Guidelines for Hosts

The following is a guideline for being a host. However, the most important is to act the way you would want your host to act if you were the guest. And to have a great time!

Before the event

It is a good idea to do as much as you can before the guests arrive. Lay the table, sort out the crockery, and have the food prepared as much as possible – that way you will be able to spend more time with your guests rather than in the kitchen.

When the guests arrive

Feel free to offer the guest a welcome drink. This can be wine, beer, or other alcoholic drink provided the guests are old enough, but it is important to at least have non-alcoholic beverages available.

If someone brings a bottle you may like to open it at some point in the evening, but have your own bottle ready and opened, in case your guests don't bring wine. If you do not open your guests' wine during the event, make sure you tell them that their wine is too exceptional for the assembled group and that you're saving it for a special occasion.

At the table

As a host, it is your prerogative to place your guests on the seats according to how you think is most appropriate, or if you want to have a more laid back and spontaneous atmosphere you can also let people choose where they want to sit themselves. Either way, it is suggested that couples are separated and - if possible - genders alternate.

For the best balance and communication at the table, it is beneficial if those with similar interests sit together, and also place loudmouths at opposite ends of the table. As host you should sit near the door/kitchen. Keep a close eye on proceedings during the first couple of courses, pay particular attention to guests who are shy or have come alone.

As host it is your duty to ensure conversation flows throughout the meal. Steer it away from topics that you know will be awkward for any of your guests. A compulsory swapping of seats for pudding and coffee can rescue flagging conversation.

Relax and enjoy the evening.

Eat in common