The Kinnie Club

Reservation for Eleven

Melt in your mouth, morsels of steam fried dumplings. Lemon chicken that is crisp and crunchy on the outside, yet smooth and soft on the inside, balanced with the most delicate lemon sauce. Indulgent deep fried spring rolls. Champagne popped. Wine flowing.

Reservation for Eleven

Reservation for Eleven

Every few weeks, a reservation for eleven is made at a restaurant in Melbourne. Eleven cousins, getting together, often after work, just to unwind, drink some great wine and share some great food.  We are always the loudest table. The table that everyone turns to look at, as another roar of laughter erupts. The table that all the waiters either try to avoid or they linger at and join in the conversation.

Over the years, there have been many reservations for eleven. Each night a stage set for new memories. There have been some restaurants, we haven’t dared return to. Sometimes we can be too loud and too raucous to risk going back! Other nights have been more sombre, and the conversation set at deep and meaningful.

We always order too much food. Always leave the kids at home. Always indulge in a little cousin heckling, ending in tears of laughter. The last reservation for eleven ended with the one of us daring the waiters to get their groove on. To our complete shock, the volume was turned up loud, Gangham style blasting, and our waiters going Gangham style crazy right there next to our table! The laughter was uncontrollable.

Reservation for Eleven

The atmosphere is contagious around us. You cannot help but get absorbed. Absorbed into letting go of inhibition, kicking back and allowing yourself to “just be” for a change. I indulge in these nights. Soak in the connection that we all have. I sit and wish upon the Universe that our relationships only keep getting stronger.

Deep down, I hope that by setting this example, my boys can grow up reaffirmed in the notion that family is the most important. They may only be two brothers, but they have a connection with their cousins that is far reaching. Greater than any social or professional network they may be part of.

Reservation for Eleven

Social media gives us the false illusion that we are staying connected. It is nights like these where we are really connecting. Nights where one cousin in his business suit sitting next to another in his polo top and base ball cap – have everything in common.

Do you ever catch up with friends or family in large groups?


  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

    I Love family and friend face-to-face catch ups. My friends and family are all over the countryside (world in fact) so they don’t happen often. Funnily enough though I jump in the car and drive 4.5 hours today to catch up with my university crowd for the night! I think there will be champagne and there will be food. There will also be friendly heckling. And then I drive home again in the morning to carry on life as normal …
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  • Sophie Allen

    Fantastic! I love the connection you have with your cousins, as is gives me hope and strives me to push for it, for my boys and their cousins. I completely agree with you, and it is why I will fly the four boys to Broken Hill at least once a year (by myself as Hubby cant always get that much time off), so they can spend time with their cousins. They have a great connection and I intend on fostering that and not just giving up.

  • Lydia C lee

    My husbands side is Italian, so the immediate family gathering once a month is 25, the extended family gathering (easter, christmas, mothers day etc) is 75…so yep, we do the big group thing quite regularly….and I don’t cook! YAY!

  • Rhianna

    I don’t really have any cousins so reading this made me quite jealous. How wonderful that you get to do this and even more wonderful that you value it so much

    Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses #teamIBOT

  • I don’t have many cousins, so your catch ups sound fantastic! I have two kids and my brother 4, and even though he is interstate I am trying to ensure that the “cousins” stay close, they have a bond already at such a young age. I am hoping it stays with them for a long time to come. 🙂

  • Posts like this, make me wish I had a huge family all nearby, but sadly it’s not case. I’ve never even met three of my cousins, and sadly, my kids aren’t growing up with theirs.
    We have good friends though. Great friends even. And that’s an awesome thing 🙂

  • Liz @ Clover Feet

    Oh I love this so much. I’m not this close to all of my cousins but I am to a handful. I come from a big family and gosh I love it! There’s nothing quite like it is there?

  • Mrs Holsby

    I love this…..I don’t have a huge family, and the family I do have a spread out, but this made me feel like I was part of your family if only for five minutes.
    You’re lucky. Cherish them and their daggy dancing 😉

  • Ohhh, this sounds lovely! I am jealous! I’d love to have a monthly dinner with family. It wouldn’t be with cousins, mine are all much younger than me and live at least an hour away. It sounds wonderful Josefa. I always dreamed of having or being part of a big family. x

  • Wow sounds like so much fun. My family is spread far and wide so any kind of get together is out of the question. Great photos!!

  • How wonderful to connect with family on a regular basis. Yes social media does give a false sense of ‘staying in touch’ and I for one am guilty of not connecting enough with loved ones.

  • Zita

    That sounds like so much fun! Good on you! I have a couple of girlfriends who I try and get together with on a regular basis but it’s usually just an afternoon tea kind of catch up but I love it and look forward to it so much!

  • Julie

    That’s great. What a blessing to have all that family to really connect with! Thanks for the prod!

  • That sounds divine, you are fortunate to have such a large family unit xx

  • Loree

    I used to be close to my cousins when I was young, but these days we seem to have drifted to opposite sides of the universe. I do have some school friends that I love to me up with though. They are like sisters to me.

  • BossyMummy

    What a fabulous idea. I have a large family, but we are all over, so all the cousins only catch up once a year – but we have such a laugh 🙂

  • Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo

    This post makes me wistful.

    I haven’t seen my cousins on my mothers side since the last funeral.

    I wish I had a family as close knit as yours.

    • Not all of us are close knit, but the group of us that are – I truly cherish xx

© 2020 always josefa - designed by adelphimou