Eating in a domestic setting in the company of friends and non-resident kin is a significant form of social occasion in contemporary England. Most people eat out occasionally at the homes of friends or non-resident family members. People derive exceptionally high levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from such occasions. This chapter collates data about hosts and guests, using evidence from both the survey and interviews about practical arrangements, the company kept and the foods eaten. It describes different forms of domestic hospitality, considers what food is suitable for which occasion, and the effort put into cooking. It also examines how the occasions are orchestrated and guests made to feel comfortable. The role of reciprocity in maintaining relationships is noted. Domestic hospitality is largely informal with sociability rather more important than the food served.
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