Tips & Tricks

The art of the grazing table


Mother’s Day will soon be here, and this year it’s your turn to invite the family to celebrate that special day. You can feel your heart racing at the mere thought of entertaining at home. What to make? Will there be enough for everyone? Where to start? So many questions… Fret not – our tips will bring out your inner Martha Stewart and make entertaining fun and easy.


Do you actually have to do any cooking to be the hostess with the mostest? Hanna Hajilou, owner and culinary stylist at À La Table, says absolutely not. “Whether it’s a family brunch for five or a midnight table for a big wedding, the grazing table is a quick, simple and original way to entertain with style and impress your guests. The secret: three or four kinds of food (plenty of each), masses of fresh flowers, doing as much as you can ahead of time to keep stress to a minimum – plus good company! The point is to keep it simple so you can spend quality time with your guests, because who wants to spend the evening chained to the stove cooking while everyone else is having fun!”  The ideal, says Hanna, is to arrange your table artfully, staying within the same colour range.

How to create an attractive grazing table:

  1. Your base: Start by placing several platters on the table, along with your flowers. ‘’I like to arrange my dishes at various levels because height helps make a grazing table a success in visual terms.” Tip: Setting the table the night before makes all the difference if you want to save time.
  1. Your menu: Pile up your cheeses on the platters. Really! Make a little mountain with three or four pieces of brie, cheddar and your other favourite cheeses. Scatter some nuts and dried cranberries around, with a few crackers, raspberries or other seasonal fruit. Add chocolate and sweet treats to the platter – who says dessert has to wait till after the meal? The whole idea of the grazing table is to put everything out at the same time, whether it’s sweet or savoury. (Your friends who have a sweet tooth will thank you!) Apply the same creative concept to two or three other platters, and finish off by adding deli meats, jams, spreads and baguettes for a generous table. ‘’In the end, you shouldn’t even be able to see the table. It’s the abundance and conviviality that make the grazing table so great. You just need to find the right balance.”
  1. The final touch: “Stop by your local florist for fresh flowers and arrange them on the table with some greenery between the plates to create a warm, inviting effect. Strewing edible flowers on top of the cheeses would make a great original touch.’’

Et voilà! Now it’s time for your guests to enjoy it all… and compliment you on your fabulous table!

Time to celebrate!

Photo credit : @aj_branco

Hanna Hajilou

À La Table

À La Table was born of Hanna’s delight in bringing families together, her love of food and her ability to turn any table into a decadent visual masterpiece. She’s had a passion for food, flowers and candlelight dinners her whole life. Two years ago, she decided it was time to make that passion her profession. Bringing people together to indulge, celebrate, share, laugh – and most of all, love – that’s the essence of every successful gathering.

To see the latest creations from À La Table on Instagram

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