AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
Whether it's a bridal shower, kitchen tea, hen party, or any other kind of event, grazing tables and/or platters are always a hit! Not only do they give you the freedom to serve up a variety of goodies, play with different textures and get creative, but they're also really fun to put together! If you're considering serving up your very own foodie masterpiece at your next celebration, the following grazing table ideas and tips are bound to get you inspired! Enjoy x
PLAN IT OUT
Grazing tables can sometimes look as though they've been thrown together on a whim (all the while looking amazing!). However there is often quite a lot of thought that goes into the final product. Below are a few things to think about before getting started:
WHAT TYPE OF TABLE IS IT?
It's time to decide what type of food you want to serve! Will you be dishing up savoury items only? A dessert board? Will it be gluten free? Vegan? Vegetarian? Meat lovers? An antipasto table? A cheese table? A mix? Or will you be creating two/more separate grazing tables so that you can cater for a range of options?
Tip: When deciding on the type of foods you will offer, keep dietary requirements in mind. Those who are pregnant aren't able to eat cold meats and soft cheeses (for example), whilst vegetarians won't dig into fruits and vegetables that have been tucked in between slices of ham. It's important to cater to your guests and their needs (so that nobody goes hungry!).
>>> RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO DIY AN IMPRESSIVE GRAZING PLATTER! <<<
DOES YOUR TABLE HAVE A THEME?
If your celebration has a colour palette that you don't want to move away from, it can be incredibly fun to bring the theme to your grazing table!
For example, if you're using lots of pink at your celebration, stick with foods that are either neutral in colour (i.e. browns, creams and whites) and/or those with pinkish tones. Items such as strawberries, watermelon, donuts, macarons, biscuits, raspberries, lollies, dips, breadsticks, crackers, etc. will result in an eye-catching table that compliments your event nicely.
If a themed grazing table is something you are eager to pursue, make the call early. The foods required to pull this off will have to be well thought out to ensure that the table works as planned. It's not hard to do, but it's best to do it before purchasing any products as you don't want to waste your hard earned cash on items that don't end up getting used!
See the image below for an example pink colour palette.
SET A BUDGET
Grazing tables are a great way to serve food at celebrations. But products add up quickly. Make sure your excitement doesn't result in spending more than you intended - set a budget and do your best to stick to it!
DON'T BE AFRAID TO MIX IT UP
Grazing tables are all about providing guests with a range of options. So have fun with it! Liz of Owl B Baking puts it perfectly when stating that you need to "be mindful to select a range of things that have different flavour and textural elements. Chocolate, vanilla, fruity, nutty, creamy, salty, crunchy, chewy". You can view the variety of textures used in her wonderful Dessert Charcuterie Board by clicking here.
WRITE A SHOPPING LIST
Before heading to the shops, make sure you have a plan (that is, a shopping list!). Whilst some items at the supermarket might pop out and be a late addition to your creation, it's recommended that you have an idea of what you definitely do and don't need before spending any money. This includes any ingredients for recipes you intend to make (mini cupcakes, for example).
And finally, prior to putting your masterpiece together, Liz of Owl B Baking has the incredibly helpful suggestion of "planning out the arrangement by sketching it on paper first". This is due to the fact that "while you can certainly start over, you don't want to have to be handling the food too much".
So put your thinking cap on, grab some paper and pencils, and roughly decide where each of your delicious goodies will be placed. If you don't stick to your 'map' 100% that's absolutely fine! But having a vague idea of what you're going to do will definitely work in your favor!
HOW TO PREPARE A GRAZING TABLE
Now that the planning is done and dusted, you may be asking yourself 'how to arrange a grazing table?'.
Angles, textures, colours, heights and more will make the spread your own. And whilst each and every display is going to be different (as the final piece will depend on your personal style), below are some really helpful tips that everyone can use to their advantage.
Contrasting heights will instantly give your table a difference, as will bowls and platters used specifically for dips and/or foods that can't be mixed with other items (such as watermelon).
ADD SOME REFRESHMENTS
Want to take advantage of the 'serve yourself' vibe created by your grazing table? Add some drink dispensers and glasses for guests to indulge in as well. Punch, juice and water are all great options!
IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT THE FOOD
If you think something's missing from your edible design, consider additional décor. This could come in the form of candles, flowers, greenery or anything that ties in with your overall theme and complements the work of art you've already created.
Here are a few ways to decorate the table with inedible items:
When it comes to alternative items that tie in with your overall theme, the list is quite endless! For example, if you're hosting a Christmas themed celebration, welcome additions to the table may include baubles, fairy lights and/or wooden table raisers. You could even use a mini Christmas tree as the main focal point - place it in the centre of the table and create your platter from there.
On the flip side, a tea party theme may suit teapots filled with flowers, teacups filled with dips, and sweet cake stands displaying delicious foods whilst also adding height.
Rather than going all out - keep it simple! Let the food speak for itself, because sometimes less really is more.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GRAZING TABLES:
If you still have questions about grazing tables after reading the above article, this section is for you! Here we have answered some of our most frequently asked questions when it comes to these delicious food arrangements.
I'M WONDERING HOW TO KEEP MY GRAZING TABLE COLD?
One celebration I attended kept their food cold with cheeky, hidden ice packs. For example, they were underneath areas where meats and cheeses were used.
Another great hack is to only put out a small amount of foods that require refrigeration, and simply top up as the celebration goes on. This will not only ensure that foods stay cool, but will also reduce the amount of wastage from your event, and make sure that the cold meats, cheeses, etcetera are safe for consumption.
When it comes to food safety, we love the points made in this article (well worth a read before you start your grazing table planning).
WHERE TO BUY A GRAZING TABLE?
Love the idea of a grazing table but don't want to deal with the planning, styling and more? You can hire a company to do it for you. With a simple Google search, you will come across many grazing table catering businesses in your area. Instagram is also worth a look (you will get to see the beautiful set ups and comments from previous clients)!
AFTER MORE INFO?
If you're still left wondering after reading through the Q&A's (or if you would like us to explain something in a little more detail), please get in touch!
ARTICLE RELATED TO THESE GRAZING TABLE IDEAS:
Now that you have all of the above tips to help you create one incredibly beautiful and satisfying grazing tale, you may also be interested in checking out a few recipes! The following article has three wonderful options to choose from. Follow this link to view them all now!
THESE GRAZING TABLE IDEAS WILL HELP YOU CREATE A WORK OF FOODIE ART!
I hope this list has provided you with LOTS of tips, tricks and inspiration. Grazing tables are so much fun to put together - and the fact that a messy board doesn't mean a bad board is even better (they ALL turn out looking amazing in their own way)!
I'm always on the lookout for new and inventive ways to create foodie masterpieces - and will update this article every time a new option comes to mind. That being said, if you have any additional ideas that our community could learn from, please do share them via the comments section below or social media! (AUS Facebook Group | Worldwide Facebook Group | Pinterest)
Cheers to an AMAZING party where the food is an absolute hit!
Much love, keep smiling - Bec x
P.S. THE BELOW IMAGE IS PERFECT FOR PINTEREST... GO ON & SHARE THESE WONDERFUL GRAZING TABLE IDEAS - YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO! :-)
AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
Punch is enjoyable, colourful, easy to make, and the perfect choice if you're after a drink option that can be made in huge batches (without any extra hassle). To view our favourite alcoholic punch recipes for Bachelorette party fun, check out the wonderful ideas below!
ALL SEASONS GIN PUNCH
A delicious punch using Imbue Distillery's All Seasons Gin Liqueur (spiced with cinnamon and star anise)! This is great for no stress catering (which is exactly what you need when there are already so many items on your event 'to do list'). Find ingredients and recipe for this Bachelorette party punch below:
All Seasons Gin Liquor
Sliced Citrus/Stone Fruit/Berries
Simply combine 1 part All Seasons Gin liquor, 2 parts Ginger Beer (depending on the brand of Ginger Beer and how sweet it is, you may like to add 1 part soda water, too), ice and your sliced citrus/stone fruit/berries in a large jug. Mix to combine.
Let people help themselves and enjoy your event!
RECIPE PROVIDED BY: MELANIE OF 'IMBUE DISTILLERY'
ARTICLE RELATED TO BACHELORETTE PARTY PUNCH:
If you enjoyed the delicious alcoholic punch recipes above, we think you will also love the idea of drink stations! From lemonade stands to bellini bars, there's a little something for every event in this article. Click here to view the entire list now.
