Gothic Dinner Party

If you are looking for a totally different way of entertaining your guests then step back 160 years to the Victorian Gothic Period and entertain with a flamboyant gothic table setting, a gothic inspired menu, gothic party games with prizes and some good classical music.

To recreate the 1850's I used a lot of silver and crystal pieces for this party.  While I had or borrowed many pieces I managed to find a lot of wonderful vintage silver and crystal at both thrift and vintage stores. This was a real party, all meals and menus are included within this post.

To really set the gothic theme I created a series of Gothic Party Games which are featured in this post and some core printables which added colour to the black, silver and white theme. 

The Gothic Party Games and Printables will soon be available from our on-line shop. While this was a dinner party, it would work really well as a Gothic Wedding.

Gothic party

This was a real party for eight, everyone arrived dressed beautifully in vintage styled attire to enjoy an evening of decadence and frivolity.

Gothic Party Table setting

The Table

I used tiny pedestal silver goblets that were placed then on a larger silver pedestal tray for height.  They were used for a very Victorian Sherry during the evening.

Gothic Party - Silver Sherry goblets

Vintage silver salt, pepper and mustard looked great on a pedestal crystal dish.

Gothic Party - Vintage Silver Pieces

To fit the period I used crystal glasses for this party and complimented with crystal and silver decanters. The Chairs were wrapped with Tulle and a vintage silver napkin ring secured the tulle in place.

Gothic Party - Table style

I used small vintage style black photo frames for name place holders, and embellished basic silver charges with press on crystals.  For this occasion I did use my Black Laguiole flatware which was just perfect for this party. 

Gothic Party - Place Setting

The Name Place Holders and Napkin rings will shortly be available from our on-line shop.  They provided some vital colour to a very Black and Silver evening.

Gothic Party - Printable Products

I used silver coasters under all the glassware, these were easy to find in vintage stores.

Gothic Party - Glass ware

I styled a side board with pieces appropriate to the period, this included a selection of books available in 1850s and Vintage Globe book ends.

Gothic Party - Novels appropriate to the period

I did include a small number of Halloween pieces but only included what could pass as taxidermy or sculptures.

Gothic Party Decorations

I displayed the menu on the sideboard and used the same style frame as the place holders.

Gothic Dinner Party - Framed Menu

The Menu

After much internal debate I settled on a menu of "normal" dish's made to look gothic, I included lots of red dishes and different shapes but everything was very edible.   The menu will soon be available for sale in our store.

Gothic Dinner Party Menu

For starters (selection of holy relics) I included four courses that were served as tasting plates.  The first starter was a wonderful Oyster Shooter served in a crystal sherry glass with a small rat.

Selection of Holy Relics - Oyster Shooters

The next starter was a petite bloody Mary served in petite stemmed glasses and served on a vintage silver tray.

Selection of Holy Relics - Bloody Mary

Our third starter was Prawn with green olive aioli.  These were served in a small cut glass and silver cup on a silver serving tray.

Gothic Dinner Party - Prawn with Green Olive Aioli

The final starter was a simple Bacon and Tomato on Toast, the toast was cut into a crucifix using a cookie cutter.

Gothic Dinner Party - Bacon and Tomato Crucifix

We included a soup course (Broth of sewer Rat served with dead mens' fingers).  This was a warm Borscht served with Italian Bread sticks with almond sliver finger nails.

Gothic Dinner Party - Borscht with Italian Bread

All good Victorian Parties included a palette cleanser. I settled on a dark red Cherry Sorbet, these were served in vintage silver goblets with vintage collectable tea spoons.

Gothic Dinner Party - Cherry Sorbet

The main meal (Rack of suckling Wolf served with Brains and Veins) consisted of a herb crusted rack of Lamb with root vegetables cut into crucifixes.  The Brains were provided via a Cauliflower Smash made in a plastic brain mould and the veins were simple green beans with garlic and butter.

Gothic Dinner Party - Herb Crusted rack of Lamb

Both the Ladies and Gentlemen received a different dessert of Panna Cotta (Breast of Troll and Eye of Ogre).  I used red and blue jelly as the base of the Panna Cotta and food dye as paint.  Final touches included some well placed jewellery.

