Carry On

Carry On

Find a tray to suit
your serving needs

By Michele Foley

Throwing a party is a balancing act, but you are not a juggler. Your two hands can carry two or three drinks, while a nice tray will transport many more—using the same number of hands. It’s a mathematical win-win. CHOW has picked out some favorites, ensuring that you’ll be dispensing cocktails at your next party with ease.

KITSCH SERVING TRAY, $28
Breaking out the silver isn’t always the best choice—if you even have silver. This plastic tray, in a classic Cartier shape, is a playful alternative.

FORMSACHE21 SERVING TRAY, $150

From the Berlin furniture design group FormSache21, this matte stainless steel tray is good-looking and practical. The black linoleum insert, which provides a nonskid surface for cocktails, is removable for easy cleanup.

MELAMINE LEAVES TRAY, $28

The leaf pattern on this melamine tray reminds us of coveted vintage Pyrex from the 1960s. Its simple design would be a lovely addition to any kitchen.

GOLDEN BROWN SERVING TRAY, $42

This tray from ecoconscious company Bambu is made from 100 percent renewable bamboo, uses nontoxic materials, and is finished with a natural wood oil. It doesn’t hurt that it looks great, too.

BIRD TRAY, £25 (approximately $50)
Made from sustainable birch wood, this colorful bird tray has all the elements of good Scandinavian design: minimal and functional. For added protection it’s finished with a laminate coating.

BALANCE SERVING TRAY, $75

This tray stays steady with one hand while you glad-hand with the other. Design group Droog’s carefully balanced server passed our test involving hot drinks and spinning around the room. The handle folds down for easy storage.

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LOUISE TRAY, $90

Trays from French designers Ibride merge century-old woodworking and modern laser-cutting. The Louise Tray is a collage of muted colors, iconic imagery, and floral patterns. When not in use, it looks good on the wall.

SMALL LACQUER TRAY, $125

Orange lacquer is hand-poured over a resin mold to create this vibrant Jonathan Adler tray. The raised border helps keep drinks in place.

CYLINDA LINE SERVING TRAY, $149

This sleek tray is designed by Danish modern architect Arne Jacobsen. We like it for its seamless lines, streamlined handles, and high-quality brushed stainless steel.

BENT PLYWOOD TRAY, $150

This poplar tray gets its color from graphic prints or woven fabric that is pressed onto it and coated with a clear resin gloss. With nine colors to choose from, it should be easy to find the one that’s right for you.

Michele Foley is an associate editor at CHOW.