Some more coffee? An encore of sweet tea, perhaps? A top off for your bourbon? We all know the joy of sipping one more drink before we pack up at a dinner party, but you may have already missed your sign to leave. According to British etiquette expert Thomas Blaikie, the post-dinner libation suggestion is actually the ideal moment to exit gracefully.
As reported by The Daily Mail, Blaikie shared his thoughts in his column in the UK's The Lady magazine. "Left to their own devices, guests can reach a point beyond which they've lost the will and the energy to leave, having previously perhaps been wishing to leave but feeling it was too early and all their energy went into that agony, so there is none left with the time to leave has long passed," the etiquette expert wrote. "Especially if the hosts, rather hoping that the guests will leave, offer them more and more, such as a hard drink like brandy, diminishing almost to vanishing point any hope of departure."
But it's not only accepting an alcoholic beverage that Blaikie believes is bad form. "Having pushed out three courses for eight people, I've not an ounce of strength left to get the kettle on," he commented, urging guests to forgo lingering over a cup of tea or coffee.
Additionally, Blaikie believes the best time to leave a dinner party is at 10:30pm on weeknights and 11:15pm on weekends. These magic curfews will allow guests plenty of time to enjoy a meal with loved ones, without overstaying their welcome. While we agree Blaikie's guidelines are a good rule of thumb, it's also important to consider with whom you're dining. If you turned down Papaw's suggestion for coffee in favor of calling it a night, we dare not crown you a champion of Southern guest etiquette.