Oh, I do love going to Vin’s. Not only does she have a gorgeous house, but she and her mum are fabulous, wonderful hosts. The occasion for my latest visit? A Halloween Murder Mystery party, no less!
We left London a bit later than I would have hoped on Saturday – it was the first time I had navigated our way up to Vin’s house (Ben has never been, and I have only been via public transport) and I had planned to get there in plenty of time, so that I didn’t have to have my usual time-related panic. Oh well, the best laid plans and all that…
No matter. We got there on time, if not early. And we didn’t get TOO lost (although I did have to phone Vin twice for directions – that’s what happens when you live in a big house in the middle of bloody no where!!). We had enough time to get changed into character and fight into our contact lenses (yes, the monochrome bad boys made another appearance) before making our way down to the scene of the crime.
Aren’t we all beautiful? I had been given the part of Frankenstein’s monster, but being a girl, I tried to steer clear of comedy neck bolts. What you can’t see in the photo is all my crude stitch marks drawn on with eyeliner. I had by far the lamest costume, as you can see. You can also see here Dracula and his bride, Witchy, the von Addamses, a Cruella deVille type character and Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde. Ben is behind the camera – he was the von Addams’ zombie butler, Lurchio (and he looked gorgeous).
We set the scene (and had brief introductions with the people we hadn’t met before) in the living room. Next, the host (Witchy!) lead us through to the dining room. Vin and her mum had gone all our with the decorations, added to the fact that they have a huge, antique-stuff house, so it was an absolutely perfect setting for a horror-filled Halloween dinner. Already waiting for us were our appetisers (pre-chosen by the guests – either salmon blinis, prawn cocktail or pâté), and Mr & Mrs Drac poured us out some wine.
What followed was a scripted murder mystery (with some improvised interrogations), but despite having to follow the script, some fantastic, pantomime acting ensued. We stayed in character as much as we could, but it did fall apart once or twice when we got lost in the scripts, or when we were busy stuffing our faces with the delicious food. Which reminds me: Vin’s mum made a delicious beef goulash for the mains, accompanied by rice, sugar snap peas and french bread. And pudding was a superb home-made chocolate cheesecake (there was the option of fruit salad too, but I think the cheesecake won the day) and a fantastic, stinky cheese board. Eventually we had to put the cheese board away: delicious as it was, it did pong.
I won’t spoil the mystery plot, in the off chance that you come across it in the future: needless to say, the murderer got away scott-free, and we were all a little tiddly. But the company, the food, the decor and the evening in general was delightful. There was time for a final photo opportunity before we all got back into our civies, retired to the living room, and played Articulate whilst being pestered by Vin’s bear-sized dogs.
Thank you, guys!!