Don't you hate it when you're seated next to a bore at a dinner party? Well, here's how to avoid doing it to others via a tip my mother gave me years ago, which was brutally honest to say the least. She is widely considered to be a doyenne of the dinner party, (no one has ever declined an invitation), so far be it from me to knock back her sage advice.
We've all experienced freakout-seating-panic whether planning the seating for a razzle-dazzle dinner or being seated at one. A poor plan can end up putting arch-enemies side by side which can make or break an event, particularly true for anyone who has ever attempted a Fashion Week seating plan. And if you're on the receiving end of a dicey spot it can mean an evening stuck in No Man's Land wedged between two creeps bemoaning the state of the economy.
So - if faced with a seating conundrum of how to seat a dull person at dinner, where would you choose? Perhaps next to someone more outgoing, in order to bring them out of their shell and make them sparkle, right? Wrong. Mum flies in the face of convention and is a firm believer in seating outgoing people next to outgoing people and dullards next to dullards. Her theory is that extroverts scare the hell out of bores and bores bore the hell out of extroverts, so the solution is to let the the bores bore each other and the extroverts revel in their mutual hilarity. Did you catch all that? Thanks Mum ;)
-Host at the head, hostess at opposite head (whoever is cooking seated closest to the kitchen for quick dashes)
-Guest of Honour/s next to host (female to right of host, male to right of hostess)
-Seat people together with common interests, who you think will get along famously
-Seat singles next to singles *matchmaker alert* (proud to say I have match-made several marriages. All still together....so far.)
-Place someone who appeals to everyone, a dazzler, in the middle seat
-Don't seat married or long-term couples next to each other, they see each other all the time. Seat diagonally opposite, sometimes one seat along so they are in view but are exposed to other people.
-Don't seat new couples next to each other or they'll be fawning the whole time. Seat them directly opposite each other, giving each 2 people to chat to as well as the ability to gaze into others eyes.
Then simply add Champagne, enjoy the sheer genius of your seating plan and sparkle like the fabulous hostess you are.