Halloween Style 2016

The run-up to Halloween is in full swing, and if there’s one place you need to go for cute yet sophisticated Halloween goodies, it’s Fortnum and Mason. Every year they produce a range of fearsome snacks, sweets and treats, and even if you’re not buying, heading for a browse is a must-do in October. (And please, don’t forget to visit for Christmas too!)

You can also check out their range online here. I think I’d die and go to heaven if I ever got my hands on one of their incredible Halloween hampers, especially this nifty black and orange version!

Closer to home, the great pumpkin purchasing has begun – I always buy way too many pumpkins, because I love making displays of them, cooking with them, and carving them! Locally, the best place to go for pumpkins is either the Hampshire Farmers’ Markets, or Pickwell Farm.

I went with my parents earlier in the month and managed to spend £27 on pumpkins… Yes, I bought A LOT of them.

But, how could you resist when they’re so cute and adorable? I picked up a dozen mini orange ones, and a dozen more white ones, which will be perfect to mark place settings on my table at Thanksgiving too!

When it comes to edible pumpkins, you have to try Crown Prince. In my opinion, this is the absolute finest culinary pumpkin, pictured above – and what’s better, it’s easy to spot! It has a beautiful duck-egg blue skin, so you’ll always be able to find it without confusing it with other types. And, if you see the Gem squash on sale, nab some of those, too. Cut off the tops, and fill them with cream, cheese, garlic and a sprig of thyme. Bake in the oven and serve for a hearty lunch or starter. These are a speciality of my mum’s and everyone loves them!

London’s bakeries are getting into the spirit of Halloween with loads of wicked treats! You can make a similar biscuit at home with your favourite sugar cookie or shortbread dough – just form them into fingers and add a blanched almond ‘fingernail’ at the top, and smear liberally with jam!

If you want some more Halloween inspiration, make sure you check out my post about Lancaster London’s Halloween ARTea experience – it was amazing, and the food was utterly, utterly divine. (Still thinking about those chorizo tarts!)

Charlotte Olympia’s window is looking very on trend right now with its spider web logo – and I have to say, I love wearing my kitty flats this time of year because not only are they utterly gorgeous, but they’re also very Halloween-ish!


I also really, really wish I could get a pair of their cool spider web logo earrings, here, but I’m trying very hard to be good with my spending at the moment… Hmm.

Another great Halloween idea for biscuits – ice dark chocolate gingerbread men to look like skeletons! Don’t you just love their cute little skulls?!

So, there’s my round up of some cool Halloween style I’ve spotted recently – how are you going to celebrate this year?! Share your tips in the comments!

Autumn Pumpkin Festival at Royal Victoria Country Park

Recently, I popped along to my local pumpkin festival at Royal Victoria Country Park, and I thought I’d share some of the photos of the day!

Pumpkin montage 1Central chapel / prize-winning pumpkins / Mulberry logo scarf / matte nails with OPI top coat and Ciate’s Hopscotch / heavenly chilli / the remains of Royal Victoria Hospital

Royal Victoria Country Park is one of my favourite places to visit. Nestled on the shores of Southampton Water, the site used to be home to the Royal Victoria Hospital, which was much used during World War I and visited frequently by Queen Victoria herself, as well as Florence Nightingale. Little of the original hospital remains except for the chapel, as a fire devastated the rest of the building in 1963. However, you can still walk the grounds and even visit the patients’ graveyard on the site, which has some fascinating grave stones.

The annual pumpkin festival is an October highlight for me, but this year it was strangely devoid of pumpkins to actually buy! I usually pick up loads of munchkin pumpkins for decoration for Halloween and Thanksgiving, but they were thin on the ground. Luckily, we managed to swing by Pickwell Farm Shop on the way home to stock up!

Pumpkin montage 2

The light green pumpkin is one of my favourite eating varieties, called Crown Prince (my other favourite is Kabocha). Although good meaning types will tell you to save the pumpkin flesh from your carving varieties to make soup and avoid waste, I have to say, it’s a good way of making rubbish soup. Literally, soup from rubbish. If you actually want to enjoy eating pumpkin, you need to purchase culinary pumpkins, which are delicious. The carving types are generally watery, tasteless and very stringy.

So I piled up my little trolley with some delicious pumpkins in order to make some pumpkin hummus from the first Leon cookbook – along with some other tasty tapas dishes from the same book, including sesame chicken wings, flatbread, sweet potato falafels, Imam Bayildi and magic beans. I highly recommend the book if you like healthy, hearty food. I’ve never had the pleasure of eating at a Leon restaurant, but the recipes are amazing.

Pumpkin montage 3Pumpkin votive from Cox and Cox / tapas spread / inside of a Crown Prince / pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks / trying to decide between three shades of orange nail varnish / pumpkin votives, munchkins and Design Ideas black Sherwood tree from John Lewis

The rest of the month has been a pumpkin-flavoured blur – I’ve been getting loads of use out of my gorgeous pumpkin shaped candle holders from Cox and Cox (no relation – I wish!), and downing as many pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks as my stomach can handle (a lot, it turns out!). I also bought some more orange nail varnish, as my Ciate Hopscotch was actually a cheat – I nicked it out of the advent calendar ahead of time. Naughty! (I ended up with Orange Attack from Maybelline.) Finally, I picked this pretty black Sherwood tree from John Lewis, which looks awesome bare as a Halloween decoration, or can be accessorized with baubles, birds and blossoms you can buy individually!

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