Sunday, July 31, 2016

Setting the Scene for a Clue Party

The Food!

This party I wanted to enjoy being out with guests and not catering. I set up a smaller amount of food, focusing on the theme-appropriateness or ease. A chaffing dish made a huge difference keeping hot appetizers hot throughout the night.

A few standouts made me really happy on the food front:

Stabby Cupcakes

These were incredibly easy and so much fun. I ordered cupcakes from the local grocery with white icing. I brought them home and made them stabby with the addition of a small amount of red decorators gel, then inserting Wilton's Meat Claver Royal Icing decorations

Panna Cotta "Monkey" Brains

The movie Clue had a bit in it about how they all ate monkeys brains, so naturally I had to find a way to work that into the theme for the hardcore fans like me!

I was inspired by Alton Brown's Panna Cotta Brain with Cranberry Glaze, but I made mine in mini-brain moulds using raspberry couli and rather than going for "mad science" I tried to make them look like haute cuisine serving them in coupe glasses. They were amazingly tasty and on theme.




Decorations!

For the Clue party, each room of the house loosely references a different room in the game/movie.

(Toy) Weapons! 

These helped set the mood and gave people props for photographs. A toy pistol, and a "trick" knife whose blade shrinks into the handle were easy. A length of rope and a not-lead-pipe were real and inexpensive. The wrench we already had, and the candlestick I borrowed from my parents.

Tables

I created a giant buffet on the dining table, using borrowed red damask table clothes to create drama. I added black jeweled candelabras for a spooky mansion effect.

Since we're riffing on fancy/haunted mansion a bit, I was able to re-use some items from previous parties like the silver tray and some old crystal decanters from Peter's grandmother.



Drapery

I hate drapes or curtains in everyday life, but to create ambiance, I draped light thin satiny fabric on either side of the couch in the living room lounge to create a curtain-effect.

A great photo backdrop was created in the dining room with black curtains. I found brocade-patterned curtains on clearance at a discount store. I hung black lace fabric across the window, then framed it with the drapes since they were too small to actually span the window.
The professors' Plum posing for a group shot
Things I'd fix before before doing it again - I'd decorate our mid-century light fixtures and cover our quirky art collection with printed portraits, maybe of Clue characters.

Themed signage

I used a variety of vintage and borrowed picture frames to serve as signs labeling each room. Using a classic Clue font, signs labeled each room as one from the game/movie

Television

In this party, the TV wasn't an eyesore. We moved it to a corner of a large room, and left it playing the movie Clue with captions and the sound on mute.

Music

The soundscapae is critical to creating ambiance, and making the first few guests feel comfortable. We created a playlist of appropriate music, stuff from the movie soundtrack and other period music we liked.

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