Bar Carts are undeniably versatile, timelessly glamorous and reach way beyond cocktail hour. They never fail to add a little personality to whatever you’re hosting, no matter how casual or fancy. Discover how to stylishly use a bar cart for parties and everyday hospitality!
Growing up, my mamaw had a serving cart in her back entryway. It was a real deal piece of furniture, heavy stained wood, spindles, a cabinet and even a silverware drawer. While like all carts it had wheels, it never went anywhere. It held odds and ends serving pieces and greeted back door guests like the stalwart hostess it was.
Slowly but surely, bar carts have been quietly making their way back into vogue for some time now. Not heavy ones, like my mamaw’s. But the goal is still the same- entertaining fabulously! And just because “bar” is in the name, you don’t have to be into creating a “home bar” if you’d like to use one at your party or enjoy one in your home. Bar, cocktail, or serving carts, from their beginnings have been an indispensable hostess tool.
Originally, bar carts were referred to as “tea trolleys.” Harking back to Victorian times, they were used to serve afternoon tea and would be rolled into parlors, libraries, onto lawns or into gardens laden with scones, biscuits, small sandwiches, tea and all the necessaries- lemon, sugar, cream, dishes and the like. Tea trolleys made it possible for tea to happen anywhere- no interruptions, no change of venue.
Ways to Use A Bar Cart
Over time, hospitality has changed. But the lure of having a ready made party come to you hasn’t! And thinking about the tea trolley certainly brews up a few ideas for delighting guests and incorporating a bit of hostess glam into our everyday hospitality. Use your bar cart as:
- a coffee station with everything your guests might need to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee,
- a dessert bar for showcasing and serving your after dinner favorites,
- hosting brunch or having a charcuterie with friends on the patio,
- a gorgeous drink station for teas, punches or lemonades.
What Should Be on a Bar Cart?
With all those options in mind, here are a few essentials you don’t want to be without!
- a gorgeous decanter
- cut glass pitcher
- elegant drink dispenser
- electric kettle
- ice bucket
- a few pieces of simple stemware, dessert plates, forks, cups & saucers
- paper straws, stirrers, iced tea spoons
- cake pedestal
- a tea towel or two
- a bouquet of flowers or a house fun plant
When your bar cart isn’t in use, keep the glam going by utilizing it to showcase just a few of your favorite serving pieces! Soup tureens, platters, silver, trays, crystal, cake domes, cookbooks, a vase of flowers, a house plant, pictures in frames, teapots are all prime ways to make the most of this extra storage space. But don’t over do it! Just a piece here or there. Keep it simple to load or unload when you’re ready to use it.
Easy hospitality should always be right at our finger tips. And with just a few of the right tools, you’ll always be ready to take the party anywhere your friends and family gather. Talk about making your guests feel special!
Favorite Bar Cart Finds
The photos for this post were done at a styled wedding shoot for M&M Event Rentals. As always, it’s inspiring working with Morgan and her team!
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