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Tipping etiquette in england

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Gentlemen, I am going to London for pleasure.  In the past, in England, I have erred with tipping etiquette.  Would it be an imposition to ask for help with some particular questions? 1.  On my hotel bill, if there is no service charge added, should I tip a percentage of the total?  If so, how much? 2.  The hotel provides breakfast.  Should I tip the servers daily, or wait until the end of my stay?  What about drinks at the hotel bar?  If I sign for them, should I add a gratuity then, or wait until the end? 3.  What about the doorman who hails a cab, the bellman who carries my bags and the porter who brings something to my room?  Tip then, or wait? 4.  I gather it is incorrect to tip the barman in a pub.  Does that apply to food service as well?  Is there an acceptable way to tip in a pub? 5.  There will be a private car from and to the airport, for which I have paid the airline.  How much to tip? Those are the questions that occur to me.  Any advice will be appreciated, and thank you very much.
post #2 of 19
One thing I would say is that you are probably not doing anything wrong, it is just that we British are not that hospitable to people we have just met as Americans. Therefore, although they may seem upset with your tip, it is more likely that they are happy, as tipping is not as common as in the States. 1.\tNo that would be ridiculous 2.  Tip daily, for both breakfast and drinks if you feel the service was good, and yes if signing also do so, but not more than 12%   3.  Yes again, tip here but only like two pounds, obviously depends on the hotel, places like One Aldwich, Savoy and Dorchester tip about 5 pounds, two should be sufficient for all other five star hotels. 4.  Not incorrect, but not common practice for drinks.  For food, I don't know, I have never eaten at a pub 5.  It depends on how much it cost you, let us say 45-50 pounds, so tip about 5 pounds We do NOT consider it ill mannered if one does not tip, as I have often found is the case in the States, with the addition of the sly comment by the New York Taxi driver. A Londoners attitude is very much "Live and let live" although I cannot say things are like that in the north (equivalent to the American South). Obviously, people will appreciate your tips, and unlike America, anything you give will be appreciated, but they will not really hold anything against you if you do not, with the exception of Taxis drivers who are rude Cockneys. Some high-end restaurants and bars are now adding a service charge onto the bill, which is normally more than most commonly give in London, e.g. At Levant, it was 25%. I would pay this though as it may lead to embaressment. Do you want any tips on where to go? I can advise you well on that, shopping, nightlife etc. Just tell me your interests and whereabouts you are staying.
post #3 of 19
Hey, why not rent a car from Kalra2411 while you are there?
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey, why not rent a car from Kalra2411 while you are there?
 Good suggestion.  The Ferrari 360 would be suitable Kalra2411.  Perhaps your man could drop it by the Connaught? But seriously, thank you, sir, for the thoughtful advice.
post #5 of 19
Connaught, good location, well done. If you enjoy oriental food (not just Chinese) I recommend that you go to Hakkasan, it is on Hanway Place. Opium on Dean Street is also great. They are both bar come restaurant come club. If you want a pure restaurant, Busabong in Chelsea is good Thai food. For a quick bite (Japanese) go to Wagamama, they are scattered around London, one is on Wigmore Street behind Oxford Street. For English, go to the Savoy grill in City (by the way City is the area post coded WC to EC, and is the financial district, it does not mean the city).
post #6 of 19
Sorry had to go, important phone call, anyway as I was saying. Busabong is on Langton Street, and the nearest tube station is Fulham Broadway. The nearest tube to Hakkasan is Tottenham Court Road. (don't miss Hakkasan it has been described as one of Europe's finest, unless of course you don't like oriental food) If you want Middle Eastern food do not go to Levant, it's a rip off, but the atmosphere is cool. If you are bothered about the food and actually enjoy Middle Eastern food go to Allounak in Kensington, near Earls Court, Andrew Lloyd Webber has recommended it, but the atmosphere is a bit rubbish. Mirabelle (56 Curzon Street, London, Tube: Green Park) is easily the best of Marco Pierre White's restaurants. Beautiful décor, lovely staff and wonderful cooking makes it one of the best restaurants in London. Worth the journey is The Fat Duck at Bray, it's about forty minutes on the train from London, and is near Windsor. It is very good. If you're a bit younger you may enjoy Rex club (21 Rupert Street, W1V 7FE)
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
More appreciated advice kalra2411.  Mirabelle sounds like a good bet.  And, as it happens, I had decided on Hakkasan for a theatre evening.  Your praise confirms that selection.   Do you (or does anyone else) have an opinion on Gordon Ramsey at Claridge's, Le Gavroche or Patterson's, on Mill Street?
post #8 of 19
I am not a big fan of either Gordon Ramsey's or Le Gavroche. I think that Ramsey's suffers from being too of the moment and the food has suffered. My experience with Le Gavroche always left me wondering why it ever had a 3-star rating. Sorry, and good luck
post #9 of 19
Gordon Ramsey at Claridge's, Le Gavroche and Patterson's, on Mill Street, are all very over rated, and I agree with marc. Which theater are you going to?
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Which theater are you going to?
The Palace Theatre, home of Mr. Lloyd Webber's next offering "The Woman in White."
post #11 of 19
The theater is alright, the play is good.
post #12 of 19
As you seem more interested in European cusine... Sketch on Conduit Street, amazing. (I preffer Gallery to the Lecture Room) 1837 at Browns Hotel, Albemarle Street Le Pont De La Tour, Butlers Wharf, 36d Shad Thames (a bit far from the west-end in SE1) The Abbey Road, 63 Abbey Road, London, NW8 0AE Is near my house and what we would call a Gastro Pub, a pub with good food, so it's cheap, it's not amazing, but is good, I guess beacuse it's local for me.
post #13 of 19
The Fat Duck at Bray wins the award of the second best resteraunt in the world, so I would not miss the opertunity...
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Excellent. Many thanks.
post #15 of 19
Have you been? Are you back? Any comments? If not, I can't belive I missed Cafe de Paris, if you missed that let us just keep things calm and say its a bad thing.... You get the picture..
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