Hosting an Elegant Winter Cocktail Party

This party idea was inspired by the newest addition to my cheeseboard collection.  I recently found this fabulous new marble cheese board with glass dome at Crate & Barrel, and decided that it only seemed fitting to take it for a test drive (aka host a cocktail party) ASAP!  

My goal with this look was to keep everything sleek and sophisticated.  I kept the color palette to a minimum by only using black, white, gray and silver table accessories.  I wanted to have a low but full floral arrangement, so I decided to go with white hydrangeas in a low glass cylinder vase.  Instead of using a table runner, I lined up 3 of my square gray croc embossed placemats (similar to these). I also chose to accessorize my new cheese board with my simple but modern CB2 cheese knives. 

Unlike my previous cheesescapes, I kept this board fairly minimal.  The reason for this approach was two fold.  First, the actual surface area is generous but not overly abundant.  Adding in my cheesescape extras (herbs, fruits, etc.) would have created a cluttered/cramped look.  The second reason (really the main reason) being that I did not want to take away from the fabulous dome!  The dome is such a unique and sophisticated addition to this board, so I wanted to make sure that it remained the focal point.  

Cheeses for this board included: Cypress Grove Midnight Moon (a personal favorite), Aged Cheddar with Carmelized Onions and a classic Bucheron.  Stonewall Kitchen's Old Farmhouse Chutney accompanied these three cheeses under the dome.  All nuts, charcuterie, fruits and crackers were served along side the cheeseboard in both silver and glass bowls.  

This party was so much fun and I loved that my new cheeseboard forced me to go outside of my comfort zone.  In the past I would have thought to only include all cheese accoutrements directly on the cheeseboard, because that always seemed to be most practical.  This time I was forced to think outside of the box to find a functional yet aesthetically pleasing way to include everything.  All said and done, I would have to say "mission accomplished!"