Often, when working within the events and catering industry, my creations do not stand alone on a table. Indeed, blending and working with the style of the occasion is something that I truly find inspiring and rewarding. Whether weddings, large gatherings or a celebration designing a cake that works around a theme is an exciting challenge. AllÓRA, who I have recently discovered, are one such company that shares my love of colours schemes and beautiful aesthetics and in today’s blog I speak with Alberto and Federica (the team behind the business) to find out about what inspires them and hot to create beautiful settings at home – the types of which my cakes can elegantly join!
What is the story of Allora?
Thank you, Krish, for taking the time to speak to us. We love your gorgeous cakes and it is a real pleasure. AllÓRA was born out of our passion for beautiful aesthetics and exceptional quality combined with our love for bringing stylish designs and unique wares to people. Many years ago, we would often jump into our car and head out on the road with no particular destination in mind to explore our wonderful country of Italy. We would come across beautiful little towns and villages and stock up on the gorgeous items we found. We made a personal selection of the very highest quality Italian textiles, ceramics, glassware and cookware for our own home which we then wanted to share. We still do this – travelling through Italy, meeting artisans and spending time at their studios. We talk with them about their history, their influences and their approach. We discuss the things they create – and we propose ideas for new creations they could potentially craft with and for us. We then hand-select the collections you find on AllÓRA.
What inspires your designs and collections?
Often, for ourselves, we find nature and the outdoors a great way to build ideas and themes. As you will see from our pieces, we try to use a variety of styles and designs which work together. All of our pieces are handmade, using traditional techniques and the full process from designing collections to producing them is very organic. Of course, we do also have pieces that can be seen as more contemporary, with block colours or with geometric patterns. These pieces still have that organic feel and mix the modern with the traditional. We are from a beautiful region in Italy, Emilia Romagna, known for its gorgeous landscapes, medieval cities and beaches – a brilliant mix we try to bring into and share through our collections. We think that one thing that defines our range, one thing that they all have in common, is their character. Each item has a distinct personality and feel, which it can bring to people’s homes and reflect their personalities and tastes.
Tips on event styling/ how to create beautiful tablescapes at home?
What is the secret to a great gathering? Well, it goes without saying that the company and the food are one of the first places to start! We love discussing options with our clients about how they can make gorgeous tablescapes – the type you see in magazines – at home. Start by building your ideas for the occasion. Is it formal or informal? Will it take place in- or outdoors? Is there a particular colour scheme you have in mind? Once you have answered these questions, it is about creating layers, contrasts and matching decor pieces to help build a coherent and fun table for you and your guests. Our luxury linen tablecloths are often the first element our clients choose; and from there they can mix or match with the collection or they bring in ideas from other pieces we offer. What we love to see is how inventive our clients can be. Colour blocking, in bright or even neutral tones, is a great way to create something that is sophisticated and on trend. One of our favourite ways to build depth is through the decor on the table. Vases, bowls, serving dishes and crockery, when combined with lovely napkins, soon start to transform a table and build the layers that are integral for the identity and style of the table.
What is your favourite piece? What sums up Allora?
Interesting question! Central is the idea of traditional craftsmanship mixed with contemporary design and stylings. We have many pieces with which we feel a great personal connection – ones to excite us and ones we really like. It is hard to choose. It’s almost like having to choose a favourite child in a way, and it is difficult to say. However, the collection is our luxury linen tea towels. For us they epitomise how we approach our business and what we offer. Often overlooked, the humble tea towel is a staple of every kitchen. Indeed, you would be hard pressed to find a kitchen without one! What makes them special and sums up what we do is that the simple tea towel is treated with respect and care, turning it into something more than what it is. Woven on traditional looms, stamped and printed by hand and using organic dyes made from recipes passed down from generation to generation, each stage comes together to produce something very special.
What trends do you see for dinner parties and events?
It’s possible that we will be seeing more gatherings taking place at home and smaller events. With everything that has happened in this awful time, it may take a while before we see mass gatherings and big events. Intimate settings, beautiful decor and fabulous food and company will probably be done at home or in smaller venues. While this may not be how it was, it is a way forward, a way for people to reconnect and a way for the very human need to socialise and thus heal.