High/low: Wine & cheese party
Birchwood Åryd CANDLE HOLDERS, $25 (large), $15 (medium), Fenomen
CANDLES, $9 per set of 5, glass IKEA 365+ 3-tiered STAND, $15, Rustik
teak-handled FLATWARE, $40 per 20-piece set (four 5-piece place settings), Lugn SIDE PLATES, $1 each, IKEA. Late 19th-century FARM BOWL, $165, ChairTableLamp. Vinny CARAFE, $15, Crate and Barrel. Vintage wood round SERVING BOARD, $77 (extra large), antiqued silver PITCHER, $103, Sol GOBLETS, $10 each, Pottery Barn. Perigord GOBLET, $18, Swirl GOBLET, $18, Williams-Sonoma. Shiraz Cabernet WINE, from $12, Jacob’s Creek. Cotton Cross Dye NAPKIN, $12 per set of 4, West Elm. Natural burlap TABLECLOTH FABRIC, $10 per metre, Fabricland.
Turned-mahogany CANDLE HOLDERS, $64 (large), $44 (medium), pillar
CANDLES, $17 each, ceramic Great White 3-tiered STAND, $59, Pottery Barn. Olive wood Olivier FLATWARE, $80 per 5-piece place setting, Crate and Barrel. Dinera SIDE PLATES, $2 each, IKEA. Vintage wood DOUGH BOWL, $332, Riedel CARAFE, $69, Williams-Sonoma. Antique round PIZZA BOARD, $311, Angus & Company. Silver-plated PITCHER, $145, antique pressed-glass GOBLETS (from left), $50, $50, $55, $65, Cynthia Findlay Antiques. Founders’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon WINE, $20, Beringer. Linen Natalie NAPKIN, $15, Homefront. Beacon Hill Linen Weave TABLECLOTH FABRIC in Light Natural, $190 per yard, through designers, Robert Allen.
Height of style
Vary the heights of the items you lay out on a buffet table. A stack of books with their dust jackets removed is a perfect pedestal for a vase of flowers or a platter. If you like, conceal the books underneath the tablecloth, which in this case is just three yards of fabric straight from the bolt.
The big cheese: high
Conventional wisdom says a cheese plate should include a blue cheese, a firm cheese, such as cheddar, and a creamy one, such as brie. Since you determine the quantity you buy, it’s easy to stick to – or eat up! – your budget. Nuts, fresh and dried fruits, and Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps complete this mise en scène.
High: (clockwise from top left) Glengarry Canadian Celtic blue cheese, $45, Balderson 5-year Canadian cheddar, $17, Tournevent Chèvre Noir Canadian aged goat cheddar, $9, Alexis de Portneuf Le Cendrillon soft ripened Canadian goat cheese, $7, Cahill’s Irish Porter cheddar, $7, Whole Foods Market. Antique round pizza board , $311, Angus & Company.
The big cheese: Low
Clockwise from top left) Tuxford & Tebbutt English stilton, $42, Balderson 1-year Canadian cheddar, $10, Tournevent Chèvre Noir aged Canadian goat cheddar, $9, Grey Owl soft ripened Canadian goat cheese, $10, Cahill's Irish Porter cheddar, $7, Whole Foods Market. Vintage wood round serving board, $77 (extra large), Pottery Barn.
Antique wooden dough bowls are great for displaying and serving bread or fruit. The price difference comes down to age, size, condition, place of origin, and the retailer’s profit margin.
Low: (Top) Antique European late 19th-century FARM BOWL, ChairTableLamp.
High: (Bottom bowl) $332 Vintage wood DOUGH BOWL , Williams-Sonoma.
Handle with care
Pick up an extra set or two of cheese knives when you’re shopping – they’re the perfect hostess gift. Flatware with wooden handles has a casual country look. But consider care instructions before you purchase. Our high flatware is dishwasher safe, while handwashing is recommended for our low set.
High: $80 Olive wood Olivier 5-piece FLATWARE set, Crate and Barrel.
Low: $40 Teak-handled Rustik 20-piece FLATWARE set (four 5-piece place settings), IKEA.
This set brings the style of an English hunting lodge to the table. Walnut Bark, Williams-Sonoma.
These beauties are the epitome of boho elegance. Bone, West Elm.
These bamboo-style handles strike a modern, organic note. Stainless steel, HomeSense.
Using multiple patterns of pressed-glass goblets not only suits the casual mood but also makes it easier for guests to identify their glass. Keep carafes in several shapes and sizes handy, since they look more elegant on a table than bottles do.
High: From left to right, Riedel CARAFE, Williams-Sonoma. $69 Antique pressed-glass GOBLET, Cynthia Findlay Antiques. $50 Antique pressed-glass GOBLET, Cynthia Findlay Antiques.$55 Antique pressed-glass GOBLET, Cynthia Findlay Antiques, $65.
Low: From left to right: Vinny CARAFE, Crate and Barrel. $15 Perigord GOBLET, Williams-Sonoma. $18 Swirl GOBLET, Williams-Sonoma. $18 Sol GOBLET, Pottery Barn, $10.