Be the Best Guest at the Dinner Party
You’ve been invited to a dinner party and are looking forward to a fun filled evening. A successful dinner party is made of great guest, tasty food, stimulating conversation and excellent wine (or cocktails if you prefer).
The do’s and don’ts will help you get through the evening faux par free.
Do not arrive early
In fact, a little late is acceptable. Not so late that you are the reason host has a melt down because the soufflé needs to come out the oven NOW! But. Unless you are assisting with the preparation do not arrive early.
Yes, we all know that one domestic god / goddess who is so organised they could arrange a royal wedding without breaking a sweat, but most hosts won’t appreciate having to entertain the early arrival while the table still needs to be set.
Don’t forget the gift.
It is considered good manners and even expected that as a minimum, a guest will bring along a bottle of wine. Let us be clear, a bottle of wine is a contribution, and a gift is something not to be shared with the guests.
Good choices are candles, soaps, a vase, plant, or a potted herb. Chocolate is always a winner, but every good guest knows, you don’t arrive empty handed.
No Phones Allowed
Switch your phone off or at least put it on silent and then put it away, if you want to place a wager at horse racing betting sites do so discretely, or before you arrive. Phones have no place on the dinner table and no, you may not check your Facebook updates, but yes, you may check in on the kids. Discreetly, like when you go off to the loo.
There is one exception to this rule and used appropriately will up your status from average guest to supernova. As you would in any great restaurant, take a photo of the food. After asking permission of course.
Pick your battles and your conversation
Unless you are sharing the table with the President, the Pope, a Karma Sutra guru or Tim Noakes; sex, religion, politics and banting are not hot topics for the dinner table.
Nothing ruins a dinner faster than differences of opinion turning into a clash of the Titans over starters.
Offer to help, but only once
Some hosts appreciate the help while others feel uncomfortable when their guests get involved in the kitchen. Offer to help once and accept the answer you receive.
Hey, relax, enjoy the party and when you reciprocate, as you know you must, make sure to return the favour.
Thank you and Good-Bye
Party planning and cooking can be a tiring affair, so don’t be the guest that’s glued to the couch showing no sign of vacating the seat. Once the coffee has been served it’s time to say thank you and head for the door.
Don’t forget to follow up the evening with a call or email to thank your host again.
If you’ve been a good guest, witty and light hearted, polite, chewed with your mouth closed and didn’t over stay your welcome.
You can be sure to expect another invitation, and we all enjoy an evening with friends especially when we don’t have to do the dishes the next day.