The demand for cottage vacations is skyrocketing, so if you’re lucky enough to be invited to a friend’s cottage this summer, here are some do’s and don’ts that may just help you get invited back.
Bring a gift
Bring a gift- Flowers, or candies. Nuts or bags of chips and tubs of dips. But not the dreaded watermelon… One of the most popular cottage gifts (and we’ve never understood this) is a walloping great water melon. It’s cumbersome (and who, after all, has space to store a planet sized fruit) and clichéd!
If you’re gifting alcohol (if appropriate) bring decent stuff. Don’t bring a scary box of comedy party wine…. and then proceed to drink all your hosts Chateau Neuf Du Pape. A good budget-friendly gift idea would be to get any bottle of Prosecco along with a bottle of Aperol, to create a DIY Spritzer kit!
Fridge and Meal etiquette
It’s good to bring some food, even if it has to go in the fridge. Ask ahead what you can bring, and offer to cook lunch or dinner at least one time. Bring the requisite ingredients so your hosts can have a night off! It’s all about being together.
If you bring loads of stuff in chill boxes, arrange it neatly (with your hosts guidance) in larders and fridges. Don’t overwhelm your host’s systems – it can cause a lil’ ill ease. Ask the host if they would like you to take home any of your leftover perishables, don’t assume that your host wants them.
It’s all dependent on the host whether or not to bring your own bedding and towels. Enquire if it’s easier for you to bring linens, sleeping bags etc. Especially if you know you’re invited as part of a larger group. Whilst it might all sound easy – it takes a lot to entertain a lot of people!
If you’re unsure of anything, always ask in advance. It’s courteous.
Okay – greedy guts: don’t just sit there after consuming a dinner of which Fielding’s Tom Jones would be proud. Show some gratitude by doing (or at least offering to do) the dishes, or setting the table! A little help goes a long way.
This also comes back to the bedding. If you are using your hosts bedding etc., enquire if you can strip the beds prior to departure, or even shove ‘em in the washing machine to reduce the burden on your host.
One that people often don’t think about is Clean out the fire or fire pit (this is a big job for your host post weekend) and it’s nice for them to be able to count something off their list before the next round of people arrive.
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