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Everyone loves a holiday buffet table because it instantly evokes a casual, festive atmosphere where guests feel free to graze and enjoy gourmet delights with ease and whimsy. While the best part of the buffet should be the food, how you style the table is just as important. Here are my top five tips for styling a holiday buffet table.
#1 Fresh Florals are an Essential Centerpiece
The powerful presence of fresh florals and/or greenery are an essential centerpiece. Flowers and food have a symbiotic relationship in nature and therefore are an organic pairing. A soft and subtle holiday arrangement of white roses and ranunculus mixed with cedar and kumquats makes for the perfect compliment to any table.
#2 Candles Bring Holiday Elegance
In any room, any time of year, the flicker of a candle brings a calming energy, but around the holidays candles add an extra layer of warmth. Use white unscented tapers for a soft, elegant touch.
#3 Neutral Dinnerware and Gold Flatware Elevate the Food
The secret to making the food look amazingly enticing is to ensure the dinnerware and flatware do not distract. Fine china is lovely for a formal sit-down dinner, but for a holiday buffet I use modern artisanal handcrafted stoneware that has a free form shape and antique glaze. I continue a neutral palette with soft cotton napkins and add a touch of glamour with champagne colored flatware all wrapped in white satin ribbon.
#4 Delicious Food can Double as Whimsical Decor
Delicious food isn’t only for taste buds. Gourmet treats can also serve as whimsical decor. Every buffet table should include at least one item that adds a unique artistic element — a food item that almost looks too pretty to eat. Sugar coated cranberries are perfect!
#5 Separating Savory from Sweet Brings Beautiful Symmetry
Spacing is critical to a gorgeous looking buffet. Too many food options and the table can look a bit gluttonous, too little and it looks meager and stark. I like to create appetizing symmetry by placing savory options on one side and sweet on the other in equal portions but contrasting colors. Earthy crisp brown crab cakes can sit alongside bright white French Onion dip. Powdered Linzer cookies can be placed next to fudgy brownies for an approachable and appetizing offering.