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Remembrance Day Comments Off on Remembrance Day

Posted on November 05, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball



This Sunday, 9th November, is Remembrance Sunday.

Remembrance Day has been observed in all Commonwealth countries since the end of the First World War in November 1918. On this day we remember all members of armed forces who have died in the line of duty.

Here at Fancy Dress Ball we respect the sacrifice made by members of our armed forces. This Sunday, we remember all of those who have died in the line of duty; whether in the First World War, the Second World War, Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else.

They shall not grow old, as we that are

Awesome Bonfire Foods for Bonfire Night Comments Off on Awesome Bonfire Foods for Bonfire Night

Posted on November 03, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball



These days more and more people are throwing their own, private parties for bonfire night. What better way to ensure you get to see the fireworks you want, at the time you want, in the place you want, without having to stand in a cold, muddy field and queue an hour to use the toilets! So long as you’ve a big enough garden to accommodate a bonfire, and space for the fireworks, you can have your very own Bonfire Night party, complete with fancy dress (of course!) and your own choice of fantastic foods.

Here are some of our favourite foods for a Bonfire Night Celebration:

1. Baked Potatoes

No need to mess with a classic; bake them beforehand in the oven, wrap in foil and hand out to party-goers with a plastic fork. You can provide a selection of toppings for them, from plain old butter and cheese, to baked beans, chilli, tuna mayo or whatever you fancy. The world is your oyster! These are the perfect foods for Bonfire Night; warming and tasty, and convenient to cook with minimum effort!

2. Fireworks Biscuits

These are so easy, and great to get your guests involved in while they wait for the fireworks. If you’re feeling particularly domesticated you can bake some biscuits; otherwise, invest in a few packs of Rich Tea beforehand. Make up (or buy) several bowls of brightly coloured icing and toppings, and invite your guests to decorate their own fireworks biscuits.

3. Hot Dogs

Fire up the old barbeque and get some sausages cooking! Hot dogs aren’t just for summertime fun, you know; they make a fantastic, warming treat on Bonfire Night too! Serve with sauces, relish, and of course, onions.

4. Edible Sparklers

Buy a packet of chocolate fingers. Dip the end of each one into some icing, and then some coloured sugar strands. Hey presto, edible sparklers! Yum!

5. Mini Toad in the Hole

Use batter and mini sausages in muffin tins to make mini toad in the hole – perfect for your guests to nibble on without making a mess. If you really want to spoil them, you could make a gravy dip for them – just make your gravy a little thicker than normal so that it doesn’t drip everywhere!

6. Bonfire Cup Cakes

Make normal cakes (or buy them!) and make up some bright orange icing (for the flames). Butter icing will work better for this as it’s more solid. put a lump of icing on the top of your cake, and use Matchmakers chocolates around it (kind of like a tee pee) to make it look like a bonfire.

7. Sausage Roll Rockets

Buy a sheet of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, and cut thin strips. Wrap each strip around a sausage in a “swirly” fashion and cook.then poke a wooden kebab stick through the length. when it comes out the top, pop a piece of red or orange pepper, cut into a triangle shape, on the end.

8. Toasted Marshmallows

You can’t have a bonfire without toasting marshmallows! You need a big bag of marshmallows and some kebab sticks. If your bonfire is on the large side, find some longer sticks for safety. Then toast away!

9. Pulled Pork Rolls

Everyone seems to love pulled pork these days! All you need is a tray of pulled pork and some buttered rolls, maybe some sauces, and your guests can help themselves to a fantastic snack!

10. Hot Chocolate

If there’s anything better than a nice, big mug of hot chocolate on bonfire night… we don’t know what it is. Make up a big batch of it on the stove, and provide mini marshmallows and cocoa to sprinkle on top. Save on washing up by having your guests all bring their favourite mug.


Did we miss anything? We’d love to know what your favourite food for a fireworks display is!

The Top 10 Spookiest Destinations Comments Off on The Top 10 Spookiest Destinations

Posted on October 20, 2014 by Karl Young

As Halloween approaches Fancy dress Ball has searched the darkest corners of the UK to bring you our Top 10 Spookiest Destinations…

Pluckley, Kent


Pluckley in Kent is often cited as the most haunted places in the UK with hundreds of reports of ghostly apparitions sighted. One of the most famous of the ghostly residents is the ‘Watercress Lady’, an impoverished old woman who sold watercress at the Crossroads Bridge centuries ago. One day after spilling some of her favoured tipple, gin on to herself she was engulfed by flames as a spark from her pipe lit her clothes alight. She died still haunts the bridge to this day, selling her watercress…

Aldwych Station, London


This disused tube station is now used as a visitor attraction and filming location but was once a fully functioning station. During World War Two it was sued as an Air Raid shelter and would be packed full of scared Londoners seeking refuge form the bombing above. There’s something strangely eerie about the station and we for one, would not like to be stuck overnight in those dimly lit corridors…

Culloden Moor, Inverness


The Scottish moor is famously the place where so many Scottish rebels died during the Battle of Culloden Moor. The area is littered with commemorative stones with names of the clans who lost entire generations during the battle, testament to its gruesome past. Visitors have recalled seeing battling soldiers in the mist and even hearing ghostly bagpipes in the wind overnight. If you thought Glasgow was scary on a Friday night, try this historic battleground.

