Naff Retro Party Food

As the party season is in full swing I thought you may enjoy this list of buffet style food from the 70s and 80s that my colleagues and I came up with today at work during a moment of joint reminiscence. Although the theme was naff retro party food quite a few on the list made us go “ooh I used to love those” and some that we admitted to still liking, so perhaps there’s something to be said for a little naffness every now and then.

How many do you remember and what can you add to the list? Look out for them at the next Christmas party you go to and let me know if you spot any of them!

Cheese and pineapple on a stick
Prawn cocktail
Baby Cham
Vol au vents
Fray bentos pies (I’m not quite sure how this got on the party food list!)
Ice gems
Spam fritters
Cherry Brandy
Glace cherries
Black forest gateaux
Watney’s red barrel
Double Diamond
Mateus Rose
Branston pickle
Birds trifle
Arctic roll
Angel delight
After eights
Cocktail sausages
Sausage rolls
Pickled onions
Discos crisps
Melon balls / boat
Party rings iced biscuits
R White’s Lemonade
Soda Stream
Rum & raisin choc ice
Tutti frutti ice cream
Space dust
Pink panther wafer biscuits
Fig rolls
Cheese straws
Fish paste sandwiches



  1. Jules
    December 10, 2008 / 7:14 pm

    Don’t forget Party Rings and those horrible Cheese Balls.

  2. Antonia
    December 10, 2008 / 9:05 pm

    Spotted both cheese and pineapple on sticks AND vol au vents at a party last week! I was truly spoiled!

  3. Katie
    December 10, 2008 / 9:51 pm

    And you have to ensure that the cheese and pineapple on sticks is served stuck on half a tinfoil wrapped grapefruit!

  4. Holler
    December 11, 2008 / 12:48 am

    I’ll have some cheese and pineapple on a stick please and a slice of artic roll! This list did make me laugh and sent shooting back through time!

  5. health funds
    December 11, 2008 / 12:53 am

    Cheese and pineapple on a stick
    Prawn cocktail
    Baby Cham
    Spam fritters
    Cherry Brandy
    Glace cherries
    Cocktail sausages
    Sausage rolls
    R White’s Lemonade
    Soda Stream
    Cheese straws

    This are the list i want to have in my table this Christmas. I could never go wrong with this. 🙂

  6. Erika
    December 11, 2008 / 12:55 am

    Brilliant. My husband is from Leicestershire and knows all these gloriously “naff” morsels. The retro thing is kind of big here, too, in California. The parties tend to go by decade and sometimes region. For instance, ’50s and ’60s “Tupperware Party” dishes like (gross) Jello molds with fruit entombed inside. I like the 1970s, myself, because out here it meant “health food”, anything with avocados, casseroles made with brown rice and the occasional fondue pot/chafing dish recipe….

  7. Anne
    December 11, 2008 / 10:30 am

    I had to comment as I was subjected to butterscotch Angel Delight at a 70’s themed murder mystery party last night – it was the suggested dessert in the paperwork and my fond memories lie to me as it was so nasty, artificial and sweet tasting – I managed two spoonfuls and had to leave the rest!

  8. missbliss
    December 11, 2008 / 7:52 pm

    Cheese straws!

    You have to have a good mix of classics and new ideas, or people get sad. Gotta keep those who eat 8,9,10… cocktail sausages happy!

  9. Food for Thought
    December 12, 2008 / 6:59 pm

    Fond memories or what. Personally cant ever remember Spam Fritters at parties – school dinners yes and I loved them!
    Cheesy footballs what were they made from – absolutely revolting!
    Twiglets, anyone mentioned Twiglets!

  10. Clairey
    December 13, 2008 / 2:32 pm

    We always used to call vol au vents “vomit au vents”

  11. Rumela
    March 17, 2009 / 8:01 am

    I would like to try all of these.. specially cheese and pineapple on a stick and some prawn cocktail. For dessert I will choose Black forest gateaux. : )

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