How to be good dinner guests in Europe

This came up over dinner the other weekend at our German friends’ apartment. Seems like in Germany, it is better to be slightly early than late. In Switzerland, the polite thing to do is to arrive on the dot whereas in France it is considered most impolite to arrive punctual, an even bigger no-no would be to arrive early. Best to reach about 15 minutes after to give your hosts some time for last-minute preparations.

Our dinner hosts are Germans who used to live in Switzerland so they had some interesting accounts where they arrived slightly early and ended up loitering outside their Swiss friends’ residences until the time is right.

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