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⚙️ Table Talk #100: "Guesting" 101 💐


Being a guest, on the face of it, is pretty simple. You land on someone’s doorstep, you enter and job’s a good ‘un.

Being a great guest however takes know-how. Today’s Table Talk delves into the gaffes and blunders we’ve made so you don’t need to.



Dine... in the sunshine while you still can at London’s best restaurants for alfresco dining.

Marvel... at the human car wash and other equally useless but mesmerising contraptions created by kinetic artist Joseph Herscher.

Learn... how to make papier-mâché vases at this workshop hosted by TOAST.


Our very best bit of advice for being the perfect guest is to remember all the things you’ve said as a host and absolutely not meant. We Brits like to speak in riddles, so unravel the truths from the lies and you’ll be headed for golden guest status.

“Just bring yourself” -  a line to never take at face value. It actually means “Please bring a bottle and a box of chocolates wouldn’t go amiss”. We’ve fallen for this, then looked like The Scrooge. It’s not worth it, we’re telling you.

“No, you can’t help” - another misnomer. It translates as “I hate chopping opinions, yes I’d love you to play sous chef”. Even simply offering to top up everyone else’s drinks, or put some music can make the mad juggle of hosting feel less hectic. Make your offer specific and you're more likely to get a yes.

“The washing up will take me five minutes” - pure lies. Unless your host has spawned another 6 arms and is keeping them under wraps, they really mean “I could kiss you, I would love nothing better than a helping hand drying, thank you, thank you.”

“Honestly, don’t write” - nothing honest about it. A message, or even better postcard that spends a moment reflecting on the generosity of your host and the happy evening shared is always a nice thing to receive, and great fridge fodder too. We like TouchNote for photocards and Archivist for a more luxurious letterpress card.

"The washing up will take me five minutes"

Right, now we’ve got the lies to one side, onto some truths…

“Bring a bottle” does quite literally mean “bring a (full) bottle”. Just ask our friend who brought three half-consumed (beautiful) bottles from a wine tasting, but has never lived it down. He’d be welcome at ours but it’s not, we and he learnt, the done thing.

“Come at eight” you guessed it, means “come at eight”. Come earlier and you’ll set your host’s plans off kilter and risk catching them scrambling for a shower, come a lot later and the halloumi’s turned to rubber.

Grilled Halloumi & Thyme
Photo Credit: Well Plated by Erin


Ever been asked to bring dessert and felt stumped? Our favourite tip is to roll back the clock and recreate the Pizza Hut ice cream bar experience. 

Simply buy easy scooping ice cream (ideally Mackie's or Wall’s), squirty sauce (either chocolate or raspberry gets our vote) and a bunch of sweets (smarties, jelly babies
, buttons etc) and voila you’ll win on romantic nostalgia if nothing alone!

Pizza Hut Ice Cream Factory


What a moment. We've hit a century of Table Talks.

For those here from first strike, a huge and heartfelt thank you. For those who are new, do have a delve into our archive.

Table Talk #85 - Togas Tequila Tagliatelle and Table Talk #26 - Barbecue As An Art Form have been firm favourites with our readers. They're great old edits to kick start your back cataloguing.

Until next Wednesday,

Luke x

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