Impress your party guests and create the ultimate show stopping cheeseboard with our step by step guide! Cheese platters are perfect for entertaining, they look stunning but are really easy to put together. Guests can pick and choose their favourite foods, leaving you to mingle and enjoy yourself. They are also super ‘Instagrammable’, with many people now showing off their impressive cheese board and charcuterie boards (a cheese board including meats) online.
What to put on a cheese board?
The main component of our cheese board! There are so many different cheeses available to purchase, a good rule of thumb is to include a cheese from each ‘family’:
- Aged: Aged Cheddar, Gruyere, Gouda.
- Soft: Brie, Camembert, Goat.
- Firm: Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Edam.
- Blue: Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton.
Remember to bring cheeses out to room temperature before serving to allow the true flavours to come through. Aim for at least four different types to give your guests enough choice, and think about how the variety of colours and shapes will look on the board.
For hard cheeses, like the cheddar, we prefer to cut them into slices or cubes and stack them up on the board – this makes it easier for guests to grab a piece without having to saw through a hard cheese with a cheese knife and makes the cheese plate more interesting.
2. Cured meats
A variety of sliced cured meats and salami are best for the ultimate cheese board, such as Sweet Sopressata, salami, prosciutto, pepperoni. Arrange these in feathered positions and frame items such as dipping bowls for a prettier, delicate appearance.
3. Crackers and bread
Crackers and bread offer a tasty savoury addition to accompany the cheeses. We have a variety of delectable breadsticks and crackers available, including: Garlic Crackers, Hot Pepper Crackers, Original Crackers, Pecorino Crackers, Rosemary or Sweet Chilli. We also have two flavours of delicious breadsticks: Garlic & Parsley and Tomato & Basil.
Cheeses like Monterey Jack or Havarti are the easiest to pair with crackers because these cheeses keep their shape when you cut them.
Softer cheeses such as camembert are perfect for breadsticks as you can dip straight into the gooey centre.
4. Fruits, veggies, and nuts
Fruit and vegetables are an ideal way to bring colour to your cheese board. Mini peppers, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives etc are all perfect additions. Grapes, figs, halved apricots and fresh orange slices complement the flavours of many cheeses.
Nuts offer the best combination of flavour and texture with cheese.
This popular snack pairs well with any Swiss cheese. Almonds are also great with harder aged cheese, especially Cheddar. Sprinkle almonds with smoked paprika for extra colour and kick. Or toast slivered almonds and serve with Brie.
This earthy, less oily nut is great with aged Cheddar. It’s also a perfect match for sheep, goat or mixed-milk cheeses. And if you like things pungent, walnuts are incredible with blue cheese—especially when they’re drizzled with honey.
Creamy, buttery plump jumbo cashews are a heavenly pairing with blue cheese
There may not be a better match for pistachios than a good Parmesan…but don’t stop there. Pistachios are excellent with super-creamy soft cheeses.
5. Preserves, jams, and chutneys
Cheese loves something sweet. Chutneys and jams give colour and texture to a cheeseboard and also act as a palate cleanser. Placing these in small, decorative bowls will lift the design and as a bonus it helps to keep everything in place.
Savoury jams such as Sweet Chilli Jam are a great topping for a baked cheese.
Caramelised Red Onion Chutney – pairs well with stronger cheeses such as mature Cheddar or Blue Stilton
Tomato Chutney – pairs well with a hard cheese like Red Leicester, mild Cheddar or Double Gloucester.
Apple Chutney – pairs well with white soft cheeses like Brie and Cambozola.
Prepare some olives, pickles, pepperoncini, nuts, lemon, salad, and even in-season local fruits to go with your cheese board. Adding some greenery helps to break up the red/white/brown look of your board, fills in any spaces left and all helps with that five-a-day goal!
Herbs add a beautiful scent and finish to a platter. Thyme and sage balance the flavour of hard cheeses. Brie and other soft cheeses match well with sage, rosemary, dill and oregano. Goat cheese combines with oregano and basil.
How to assemble a cheese board
Start with items which take up the most space on your board, everything else can tuck into spaces later on!
Small bowls and larger chunks of cheese are the best place to start, the small bowls can be skipped if you like but they will contain chutneys and dips. We like to serve cheese in a variety of shapes to add visual effect. Also think about cutting these down into smaller pieces to make it easier for your guests to grab their favourites!
Now it is time for meats, breads and crackers. Top Tip! Use a wine glass to create flower petal shapes for your meat, this really adds a wow factor to your board! This technique works well for circular slices of meats such as chorizo or pepperoni. Simply grab an empty wine glass and place each slice of meat over the top, half will be hung on the inside and half on the outside, continue all the way around the wine glass, then start on a second layer to add thickness. Place your hand lightly over the top of the wine glass, carefully tip upside down and lift away the wine glass, you will be left with a beautiful flower petal shape on your board.
