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  • Sydney
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  • Summer Entertaining Guide: Grazing Table Ideas with Lia of Stories To Gather

Summer Entertaining Guide: Grazing Table Ideas with Lia of Stories To Gather

All of the inspiration you need to craft a one-of-a-kind grazing table for your next event.

Lia Townsend of Stories To Gather

Walking into an event or dinner party and spotting an impeccable grazing table is surely one of life’s greatest pleasures. A hunk of fresh honeycomb sitting pretty atop a wheel of brie, perfectly draped cheesecloth, bunches of glossy grapes and bowls of crusty bread - there is so much to love. And when it comes to immaculate and romantic grazing tables, no one does it quite like Lia of Stories To Gather. Personalised to a T, her creations take attention to detail to a whole new level - whether via tiny chamomile flowers dotted amongst bunches of grapes or heart-shaped focaccia, every element is considered. But how does she do it? We had a chat with Lia to glean her top tips. Read on for Lia's grazing table guide…

Stories To Gather

For those not in the know, tell us a little bit about Stories to Gather. What made you fall in love with what you do?

Stories to Gather is a bespoke event, grazing and hamper brand I founded in 2019. We bring together passionate local artisans and producers to provide carefully curated and luxurious offerings using the finest seasonal produce. I’ve always had a love affair with food and its ability to bring people together which led me to start STG. 

Stories To Gather

Where do you draw inspiration for your tablescapes?

Honestly – from everywhere. It can start with a theme that a client has in mind, a colour, a seasonal ingredient, or a mood - inspiration can spark from anywhere. I often collaborate with a
lot of other creatives who inspire me. Often an idea evolves as you start to have creative conversations with others, and I love this process of bringing a vision to life. 

Grazing board 101. Where do you recommend people start?

I’m a firm believer in seasonality. I think it’s important when working with food to use produce that is fresh and in season (and local if possible!).

Stories To Gather

Do you have any summer-specific tips for styling a grazing board?

Summer in Australia is such a special time of year to gather and celebrate with friends and family. It’s also a time when the weather can be very warm, so I’ll always take this into consideration when entertaining during the summertime, particularly if it’s for a picnic or outdoor occasion. I love to work within seasonality, so for me, the summer means incorporating things like fresh cherries.

I’d also lean into the vibrancy of summer, it’s a time to use lighter ingredients such as crisp vegetables in vibrant colours that are inviting to eat.

Stories To Gather

What trends are you loving for grazing boards and which ones are you keen to see the back of?

I really love seeing design, craftsmanship and food come together, whether it’s using beautiful hand-made ceramic plates, mother-of-pearl spoons or polished vintage silverware
to serve food – we’ve evolved from the simple wooden board and the presentation aspect of grazing is getting more unique and sophisticated.

I think grazing boards inspired a whole trend of other “boards”. I’m keen to see the “butter board”, take a backseat, particularly on a hot summer’s day.

Are there any big no nos when it comes to grazing boards?

Grazing boards are meant to be inviting and bring people together over food. I’d suggest avoiding anything that is difficult to share or that makes people feel too intimidated to try and cut or eat.

Stories To Gather

Describe your ultimate summer soiree.

An Italian affair, by the sea, with my friends and family. A long lunch spent dining on delicious homemade food from my childhood like my mother’s Suppli, playing cards, listening to live music, and probably dozing off in the afternoon sun. It would extend late into the evening, filled with more food and some grappa and end with my Nonna’s famous Cassata dessert.

What is your absolute favourite addition to a grazing board?

Le Dauphin Petite Double Cream Cheese – my favourite soft French cheese with glace seasonal fruit – it’s the perfect sweet and salty pairing.

Feeling inspired by these grazing table ideas and ready to start on your own? Be sure to check out our edit of new homewares and best new non-alcoholic drinks round-up for supplies. 

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