How to be a shit host

Friends visiting from home? WILL POPPLEWELL lets you know how to make things go with a bang.

ADC Cambridge Cantab Formal friends home PUNTING stereotypes Theatre visiting

So you’ve got a friend coming to visit for a few days.

You could easily do the standard punting, formal, and sunny walks along the backs. Or, whether you’re bored of this by now or simply fancy some light entertainment whilst your friend is here, you could screw the stereotypes, screw the patriarchy, and well, screw over your friend.

Formal Hall:

It’s pretty inevitable you’ll do this anyway, so why not shake things up. Caius is the obvious choice what with their reputation for excellent food, but I’d raise you Magdalene. We had a great time likening the soup to burnt water – you may say that’s impossible, but then you clearly haven’t been to Magdalene formal. Whilst at formal, make sure the pennying is rife, just don’t tell them the rules. Top tip: they’re always blindsided by the introduction of the five penny.

The Caius to culinary success?


I think it’s only fair that my visitor does the majority of the punting, he’s sleeping on my floor after all. Everything will go very smoothly if you lay down the ground rules at the start: Cambridge punts from the front, and punters must sing like a Venetian gondolier. Watch the jeers roll in. When they get tired, shout at them some more, or push them in the Cam – it’s character building.


This doesn’t need to be you if you think outside the box.

Take them along to your ADC get-out

Get-outs are so much fun, indeed I’d recommend going along yourself if you’ve never been. Choose a show like the recent production of the Tempest, or something with a really massive set, you’ll love it. You and your visitor can get the full effect if you wear yourself out by joining the cast for the Saturday shows (matinee and evening) – musicals are the best “‘cos they’re all sing-and-dancy’. Or so I’m told. Hopefully you can round off the evening, which will now be the morning, and leave them there whilst you sneak off with that assistant director you’ve been eying up for a full 5 days.

Probably looks even better at 6 in the morning…

Overemphasise the stereotypes

 To guarantee the ‘true Cambridge experience’, force them to mount a turret in John’s and throw things at the peasants, after having chained themselves to the King’s gate in protest at the latest Amnesty International plight. Follow this by telling them that guests have to wear gowns 24/7 and have them pose for tourists on Kings Parade. Alternately they could do a gowned tour of the central clubs at 11 pm on a Friday, screaming ‘down with the town’ at the top of their voice.

A few extras, because I’m just that generous:

Tell them BOP is a casual sober affair.

Ask them to do you a ‘quick favour’ and take something from Girton to Homerton.

Take them to see the college they once applied to, pointing out its many glories.

Choose Curry King as your restaurant of choice. Or Midsummer House, but make them pay.

So maybe it’s just me, but I reckon this could spice up the next time a friend visits. If followed, it should lead to no end of uproarious fun.

Or am I just a massive dick who can’t be bothered to properly entertain a guest? Who knows.