I wonder just how many of you have been frustrated at the late arrival or even non arrival of guests to an event that you have organized. The Etiquette these days seems to have waned somewhat both in extending an Invitation and replying to one.
As a Host you are required to supply all relevant information to your event.

Date – Timing (Start & Finish) – The Venue – Title of Event or Occasion – Dress Code – Reply requirements.

DO NOT BE VAGUE…… like “2.00 pm on wards” – flippant references to type of event (Party).

On timing do not pass time lines. For example if you’re providing drinks do not pass the lunchtime or dinner threshold without providing substantial food. A “drinks party” is for instance 11.30 am till 13.00 hours – Evenings 17.30 till 20.00 hours – this by implication advises your guest that you are expecting them to leave and go to Luncheon or Dinner as you are not providing same. References to Dinner imply formality – Supper a more casual affair. Buffet Likewise. Canapes can imply formality when Nibbles or Light Snacks the opposite. “At Home” also means just that and not in a Hotel or other establishment to your home. It also implies a ‘pop in’ for a Cup of Tea and a Piece of Cake rather than something more. So think carefully what you are inviting your Guests to.

Dress is another problem. If you expect formality then say Black Tie. Less formal could be Lounge Suits. For flexibility one could say Black Tie or Dark Suits. (Does “Casual” allow Jeans and T Shirts) So maybe Smart Casual gives a clearer indication. For the Ladies there are several expressions to tag onto the advice to the Gentlemen. Ball Gowns, Long Dresses, Cocktail Dress, or “Ladies are advised accordingly” – this one usually tags with White Tie for Gentlemen and therefore Formal Long Dresses.

NEVER assume that your guest knows what you expect. If you expect a contribution by asking “Bring a Bottle” then best say – Bring some Champagne (Bubbles) or White Chardonnay. This then negates any guest turning up with something less drinkable than your expectancy.  If the case is “Bring a Plate” then be precise and negotiate item and number of portions. There is nothing worse than expecting a plate of Roasted Chicken for 10 and getting a plate of Chicken Nuggets for 5 or for that matter getting 5 plates of same.

As a Guest you too have an obligation. To reply in plenty of time so that appropriate arrangements can be made for your attendance. Table places laid – catering and drink quotas organized. Dietary preferences accommodated maybe you are being escorted and by whom. Turn up ON TIME. With the present day technology, last minute travesties should be advised as soon as possible. Never say “I’ll think about it” or “I might not be able to make it” particularly to precise invitations.

Last minute changes are always accommodated but can be very irritating especially with Table Plans and or hosting plans. (Your host may have a special person they would like you to meet or want you to perform a special function during the event to make it special for you.)

So be respectful of your invitation – your host and as a guest


Pork Koftas

250 g Minced Pork

100 g Breadcrumbs

2 Egg Yolks

1/2 Bunch Sage, – chopped

2 Cloves Garlic

1 Red Onion, – diced

1 Bramley Apple

Salt and Black Pepper, to season

1. Soak 6-8 bamboo skewers in warm water for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. Combine the minced pork with the breadcrumbs, egg yolks, chopped sage, garlic and onion.

3. Grate the apple; wrap in a clean cloth, and squeeze out any excess moisture. Add to the pork mixture, along with the seasoning.

4. Mould the meat mixture in a sausage-like shape around each of the bamboo skewers.

5. Heat a ridged grill pan with a dash of olive oil. Add the skewers and cook the kebabs for about 5 minutes, until browned, turning the sticks frequently

6. Transfer the pork sticks to a baking tray and cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until they’re tender.