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Social etiquette dilemma

(45 Posts)
kaycee Fri 18-Jan-19 16:23:27

Never been good at the social etiquette thing. We moved to a new area three years ago and have made quiet a lot of new acquaintances and friends. One couple who we see at a couple of clubs we go to, and have been out for a meal with, have asked us to their house for coffee next Saturday morning. My dilemma - do I take anything? I asked her if she wanted me to bring anything cake etc but she emphatically said no, but should I take a little gift. Don't want to create a precident but don't want to seem rude. If we were going for a meal I'd take wine and perhaps a small plant or something, but coffee - not sure. Help!

Nonnie Fri 18-Jan-19 16:33:24

Its only coffee, no! Please don't she will be so embarrassed and won't invite you again.

merlotgran Fri 18-Jan-19 16:37:20

Nonnie is right. You would only offer to contribute if the coffee morning was for fundraising.

Riverwalk Fri 18-Jan-19 16:38:39

I would take a small bag of e.g. cookies/brownies - the type in cellophane with a ribbon. Homemade or bought.

merlotgran Fri 18-Jan-19 16:44:42

But she said emphatically 'No'

I wouldn't have asked in the first place but to be told No and still take something shows bad manners.

Riverwalk Fri 18-Jan-19 16:51:25

The small bag would be a small gift - it's not a contribution to the coffee morning.

It's not like turning up with a huge cake to dwarf anything the host is providing.

When I host Bridge the other three bring a small something although I say it's not expected - it's just a gesture.

Anniebach Fri 18-Jan-19 17:02:03

No, it’s only an invite for a cup of coffee, if your next door neighbour asked you to join her for a cup of coffee would you take a gift ?

sodapop Fri 18-Jan-19 17:02:38

I think as its just coffee there is no need for a gift, especially as your host has said no.

notanan2 Fri 18-Jan-19 17:04:59

I often bring some bakery items round to friends houses when I pop in for coffee. Its not so much a gift as just something to share. Low key, 2 buns in a brown paper bag kind of thing.

Jane10 Fri 18-Jan-19 17:14:55

How about a wee bunch of daffs?

Nonnie Fri 18-Jan-19 17:17:55

notanan I think that is different, you know it will be welcome but the OP doesn't or wouldn't have asked. I have a friend I would do that with because we meet in each other's homes all the time but if it was someone I didn't regularly do this with and they had said not to I think it would be rude.

Nonnie Fri 18-Jan-19 17:20:21

I think you have been invited to do something informal by someone who wants to know you better. If you take something it will turn it into a more formal thing.

Are you sure it is not a 'coffee morning'? If it is then there is probably a fund raising thing in which case I think you would have been told.

Marilla Fri 18-Jan-19 17:21:36

Just have your coffee, relax and enjoy yourself. Keep it simple. No gifts. You can reciprocate by inviting the couple to your house for morning coffee.

wildswan16 Fri 18-Jan-19 17:23:03

As she has said not to bring anything I think it would be a bit OTT to turn up with a gift. I would wait and see what "coffee" means in your social circle. In mine it means a mug of coffee while sitting on the kitchen worktop. I would be very embarrassed if a friend thought she had to bring a gift for that privilege.

The only kind of thing I might take is a bunch of flowers from my own garden (not bought).

Mapleleaf Fri 18-Jan-19 18:15:09

No, I don't think going for a coffee means you need to take a gift. I wouldn't expect it if I'd invited a friend for a coffee, it's their company I'm more interested in.

M0nica Fri 18-Jan-19 19:08:10

No, nothing when invited to coffee, it looks like oneupmanship. Not an attractive character trait.

BlueBelle Fri 18-Jan-19 19:29:43

No it’s only a cuppa

Kalu Fri 18-Jan-19 20:35:09

I wouldn’t take a gift to a coffee invite but as you say a dinner invite is an occasion I too would take flowers/wine.

I only take a small bunch of flowers to a coffee get together with family or a very close friend.

I agree re not wanting to set a precedent which may not actually be welcomed so, I don’t think arriving empty handed would be rude.

JackyB Fri 18-Jan-19 20:52:36

I would take something small like one of those tiny "Thank You" boxes of chocolates or a small posy. I would feel odd going empty-handed. No idea what the actual etiquette is, though.

HildaW Fri 18-Jan-19 20:52:59

Do not take anything. We had a long thread on here before Christmas about someone taking food when specifically asked not to. I know its difficult for some to understand but with some people if you still take a replacement food item ( a cake when you are just going for a snack....or a desert when its a meal) the recipient can feel defensive and think their offering is not seen as good enough. Yes, I know its not obvious but that's just how some people think and with the best of intentions you could upset them. So if they have specifically asked you not to bring anything then do not!
The exception would be a few snowdrops from the garden or similar...something small and impromptu .
If you do want to show your appreciation afterwards then a nice well chosen card with a simple 'Thank You' would, I am sure be very welcome.

HildaW Fri 18-Jan-19 20:57:40

P.S. Social Etiquette as such is a mine field.....years ago there were set rules according to class and was a rather passive aggressive way of making people 'know their place'.
Hopefully nowadays we have moved on and just employ good manners and a bit of empathy. Good manners is all about making the other person feel comfortable....its not about pulling rank or trying to impress...its just about showing a willingness to be friendly and open....fitting in as it were.

dragonfly46 Fri 18-Jan-19 21:02:03

I always take a small bunch of flowers, it comes from living in Holland for 18 years.

Anja Fri 18-Jan-19 21:37:03


paddyann Fri 18-Jan-19 21:59:11

I would never go empty handed ,like Jane10 suggested a wee bunch of flowers is always acceptable

cornergran Fri 18-Jan-19 22:22:11

As you’ve asked and she’s said ‘no’ I think it would be inappropriate to take anything. Just go and relax. If it works out then it’s your turn next time smile.