You should take people out to dinner when you're staying in their house, right?

(101 Posts)
AnnieBesom Sat 12-Mar-16 18:28:36

Some very old family friends (FF) have invited my family and my sister's family to stay with them in their holiday house in a very lovely part of the world. They are very wealthy and very fond of us and really very happy that we're coming to visit (this is all relevant). We're going to stay for a week (our choice - we could have stayed 2 nights but we're staying 7).

I was on the phone to my sister the other day talking about logistics and I said 'well obviously we'll take FF out to dinner one night' and she said 'oh no, I really don't think we should! I know you haven't been to the place where their holiday house is for years but it's terribly expensive! I think we should just offer to do all the cooking every night'

I said that, however expensive it was, it was because of them that we were able to go to this place and that if you stay with someone, you take them out to dinner. She said that it would cost about a thousand pounds to eat out (there are 7 of us, including FF) and we should eat in every single night. I pointed out that they were saving us huge amounts of money by inviting us to stay and she said that actually if they hadn't, they would have stayed in a really cheap apartment and it would have cost them only a couple of hundred quid. And besides, FF are very wealthy, money means nothing to them and they are happy to have us stay. We sort of compromised by her agreeing that we should buy them lunch most days.

Today, I was looking at some info that FF has sent us (they let friends use the house when they're not there) and there are a list of restaurants that they like on it, including 'their favourite'. Main courses there are about £15. So we could totally - particularly between two families - buy them dinner there.

So (at last I've got there!) AIBU to think that my sister is being really tight and we should buy them dinner at least once at their favourite restaurant? And that it's actually bloody rude not to?

TL;DR - AIBU to think that if someone puts you up for a week, you take them out to dinner to say thank you?

Haggisfish Sat 12-Mar-16 18:29:51

I don't actually-I would certainly consider offering to cook lots more than enough, with a few bottles of wine and flowers.

Haggisfish Sat 12-Mar-16 18:30:12

So I would say Yabu!

JimmyGreavesMoustache Sat 12-Mar-16 18:31:01

I always ask them to choose dinner out or a takeaway - whatever their preference is

Leeds2 Sat 12-Mar-16 18:32:28

Yes, I would do.

Has your DSis received the same information? She will then surely have realised that her £1000 guesstimate is way out! I would tell her that you are offering to take FF out on one evening, and she can either come and split the bill or make alternative arrangements.

Jesabel Sat 12-Mar-16 18:33:18

Yes, I would always take hosts out to dinner.

SwearyGodmother Sat 12-Mar-16 18:33:31

I don't think either of you are being U tbh. I think that when I'm the guest I always want to take people out or something along those lines to show my appreciation but I certainly don't expect it from our houseguests (and we have lots - live in central London with lots of expat friends). Wine/flowers/a well thought out gift/a handwritten thank you not would be more than sufficient, though if you want to take them out then do so!

candykane25 Sat 12-Mar-16 18:33:41

Yes take them out to dinner or equivalent - a day out somewhere, or a gift for the house with flowers and chocs.
Just polite.
And cook a lot anyway.

curren Sat 12-Mar-16 18:34:16

I would probably take them out.

But Yabu to think it's a given and your sister must be obliged to do it.

honeyroar Sat 12-Mar-16 18:34:23

I have never taken someone I'm staying with out. I've taken gifts, wine, flowers, local produce they can't get etc. I wouldn't expect it from my guests either, I invite them because I want to see them and welcome them to my home.

However a lot of Mumsnet folk do expect to be taken out etc, so yanbu necessarily. There is nothing to stop YOU organising a meal out for the hosts, you don't need your sister to share..

sooperdooper Sat 12-Mar-16 18:34:48

I agree with your sister, you could buy all the food for the week rather than splash on one meal out, offer to cook and take wine

AlmaMartyr Sat 12-Mar-16 18:35:04

I wouldn't expect to be taken out to dinner by guests. I always buy food (takeaway/dinner/general food) and gifts when I'm staying with other people but I don't think dinner out is compulsory.

longdiling Sat 12-Mar-16 18:35:38

I think you have to show your gratitude and appreciation. You should also pitch in and not assume all the meals are provided for you. I don't think this HAS to translate to a meal in a restaurant though, it can be done in a few different ways.

