You might recognize Bre Parkes’ undeniable creativity from her sprawling grazing tables and bespoke catering solutions. With a sharp seasonal focus and knack for balancing textures, flavours and aesthetics, she has cemented herself as a staple of the Adelaide events scene since launching Gather and Graze in early 2017.
Now, her esteemed catering business has expanded to encompass a café, pantry and function space with a new bricks and mortar locale on Unley’s King William Road.
After outgrowing her small studio and in search of a bigger kitchen, Bre initially set her sights on the produce abundant Adelaide Hills. But in a turn of fate, a serendipitous email (which she first dismissed as too good to be true) saw a change in scenery to the more central location. Just a few tram stops south of the bustling CBD, it’s an idyllic inner-city getaway from the daily grind.
Upon peeking inside, Gather and Graze exudes a sense of tranquility and freshness. With a background in both food and design, the café provided ample opportunity for Bre to flex her creative ability.
“It has always been a dream of mine to design café, bar [and] restaurant fit-outs,” she explains. “I had albums of dreams and ideas, scrapbooks from years ago, that all came together in this space,” she says.
A labour of love, the space is a testament to Bre’s undeniable eye for design. Each detail is carefully considered as evidenced by the effortless melding of elements.
“I saw the potential in the space, adoring the large windows and abundance of natural light,” she recalls.
Wooden clad walls are painted a subtle taupe to combat the western aspect’s harsh afternoon sun adorned with scenes of sprawling coastlines.
“The film series ‘Vacanza’ on the walls were taken by one of my very talented friends, Marguerite [Moloney],”says Bre. “I want people to stare at the photos and be lost over their morning coffee and lunches.”
Woven light fixtures hang overhead while a variety of potted plants complete the natural ambiance. The service counter, painted Gather and Graze’s signature navy, commands attention against a peach left wall.
As expected, this attention to detail extends to a well-rounded and inventive spring menu. Informed by seasonality, South Australian produce takes centre stage.
“The in-house menu features a couple of platter options, topped toasts and items designed to share,” explains Bre. “Seasonal, local items are key.”
“I want the menu to change as the seasons do, lighter in the summer and cosier in the winter,” she continues.
As such, Gather and Graze’s debut menu is “fun and full of faves, [including] a refresh on the humble doorstop.”
Dubbed Toasted Turkish, Bre’s take on the classic ditches the stock-standard ham and cheese in favour of Avo & Vegemite with dukkah, the PB & S’ smatterings of peanut butter and fresh strawberries, and more.
Bre’s penchant for innovation is further demonstrated by the Waffled Raisin Toast, served with lashings of cinnamon butter, ricotta, strawberry maple syrup, and topped with fresh seasonal fruit.
The menu also presents a sample of Gather and Graze’s famed grazing tables with the in-house seasonal platters. Tuck into cheese, charcuterie and dips, served with seasonal produce and artisan bread, or as Bre calls it, “my perfect lunch.”
On the coffee front, her approach is simple. “Coffee is always important, always,” she says.
Grinding and pulling beans from 1645 Roasters, Gather and Graze uses the roasters’ medium body premium blend, Harvest, for a perfect pour every time.
The drinks menu sees all of the usual espresso suspects in addition to batch and filter varieties. Tea by Elmstock and nostalgia-inducing hot Milo is also on hand for those otherwise inclined.
WHERE? 23 King William Road, Unley
WHEN? Monday – Friday: 07.00 – 15.30 / Saturday: 07.30 – 14.00
COME HERE FOR: Carefully considered details from fit-out to plate
EXPECT TO SPEND:$-$$
OF NOTE: Bespoke seasonal platters for one
Photography by Ben Neale