Table Talk with Gaby Harvey

Our Table Talk series is all about dinner party conversations. If you were sat beside our guests at a candlelit dinner party, what would you want to ask them? We’ve curated our dream dinner party guest list and will be chatting to our guests throughout the year, asking them all about themselves, their area of expertise and, of course, their own dream dinner party scenarios. 

Our next guest is the owner of our current favourite bolthole, Kin House (the location of our autumn photoshoot). Gaby Harvey has transformed a Georgian manor in the Wiltshire countryside into a beautifully designed house for hire with all the luxuries of a hotel, offering round-the-clock service, and full catering. There are 12 bedrooms, banqueting halls, bars and even a luxurious dressing room – all beautifully designed in collaboration with Lucy Sear-Barlow. We caught up with Gaby to chat all things Kin House, as well as her dream dinner party scenario. 

Hello Gaby! What was the inspiration for opening Kin House?  

We wanted to create the experience of a hotel (the service, beautiful interiors and cosy spaces) but tailored to private stays, parties and events - something that we feel is currently missing in the events industry. 

The interiors of Kin House are just spectacular. How did you work with Lucy Sear-Barlow to design the interiors, and which is your favourite element of the design? 

We worked very closely with Lucy to create a scheme that combined her playful style with the timeless elegance of a British hotel. I love how all the bedrooms have their own identity - no two are the same. We individually chose each fabric and piece of antique furniture, so it feels like you're in someone's private home. 

Do you have a favourite corner of the house or garden? 

I love the changing room that's hidden away in the boot room, covered in rich tapestry-style fabric from wall-to-ceiling. It was made using original panelling from another part of the house and would be a great space for a pop-up photobooth. 

How would your ideal weekend at Kin House play out? 

Leisurely breakfasts (the marmite butter crumpet with poached eggs is top of my list!), country walks, yoga, getting ready with friends in the Dressing Room before cocktails in Fitz Bar. A relaxed dinner with lots of sharing dishes, followed by dancing, a live band and more cocktails in Kilvert Bar. Lunch the next day would be outside if it's nice weather - either a beautifully laid table in the woodland or by the walled garden. 

What are the surroundings of Kin House like? What would you recommend for guests to enjoy in the local area? 

We're on the edge of a pretty village in Wiltshire, right in between Bath and Bristol. The gardens at Highgrove or Westonbirt Arboretum are lovely for a wander. 

Who would be your dream dinner party guests and why? 

Freddie Mercury - the voice, the stories, and I'd love a private rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. 
Kate Moss - she'd bring a bit of naughtiness and have some great stories to tell about past dinner parties and their guests  
Michelle Obama - pure poise and elegance - need I say more? 
AA Gill - I'd love to read his razor-sharp analysis of the evening the day after 

What would feature on your dinner party playlist? 

Anything by Oscar Peterson or Ben Webster, followed by Lionel Ritchie's All Night Long. 

Tell us about the most memorable dinner party you've ever attended? 

A dinner in the woods of my friend's house in Devon. We cooked a whole lamb asado over a fire pit which took all day, but passed the timing drinking beer, chatting and had the most amazing feast when the sun went down.

What are your favourite Rebecca Udall products for an Autumn table? 

Alicia Murano glass tumbler in black cherry 
Scalloped Murano glass candlestick in blue 
Basketweave plates in chocolate 
Ester & Erik candles in deep amber 
Dot tumblers in white 
Ruffle gingham linen napkin in brown 

Looking for a place to hire for a special occasion? Take a look at Kin House for weddings, birthdays and events.

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