5 Steps to Planning the Ultimate Grazing Board
Grazing tables have risen in popularity over the past few years. They’ve become all the rage at any modern wedding or event. The lavish display of food with all its glorious colours and texture has guests tummy’s rumbling as they find themselves going back for more.
There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a grazing table at any event. A grazing table could be used to replace canapes at a reception, or much later in the evening for guests to pick from throughout the hours of fun and dancing.
How and where to display
When you think about a grazing table you may be thinking of one long table that is covered in delicious food. This is certainly one way to deliver a show-stopping grazing table, but there are loads of different and unique ways that you can wow your guests.
A round table is a great way to display your grazing table slightly differently. Guests are still able to go and pick their food freely but rather than queuing and making their way along a table placed against a wall, why not have a round table that guests can walk around. A round table can make it more of a feature rather than being pushed against a wall and will keep any queues down!
Another idea is to forget a big display altogether and opt for multiple little ones that are placed on each table. This will ultimately ensure your guests don’t face any queues and can sit and nibble at their seat if they choose to - which is much more sociable! It also allows guests to continue picking throughout without having to go up to a large table and fill their plates which can put people off.
Use various heights, textures and mix-and-match serving dishes
This is key to creating a visually stunning display. When you’re looking at images for inspiration, you’ll soon notice the ones that catch your eye the most have a variety of heights and textures, as well as foods.
Create multiple heights using things like crates, cake stands and wooden boards. Don’t worry if they’re not visually appealing, you’re going to be covering it in food and décor anyway! You’ll want to create most of your height towards the back of the table and scatter it downwards to the front of the display.
By mix-and-matching your serving dishes you’ll create another layer of heights and add in that variety of texture that is important to create an attractive display. The great thing about a grazing table is that the more mismatched your serving boards and dishes, the better your display will look.
Don’t fall into the beige buffet trap
When you’re deciding on food, it’s important to consider how it all looks when it comes together. A lot of grazing table food is pale in colour - such as cheeses, bread, crackers, and pastries.
A display that is amiss of colour and texture will look flat and unappealing. When you’re choosing food, make sure there are splashes of colour throughout. Fruits, vegetables, and cured meat can interject a lot of colour into your display and bring it to life!
If you want to make your display look fancy, cut open some more exotic fruits for décor such as passion fruit or sprinkles of pomegranate seeds across your dishes. Edible flowers, such as nasturtiums, are also a great way of brightening up your display. You could even grow these yourself for a budget alternative.
These ideas will also help with increasing the variety of texture in your display, but there are other simple things you can do to make sure your display doesn’t appear flat. Swapping plain breadsticks for seeded breadsticks and cutting open your fruit and vegetable will also do this for you
Keep it bitesize
A grazing table should include food that small and easy to eat. Eliminate any foods that are too big and messy - unless you can cut them into smaller bitesize pieces for serving.
Your guests will want to be able to have a selection of food on their plate that they can eat sitting or standing. The more successful grazing tables are those the offer guests a variety of food and where they can sample multiple items – this can easily be achieved by keeping those portions small enough to be eaten in 1 or 2 bites.
Make sure you pre-cut your larger items. Your guests are much more likely to pick up a small square of quiche than they are if they have to cut a wedge off for themselves whilst balancing their plate.
You might also like: Dessert table ideas
Don’t leave blank space
The best grazing tables are those that are covered in a luxurious display of food with no gaps or spaces left blank. The tables that really catch your eye will not only have food displayed on the table but also foliage and a range of other decorative items.
Blank space doesn’t need to be filled with food (you don’t want to be throwing away plates of food at the end). Fill any blank spaces with foliage and flowers. This is a great way to fill the space without adding more food and adding a big splash of colour.
Other things you can add to fill space are candles, plates, serving cutlery, napkins, individual flowers in jam jars and herbs. These will avoid any excess waste but ensure your table looks completely instragramable.
Ultimately, the best grazing tables will be full of variety and be well planned to create a beautiful
masterpiece. Grazing tables are lots of fun to create and give you a chance to put your creativity to use!
We've also collected some beautiful event foot displays on our pinterest page.
If you’re stuck for ideas or need assistance in planning the food for your next event, get in touch – we would love to help!