Q. Many of our best and oldest friends have done so well they have stopped work. Meanwhile my husband still does a 50-hour week. Our friends must have forgotten what it’s like to have to get up at six because they’re always amazed when we try to leave their dinner parties at a reasonable hour. But the real problem arises when we return the hospitality and they are still at our kitchen table two hours after dinner has been cleared, laughing, joking, saying they’ve got second wind and can I get the cheese out again. Hinting doesn’t work. Last time my husband even changed into his pyjamas and said goodnight. They chuckled as though he was just being eccentric and carried on until 1.30 a.m. We love our friends despite this, and want to see them, but how could we tactfully persuade them to leave our house at, say, 11 p.m.?
— B.F.B., London W12
A. Don’t give them dinner in your own home. Book an over-popular restaurant like the Wolseley, specifically asking for a table which you must vacate by a certain time to allow for a second sitting. Forces beyond your control will bring the evening to a satisfactory early climax and while they go out clubbing or to 5 Hertford Street, you can cheerily make your way home to bed.
Q. A great friend’s husband has taken to posting on a particular social media site his transit through business-class lounges, smart hotels, premium sports matches and sundry eateries. He appears to be oblivious that this may seem vulgar, and it would be socially difficult to unfriend him. Mary, please rule if this is indeed boorish and, if so, advise on how he can be corrected. We keenly anticipate your guidance!