A dinner party should be an opportunity to share good food and good wine with good friends, but it seems the rise and rise of the TV cooking competition has turned having company round for dinner into a more stressful affair.
Thanks to a plethora of shows such as Masterchef, Come Dine With Me and The Taste, not to mention the countless celebrity chefs showing off their Michelin-star skills, the average Brit now feels they have to get one up on their friends.
In a survey 1,300 people, on behalf of French mustard makers Maille, one in four said they felt under pressure to perform on the cooking front, and a quarter are desperate to outdo their pals by serving 'restaurant quality food'.
Of course that means putting the hours and the cash in. The average host will now spend some six and a half hours preparing a meal for a dinner party, and fork out an average of £102.17 on the necessary fine wines and dining.
In fact, the average dinner party bill has risen by nearly a sixth over the past five years, and one in 10 will splash out more than £200 in a bid to impress.
Those polled said TV cooking shows also gave them inspiration. Three quarters admitted to buying food from specialist retailers, and seeking out those unusual ingredients before experimenting with new cooking techniques.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the survey found that men were more likely to spend big money in a bid to impress, while women took around 25 per cent longer to prepare the perfect meal.
What do you think? Have TV cooking shows turned you into a dinner party diva? Leave your comments below...