Regimental Dinner Advice.

#1
I have a black tie regimental dinner coming up, I was wondering if anyone has any special advice they want to fling my way? I have had a look around the forums and besides not leaving the table and chewing with your mouth closed I cannot find many pointers.

The only real question I have is how should I address people? As a civilian should I just say 'Sir' to everyone to play it safe or will it just make me look overly formal and therefore uncomfortable when a simple "hello, nice to meet you" will do?

*Scroll to end for my report after dinner*
 
#2
The only real question I have is how should I address people? As a civilian should I just say 'Sir' to everyone to play it safe or will it just make me look overly formal and therefore uncomfortable when a simple "hello, nice to meet you" will do?
I'm assuming that you are going in the capacity of a Potential Officer, rather than a full blown civvy, in which case Sir would be entirely appropriate until invited/advised to use another form of address.
 
#3
I'm assuming that you are going in the capacity of a Potential Officer, rather than a full blown civvy, in which case Sir would be entirely appropriate until invited/advised to use another form of address.
If you are a "guest" of the mess the "usual" etiquette (at least in my experience) is that you are not subject to the tender mercies of Mr. Vice and the Mess President so just be polite and friendly.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#4
That depends a lot on the Regiment. Guests are usually spared somewhat, but can be subject to the pranks usually reserved for new subbies. Which regiment are you visiting Sentinel? Tell me by PM if you want.
 
#5
I have found that turning up with a startled chicken impaled on your cock normally breaks the ice and dispenses with those tedious '....so what do you do....' questions.
 
#6
I have found that turning up with a startled chicken impaled on your cock normally breaks the ice and dispenses with those tedious '....so what do you do....' questions.
You mean as opposed to waiting until the toasts are concluded when the chickens (or whatever the barnyard animal du jour happens to be) are brought in for the pleasure of the entire assemblage?
 
#7
I have found that turning up with a startled chicken impaled on your cock normally breaks the ice and dispenses with those tedious '....so what do you do....' questions.
Given that he's probably talking about a Gunner PO visit in Larkhill, I think that a Bustard would show a touch more 'Style, Flair and Panache'! :D
 

udipur

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
You should get off lightly if you just use some common sense and are sensitive to your surrounds.

We had a young officer who not only wore a non-vented jacket on his suit with Dr Marten shoes (albeit polished), he once (and only once) carried a pint of beer, in a glass with a handle, into the dining room.

Drink wine, one before the meal, possibly one with each course, make sure your tie is real and not clip on and for god's sake, don't get caught trying to put one into the 2ic's wife.
 
#9
I have a connection in the regiment who has invited me along, so I guess I am going as a civvy, as its not an officially organised PO visit or anything, but clearly I do intend to become an officer so I want to put my best foot forward.

Haha, I love the advice on this forum it sort of drifts between useful, not so useful and then scary, keep it coming.
 
#14
Your host should introduce you but if asked to identify yourself, remember to include your surname, only civvies come without one.
Getting falling down drunk may not be such a good idea.
Prompt letter of thanks to the President of the Mess Committee (PMC).

B
 
#15
Don't forget the the sparkley snooker player's waistcoat and matching cummerbund. Wearing a pair of white socks and telling all that you had visions of joining the RAF will ensure that the Mess members will come and talk to you rather than you having to make the move to introduce yourself.

As a real conversation stimulator, find yourself some E-Bay LOF minature medals to mount on your breast pocket and tell the assembled throng that you find them an interesting and challenging organisation.
 
#16
Don't forget the the sparkley snooker player's waistcoat and matching cummerbund. Wearing a pair of white socks and telling all that you had visions of joining the RAF will ensure that the Mess members will come and talk to you rather than you having to make the move to introduce yourself.

As a real conversation stimulator, find yourself some E-Bay LOF minature medals to mount on your breast pocket and tell the assembled throng that you find them an interesting and challenging organisation.
And if he follows your advice you should add a suggestion that be bring LOTS of pound notes.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#17
Be on time, don't drink too much before the dinner, nothing worse than a full bladder at the table. The advantages of a kilt at those moments are to be believed.
If still sober towards end of meal can always have more port. (always useful to have a quick check of port glass to make sure not a hole drilled in it)
Depending on who you're going to may be best to ask your host before hand what the protocol about toasts are as they can avry from mess to mess, some have toasts, some don't, some drink toasts standing and others sitting.
 

udipur

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
Can we go back to the 2ic's/CO's wife/wives and determine who else would not be a good idea to publicly poke?

Does the RSM have a wife who wanders past the mess on dinner nights?
 
#20
What Regts drink the toast sitting if you don't mind me asking?
PWRR and The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards from memory.

The LI (not sure if it carried on to the Rifles) and IIRC both the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards do not toast the Queen as their loyalty is not in question.

There are loads of other weird and wonderful traditions besides those.
 

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