Australian Style book review

9781920989767It’s a beautiful book. I bought it because I like interiors and was interested in a vision of “Australian” style. I couldn’t find many references to Australia, though.

I used to work with Penfold, sub-editing her Source column, and, after reading this book, I can affirm she walks the walk. She always looked glamorous and always had bright, chirpy anecdotes. She’d always say we were brilliant at our work (page 31). She always had a humorous comment to make about a trip to Monte Carlo or a fashion faux pas or the latest mishap by the tradies. She’d send herself up in an Ab Fab Patsy kind of way.

In the section about “How to spot (and manage) a bitch” — when “a colleague calls you Karen instead of Karin…” – I’m guessing that’s a reference to one of our former editors, Karin.


  • The section on manners – a lot of great, detailed examples. This thread continues throughout.
  • The dinner party section.
  • Home interiors advice.
  • Advice covers all lifestyles, even the unemployed.


  • Buy overalls for lesbian friend – an outdated joke.
  • I wanted a bit more “Australian” flavour to the style. The word “Australia” or “Sydney” is not even in the Index. I couldn’t find many Australian references in the book. Here’s the only one I found: “Natural silks tend to rot and fade under our strong sun …”
  • I would have liked references to etiquette on ANZAC Day/Australia Dayand going to the beach, and barbecues.

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