A hilltop farmhouse looking over 113 acres of Poowong East in country Victoria, is the home of Tamsin Carver. In recent years, she has opened up her home and property running lunches, gatherings and workshops under the name Tamsin’s Table. Here there are cooking classes, shared harvest lunches and curated gatherings with close attention paid to all details from paddock to table.
Tamsin, you run beautifully curated gatherings and lunches at your hilltop farmhouse in Gippsland. Could you give us a taster of what guests can expect at ‘Tamsin’s Table’?
Our classes and gatherings are a chance to come together with like minded people, and share good conversations and good laughs while learning something useful, or sharing a meal cooked with ingredients grown and gathered right here on the farm. We want our guests to leave feeling relaxed, inspired and nourished in every way.
Have you grown up around farms and where did you learn the art of running a farm, garden and kitchen table?
No I didn’t grow up around farms but I did grow up in a family of gardeners, and also right near the Blue Mountains National Park, so I spent a lot of time in the bush. Spending a good chunk of the day outside, and being active, has always been really important to me. I didn’t start out with any real skills but everyone’s a beginner once, right? And I have to confess I love a challenge. I’ve made stacks of mistakes over the years and am still making them; I just try my hardest to learn from them too.
What are your favourite things about living where you are?
The light, the relatively reliable rainfall, the feeling of being hidden away up on this hill, living in the weather, having my hands in the soil, being with birds.
What does the essence of slower living mean for you?
That’s an interesting one. I don’t know that I’d describe how I live as slower living, in many ways it’s much more intense and relentless than my old life in the city. But even though it is hard work it is fulfilling and nourishing work. That is right at the heart of it for me, as is being able to live more independently, and eat just as I want to.
Do you have any styling or menu tips for creating the perfect table feast?
I think it’s important that the table look and feel natural and effortless, and that the food and flowers somehow encourage conversation and interaction between guests – this happens in different ways depending on the season but one thing we always do is serve food on large shared platters that have to be passed around the table. Negotiating heavy plates always gets people talking!
What are your must see’s and do’s for visitors to the Gippsland area?
There are so many fantastic things happening around here in food and wine – Craig and Mel down at the Loch Brewery and Distillery (about 20 minutes down the road from us) are making exquisite small batch gin, as well as whisky and beer; the Warragul Farmer’s Market is a great way to meet local food, cheese and wine producers; a stay at Marge’s Cottage here in Poowong East is a must and enjoying some of the scenic drives through these incredible rolling green hills.
What is next for ‘Tamsin’s Table’?
We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing because we love it, and our guests tell us they do too…but all the while striving to do it better and better.