SUN ONLINE, APRIL 23, 2019
COVERAGE FOR STOVES
STAYING IN-IN: Having dinner parties is on the rise with British households now holding at least one a month
- New research on Britons’ entertainment habits shows half of people prefer to stay in and cook for friends than go out for dinner
New research of Britons has revealed having friends over for supper is on the increase, with the average household now throwing at least one dinner party a month and half of people preferring to stay in and cook for friends than go out for dinner.
However, according to the survey, we now refer to our soirees and gatherings as “kitchen suppers”, with as many as 78 percent feeling the term “dinner party” is outdated.
The survey into the nation’s entertaining habits, commissioned by kitchen appliance manufacturers Stoves, also revealed a modern-day etiquette guide for throwing the perfect party, according to Brits.
This includes never talking about politics (25 percent), never allowing people to smoke in your house (41 percent) and making sure no one has any allergies before serving up dinner (41 percent).
Almost a third (27 percent) feel gossiping about people who are not there is bad form, while one in five feel that making a formal starter rather than more casual sharing plates is no longer the done thing.
Five in ten said serving Prosecco is outdated and one should opt for an English sparkling wine or Cava, while a similar percentage said getting everyone out of your house by midnight is essential, as nothing good happens after that.
12 percent said posting unflattering pictures of your guests on social media without asking first, is the height of bad manners, while taking pictures of your own food and posting online is seen as a bit naff by 16 percent.
Other rules for a successful party in the modern age include never serving drinks in jam jars (27 percent), thinking carefully about pairing the wine (19 percent), having a vegan option (19 percent), never asking guests to take their shoes off (17 percent) and under no circumstances, texting guests asking them to hurry up (15 percent).
However, according to many of those polled, it is perfectly good form to discuss what Netflix series everyone is watching, as is letting guests chip in and help with the cooking rather than slaving away on your own.
RESTAURANT-STYLE EXPERIENCE AT HOME
Some 46 percent of those attending a dinner party, however, thought turning up dressed appropriately is rule number one of being a good dinner guest, while 44 percent added that they must compliment the hosts cooking. In a modern twist, more than one in ten (15 percent) believed it is a must to thank your host on social media the next day.
When asked what their dream dish to serve up would be, respondents were keen to go the extra mile to impress their guests – an ambitious five percent of people said they’d serve up the notoriously tricky Beef Wellington.
Just two percent said they would splash the cash on lobster for their guests and five percent.
A spokesperson for Stoves said: “The research shows that simply staying in and getting a take-away, or cooking a simple dish won’t suffice. We are going the extra mile to impress our guests and rather than just ‘staying in’ we’re ‘staying in-in’ by bringing a restaurant-style experience into the home – and with that comes new rules to live by.”
The survey of 2,000 people also showed that hosting a dinner party is a time-consuming affair.
On average people spend 86 minutes cleaning after a dinner party, 52 minutes making a playlist and 61 minutes planning a menu.
Hosts spend 107 minutes cooking for their guests, an additional 91 minutes cleaning before the party and more than an hour (65 minutes) shopping.
The worst thing about hosting a dinner party is doing the cleaning up according to 48 percent of respondents, while more than a third (37 percent) hate it when people don’t eat their food, 31 percent want their guests to say thank you and 29 percent get fed up when guests refuse to leave.
However, more than half (57 percent) of hosts enjoy getting their friends together and chatting most of all. Almost a quarter (23 percent) revel in showing off their cooking skills and 14 percent say they like showing off their house or kitchen.