This Is the Single Best Thing I Buy for Parties When I’m Just Too Busy to Host

Boarderie is really the only way I can pull together a party-ready spread

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The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples

This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.

I’m a born and bred hostess. Growing up, any holiday—half birthdays included—was an excuse to celebrate. On the Fourth of July, the extended family of 20-plus had expansive lobster barbecue. On Christmas, we’d indulge in a multi-course feast on a manicured table complete with Christmas crackers at each place setting. Birthdays involved homemade cakes crafted to look like dolls or robots, or whatever aligned most with the honorable’s interests that year. Throwing a good party is basically in my DNA. 

But here’s the problem: While I strive to be half the hostess my grandmother, my mom, and my aunts are, I have four kids—all under the age of four—a busy career, and am currently in the midst of a massive home renovation. Time isn’t exactly on my side.

Boarderie Arte Cheese & Charcuterie Board

Boarderie Arte Cheese & Charcuterie Board

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes (almost) ready-to-serve

  • Includes a keepsake board

  • Serves small or large groups

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

That’s why I’m obsessed with Boarderie. This company has a selection of nearly a dozen pre-made cheese and charcuterie boards on offer at all times. And we’re not talking about the cubes of cheese that come in the plastic clamshells at the grocery store. Boarderie’s platters are undeniably elevated—like something you might see on your Instagram feed. 

But unlike the ones on social media, these don’t take dozens of carefully-selected ingredients and hours to assemble. You simply wait for it to arrive on your doorstep and then unwrap the protective cellophane and put it on the table. 

Boarderie plate on a coffee table

The Spruce Eats / Brigitt Earley

The smallest boards serve three or four people, while the largest serve between 10 and 12. No matter what size you opt for, the boards come complete with multiple types of artisanal cheese and meats, as well as delicious accoutrement like chocolate-covered espresso beans, olives, nuts, and dried fruit. (And not necessarily your typical apricots—my board had dried strawberries, too!)

The board has plenty of texture and visual interest. Some cheese is cut into wedges or slices, others are left whole. The meat is artfully-fanned or expertly-lined up. And some of the extras, like jam, are housed in adorable little jars. 

Boarderie’s platters are undeniably elevated—like something you might see on your Instagram feed.

Not sure what something is? There’s a fix for that. Each board comes with a photo key—a numbered card that makes sense of every last item on the board, including its precise location. 

Though a definite splurge, my favorite is the Arte Cheese & Charcuterie. It makes such a statement and comes with everything you could ever want, three packages of various crackers and serveware included. It’s perfect for a holiday cocktail party, but because it lasts for 7–10 days, I’m guilty of buying one for a small backyard get-together of a few moms—then enjoying the leftovers with whoever happened to stop by throughout the following week. This really allowed me to maximize the value of the board, since I got to share it with so many different people… and, selfishly, I got to enjoy amazing cheese every day for more than a week. I even used the leftover sun dried tomatoes in a chicken dish I cooked one night!

Of course, the board also makes a fantastic gift—especially for someone who has everything and insists they don’t want anything. (You know the one—cough—mom!)

Picking up cheese on a Boarderie board

The Spruce Eats / Brigitt Earley

Sizes: 25 ounces, 33 ounces, 63 ounces | Shipping: UPS to the contiguous United States with delivery Tuesday to Saturday

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Brigitt Earley is a freelance lifestyle writer who covers food and kitchen-related content for The Spruce Eats. She is a former RealSimple.com editor whose work has also appeared on Oprah Daily, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, Reviewed, and more. She also holds a certificate in culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute (now the Institute of Culinary Education).