One telltale sign you’re officially an adult is when crockery and quality wine are high on your wishlist.
That’s how decor brand In the Roundhouse came about, offering affordable, bright and cheerful new bone china plates featuring Italian phrases like “grazie mille”, and blue sardines by artist Daimon Downey.
“Lo and behold, Covid-19 comes along, and the business really took shape,” says Alyce Tran, co-founder of In the Roundhouse. “Tabletop styling has just exploded in the last couple of years because we’re eating at home. Everyday white plates were getting boring.”
This summer, In the Roundhouse has teamed up with New Zealand’s Cloudy Bay Wines “to create a moment” with a limited edition long lunch set ideal for summer entertaining any time of the day or night.
It includes two wines – the all new Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc 2021 and Cloudy Bay 2019 pinot noir – and a set of four plates, menu cards and place cards from In the Roundhouse, “because isn’t it nice to go to a friend's place and they’ve gone to a bit of effort?” says Tran.
With hand-created motifs by artist Francesca Athas, each plate is different but “trans-seasonal and multi-occasional”. In muted tones of green synonymous with the Marlborough landscape, one features native fish, and the other depicts the famous Cloudy Bay surf clams from the surrounding bay in which the winery gets its name. The other two plates feature apt festive phrases: “when lunch turns into dinner” and “good food better company”.
The wines are easy-to-pair varietals. “I’m not a wine connoisseur, but they’re delicious, approachable, easy-drinking wines,” says Tran. And while Australians can’t travel to New Zealand at the moment, this is one way to get a taste of the picturesque Marlborough wine region, located at the north-eastern tip of the South Island.
“You get a real sense of the place when you open up the pack, consume the wine and pair it with foods that relate to the region,” says Tran.
Despite dining out being back on the menu, the kit still has a clear place for summer. “Being able to host friends at home is still going to be a big part of what we do moving forward,” says Tran. “If you want to have that long catch-up with friends that you might not have seen for a while … I’d still like to have them over rather than be rushed at a restaurant.”
So what would Tran serve at her long lunch? If she were to roll up her sleeves, she’d serve freshly shucked oysters, a simple piece of fish with sides, and cheat dessert with a Sydney cult favourite Flour and Stone lemon drizzle cake, topped with seasonal berries. “When you’re setting the table with all these special styling components for your friends, they can look past how complex your meal is or how much effort you put into cooking,” Tran says, laughing.
The Cloudy Bay x In The Roundhouse limited edition long lunch set is $220 and available exclusively at David Jones
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Cloudy Bay and In the Roundhouse.