How to host a swanky Speakeasy party

Nothing spells fun like the roaring '20s! Recreate a Speakeasy party in your own home.

By Colleen Fisher Tully

Hosting a Speakeasy party: Location & decor
It's 1920 -- prohibition has hit the country and there's nowhere to party. Looks like you'll have to turn your home into a "Speakeasy" for a wild evening of canapés, champagne, Manhattans and jazz music. Why, you'll be the cat's pajamas!

Underground drinking establishments were called Speakeasies, or "speak", because in order to gain entrance you had to speak in a low voice through a small opening in the back door and tell the attendant inside whom it was who sent you to the place.

While the vast majority of speakeasies were dank, dingy places with near-inedible food and bathtub liquors, a few existed that truly were the kind of swanky joints we see in the movies. The finest New York clubs (Twenty One, Stork, Embassy, Simplon, Surf, Yale, and 51 1/2 East Fifty First) all served meals comparable to the best hotels. It's much more fun to mimic the rich and famous, so this will be an exclusive party for classy cats and dames.

Location
Reserve your dining room for formal dining and living room for lounging, enjoying music, sipping cocktails and maybe dancing. If you have a patio or deck space it would also make a great spot for conversation.

Decor
Your best bet is to go with black and white with your entire decor: it's classy, easy to coordinate and tuxedo-style was a 1920s staple. Keep in mind Art Deco style too -- squares, triangles and circles.

Use full table linens: tablecloth, overlay, napkins -- placemats are optional. Mix and match black and white as you please to ensure full contrast.

Use your best silver. All of it. Read how to properly build your table from our sister site, StyleatHome.com

A black and white floral arrangement in a glass vase would make a stunning centrepiece. Your local florist should have all the right materials on hand.

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