Holiday Feasting Table Ideas
Before COVID, feasting tables (or grazing tables, as they’re also called) were all the rage. Weddings, milestone celebrations, and corporate events all had them. Many of us also enjoyed creating our own spread on a smaller scale for parties at home. But with social distancing and hygiene measures, this form of food service fell from grace (or maybe that should be graze!) Even now, large gatherings tend to favor pre-plated meals or serve up individual-sized feasting platters instead of grand displays. However, if you’re hosting a small holiday celebration at home this year, it’s the perfect opportunity to bring back the feast!
Feasting tables have everything you’d want for a holiday party. They’re social, fun, and interactive. They allow you to include a wide variety of goodies that will appeal across tastes and age groups. Best of all, they look impressive but are actually pretty easy to put together. Not sure where to start? Here are some festive holiday feasting table ideas to inspire you.
Decide on a location. The first and most important thing to settle on is where you’ll set up your holiday feasting table. If you have an open plan entertainment space, a kitchen island can be ideal, especially as it will allow guests to graze from both sides. A dining table or sideboard is another good choice. However, you can also set up a small table just about anywhere that will fit into the flow of your party. The key thing is to know in advance how much surface area you’ll have to work with (and fill!). You don’t want to run out of space but equally, there’s nothing less appetizing than a sparse little spread! More is definitely more when it comes to grazing.
Choose a few main dishes. If your feasting table is just for appetizers or desserts, then you can stick to a more general charcuterie board-like selection. However, if this is the basis of your catering, you’ll want to add in a few more substantial dishes. Stick to easy-to-prepare but delicious seasonal plates. For example, a baked brie or camembert topped with cranberry sauce, turkey meatballs, small pies, or something like this ham and cranberry pull-apart Christmas tree. You may also want to add a couple of seasonal salads to the table.
Choose a color scheme. If you’re hosting a holiday party, this is quite straightforward. You can’t go wrong with festive red and green, along with a few metallic accents! Of course, you don’t have to stick to the classics, but this palette will be easy to work with. Look around for pieces you can add to the table that will fit in with the theme, like platters and plates, jars, dishes, and other small vessels.
Shop for ingredients. The main ingredients of any feasting table are cheeses, meats (or leaner proteins), fruit, nuts, olives, dips, and a selection of crackers and breads. Work out how much you’ll need for each person at your party and remember that even if you over-cater, the leftovers are unlikely to go to waste. Fruits and veggies are not only there for eating but to add to the display visually, so bear this in mind when shopping. For cheese, as a general rule, choose at least three different types, each with a distinct texture and flavor. For a very on-trend addition to your spread, why not create a butter board?
Add festive flavors and touches. To really make your holiday feasting table feel seasonal, be sure to use flavors and decorations that really speak to this time of year. For example, cranberries, pecans, pumpkin, and peppermint. Fill gaps with sprigs of evergreen, pinecones, and candy canes, or decorations from your holiday collection. Wherever possible, create and use festive shapes. For example, instead of serving a cheese ball, make it a cheese tree. Cut fruit slices into star shapes. Or arrange some of your goodies in the shape of a wreath.
You’ll find lots of feasting table inspiration on Pinterest, but there really are no rules for what you serve or how you serve it, as long as your guests can easily select and enjoy the food. Get creative and have fun with it! Your holiday feasting table is sure to be the hit of the season!