Alternatively, fan out the meat, bread and crackers around the edge of the board. Our Crostini Crackers make the perfect solution for dipping.
Now the larger spaces are filled, we can fill in the blank spaces with fruit and nuts. Red and green grapes work well gracefully placed on the edge of the board. Walnuts and almonds will look fantastic sprinkled in-between gaps. Dot olives into any remaining gaps to add pops of colour.
Last but not least, fill your little dishes with chutneys and dips. Looking for a delicious dip? Our Mexican Chilli & Cheese Dish adds a rich and warming heat to your cheese board. For a traditional chutney why not try our Cheese Board Chutney, a luxury accompaniment to any cheese board with a chunky texture and rich flavour to complement both soft and hard cheeses. For those who like to add a little heat to their cheese board, how about our Spicy Mango & Ginger Chutney?
If you don’t have any little dishes to hand at home why not try our Tapas Dish or Terracotta Dipped Dish starting at just £1.00. Small but durable, these dishes are ideal for serving all those little extras like oil, dips, sauces or chutneys that go with tapas, cheese boards and Mediterranean food. As well as being the perfect accompaniment to any table setting, these dishes are also ideal for use as a pinch pot and holding herbs and spices.
Tips for making an impressive cheese board
Here are our top tips to perfect your cheese board:
- Prep the cheese board ahead of time – don’t underestimate the length of time it may take to purchase your ingredients, prepare your board and assemble your pieces. When preparing for a party or guests it is best to be planned ahead of time and as organised as possible to avoid stress on the day!
- How much cheese goes on a cheese board? – it all depends on the board and table space you have to work with, plus the number of guests you have arriving. The more the merrier with cheeses and your guests will love to try new flavours if you have an array to choose from.
- What kind of board to use? – this again depends on your space and number of guests you have arriving, but ensure you choose a good quality large board which will withstand guests cutting their cheeses on.
- And last but not least, don’t forget to add cheese knives! This will make it super easy for your guests to select their cheese with ease.
Our selection of cheese board products
Here at Cottage Delight we are able to provide you with all the delicious accompaniments to your cheese board. Many of our products are Great Taste Award Winners so your guests will recognise that you have gone the extra mile to present them with a mouthwatering array of products!
- Crackers & biscuits for cheese – The interest in high quality cheese has consistently grown over recent years, as has the appeal of the crunchy accompaniments created to complement them. Our Classic Biscuits For Cheese are the perfect partner for your cheese board. These marvellously moreish biscuits are created to a traditional recipe for a classic crunch, perfect pairing for cheese. They are hand baked in small batches and are perfectly suitable for Vegetarians/vegans. Available in five favours, our irresistible Crostini Crackers also offer a solution to dipping. Our light and crisp hand-crafted Italian crostini is created by an authentic Italian family baker using extra virgin olive oil.
- Pâtés – Our perfect pâtés are created using authentic artisan methods by our trusted family producers. Our specially selected recipes are balanced beautifully for both texture and taste, offering you unique and flavoursome options. We have a variety of flavours and textures but the most popular pate for your cheese board would be the classic Farmhouse Pate, available in two sizes. Our Farmhouse Pâté with Pork Liver and Mustard, is an authentic French Pâté made using traditional methods and recipes. Produced by an artisan family company in France. This coarse-textured Pâté is ideal served with warm crusty country-style bread. An ideal sharing!
- Chutneys – Our chunky chutneys are crafted in small batches using carefully curated ingredients and traditional methods, even when creating unique and innovative flavours, ensuring true quality – from champions of the cheeseboard to exotic culinary combinations. The most popular chutney to add to your cheese board would be our Classic Cheese Board Chutney. We combine British Bramley apples with crunchy walnuts and raisins to create a cheese board chutney that’s a little nutty and extra fruity. Our Cheese Board Chutney is a luxurious accompaniment to any cheese board with a chunky texture and rich flavour to complement both soft and hard cheeses. Why not enjoy Cheese Board Chutney with cold meats and pork pies too?
- Dip dish – we have two dipping dishes available to finish off your cheese board: Our Tapas Dish: Small but durable, this tapas dish is ideal for serving all those little extras like oil, dips, sauces or chutneys that go with tapas and Mediterranean food. As well as being the perfect accompaniment to any table setting, these dishes are also ideal for use as a pinch pot and holding herbs and spices. Or our Terractotta Dipped Dish – Get everyone around the table to share your favourite dishes with our branded Terracotta dish. The unique design offers a contemporary and sophisticated look to your dining table. A perfect dish to decant your favourite chutneys to accompany your tapas feast or classic cheese board.
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Delicious products to add to your cheeseboard
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