Rules for Hosts

Array of hanging pots and pans

  • Check with your guests beforehand to make sure that they eat everything. If they plead serious allergies or intolerances, take the information seriously. Teasing, cajoling or hectoring someone about a 'supposed' food intolerance is simply bad manners.
  • Make the guest room as welcoming as possible; flowers and some carefully selected bedside reading matter are a nice touch.
  • Make sure guests are informed about any plumbing irregularities or restrictions - if the hot water is in short supply at certain times of the day they should be told.
  • Show guests where they can hang coats and deposit muddy boots.
  • Give guests plenty of space; they may not want to sit in the kitchen talking to you all day, they might enjoy a lie-in or a stroll around the garden.
  • Try not to make too big a deal about the meals you're having to cook. Your guests will soon feel very unrelaxed if you're flapping around the kitchen in a frenzy of noisy preparation.
  • Don't be a martyr, accept offers of help if you feel you need a break.
  • If it's all getting a bit much, suggest an expedition to the local pub. Most guests will enjoy the local colour, and it will give you some respite.
  • Try not to be too managerial; suggest possible outings and expeditions (the guests will probably accede) but don't present them with a military-style programme of activities.
  • Ensure that, at all times when the guests are in the house, that you have offered them a suitable drink or refreshment within living memory. Don't let them sit empty-handed and thirsty for hours on end because you've forgotten to make a cup of tea or pour a glass of wine.
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