Good friends, good food, good times... who would be on your ideal dinner guest list? - Merlin Venues

Good friends, good food, good times… who would be on your ideal dinner guest list?

22 November 2016

Your choice says a lot about you.  For example, would you go for:

  1. the eye-candy option,
  2. a bit of hero worship or
  3. pure entertainment?

The magazine Raconteur recently did a poll of over 400 readers to find out who would be on their ultimate guest list.   The winners were American icon and top charmer Marilyn Monroe and historic figurehead Winston Churchill.   Joining them at the imaginary table were literary luminaries like J. K. Rowling, political figures including Barack Obama, Mohandas Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

Image courtesy of Raconteur: The Ultimate Dinner Party Guest List

Image courtesy of Raconteur: The Ultimate Dinner Party Guest List

It’s certainly exciting to picture your ideal dinner guests sitting down, raising their glasses and passing the pepper.  It also says something about the qualities you enjoy the most – beauty, wit, debate, intelligence and accomplishment.

A study by YouGov for their Dine@Mine campaign shows that on the whole we’re less capricious and more aspirational in our choice of guests than you might think.  Brains and chat won over brawn with Sir David Attenborough a popular choice.  The runners up were Gordon Ramsay (despite his blue language), Kylie, Baroness Thatcher and JK Rowling (again!).

BBC Good Food reckoned that the Dalai Lama could probably teach everyone at the table more about life in an evening than the whole of the self-help and psychologies section on Amazon and suggested adding Dolly Parton for a bit of sparkle.  For those who’d like a whiff of scoundrel to add an edge to the evening, how about adding Russell Brand to the ensemble?

It seems that for the perfect dinner party you need a good mix which can only be achieved by a lot of careful consideration from the host.  After all, some of the people that you’d love to meet might not make the best of dinner companions and could put you off your food totally.  Raconteur found that the most popular controversial guests were Donald Trump, Edward Snowdon, outspoken feminist Germaine Greer and notorious drug-lord Pablo Escobar.  They’d certainly make for an interesting meal, but perhaps might cause a little indigestion?

Dining at Madame Tussauds gives you the best (and safest) option.  Whether you want to invite a shirtless Justin Bieber, refined Aubrey Hepburn  or slick George Clooney  to be at your table, you’re guaranteed a good evening.


You’ll get the best photo opportunities to impress your friends with, and can mingle with the great, good, talented and inspiring without the fear of too heated a discourse between those with political or personal differences.  Brad and Angelina may have had a wax-divorce, but their private wrangling doesn’t need to be discussed over dessert!

So who would you choose?


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