Gothic Dinner Party - Panna Cotta Breast

Gothic Dinner Party - Panna Cotta Troll Eye

Dessert was served with strawberry and blueberry sauce (fresh plasma).  This was served on ice in test tubes

Gothic Dinner Party - Fresh Plasma

The Games

I incorporated a number of games into this party that were all in line with the period.  To avoid shock on the night of the party I provided details of the games as part of the invitation.  The games included;

  • Each Couple was allocated a famous couple of the 1850 and part of the night was spent in Character.
  • We had Poetry readings of the Raven
  • Various "guess who" games based on household objects from the 1850s or occupations from the 1850s.

I used a small table at the party that held everything I needed to run the games

The party games, including full invitation instructions have been produced as a Gothic Game Package which will soon be available from our shop.

  Gothic Party - Games

Gothic Party - Games

I used a black velvet canteen to store everything required for the Gothic Games during the evening

  Gothic Dinner Party - Games

Gothic Dinner Party - Games

For this Party I played Queen Victoria and proudly wore my tiara while in character.  I created a number of prizes for guests including the best Poetry Recital.

  Gothic Dinner Party - Game Prize

Gothic Dinner Party - Game Prize

  Gothic Dinner Party - Games

Gothic Dinner Party - Games

The invitations were delivered a few weeks in advance, I used my youngest child dressed as a Royal Messenger to deliver the invitation and details for the Games.  

  Gothic Dinner Party - Invitation

Gothic Dinner Party - Invitation

  Gothic Dinner Party - Royal Messenger

Gothic Dinner Party - Royal Messenger

The Party

And yes, this was a real party and my guests all went to so much trouble to source wonderful custumes for the evening.  They all looked absolutely splendid.

  Gothic Dinner Party - party in action

Gothic Dinner Party - party in action

I created a relaxed Victorian drawing room to serve starters and Cheese before the main affair commenced.

  Gothic Dinner party - party in action

Gothic Dinner party - party in action

The Recipes

For this Gothic Dinner Party I opted for a menu I knew people would like and served it in a way to look "gothic".  I included a lot of red dishes and used shapes to depict a gothic scene.

While the recipes were not difficult it did require a good plan to ensure the meals hit the table on time.  I also asked different guests to assist with plating the various courses and this was invaluable help.

How I approached the cooking.

  • Some of these ingredients will not be available at your local supermarket, try asian food stores and shop well in advance of the party.
  • The Shooter liquid must be made two to three days in advance.
  • Prepare Bloody Mary's late morning of the day of the party
  • Prepare the Green Olive Aioli the morning of the party
  • Prepare the Panna Cotta on the day before
  • Prepare the strawberry and blueberry sauces the morning of the party
  • Prepare the Herb crust the afternoon of the party
  • Make sure the table is dressed the day before the party
  • Have all serving ware close at hand and ready to use.

 

  Gothic Dinner Party - Oyster Shooters

Gothic Dinner Party - Oyster Shooters

Oyster Shots

(Part of the Holy Relics)

Ingredients

  • Dozen Oysters
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 1 litre Mirin
  • 250 ml Sake
  • 80 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 50 ml light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons wasabi powder

Method

  • Place the miring and sake in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.  Once boiling light a match and burn off the alcohol (be careful).  Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Once cool transfer to a glass jug.
  • Add the rice wine, soy sauce and wasabi powder.
  • Stir until the wasabi has completely dissolved.
  • Store upright in the fridge for 2 days to allow the sediment to sink

To Serve

  • Place an Oyster in each Crystal sherry Glass 
  • carefully fill with the shooter mix
  • The Oyster should float, if required use a small spoon to bring the Oyster to the surface.
  • Place a small amount of Wasabi on each Oyster.
  • Position Shooter Glasses on a silver tray and add a rat for effect
  Gothic Dinner Party - Bloody Mary's

Gothic Dinner Party - Bloody Mary's

Bloody Mary's

(Part of the Holy Relics)

Ingredients

  • 500 ml chilled tomato juice
  • 4 tablespoons Vodka
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch pepper

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in a sealed bottle in the fridge.

