It is fun to entertain! Here are all sorts of entertaining ideas for social gatherings of all kinds — large or small — including special and unique suggestions for weddings, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and other holidays. Many of the traditional forms of entertaining surrounding these social occasions given in the home have been modified by changing customs.
Victorian entertaining ideas regarding parties, table settings and menus, were established and followed through the years according to almost unbreakable rules. For your next special occasion, take some liberties with the games, decorations, Victorian food (including Victorian tea party food) and menus provided and create a new “tradition” for family or friends. Delicious recipes for a variety of large and small cakes and desserts, ranging from simple cookies to rich gateaux are featured. But also consider original Victorian cake recipes, that may have originally been written years ago, but can still work today.
One can find all of the old-fashioned cake recipes that our grandmothers loved to use, and they still taste great! Enjoy classic cake recipes — Queen cake, Lemon Cake, Gingerbread, Pound Cake, Seed Cake, Party Cakes, and more. Enjoy some best-loved desserts for every occasion from days gone by. Old-fashioned ice cream recipes offer a mouth-watering treat of real Victorian party food as a special treat from the past. Cooking with wine, beer and other alcohol in the 19th century was a common occurrence. Try some recipes with wine.
Hot Chocolate Recipes
Chocolate or cocoa was not only a beverage for a cold snowy day, but was a favorite luncheon beverage for Victorian ladies. Many, especially those who spent time abroad, also adopted the French habit of breakfasting upon rolls and a cup of hot chocolate. Make your own cup of hot chocolate with one of Baker’s Chocolate favorite recipes from 1886.
Entertain your guests with traditional Christmas entertaining ideas, Victorian food and menus including a Christmas dinner with a whimsical Christmas table decoration display. An afternoon Christmas tea features Christmas table decorations with paper lanterns, lots of greenery and flowers for a festive table. Plum pudding, a Christmas pudding, has been served on Christmas day for centuries, including Victorian recipes. Many a favorite plum pudding recipe has been handed down from generation to generation, which adds to the festivities of the holiday. For hundreds of years, eggnog has been as much a part of the holiday scene as holly and plum pudding. There is no more heart-warming sight at Christmas than an overflowing bowl of frothy eggnog, whether it is a non-alcoholic eggnog recipe or one of many alcoholic eggnog recipes spiked with your favorite rum or brandy. Prepare an authentic Victorian Christmas Dinner from oysters to pate, from turkey to quail, with punch, fancy cakes and coffee.
Read about the annual Victorian party, Twelth Night Gala, with Victorian food, manners, fashion, music and dancing.
Silverplate: Compare your collection of silverplate serving pieces with these images. Tiffany Tea Service:
Tiffany five-piece antique afternoon tea service. Elegant Napkin Folding:
Formal napkins were status symbols during the 18th century period and an important part of public table decoration.
Victorian Tea Party
Bring back an elegant pastime of the afternoon tea, an important social event for ladies in days gone by. Recreating a Victorian Tea Party with Victorian tea party food can be one of the most delightful and unique ideas in entertaining in today’s hectic lifestyle. A High Tea was a meal or supper, served on a high table, at the end of the workday, shortly after five PM. This menu is for a high tea served to a group or specifically for a gentlemen only party. For the younger guests, host a Teddy Bear Victorian Tea Party for children including chairs and place setting for each guest's teddy bear. A Road-Side Tea Room was a favorite stop for early automobile enthusiasts as eating on the road 100 years ago often included a stop for afternoon tea.
Instead of the ordinary holiday meal, try these Thanksgiving recipes as a novelty from the past for entertaining. Tired of the ‘same old, same old’? Serve a different entrée this year, one featured on a menu from one of the celebrated annual Thanksgiving Game Dinners at the Tremont House in Chicago. From 1855 to 1893, the annual game dinner was a greatly anticipated event for nearly 500 guests. This Thanksgiving menu is an example of the excessive Victorian opulence available to a gentleman of means during the 19th century. What happens after the Thanksgiving dinner when the men smoked their cigars in the dining room, and the women have exhausted family gossip and the subject of babies in the drawing-room?
Ideas for Halloween
Lots of Ideas for Halloween — parties, costumes, history, food and more! Have some old-fashioned fun! Read about Halloween myths and games played in the Victorian era. Have an old-fashioned Halloween! Visit historic houses and even a 19th century prison all decked out in scary Halloween themes. Have a 1920s theme Halloween party for friends. These entertaining ideas guarantee that no matter what other reactions your guests may have, they will certainly not be bored! Have a Victorian style Halloween luncheon or dinner—find recipes, menus, and fun entertaining ideas. Decorate with unique and eerie Halloween decorations that will mark the success of your Halloween party. Make colorful kids’ costumes from a vintage 1920s booklet that will entertain children of all ages.
Entertaining? Learn how to fold Victorian party napkins. Cotillion Party Favors Party favors especially for the cotillion season. Vintage Wedding Favors
Make your own wedding favors. For The Royal Table
Historic menus and recipes, show how the royal tradition of hospitality has marked coronations, cemented diplomatic relations and celebrated family weddings and christenings.
During the late nineteenth century Valentine's Day was celebrated with luncheons, teas, socials and fancy dress parties. Explore the history of the Valentine and view collections of early Valentines. Have an old-fashioned Valentine's Day party by creating your own crepe paper favors and decorations. Have a Valentine's Day luncheon with a "heart" menu.
Before Valentines could be purchased at a local store, lovers were constrained to construct their own special cards and prose. Materials for these Valentine Writers were a quill pen, a sheet of thick writing paper, and an acquaintance with the muse of poetry.