Settler and Sons Twilight Dinner

20 Mar 2018

When I arrived at the Settler and Sons dinner, it was at the end of golden hour. I’d driven towards Nowhere Creek as the final light from the sun touched everything it could reach. Thick, lazy light, heavy like honey, oozed over the golden hills. My camera was heavy in my lap and I so wanted to stop and capture every view in every direction just to remember the moment. But, I was late, I couldn’t stop, so I glanced at the golden hills with their purple shadows, the windows of my car lowered, hoping the memory would be tattooed on my heart.

This year was at a new location to last year. I was guided down by some friendly staff. Through a gate, across the paddock, weaving through elegant gums. I parked not far from the dining area. I couldn’t see them yet, but I could see the transport bus parked and I could hear small hooks of soft music. I stopped at the top of the small hill, looking down to the sky-reaching poplar trees. The warm breeze pushed me from behind, catching the Juliette Has A Gun fragrance I’d chosen to match with the evening. I turned full circle and took it all in with my heart before snapping some shots on my camera. The white cockatoos were back. Their dusk calls echoing down the hills.

I followed the sound of music towards the poplars, where laughter soon followed, and the sound of clinking cutlery. There were wine barrels before the trees where the others had clearly enjoyed the light I had wanted to linger for earlier, no doubt matched with Kirby’s excellent food. It was there I first caught sight of the table, nestled between the poplars, festoon lights twinkling above, the branches of the trees reaching ever upwards. 

I paused again, this time amused. Wine barrels? The enchanting sounds of music and merriment nestled in the trees? This was uncannily like The Hobbit, where the party stumbles across an Elven feast in the middle of Mirkwood. 

‘The elvish folk were passing bowls from hand to hand…some were harping and many were singing. Their gleaming hair was twined with flowers; green and white gems glinted on their collars and their belts; their faces and songs were filled with mirth.’ - J.R.R Tolkien, The Hobbit

Just as I noted this to myself, my friend Cherie glided from the table out to greet me. Then she let me indulge in the final tendrils of light, running for me in the grass, now pink as the last embers of sunlight faded, while I took pictures of her. We walked with arms linked back to the table. 

Pic by Liv Lorkin
There was a place saved for me and I gratefully took my plate up to the bar where Kirby stood. I did a double take and looked around at the setting. There were poplars in all directions, and a deep dry creek bed on one side. The only space was filled by the long table. How on earth did they get this solid wood bar in here to fit perfectly between the trunks of these two trees? ‘I don’t know,’ Kirby told me. ‘I told my husband I wanted it just here and here it is. I think there was a tractor involved.’ I filled up my plate and sat down at the table. 

The rest of the night became a sparkling collection of tastes and sound. It was full of great conversation, smiling people, beautiful music and a perfect setting. Maybe there is something to my earlier thought after all. Maybe Kirby has some sort of elven magic and with each of these dinners she casts a spell. Because after this dinner, if I asked my heart what word it would use to describe it, the one my heart would offer is: enchanted.

Pics: Me and Liv Lorkin (pics by Liv captioned)
Location: Settler and Sons

Pic by Liv Lorkin

Pic by Liv Lorkin

I looked like trash so this is the only photo of me I will allow


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