To serve

  1. Pour into small long stemmed glasses
  2. Place on a silver tray 
  3. Add a Rat or Spider to the tray
  Gothic Dinner Party - Prawns with Green Olive Aioli

Gothic Dinner Party - Prawns with Green Olive Aioli

Prawns with Green Olive Aioli

(Part of the Holy Relics)

Ingredients

  • 20 green prawns, peeled with tails intact
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup whole egg mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green olives
  • 1 tablespoon baby capers
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • sea salt and pepper

Method

  1. To make the Aioli, place the mayonnaise, olives, capers, crushed garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well.  Cover and store in the fridge for serving
  2. Place the prawns, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Allow to marinate for 5 - 10 minutes.
  4. Cook prawns in a large pan with olive oil for about two minutes each side

To Serve.

  1. Place the Olive Aioli in the bottom of a glass or cup
  2. Add two prawns per person
  3. Place on a silver tray
  4. Add a Rat or spider 
  Gothic Dinner Party Toasted Bacon and Tomato

Gothic Dinner Party Toasted Bacon and Tomato

Toasted Tomato and bacon

(Part of the Holy Relics)

Ingredients

  • 1 Pane Di Case bread cut to toast
  • 4 rashed of Bacon
  • 4 large Cherry Tomatos

ethod

  1. Heat oven to 180 C
  2. Cut the bread into crosses using a cross cookie cutter
  3. Cut the bacon into strips, equal length and width to the cross and lay on the bread
  4. Cut the centre slice (widest part) from the cherry tomato and place in the centre of the cross
  5. Place on a tray in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes

To Serve

  • Serve on a silver tray
  • Add a rat or spider
  Gothic Dinner Party - Borscht with Italian Bread Sticks

Gothic Dinner Party - Borscht with Italian Bread Sticks

Borscht with Italian Bread Sticks

(Broth of sewer Rat & Dead Mans fingers)

Ingredients

  • 600 - 700 grams beetroot
  • 500g ripe tomatos 
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 125g greek Feta
  • 2 packets of Italian Bread Sticks (1 plain and I sesame
  • Almond slivers
  • Red gel Pen

Method

  1. Heat Oven to 180 C
  2. Half the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and salt  and roast for 25 - 30 minutes
  3. Finely chop the onion and fry in the remaining oil until soft.
  4. Grate the beetroot and add to the onion mixture with the stock and bring to the boil, season and boil for 8 - 10 minutes or until the beetroot is tender.
  5. Stir in the tomato, and transfer to a blender to process until completely smooth.
  6. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

To Serve

  1. Break the Italian Breadsticks in half and attach the almond sliver using the red gel.  Make sure the gel is visible to look like a bloody finger nail
  2. Tie 3 Fingers together using black ribbon.
  3. Reheat the borscht and divide between pedestal crystal bowls (I used the bowls traditionally used for Ice Cream).
  4. Crumble Feta over the top
  5. Place the Borscht, Italian Bread and a rat on a plate to serve.

 

  Gothic Dinner Party - Cherry Sorbet

Gothic Dinner Party - Cherry Sorbet

Cherry Sorbet

(Sorbet of blood letting leech)

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cherries (I used bottled)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Caster sugar

Method

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Place mixture in a shallow cake tin, cover with cling wrap and freeze
  3. Every 1 hour stir the mixture to break up any ice crystals

To Serve

  1. Remove from the freezer about 1 hour before required, as it starts to melt stir the mixture. If it melts to fast, return to the freezer.
  2. Place Sorbet is silver goblets and serve with an ornate collectable tea spoon

 

 Gothic Dinner Party - Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Gothic Dinner Party - Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Herb Crusted Rack of lamb

(Rack of suckling Wolf)

