FEAST FOR THE EYES

Think of it as a su­per-sized shar­ing plat­ter – a graz­ing ta­ble is the cool take on sum­mer en­ter­tain­ing. The ex­perts at Grape & Fig re­veal how it’s done

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As de­li­cious to look at as they are to eat, graz­ing ta­bles are your new go-to

Old-fash­ioned buf­fets laden with unin­spir­ing beige food have had their day. Type #graz­ingta­bles into In­sta­gram and you’ll be daz­zled by colour­ful, mouth­wa­ter­ing spreads. Grape & Fig, the UK’S first graz­ing ta­ble caterer, is one of the com­pa­nies prov­ing that buf­fets can ac­tu­ally be works of art, and it’s giv­ing the hum­ble spread a mod­ern makeover.

The com­pany’s founder, To­ria Smith, cre­ated her first graz­ing ta­ble for her own wedding three years ago, but has since catered for Tom Hardy, Dav­ina Mccall and Damian Lewis. She says that, while the dis­play may look lux­u­ri­ous, it isn’t about ‘caviar

and foie gras’, but just sim­ple, high-qual­ity food. All of Grape & Fig’s creations, from shar­ing plat­ters to six-me­tre-long graz­ing ta­bles, are cre­ated from lo­cally sourced pro­duce, in­clud­ing spe­cial­ity cheeses, ar­ti­san-cured meats, quiches, an­tipasti and freshly baked bread. The com­pany has even branched out into dessert ta­bles.

As im­pres­sive as these look, you can eas­ily recre­ate them at home. ‘Graz­ing plat­ters can re­flect your per­son­al­ity and suit your bud­get and, be­cause they be­come the main dec­o­ra­tive fea­ture of the ta­ble, there’s no need for a sep­a­rate, ex­pen­sive flower dis­play ei­ther,’ says Smith. Ge­nius!

Smith (left) with her sis­ter and busi­ness part­ner, Catherine Cal­laghan

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