Caroline Stanbury’s Five Rules Every American Should Know Before Visiting London

Caroline Stanbury (Photo: Rex Features via AP Images)

Caroline Stanbury (Photo: Rex Features via AP Images)

The cast of Bravo’s hit docu-series Ladies of London will be joining our sister blog Mind the Gap (@MindTheGap_BBCA) on Twitter for an hour-long #MindTheChat today (July 9) at 2 pm ET. The series follows British socialites, Annabelle Neilson and Caroline Stanbury, along with American-born expats Juliet Angus, Caprice Bourret, Marissa Hermer, Julie Montagu and Noelle Reno, as they navigate the strict codes of London high society. To ask questions for the cast, use hashtags #MindTheChat and #LadiesofLondon, and all chat participants will have a chance to win an Absolutely Fabulous box set, courtesy of BBC AMERICA Shop.

What are some of the rules Americans should know before mixing in British social circles? We asked Caroline Stanbury, British entrepreneur and founder of the luxury gifting and personal shopping service Gift Library of Caroline Stanbury, for her advice, and she supplied these five tips:

1. Always write a paper (not email) thank you letter if you’ve stayed at someone’s house for the weekend or had a day out where they’ve treated you. And always bring a gift.

2. If you’re at a dinner party, make sure that after the first course you turn and talk to the person sitting on the other side as you. Rotate for dessert.

3. Dress codes are strictly observed in British society and should be followed at all times. Special occasions require a multitude of different dress codes: ­familiarize yourself with the difference between black and white tie to avoid embarrassment or refused entry to an event.

4. Avoid PDA (public displays of affection) at all costs, and never be too overfamiliar with someone you don’t know. British people like their space!

5. Always use inside voices, and don’t make a spectacle of yourself while out in public. Avoid loud, obnoxious behaviour ­in social situations; always be respectful and subtle when conversing with others.

Thoughts? Tweet your questions and opinions using #MindTheChat and #LadiesofLondon.