Alice’s Table Offers New Workshops and Inspiring Tips for a Memorable Holiday Season

Alice’s Table has introduced fun-filled seasonal livestreamed experiences, including floral arranging, wreath making, and culinary workshops that will help hosts set a magical scene for their anticipated guests. On-demand classes are also available, providing opportunities to learn new skills at times that best fit individual schedules.

These workshops give attendees the materials and guidance needed to make lasting memories with friends and family. Prior to each event, participants receive a crave-worthy kit which includes farm fresh florals and greenery from, or premium ingredients from Harry & David delivered directly to their door.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. caught up with Alice Lewis, President of Alice’s Table, to discuss her inspiring ideas for adding festive decor elements to any space, her expert tips for effortlessly entertaining guests, and to get the scoop on the latest curated workshops.

Check out what Alice had to say in this exclusive chat:

How do you and your family celebrate the holidays? Are you hosting this year?

Alice Lewis: I come from a very large family so there are usually many different houses to stop by during the holidays, and we will be entertaining some family this year as well.

All of our traditions center around food! I love to cook and make the table super festive with a wide variety of decor.

To start, I make bacon wrapped dates and serve Harry & David Pepper and Onion Relish mixed with cream cheese for dipping crackers or vegetables. For dinner, I love to cook tenderloin and always serve sauteed mushrooms, pop overs with pan drippings, and green beans on the side.

Setting the table always includes seasonal dishware. I buy dishware when I travel as it brings back fond memories of my trips and the dishes are very eclectic conversation starters. This year, I am using my holiday table plates that I purchased from a hotel on a farm in Tennessee. The farmer created a series of drawings that the hotel made into plates. They are so fun and different!

Do you and your family have any special holiday traditions?

Alice: After visiting family in Chicago, we fly back home to Boston and get started right away with decorating. We always get our Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It sets the tone for the rest of the season.

What’s your favorite thing about entertaining during this time of year? Cooking, decorating, or both?

Alice: Cooking is my favorite part – a meal can spark so much joy in a person! I love to make classic dishes such as stuffing. My stuffing is very traditional and includes celery, sausage, and some parsley. However, I do push myself to try new and adventurous recipes to see how the family likes them. I once made bone marrow as a Thanksgiving appetizer and it was a huge hit!

This year, I am going to cook a braised pork shoulder Ragu over homemade gnocchi. I learned to make the gnocchi in our on-demand pasta making workshop!

Tell us about your Winter Wishes Workshop. What was the inspiration in creating this experience?

Alice: The Winter Wishes Bouquet is a traditional and festive centerpiece that will stand out on any table. When it comes to the holidays, I am very traditional and love a red floral table centerpiece mixed with evergreens. I also forage for greens to place around our house. We have holly bushes and evergreen trees that I clip from and then I am able to add these seasonal elements indoors.

If someone lives in a small space, and they are limited on how much decor to incorporate into their home, what are some must-haves that will still make it feel festive?

Alice: A wreath on your front door is essential as it brings cheer all the way out to the street. If someone drives or walks by your home, they will feel the holiday spirit – and that always makes me smile. I also recommend placing a Christmas tree on a table rather than the floor. I have small children and we have been putting our tree on a table since my oldest could crawl. It is a total game changer for saving on space and making sure all the decorations stay on your tree.

Tell us about your new wreath workshops. Are there other ways to incorporate wreaths in home decor beyond the door?

Alice: I like to coordinate the decorations on the wreath and on the garlands. Our new workshop – ‘Tis the Season Holiday Wreath – includes a fresh evergreen wreath and a variety of decor elements from such as red ornaments, pinecones, and a red and green plaid bow. This year, I will be adding lots of pinecones and red ball ornaments to my mantle and stairs. By having these pieces match, it makes the house feel cohesive.

You are a charcuterie board master! When preparing a charcuterie board, do you have any tips on how to select the best meats and cheeses to ensure they pair well together?

Alice: I build a charcuterie board for every gathering that I have – even if just one couple is coming over. I always select one staple item that I know everyone will love and one that is unexpected. I do this for both meats and cheeses. This way you will introduce your guests to something new but will also give them the option of something expected. For a more conventional meat and cheese, I choose salami and cheddar or parmesan. My go-to unique options are a blue cheese or a triple cream brie, and serrano loin or chorizo.

In my house, people are always stopping by with very little warning, so I make sure I am prepared. Having a spread, dip, or jam on hand is a must. There is a cheese shop near me that makes an incredible apricot curry spread that I will always get if I want to impress my guests. If you find a favorite like this – buy a few extras and put them in the freezer, so you can take them out when you need them.

What are some fun seasonal items that people can add to their charcuterie board if they are making one at home?

Alice: I love roasting nuts for my charcuterie boards. You can roast them with warm spices and rosemary for that holiday feeling.

The holidays are all about making memories with loved ones, especially children. Are there any workshops available that kids can participate in, too?

Alice: Kids can certainly participate in the flower arranging and baking workshops. I have done so many with my three-year-old and she absolutely loves them! They are a fun way to connect and spend time together.

If someone is hosting for the holidays, what is the number one thing they should do in advance of their guests arriving?

Alice: Stick to foods that can be made ahead of time and punches for cocktails. I am all about finding ways to spend time with my guests instead of in the kitchen. Prep is the name of the game. There are so many incredible dishes you can cook in advance and re-heat right before serving them.

You recently introduced on-demand classes, which seem tailor-made for everyone’s busy schedules. Tell us about these new offerings.

Alice: Our on-demand workshops are a dream come true for me. If you are planning a dinner party, you can take the charcuterie workshop right before your guests arrive. Or you can do the pasta making class as part of date night once the kids go to bed. These workshops help bring creativity to people on their own schedules.

Alice’s Table offers private workshops too. Which experience would you recommend for a festive gathering among friends or colleagues?

Alice: Our wreath making and cocktail workshops are the most popular for private experiences – especially this time of year. They bring friends and coworkers together for a fun and joy-filled activity.

Most people prefer to receive an experience as it gives them something to remember and talk about. Experiences are consumable, and if participating in a workshop with a loved one, it helps build on meaningful connections.

Gifting experiences has become increasingly popular. Why do you think that is?

Alice: Most people prefer to receive an experience as it gives them something to remember and talk about. Experiences are consumable, and if participating in a workshop with a loved one, it helps build on meaningful connections. That is why our on-demand workshops and gift cards for future live workshops are so perfect this season. You can gift them without knowing the recipient’s schedule and they can join us at any time!

Thank you so much, Alice. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

For more creative ways to prepare for the holidays and find gift-giving inspiration, you can view the full schedule of live and on-demand workshops from Alice’s Table here.

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