Ingredients

  • 4 racks of lamb (3 - 4 per person)
  • Olive Oil
  • Potatoes (4 to 8) *
  • Pumpkin
  • Beetroots (4 to 8)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons English Mustard
  • 8 Slices of day old Bread 
  • two bunches of parsley
  • 1 bunch corriander
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 4 Rosemary Sprigs
  • 100g Parmesan Cheese, Freshly grated

Method

  1. Heat Oven to 200.  
  2. Peel the Potatoes, Beetroot and pumpkin.  Slice approximately 1.5 cm wide and using a cross cookie cutter cut cross shapes from all three vegetables. *I used a larger cross for the Potato and a smaller cross for the beetroot and pumpkin.  Make sure you buy potatoes that are large enough for your cookie cuter.
  3. Toss the vegetables in olive oil and sea salt and bake for 50 minutes, turning once.
  4. Season the Lamb and seal in a hot frying pan with the Olive Oil until golden brown.
  5. Transfer to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, then allow to rest for  10 minutes. 
  6. Tear the Bread into pieces (remove crusts) and place in a food procession.
  7. Roughly cut the herbs and add to the food processor with the Parmeson.  Blend until you have fine crumbs with a green tinge
  8. Brush the lamb with the english mustard and cover with the herb crust.  Return to the oven for 5 minutes.

 

Gothic Dinner Party - Rosewater Panna Cotta

Rosewater Panna Cotta

(Breast of Troll & Eye of Ogre)

Ingredients

  Gothic Dinner Party - Rosewater Panna Cotta

Gothic Dinner Party - Rosewater Panna Cotta

  • 900 ml thickened cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 250g white chocolate
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 4 teaspoons dried gelatine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rosewater
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
  • 1 packet red Jelly
  • 1 packet blue jelly
  • Blue and Red food colour
  • Glace Cherries

Method

  1. I used small Chinese rice bowls for the eyes, they provided a rounded shape rather than a flat top. I also use a product called Sprink from Bakels as a release agent, this is great for releasing items from moulds and does not have any taste or colour.  I made 10 deserts to allow a couple of spares. 
  2. Combine the cream, milk, chocolate and sugar in a large saucepan over a low heat.
  3. Cook string for 5 minutes or until the chocolate and sugar dissolves
  4. Add the gelatine to warm water and wait for it to dissolve, then add to the cream mixture.
  5. Add the rosewater and Vanilla and stir to combine
  6. Pour into the moulds but leave 1/2 cm for the jelly base
  7. Place into the fridge to set
  8. When set, make both jellies according to the package and allow to cool
  9. When cool add the jelly to the panna cotta 5 red and 5 blue

o Serve

  1. Place a small blunt knife at the edge of the panna cotta and gently tip onto the plate.
  2. place a small amount of blue food colour on a saucer and using a round cookie cutter coat the base of the cookie cutter in the food colour, place the cookie cutter in the centre of the panna cotta, this will provide a true circle for you to work with.
  3. Using a paint brush paint the blue dye from the centre of the eye to the outside rim,
  4. Use a new paintbrush and red food colour to paint the veins on the eye
  5. Repeat step 2 and 3 with the red food colour on the remaining panna cotta's
  6. Place a glace cherry in the centre of the breast and pierce with a craft wine glass holder

 

  Gothic Dinner Party - Strawberry and Blueberry sauce

Gothic Dinner Party - Strawberry and Blueberry sauce

Strawberry Coulis & Blueberry Sauce

(Fresh Plasma)

Ingredients - Strawberry

  • 500 g fresh strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla escence
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water

Method - strawberry

  1. Hull and quarter the strawberries
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan
  3. Cook stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture thickens (about 10 mins)
  4. Allow to cool, blend in a food processor until smooth
  5. Store in the fridge until required

Ingredients - Blueberry

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blue berries
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla escence
  • 3 tablespoons water

Method - Blueberry

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan
  2. Cook stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture thickens (5 - 10 minutes)
  3. Allow to cool, blend in a food processor until smooth
  4. Store in the fridge until required

To Serve

  1. Divide mixture between test tubes (with lids)
  2. Place in a silver bowl on crushed ice 

 

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