On a typical, cool wet Melbourne winter evening in August, 42 literary buffs attended an exclusive, three course dinner at the Grand Hotel for a night of wine, fabulous food and an enthralling, intimate chat with author Robyn Annear.
Partnering with The Wheeler Centre, this event was one of three to be hosted by the M Gallery Collection Hotel’s in Melbourne, the first, being held at The Lindrum in May, and the last to be held at The Como in September.
The night kicked off in grand style, all guests greeted with their choice of champagne or the hotel’s signature drink – a John Batman Apple Martini, chosen for the hotel’s historical location significance, as it was originally the site of Melbourne’s founding father’s fruit orchard.
The conversation flowed amongst guests as did the wine and before long, everyone had polished off their generous entrée, mains, and the main event kicked off.
Interviewed beautifully by Wheeler Centre representative, Helen Withycombe, Robyn Annear was charming, entertaining and a perfectly eccentric. Guests found themselves listening to a story about Melbourne Town Hall, but being taken off a on spectacular tangent involving tales of shoeboxes, buttons, boots preserved in mud and naked democracy – all the while hanging onto every word.
Her passion for making Melbourne’s historically significant events was riveting – which was clearly shown in her popular books ‘Bearbrass: Imagining Early Melbourne’ and ‘A City Lost and Found: Whelan the Wrecker’s Melbourne’ – both of which were available for sale on the night – the queue of which to get signed, went out the door at the end of the evening.
Written by Guest Blogger, Kerstyn Dance.