In the reality show Come Dine With Me, contestants are encouraged to snoop around their host's home while they are in the kitchen preparing the meal.

London - While you’re busy in the kitchen slaving away over a hot stove, do you ever wonder what your dinner party guests are doing in the room next door?

Well, according to new research, they could be busy sifting through your worldly possessions in a bid to find something they were never meant to see.

One in 10 of those surveyed in a recent British study admitted to snooping through personal goods belonging to a friend while waiting for food to be served.

Poking around uninvited wasn’t the only offence committed. More than a quarter (28 percent) said they regularly turned up at friend’s house without a gift, 17 percent took to swearing in front of their host and 13 percent lit cigarettes, despite not smoking in their own homes.

Just 15 percent of men admit they offer to wash the dishes when visiting a friend or family member, while over a quarter of women (27 percent) were more than happy to help out where they could.

As a result of poor behaviour, seven percent of hosts revealed that they had fallen out with friends.

Etiquette expert Gill Harbord said: “The idea that guests set out to go on a self-guided tour of their guest’s home is just awful behaviour.

“If guests want to see the house they should always ask their host first and never engage in an uninvited snoop.

“It is truly dreadful that a quarter of people have turned up to a dinner party without a gift and it shows a clear lack of manners in today’s society.

“Guests should remember that they do not need to spend a fortune but should always bring along a small token to show appreciation to their host.”

But guests are still making demands of their hosts – almost a third (31 percent) said they expect hosts to hang up their coat when they arrive and three quarters (76 percent) would find it rude if they were not asked if they wanted a drink or a bite to eat.


* If you have been invited to a dinner party, make sure you RSVP promptly (mentioning any dietary requirements you may have). If you can’t make it, you’ll be giving the host plenty of time to find someone else. If you have to cancel, give as much notice as possible.

* Never arrive early to a dinner party. A few minutes after the time stated on the invitation is polite; if you are going to be more than 15 minutes late, phone ahead and warn your host.

* It is polite to take a gift; chocolates, flowers or a bottle of wine are all good choices. Take a couple of bottles if there are two of you.

* Always write a thank-you note or e-mail as soon as possible after the event; a phone call is also fine for casual evenings.

* A reciprocal invitation should follow where appropriate. - Daily Mail