Sunday 11th October 2015

Anyone who says Halloween should be the reserve of teeny children in ghostly bed sheets just hasn’t been to the right grown-up party. Bowls of bloody punch, novelty playlists, grisly canapés and the opportunity to wear a wig are just some of the reasons why we love throwing a proper party on 31st October. Read below our ideas on how to make a fabulously frightful bash!

This is what our lovely intern Lucy would do for her goulish night:


1) Drive way lit with pumpkins

2) Glowing candlelight grave yard at the front

3) Décor to be OTT dark glamour - jewels, chandeliers, candle sticks, large black rose bouquets etc…

4) Jammed with fabrics/drapes, gold string cobwebs, candles, gemmed skulls

5) All crockery to be matt black

6) Dim white lighting and red spotlights 

7) Haunted house in the main house – ground floor: silhouettes of figures made from lights, smoke machines, glow in the dark footprint trail upstairs that leads to main dance floor with DJ

8) Zombie ball room dancing

9) Coffin bar

10) All drinks to be cocktails – include blood, eyeballs, smoke, flames etc; generally loads of gruesome extras added in for effect

11) Sit down meal with zombie/wounded waiters

12) Canapés of body parts

14) Red ink henna bar

Slightly twisted Lucy but we like it! Next up we hear from our Smart Hospitality Manchester chefs on what they would serve for a haunting treat...


This brain recipe as a centre piece will not only freak your guests out, it tastes ghoulishly good too... 


Panna cotta:

375ml double cream

375 milk

1x Madagascan vanilla bean

115g caster sugar

6 1/2 leaves of gelatine 

Blood clot coulis: 

500g fresh raspberries

5 tablespoons is icing sugar

50ml lemon juice 

Brain mould


Place the cream and milk in a heavy bottom sauce pan, Use a small sharp knife to split the vanilla bean lengthways, then scrape out the seeds from inside the bean. Add the seeds and bean to the saucepan of cream, Slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat, Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

Discard vanilla bean from cream mixture. Add sugar and return to a low heat. Cook and stir for 5 minutes until sugar dissolves.

Place the gelatine leaves in cold water until softened, drain gelatine from water add to cream mixture until dissolved 

Let mixture cool slightly then pour into brain mould. Refrigerate for a minimum of four hours! 

To make the coulis mix lemon juice and icing sugar together until it forms a paste, mix in raspberries and crush with a spoon, pass 1/2 of the mix through a sieve to remove some of seeds but leaving some raspberries chunky to represent the clots. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours before serving. 

To serve the panna cotta dip the mould into warm water turn out onto a serving plate and shake to release, cover with blood clot coulis. 

It’s not a Halloween party without a drop of something potent. Big bowls of punch will save you time pouring individual drinks for guests. Choose gloomy shades of blood-like red.



350ml dark rum

1L cranberry juice

1L ginger ale


Chill the rum, juice and ginger ale until nice and cold. Pour everything into a punch bowl, or divide into jugs, top up with lots of ice and serve.