London: One in ten guests snoop on the worldly possessions of their hosts while waiting for food to be served, a new research has revealed.
Experts believe that British etiquette is in danger of becoming a lost art, as poking around uninvited wasn’t the only offence committed.
More than a quarter (28 percent) said that they regularly turned up at friend’s house without a gift, 17 percent took to swearing in front of their host and 13 percent lit cigarettes, despite not smoking in their own homes.
Just 15 percent of men admitted to offering to wash the dishes when visiting a friend or family member, while over a quarter of women (27 percent) were more than happy to help out where they could.
As a result of poor behaviour, seven percent of hosts revealed that they had fallen out with friends.
Gill Harbord, etiquette expert and Ladette to Ladies headmistress, called the guest’s uninvited snooping around as “awful behaviour”.
“The idea that guests set out to go on a self-guided tour of their guest’s home is just awful behaviour,” the Daily Mail quoted Harbord as saying.
“If guests want to see the house they should always ask their host first and never engage in an uninvited snoop.
“It is truly dreadful that a quarter of British people have turned up to a dinner party without a gift and it shows a clear lack of manners in today’s society. Guests should remember that they do not need to spend a fortune but should always bring along a small token to show appreciation to their host,” he said.
But guests are still making demands of their hosts - almost a third (31 percent) said they expect hosts to hang up their coat when they arrive and three quarters (76 percent) would find it rude if they were not asked if they wanted a drink or a bite to eat.
“It is clear from the research that old fashioned British etiquette is in danger of becoming extinct,” Jacky Brown, at Sheilas’ Wheels insurance, which commissioned the survey, said.
“As a nation we are well known for taking care of our castles so we would advise that hosts plan ahead and make sure they put away expensive and fragile items to prevent any accidental mishaps from happening,” he added.
First Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 16:10