This might be a one-off social event, but for those invited, there is no harm in knowing what is expected of a guest’s behavior.

Initially, whether a verbal or written invitation is received,  a reply is imperative.

Depending on the hostess, one’s dress could be questionable but “in moderation” is a guideline.

The hostess has quite a daunting task in arranging not only the food and drinks but to seat guests who are compatible!

To ensure a fine ambiance, the area can be scented with a room atomizer, candles are placed in suitable areas and even a small gift offered like a Matsimela pamper parcel for each guest placed on a side plate.

Name cards are generally essential as confusion in seating can cause havoc!

The actual table settings vary enormously regarding food being served but as a guest in doubt having a glance as to how others are handling the situation can be a “lifesaver”.

The death of a dinner party can be escalated by drastic religious or political discussion, arrogant behaviour, and ill-manners like ‘hounding’ down one’s food and getting inebriated.

Ungracious eating habits have most likely become the norm due to the fact that the world is dominated by fast foods, many items being handheld and washed down by sugary, fizzy drinks!

There is so much etiquette involved but if one dislikes the food and/or other guests, it is best to put a zip on one’s mouth. Loud and intrusive viewpoints can ruin the dinner party for a host or hostess who has made every effort for each person attending.

Entertaining is both daunting and rewarding – should a guest have a repeated invitation, this is a real compliment to the hostess, may this be one of you!