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Halloween is one of my favourite times of year: the perfect autumn celebration in the run-up to the festive pandemonium of Christmas. Halloween can be looked at as a North American celebration today, but the roots of the Celtic festivities, formally known as Samhain, are deeply planted in Ireland, the UK and northern France. Halloween has gained momentum over the past years, with parties, trick-or-treating and decorations. The possibilities of costumes and props are endless, but I’m going to share with you my take on the eerie night.

How To Pull Off The Perfect Halloween Party

When it comes to decorating or planning an event, I don’t like to necessarily do the expected, or if I choose to, I always elevate and go all out on the details. But in this instance, for Halloween, I like to combine the beauty of autumn to the spookiness of October 31st. I love incorporating as much nature as possible, not only because of the gorgeous colours and textures, but also as a reminder of where and why Halloween even existed in the first place (the day marked the end of the summer harvest). Combine leaves, flowers, berries and pussy willow in your décor, either as centre pieces or scattered around the area. Make sure to have multiple pumpkins, which can be carved, painted or naked, displayed around, with even the inclusion of a carving station, where guests can create their own piece of pumpkin art.

How To Pull Off The Perfect Halloween Party

How To Pull Off The Perfect Halloween Party

You can also incorporate some more scary elements such as ghosts, blood and skeletons, but in a cute and friendly way, such as illustrated balloons, subtle makeup and of course, food. Don’t shy away from amusing food, such as skeleton iced cookies, cranberry juice vampire shots (with added vodka if it’s adults only), strawberries coated in white chocolate ghosts or simply, stick edible eyes on pretty much anything. Make the most of the great decorations offered by supermarkets and online retailers to make your party food stand out. Another recipe, which is always a success and is easy to make is the severed finger hot dog. You need a hot dog bun, a cooked frankfurter sausage and sliced almonds. Simply cut out a groove in the end of the sausage and position the almond slice as a nail. Place the sausage in the bun and liberally cover with blood (Ketchup). Voila! It’s always a conversation starter.

How To Pull Off The Perfect Halloween Party

How To Pull Off The Perfect Halloween Party

What I love about Halloween is that it’s for everyone to be creative and have fun, no matter how you approach it. It doesn’t need to be gruesome and scary: if that’s your thing, go right ahead and invest in all the fake blood and terrifying props your heart desires; maybe even create your own haunted house in the garden! But for those who still want to celebrate the day and aren’t fans of horror and skeletons, you still can. Strip Halloween back to its bare bones (pun intended) and celebrate the autumnal beauty that brings it back round every year.

How To Pull Off The Perfect Halloween Party

Image credits
www.seventeen.com
www.decorandstyle.co.uk
www.cosmpolitan.co.u
kwww.pinterest.com
www.countryliving.com

For 15 years, my family and I have spent each summer on the French Atlantic coast. More specifically, Ile de Ré, a small island merely a bridge away from La Rochelle. Let’s have a look at our latest post in The Travel Diaries series…

The Travel Diaries: Île de Ré

A regular feature in summertime trendy hotspots, Ile de Ré distinguishes itself by its unique vibe and casual chic nature. Unlike other holiday beach destinations, this island isn’t about partying the night away in clubs, yachts, champagne and private beaches. On the contrary, its all about family, cycling/surfing, eating local seafood while wearing stripy sailor tops and near-empty wild beaches.

The Travel Diaries: Île de Ré

One of the main components of Ile de Ré’s charm is the uniformity of the island and the way it has been protected by the local authorities. There is no graffiti, no traffic lights, no advertising other than local events, regulated architecture and over 100 km of cycle paths. The island has not always lived from tourism though and continues to generate income from other activities, with the most notable being salt.

The Travel Diaries: Île de Ré

Rétais salt marshes produce a high quality regular salt, but also fleur de sel (flower of salt), which is the finest most delicate salt of all. The north of the island is filled with active salt marshes and when you cycle by you can see the pyramid-shaped piles of salt between the sections of the marsh. Local donkeys, baudets du Poitou used to work in the marshes and in order to protect their legs from the mosquitos and salt, they wore handcrafted trousers, which can still be seen during donkey rides in the island capital of St Martin.

The Travel Diaries: Île de Ré

Fishing and oyster farming are also a huge part of the islands life and the seafood there is truly unparalleled. It can take almost an hour to cross the entire island, depending on traffic, from the first village in the south to the Phare des Baleines (Whales Lighthouse) at the northern tip of the island. At the foot of this lighthouse, there is each year a jazz festival that brings together incredible performers such as Earth, Wind & Fire and Jimmy Cliff, who play for a handful of attendees by the Atlantic Ocean. The villages also each hold firework shows for Bastille Day and other occasions, as well as hosting nightly markets and bands, complete with dancing on the port.

The Travel Diaries: Île de Ré

I could wax lyrical about this small piece of land for hours and don’t think Id ever run out of things to say. There truly is something for everyone and now, you need to go and discover it for yourself.

The Travel Diaries: Île de Ré

Read more of our Travel Diaries on the La Fête Blog here.

Summer is in full swing and whether you live by the water or not, you can definitely host a beach party. It’s the perfect occasion to bring together all the great elements of the beach and more: think mermaids and funky props that will transport you to a different world.

Beach Party Moodboard

My take on a beach party is pastels pastels pastels: lots of lilacs, blues, pinks and minty greens, which modernise classic seaside elements. Deckchairs are the obvious seating choice, but opt for either sturdy, traditional striped ones, or more delicate, fashion-forward ones with original fabrics. The code word here is pretty: you want every detail to be picture perfect and an embodiment of summer spirit. For decoration, go for under the sea inspirations, like jelly fish, starfish, seashells and you can even throw in artificial flamingos and other birds, as their feathers and colours will add even more fun to your party.

Fun and Fabulous Beach Party Inspiration

Food-wise, fish and chips is a classic beachside treat, but change it up by wrapping it in star print paper and serve it alongside some chilled white/rosé wine, or champagne if you’re feeling particularly decadent. Follow it by a 99p cone with a flake, but for ultimate success, choose a rich, creamy ice cream, such as a Cornish cream flavour as opposed to classic vanilla.

When looking at current trends, mermaids play a big part in pop culture and where better to include them than a beach party? Incorporate scales and tails in cakes and as standalone decorative pieces, or go further and hire an actual mermaid to entertain guests: a guaranteed hit if children will be present. Hiring a mermaid can be particularly effective if you’re hosting on an actual beach or with a big enough swimming pool, where she can showcase her (silicone) tail and swimming skills.

Fun and Fabulous Beach Party Inspiration

Speaking of venues, you can of course host this party anywhere, as enough decoration and detail can set the scene effectively: you can even have sand pits or sandy areas so that guests can build sand castles. Just make sure that there is a base underneath or plastic sheeting so that clean up won’t be too taxing afterwards. If you’re hosting around a swimming pool, you can incorporate mermaid/seashell shaped lilos, floating exotic flowers and if the party continues into the evening, floating tea lights.

Fun and Fabulous Beach Party Inspiration

But of course, a real beach is ideal: one where you can even build rainbow coloured beach huts to host the activities and food stations and even, with local permission, build a fire pit to gather all your guests around as a way to wind down the event.
The options are truly infinite: think about hosting a yearly beach party with a different theme each time. It will let your creativity and imagination run wild!

Fun and Fabulous Beach Party Inspiration

If you’re looking for even more wonderful wedding inspiration or party planning ideas, take a look at the La Fête blog here.

Images credits:
Fish & chips: Ebabee Likes
Pretzels: Creative Events
Bottles: Kara’s Party Ideas