When extending an invitation it is advisable to clearly state the time of arrival. A late arrival of up to 15’ is tolerable but if it is any longer the guest must phone to reassure his hosts. In any case, a good hostess will allow 30’ time before inviting her guests to take their place at the table. This is why it is customary in all countries to entertain guests with a light cocktail or wine with some canapés while waiting for everyone to arrive (and in this lapse of time at least one of the hosts will entertain the guests). The guests will only be invited to the table when everyone has arrived. In the case one of them has previously declared that he will arrive “for the second course”, the hostess will leave his place setting intact. If, however, someone drops out at the last minute, his place setting must be removed immediately from the table.
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