How to build a grazing table - the ultimate guide

How to build a grazing table - the ultimate guide

4 minute read

How to build a grazing table - the ultimate guide.

The Art of Grazing Tables

Welcome to The Whole Bowl Co.'s ultimate guide on how to build a grazing table. Whether you're hosting a wedding, a baby shower, or a casual get together, our step-by-step guide will turn your table into a feast.

The Foundation – Choosing the Right Surface

Setting the Stage

Any surface can be dressed up to be the perfect base of your grazing table. A table cloth over a trestle table or kraft paper over a dining table. We then want different boards and platters to create different zones and add some different levels of height to the table. 

Size guide:

Up to 25 people - 1m

Up to 40 people - 1.5m

Up to 55 people - 2m

Up to 70 people - 2.5m

Up to 85 people - 3m

Up to 100 people - 3.5m

Up to 130 people - 4m

Up to 160 people - 5m

The Building Blocks – Diverse and Delicious Ingredients

Selecting the Perfect Ingredients

Create harmony by selecting a variety of textures, colours, and flavours. Include an assortment of cheeses, cured meats, fresh fruits, nuts, and artisanal crackers. Don't forget to cater to dietary preferences with gluten-free and vegan options. Find below my perfect shopping list when building a grazing table.

Arranging Your Spread 

Tips for Artful Arrangement

When you are going to build a grazing table, elevate your table's visual appeal by arranging items in clusters. Experiment with heights by using cake stands or elevated trays. Mix and match shapes to create a dynamic landscape. Remember, it's not just a table; it's a work of edible art. Find inspiration online of different arrangements you like. I like to put anything that needs to be sliced (a cheese wheel) onto a board or platter. I try to have most things pre-sliced or cut up as it gives you more placement options and people are more likely to engage with the table if they don't have to do any work. But a beautifully decorated whole Brie wheel is a great inclusion. Start with cheese placement and then small bowls of dip. From there move to bunched and rolled meats, fruits, crackers and then everything else can fill the gaps. Be mindful of spreading colour around the table. Finish with garnishes.

The Finishing Touch 

Elevating with Garnishes

Enhance the aesthetic and flavour profile with fresh herbs, edible flowers, and drizzles of honey or balsamic glaze. These finishing touches add a layer of sophistication to your grazing masterpiece. I like to get honeycomb, dried figs, berries, rocket and rosemary - you get it. Things that are colourful and a bit fancy to dress the table up.

The Practical Side – Logistics and Serving Tips

People love an easy table to eat from

Ensure a smooth flow for your guests by placing utensils strategically and providing napkins. Consider the flow of the table to prevent congestion, and label key components for easy identification.

Become A Grazing Table Master

Building a grazing table is fun and pretty easy when you have a vision, the right ingredients and someone to help you. Save some pics online for inspiration, round up platters and boards, work with seasonal fruits and veggies. Use my shopping list below as a guide.

Don’t forget to stock up on some meals from the freezer to support you throughout this holiday period.

List for 40-50 people 
1.5 metre 
Fruit and Veg 
1 x blueberries 
2 x strawberries 
2 x pears 
2 x figs 
1 x mango 
Grapes - 1 x green, 1 x red, 1 x black 
Apples - 1 red, 1 green
1 x orange 
1 x grapefruit 
1 x pineapple 
2 x kiwi
2 x passion fruit
1 x dragonfruit
2 x carrots
1 x cucumber 
2 x Brie or Camembert 
2 x hard cheese 
1 x blue
1 x semi hard  
Goats cheese or feta (for pastry cups)
15 slices prosciutto 
15 slices large hot salami 
15 slices large fennel salami 
Nuts and dried fruit 
Muscat sultanas 
Choc almonds
Dried figs 
Fruit crackers 
Chia crackers
Water crackers 
Flat crackers
1 x baguette 
Dips and condiments 
Stuffed peppers
Mixed pitted olives 
Beetroot dip
Tin of chickpeas 
Quince paste 
Caramelised onions - 1 jar whitlocks 
Short crust pastry

We hope this guide and shopping list provides the instruction and inspiration you need as a guide on how to build a grazing table.

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