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| BNE December 2014/January 2015


y day Lindsay Bennett and Bryce

Williams are the driving force behind

some of Brisbane’s most prestigious

events, including Mercedes-Benz Fashion

Festival, but after hours they are mein hosts

at their new guest house Heal House in New

Farm. After more than 18 months of meticulous

renovation Heal House welcomed its first guests

(an international media crew) during G20.

The pair bought the former boarding house

initially to be a home and work space but

after a friend’s suggestion to create a boutique

guest house, they jumped in. So, as plans were

ramping up for yet another glamorous fashion

festival Bennett and Williams were going home

to a chilly winter with no windows and tarps

for cover, plumbing so bad some plumbers

refused to even contemplate the work,

stripping back layers of lead paint and nine

layers of lino, replacing doors and the roof and

adding bathrooms. Apart from the specialist

trades, Bennett and Williams did most of the

work themselves.

“Once we decided to make it a guest house

one thing led to another and then we were

soundproofing between walls and making

changes to comply with safety regulations and

the budget blew out by about 300 per cent!”

says Bennett.

The result is a beautiful Queenslander

reawakened, with three luxury guest suites

with ensuites, shady verandahs with dining

and reading nooks and a spacious lounge, all

within walking distance to the dining and

entertainment precincts of New Farm and

Fortitude Valley.

The interiors, too, are all their own work

and an eclectic mix of finishes and possessions

collected over decades to give a smart but

soothing welcome to new guests.

Bennett and Williams are widely travelled

and have great memories of favourite hotels,

particularly across the US, and the small touches

that made their stay memorable.

The pair intend to take on hosting duties

themselves (in addition to their day jobs) at

Heal House, preparing breakfasts (Bennett is an

expert at poached eggs and is already practising

his scones for future afternoon teas for guests)

and generally working towards making their

guests feel at home while visiting the city. Heal

House will also be the next go-to venue for

intimate guest-chef dinners and cocktail parties

for a social clientele.

Heal House, 72 Heal Street, New Farm. See

or call 3358 3350.



rchitect Peter Roy (


) says he is a man of few words yet he has an engaging story to tell at

the next PechaKucha night at Brisbane Powerhouse. As architect-in-charge at Brisbane City

Council during the Brisbane Powerhouse redevelopment he was both project director and

theatre designer and therefore has an intimate knowledge of all its nooks and crannies. Roy also has

a passion for drawing and does one drawing a day – even if it’s just a five-minute sketch of his dog.

At PechaKucha he will combine the two in a 20/20 presentation – 20 slides accompanied by 20

seconds of presentation each – for a total six minutes, 40 seconds presentation! And that is the art

and entertainment of PechaKucha. The slides wait for no one and when they are done, the speaker

is done, and it’s on to the next.

The format was devised by architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo-based firm Klein

Dytham Architecture and the first event held at their creative space in Tokyo more than 10 years

ago. Now PechaKucha events are held in more than 700 cities around the world where just about

anyone can talk about almost anything – from creative projects to prized collections to favourite

holiday snaps – as long as they stick to the time and format.

Although he has not presented at PechaKucha before Peter Roy has been in the audience of many

past events. Topics are often about design, he says, but on one night when he attended an architect,

a hairdresser, a lighting designer and a man talking about his dogs were among the speakers.

Roy says his talk is the excuse he needs to finish a sequence of drawings of his favourite building

and his accompanying talk will enlighten his audience about the lesser known corners of the

Powerhouse he calls the “leftover performance spaces”. And, as a man of few words, he says he isn’t

worried about going overtime.

PechaKucha, Turbine Platform, Brisbane Powerhouse, from 8.20pm, 17 December. Free event.

Look out for more events next year.

Stylish retreat

Photography by Ian Golding

Lindsay Bennett (


) and

Bryce Williams at Heal House