A Ghoulish Victorian Grazing Table
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
A Halloween Grazing Table that is sure to be Spook-tacular!
It's the most wonderful time of year...
For our Halloween party, I was inspired by the Victorian Era to create an elaborate grazing table that would be both a little bit creepy but very spooky.
When our guest arrived, I wanted them to have that feeling of being transported back to Victorian times. For this evening, I transformed our dining room into a haunted Victorian parlor. Upon entering the dining room, our hosts who were still seated at the dining table since their untimely passing and the decor pieces and platters left as if they had been un-touched, welcomed our guests to partake in a Halloween graze of fresh meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables.
Ready to set the Scene!
In order to set the scene, we begin with the dining room table. Victorian furniture was very opulent in design and dining tables were no exception. Made primarily of wood, most tables would be carved and decorative. It just so happens that our dining room table reflects the Victorian period and it served as the perfect base for our grazing table. However, If you don't have a carved table, don't worry, a dark brocade or patterned table cloth will definitely do the trick!
When putting the color scheme together, I went with black, white and creams as the primary colors for the setting. I chose these colors as they are reminiscent of old Victorian photographs. Photos from Victorian times are haunting as they were developed only as black and white photographs or soften with brown tones to create a sepia finish.
Starting a few days before the gathering, I always plan the layout of all the platters and decor pieces I will be using and I suggest you do the same. Don't worry if you make changes during the process, this will give you the bigger picture of what your grazing table will look like when it is done. It also assists in planning which platters you want to use for which foods you plan to server.
Halloween Grazing Table
For my grazing table, I decided to create individual platters instead of preparing one long graze. As I was hosting the event, it was easier to prepare smaller platters ahead of time and keep them refrigerated, putting them out about an hour before the time of our party. Keeping with the black and white color scheme, I only used my black mango wood platters for the charcuterie while white marble and slate lazy Susan's served as cheese platters for the night. I found vintage London newsprint - food grade paper, to line my boards. They tied in with the theme of the evening so well.
Black and white stripped marble coasters are perfect for holding cheese knives and cheese spreaders beside the cheeses and dips that were being served.
The centerpiece of the grazing table was my 28" round black serving tray which I decided to create a crudité platter. Crudité ("krew-dee-tay") is a French term; an appetizer platter of sliced or whole raw vegetables served with either a vinaigrette or dipping sauce. For my Halloween Crudités platter, I used raw vegetables of peppers, tomatoes, carrots, celery sticks and asparagus. A purple cabbage served as a dipping bowl filled with ranch dressing. I have to say, I have carved purple cabbages as dipping bowls before, but for some reason this particular cabbage had a really eerie look to it... almost human looking.
Watch you fingers...it might bite you!
Charcuterie & Cheese Platters
For the party I served the following charcuterie:
1. Italian Dry Salame
2. Proscuitto & Mozzarella Rolls
3. Soppressata & Mozzarella Rolls
5. Genoa Salame & Provolone
For the party I served three cheese types:
1. Soft Cheese - Brie with Fig Chutney
2. Hard Cheese - Merlot BellaVitano Cheese
3. Semi-Soft - Gouda Cheese
For a little Halloween fun, I purchased a ghost cookie cutter and provolone slices. As I was putting the board together, I used my cookie cutter to cut ghost shapes out of the provolone slices and placed them onto of a slice Genoa salami. They were a big hit!
Grazing Table Decorations
Be creative with your flowers, greenery and halloween decorations. Here are a few of the decorations that I created for my grazing table.
1. A worn crate, turned upside down, adds height to the table and works as a base to place decorative halloween pieces. Add candles, signage, fresh flowers and greenery to create a ghoulish centerpiece.
2. A wine bottle wrapped with self-sticking bandage creates a mummified look. Put fresh greens in the bottle and you have the perfect Halloween floral piece.
3. To age the look of the table, I made small moss greens. Using a 1/2 round foam ball, hot glue moss pieces until you have completely cover the round. Add a little plastic spider creeping along the mossy green.
4. Pick up skeleton pieces and put them into plastic display cases with dried Spanish moss and creepy spiders.
5. Add ghoulish changing faces into picture frames and place them onto your the table. They were the deceased relatives of our hosts.
6. Creepy skeleton hands, black mice/rats and eye balls looking as if they are going to steel a piece of cheese adds to the decor and fun.
8. Spiders - a must!
7. Don't forget to place decorations just under your grazing table. It creates a complete, overall look to your table presentation.
Flowers would always be found in Victorian gardens and placed on Victorian tables. Deep purples, dark burgundy or dead white fresh flowers add an eerie look to your table. Throw in a few sprigs of dried flowers - they are dead. Greenery, like eucalyptus, boxwood or moss creates the look of an overgrown garden that has been abandoned or un-attended in a long while.
In addition to the grazing table, I set up a separate side table as a salad station. My mummy with his little apron, was ready to serve up a deadly salad for our guests. They had their choice of dressings from chemistry flasks filled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Caesar dressing.
Let's hope our mummy didn't mixed in some deadly chemicals!
Beware of the Drinks!
Have fun with your guest by adding Halloween ghoulish drink labels onto black paper cups. Having different drink labels for your guest will help them keep track of their own cups. Use different font styles that reflects the drink type for fun!
Below is a list of drink names that I was able to find on the internet and print onto a label sheet.
Off to the Fire Pit!
No party is complete without saving some room for dessert! I definitely had a sweet treat in-store that was for all ages. So, it was off to the fire pit to make some Ooey Gooey Halloween s'mores.
I prepared this platter ahead of time. The galvanized tray was the perfect platter to carry all our ingredients outside to make s'mores. I lined the bottom of the tray with the same food grade London newsprint - keeping with the same look from the platters on the grazing table. Halloween dishes held graham crackers and chocolate wrapped eyeballs. Candy skull and bones were sprinkled on the dishes. A 6" cast iron pan served as a bowl for marshmallow's while glow in the dark candy wrapper chocolates guided the way for our guest to the fire pit. Pumpkin pretzels, sour pumpkins and cinnamon cake bites were just a few additional treats.
I had a so much fun putting together and hosting a Victorian Halloween party with a ghoulish grazing table for our friends. As hostess, I even got into the Halloween spirit and dressed up in Victorian costume!
Wishing you a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Let's take a look at the before and after of this Victorian Halloween Grazing Table!
BEFORE - AFTER
HAVE A GHOULISHLY GOOD TIME
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