Dinner parties

Dear Mary: How can I deal with overly demonstrative colleagues?

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Q. A friend constantly walks around with his bootlaces undone. His wife declines to nag him on the grounds she…

Breakfast is so Brexit (but avocados are definitely Remain)

2 December 2017 9:00 am

One suspect meal could land you on the wrong side of the great divide

Dear Mary: How to deal with a ‘recycling fascist’

4 March 2017 9:00 am

My partner has become a recycling fascist. She checks everything I put into the bin. I received two bollockings today alone…

What to do when a beast monopolises your fascinating neighbour at dinner

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Q. At a recent party I was delighted to find my hosts had put me next to one of their…

In defence of the dinner party

13 August 2016 9:00 am

My wife prefers restaurants. She’s wrong

Dear Mary: When I woke up at 3 a.m., my dinner party guests hadn’t gone

14 May 2016 9:00 am

How do you persuade your pleasant dinner guests to go home when they will stay into the early hours if…

Dear Mary: How can I make a conversation-stopping gaffe go away?

9 April 2016 9:00 am

Q. What should a host do when a guest says something so embarrassing in front of the assembled company that…

Dear Mary: How can we make our dinner guests go?

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Q. Many of our best and oldest friends have done so well they have stopped work. Meanwhile my husband still…

Dear Mary: How to give a dinner party and still get an early night

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Q. I socialise in Shropshire every weekend and regularly give dinners which end at 2 a.m., but it’s a different matter…

Dear Mary

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Q. When sending wedding invitations, does one put the full titles on the card, or can one just put, for…

Dear Mary: What can I do to make couples split the bill fairly?

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Q. I’m a single bloke now and for various reasons don’t foresee any change to that status. I have moved…

Dear Mary: When is it all right not to bring something to a dinner party?

14 March 2015 9:00 am

Q. A wonderful and generous woman invites me, on a regular basis, to dinner parties at her house. What is…

When did we become a nation of police informers?

10 January 2015 9:00 am

There’s a danger that in what follows your columnist may seem to be recommending an attitude. Please don’t think that.…

Dear Mary: How to talk to friends whose book you haven’t read

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Q. What is the correct thing to say to a writer friend whose book you haven’t read? I buy most…

Dear Mary: Is there a tactful way to shorten the guest list for my 21st?

1 November 2014 9:00 am

Q. I am organising my 21st birthday party at our family house in Italy. It is a fantastic location, but…

Dear Mary: Is there a polite way to ask for the return of a handbag full of cash?

7 June 2014 9:00 am

Q. A friend regularly hires a stall at a general neighbourhood market in order to sell surplus second-hand clothes and…

Dear Mary: How can I make my polite English husband interrupt like a German?

24 May 2014 9:00 am

Q. My dear English husband has never mastered the knack of timing his interventions in conversation. He hesitates politely, and…

Dear Mary: How can I make my host pour me a drink?

21 September 2013 9:00 am

Q. Some years ago, on holiday in Egypt, we found ourselves in the company of a couple who wanted to…