Dress your dining table for a refined spooky party

White small pumpkin on plate with gold edge

Hosting a Halloween themed dinner party but want to ditch predictable orange pumpkins and spider webs for something a little more elegant? Take a seat on the dining bench (or one of your upholstered dining chairs maybe?) and take a look at these spooky inspired options.

White, glitter, gold

White, glitter and gold aren’t just for weddings or Christmas. They are perfect for Halloween too as this photo illustrates. Swap orange pumpkins for white pumpkins (some squashes are white, if not, just paint them with an oil-based paint) and match this with a linen tablecloth and pristine white linen napkins too. Paint three larger pumpkins white and use them as the centrepiece for your 6-seater dining table.

White pumpkin on plate

Add candles and polished glassware along with gold cutlery to finish this beautiful reclaimed wood dining table – one that is sure to attract the admiration of your diners.

With decorative mirrors also reflecting the light around the space, this is a real grown-up theme for an elegant and grown-up Halloween party. Don’t forget to add a few well-placed accessories to the large sideboard in your dining room to create a brilliant backdrop.

The beauty of painted pumpkins

Having said that, it’s hard to ignore orange pumpkins entirely. There is something about orange pumpkins that is truly traditional to how to celebrate Halloween in the UK. Pumpkin is an autumn vegetable and in abundant supply across supermarkets and high street grocers too. Easily grown, there are some huge pumpkins that make for fantastic decorations.

2 painted pumpkins

Usually, we empty the flush and carve the skin, adding a tealight candle or two to give a flickering eerie backdrop to the face carved in it. But how about ringing the changes and painting on your pumpkins.

You’ll need to use an oil-based paint that will dry on the pumpkin flesh (water-based paint simply runs off) or if that proves too expensive, use chunky felt tip or permanent marker pens. Take inspiration from other cultures who celebrate not just Halloween but similar festivals, such as brightly colours skulls of Mexico’s Festival of the Dead in late October/early November.

They make a great addition to a table! Match the colours with a neutral backdrop, however, sticking with a white linen tablecloth and napkins.

Make the food the star

When it comes to a Halloween party, you can have great fun with food. You don’t have to have the skills of Heston Blumenthal and his smoking food to make a statement. Simple tips, such as adding natural food colouring gives food a different look.

People holding glasses

Aside from red wine, you can create red coloured fruit juices for drinks, as well as a few cocktails for getting the most from the evening. There are hundreds of recipes out there but if you can still get your hands on a watermelon, whizz this with icing sugar and a few other red coloured berries – strawberries and raspberries both have strong colours – to create a refreshing but typical blood-red Halloween drink. If you want a depth of red, add beetroot colouring powder to it. A dash of vodka wouldn’t go amiss either…