madigan for her gorgeous vision and styling and for all the fun we had leading up to, and during the event. Mario & Liz from Marios Kitchen- your menus continue to delight and excite me and I absolutely love working with you. The team at The Stables Retail Concept were beyond helpful and so much fun to work with. Seriously the best!  (Thanks Danny, Todd, Charli and Benny). To the gorgeous Angie from Ode Ceramics who kindly lent us the beautiful tableware. We love Cake Wines and it is always so great to work with Glen and meet our special guest winners. Our guests were very lucky to receive a gorgeous Summer gift pack from Aesop. And of course our photographer (and one of my local gals)  Rachel Kara captured the day perfectly alongside David Child Kat Parker filming a video of our dinner fun (coming soon). Katie Duncan was an amazing help to me on the day (you walked many many stairs!) and the guys in Venus Cafe for keeping us fed with coffees and treats and visits from cute little French bulldogs during our long set up. Thank you!

While there was only a small number of tickets released and a few of our special friends missed out this time around, there will be more events like this to come, and I am really grateful to everyone who has contacted me to offer to help, and be involved. There will be plenty more fun in 2015 and so many more things planned too so stay tuned. 

To see pics from all the Global gatherings go to instagram 


HOST// Natalie Hayllar Eat Read Love / Jaclyn Carlson Blog Society / STYLING & BLOOMS // Lisa Madigan / FOOD // Marios Kitchen / VENUE // The Stables Retail Concept / PHOTOS // Rachel Kara / VIDEO // David Child Kat Parker / GIFTS // Aesop / WINE // Cake Wines TABLEWARE // Ode Ceramics


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