On Entertaining: Being a Good Guest

Lisa recently gave her 5 tips on entertaining and I wrote a longer post on the lessons we’ve learned on being good hosts. Every story has two sides though, so now it’s time to review the top 5 traits of a good guest.

A good guest…

  1.  Is on time, or slightly later, but is never ever early. Unless the party host specifically asks you to arrive early, don’t. If you must, immediately offer to assist with set up. However, unless you know the hosts very well, the far safer move is another lap around the block. That’s because a good host will spend the final 30 minutes before their party relaxing. If you arrive then, it’s destroyed.
  2. Never drinks to the point of illness. If you’re no longer capable of making a life-or-death decision, you’ve had enough. If you’re throwing up in the host’s bathroom, you better return the next day to help clean up.
  3. Always and sincerely compliments the hosts upon arrival. Everyone likes being appreciated. Your party hosts are no different. They undoubtedly put a lot of effort into making a good impression, so pay them the hearty compliment they desire and deserve.
  4. Contributes to the party or bar in good looks, conversation, cheerful disposition, gift, or cash. Gifts and cash are always appreciated, just keep the setting in mind. For example, the host of a cocktail party may prefer a bottle of liqueur, Vermouth or even bitters over comparably priced beer or wine. If hors d’oeuvres are served, a bottle of olive oil, vinegar, or even spices are other great options. All of these are less perishable and the host will remember you fondly with each use in the following months (never a bad thing). I can’t think of a home cook who would be upset about receiving a bottle of saffron. Nor would a cocktail enthusiast be peeved about receiving Regan’s Orange Bitters or Dale Degroff’s Pimento Aromatic Bitters.
  5. Always responds to RSVP requests in a timely manner. Planning a party is hard enough, don’t make it even harder. A host doesn’t want to know 30 minutes before the party that you’re suddenly coming and that you’re bringing a group of 5 other people. Likewise, if you RSVP that you are attending, honor it.

How about you, what makes someone a good guest that you cheerfully invite back?

-Ryan

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