Interiors expert Anna Jacobsen (aka @weareherenow) on how to set the spooky theme – no fake cobwebs allowed...
1. Get the colour right. Swap bright-orange hues for moody shades of teal, black, dark grey, forest green or autumnal plum.
2. Create an eerie atmosphere with candles. Use antique wooden candlesticks or, for a cheaper option, wine bottles will do the trick. Start burning those candles now, as layers of wax add an extra-spooky look. Swap black candles for white ones, too.
3. For a rustic autumnal feel, collect colourful leaves outside and scatter across the dining table – a simple grey tablecloth is the ideal backdrop. Snip some branches and pop in a vase for a chic centrepiece.
4. Replace traditional pumpkin carving styles for edgy graphic shapes, such as circles and zigzags.
5. Greet your guests with a moody door wreath. The most impactful ones are made with naked branches.
Former pâtissière turned marshmallowist Ooonagh Simms (aka @themarshmallowist) says it’s all about the DIY mallows...
1. Make a spiced rum by mixing apple juice, fiery ginger beer and a dash of citrus. Then toast a marshmallow until caramelised. Use as a playful garnish for welcome drinks.
2. Melt marshmallows in a hot pan. Add a shot of your favourite tipple – gin or rum work really well. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag, cut off the tip, then holding the bag firmly, squeeze into soft swirls with a peak. You’ll soon have a tray of marshmallow ‘ghosts’. Use black food colouring to dot in two spooky eyes!
3. Sprinkle your mallows with spicy chilli flakes, serve with a shot of tequila and a squeeze of lime. Very Mexican Día de Muertos!
4. For my mallow take on a pumpkin pie, I roast the pumpkin, then scoop out the flesh to make a rich purée filling. Mix with ginger and cinnamon, and smooth into a shortcrust pastry case. Save the seeds to caramelise and sprinkle on top, along with some toasted marshmallows.
Food artist Sam Bompas of Bompas & Parr (@bompasandparr) gives us five steps to being a party pro...
1. Make it seem like the room is full of people. The best feasts have a bustling tavern atmosphere. If you’re worried about not having enough guests, move all your furniture into your feasting room. It’ll feel packed and can double as a fun assault course for everyone.
2. Use a smoke machine. Why shouldn’t your party feel like a film set or rock tour?
3. Hollow out miniature pumpkins, then freeze them and use as kooky drinking glasses.
4. Cook a pig’s head and trotters. It’s a wow centrepiece and you get a lot of bang for your buck. In the past, we’ve used the cooked trotters as table props. The possibilities are endless.
5. Get the games going. Do alcohol-based apple bobbing or play ‘Edward Forty Hands’ – pair up partygoers with their hands taped together holding
a can of cheap brew. The first to finish the beer wins.