Throw a Fabulous Party and We'll Guess How British You Are

By: Zoe Samuel
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
Throw a Fabulous Party and We'll Guess How British You Are
Image: SolStock / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Despite the stereotype, British people are not entirely uptight, and they are also not entirely drunken louts who only know how to have fun when inebriated (though there may be a few of those knocking around the United Kingdom). Indeed, if there’s one thing the British do very well, it’s throwing a fancy party that is still incredibly good fun.

One of the elements of this, perhaps counter-intuitively, is that there are an awful lot of mostly-unspoken rules about parties. The purpose of these is not to make people feel bad or like they have to work hard, but to ensure that everyone is included.

For example, if you have a dress code, the richest person won’t be much better-dressed than the poorest. If you have a seating plan at dinner, the most popular person can’t get more attention than the least. If you ask about dietary requirements or preferences ahead of time instead of just serving whatever comes to mind, no one is ever served food they don't want to eat. If you know how to measure a space, there are never more guests than the room can comfortably hold, and everyone is comfortable. If it's considered polite to arrive a little late, nobody ever feels bad because they got screwed by the traffic.

Of course, you have to be truly British, right down to the marrow of your bones, to pull it off the way the best hosts do, from the stateliest of stately homes to the humblest of Edwardian terrace houses. Let’s see if you have what it takes!

What time should people arrive?
15 minutes after the invitation says
On time, but not early!
On time, or 10 minutes either side
Whenever

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How did you invite your guests?
For a little party, texting and calling. For a big one, paper invites.
Email invites or phone call
Facebook invite
WhatsApp

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Who sits where at dinner?
I do a seating plan that includes where to switch for dessert so people meet more fellow guests.
I have a seating chart.
At the table. Is this a trick question?
Wherever

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How will people know what to wear?
There will be a dress code on the invite.
I will say a dress code when I call them.
They will wear gowns and tailcoats, hopefully.
They can wear whatever they like.

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What day of the week will you hold the party?
Saturday
Friday
Sunday
Whenever the game is on

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What's for dinner?
Something that suits everyone, after I called them and checked.
Roast chicken with roasties and aubergine for the vegetarians
Spaghetti bolognese
Steak

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Will you get any extra help in the form of waiters, a cook, etc.?
If the party is big enough, yes.
Maybe, especially a housekeeper
Yes, many of them!
No, I can deal.

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How will people know what time to leave?
It'll say in the invitation.
I'll tell them.
They'll just know because of etiquette, I think?
They'll be tired.

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What happens if someone just doesn't show up?
That's very rude and they are not invited back.
I will call them repeatedly.
I guess we'll be a short one and I will be sad.
Guess someone else gets their steak

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Where is the party held?
My house
Our barn
In a private room I rented
Tailgate outside a sporting event

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How far in advance will you invite people?
Six weeks for a big event, two for a smaller one
A week or two
Three days
On the day

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Will the guests help clean things up?
No
They will offer and I will say no.
That'd be nice!
They better.

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What inspired this particular party to look this way?
I felt like it.
That's how my mother does it.
"Downton Abbey"
I don't know how else to do it.

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If someone gets drunk, what happens?
If they are abrasive, they get put in a cab. Otherwise, they are either allowed to stay or sent to the guest room to sleep it off.
I don't think I'd notice.
Everyone just ignores them.
Someone evicts them from the party.

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How do people decide whether to bring someone?
It says on the invitation whether they can.
They call and ask.
They only bring someone if it is a fiance.
They feel like it.

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People are dancing but a woman is standing beside the dance floor without a partner! What will happen next?
A gentleman will ask her to dance.
A group of people will ask her to dance.
She will probably just be sad.
She'll dance if she wants to.

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Are you prepared for someone to stay over if there is a transport problem or they're too drunk to drive?
The guest room is always ready.
I have linens downstairs ready to make up the sofa.
I guess they can sleep on the couch.
Nope!

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Would it be considered OK to discuss politics at the party?
Yes, as long as you understand that five minutes later we are all friends again.
If you like, but if you say something stupid, someone may push back.
Probably not
Absolutely not

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Which piece of cutlery will people use first?
Start from the outside, work your way in!
The appropriate one for that course
Whatever they like
What sort of fancy party has cutlery?

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If you serve cake, can people take some home?
Yes, I have Tupperware ready to go.
Yes, I can put it in a napkin for them.
I don't know how they would carry it.
They can just carry it in their hand.

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If there is a physically disabled guest present, how will you make sure they have a good time?
Strong men will tag team to help with steps, drinks, shawl, etc. A person of their gender will be on bathroom duty if needed.
We'll take care of them.
I hadn't thought of this!
They'll probably have a wheelchair or a carer.

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If it is raining, will that affect your plans?
I have contingencies in place for all weather scenarios.
Why would it?
Probably, yes
Yes. We might have to cancel.

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What happens if the room gets too cold and the heating is broken?
I light the fire.
I give out all my shawls and sweaters.
I don't know!
People who want coats can go and get them.

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What sort of music will you play?
Unobtrusive at dinner, then rock or pop if we plan to dance, and blues if not.
Jazz
Classical
Country

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Can kids come to the party?
It says on the invitation!
If it is a garden party, a wedding, or another type of party that is for families.
No, this party is fancy.
No, this party is way too naughty.

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Someone breaks a glass. What happens now?
Staff will tidy it up quickly.
I tidy it up quickly.
They tidy it up.
They sue me for hurting their finger.

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In the middle of the party, a terrible costume malfunction afflicts the guest of honor, revealing far too much. What do you do?
A gentleman immediately puts his jacket around them. We go upstairs to fix it. Everyone pretends it never happened.
I put a shawl around them and take them to another room to borrow something.
We all freeze, aghast.
We all laugh uproariously.

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A server tops up a guest's drink, while that guest is in conversation with another guest. What does the guest do?
Stop or ask their conversation partner to stop, then look round at the server, and thank them properly.
Thank the server
Raise the glass briefly
Nothing, that's why we have staff.

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How many people can you invite?
Calculate square footage, deduct 25% for furniture, divide by 6. That's how Prince Charles' party planner does it.
Measure the space then invite an average of one person for every 6-square feet of floor space.
Count how many chairs we have. That's the number.
As many as we feel like

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When is appropriate to throw a Christmas party?
Christmas Eve or Boxing Day
Christmas Eve only
A week before Christmas
Christmas Day

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You Got:

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