What an interesting read! Besides being a tech journo, I used to teach cooking for many years (mostly in Australia), write cookbooks and run underground suppers in Leipzig, Germany. Obviously this means I love cooking and entertaining and I’m always interested at the differences in different places.
SV dinners always sound like meetings to me with an add on dinner-perhaps having bigger homes plays a part too?
In Australia we would host events in our backyard, here in Berlin it’s apartment soiree’s all the way (being 2 mins walk from a convenience shop helps as the main priority for events here is booze and club mate).