Frances Whiting and Rebecca Sparrow: Book Lovers’ High Tea

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Today Pud and I had the absolute privilege to join two of Qld’s favourite authors and book lovers, Frances Whiting (journalist and author) and Rebecca Sparrow (columnist and author) at their inaugural  “Book Lovers’ High Tea” at Brisbane’s oldest cafe, the Shingle Inn City Hall (which originally opened in 1936 on Edward Street and was painstakingly moved and recreated in City Hall).  Proceeds from this event went to the wonderful Pyjama Foundation. the_pyjama_foundation_bannerFrances and Bechigh tea

What a lovely event! The Single Inn  is such an iconic Brisbane location and while Pud has been there a number of times with grandma for their teddy bear high tea, I have not been since I was a child, so it was quite a trip down memory lane for me! The cakes, the tea and the all wood interior is beautiful, and I love that it is now located in City Hall. My mum worked as a librarian at City Hall before moving to Toowong Library (which was an equally iconic location in Brisbane!) and I attended the child care centre which used to be located inside City Hall.high tea

If ever you need an adult book recommendation, I can HIGHLY recommend the ‘So What Are You Reading?’ group. Rebecca Sparrow, Frances Whiting and Kate Eltham (former Director of the Brisbane Writers Festival and now director of the Queensland Literary Awards) created this online space to talk about books. ALL BOOKS. No judgement! They wanted a place where members could meet new authors, chat with old authors they adore and debate things like, “Is it ever okay to stop reading a book you don’t like?”.  You can join the group here and if you’re more/also interested in children’s and young adult literature you can join the group I help moderate, stared by Allison Tait, ‘Your Kid’s Next Read’.

Bec and Frances are always a great combination, funny and witty, as well as a wealth of knowledge about all things literary. They shared their favourite reads of the year, lots of literary anecdotes and ended by asking for reading recommendations from the audience. I have the mind of a sieve so Bec or Frances, if you’re reading this, can you pop your recommendations in the comments below?! Ta!

This was an event aimed at adults but there were quite a few children in attendance and some of them organised an book swap – twas extremely lovely seeing them excitedly bargaining over books and then burying their noses in them (and cake). book swapbook swap

high teaThe Shingle Inn was the perfect venue for this literary event and my mind was rather ticking about other events that could be run there – so reminiscent of an old library/book store/gorgeous old fashioned school hall. I really love literary events – for young and old alike. Avid Reader Bookstore and Riverbend Books are the masters of literary events in Brisbane and I’ve been involved in some gorgeous events with them and others, including a rather OTT high tea event for Jacqueline Harvey at my school and a recent funny/gross/absurb event with Tony Flowers and Nick Falk. Literary events really do have all the best kinds of people at them – and today it was a delight to be in the company of Frances and Rebecca! Thank you ladies and thank you Shingle Inn!high teashingle inn

 

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