How to entertain a crowd

And other foodie tips from an Aussie icon
Anna Robinson

Australia’s muesli queen, the founder of Carman’s Fine Foods, sat down with HB in the beautiful Melbourne home she shares with her husband Peter and their four children.

What’s your go-to weekend restaurant?

I love MoVida [in Melbourne’s CBD]

Most stylish place you’ve travelled to?

Capri. I went there for a big birthday party last year and it’s just so chic and stylish.

Describe your home style in three words?
Relaxed, eclectic and comfortable.

If you could spend the afternoon with a style icon, who would it be?
India Hicks. I just love her style and think she’s so effortlessly chic.

vintage chopping boards
(Credit: Anna Robinson)

“I found this gold palm-tree candle holder at Rose St Trading Co in Melbourne and I feel it brings a lot of personality to the room. I love the India Hicks style of decorating and this reminds me of her…”

Carolyn Creswell

Favourite room in the house?

It’s what we call the ‘good room’, which is the front lounge-room. I love lighting the fire in there and the kids come in and play chess. It’s just a really cosy and happy room with all of my favourite things – plants, candles and books.

Perfect way to spend a Sunday morning?
I love cooking and getting up a big breakfast for the family. After that, we’ll all head down to a little Sunday market that I love and we’ll wander around there to see if we can find some treasures. That is what I call ‘my happy place’.

What’s on your furniture wish-list right now?

Unfortunately, I’ve worn the arms through on my favourite cosy everyday chair, so it’s time to recover or replace it.

Do you have a signature dish?

Roast chicken with smashed potatoes and a great salad. That’s probably the family favourite.


Favourite way to entertain a crowd?

I make sure to set the table before everyone comes – that’s always been my mum’s tip. I keep the food simple, with some form of barbecuing and then I set up a drink’s station. Later I put on some great music and everyone helps tidy up together.

What’s your favourite time of year in the home?
I particularly like winter in this house. We have lots of open fires and it’s a house that has such a cosy feel. It can be pouring with rain outside and I couldn’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be.

Best tip for a clutter-free home with a growing family?
I’m not obsessed with having a really clean house, but I do like a tidy house. So we have baskets at the bottom of the stairs to collect odds and ends and everything has a place. That is something that makes me feel much more serene.


See more of Carolyn’s home in the July issue of Home Beautiful Magazine.

Love this? See more in Home Beautiful Magazine

You might also like:

5 interiors-loving celebrities you should be following on Pinterest

Natalie Bassingthwaighte’s beautiful Melbourne home

Artist in residence: At home with Gavin and Pippa Wanganeen


Related stories