Manners do make the man and every modern gentleman knows that there are special rules for when you’re in someone else’s home. Don’t make the mistake of being an uniformed guest and take a minute to get familiar with the manners that make the difference between a welcomed visitor and someone whose been banished to the uninvited list.

As The Guest

  • Don’t even think about arriving empty-handed, even if the host hasn’t asked you to bring anything. A decent bottle of wine is never unappreciated.
  • Offer to help with dinner (or anything for that matter). Nine times out of ten your host won’t let you get your hands dirty. It’s the thought that counts.
  • If you’re staying over, don’t turn the guest room into a bomb site with used underwear and wet towels strewn about the floor.
  • Familiarize yourself with the house rules. Are shoes allowed? What dishes can and can’t go in the dishwasher? Should you leave the door unlocked? Get to know it all straight away to make your presence as stress-free as possible.
  • Don’t arrive too early. This is the perfect way to freak your host out.
  • Equally, be careful not to outstay your welcome.
  • If you have stayed anywhere for a prolonged period, offer to take your host out for dinner or at least cook as a way of saying thank you. If in a pinch, a bottle of their favorite spirit can be a thoughtful gesture of thanks.
  • Pack a robe. You don’t want to have to jog nervously from the bathroom to the bedroom every morning, in your skivvies.
  • Don’t expect your hosts to cater to any ridiculous dietary requirements you may have. Allergies? Absolutely fine. But “Oh sorry, I can eat that. It’s got salt in it.” Nope.
  • At the end of your stay, make sure the room you stayed in is spotless, strip the bed and offer to load the linens into the washing machine.

As a host, your primary aim is to make your guests feel at home and leave wishing they could stay longer. Here are a few hosting etiquette tips to help keep you on the right track to ensure that your guests go away talking about their visit for all the right reasons.

As The Host

  • Always greet your guests at the door and make them feel welcome in your home immediately.
  • Take people’s coats and jackets for them and tell them where they are should they need them.
  • Circulate, participate in conversations and introduce your guests to one another, especially anyone who has come on their own and may not know anyone.
  • Make sure everyone’s drinks are topped up. And if pouring alcohol, always provide a nonalcoholic option too. And, of course, have glasses or bottles of water available.
  • If you’re having a large number of guests over, you can probably knock the ‘shoes off at the door’ policy on the head. There’s something a bit weird about a big party where nobody has their shoes on.
  • You shouldn’t be expected to cater to particularly unusual dietary habits, but it wouldn’t hurt to do a veggie option if you know that one or more of your guests aren’t meat lovers.
  • Don’t just play music you like, but don’t make it a free-for-all or you risk people cutting off songs halfway through to play their own. Assess the crowd and the mood and make a playlist accordingly.
  • If having guests to stay, make sure their room is tidy and that the bed linen is fresh.Always see your guests out and thank them for coming.

Get-togethers are fun and can be special and memorable. Whether you are hosting or guesting, be the one to add to the event, not take from it, and the good times will surely flow!