Kitchen Tips

How to create the perfect Christmas grazing platter

The countdown to Christmas has begun and the one thing on everyone’s mind, apart from the presents piled under the tree, is the food that will be adorning our tables come Christmas Day. So get ahead of the game this Christmas with a beautiful grazing platter, so there is no need to worry about the festive table looking inadequate or running dry before time’s up.

Grazing platters are the perfect entertaining choice when feeding a crowd as they can be prepared ahead of time, look incredible and are filled with all sorts of delicious and nutritious goodies to wow your guests. Plus if you're smart about it, clean up will be a cinch by replacing bowls and plates with chopping boards or perhaps using brown paper to cover your table.
We've got all the tips and recipes you'll need to create the ultimate Christmas grazing platter, so your table will be stocked full of fresh produce and tasty nibbles all day long. So put on a spread and relax with a glass of bubbles this Christmas!

Start with your base ingredients

When starting to plan your Christmas platter, begin with the ingredients list and don't shy away from the good stuff. The more fresh and healthy snacks that trim your platter, the happier your guests will be as the day progresses.
Plan your base ingredients according to what is in season, such as strawberries, cherries, nectarines and melon, as well as cucumber, beans and asparagus. If you want to jazz up your fresh produce, try our delicious strawberry toffee pops, or get creative with your charcuterie by preparing our prosciutto-wrapped asparagus or prosciutto-wrapped melon.
Next, think about your dry ingredients as it's important to mix up the textures so the platter has good variation. Try our spiced mixed nuts recipe to offer a fun alternative to the usual nut selection or our blue cheese twists for a delightfully crunchy addition. And as for the rest of the cheese, a good rule of thumb is to have a soft, a hard and a blue, so your guests can experiment with matching cheeses to different crackers. It's also a good idea to have a fruit paste, such as our beautiful plum paste or quince paste, to provide even more exciting flavour combinations.
And remember, when it comes to grazing platters, less is not always more. In fact, the more goodies there are the better, so pile it up and don't be afraid to create a delicious explosion of food on your table.

Create your platter centrepiece

Now for the fun part; creating the star of your platter. Having a centrepiece will make it much easier to arrange the rest of the grazing platter, but it will also give it that extra wow factor.
Our recipe for baked pears in pastry with blue cheese, walnuts and thyme is the perfect centrepiece, as it is easy to make, matches well with common platter goodies, and looks incredible! Bring them out of the oven and put onto the platter while still warm, so that beautiful cheesy filling will ooze out when cut.
If you want a centrepiece that won't take too much time to prepare, a cheese ball is so simple to make and has star quality. Try our easy cheese ball recipe to add a delicious topping for crackers and crudites, or our bacon ranch cheese ball looks so good with its pecan, bacon and parmesan garnish.

Make your table beautiful

Try our Italian antipasto grazing platter.
When it comes to assembling your grazing platter, call on your creative juices and have some fun. The best platters are the ones which are a little bit out of control and simply focus on your delicious ingredients. However, remember to avoid placing anything too salty beside sweet items, and consider where the blue cheese goes to avoid offering your guests a very tangy strawberry!
A great platter will play with height and space, so fill up some small bowls with yummy dips and scatter them around the table, and let your platter go as long and as wide as your food supply will allow. Another way to add height is with a beautiful jar or jug of punch, so try one of our delicious ideas for drinks that are made for sharing!
This ham and cranberry pull-apart Christmas tree is so much fun to make!
If you want to be extra festive, arrange your platter with a Christmas theme by using festive shaped platters or with decorations. Build all or part of your grazing table in a Christmas tree-shaped arrangement, or intersperse your food with holly, twigs and greenery. And, of course, make sure the table is popping with colour.
But the most important thing is having plenty of food to eat, right? So once your platter centrepiece and bigger items are arranged, fill the gaps with nuts, dried and fresh fruit, bits of chocolate and lots (and lots) of crackers, bruschetta or french bread. Our recipe for chocolate drizzled honeycomb is another fun idea for a gap-filler, or for more snack-spiration, check out our collection of deliciously easy Christmas nibbles.

Mixing, mingling and eating

Once all of that is done, the only thing left is to pour the bubbles and enjoy! Grazing platters are magnets for hungry guests, so make sure everything is bite-sized, to ensure it's easy for everyone to eat while mixing and mingling. And just remember that your grazing platter is not meant to completely fill your guests, it's just there to keep the hunger at bay while waiting for the main event. So keep that in mind when deciding on amounts and portions… although there's nothing wrong with having Christmas leftovers on Boxing Day!