German Militairy Underground Hospital, Guernsey


During World War Two, occupying German forces on Guernsey forced prisoners to build this hospital fortress in to the rock. Built underground to avoid detection from the air, the Nazi hospital covers 7000 square metres. The harsh stonewall corridors serve as a timely reminder of the sacrifice and harsh conditions of the slave workers who built it and the often forgotten occupation of Guernsey by the German Army.

Pendle Hill, Lancashire


This hill in the Lancashire countryside is famously the execution site of 10 women accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. A house, believed to be one of the witch’s home was recently uncovered at the base of the hill. When excavators investigated it, a cat’s skeleton was found bricked in to a wall…With the curses of the Pendle witches still hanging over the area, it makes for one creepy Halloween destination.

Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire


‘The Green Lady’, ghost of Dame Lillian Drummond, the Lady of the castle who was starved to death by her cruel husband has been spotted at the house for over 250 years. She is said to have carved her name in to the window sill of the room her husband as he slept with his new wife on the night that she died. The current manager of the castle, which now serves as a tourist attraction, lives on the top floor and has seen her ghostly figure at the bottom of his bed. You’d have to be brave to spend a night here.

Drakelow Tunnels, Worcestershire


This network of tunnels was built underground in Worcestershire during the Cold War as a hiding hole in the case of a nuclear war. Six people died during the building and visitors have reported feeling their presence in the dark tunnels. The caretaker of the tunnels won’t venture in alone now after being pushed from his ladder by an unknown force and who can blame him?

Crumlin Road Jail, Belfast


The only thing scarier than a full prison is an empty prison. This Victorian building home to some of Northern Ireland’s worst criminals for over 150 years holds tours throughout the building including a visit to the prison’s Condemned Room, where the many man who were executed there spent their last days.

Edinburgh Vaults, Edinburgh


As you can tell, dark tunnels really freak us out and this Edinburgh landmark is probably the pick of the bunch.  The vaults sit underneath the city’s South Bridge and after housing small business like cobblers and blacksmiths earlier in their history, became a renowned slum with theft and murder commonplace. The situation got so bad that they were filled in with rubble a couple of hundred years ago before being rediscovered and opened to the public in the 1990s. You can visit them to this day to relive the horror of the slums they once were.

Castell Coch, Cardiff


The picturesque castle nestled in the forest outside Cardiff looks by day as if it was plucked right out of a fairy-tale but the night hints at a darker past. Visions of the Dame Griffiths who lost her son in the grounds when he drowned in a pit of water, his body never found, are part of the folklore as well as hidden treasure in tunnels underneath the building. We’d love to go on a day visit, but we’ll make sure we head of before night to avoid any ghostly meetings.

The Top 10 Haunted Hotels Comments Off on The Top 10 Haunted Hotels

Posted on October 15, 2014 by Karl Young

The Pied Bull, Chester

This hotel in Chester dates back to the 11th century so boasts a long and colourful history. The ghost of John Davies, a guest who fell down the hotel’s cellar stairs and impaled himself on a knife haunts the cellar and two of the guest rooms. Maybe he just loved the hotel so much he didn’t want to leave…


The Kirkstone Pass Inn, Cumbria

The Kirkstone Pass Inn is officially the 3rd highest pub in England, sitting at 1,300 ft. above sea level. It is to this day a stopping off point for travellers trekking through the Lake District. It’s believed to be haunted by the many visitors who perished on long journeys through the Cumbrian hills.


The Ostrich Inn, Slough

In the 14th century 60 unsuspecting travellers are thought to have met a grizzly end at the hands of The Ostrich Inn’s owners. Guests would be lured in to one of the rooms which had a secret trap door and killed. The Innkeepers were eventually caught and hanged. Thankfully the hotel is more hospitable these days but there are still the spirits of the tragic past guests to keep you company.


Room 333, Lanham Hotel, London

Room 333 of the Langham has hosted several different ghostly guests. Many of the sightings were by BBC employees who stayed in the hotel when a BBC building was based across the street from the luxurious hotel. One member of staff had their bed shaken so violently one night that they fell out and fled.


