TIPPING IN RESTAURANTS
We don’t tip in Britain. Get over it. There is a reason there is no place to leave a ‘gratuity’ on credit card bills or your server tells you not to bother. In the UK service workers are paid full wages unlike restaurant waiters in North America. I should know; I was a waiter! Tipping can be severely counterproductive here. Also, if you do tip, especially by card, the tip is kept by the owners! The staff will never see that. There are also a lot of establishments that put a 10% ‘Service’ charge on already. So you could end up ‘tipping’ the owners twice! Do not do it.
If you really feel the need, slip 5-10% in cash DISCRETELY to the server. I watched the owner of a restaurant once take the money right out of the waiter’s pocket and scream at him. By the way, don’t expect good or fast service. Welcome to queuing.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
YOU COULD BE IN TROUBLE IF YOU TAKE PICTURES
YOU ARE A TERRORIST.Oops! I meant ‘You are a Tourist'! See how easy that mistake was to make. Well the Metropolitan Police in their infinite wisdom have decided that you may want to report ‘Odd picture taking’. Let’s see. You see someone taking pictures of their food, bus stops, train stations and major landmarks. It’s a Virtual Tourist Member working on their tips! Or is it? Consider yourself a suspect.
I have included 2 pictures that I have been warned verbally about.
Picture 1) The Police Poster and telephone number
Picture 2) People making Sushi. A policeman made me show him my pictures and warned me not to do in anymore. This is a Sushi place inside Victoria Station in London
Picture 3) A poster in a HSBC bank in London. An employee came running out and said I could not take this photo. The poster says ‘Welcome to the UK’. Hardly.
I am all for vigilance and security. I am against stupidity. See what you think.
BBC NEWS STORY
Unique Suggestions: Carry your new VT cards and practice this phrase: “I know my rights and I want to telephone my Mum”.Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Family Travel
GETTING TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Need a telephone number in Britain? That’s going to cost you! A few years ago the Directory Enquiries number ‘192’ was privatised and now there are over 100 options. Some will cost you more than £1 for a phone number! I recommend not using 118 118. They do the most marketing, but they certainly are not cheap. They charge you 49p for answering the phone and 9 pence a minute to actually talk to you.
Unique Suggestions: Try 118 848. They charge a flat 27 pence and will give you 3 numbers.
Look here to compare tariffs:
- Family Travel
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
Maybe its not such a tourist trap but on a clear day in May (when I took these photos) is much more preferable to the back end of July when the near by holiday park is full.
Unique Suggestions: Talacre is about half hour drive from my home and have spent a good few days there relaxing in thr dunes listening to the cricket on the radio. Not too much else to do really, there's a couple of pubs, a chippy, a £1 shop and cake shop.
Longest Place Name in Britain
Our tour bus stopped at this Tourist Trap for over an hour. Its claim to fame is that it is the longest place name in Britain but it is just a place to shop and eat. It is all totally commercial and seemed overpriced to me. The name of the place is on the top in the photo with the translation underneath it. They even admit that the name was coined in the 19th cen. to attract tourists. Locals call it Llanfair P.G. Since this was our lunch stop, we had to get something to eat.
Unique Suggestions: If you are driving, don't stop here. Since we were on a tour bus, we had no choice but to stay here for the hour but we took the opportunity to walk down the street and look at the local houses but there isn't much to see. This is one of the draw backs for tours. I wonder if they pay the tour buses to stop at places like this. Probably so.Related to:
Ruthin Craft Centre
Having read rave reviews of Ruthin Craft Centre, I have to confess to being rather disappointed. Maybe I hadn't prepared myself for what to expect?
The complex is divided into small units where craftsmen and women work in little workshops. Over half of them were closed when we visited. The crafts are very good but way beyond my reach financially.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
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