Retro Parties Are the Next New Thing

Kim Conte

I love looking to the past for inspiration. So when it came time to celebrate my birthday last weekend, I did just that. I invited my best gals over and threw myself a vintage cocktail party that channeled Breakfast at Tiffany's and even Audrey herself.

How do you turn back the clock for a retro bash? It's actually easier to kick it old-school than you would think. I found vintage cookbooks in the library—including this fantastic book called Esquire Party Book, which was first printed in 1935—and searched Retro Housewife for old-fashioned recipes.

Now, to set the mood. I started by sending snail-mail invites in the mail. I shopped for vintage bar ware and serving plates at my local flea market. I hooked up my record player to my stereo system and played old jazz records throughout the party—gotta love Ella and Charlie Parker! (I also tried to make homemade petit fours but the results were absolutely disastrous so let's never speak of it again.)

I've included my complete menu below. Hopefully, this will inspire you to throw your own vintage soiree. And if you need something fabulous to wear, Cafe MicheleZ's got some tips on finding great vintage looks in today's Beauty and Style Buzz.

What's your favorite blast-from-the-past recipe?

Bar Menu

Dirty Martinis


Champagne Cocktails (add two sugar cubes and a few drops of Angostura bitters to a pour of champagne)

Food Menu

Popcorn (I dressed mine up with a pinch of truffle salt)

Deviled eggs

Cheese fondue

Fancy pigs-in-a-blanket (recipe below)


Fancy Pigs-In-A-Blanket Recipe

Puff pastry

Dijon mustard

Sausage or frankfurters in different flavors (I used organic apple and Gouda chicken sausage, chicken chorizo, and sun-dried tomato and basil-flavored sausage)

Caraway seeds (optional)

Grated cheese (optional)


Roll out puff pastry. Cut dough into rectangles that are long and wide enough to wrap around an entire sausage/frank. Spread a think layer of Dijon mustard on each rectangle. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll dough around sausage and seal seam by pressing dough together. Cut franks crosswise into thirds and arrange on greased baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Bake in oven at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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