A French Country theme has such a quaint charm to it! And one of the easiest ways to incorporate it in your wedding is to set up a bread bar. Well, actually a bread, cheese, fruits and nuts bar. Quite an impressive and inviting sight at your reception, but actually surprisingly easy to pull together. Here, we’ve broken down the bar set-up into key elements to show you just what we mean—from tres chic decor ideas to French-inspired food suggestions. Bon appetit!
Elements for Planning a Rustic French Country-inspired Bread Bar!
The overall concept is to offer up a tempting spread of assorted breads, cheeses, fruits and nuts—but with a French flair! So select bread classics like the following at a specialty bakery or even at a large supermarket: baguette (also known as “French bread”), croissant, buole (or “ball” similar to one shown above), brioche, pain d’epi (similar to a baguette but shaped to resemble a stalk of grain) and miche (a rounded sourdough loaf).
Then, for cheeses, France actually has over 400 varieties of these! But for the most easily sourced, you’re likely to find the following at your supermarket: camembert, brie, emmental, fromage blanc, gruyère and roquefort. But don’t hesitate to try a less familiar French cheese if you happen to find one! Plus you may want to add a tasty paté!
Adding Signage to the Display
Make the display clearly “French country” by adding simple decorations with traditional French designs. Think mini signs to greet guests “Bon jour!” and “Bon appetit!” Plus a banner backdrop that you could make out of actual country-print fabrics or simple print out as paper pennants.
Incorporate Rustic-style Serveware with French motifs
For the bread bar display itself, wooden cheese boards, cutting boards and trays make the ideal rustic-style serveware. Mount these on wooden blocks, tree stumps or even over-turned baskets to create different heights. Then, add tent labels in the same traditional French designs to identify the bread and cheese selections.
Supplement the Table with Additional Edibles
In addition to the breads and cheeses, offer guests a mix of nuts from walnuts to almonds to chestnuts, and other favorites you may have. Be creative in displaying these, using large glass goblets, bowls and country-style canisters—to provide a break from all the wood elements.
Consider a Variety of French Appetizers
Other munchies you can add to the scrumptious spread would be pretzels, mini crepes, mini quiches, and yes frites (double-fried “French fries” for extra crunch)! If you plan to make some add-ons yourself, here are some amazing-looking French appetizer recipes we found via All Recipes and Betty Crocker.
Include a Mini-Salad Station to Complement the Bread Bar
A salad of fresh leafy greens is the perfect complement to the bread bar spread. Again, another super-simple add on! Set out your choice of lettuce varieties and toppings like cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices. Then to make these “French,” offer up sides of crunchy croutons and classic French dressing (sample recipe from Jamie Oliver) and/or vinaigrette (sample recipe from Epicurious).
Complete the Bread Bar with a Variety of Fresh Fruits!
Complete your bread and cheese bar with fresh fruits. Grapes, of course, go perfectly. But consider mandarins and cherries, too. Then, add rustic touches like a burlap tablecloth, little baskets, sprigs of lavender, and candles in “hurricane lamp” holders.
Add Pretty Trimmings to Achieve a Country Garden Look
For an overall country garden look, add the final trimming of lush greenery. This could be actual cuttings from your garden or faux ivy vines arranged in crockery and baskets, wound around the wooden food stands, and spread across the table top of burlap cloth. Then, as evening falls at your reception, wrought iron lanterns provide a romantic golden glow.
For more ways to bring this lovely theme to life at your wedding, see our related posts: