A FORMULA to host the perfect party this festive season has been unveiled by two scientists.
They say the appliance of science can guarantee a smooth-running soiree.
Their plan, detailed in the latest issue of New Scientist magazine, offers the ultimate advice on everything from mixing to meeting the perfect partner.
It tells you how to get your party going by speeding up the guests’ entrance from the hallway into the heart of the action and by quickly providing a glass of bubbly that doesn’t overflow.
Not making a date with any of the first nine acquaintances you meet is a key feature of the formula.
Disguising cheap plonk with cheese is another vital component to the perfect party.
"Recent research has shown that cheese, or any other salty food, acts to reduce the perception of bitterness, such as that from the tannins in red wine," the plan states.
"So bring out the good red with the main meal and save the cheap stuff for the cheese course. You may even find the guests commenting on the smoothness of the wine."
The plan also stresses the importance of having a variety of tables with nibbles and drinks to create "optimal mixing," while point three provides the answer to the age old problem of spilt red wine - mopping it up with white wine.
Holding dinners at narrow, rectangular tables with even numbers to avoid the "gooseberry factor" is recommended, along with grilling a few good coffee beans to fill the room with a "coffee aroma" to cover the fact that you are actually serving instant coffee.