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Tipping etiquette in england

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by mistahlee, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. mistahlee

    mistahlee Senior member

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    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.
     
  2. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    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.
     
  3. vero_group

    vero_group Senior member

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    Hey, why not rent a car from Kalra2411 while you are there? [​IMG]
     
  4. mistahlee

    mistahlee Senior member

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    [​IMG] Â Good suggestion. Â The Ferrari 360 would be suitable Kalra2411. Â Perhaps your man could drop it by the Connaught? But seriously, thank you, sir, for the thoughtful advice.
     
  5. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    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).
     
  6. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    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 dÃ[​IMG]cor, 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)
     
  7. mistahlee

    mistahlee Senior member

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    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?
     
  8. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

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    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
     
  9. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    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?
     
  10. mistahlee

    mistahlee Senior member

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    The Palace Theatre, home of Mr. Lloyd Webber's next offering "The Woman in White."
     
  11. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    The theater is alright, the play is good.
     
  12. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    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.
     
  13. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    The Fat Duck at Bray wins the award of the second best resteraunt in the world, so I would not miss the opertunity... [​IMG]
     
  14. mistahlee

    mistahlee Senior member

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    Excellent. Many thanks.
     
  15. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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    Have you been? Are you back? Any comments? If not, I can't belive I missed Cafe de Paris, if you missed that [​IMG] let us just keep things calm and say its a bad thing.... You get the picture..
     
  16. mistahlee

    mistahlee Senior member

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    Beginning of September. My schedule dictates that plans be made far in advance. Fear not, kalra2411. I won't miss Cafe de Paris or The Fat Duck at Bray, for that matter.
     
  17. kalra2411

    kalra2411 Senior member

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  18. PoloPlayr

    PoloPlayr Well-Known Member

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    Pls see my views below:

    Gentlemen, I am going to London for pleasure. Â In the past, in England, I have erred with tipping etiquette. Â Would it be an imposition to ask for help with some particular questions?

    1. Â On my hotel bill, if there is no service charge added, should I tip a percentage of the total? Â If so, how much?

    Comments: ABSOLUTELY NOT

    2. Â The hotel provides breakfast. Â Should I tip the servers daily, or wait until the end of my stay? Â What about drinks at the hotel bar? Â If I sign for them, should I add a gratuity then, or wait until the end?

    Comment: If you liked the service then a perhaps add a few pounds when signing. If you don't need to sign at the end, then I wouldn't.

    3. Â What about the doorman who hails a cab, the bellman who carries my bags and the porter who brings something to my room? Â Tip then, or wait?
    Comments: A few pounds perhaps if service isn't included in the bill. Usually is.

    4. Â I gather it is incorrect to tip the barman in a pub. Â Does that apply to food service as well? Â Is there an acceptable way to tip in a pub?
    Comments: Usually service is included in the bill at restaurants. Will be stated on bill.

    5. Â There will be a private car from and to the airport, for which I have paid the airline. Â How much to tip?
    Comments: NO TIP. Most likely Addison Lee or similar car service. I've taken them literally hundreds of times and never ever tipped. They get paid through their prices.

    In normal cabs, you might add a pound or so. But not more.

    Those are the questions that occur to me. Â Any advice will be appreciated, and thank you very much.


    My overall comment is that you can relax about this issue. It is definitely not as big an issue as it is in America. I genuinely don't feel people are providing you with service just for the tip here. This does come with something you might perceive as less customer service in some places.
     
  19. RedLantern

    RedLantern Senior member

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