Liz Brewer's Ultimate Guide to Party Planning & Etiquette, by Liz Brewer

Liz Brewer has emerged as the most in-demand arbiter of etiquette in Britain today.  Whether she is commentating on television on either side of the Pond about the recently-married Duchess of Cambridge and all the new requirements she has to face - and how she must face them - or whether she is taking an unruly group of ladettes and turning them into ladies, the inestimable Mrs Brewer, as she is known to one and all, entertains at the same time that she informs. 

"Today, within practically every area of social behaviour, people are increasingly preoccupied in knowing what is considered the correct etiquette. Frankly, I believe manners are to do with making others feel comfortable and behaving in a way so as not to cause offence. Also certain ways of doing things generally tend to make life simpler.

A huge amount of nonsense has evolved with different cultures dictating to people, the right or wrong way of conducting oneself - from knowing which knife and fork to use to whether you pour the milk into the cup, before or after the tea, and so on and so forth.

I can assure the reader that nine times out of ten -   Where there is a rule there is a reason,
and that reason is often simply common sense.  There are naturally traditions, which evolve and add charm to a culture and these need to be understood and respected for what they are, which is to a large extent part of our heritage.
It is tragic that we appear to be living in a culture, which is rapidly declining, as far as behaviour and language is concerned. Time and lack of it is part of the cause, with people living increasingly frantic, and stressful, busy lives. At one time parents taught by setting an example and had time to sit as a family for meals, communicating and imparting knowledge. The schools and teachers, for whom this was an important part of education, shared this responsibility. They had the power to guide and instruct pupils concerning their general behaviour, manners, and language.

Now the inclination to do this has virtually disappeared, it is easier to turn a blind eye or ignore hoping the young will eventually grow up and become worthwhile adults. They do, but sadly lacking the necessary grounding and sense of value.

Knowing where to start is a challenge. But for those who feel, as I do, that this is something which needs to be understood and appreciated, I have covered the areas which seem to be the main topics which have people confused or which they feel the need to master," says Liz Brewer
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