Customs on Invitations in Britain
In Britain it is common to be invited to someone’s home rather than to a restaurant. If you are invited to a restaurant it is because your host is very busy, can’t cook very well, or wants to give you the enjoyment of some special type of food, or perhaps, has often invited you home and now wants to give you a special treat.
Presents If you are invited to someone’s home to have a meal it is usual to take some flowers or a box of chocolates. It is not usual to take a bottle of wine unless you know your host well. Although flowers and chocolates are quite acceptable it would be very nice if you could take something from your country. It is different if you are invited to a party, and it also depends on what kind of party it is. Many parties these days are “bring a bottle”parties. Unless your host is very rich then a bottle of wine is always welcome if it is a big party of say 30 or more people. Ask whether or not you should bring a bottle when you are invited if you aren’t sure. Say something like, “Can I bring a bottle?” And your host will tell you what to do.
Dress If you aren’t sure what you should wear then ask your host or your friends. Usually dress is informal and individual in Britain for parties and for invitations to dinner in people’s homes. If you are going to an expensive restaurant the men may have to wear a jacket and tie, jeans wouldn’t be allowed.
Punctuality1) -If you are invited to dinner at someone’s home you shouldn’t arrive earlier than the time given and you shouldn’t arrive more than about 15 minutes late. If you are going to be late telephone and let your host know so that the meal can be delayed. Dinner is usually served between 8 pm and 9 pm. Very often guests are invited to arrive earlier than this so that they can have a drink and be introduced to the other guests.