How to Arrange the Perfect Buffet Table at Home

Have you ever considered throwing a buffet dinner party in your home? In today's article, we'll tell you how to do it.
How to Arrange the Perfect Buffet Table at Home

Last update: 18 November, 2018

Setting up a buffet table at home because you don’t have enough space is a thing of the past. This season, any event worth attending has had an amazing and luxurious buffet. The perfect combination of great looks and great taste – having a buffet is one of the biggest trends of 2018. And we absolutely love it.

When it comes to buffets, most of the decoration comes from the food itself.

Whether you cook it yourself or hire a caterer, make sure you display the food so that the colors and textures look great. In this article, we’ll give you our top tips on organizing the perfect buffet.


The table is the star of any buffet. All your food should be laid out on long tables. If you have enough space, we’d recommend that you should have at least three buffet tables. A main table for the food, a second table for drinks, and a third for desserts. The most practical buffet table is a large wooden trestle table, which you can decorate with a nice tablecloth.

Display your buffet on a wooden trestle table decorated with a tablecloth.

The main table

If possible, place your table away from the wall so that your guests can access both sides. Remember, a buffet should work almost like a circuit, so it’s important to follow a particular order when it comes to preparing your tables. Firstly, you should place plates and bowls of various different sizes at one end, so that all your guests can choose the one they prefer.

Next, you should have the starters and salads, followed by the mains. All the trays should be equipped with serving spoons, ladles, and tongs. Finally, you should have bread, napkins, and cutlery at the other end of the table. This means your guests will have both hands free so they can serve themselves easily, and won’t have to worry about dropping things.

The drinks table

Ideally, you should have a separate table for drinks. On it, you should have cups and glasses of various sizes, ice and the drinks themselves. You’ll need to make sure that there is plenty of choice. Obviously, you’ll need to put the white wine – and any other drink you want to serve cold – in an ice bucket to keep it nice and cool. There should also be a red wine that goes well with the food you’re serving.

The dessert table

With a bit of artistic flair, this will be everyone’s favorite table. You’ll need to have all the tableware laid out at the beginning. But you should only serve the desserts when your guests are actually ready to eat them or they will spoil. You don’t need a huge table to make your desserts look amazing. Using trays and stands to display lots of different desserts at different heights will look simply beautiful.

French desserts like petit fours and macarons are perfect buffet desserts.


The tablecloths you buy for your buffet table should be clean and well-ironed. Make sure that they completely cover the table and that the ends hang down at the same level.

However, covering the table isn’t the only function of a tablecloth. They are also great decorative items. Simple and understated, they will decorate your buffet table without drawing attention away from the food.

White is the classic tablecloth color, but you can play around with colors, and use them to make a great impression. Combining large and smaller tablecloths of different colors is always a winning combination.

Organizing a buffet: the food

Here, the only rule is to make sure that serving and eating your food is easy. Ideally, you should choose finger food that you can eat off small plates. You can serve both hot and cold dishes, though we’d recommend cold food so that you don’t have to stay in the kitchen right up until the last second.

You can serve salads and cold soups in small,  transparent  cups or bowls. Cheese boards, smoked meats, canapes, vegetables on mini skewers served with sauces, and mini sandwiches are delicious starters and appetizers. Savory puff pastries, quiches, sushi and pies are also classic buffet foods.

For dessert, you can choose little cakes and pastries that are easy to eat. Any French desserts are ideal, petit fours, macarons, little glasses of tiramisu or even mini cupcakes will all be a hit at your buffet.


If possible, it’s good to have a smaller table where your guests can leave used cutlery and plates which no one ever knows what to do with when they finish eating at a buffet. Although you can eat this type of food standing up, it’s also good to have a corner with chairs and side tables so that your guests can sit down and take a break if they need to.

Another important factor is to work out how much food you need to put out. Ideally, you shouldn’t leave it sitting on the trays for more than fifteen minutes. It’s better to refill the trays than to leave food out for too long.

We’re sure that after reading our advice, you’re already excited about setting up your own amazing buffet for the next time you have guests coming round. Don’t be afraid to let your creative juices flow! It will look amazing and it’s sure to be a hit with your guests, so a buffet really is the best way to start an unforgettable evening.