The witch’s inn

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Special Occasions

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Some say that the point of this freakish, bizarre event is to remind us to be adventurous, bold and daring and not to get wrapped up in the everyday routine of being normal.

Part of the fun of Halloween for me is definitely decorating the house. It is the best time to embrace the rich autumn colours and add a bit of gruesome gaiety with some Halloween trimmings.

Here are a few ideas for a positively frightening affair appropriate for any witch’s hovel.

SPOOKY BAT MOBILE:

Bats are the new black cats.

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Sadly I can’t take credit for this idea. It came from none other than Martha Stewart http://www.marthastewart.com/925290/bat-mobile. All you need is:

  • Branch
  • Black card
  • Thread

The template for the bats is available on the Martha Stewart website. I used a white branch instead of a black branch simply because it was all that I could find when shopping but I think it is a little more versatile as it can double as a base for a Christmas decoration in a few weeks time.

I hung the bat mobile over the window but I think it would look great on the wall as a centrepiece hanging above a glow of candles and decorations. I just used some thread to suspend it over the window. It is a bit fiddly as you need to wrap the thread around the branches to make sure it is secure but it is worth it as it gives the impression of a mystical bat sanctuary floating in the air. The bats move in the breeze which (after a few large glasses of wine) makes you think that the swarming bats are ready to set off at any time!

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BLOOD DRIPPED CANDLES:

A towering trophy of a witch’s blood curdling conquests. In vogue in any witch’s abode.

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These blood dripped candles are so simple and so effective when standing tall in any Halloween display. All you have to do is light a red candle and tip it over the top and sides of the white candle allowing the red wax to drip down like blood. I tend to do this twice so that the red wax looks really vibrant. The wax hardens and cools relatively quickly so they will be ready for use almost immediately. Make sure to put down some newspaper when making the candles though to catch any stray drops of red wax.

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PETRIFYING PUMPKINS:

All witches need a spotlight for creating their potions and these pumpkins provide the perfect sinsister glow.

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There are a number of different pumpkin carving templates on the internet. These are useful as you can just trace on the design or alternatively you can go wild and do it all free hand. I just used a pen to draw out my design and then used a knife to carve out the shapes.

There are a number of carving tools that you can buy. I just used a knife and spoon. This makes curved designs a little more tricky but just take your time, gently piercing through the skin and flesh and the pumpkin will gradually take shape.

Surround the pumpkins with a variety of candles and a smaller munchkin pumpkin to bulk up the display. The candles adds some extra light and the white pumpkin makes adds a contrasting colour making the spider jump right out.

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Just one thing to remember – the pumpkins don’t last too long so best not to carve them too early or you will end up with shrivelled up skin and mushy flesh by the time the big event arrives.

COBWEB COVERED FLOWERS:

Even a witch’s quarters have flowers albeit an appropriately aged arrangement.

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You could use dying flowers for this but I think it works well using dark flowers. Both have dramatic effect though so pick as you please. Either way, I like to add some browning leaves for an extra autumnal (and suitably bewitching) feel.

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To make the web, just get some old white tights (if you should have such a thing in your cupboard) or buy a cheap pair. The thinner the better. Cut out a square section. Then let loose with some scissors (on the tights only) and ladder them to smithereens. A key also works well to create the rips. If the material is really thin then you can pull it apart with you hands. Keep working at it until it becomes wispy and resembles cobwebs. Then stretch the material over the flowers. Depending on the thickness of the material, you might need to stretch it a fair bit.

Place the arrangement on any table for a creepy creation.

CAULDRON DUNKED CHOCOLATE APPLES:

Some spell-binding treats for the superstitious.

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Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without chocolate apples. My Mum always used to make these when we were younger. For mine, I have topped some with honeycomb pieces, white chocolate stars and chocolate coated popping candy and others with multicoloured sugar coated chocolate chips. These are great for Halloween but would also make a fabulous addition to a Bon Fire night party.

A couple of final tips:

  • Orange tea lights add a nice colour coordinated flare.
  • Use small bowls or dishes and fill with shop-bought or homemade chocolate treats. Just be careful not to eat them all!

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Happy haunting!

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The Author

I am a food lover with a passion for cooking and entertaining inspired by two very special grandmothers and a fabulous mum. I recently moved to London which has provided a plethora of new places, cultures and fascinations to stir up some underlying creativity. My hope is to share some cooking and entertaining ideas which I like and others seem to like too. I will also throw in the odd bit of Scottish flare to make sure I maintain my true braveheart roots. Hope you enjoy!

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