Dinner party etiquette pointers from the pros
With the demise of finishing schools and etiquette classes, it's a wonder anybody knows how to behave these days.
But, seriously, it is handy to know the dos and don'ts and how to watch those Ps and Qs, so we asked seasoned butlers Steven Randolph and Graeme Smith of London's prestigious Randolphs agency for their top dinner party etiquette tips.
- First of all, make sure you always reply to the invitation in advance, not on the day. If you can’t attend always let your host know in advance, as it will be too late to replace you at the table.
- Hosts, be organized, make sure the scene is set, good lighting, food and wine and only invite guests you think will get along with each other.
- Arrive at the time the invitation says. If the invite is 8pm for 8.30pm this implies drinks and canapés are at 8pm, while dinner starts at 8.30pm, so don’t be late.
- If you have any medical or religious dietary requirements (not because you are choosy) please let your host know when you return your acceptance, this saves embarrassment on the night.