‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for the bustling host preparing for the most festive buffet of the year!
Worry not! We’re here to take the stress out of hosting; discover our top tips for creating a magical Christmas buffet to share with your loved ones…
Christmas Buffet: Choose a Theme
With so many people to cater for, it can be tempting to order a freezer full of random items labelled ‘buffet’ or ‘party’ foods, and hope for the best.
This Christmas, change it up a little, and make a plan!
One of the most important aspects of hosting is having control over the event. By choosing a particular theme, and sticking to it, you’ll seem cool as a cucumber and put-together.
Your theme could be Indian-fusion, where you inject plenty of flavour and spice into your nibbles, or Spanish-style tapas, where you mix up the merriment with a mediterranean twist.
Whether it’s olive oil and prawns, or curried cauliflower bites, a themed buffet is certain to be a hit with your guests this Christmas eve!
Our executive head chef, Sumit Chakrabarty, said “Mixing traditional favourites with unexpected twists adds a playful touch to your buffet. It’s the surprises that make the memories!”
Offer A Selection of Seasonal Sweet Treats
A Christmas buffet is nothing without a selection of tasty sweet treats!
We love the idea of having a ‘main’ dessert — a show-stopping centrepiece — surrounded by miniature, bite-sized delicacies.
For example, you could create a wreath meringue with a real wow-factor, beautifully decorate a traditional Christmas cake, or stun your guests with a chocolate-laden yule log.
You could then add smaller plates of homemade stollen, mince pies, and Christmas cookies to appeal to those who would ‘just like a taste’… although, once they’ve had one bite, we’re certain they’ll go back for more!
So, satisfy those sweet tooths and create a dessert table worth shouting about!
Sumit said, “Creating a dessert wonderland with a mixture of textures and flavours is a wonderful way to capture everyone’s preferences. The key is variety; the more, the merrier!”
Christmas Buffet: Create a ‘Winter Lodge’ Vibe
Are you dreaming of a warm and rustic Christmas buffet?
Set the scene with a cosy cabin feel, featuring hearty comfort foods such as roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, and a DIY s’mores bar!
Light the fire, turn on the Christmas lights, and encourage your guests to wear comfy clothes and slippers as you embrace the hot chocolates…
This fun and festive winter lodge buffet theme is the perfect way to welcome Christmas, before waving your guests goodbye and snuggling under a blanket to watch your favourite festive film!
Sumit said, “Embrace the warmth of winter flavours. Slow-cooked dishes and rustic presentations bring that fireside charm to the table.
“Decorate your buffet table with plenty of green foliage to really create that winter log cabin atmosphere.”
Opt For ‘Bring-and-Share’ Boards
Hearty dishes, such as honey-glazed ham, roasted vegetables, and a selection of gourmet sliders, are the perfect way to tantalise those savoury taste buds.
Sumit said, “When it comes to a festive buffet, it’s all about balance. Try to incorporate a healthy mix of proteins, veggies, and carbs to satisfy every palate.”
A great way to cover all bases is to suggest a bring-and-share board buffet with your loved ones. Each household gets given a ‘theme’ (this could be a food group, or a colour), and has to bring a board laden with goods that fit the bill.
A fun take on Christmas Eve dinner, this takes the pressure off you a little, freeing you up to be able to socialise with your guests!
Christmas Buffet: Set Up a DIY Cocktail Station
No Christmas buffet is complete without a festive tipple, so why not set up your own DIY cocktail station?
Pre-make a pitcher or two of your favourite drink or put out a selection of liqueurs and mixers for your guests to create their own concoctions.
Provide a variety of glasses and cocktail must-haves, such as pomegranate slices, mint leaves, peppercorns, sugar, lime — and even miniature umbrellas!
To make it inclusive for all guests, you could also set up a mocktail station, so those who don’t drink – or are too young — don’t miss out on all the fun! Let them go wild with exotic fruit juices, and create lasting memories of your Christmas buffet.
Sumit said, “You don’t need to go all out with expensive drinks. Bucks Fizz, mulled wine, or a cocktail station are all perfect examples of fun, seasonal tipples without breaking the bank.
“Raid the cupboards for liqueurs and spirits to use for cocktails, rather than purpose-buying new bottles!”
Christmas at Rutland Hall Hotel
Of course, if the idea of cooking, hosting, and doing the dishes is a little overwhelming, we’d be happy to host you and your loved one’s here at Rutland Hall, instead!
We have plenty of Christmas dining options, from festive afternoon teas to traditional Sunday lunches; take a look at our Christmas brochure, or contact a member of our team, to find out more.
Alternatively, for further information about our festive offers, why not read our previous blog to discover Christmas in Rutland?