What not to do at a dinner party if you’re hosting…
This is trickier as essentially it’s your house so you can make your own rules.
But, if you want to make your guests feel comfortable and go home talking about the party of the decade, then perhaps keep some of the following tips in mind… don’t:
Mingle with the pets. It’s so common for people to have allergies now. Or simply don’t like having cat fur all over their black trousers. Shut the doors or keep the dog in the garden.
Ask people to take off their shoes. Unless you’re in Japan. Or Switzerland. Floors can be cold and girls love their Manolos.
Scrimp on the heating. There’s nothing worse than a cold house. Light the fires and crank up the radiators.
Presume that everyone will be drinking. Always have non-alcoholic drinks ready for those who are driving, pregnant, on antibiotics, or simply not interested.
Enforce party games. Nothing will make a guest clam up faster than being made play a party game. Particularly if they’re shy or don’t know anyone there. Party games are so tricky to judge. They can inject a party with much needed umph, or shut it down quicker than you can say “Charades”. When in doubt, don’t. Instead, if you think your party throng is fading, crank up the music, get everyone to move seats, and whip out the caffeine.