Bradley Agather Dishes Her One Rule to Successful Entertaining

Lacelliese here! When it comes to style and design, one thing of which I do grow slightly weary (and of which I am guilty, absolument!) is redundancy. Have I mentioned being tired of seeing the same thing over and over again? 😉  But in a social media sea of same-ness, there is one face that always stands out in the scroll: Bradley Agather Means of lifestyle website Luella & June.

Bradley is an inspiration because she simply does her own thing. Her style is classic, yet contemporary; refined, yet practical. No shrinking violet shades here: bold colors do her bidding. And when it comes to paint, she’ll take your opinion, but go another direction with her Farrow & Ball (which of course, turns out to be fabulous).  She is sparing when it comes to exclamation points, but her zest for life and entertaining is punctuated by punchy colors, creative ideas, and a bright sense of self. Bradley exudes an enviable, elegant self-confidence, which she applies to everything within her domain, from hostessing her celebrated “Spades Night” game night to co-founding her latest project, Bisette & Co., a bespoke gift-giving concierge service that promises to provide perfect presents to even the pickiest of recipients.

While I can barely recall the last time I played hostess, I admittedly am doing a lot of scheming and daydreaming for the future. So I caught up with Bradley (virtually, like most all of my tête-à-têtes these days) to get a few of her entertaining tips to keep in my back pocket for the future. Today we will share Bradley’s six tips for entertaining, and the one rule she follows every time!

Bradley Agather Means and her Six Tips for Entertaining
  1. Put on a happy face! Guests take their cues from the hostess. If she’s stressed out, the guests will be, too. Even when things aren’t perfect, just go with it.

2.  Un-fancy food, but make it fancy. When it comes to food, I go with comfort food: roast chicken, French fries, chocolate chip cookies. They’re sure-things. The key is in the presentation. Fancy up even the most basic dishes by serving them on beautiful silver platters and in decorative bowls.

3.  Stock your bar, like really stock it. The bar should be well-stocked. I like to have. It. All. Most guests end up wanting simple cocktails, but there’s always one who wants that specialty something and I am never one to say no. (I aim to please!) Even if the food is all wrong, at least I know they won’t go away thirsty.

4.  The more candles, the better. It sets the mood – plus, everyone looks better in candlelight.

5.  For six or more, use place cards. This is the only rule I always follow. Guests like to be told where to sit. Without place cards, there’s this uncomfortable moment with middle-school cafeteria lunch table anxiety. By all means, avoid that.

6.  Good music goes a long way. Make a playlist ahead of time. It should be diverse enough to go from Jay-Z to Sam Cooke to Vampire Weekend.

Thank you, Bradley, for sharing your entertaining tips with us! Such refreshing style! For ongoing inspiration, please follow @bagather on Instagram and visit her website, Luella & June.

All photos courtesy of Bradley Means.


  1. Refreshing to finally see a column with a hostess who actually knows , even when using whimsy, how to properly set a table. A good lesson for all, especially those who are writing etiquette advice or styling tablescapes! It really does matter. Not for pretentious reasons but for practical ones. Ellen Easton

  2. Serve comfort food on fine china with linen napkins and beautiful flowers and candles. Lively conversation instant party the hostess with the mostess . Simple recipe for a fab party Lots of color, too and good dessert doesn’t hurt either wink wink


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