Our guide to gorgeous grazing tables

27 November, 2020

The perfect option for easy catering this festive season

During the festive season the easiest way to feed a crowd when you’re entertaining is to create a grazing table. Not only do grazing platters look spectacular but they’re a breeze to put together and super easy to clean up at the end of the party. So, embrace your artistic side and dress a side table for success.

Grazing tables used to be all about the savoury spreads; cheese, nuts, quince paste, dried fruits, breadsticks, dips and crackers, sushi and sandwiches, all artfully displayed in a gigantic sprawl across a platter and across a table. But times have changed and the grazing platter has evolved. It’s still about textures, tastes and visual appeal but now that events include stunning table arrangements overflowing with donuts, pastries, tarts, lollipops, marshmallows, cakes, fruit and flowers, things have gone to a new level. 

So feel free to keep your table classically simple, or go OTT with everything your heart desires!

Tips for creating fabulous grazing tables

  1. Use a special sideboard or stylish tablecloth to create the base for your ‘artwork’. 
  2. Use a range of platters, bowls, baskets, cups and cake stands of different heights to add drama and interest to your table. 
  3. Don’t leave any ‘white space’. Build your display from the centre outwards and fill the gaps between crockery with Christmas decorations, fresh herbs, flowers, berries and nuts. 
  4. Use fresh seasonal foods of contrasting colours and textures. Spend some time preparing fruit so that it looks its very best. Remove any unnecessary leaves or bruises.
  5. Make sure the food on the table is bite sized. No one wants to be shuffling food around from hand to hand.
  6. Take a photo of your masterpiece and Instagram it!

Need to keep it COVID-safe?

People are still a little anxious about COVID-19 so to alleviate their worries you can, for this year, create a grazing table with a twist. Display everything on large glass covered cake stands and make sure there are tongs for serving. You can also set food out in little wrapped bundles, like mini picnic hampers that your guests can collect when they feel hungry. This prevents cross contamination. Also make sure that there is hand sanitiser near your display. The same decorating rules apply when it comes to assembling little parcels or plates; fill them with tasty things in a range of colours and textures.

Where to find amazing fresh ingredients for your grazing table in Chatswood

The great thing about grazing tables is that often, most of the work can be done with a strategic shopping mission.

Grab cookies from Mrs Fields and donuts from Kristy Kreme to create a tower of sugary sweetness. Order boxes of noodle salads or street food from Saigon Rolls, and sushi from Sushi World, Akira Sushi or Makato Bento. You’ll find nuts and dried fruits, chocolates and spreads at Horn of Plenty. As always, Woolworths is ideal for cold meats, cheese, crackers and all the fabulous bits and pieces for the table. Indulge in flowers at Rose & Co for the finishing touches. You’ll be limited only by your imagination. 

The Japan Home Centre has an array of festive and sophisticated homewares and you are sure to find decorations and well-priced Christmas themed toys and serving ware at Zap Variety.

And don’t forget the Christmas cheer. Pop into BWS for all of your beer, wine and spirits.