Lord John Darcy Suite, Mosborough Hall Hotel, Sheffield

This Sheffield hotel room was famously the murder site of the White Lady who now haunts the hotel. The jotels Governess was murdered by a squire who had impregnated her and refused to pay money for her to look after their child. Guests have reported hearing angry voices in the nightm, possibly of the couples final and violent argument.


Beaufort Room, Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire

A large black cat, a sign of the paranormal has been spotted in the hotel for hundreds of years. The hotel’s current owner admits he knew nothing about the hotel’s spooky past as the hiding hole of criminal highwaymen. Since he bought the place, his daughter has spotted the black cat spectre and guests have been thrown out of chairs by an unknown force. Maybe best to do your homework before buying a hotel next time.


Room 5, Brook Red Lion Hotel, Essex

The last thing you want in your holiday snaps is a strange guest appearing in the background. Well at the Brook red Lion, the ghost of a small boy has appeared in many holiday photos. A young girl has also been spotted wandering around room 5 of the hotel.


Room 28, The Schooner Hotel, Alnmouth, Northumberland

The Schooner Hotel, whose past guests include Charles Dickens and King George III, is frequently named as the most haunted hotel in the country. It’s no wonder it receives the accolade with the various stories of murder, suicide and massacre attributed to the building. Room 28 is perhaps the most haunted as children’s cries and a woman’s scream have awoken visitors in the middle of the night.


Bestwood Lodge Hotel, Nottingham

Compared to the dramatic tales of many of the hotels in this list, the Bestwood has a less malign spiritual presence. Once the home of King Charles II and his mistress Nell Gwyn, many guests have felt the presence of the famous Restoration Actress. One of the manifestations is the scent of oranges drifting through the corridors, possibly a hint to Nell’s past as an orange vendor at the Theatre Royal in London.


The Prince Rupert Hotel, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England

This Grade II listed building is nestled under the shadow of both the Cathedral and Castle of the historic market town. The beautiful period exterior is in stark contrast to visions of a woman hanging from the rafters of one of the hotel’s rooms.


Pulp Fiction 20th Anniversary Comments Off on Pulp Fiction 20th Anniversary

Posted on September 10, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball



Can you believe Pulp Fiction is twenty whole years old? September 23rd marks twenty years since Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar winning classic first went on general release in the US. To celebrate, here are some things you might not know about this fabulous film:

  • Remember the bible verse that Samuel L Jackson’s character recites before shooting anyone? In the movie he tells people it’s Ezekiel 25:17 but if you check your bible, you will find that it is actually a fabrication, adapted from various biblical verses. The final section, And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee does come from Ezekiel more or less, but not word for word!pulp_fiction_samuel_l_jackson
  • The scene where Mia has overdosed and Vincent Vega has to plunge a syringe into her chest was actually filmed backwards, with John Travolta pulling the needle out!
  • Much of the film’s action revolves around trips to the bathroom: as Jules and Vincent (Jackson and Travolta) confront Brett and his friends at the beginning, their friend is hiding in the bathroom. At Jack Rabbit Slim’s Mia goes to the bathroom to “powder her nose,” and there is an extended scene involving Butch and Fabienne where he is in the shower, and she is brushing her teeth. Along with this, every time Vincent goes to the bathroom, something bad happens and he returns to a dramatic, life-threatening situation: at the diner, an armed robbery takes place while Vincent is in the bathroom; when he takes Mia home he goes to the bathroom and she snorts his drugs, resulting in an overdose; finally, during the stakeout at Butch’s apartment, Vincent returns from the bathroom and is shot.
  • Talking of bathrooms, the man who bursts out of the bathroom in Brett’s apartment is played by Robert Arquette. He appears in the credits as Alexis Arquette though, as he later adopted this name after a sex change.
  • The part of Jules was written especially for Samuel L Jackson, after he unsuccessfully auditioned for a role in Reservoir Dogs.
  •  Mia and Vincent did not win the trophy at Jack Rabbit Slim’s dance contest; they stole it. If you watch the scene where Butch is sneaking back to his apartment very carefully, you can hear a news story on his neighbour’s TV about it.
  • What is in Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase? The truth is, nobody knows – not even the men who wrote the movie. Originally, it was going to be diamonds but they thought that was unoriginal so it was decided to just never have the contents shown on screen, and the viewer could make up their own mind.
  • The movie cost $8 million to make – a bargain by today’s standards! $5 million of that money paid actors’ salaries!
  • Steve Buscemi was originally meant to play Jimmie but had to refuse due to other filming commitments. Instead, he has a cameo as the Buddy Holly water at Jack Rabbit Slim’s and Tarantino played Jimmie.
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