Monday, January 24, 2011

"Bright Ideas for Entertaining" for Valentine’s Day

(Another in a series of ideas for entertaining - before the advent of television and computers - from Cassandra’s antique1905 book, Bright Ideas for Entertaining, by Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott.)

"This description of a Valentine entertainment will be welcomed by those who desire novel and original ideas.

"We were received in a room decorated with wreaths, hung in festoons caught up at regular intervals by ribbon streamers. From the centre of each wreath hung hearts of parchment paper, tinted in blue and lettered in gold, each bearing a number and a fate of fortune."

"Suspended from a portiere rod between the hall and reception room were three hearts formed of heavy wire and carefully entwined with evergreen; above each one was a jingle. The first said:  Blow your bubble right through here, and you’ll be married before another year.  Above the second was: To be engaged this very week, number two is the one to take.  And the third had: A sad, an awful fate awaits the one who seeks me, for he or she will ever a spinster or bachelor be."

"On a small table nearby was an immense bowl filled with sparkling soapsuds, and also clay pipes decorated with little hearts. We first threw the bubbles off the pipes and then tried to blow them through hearts one and two with pretty little fans which were presented to us…"

"After this came a still merrier game. A low scrap basket was placed in the centre of the room, and the company arranged into opposing parties, forming two half circles around the basket. Cardboard hearts in two different colors were given the sides, an equal number to each side. We were then requested to try to throw them in the basket…When we had exhausted our cards those in the basket were counted, and the side having the most of its own color won the game."

"After this, a small blackboard was placed on an easel at one end of the room, and we were each in turn blindfolded, and handed a piece of chalk with which to draw an outline of a heart, and to write our name in the centre; the one doing the best to have a prize of a large candy heart."

"The partners for supper were chosen in a novel manner, the men being numbered, and the names of the girls written on slips of paper, rolled in clay in little pellets, then dropped into a bowl of water; the one to rise first belonged to the young man numbered one, and so on until each had his Valentine."

"A “Good Luck” supper was served in an adjoining room. Over the table, suspended from the chandelier, hung a floral horseshoe. In the centre and at each end of the table were fairy lamps surrounded by smaller horseshoes. The souvenirs and everything connected with the supper bore a symbol of good luck, the bonbons, cakes, and sandwiches taking the forms of either a clover-leaf or a horseshoe."


  1. I wish I had been at that party! It would be fun to try to replicate it sometime!

  2. Dear Cassandra, My goodness me. I do so hope that Mrs. Linscott had staff to assist with the preparations for this party since just reading about it made me feel exhausted!!

    But what fun.....I really must try to make more of an effort with parties in the future, although deciding upon the guest list might well prove to be difficult!!

    A somewhat belated but warmly wished Happpy New Year!

  3. What a lovely way to celebrate Valentine's day !

    Like the pictures.



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