If we can glean one thing from Sydney-based artist Dina Broadhurst’s entertaining style, it’s that the best dinner parties embrace la dolce vita.
Her Italian-inspired affairs are resplendent with fresh seafood, Champagne and after-dinner dancing among a guest list including “a beautiful mix of people and personalities,” she tells marie claire Australia.
“Entertaining is all about feeling, texture, colour, layers and telling a story with the mood, the food, and the people. I like things to feel relaxed and organic with contrasting elements at every level.”
Broadhurst brings the same ethos to her globally-renowned art. Drawing inspiration from an amalgamation of sources—from consumerism to her natural surrounds, like sand-blasted glass at the beach—her contemporary works fuse photography, digital collage and 3D elements to explore thought-provoking themes of fashion, femininity and body image.
Here the creative invites marie claire to take a seat at her table, revealing her top tableware tips, styling secrets and go-to dishes.
Set The Scene
First impressions count, so make your guests feel welcome from the moment they arrive. Offer a round of Champagne or cocktails (Broadhurst recommends citrus-infused gin bevvies or a classic Tommy’s Margarita) to accompany pre-prepared starters like fresh oysters and caviar.
“Always make sure there’s some delicious food ready to nibble on and a beautiful floral display so there’s a feast for the eyes too,” the artist says.
“I love olives and a beautiful arrangement spilling onto the table of fruit and vegetables and whatever is in season at the time.”
For the main course, her dependable dish (spoiler: it’s spaghetti vongole) is equally important as the setting.
“I like to create different zones for different parts of the meal. Aperitif on the lounge; Champagne and starters in a casual nook. For the main event it’s always at the dining table with loads of candles and ambience,” Broadhurst shares.
If you’re a regular host, opt for adaptable furniture like a bench seat paired with mix-matched dining chairs and an oversized timber table. This way, you can accommodate unexpected arrivals and allow for spontaneity.
Entertain In Style
Like her art, Broadhurst leans toward fresh colourways and natural materials in her table settings, opting for unfussy glassware, cutlery and napery. The pieces she selects aren’t just functional or aesthetic. For the artist, everything from a ceramic dinner plate to an elegant glass can carry deep meaning and long-lasting memories.
“For tableware, the ‘Remy’ Champagne glasses are a standout as they have a beautiful shape and handle, while the ‘Soho’ cutlery feels like a beautiful weight and material,” she says of Freedom’s tableware collection.
“I love mixing little flowers in a vase of all different sizes, laying flowers on the table, and using nuts and fruits to decorate,” Broadhurst advises.
Her considered style doesn’t stop at the tabletop—it extends to the dress code, too. Dressing up is part of the fun, as she loves “a monotone vibe like black and white, or a beautiful high-waisted pant or long skirt… as long as it’s with bare feet!”
Fast Five With Dina Broadhurst:
1. Describe three things about your entertaining style: “Full of colour, texture and Mediterranean vibes.”
2. Favourite time to entertain? “Ideally on a Friday night.”
3. Favourite type of guests? “I’m usually quite reclusive so when I do invite people over, I love vibrant people—the wilder the better!”
4. Go-to entertaining dish? “I love fresh oysters, and spaghetti vongole for a main.”
5. Music or no music? “Definitely music, moody tunes to start and dance tunes by dessert.”
Brought to you by Freedom. Freedom has everything you need to entertain in style.