Normandy144 Sat 12-Mar-16 18:35:42

You are right. I would go ahead and book their favourite place and tell your sister. Maybe send her the menu so she can see that it won't cost £1000!! Based on 7 diners that would mean a cost per head of £142. Where in the world is this place that the only restaurants cost this much. Feels like your sister is making massive assumptions without really looking.

Optimist1 Sat 12-Mar-16 18:35:56

I'd certainly tell them at the beginning of my stay that I wanted to take them out to dinner and ask them where they'd like to go and what night would suit them. In the event that they refuse point blank, I'd then have time to consider a reasonable alternative (probably buying the ingredients to cook a meal for them). Your sister does sound a bit tight to me so YANBU!

monkeysox Sat 12-Mar-16 18:36:08

It's nice to offer.flowers

Winifredgoose Sat 12-Mar-16 18:41:08

I have never heard the 'rule' that if you are staying with someone, you must take them out in the evening. The cost of the area/rental is irrelevant, as it is relative to family concerned.
However, if you go to stay with people, it is normal to want to show some appreciation eg bringing some nice bottle of wine or possibly paying for a meal out.
while it is not unreasonable for you to want to show your hosts your appreciation by buying them a meal out, it is very unreasonable to force your sister to do so.

Roystonv Sat 12-Mar-16 18:44:23

Even if we only stay a few nights I always ask the hosts to book somewhere they would like to go for dinner; they can demur but you have made the offer and the ball is in their court. This would be in addition to wine, chocolate etc. Maybe this is cos I loathe hosting so always assume others are suffering as I would!

Naoko Sat 12-Mar-16 18:44:26

I think you should do something to show your appreciation and contribute, but what that is can vary and should be appropriate to who you are and what means you have. My friends and I are pretty much all flat broke and live like students even though we aren't, so we don't tend to take each other out to dinner. However none of them can cook to save their lives, so I usually offer to cook for them if I stay (and pay for the groceries).

theycallmemellojello Sat 12-Mar-16 18:45:58

No, yabu. Of course you have to take a gift and show gratitude, and help with whatever tasks they're comfortable with. But there's no rule that says the gift has to be dinner or that it has to be expensive - it just has to be commensurate with your means. If your ds can't afford dinner then taking wine/flowers/cake whatever, doing a shop, cooking dinner or similar sounds fine.

IamCarcass Sat 12-Mar-16 18:47:16

Got to admit, if my guest offered to take me out for dinner I'd think they were trying to avoid my cooking. Not sure I'd be any keener on being cooked for every evening but every lunch? I'd love that! Glad you found a compromise.

Notcontent Sat 12-Mar-16 18:47:42

I think it's about doing something to show your appreciation and it does depend on the circumstances. If a guest is not very well off, then it could obviously be a bit of a burden to have to take the hosts out, but the guest could offer to cook - or if the guest can't cook, they could offer to do a lot of the cleaning up after dinner...

theycallmemellojello Sat 12-Mar-16 18:51:09

So if main courses are £15 and you have 3 courses plus wine, water, coffee that's about £50 a head? Between 7 that's £350 plus tip. I guess if your sister is ok with dropping £200 you could put it to her like that?

Abraid2 Sat 12-Mar-16 18:51:22

I would take people out if I was staying more than two nights.

AliciaMayEmory Sat 12-Mar-16 18:52:29

Is this a thing? I don't take people out to dinner that we're staying with, especially if we were invited, just food/wine/flowers etc. Lokewise, when we have family to stay in our holiday home we don't expect this either.

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