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Host an "Outlander" Inspired Evening

The historical drama series, Outlander, has captivated audiences since 2014. Based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, the series follows Claire Randall, a nurse who is accidentally transported back in time from 1945 to 1743. While Claire eventually travels all over the globe, her adventure begins in (and often returns to) Scotland, and it is this beautiful land that fans most closely associate with Claire and Jamie Fraser, her true love.

To host an Outlander inspired evening, you'll want to channel historic Scottish castles and clans, and plan to entertain your guests with with charming Scots food, games and songs. While the vast majority of us aren't lucky enough to live in an actual castle, we can certainly decorate our own houses to remind our guests of a stately Scottish fortress, so that's where we'll start.


When you think of a castle, what comes to mind? Stone walls, tapestries, large fireplaces filled with massive iron kettles, banquet halls, armor, and all manner of "royal" candelabras and fancy pieces, right? Of course, you won't be able to completely recreate an 18th century stone castle inside your modern home, but you CAN group together a few small, evocative items that will remind your guests of an ancient stronghold.

Look around your house for anything you have that feels like it would blend in well in an old castle. See if you have (or if you can borrow) some dark stoneware dishes or bowls, or some old brown bottles, or iron tea kettles, or anything made of aged leather or antiqued brass. Gather things that have a Scottish look to them, like plaid blankets or stems of heather, or even old jars of that once held food imported from Scotland, like jam or fudge.

Arrange your beautiful things as centerpieces, or on side tables, grouping items together by color. Try to vary the height and texture of your various pieces to create a visually appealing still life.

You can treat these decorative groupings as simply art, or you can arrange plates of food or pitchers of drinks within them.

Remember, you aren't trying to make any of your rooms look like a castle - you're just trying to set out beautiful things that remind people of castles, or Scotland, or both.

As you're searching through your house, leave no closet or drawer unopened! You can make use of your ceramic mixing bowls, or old dark beer bottles without their labels, or artificial flowers that you may have stashed away somewhere.

The yellow flower at the right is actually a napkin ring!

This woven bottle is a vintage Italian wine bottle from the 1970s, but its label isn't visible, so it works well as a backdrop to add some age to this grouping.

The combination of brown and gold tones complement the shades of the foods displayed here, and set off the colorful red plaid blanket beautifully.

There's even an old tea kettle and a half-burned pillar candle at the back -- neither of which is particularly Scottish, but both of which help sell the "old castle" feeling.