The best serving dishes and platters 2023
Whether you’re looking for a practical, everyday serving dish or a showstopping platter to use as a centrepiece for a dinner party, we have something for everyone
With summer well and truly on its way, serving dishes and platters can prove immensely practical investments for the barbecue and picnic season. From an eye-catching centrepiece for a chic garden soiree or a simple platter perfect for sharing finger foods and nibbles, there’s something to suit everyone's tastes.
The size of serving platters makes them a kitchen essential for displaying food at get-togethers and we also love them for everyday use as a grazing platter for kids. If you’ve toiled away in the kitchen, it seems only right to be able to display the fruits of your labour. Serving platters are also practical for outdoor dining – those with lids will protect the contents from flies and spills while doubling as trays.
If you're hosting a crowd this summer for a barbecue, a selection of platters will come in handy for everyone to help themselves. For fuss-free al fresco dining inspiration, try our garden party and easy barbecue recipes. Not just for summer, flat platters are good all year round for serving up Sunday roasts and hearty salads.
Best serving dishes and platters at a glance
- Best minimalist platter: Sophie Conran for Portmeiron large oval platter, £64
- Best distinctive shape: Mason Cash nautical platter, £19.99
- Best for gifting: Anthropologie Old Havana platter, £68
- Best budget platter set: Coraline set of 2 platters, £28
- Best salad bowl: M&S Cabbage salad bowl, £17.50
- Best decorative serving dish: Bordallo Pinheiro strawberry serving dish, £29
- Best for tapas: Lazy Susan serving platter with ceramic dishes, £24.95
- Best serving bowl: Denby Halo medium serving bowl, £55
- Best platter for charcuterie: ANDEN Zigzag platter, £80
- Best investment platter set: Innes Vitra trays set of three, £129
- Best set of trays: Samhita mango wood serving platter, £14.89
Best serving dishes and platters 2023
Sophie Conran for Portmeiron large oval platter
- Available from John Lewis (£64)
Best minimalist platter
This minimalist platter is a timeless investment you'll use again and again. The simple cream ripple design means it won't distract from whatever food you serve on it and will always match the rest of your table. Serving bowls and platters of different sizes are available in the same design if you want to complete the set.
John Lewis (£64)
Mason Cash nautical platter set
- Available from Wayfair (from £19.99)
Best distinctive shape
We love that this nautical, shell-inspired platter has a unique design but is still subtle enough to let the food shine. It's available in blue or pale grey and comes in two different sizes – get a couple of the different colours and sizes to serve up a feast.
Wayfair (from £19.99)
Anthropologie old Havana platter
- Available from Anthropologie (£68)
Best platter for gifting
This pretty platter would make a lovely housewarming gift or wedding gift for keen foodies. Made in Portugal from hand-painted stoneware, the faded pink border gives it the feel of a well-loved piece.
Coraline serving platters
- Available from Sazy (£28)
Best budget platter set
This affordable set offers two generous platters for under £30. The dainty pattern round the border of the platters gives a boho feel to the kitchen, inspired by classic French china designs. There are three colours to choose from (blue, green or raspberry pink) and they're dishwasher and microwave safe.
More like this
M&S Cabbage salad bowl
- Available from Marks & Spencer (£17.50)
Best salad bowl
This stoneware salad bowl with its design of moulded cabbage leaves brings a touch of quirky style to a table, whether it's used for storing fruit and vegetables for everyday eating or filled to the brim with a fresh salad for a party. It's also dishwasher-safe, so there's no extra washing up.
Marks & Spencer (£17.50)
Bordallo Pinheiro strawberry serving dish
- Available from John Lewis (£29)
Best decorative serving dish
This colourful strawberry-inspired serving dish from Bordallo Pinheiro is made of earthenware and is still produced in the same factory in Caldas da Rainha in Portugal when artist Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro first designed them back in the 1800s. Manufactured using traditional ceramic-manufacturing techniques, this plate is microwave and dishwasher-safe, making it a wonderful show-stopping centrepiece as well as perfect for everyday use. Use it to serve up big fruit salads or a summer pavlova.
