Have you ever heard of a ‘Mystery Menu’ dinner party? If you have, you’ll know it’s a TON of fun, and if you haven’t, you are about to find out!
As opposed to a ‘Murder Mystery’ party, a ‘Mystery Menu’ party is instead focused on mysterious… food! This is a great party to have with friends, family, and especially little ones (they love it the most!).
The idea behind a ‘Mystery Menu’ dinner party is that the menu is a complete secret from the guests (the answer key menu is for the chefs eyes only!), and the mystery food is a mix of delicious and hilarious! Guests are presented with a zany menu full of mystery items, with ‘clue’ style names. You can make up your own, or use the ones provided in this post; the only rule is that the names must give the guests a small hint as to what they are ordering. Get those creative juices flowing, because the quirkier, the better! You can even have guests order their utensil as a mystery, and it’s funny to include things you wouldn’t normally use to eat with (think tongs, a slotted serving spoon, a mini sand shovel, etc.).
Of course, a gorgeous tablescape is a must, as well. This retro, gilded themed tablescape uses almost all products sourced exclusively from my partner for this post, Weddingstar Inc. Weddingstar carries an abundance of beautiful decor pieces, and I love sharing how they can be used! These products are stunning not only for weddings, but also for all of life’s special events, and even in your everyday home decor. This post includes links to all of the pieces used in this table display, from the velvet runner, to the glassware, to all of the gold decor accents. I went for a ‘vintage hotel’ theme, and the hand mirror, ornate gold frame, and gold candlestick holders drew this look together seamlessly. Using this post as your guide, you’ll be able to replicate this look easily and affordably, with Weddingstar’s everyday low pricing.
A fresh, local bouquet is the perfect centrepiece to go with your mysterious, dreamy decor pieces from Weddingstar. This ‘antique’ themed arrangement from Bylands Garden Centre tied this look together with romantic florals in pinks and reds, and an abundance of lush, draping greenery.
Show a picture of this bouquet to your florist, and request cabbage roses, strawflowers, leucadendron, proteas, dahlias, and plenty of seeded eucalyptus. A wild, vintage look is right on the money for a mystery dinner.
Are you ready to plan your Mystery Menu dinner? Let’s go!
Read on, to learn how to put together your Mystery Menu dinner party….
MYSTERY MENU PRINTABLES
First you’ll need the most important part – the menu! You can make your own, or use ours! The following printable is a two page pre-made menu, exclusively from Weddingstar. The first version is what you’ll set out for your guests. The second version is what you’ll keep in the kitchen, for the chef’s eyes only. Take extra care not to mix them up!
CHEFS VERSION (WITH ANSWER KEY):
You can print these on your home computer, and trim them to size to lay on each guests table setting. No printer? No problem! Weddingstar has several gorgeous menu options. All you have to do is fill out the menu fields, and Weddingstar will take care of the rest! Plus, using Weddingstar’s menus means you can pick and choose menu items, and even create some of your own.
Whether you decide to go big, and include all of these menu items at your party, or small, and pare the menu down to your favourites, your guests are sure to get a kick out of ordering their menu items. We suggest pre-making as many items as you can before the dinner, and as guests order, heat dishes up before serving. You may also choose to serve more cold or room temperature items; the beauty of the Mystery Menu is that you can tailor it to be exactly what you like. If your children want to help play chef and serve your guests, have them weight in on menu items. They will probably have some funny ideas you haven’t thought of!
DINING TABLE DECOR
Small Decorative Candle Lantern – Gold, 5 Arm Taper Candle Holder Table Centrepiece – Gold, Medium Decorative Candle Lantern – Gold
For our mysterious themed table, we used lots of gold pieces, especially candle holders. Candlelight is a must at any dinner party, but especially at a mystery one. Weddingstar’s taper holders and lanterns are a feast for the eyes, and look beautiful mixed into your home decor long after the night ends.
Modern Tiered Taper Candle Holders – Black & Gold – Set Of 2, Artificial Flameless LED Taper Candle Set Of 2 – Gold Ombre, Classic Tiered Taper Candle Holders – Gold – Set Of 2
These stylish taper and dinner candle holders will become a timeless heirloom you’ll be happy to pull out at every holiday or special occasion dinner.
