Modern manners

Dear Mary: At a smart dinner party, is it wrong to ask for the wifi code?

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I are excited to have been invited to dinner by our most important neighbour. However our…

Dear Mary: our son’s future in-laws want to play social oneupmanship with us

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Q. We were about to send off to the printers the invitation for our son’s wedding (we agreed to do…

The DPP's Alison Saunders was never much cop

7 April 2018 9:00 am

An interesting development for our police force, then. In future they do not have to believe everything someone tells them,…

How to be a tourist in Europe

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Avoid the crowds to discover Europe’s real cultural treasures

Dear Mary: How do we deal with our host’s sudden, terrifying rages?

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Q. Along with five of my favourite people, I’ve been invited again to what should be an idyllic house party…

How Soho became so-so: Kettner’s Townhouse reviewed

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Sometimes I fret that Soho House & Co is doing to this column what it does to London. It places…

Can you prove you’re not a racist?

31 March 2018 9:00 am

After an essay in this month’s Prospect about literature and freedom of speech, it seems I was cited on Twitter…

How can I avoid power handshakes? They hurt my fragile knuckles

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Q. How does one avoid power handshakes? Twenty-five years of wicket-keeping have left me with pathetically fragile knuckles, and each…

Dear Mary: My daughter’s new boyfriend isn’t on Facebook – how do I snoop?

10 March 2018 9:00 am

Q. Recently I held a party at which some people were meeting each other for the first time. One social-climbing…

Dear Mary: how can we dissuade friends from visiting when one of us is ill?

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Q. Obviously one is delighted to have visits from close friends and family when one’s spouse is ailing, but how…

Dear Mary: How can we get our star friend along to dinner when he’s so busy?

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Q. We want to invite a rather exceptional friend to dinner. He lives nearby but he has a top job…

Dear Mary: What do you do when your secretary accuses you of not making a pass?

10 February 2018 9:00 am

Q. I am at the age where parts of the body start to go wrong, and I have a minor…

Dear Mary: how do you deal with a daughter who has gone vegan to get attention?

27 January 2018 9:00 am

Q. Several friends have reached an age and wealth that means they take unreasonably long holidays or even entire gap…

Mary solves your problem: Is it cultural appropriation for an English person to attend a Burns supper?

13 January 2018 9:00 am

Q. Should the lady or the gentleman have the banquette in a restaurant? I’ve been brought up to believe that…

Mary solves your problems: A secret school scrapbook discovered by the housemaster

6 January 2018 9:00 am

Q. At my son’s school the boys keep a clandestine leatherbound book known as ‘The Bible’, a sort of Rogues…

Dear Mary solves problems for Vince Cable, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Lord Archer and Ruth Davidson

16 December 2017 9:00 am

From Sir Vince Cable MP Q. I have an unfulfilled ambition to win a national title for ballroom dancing in…

Mary solves your problems: What do you say when a screaming child is ruining your lunch?

9 December 2017 9:00 am

Q. My wife and I were having lunch in our local bistro. A boy of about two was wandering around…

Mary solves your problems: what’s the right response to a request for no presents?

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Q. We have reached the age when we are receiving invitations from our friends for Golden Wedding celebrations. All the…

Over-protective parents are making kids miserable – and fat

28 October 2017 9:00 am

We think we are protecting children but we are harming them

If you don't let children take risks, you are damaging them

28 October 2017 9:00 am

A bit of risk is good for the young

Dear Mary: What’s the etiquette of visiting a friend in hospital?

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Q. What is the etiquette of hospital visiting? A friend in his fifties is about to spend six weeks in…

Millennials don’t fear censorship because they plan on doing all the censoring

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Matt Ridley’s fine recent Times column was hardly the first to raise the alarm about the pseudo-Soviet intolerance of the…

Mary solves your problems: A friend lent me a treasured keepsake – now they have the gall to ask for it back

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Q. A newish friend who has very good manners lent me a DVD of his grandfather at the Olympics. I…

Dear Mary: the TV mogul whose floral offering did not cut the mustard

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Q. A well-known television mogul,whom I had met only once, came to dinner at my house. I was on good…

Mary solves your problems: How can we avoid eating poisoned mushrooms foraged by a friend?

7 October 2017 9:00 am

Q. We have moved from London into a rural area where we are preparing for the first visit of a…