Until recently, all the celebrations I had been invited to in Germany were either house parties or involved a meal in a restaurant. That changed last month, and I have now been to two parties that were held in bars. At both events, beer, wine and various soft drinks were provided by the bar while the buffet was the responsibility of the guests.
Let me just repeat that… At a party, held in the function room of a pub, the host’s guests are expected to bring some food along. The first time, I thought it was a one off. The venue doesn’t have a proper kitchen – just a couple of hot plates where they can prepare things like soup – so it made sense that they couldn’t provide a full on buffet. But at the second party, the other room was open to the public as normal and food was being served there.
Now, I have no objection to contributing food. If it were a house party I would automatically bake something to bring along. But if someone hires a function room in a pub (or restaurant) I tend to expect some kind of catering to be included… either provided by the venue or by an external caterer… but surely not by the guests?! With all the health and safety issues these days, I’m amazed people are even allowed to bring their own random creations into such a venue. Who knows what goes on in some people’s kitchens!
Is this another example of German weirdness or is it just a coincidence that I’ve now come across it twice?
And is it only me that finds this kind of behaviour strange?