Five Tips for Setting Up Your Buffet Table

June 11, 2022

The creative and strategic building of your buffet is key to an event that delights your guests and is a presentation of the care and love you have for them. So much more than a series of platters across a table, your buffet can be a curated exercise in elegance from salad fork to sabayon. Here are five tips that will make for a functional as well as fascinating display. Introduce one or two to punch up the occasion or integrate them all for maximum wow factor.

1. Beckon to the table with beautiful blooms. The visual impact of fresh flowers is undeniable. Seasonal stems displayed in a variety of vessels can bring either the element of whimsy or formality to your table. For classic sophistication, install a tall bouquet of similar hues either in the center of your spread, or at the end at which guests should start building their plates. For a more complete coverage and an eclectic feel, place single dynamic flowers in small vases in varying groupings across the table. Explore Elaine Chong’s Flower Table Decorations Pinterest board for inspiration.

2. Get your theme covered. Tablecloths bring a level of sophistication while also creating the canvas from which the rest of your palette will spring. Not to mention that they can stealthily mask a piece of furniture in need of a refinish or whose look doesn’t contribute to the theme you are trying to evoke. For a more formal feel, use a pale tablecloth and like-hued table linens or visually impact the festivities with linens in bright or even eclectic colors and patterns. Take a look at Weston Table’s collection of table linens to see which styles fit the event you’re hosting.

3. Choose from an entire rainbow. Unify the presentation of your buffet with a color theme that is representative of the mood you’d like to capture. The goal is not to have everything simply matching but to have a palette of colors that is complimentary while evocative of a time, place, or particular festivity. Whether dark, light, or contrasting shades, don’t forget that your servingware and the food itself is an element of the color scheme.

4. Unleash your inner architect. Utilize a wide range of serving vessels to build a wide range of presentation layers across your buffet. Create visual interest and expand the layers of your serving landscape with individual and stacked cake stands. Elegant platters and rustic boards ground your assortment with their varying sizes, textures, and materials. And who says vases are only for flowers? Use them for breadsticks, or utensils, any other item from your buffet that is long and thin.

5. Food following function. While some entrees are usually served warm, let a selection of your other course choices be optimized for serving at room temperature. With the added benefit of being able to be prepared long before your guests arrive, serve an assortment of roasted vegetables which are equally as tasty without the need to keep them warm. Your cheese board may be the most quintessential item on your buffet that doesn’t require heating. Just the opposite if you select varieties made better by sitting out, such as aged cheddar and gouda, parmigiano reggiano, brie and camembert. Of course, your cheese course is also visually interesting, looks good as a serving piece, and can sit out for a long period of time. Bonus tip - use frozen fruit as ice cubes in your water or lemonade so it stays cold without getting watery!

Hopefully, these ideas have you raring to start planning your next buffet event. As you can see just from these five tips, the amount of customization and personalization you give to your table is near boundless. Your guests will undoubtedly be thankful that you have shared so much of yourself in the presentation of this event and wonder where you get all your wonderful ideas.

 

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