The rules — and faux pas — of cold-weather entertaining


Going out when the weather is cold, is pretty grim. So it’s no wonder that a dinner party invitation in the winter is a very welcome treat! However, if you show up at the hosts home, to find that it is colder than the Antarctic and you wish you’d worn some thermal layers! Here are the rules, and faux pas of cold-weather entertaining, for a happy, cozy winter evening.

Think hygge

The word of the past few winter seasons, hygge is a Danish term that there isn’t a word for in English. It is all about being cozy and warm, with log fires, hand-knotted blankets, and delicious hot tea. Channel hygge at your winter soiree, and look for opportunities to make your home cozy and welcoming. Think candles, a roaring fire, mulled cider and warm comfort foods – amazing!

No shoes allowed

If you are a shoes-off kind of house, then think about what you can do to keep your guests’ feet toasty. If your flooring isn’t heated, your guests could end up with very chilly tootsies! Perhaps you could lapse your rules for the night, or provide a basket of fluffy warm socks at the door. This extra touch will be really appreciated by your guests, and if you buy a few pairs of brand new socks you can let your guests keep them as a party favor too!

Thermostat twiddling

As a guest, you cannot really alter the temperature (unless you are incredibly fearless and/or know the hosts really well!), so it is essential that the host monitors the temperature of the house at all times. When you are checking that the volume of the music is okay and that the chip bowl is restocked, take a second to feel the temperature and look around at your guests to see if anyone looks cold. If your guests are too cold, they won’t enjoy themselves. A general guideline when it comes to a starting temperature is around 70 to 73 degrees, but make sure you are aware of your individual guests.

Keep blankets around

There is no way that you can keep everyone happy, so if you have one person who is a little chilly whereas the others are just right, make sure there are blankets accessible if they want them. Try not to make a big deal out of offering it to your guest as you don’t want to make them feel bad for being cold.

Being a guest

If you are going to someone’s house, remember to wear a few layers, so that you can adjust your own body temperature without causing a fuss. A shawl or a wrap is perfect for this. It is important not to look rude, so don’t keep your coat on – it looks as though you are ready to leave at any moment and will make the energy of the party a little awkward. Don’t be afraid to politely ask your host if they have a sweater you can borrow, or if they could turn the heat up a little. Your host will want you to be happy, so as long as you ask nicely, and try not to draw attention to it too much, we’re sure they will be more than happy to help out.

Being cold can make people really miserable, and that’s the last thing you want at a party! Keep your guest warm, and your party, as the kids say, lit!