ENJOY MAKING (& DRINKING!) YOUR DELICIOUS REFRESHMENTS
As you can see, punch is such a fabulous way to bring colour to your drinks table. Not only is it full of fruity fun, but it can also compliment the overall theme of your special day (simply use fruits/juices from your colour palette).
If you have any delicious punch recipes you would like to share with the For Every Hen community, we would love to hear from you (either via the comments below, email or on our socials)!
We hope you enjoy making these mouth watering alcoholic punch recipes as much as you enjoy drinking them!
Much love, keep smiling - Bec x
(AUS Facebook Group | Worldwide Facebook Group | Pinterest)
P.S. THE BELOW IMAGE IS PERFECT FOR PINTEREST... GO ON & SHARE THESE DELICIOUS ALCOHOLIC PUNCH RECIPES FOR BACHELORETTE PARTY FUN - YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO! :-)
AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
Drink stations are fun, stylish and, if done correctly, can tie in with your overall party theme perfectly (for example, a frozen watermelon margarita bar goes perfectly with summer or tropical party themes). On top of all this, drink stations also encourage your guests to create their own amazing concoctions – making it an entertaining component of your event that requires little prep for the host on the day (#winning!). If you’re after some drink station ideas for your next celebration, check out my favourite options below!
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D.I.Y. BELLINI BAR IDEAS
Charming and fun, a Bellini Bar will have your guests making, creating and devouring in no time! The perfect addition to events throughout the year, it’s a great way to brighten up any occasion whilst also appealing to a range of taste palettes. Better yet? If you’ve decided on a colour theme for your celebration, the Bellini Bar can easily fit right in. Simply find fruits and décor in the colour palette you’re aiming for and you’ve nailed it!
CREATING YOUR BELLINI BAR
A Bellini Bar requires two main ingredients: Prosecco and fruit purees (click here for recipe). So, to get started with your bar, you will need to find space to display these items. An ice tray or bucket holding the Prosecco bottles is a great place to start, as is setting out enough pitches or carafes to hold each of your chosen purees.
If you don’t own any pitches or carafes, you could use a variety of glass jars in their place. Ask friends and family for their jars once they’ve been emptied of food; then soak to remove any labels before giving them a good wash. Jars of all shapes and sizes will give your bar an edgier look, whilst jars of the same size will provide a sleeker appearance. Both look amazing; simply go with the option that best suits your overall event!
Sticker labels make a great addition to your pitches/jars/carafes if you want guests to know what it is they’re preparing to guzzle down. These can either be printed, hand written or purchased (click here to view a fun custom sticker option). If you would like to offer a mystery selection, forget the labels! But please ensure that there are no allergies within your guest list to avoid any horrible outcomes.
And last but not least, your guests will need something to drink from! Champagne glasses are a common choice, but you can get away with anything in your cupboard for this bar (it looks better when they all match, but if that’s not possible it’s definitely not an issue!).
On the big day, guests are free to mix and match Prosecco with their favourite pureed flavours. As Angela of 'This Delicious House' notes, the traditional recipe calls for the following ratio when creating these drinks: 2 parts Prosecco to 1 part puree. That being said, guests are welcome to experiment in any way they like - that's the beauty of a self-serve drink bar!
Handy Bellini drink bar ideas: If you want to offer a non-alcoholic option for your guests as well, offer sparkling water or sparkling apple juice as well as your Prosecco!
FROZEN WATERMELON MARGARITA BAR IDEAS
Simply reading the words ‘Frozen Watermelon Margarita’ gets my mouth a-watering! The perfect addition to any kind of summer shindig, this beverage just oozes fun! To learn how to incorporate such a drink into your celebration (and into a bar cart), see below.
CREATING YOUR MARGARITA BAR
First things first, you have to make the margarita. Luckily, this delicious recipe can be pre-made and kept in the freezer until your big event. Click here to view the recipe.
Once that’s sorted, it’s time to set up your drink station. To get started, neatly arrange your cocktail glasses (at least one per guest plus a couple of extras just in case). You will also need a serving spoon and punch bowl (this will be filled with your margarita mix on the day), tequila (for those who want a bit more strength to their bevies!), lime juice, a pitcher of water, and a couple of shallow plates. Fill one plate with salt and the other with sugar (if you label just one thing on the table, make sure it’s these so that guests don’t get any unwanted surprises!). You may also like to include a plate or bowl filled with sliced lime that can be used as a garnish.
