How to Create a Beautiful Grazing Table This Christmas
As winter fast approaches, we are thinking about festive parties, and, most importantly, what we will be eating at them. Grazing tables are hugely popular right now, and it’s no wonder. They are an opportunity to showcase really wonderful produce, and they act as a great conversation starter at a work Christmas party or family get together. We offer this catering service, and would be delighted to elevate your party with a Caiger & Co grazing station buffet. But for now, here is our step-by-step list of how to create your own DIY table.
1. We like to go to our favourite London delis to get the best produce we can find. Brindsa is amazing for Spanish snacks, for cheese its got to be Neal’s Yard Dairy in Borough Market, Leila’s Shop in Shoreditch is a joy, as is Joy in Notting Hill, R Garcia and Sons in Notting Hill for your Italian desires, and Honey & Spice in Bloomsbury stocks food from the Middle East.
We suggest you choose a good mix of cheese, carbs, cured meats, nuts and some seasonal fruit & vegetables. Don’t forget loaves of sourdough and artisanal crackers, while crudités can act as vessels for your gluten-free guests.
2. Now you’ve done your shopping, find your space. We like dedicating a whole table top to our grazing stations, you want your area to look bountiful but not chaotic. So if your grazing station can have its own stand alone table- you’re winning. However, you can also create gorgeous grazing trays,look at this one we did at a micro wedding this year.
3. If the table is made of lovely materials, such as rustic wood or marble, we would leave it as it is. If it’s not the prettiest, then get a linen tablecloth to cover it – check out Yolke’s linens – just beautiful. Add some greenery to the table, you could go to your local florist and pick up some olive branches, or fig or palm leaves.
4. Grazing tables look great when you utilize different levels, so get yourself some risers for your platters. You can use old ceramic or metal plant pots, and big wooden boards of varying thicknesses.
5. When arranging your food, put the largest items down first and arrange the smaller elements around them. Start with the cheese, if you’re going for a hard cheese, such as a manchego, cut it up into little pieces, and fan them around your wooden board. You want to make it easy for your guests to dig in. However, if you are opting for a whole truckle, such as a nettle rind Cornish Yarg then these can be look really lovely as your centre piece. Next add smaller elements into the mix, such as charcuterie from The Real Cure, whole honeycomb pieces, maybe some jars of olives from Honey & Spice. Cut open some figs to bring some colour, and big bunches of cascading grapes are always a good look. Pickled market vegetables are a great addition for the cheeseboard, as are some artisanal chocolate buttons and some scattered berries.
6. Use mix and match crockery for your dips, we love what Belazu offers, we like to pile them up high in the bowls for that bountiful look.
7. Decide on cutlery and plates, we always suggest that you go for eco options, such as ceramic plates or wooden boards.
8. Finish the table off with beautiful floral arrangements in vases, support your local London florist and go for a few little posies or one big bunch of British flowers.
9. Give yourself a good amount of time, put on some music and have fun putting your table together, remember it doesn’t have to look super professional, (that’s what we’re here for!) just let your ingredients do the talking.
Grazing table styling essentials
- Wooden Boards
- Cocktail napkins
- Skewers/ cocktail sticks
- Fairy lights in jars
- Bowls for dips
- Cheese knives
- Plates for the guests
Shopping list for your party to get inspired.
- Whole rounds of cheese (perhaps a manchego and a Cornish yard)
- Cucumbers cut into slices, so they can act as ‘crackers’ for gf guests
- Jars of Belazu dips (check out their website for this years offering)
- Jars of Rubies in the Rubble chutney
- Sliced charctuterie
- Home pickled cucumbers/ radishes/ green beans/ carrots
- Sourdough & crackers
- Artisan chocolate buttons
Here are some examples of past grazing stations we have done in the past.