Entertaining 101: Our Favorite Practical Serveware

May 20, 2019  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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We are huge proponents for inviting people over. Not only does it always keep us on top of the house chores, but it also you to start making memories which makes your house feel more like a home. It doesn’t have to involve a fancy menu or elaborate plans. In fact, our favorite nights involve just a handful of friends, and a spread of finger foods and charcuterie!

For our very first Christmas together, my sister in law got us some simple white serving platters and I will say–that upped our entertaining confidence a bit. And we’ve been honing our collection ever since! I’ve learned that everything looks better in a white bowl. Soft pretzels look a lot more elevated wrapped in a cloth napkin. Store bought cookies are down right fancy on a tiered stand. I challenge you to put any food item under a cloche and not receive a compliment on your spread. And a beverage container or tub is so much more inviting than a cooler that closes!

You really just need one thing from each category below to start elevating your entertaining.

Beverage Tubs

1. Metal Beverage Tub: $20
2. Galvanized Stand-Up Cooler: $139
3. Willbanks Beverage Tub: $147
4. Galvanized Metal Beer Trough: $48 (We have this one and it’s great for outside or the trough comes off the stand and you can set it on the counter or table for interior entertaining, too!)

Tiered Stands

1. Wood Marble 2-Tier Server: $69
2. Payne Cake Stand: $27
3. Marble 2-Tier Server: $59 (I bought this a few years ago, and I can’t believe how often I use it! I lay out cookies, cupcakes, sandwiches, dessert cups!, pigs in a blanket…hahaha! It makes everything look better).
4. 2-Tier Cake Stand: $32

Serving Bowls (Investing in a few good serving bowls–classics like these–will serve you for years and years. They have even made our casual weeknight dinners feel as special as they are.)

1. Wickford 3 Piece Salad Bowl Set: $87
2. Fiesta 96 fl oz. Serving Bowl: $39
3. 4pk Salt Bowl: $14 (I love these for nuts, olives, cookie decorating supplies!–we use them weekly!)
4. Aerne Serving Bowl: $45

Drink Dispensers It took me years to realize I was using an ugly plastic pitcher every day. EVERY DAY at dinner. And I finally bought one that I loved and I love that now I see that every day. Having a good carafe, pitcher and drink dispenser (for when you’re hosting more than 8 people, I say) doesn’t have to be a finer thing in life. It’s a small thing that will improve your every day.

1. Bolinas Drink Dispenser: $48
2. Water Pitcher Stoneware: $20
Plastic Floral Embossed Beverage Dispenser: $12
4. Enamel Drink Dispenser: $26

Serving Platters 

1. Handled Platter: $20 (We have these in every size and they are Chris’s absolute favorite Christmas gift I ever got him. Haha)
2. Extra Large Acacia Wood Paddle Cutting Board: $59 (use this to display/serve everything from charcuterie to veggies to prime rib!
3. Blackened Wood Serving Board: $29 (ditto! After we make pizza on our stone, we’ll often arrange it on a board, too!)
4. Costa Nova Beja Rimmed Rectangular Tray: $39


Hope this helps get some of you started! Remember, these things don’t have to be special occasion pieces. Think of them as functional decor that will elevate your every day kitchen life!

What do you think?

  1. Emily says:

    What is your favorite way to serve rolls? I love making homemade rolls, but find I’m left a little disappointed with the presentation.

    • Julia says:

      Truth be told, we don’t eat a lot of rolls around here, but when we serve them, I love to do it in a bowl or basket with a pretty turkish towel inside and the rolls placed in the towel.

    • Chris says:

      In a wooden bowl, half-wrapped in a large cloth napkin.

  2. Emily says:

    What is your favorite way to serve rolls? I love making homemade rolls, but find I’m not ever really happy with the presentation.

  3. I love your blog and I’m so excited to see your new Tudor space. I have tried to subscribe to your email list 3+ times and I never get updates when you do a new post. I just wanted to let you know, maybe it’s me but I wasn’t sure

  4. Karen L. says:

    Great ideas for gifts as well, especially this time of year. Thanks for the fun round up.

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We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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