Large Geometric Metal Wire Hanging Lantern – Black & Gold, Small Geometric Wire Basket Tea Light Candle Holder – Black & Gold, Metal Cylinder Hanging Lantern – Black & Gold – Set Of 2
Moody, dark hues like black, navy blue, and dark red look fantastic in the day time… and even better in the evening under ambient candlelight.
3-Piece Tiered Velvet Spindle Candle Holder Set – Black, Tall Geo Votive Candle Holders – Black – Set Of 2, 3-Piece Tiered Wood Spindle Candle Holder Set – Navy Blue
More candle holder ideas from Weddingstar…
Modern Sparkle Sequin Table Runner – Light Champagne Gold 120, Velvet Table Runner – Navy Blue, Modern Sparkle Sequin Table Runner – Black
Though you can use any colour scheme for your dinner party, I recommend going with darker, sultry colours blended with lighter ones for contrast. The navy blue runner is a perfect contrast for the gold accents and pink flowers in the centrepiece. This colour scheme is beautiful year round, and can be adjusted to fit any season you may be planning your party.
Plain & Double Border Place Cards, Small Oval Baroque Frame – Gold, Floral Orchestra Place Card With Fold
Place cards and frames are welcome additions to create a ‘finished’ look to any table. I used the baroque frame above to frame a simple question mark, nodding to the theme of the dinner party. This will pique guests interest right away, and get them into the swing of the party right off the bat. Place cards are also cute mementos of the party that guests can take home with them. Who doesn’t feel special sitting down to a table with a thoughtfully placed name card?
Floral Orchestra Personalized Hand Fan, Black And Gold Opulence Personalized Hand Fan, Vintage Lace Personalized Hand Fan
Another interesting idea for your Mystery Menu party? Hand fans on each place setting for guests to play with! We guarantee that they will be a fantastic ice breaker, as guests can pose for pictures with them, pretend to dramatically faint at their orders, and more. You could even print your menu directly onto the fans, as they are fully customizable! For this table setting, I chose to make the front side a welcoming message, and the back side thanks the guests for coming.
Round Gold Wood Decorative Coffee Table Trays – Medium – Set Of 2, Round Gold Wood Decorative Coffee Table Trays – Large – Set Of 2
We highly recommend purchasing a set each of Weddingstar’s gold coffee table trays, to serve the dishes on. These trays come in sets of two, the large size being perfect for serving dinner plates, while the medium size is perfect for serving beverages and desserts. They are lightweight, durable, and add an air of fine dining sophistication to your party.
Ornate Wood Large & Small Decorative Picture Frames – Gold – Set Of 2, Crystal Tealight Holders, Looking Glass Trinket Holder
Don’t forget to add some extra accents to liven up your table. These pretty pieces above will give your guests something to chat about, especially our favourite, the Looking Glass hand mirror style trinket holder.
Glassware is Weddingstar’s specialty, and for good reason; they have a wide variety of glassware in different styles for any taste and theme, and the best part is that they are always affordable. The vintage pressed goblets are a bestseller, and come in clear, blue, black, pink and grey, and will become your go-to entertaining glassware (trust me!).
Large Personalized Wine Glass – Rustic Love Monogram, Large Personalized Stemmed Wine Glass Set – Monogram Engraving, Large Personalized Stemmed Wine Glass – Classic Monogram Engraving
Another idea? Order personalized glassware for guests to take home as party favours! Always a hit with crowds, Weddingstar has quality stemware with so many engraving options, the only problem may be deciding which your favourite is.
Vintage Style Pressed Glass Champagne Flute – Clear, Vintage Style Pressed Glass Champagne Flute – Blue
Complete your set with the matching champagne glasses! The Vintage Style Pressed Champagne Flutes come in Clear, Blue, and Pink. Mix and match colours for an eclectic look!
As I mentioned above regarding the wine glasses, Weddingstar also has customizable stemless wine glasses that make great favours! Above are two of my favourites, but with 50+ designs to choose from, you may find something you like even more.
Our last piece of advice? Even if the food you choose errs on the silly side, make sure everything is edible and tastes good! We also suggest having a good amount of the more dinner-style dishes prepared, for after the ordering game is over. In our menu above, we would make extra spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and salad, or extra grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli. Guests will be nibbling on their fun mystery items, but having a full-sized meal to offer them afterwards is always a good idea.
We hope you enjoyed this post, and that it has inspired you to try hosting your own ‘Mystery Menu’ dinner party! If you have any questions, please feel free to drop a comment and I would be happy to answer them.
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