How To Be a Good Host

Lynn Schreiber

Following on from our How to Be a Good Houseguest advice, here’s the other side of the coin. How to be a good host!


Give them information on what to do, where to go and what to see, and how to get there. You can give some of this info before their visit, so that they know what to expect.

Be honest with them. If you don’t have time to take them around, tell them. If you don’t do this, then you will resent their presence in your house. If you work from home, make sure they know that you can’t drop everything to ‘holiday’ with them.

If you have small children, they shouldn’t except the house to be quiet in the morning, or that the kids will wait for them to get up to have breakfast.

Ask them to give you a hand if they don’t offer to help do dishes.

Don’t Be Their Slave

I hate to feel that I am putting someone out and that I can’t just make myself a cup of tea without the host springing up and doing it for me. “My house is your house”, I read recently is a polite way of saying, “This isn’t a hotel, get your own bloody tea and sandwich”.

Expect Nothing, be Grateful for Everything

Don’t have high expectations of what your guests should bring/do but be grateful for any gifts they bring or help they offer. If there is anything that you particularly miss from home, ask them to bring it – they might not realise that you can’t get bacon/Marmite/PG Tipps where you are.

Plan Meals

Before your guests arrive, find out if they have any particular allergies or food preferences then go shopping.  Don’t feel you have to offer hotel style three course meals every evening. Most people are quite happy with a simple pasta dish. A great way to make having guests less stressful is to plan dishes that you can make in advance, freeze then defrost on the day and pop in the oven, e.g. lasagne, fish or beef pie. Serve with a side salad, and you will have time to chat to your guests rather than be stuck in the kitchen all evening!

Go To Bed

If you have young children or are working the next day, go to bed when you want to. Do not feel that you have to stay up till 3am chatting to your guests. Point them in the direction of the fridge/beer keg/wine cellar and excuse yourself.

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