Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Halloween Dinner Party

All Hallow's Eve 2014

I fully intended to take some more pictures of our Victorian Gothic Halloween decorations but, as usual, once the school holidays started time just seemed to slip away.....  

I can now only share a couple of snaps, which I took before the holidays began.  I had sourced some vintage glass fronted cabinets and filled them with lots of little jars labelled to look like specimen jars and medicine bottles, really rocking the spooky apothecary cabinet look!  The examples below are simply glass spice jars filled with plastic toys.  I created the labels using two lovely free fonts 'Jane Austen' and 'Old Newspaper', then printed them off onto yellow paper before further ageing them with scrapbook chalks.

Believe it or not, I'm not actually a fan of Halloween.  I worry that children rushing 'round houses in the dark asking for sweets might scare older folks and the thought of devils really leaves me cold, so Mr Larkin was sent out with the children earlier on in the day delivering sweets to the neighbours and checking that they then didn't mind us knocking on their doors later that night to collect them all back in!

As I'm not keen on the 'darker' side of Halloween, 'Victorian Gothic' seemed a perfect compromise, particularly as the children study the genre in their English Literature lessons at school.  

A skull ashtray was another cheap car boot sale find and a perfect fit for the theme, a satin top hat slung on 'his' head and sat atop a pile of suitably vintage books. You can see him in position on our mantel here.

The dress code was period costume or black tie and everyone looked absolutely perfect, but I even forgot to take any pictures at the party itself. Luckily some of the guests had managed a couple of snaps, so I can show you a selection of the super outfits.

The children sat at one end of the table and looked beautiful dining by candle light.  They have grown up together since tiny babies, attending both the same church and school. Their ages range by five years but they all get on so well and it's always wonderful to have an opportunity to reflect upon what mature and thoughtful young people they have blossomed into.

The dress code was open to interpretation and so, amongst others, we had Victorian gentlemen, one of literature's most famous jilted brides, Miss Havisham, as well as some spooky Victorian maids.

'Miss Havisham' won the 'Best Youth' prize
This mother and daughter combo won 'Spookiest Adult and Youth'
The Gent on the left won 'Best Handmade' for his gorgeous frock coat
Dressing the table

I always buy plenty of luxury Christmas crackers when they go down to 90% off in January, choosing neutral colours that can be customised for various events throughout the year.  For Halloween I re-tied them with black satin ribbon and attached a plastic spider (spray painted silver) to the front of each. 

We are lucky that one of our downstairs rooms is quite large, so we can set up tables going the entire length of the room seating thirty guests.  A sheer black satin chiffon tablecloth was a great backdrop to the mainly silver colour scheme and I had made enough candles to ensure that we didn't need any electric lighting.

If you squint carefully at the pictures you might be able to spot our Halloween tree, decorated cloches, wall sconces and beaded fabric bunting.  Next year I might even get some photos of the dressed shelves and apothecary cabinets!

Next stop Christmas!


  1. Everything looks like great fun and the costumes are superb.I love Halloween. Really looking forward to seeing what you do for Christmas now. I am sure that it will be spectacular. Xx

  2. Wow! You really went to town and with fantastic results :)

  3. Wow, it looks like you all had a fab time. The costumes are great 'though a couple are a tad gruesome! Lol. xx

    1. Our ghoulish 'Victorian Maid' is actually a doctor, so I guess she has a stronger stomach than most! She and her daughter did look amazing x

  4. I meant to comment earlier - but what a great evening!! The costumes and decor are brilliant so sophisticated I bet the children really appreciated that rather than the halloween bits that the shops seem to fill up on!! It would be lovely to see more pictures if you have any xxx Brilliant!!!