Pippa Middleton pocketed £400,000 to produce a book of
party tips. It’s called, aptly enough, Celebrate. There must be a market for this kind of thing. Being an inveterate party-giver, I’m even thinking
of coming out with a tome of my own. Here are a few extracts form my first draft.
* The first priority in hosting a successful house
party is to make your visitors feel welcome immediately. Start by opening the door. I find this always goes down well with
* Wear your shabbiest working clothes, explaining that
the reason you’re not dressed is that the cat climbed onto the kitchen table
and peed all over the hors d’oeuvres, obliging you to spend an hour trying to
work out which ones could be salvaged.
“I think I got it right,” you might add, reassuringly.
* Accept the gift of a bottle of discounted
supermarket Bulgarian wine with a gracious smile, rather than a grimace. An effusive gesture of gratitude will go a
long way to hide your contempt.
* And here’s a little hint for getting rid of the
stuff. Open all the bottles, regardless
of colour or origin, and pour them into a large bowl. Then season the concoction with a bag of
licorice allsorts and serve it as punch.
They’ll probably find it delicious, and ask you for the recipe. Forgetting to give it to them is a good idea.
* Try to talk to all your guests, not just a select
few. This will allow you to avoid having
any meaningful conversations with neighbours who’ve been invited only because
you were invited to their place last year.
The best way to ensure a short conversation is to express a
controversial opinion. Here’s an example:
you believe Abu Qatada is being persecuted by the government and ought to be
allowed to stay in the country rent-free and with full benefits. Or mention that John Terry might be popping in
* Serve really glutinous snacks without offering
plates or napkins and watch with delight as your irritated guests fumble for
their handkerchiefs. The sight will keep
you giggling even long after they’ve left.
* Speaking of which, just how do you get guests to leave at a reasonable hour? It’s very simple: select a very dear friend
to feign being drunk and objectionable.
He should be instructed to stagger around the house making graphic remarks
about so-and-so’s (provide name of an absent neighbour) renowned fondness for
oral sex, belching loudly. Should those little ploys fail, he should announce at
regular intervals that he thinks he’s about to vomit.
And if none of that works, simply turn the heat off,
open several windows and leave the front door wide open. When the indoor temperature drops to 5
degrees, most of your guests will waste no time heading upstairs to fetch their
There, that gives you just the teeniest flavour of my
book. I hope you like it. And if you want to offer any helpful
suggestions, I’ll be more than happy to receive them.