10 Tips for Country House Parties

Kinnettles Castle

Tongue-in-Cheek Tips for a Country House Weekend

10 Tips for… a Host

  1. However much you try to organise your guests, their free spirit shall reign. Want them outside at 10am? Ask for 9am.
  2. If you would like to have wine with Sunday lunch, keep it well hidden on Saturday evening. Otherwise that ever-so-distant relative might just help himself or herself.
  3. Children have a knack of entertaining themselves, especially when placed into two competing/warring groups.
  4. Be clever about room allocations and place yourself at the far end of the house as a refuge.
  5. Label the bedroom doors with their occupants’ names. It avoids the “Oh, I’m so sorry…”
  6. Soup for 10 feeds 10.  Not 11, not 12, 10.
  7. If someone helps you wash up, add him or her to a list of ‘people to invite next time’.
  8. Guests are generally pretty good at getting on with each other, but do try to remember who’s fallen out with whom in the past. They will probably remember themselves.
  9. Don’t try too hard to get consensus, be it on location, date or size of group. Everyone will have a different opinion but making an ‘executive decision’ is usually much more efficient.
  10. Everyone will give you hints, tips and bits of their worldly wisdom. Most of it (including this) can just wash over. Trust your instincts and go for it!
Country house parties - a ball

Country House Parties

10 Tips for… a Guest

  1. Pyjamas: require thought.
  2. Shoe/dress/car/gum boot/attire envy is par for the course.
  3. Practice your card and board game skills beforehand. Winning will really matter (to you).
  4. The one time you choose to take an early morning stroll will be the one time everyone gets up early to go off on an excursion. On which they’ll meet, see, or do something really cool, and spend the rest of the weekend talking about it.
  5. If you really do not want to share a room with someone, tell the host. It will make them angry, but probably less angry than you’ll be otherwise.
  6. What happens in the country, stays in the country. Umm, no. Country-folk talk…
  7. Take books. Lots of ‘em. Ones you might actually want to read.
  8. If your ex is going to be there, it won’t be relaxing. If your ex isn’t going to be there, it won’t be relaxing, but it might be fun.
  9. On murder mystery weekends, no one actually dies. Sorry.
  10. Turn up on time as: (i) there will be food left; (ii) there will be drink left; and (iii) all the latecomers will think you’ve had lots of fun without them.

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