Rather than a wasted day of woe, Sundays are meant for nourishment, for homecooked meals, meaningful chats and creative beverages. We’re here to help. Secret Garden Festival and Concrete Playground — keen weekenders and lovers of good food, new friends and general tomfoolery — have teamed up with The Guardian to create the ultimate Sunday fortress of fun, Cubby House.
Taking over the rolling lawns of Vaucluse’s historic Strickland House on Sunday, October 25, Cubby House is a temporary hidden haven of local food and drink, lawn games and talks, created purely for you to reclaim the weekend and stand you in good stead for the week to come.
Eat a hearty Sunday roast from Newtowners Raven’s Eye, catch up on the news with talks curated by The Guardian, find comfort in a Golden Age Cinema cocktail, chuckle over comedy from Giant Dwarf, play your favourite lawn games, pop into a workshop or two and learn a few mad skills, then we’ll even help you sort out your errands in time for Monday.
“We are celebrating Sunday by nourishing brains, playing games, learning new things, having a big belly laugh and making new mates,” says Secret Garden festival director Clare Downes. “People can kick off their shoes, drink a Bloody Mary, learn to fish, and complete some Sunday errands — all across Strickland House and its beautiful gardens.
"Secret Garden and Concrete Playground are doing this because we believe it’s something that’s missing from our Sundays and we figure there are others who probably need Cubby House too."
There’s nothing like a Sunday spent relishing local, damn good, nourishing food, so we’ve invited the weekend-happy crew from Raven’s Eye, Newtown’s first Italo-American diner, to do one heck of a sit-down Sunday roast. We’re talking slow-cooked meats and roasted veggies by head chef Matt Ouwerkerk, the whole shebang.
Instead of filling your Sunday brain with the Blade trilogy and soulless junk food, find a spot on the lawn and listen to talks from Australia’s top journalists and funniest comedians, handpicked by our mates at The Guardian and Giant Dwarf. No time to read the paper this week? Settle in for our news wrap-up. Triple j’s Tom Tilley will unpack the headlines with some of Australia’s best journos, including Michael Safi (Guardian, previously Global Mail, SMH, ABC Radio National), Adam Brereton (editor of The Guardian's 'Comment is free' section) and Bridie Jabour (Guardian, previously NewsCorp, Fairfax). Take in comedy from The Bear Pack, then pull up a pew for an in-depth In Conversation talk, with some of Australia’s brightest minds.
“Cubby House represents a meeting of likeminded people and businesses. The event will give our collective audiences a chance to connect with Concrete Playground and the Guardian in real life, designed with the sense of humour and fun that Secret Garden is so known and loved for,” says Concrete Playground founder and director, Rich Fogarty.
"The Guardian is thrilled to be part of this special Sunday and supporting the speakers series. Instead of reading the news in bed, you can hear the latest stories live and dissected by leading journalists,” says Tory Loudon, Head of Events and Programs at The Guardian. “Get a taste of the news behind the headlines and hear how stories are put together, how the media works and snag a little gossip, all with a glass of wine in your hand and good food in your stomach — the perfect Sunday."
Nourished your belly and your mind? It’s time to fill your ears with Sunday sounds. We’ve invited some very special guests over for sessions on the Cubby House lawn, Sydney's country-lovin' foursome All Our Exes Live in Texas. The Cubby House music has been handpicked by Sydney music guru, FBi Radio broadcaster and board member and Secret Garden music programmer Adam Lewis, responsible for introducing you to your new favourite bands at Goodgod Small Club and Solotel venues like Opera Bar and Goros.
Sundays spent lazing on the lawn wouldn’t be complete without one thing: games. Find all your favourite lawns games waiting for you at Strickland House, probably the prettiest place to play croquet in Sydney. And if you’re going to spend Sunday lazing about, you might as well learn a bloody thing or two. Take a DIY workshop, from fishing tips to drawing classes.
Feeling a bit all over the shop pre-Monday? Don’t get the Sunday guilts; get your boots polished, get your holey jeans mended, send a postcard to your Grandma, then visit Concrete Playground’s Event Concierge, to help you book a fun-filled, jam-packed week ahead. Don’t you feel more organised already?
Cubby House will take over Strickland House, Vaucluse Road, Vaucluse on Sunday, October 25 from 12-5pm. Tickets are $85.20 (inc. BF) and unfortunately, it’s over 18s only, sorry kids. For more details and tickets, head to cubbyhou.se. Follow Cubby House on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.