Now that the party season is in full swing, it is important to consider certain
finer points of acceptable social behaviour.
If a sit-down meal is
being served, arrive within half an hour of the stated time on the
invitation. Only when all the guests are assembled in good time can the
hostess relax and enjoy the evening.
To save your hostess
any embarrassment tell her before hand if there is anything you do not eat.
Go outside if you
wish to smoke, but do not do so just before the first course is about to be
served. Do not smoke between courses unless your hostess invites you to do
Bring a gift if
invited to dinner – chocolates or a bottle of wine are most acceptable -
but, unless asked to do so, do not bring a dessert – this may embarrass your
hostess who will have already organized the menu and may feel obliged to
include your dish.
Unless you are
expecting a very important call, turn off your cell phone before sitting
down to dinner. Nothing disrupts the flow of conversation more than a
Do not drink too much
especially if your fellow guests are business colleagues – you may say or do
something you regret later!
If, by some
unfortunate circumstance, one of the guests is an ex partner, behave with
exquisite manners at all times regardless of how you really feel about them!
A verbal altercation in the middle of proceedings can be quite alarming
and acutely embarrassing for the hostess.
yourself to attend the restroom, do not leave your napkin on the table.
This signifies that you have finished your meal. Rather, leave it on your
empty chair which is a signal that you are coming right back.
importantly, be sparkling and witty without monopolizing the conversation