Living in Brisbane enjoying food, wine, art, health and life!
Published November 29th 2013
Literary lunches by the bay
The Grand View Hotel has long been a big part of the Bayside restaurant scene. It's a beautiful old building set in an idyllic location but unfortunately it seems to attract very mixed reviews in relation to its food and service offerings.
Over the last eighteen months or so they have been offering 'Literary Lunches'. This gives readers an opportunity to share a two course lunch and a glass of wine with a fairly well known author or public figure. Novels are always available for purchase and the opportunity to get a copy of your book signed is a big draw card.
My mother and I have attended two of these lunches over the last twelve months, the most recent of which being with journalist-turned-novelist Frances Whiting. This lunch was held in honour of her latest book 'Walking on Trampolines'.
Ms Whiting was an absolute delight to hear speak. She was amusing, entertaining and endearing. Her personable nature made her seem as though she was directing her speech at each and every one of the approximately one hundred strong crowd. She gave guests a lovely insight into the writing process and the driving concepts behind her first novel. By the end of the thirty minute speech, if you weren't all that interested in 'Walking on Trampolines' when you came in, you were guaranteed to be clamouring to buy a copy before you left.
The food served for lunch was certainly also a pleasant surprise. Main course was a Chicken Supreme, wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with sun-dried tomato pesto, served on a bed of greens and potato galette. Huge cudos to the staff of the hotel, all meals were hot, vegetables still crunchy and beautifully presented. Dessert was not quite so impressive - a slightly flaccid cannoli filled with a not quite lemony custard. Luckily I was still so full from lunch I wasn't really interested anyway!
It would seem that Literary Lunches are becoming a more permanent and frequent affair at the Grand View Hotel. With three more schedule for December including Paul McNamee, Dawn Fraser and Geoffery Roberston, why not treat yourself to a great lunch and a signed novel as a Christmas present for you or a loved one.