We recently caught up with Alice MacGillivray, owner of Bright Threads, to chat all things table linen and entertaining.
Bright Threads is a Barossa business, born from Alice’s search for luxe linen in bold colours and fun patterns. When she couldn’t find anything she liked, she decided to do it herself! Bright Threads offers tablecloths, runners and napkins in gorgeous prints and patterns. You’ll also find super fun items such as the crayfish apron Alice is wearing below!
SV: What is your philosophy on entertaining?
Entertaining is one thing. Entertaining effortlessly so that you can soak up the moments and enjoy the process is an entirely different beast. As we approach March, and we find ourselves back from holidays and back in the kitchen, it’s nice to make things a little less complicated for ourselves. So for me, planning the menu (and drinks list) is crucial.
Take into consideration the personality of your guests, the overall atmosphere you want to create, the seasonality of your ingredients, the time that you will have to prep and cook in the hours leading up. Be mindful and honest with yourself so that there is no last minute freak outs trying to do too much or force a mood that isn’t going to work.
I never – repeat never – make a menu entirely from scratch. It’s stressful, it’s time consuming, and it’s recipe for disaster. Especially with kids underfoot, or a small kitchen, or a full time job – whatever your mountain might be. I always buy quality pre-made items that help me along the way, whether it’s puff pastry for an easy dessert, cured meats and delish cheese for a quick board or pre-washed leaves for a simple salad. Don’t be a hero. Buy some, make some.
Whether you are hosting 2 or 10 – you want to feel like you are in a sweat free, stress free, totally happy space.
SV: We love your sentiment about being brave with colour – why are you so passionate about colour on the table?
My philosophy for the perfect tablesetting is a rejection of minimalism, and embracing more is more. I am all for showing your personality at your table – add as much colour, flowers, mismatched crockery and cutlery as humanly possible. When people come to your home for dinner and see this beautiful tablesetting, it is a representation of you, of who you are – by filling your table full of colour your guests feel an element of excitement, of intrigue, of joy.
Be brave with colour – play with bold colours and break the rules. Create a table that is as vibrant, and as bright as the conversations around it.
SV: What are your top tips for building the perfect tablescape?
Things I always take into consideration… How casual or posh is your meal? Is it lunch or dinner? How will you serve it? What extras are needed on the table – placards, blooms, bottles of wine (obvs), pitchers of water, salt & pepper. Whether you’re serving homemade pizza on your best china or osso bucco on paper plates, set your table so that it works FOR you.
Build your tablescape from the table up – is it a small or large gathering? For smaller gatherings I set my table with a cloth and a runner, our table is quite large and this hack magically fills the empty spaces making the table so much more inviting. For larger, more unruly parties I always use my hardier prints – the ones that can handle splodge, of gravy or a glug of wine. The pear print from The Orchard Series is my go-to, I call it my Father-in-law proof print – it also teams so beautifully with the ever hardy navy and emerald green pieces from Simplicity – making this tablescape basically bullet proof!
Alice’s food and wine matches
Looking for some food and wine matches for your next long lunch or dinner party? Alice has your back!
To match the Small Victories Pinot Gris, Alice suggests ramen noodle salad with chicken, ginger and spring onion. You’ll find this recipe in ‘Everything I Love to Cook’ by Neil Perry.
To match the Small Victories Sangiovese, Alice suggests the pulled pork tacos with pickled pineapple from ‘Every Night of the Week’ by Lucy Tweed. And an extra tip – find the pickled pineapple from Nice Pickles. No need to make them when you can buy them so delicious!
Tips on setting the perfect table
We hope you’ve taken away some tips from Alice on setting the perfect table for when you next entertain at home.
You can shop Alice’s beautiful linen online or at the Bright Threads store in Tanunda.
Jules & Bec