How to set a buffet table


So I have set my table and I need to decide, am I going to bring the food out to the table and pass it around family style or am I going to do a buffet on the island? I think because the table looks so pretty and we have some kids coming and older people coming, passing gets heavy, and it can be cumbersome. I think it will be better to set the buffet on the island. Let me show you how I would set it up.

So we are going to take a nice table cloth and we are just going to drape it over the top of my dishes and we are going to bunch it up. Don’t worry that it is not smooth, it is going to be bunched up and you will see why in a minute.

My next step is to take this really pretty table runner and we are just going to kind of weave it around this buffet, adding more depth and layers. I found this really great jute ribbon, it doesn’t have to be this it can be anything to add color and texture to your table. You want it to look pretty before you ever put any food on it. I sprinkled some of our silk leaves here from the drug store, next I am going to add some whole fruit, you can add apples or pumpkins or whatever you want to use. I am just going to tuck them into the creases of my buffet table to make it look pretty before adding any food.

I have already set my table, so my guests are going to grab a plate and dish up at the buffet. A tip I have learned after many years of catering is to have the cold things at the front of the buffet, so that would be the first thing that would go on your plate. That way when they get to the end they have the hot items, so when they sit down to eat their food isn’t cold.

Another option is if you don’t have a big dining room table and you want to serve right from your buffet and let people eat wherever they want around your home, put the plates at the beginning of your buffet line. That way people can grab a plate, go down the line and put the napkins and forks at the end of the line. You don’t want guests juggling a napkin and fork and knife and their plate and serving as they are going through the line. Make it easier for your guests.