John Lewis (£29)
Lazy susan serving platter with ceramic dishes
- Available from Amazon (£24.95)
Best for tapas
This lazy Susan-style bamboo base and ceramic dish set keeps starters or tapas within easy reach of guests. The individual ceramic dishes are stackable, so they can be easily packed away to take up minimal storage space, and are also dishwasher and microwave-safe.
Denby Halo medium serving bowl
- Available from John Lewis (£55)
Best serving bowl
We love the two glaze tones and striking speckled finish of Denby’s Halo collection. Handcrafted in Derbyshire and made from stoneware, this serving bowl has been expertly glazed to prevent chipping, enhance durability and ensure it is dishwasher and microwave-safe. Pile it high with green veg side dishes or colourful pasta salads.
John Lewis (£55)
ANDEN Zigzag platter
- Available from ANDEN (£80)
Best platter for charcuterie
Designed and crafted in East London, the new Zigzag platter by Anden is made using solid cherry wood for the handles and hard-wearing maple for the body. The timber comes from sustainably managed FSC certified forests, making this another guilt-free buy. This versatile chopping board is ideal for serving up anything from charcuterie to pizza. The clever ‘saw tooth’ joint of the handle adds decorative flair and strength, making this platter able to withstand years of everyday use.
Innes Vitra Trays Set Of 3
- Available from Innes (£129)
Best investment platter set
These simple trays designed by Jasper Morrison are highly versatile. Use them all together at a buffet or dinner party to create a real focal point. You can also display them as decorative pieces, such as a key bowl or fruit platter. They also make fantastic serving dishes for parties or picnics. Made from ABS plastic, the trays are dishwasher-safe but can't be heated in microwaves.
What we looked for in serving dishes and platters
Which serving dish you choose to buy depends on what you’re looking for. Factors to consider:
- Is it for special occasions or everyday use? It's essential to consider this before buying because it might be wise to invest in a statement dish that can comfortably sit as a simple decoration in the kitchen and as a centrepiece for dinner parties.
- Dishes come in a variety of shapes and sizes – is it it a priority that the plate can be easily packed away into a cupboard? Do you prefer to have smaller dishes that can be piled up easily to take up minimal storage space?
- Is it useful for your serving dish to double up as a container? It's handy if you can leave leftovers in a dish and pop it straight into the fridge.
- Is it essential for your dish to be microwavable? Once leftovers have been stored, some people might consider it a bonus if the same dish can then be transferred straight from the fridge to the microwave for reheating.
- It might also be a priority that your serving platter or dish is machine washable. Not everyone has the time to hand wash dishes but, alternatively, you don’t want to invest in a more expensive centrepiece only to have it chipped in the dishwasher.
Check out our article on how our experts test and review products at BBC Good Food for more information.
What to serve on serving dishes
- Breakfast pancake platter - Provide a base of wholemeal American-style pancakes with the toppings of your choice. Make it a vibrant fruit extravaganza or a more sophisticated affair with soft cheese and smoked salmon.
- Healthy veggie platter - Conjure up a moreish, meze-style veggie platter using a variety of colourful produce. Whizz up a butterbean tahini and enjoy the spread in the sunshine.
- Summer vegetable & flatbread platter with dill & mustard dip - Make the most of al fresco dining with a vegetable platter of flatbreads and a lovely mustard and dill dip. It's a perfect sharing platter for a summer barbeque in the sun.
- Baked cheese with roasted garlic jersey royals - What could be better than dunking crispy roast Jersey Royals into gooey baked cheese? It's a simple, delicious and indulgent sharing dish.
- BBQ chicken platter - Roast or barbecue these BBQ chicken pieces, then serve on a platter with onion rings, coleslaw and mac ‘n’ cheese for an all-American banquet.
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