Charcuterie is all the rage these days and such an easy way to wow your guests.  During the Christmas Season there tends to be a lot of parties to attend or host.  A Simple Holiday Charcuterie board is a beautiful way to present delicious eats and tap into your creative side at the same time.

I recently hosted my annual Favourite Things party and wanted to create a Simple Holiday Charcuterie for my guests.  I was thrilled to partner with some local shops to create a few beautiful charcuterie platters.  I’m going to share the basic elements that every charcuterie board should have and from there you will have the basic tools you need to create your very own Simple Holiday Charcuterie for your festive parties!


  • A mix of cheese textures – soft cheese (brie, camembert) hard cheese (like an aged cheddar or parmesan), and crumbly cheese (blue cheese etc.)
  • A mix of strengths – mix some mild flavours and stronger varieties
  • Mix up colours and shapes for visual interest

For a beautiful visual, leave the cheese whole on the platter and provide cheese knives and servers.  I find that pre sliced cheese will give more of that old school deli tray which we are trying to avoid.


  • A mix of meats
  • A few varieties of nuts
  • Olives (these can be piled on the tray or placed in little bowls)


  • Dried fruit such as apricots or mangos
  • Fresh fruit (grapes, pomegranate)
  • Jujubes (anyone who knows me knows that no party is complete without them)

Crackers and Bread

Make little piles of crackers in between the other elements.  A few varieties and sizes of crackers gives a nice assortment for the various meats and cheese.

Bread is also a nice addition giving more texture and variety.  A fresh hearty loaf of bread or baguette is perfect for spreads and gives another nice options for mixing the different elements.


Condiments are a great addition.  I love adding honey, grainy mustard, red pepper jelly, fig spread, jams and more.  Mix up the size and colour of ramekins or use simple basic white for a classic look.  A slice of bread with a drizzle of honey is my new favourite!


The finishing touch is to add garnishes.  I love using fresh sprigs of rosemary or sage.  The smell is amazing and its just so pretty.  Even a few fresh cranberries scattered around the board to add some colour.  Off course this year is the year of dried oranges, so we had to add that in and it looked so pretty might I add:)

We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to support local Businesses and would always encourage you to try and do the same.  For this Simple Holiday Charcuterie board we worked with Honey Grove Bakery, The Butcher’s Block, Natural Pastures Cheese and Big D’s Bees.  Here is a little bit of info on each of these fantastic Local shops!

Honey Grove Bakery

Located in Tin Town, you’ll find Honey Grove Bakery. The artisan loaves are made with a sourdough starter. The perfect crunchy crust with a fluffy inside, seriously the best bread! Not only are they tasty but they are a work of art. They aren’t just limited to bread, they also offer baked goods such as sweet & savoury croissants. They bake on Monday’s, Wednesday’s & Friday’s. Loaves can be found in different storefronts such as Edible Island, Weinbergsfood etc. You can also find them at the local farmers market on Saturday’s. Grab yourself a loaf to enjoy (warning; you might become addicted)!

Natural Pastures Cheese

Natural Pastures Cheese offers beautiful artisan cheeses. They range in variety from soft cheese, to hard cheese (may I recommend the aged farmhouse). Their head cheesemaker is Paul, born & raised in Switzerland. He has extensive training & skills to create the most amazing cheese! Natural Pastures has a cheese shop located right off of the cheese factory (on McPhee Avenue). You can also purchase their cheeses at local grocery stores such as Thrifty Foods etc. Don’t forget to grab some Natural Pastures Cheese next time you’re in the local grocery store. It’s perfect for entertaining over the holiday’s!

The Butcher’s Block

The Butcher’s Block is a locally owned butcher shop in downtown Courtenay specializing in the finest meats. They offer a wide range of products from meat packages to their deli. They serve a delicious sandwich including their own sliced deli meat, perfect to grab at lunchtime. Their in-house smoked meats are incredible. Once you’ve tasted their pepperoni you will be hooked! The right amount of smokiness & perfectly seasoned quality meat. You may even convince the non-meat eaters to enjoy it 😉 Next time you’re in the downtown core pop in to see their options!

Big D’s Bees Honey:

The sweetest honey around! Big D’s Bees is located in Black Creek but can be found in most grocery stores throughout Vancouver Island as well as farmers markets (or at the honey stand which is open 24/7 but accepts cash only). There’s around 6 different assortments of honey available, some of them being seasonal. Honey is such a multipurpose ingredient in the kitchen. Big D’s Bees honey pairs so well with a small bite of Natural Pastures cheddar & slice of Honey Grove Bakery baguette. Everyone is buzzing about this delicious honey! 

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Season and enjoy all the festive parties that you both attend and host!

Until Next Time,

Photos by Karin U Living, Post written by Karin Usipuik and Melissa Coulter

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