And finally, add an instructional sign giving guests a quick lesson on how this station works. This could be hand-written on a large blackboard, printed from the computer and framed or, if you’re after something a little more elaborate, purchased from Etsy (click here for a range of fun ‘Margarita Bar’ printables that won’t break the bank!). Should you write the sign yourself, it could go a little something like this: ‘Salt the rim, Pour the mix, Add a lime, Enjoy!’
HOT CHOCOLATE DRINK STATION IDEAS
Hot chocolates are amazing. The smell, the sweetness, the warmth… it’s a cup of coziness that just can’t be beat! And if your celebration happens to fall in the cooler months, it’s the perfect excuse to share some of this toasty goodness with your friends and family. Mouth watering at the thought? Learn how to create a DIY hot chocolate bar below!
CREATING YOUR HOT CHOCOLATE BAR
The hot chocolate drink station just radiates warmth! To get started, set out the milk. It’s important to offer a variety of options here so as to cater to all dietary requirements. Full cream, light, soy and almond milk are the most common requests. Pour your warmed options into separate jugs and place neatly on your table. Help guests identify what’s on offer by labeling (click here to view fun custom stickers) or attaching cute tags to each jug.
Now for the chocolate! Offer a range of options such as shaved Lindt chocolate, milo, drinking chocolate, and/or your own mix of cocoa and sugar. Display each of these in a small bowl, complete with tiny serving spoon. You may also like to pre-make chocolate spoons. These little beauties not only mix straight into warm milk (see recipe here), but will also add to the overall fun and style of your hot chocolate bar.
Thought we were done with the sweetness? Not yet! Dipping treats are also a must. Cookies, marshmallows, mints, shaved chocolate, chocolate sticks and more can be set out in little bowls and on platters. You may also like to provide syrups and other fun additions – get creative with your options!
And finally, guests may need a little direction when it comes to creating their hot chocolate masterpieces. Help them on their way by setting up a printed sign (framed) or blackboard that tells them where to start and what to do next. You can find a cute example by clicking here and scrolling down the page.
Handy Hint: Another way of providing hot beverages, such as hot chocolates, is by pre-making the mix in a slow cooker or saucepan (see recipe here). Keep it warm in the kitchen and, when guests are ready, allow them to fill their mugs. Hot choccy in hand, they can then make their way to the hot chocolate station to stock up on their favourite toppings, dipping treats and more!
D.I.Y. COFFEE & TEA BAR
Alcohol is almost always a given at parties. But it’s not often that you find hot beverages such as tea and coffee on offer as well. Treat your guests (the elderly, the pregnant, the non-drinkers and those who simply need a caffeine hit!) by serving up a bar dedicated solely to these delicious drinks. The perfect pick me up or a great way to end celebrations with friends; see instructions below and learn how to create your own beautiful tea & coffee bar.
CREATING YOUR HOT TEA & COFFEE BAR
To begin with set out an assortment of tea and coffee flavours. Chamomile tea, English Breakfast, Green Tea and Lemon Tea, along with lattes, decaf Coffee and normal coffee, are a great place to start. Each option can be placed into a separate jar (just make sure to label each jar with their contents; helping guests in their decision making).
Sweeteners such as honey and sugar are also a must (follow this link and scroll down the page to find a gorgeous ‘sugar rose’ recipe to wow your guests with!); as are pitchers filled with milk. If you would like to cater to a range of dietary requirements, it’s a great idea to offer full cream milk, low-fat milk, soy milk and any other variety you know your guests enjoy. You will also need to provide a hot water urn – after all, there would be no hot beverages without it!
And last but not least, ensure there are enough mugs and stirrers set out for each guest, along with serving spoons should they be required (i.e. a serving spoon would be needed to scoop ground coffee from the jar).
If you wish, decorations such as blackboard/printed signs (e.g. ‘Coffee & Tea Cart - click here for more printable sign inspiration), fabric bunting in your theme colours, and even a small vase of flowers can be used. For those who want to go the extra mile, you could also incorporate hot chocolates into this cart – making it a ‘Hot Beverage Bar’!
Hot Tip: If you have a coffee machine that is easy to operate, this could also become part of your cart/bar experience. Guests could then treat themselves to cappuccinos, espressos and more!
LEMONADE STAND (+ ALCOHOL!)
Is your event scheduled to take place in the middle of spring or summer? Would you like to provide delicious, thirst quenching beverages for guests whilst they enjoy the sunshine, light breeze and scenery in these beautiful months? If you answered ‘yes’, a lemonade stand (with a cheeky twist!) may be the perfect drink station to compliment your event.
CREATING YOUR LEMONADE STAND
The first step in creating this sweet-as-can-be drink station is finding a cart or table to place your items on. Lemonade stands look fantastic when combined with rustic tables/carts (as pictured below). Sometimes you can find rustic tables perfect for this purpose at your local Op Shop – it’s definitely worth a look! If you don’t have a rustic stand (or simply prefer a different décor style), white tables/table cloths also look beautiful. The bright lemon colours will really ‘pop’ against the stark backdrop!
Now it’s time to turn your attention to the beverages themselves. Neatly place some large jugs on your table/cart and fill each of them with freshly squeezed lemonade (this can be prepared before your event – click here for a delicious homemade recipe). For those who want to offer up a variety of flavours, pineapple lemonade, strawberry lemonade and raspberry lemonade all make for tasty options. Attach cute tags to each jug letting guests know what type of lemony refreshment is awaiting them.
My favourite part comes next. Alcohol! Place a range of yummy options such as vodka, gin, peach schnapps or even beer on the table. Arrange these bottles near shot glasses; giving guests the chance to measure their cheeky extras or go free-range.
And finally, you will need something to drink from. Rather than guzzling this goodness from cups, add a bit of ‘sparkle’ to your celebration by offering champagne glasses instead. Not your style? Jars also make for stunning, reusable ‘cups’ that add an air of fun and uniqueness to your celebration.
From here it’s up to your guests to get creative with their concoctions! Will they mix different flavours? Add shots? Or stick to good old-fashioned lemonade all on its own? Only time will tell! If you’re considering a lemonade stand for your next event, click here for more inspiration. With everything from DIY cart décor to a delish lemonade recipe, these tips will have your guests refreshed and happy.
Handy Hint: Include a 'She found her main squeeze!' banner on your lemonade stand for added sweetness! You could even base the whole celebration around this theme - click here for some amazing 'Main Squeeze' Etsy inspiration!
STYLING A BAR CART
Love the idea of a drink station but would like to offer a range of options (wine, champagne, beer, etc.)? Take a look at this handy article that details exactly how to style/make your own drink bar for any occasion!
A FEW OF HER FAVOURITE THINGS
We all have our favourite drinks, including your bride-to-be. Why not add a personal touch to her special day by incorporating a drinks table dedicated to her favourite beverages. This could be sweet treats (e.g. milkshakes, hot chocolates, etc.) a mix of her favourite alcoholic beverages (favourite champagne, favourite wine, favourite cocktail, etc.) or a table filled to the brim with her signature drink. Decorate with her favourite flowers/colours. This little personalization for her day will make such a lasting impression!
ARTICLE RELATED TO DRINK STATION IDEAS:
If you enjoyed the drink station ideas in this article and decided to go with one for your event, why not double up and include a food bar as well?! For some glorious inspiration when it comes to serving the goodies at your celebration, click here.
ENJOY PUTTING TOGETHER YOUR DRINK STATION!
Pretty, fun and so much easier to create than you may think, the drink station ideas in this article are bound to be a hit - not only because it means your wonderful guests can mix their own crazy concoctions, but also because they look beautiful and give the host a bit of a break! If you have any tips that we've missed, or if there is a drink station that absolutely LOVE that hasn't been featured, please don't hesitate to let us know via the comment section below or on our socials.
Cheers to THE most delish and refreshing event around!
Much love, keep smiling - Bec x
(AUS Facebook Group | Worldwide Facebook Group | Pinterest)
P.S. THE BELOW IMAGE IS PERFECT FOR PINTEREST... GO ON & SHARE THESE DRINK STATION IDEAS - YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO! :-)