COUNTRY HOUSE ETIQUETTE: 9 TIPS FOR THE SUMMER GUEST

Ever wondered if there were rules for spending the week-end at a country estate in the early 1900s? If yes, you’ll be happy to read this short guide on rules and practices for such occasions. If you have been invited to a week end gathering this summer, know that many of the rules still apply, but with a modern twist. Now, without further ado, here are 9 tips.

Country House Etiquette: 9 Tips for the Summer Guest1.. If the week-end guest receives no friendly word about the wardrobe needed she must be guided by a knowledge of the tastes and habits of the household she is to visit.

At a fashionable watering place she will need handsomer costumes and a greater variety of them than would be appropriate at a quiet spot in the country.

In the same way, if her entertainers are rich people whose mode of living is very expensive and who invite many guests, she will require her best clothes.

2. Three changes of costume should ordinarily suffice…

  • a short, plain skirt, suitable for walking or out-of-door sports, with body of the same material or separate shirt waist, either white or of corresponding color;
  • an evening gown;
  • a dress for afternoon or church wear. [An afternoon dress will suffice for the evening if one is staying with friends who live quietly in the country.]

3. For a visit in the country one should always take rubbers or stout shoes. For tennis, rubber soles are necessary, as those of leather tear up the court.

4. While some country hostesses are very thoughtful about providing extra wraps, a wise guest will carry a warm coat or cloak.

5. If the hostess has named a particular train, the visitor should always take that.

6. A host living in the country usually sends a conveyance to the station for his guests or comes to meet them himself. If the carriage or car is a hired one, the visitor offers to pay for it, but does not insist upon doing so. Where the trip to the friend’s house is made in a trolley car, the guest is seldom allowed to pay his own fare.

7. If there is no one there to meet the guest nor transportation, after waiting a little while for her friends, it is perfectly proper for a girl to call them up over the telephone and ask for directions.

8. It is usual to tell a guest soon after her arrival the hours for meals. Should this be forgotten and should the lunch or dinner hour be approaching, the guest may make the necessary inquiries. In a very formal household she would ask one of the maids.

9. If a maid offers to unpack her trunk or suit case, the young girl may accept or not, as she pleases.

— taken from Etiquette in a Country House: Various Little Pointers for the Guidance of the Summer Guest, 1914

 


 

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