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Dinner parties at a friend’s place are always a blast. Whether you’re eating in their backyard or in their formal dining area, there are few commandments by which you must abide. What should you do if one of the main courses your friend serves is bad? How do you politely request the menu in advance? And what’s appropriate to discuss at the dinner table?
Here are a few commandments that will ensure your evening remains tasteful.
Do not allow too much alcohol to give you the courage to tell a friend how you’ve felt for some time. Declarations of love or pent-up resentments should be saved for a private meeting.
Never tell a friend his dish is bad in front of other guests. If you have suggestions to improve the dish, by all means, offer them the next day.
Contact your friend after confirming your attendance to request the menu in advance if you have dietary restrictions.
Basic etiquette is important even when dining with friends. Fingers should never be used to push food onto the fork and two bites should never be taken from the same forkful.
Stay clear of conversations about politics, religion, money, or professions. You don’t want to offend other guests. Talk about vacations, new restaurants, or things that inspire you.
Being convivial is a great thing — but it’s very bad taste to monopolize the conversation, talk over others, or talk about yourself too much. Learn to listen.
Greet each friend with a hug or handshake. You want everyone to feel comfortable around you.
Arrive on time. Fashionably late is cute for 15 to 20 minutes, but never an hour.
These are your friends. Relax and enjoy the company.
Say thank you. Just because it’s your friends, don’t forget to show gratitude. While you don’t have to make a production out of it at the dinner party — a simple memo would be greatly appreciated.