Grazing tables have been getting a lot of popularity the past few years, and we can tell why. Although they look elaborate, creating one of these for an outdoor party is better than agonizing over spending an entire day in the kitchen, and way less expensive than catering it.
A “grazing table” is a tablescape filled with artfully arranged meats, cheese, crudités, seasonal fruit, decorations and serving utensils and dishes. It's like a buffet table, but it's specifically designed to pick up a nibble here and there instead of grabbing a plate at the end of the table.
Is basically a cheese and charcuterie board on steroids and a relaxed way for you and your guests to mingle without all the added work of cooking and preparing a formal meal.
Keeping with the past few month's trend of having safer gatherings outdoors, let's look at a way to make a grazing table beautiful (and functional) but without overdoing it.
#1: INSPIRATION & INITIAL PLAN
Possibilities are endless but to start with, here are some important things to consider before starting:
- Dishes, cutting boards or containers you will use
- Number of people you need to feed
Don’t be afraid to look at inspiration photos, create a Pinterest board to get good ideas and get you started.
- Use foods that keep well at room temperature and are mainly finger foods. Cut everything that should be cut so people can quickly pick up bite-sized portions.
- Freshness! This can make or break a great grazing table. Buy in-season produce, fresh from a farmer’s market, deli or a fresh fruit and veggies market.
- Textures! Choose creamy, hard, crumbly, and aged cheeses, different types of cured meats, nuts, dipping vegetables, dips, and a mix of hard and soft fruits. Add in crackers, bread sticks and preserves to round out your offerings. The more variety, the better!
#3 THE SPACE
Is important to keep a good flow. This works best if the table isn’t jammed against a wall, leaving plenty of room for guests to access it from all sides.
#4 DECOR & LAYERING
The base layer is important. Of course we are biased here and we think unique tablecloths can elevate your table, and for that, you can browse all our excellent choices in our shop.
After you have the first layer covered, lay out the dishes, platters, bowls, cutting boards, cakes, plates, etc. Whatever you are using, it is helpful to build around that!
Place food items in this order: cheese, charcuterie, loaves of bread (sliced), crackers, veggies/fruits, other grains, then anything else you have.
A popular option is to have all the real estate of the table completely covered, but you can make your own rules!
Various height serving boards, trays, and stands make for an exciting visual for your food. Wooden boards add a rustic look, while marble gives a more sophisticated feel. Mix and match fun items you have around the home or head to the dollar store or thrift store to find interesting adds. Fresh flowers are always a great idea!
And voila! Sounds daunting but I promise, once you have done it once, you will be hooked to this concept and will find yourself preparing it for your next event.
Here are the photos of the stunning table Lesley a great friend of ours created for her event recently, using the HIPSUM tablecloth:
Tag us on Instagram if you create a grazing table with one of our tablecloths! We would love to see your beautiful creations!
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