Staying in new going out – dinner party etiquette

The humble dinner party is expected to increase in popularity during this month and next, according to most recent Google Search data, as “staying in” becomes the new “going out”.

Aim for a dinner party with no more than six guests according to survey (photo: Adobe)
Aim for a dinner party with no more than six guests according to survey (photo: Adobe)

Christmas hosting season is fast approaching with dinner parties expected to increase in popularity this winter.

More and more Brits are choosing to host at home rather than dining out.

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A nationwide survey commissioned by NIO Cocktails, the UK's top rated ready-to-drink at home cocktail provider, uncovers exactly what makes the perfect dinner party ... as well as what doesn’t!

But there are some do’s and don’ts to ensure you are the perfect dinner guest.

NIO Cocktails campaign landing page has some useful tips for hosting the perfect dinner date.

In order to be the perfect dinner guest remember to not be too early or too late.

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Never ask for anything that you can’t see or isn’t offered.

Find out who you are sitting next to during dinner and avoid chatting to them in the cocktail hour beforehand or else you’ll have nothing to discuss.

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Remember, all food and drink served is delicious, even if it isn’t.

Always thank the host the day or two after.

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This is correctly done with a thank you letter but a call or voice message will suffice.

Researchers also carried out a nationwide survey on the do’s and don’ts to host the perfect dinner party.

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Do keep drinks flowing, refilling guests’ glasses unprompted.

Do keep the number of guests to a manageable level.

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The ideal number of guests is six according to one in three Brits (35 per cent)

Do consider guests dietary requirements.

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Don’t serve vegan dishes or sushi (both 32 per cent), shellfish (28 per cent), hot dogs (25 per cent) or burgers (17 per cent), as these are Brits’ worst meal types.

And don’t play loud music or music that is inappropriate.

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The survey also suggested don’t play Kanye West (24 per cent), Nicki Minaj (17 per cent), Drake (15 per cent) or Ed Sheeran (13 per cent).

Sticking to tradition, the majority still prefer dinner parties to happen on weekends over weekdays (80 per cent) but short timescales don’t fret Brits.

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In fact, the ideal amount of time for planning a dinner party is just one to two weeks (34 per cent), and likewise for being invited to one (40 per cent).

Some one in ten (11 per cent) don’t even know how long it takes to plan a dinner party, suggesting a lack of knowledge for what is involved and how long different elements take to prepare.

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Leaving things to the last minute can mean crucial details are forgotten, such as setting the mood of the room.

According to the UK's leading etiquette coach William Hanson, lighting a candle is a must for the perfect dinner party, yet only a fifth (22 per cent) of the UK do so.

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He said: “Candles make such a difference to the atmosphere.

"Turn off overhead lights, dim the table lamps and light some unscented candles. It will upgrade your dinner party instantly.”

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"Music choice also matters. The three genres Brits feel are the most appropriate are classical (26 per cent), jazz/blues (19 per cent) and soul/RnB.

"But UK Garage, house and metal/rock are seen as the least appropriate."

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For more visit NIOCocktails.co.uk website.