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How to celebrate Halloween as a grown up

Halloween is one of our favourite dates in the social calendar – fancy dress, buckets of sweets, pumpkin carving, spooky songs and general merriment with friends… what’s not to love?! 

Despite the scary vibe, Halloween is often seen as a celebration for children. But why should little ones have all the fun? 

We think there’s plenty of opportunity for grown-ups to join in the fun (and by ‘fun’, we don’t mean donning a pair of cat ears and hitting the club). Think gothic outfits, devilishly delicious cocktails and some spooky interior touches for your home. 

Read on for Halloween party ideas that are perfect for an adults only vibe. 

Dress drop dead gorgeously

Ok, so we know Halloween is all about silly costumes… but in the interest of sustainability (and style), we’re looking at pieces that have gothic elements but can easily be worn after Halloween too. 

Rather than blowing your budget on a synthetic costume that won’t last past midnight, look through your current wardrobe to create a spooky style from your own clothes. 

Deep shades like black, green and purple will work well, and a splash of orange will give you those pumpkin vibes!

Once you’ve got the basis of an outfit, you can add fun accessories to spook it up a bit. Victoriana-style lace is a great way to bring that gothic feel to your outfit, and these tights will look fab paired with a floaty dress. 

If you’re looking for some autumn/winter shoes anyway, why not make them work for Halloween as well as the rest of the season? We love these patent leather brogues. 

And if you can’t resist adding to your clothing collection, this blood red embroidered cotton shirt is goth girl perfection. 

Finish off with a slick of deep purple lipstick, a smoky eye and a messy, undone up-do. And if you do feel the need to get a bit more traditionally Halloween, this orange striped top could form the perfect pumpkin costume!


Serve up a scary selection

If you’re having friends round for a Halloween gathering this year, you can give your food and drink offering a spooky theme without being too childish. 

We’re not talking cold spaghetti ‘guts’ or peeled grape ‘eyeballs’ here (as enjoyable as they are), but more a grown-up menu with a touch of Halloween pizzaz.

Creative Halloween cocktails 

Getting creative with cocktails is a great way to keep the theme of your party running right through it, and it’s pretty easy to whip up some Halloween style drinks. Serve these spooky mixes up in gothic goblets like these. 


The Grasshopper


  • Ice
  • 25ml crème de menthe
  • 25ml white crème de cacao
  • 25ml single cream

To garnish

  • Mint sprig
  • 25g melted chocolate


  1. Start with the garnish – take a sprig of mint, strip off the leaves at the base and dip the stalk in melted chocolate. Leave to set on a plate.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then pour in the liquors and cream. Shake hard until the outside of the shaker is cold, then strain into a cocktail glass. Add the garnish and enjoy!


Halloween punch


  • 2l cherry juice
  • 200ml vodka
  • Peel from 3 oranges
  • 1 thumb-sized red chilli, pierced but left whole
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cloves
  • 6 slices ginger
  • Dracula’s fang sweets


  1. Add the cherry juice, orange peel, chilli, cinnamon sticks, cloves and ginger to a large saucepan
  2. Simmer for five minutes then turn off the heat. 
  3. Leave to cool then chill for four hours.
  4. When ready to serve, pour the juice into a jug and add the vodka. 
  5. Serve in glass bottles with a straw and a fang sweet hanging from each one.


A freaky feast for Halloween 

So you’ve themed your drinks – what about your food? If you’re going for casual nibbles at your adults’ Halloween party, you can bring a bit of creepy culinary flare without too much extra effort. Take a look at these recipe ideas…

Halloween cheeseboard with creepy crackers


  • Selection of cheeses including orange, blue-veined, white and – if you can find it – a charcoal-coated variety
  • Figs, black grapes and celery

For the creepy crackers

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • Black food colouring


  1. Heat the oven to 220c/200c fan/gas 7. 
  2. Mix the olive oil with 60ml water and put into a bowl with the flour, salt, sugar, sesame seeds and a few drops of the food colouring. 
  3. Mix with your hands until you have a rough dough.
  4. Sprinkle flour onto a piece of baking parchment, roll the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin, then use a pizza cutter to slice into skinny strips. 
  5. Brush the strips with water and sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds. 
  6. Prick each strip with a fork.
  7. Put the parchment onto a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 mins. Leave to cool. 
  8. Arrange your cheeses, fruit and crackers on a serving board, adding some decorative pumpkins or leaves for effect.


Halloween toffee apples


  • 8 red apples
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • Red or black food colouring
  • Red or black food glitter
  • 8 lolly sticks


  1. Push the sharpest end of each lolly stick into the stalk-end of each apple. 
  2. Put a large piece of baking parchment onto a wooden board.
  3. Tip the sugar into a large saucepan and add the lemon juice and 100ml water. 
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved. 
  5. Swirl the pan to move the sugar around without stirring. 
  6. Add the golden syrup and bubble the mixture (be careful it doesn’t boil over) until it reaches 150c. 
  7. Drip in some food colouring and swirl to combine. 
  8. Add the glitter and turn off the heat.
  9. Dip each apple into the toffee, tipping the pan to cover all the skin. 
  10. Lift out and let the excess drip off, then put on the baking parchment. 
  11. Eat on the same day for best results!


Create a terrifying tablescape

To really impress your guests, a spooky-yet-stylish tablescape will set the scene for your Halloween high jinx and provide the perfect background to your food and drinks. Just think of the Instagram opportunities!

Create your terrifying tablescape by starting with a tablecloth – we love this bright pumpkin orange, or if you’re going for a moody gothic vibe, this deep burgundy cloth is spot on. 

If you want to upgrade your crockery, these rich green plates are a great buy. Build your tablescape by adding green linen napkins, antique candlesticks and a vintage-style dried flower display. 

Add tapered candles to your holders, dot a few pumpkins around and serve up your Halloween feast. 


Have a horror movie night

If you don’t really fancy the rigmarole of a full-on party, why not go for a cosy horror movie night instead? You can still put on a snack spread – just move it to the coffee table so you don’t have to leave your spot on the sofa at a crucial moment! 

Keep your outfits casual, line up a spooky movie franchise like Scream or Halloween and dim the lights for the ultimate effect. 

And if you can’t resist a theme, go for these pumpkin velvet cushions and green wool blanket to bring the Halloween look to your sofa space. 


Now you’re all set for your grown-up Halloween party, all that’s left to do is enjoy it! For more seasonal styling ideas, take a look at our blog post on autumn interiors. 
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