Dave: Hi Anna. So glad you could make it. Come in, come in.
Anna: Thank you. I brought a little bottle of something for you.
Dave: Great. Thanks. Here, let me get your coat. Did you find it OK?
Anna: No problem. Your directions were very good.
Dave: That’s good. OK, head on into the living room and make yourself at home. Dinner will be ready in 20 to 30 minutes, and we’re still waiting for Emili. I’ve got a couple of things to finish up in the kitchen.
Anna: OK. Get back to work, chef.
Dave: Dinner is served.
Samantha: Wow, that smells delicious.
Dave: Thank you. I think I had better tell you what everything is: this is roast lamb, with boiled vegetables and mashed potatoes. Here, we have some sauce. We also have a garden salad, and a choice of red or white wine. Please, help yourselves. Tuck in.
Anna: Gosh. This is amazing. How long did it take you to make all this?
Dave: Not too long. Maybe an hour and a half. It wasn’t too difficult: just put things in the oven and on the stove, then wait.
Samantha: It’s better than I could do.
Dave: There’s dessert afterwards as well: chocolate cake with ice cream.
Philip: Great. Well, let me start with a toast to the chef: to the chef!
Last night Dave threw a dinner party. It was terrific: he made roast lamb with vegetables and mashed potatoes, and a chocolate cake for dessert. He invited 5 people, so we had 6 people in total.
Everybody had a good time. Philip got a little drunk and started telling stories about monkeys. Dave and Samantha flirted all night. The party finished at around 11 o’clock, with everybody feeling full.
Emili said she would have the next party, although she doesn’t know how to cook. She asked if everybody likes instant noodles because that is the only thing she can make. Maybe she can have a pizza party.
A casual dinner party is fun, and people should not be too serious. It is polite to bring wine – or something to drink – for the host, but be careful about bringing food: the host may think you don’t like his/her cooking.
At a formal dinner party there may be rules. Some examples are:
• Look for your name on the seating chart, or a name card. If there is no name card, wait to be told where to sit.
• If there are lots of knives, forks, spoons and glasses, start from the outside. The water glass is the biggest, then the red wine glass, then the white wine glass. There may be a thin glass for champagne. Small glasses are for liqueurs.
• Don’t put a dirty knife, fork, or spoon on the table.
• Wait before you start to eat: everyone should have their food, or the host will tell you it’s OK to eat.
• Put your napkin on your lap. Don’t wear it like a baby’s bib. If you need to use it, do it carefully (for example, only use the corner).
• If you want a break, or to leave the room, put your knife and fork neatly at the top of the plate.
• When you go home, thank the host, the people next to you, and the people near you. Write a thank you letter within the next day or two.