Dorchester - sneakers ok?

Old Aug 10th, 2004, 07:08 AM
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Dorchester - sneakers ok?

Hello, I have just started packing for our trip this week. We (2 adults/2 kids) are trying to stay light and do not plan to pack shoes. We will be wearing our Nikes. Would it be ok to go for afternoon tea to Dorchester in these shoes? I really do not want to lug 4 extra pairs just for afternoon tea. The only other option would be to drop Dorchester and go to a more informal place for tea.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 07:13 AM
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Why do you plan a trip around a pair of shoes?
One pair of shoes is not very heavy and would allow you more freedom in activities. Surely there are other outings planned that require nicer footwear than Nikes.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 07:14 AM
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The whole point of afternoon tea is to get dressed up and look naff - you don't go for the food which is never anything extraordinary, you go because you think it's typically British.

You will look out of place, they might let you stay, depends on other factors. If you wear casual clothes with a Rolex on a presidential bracelet, and drip with diamonds. Wear the shoes that you've taken to wear in the evening.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 07:19 AM
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Try to pack some dressier shoes that are also comfortable so that you can wear them during the day touring. We did that on our trip to Paris . . . we also brought sneakers, but it was nice to have an option!
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 07:20 AM
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If I was only taking one pair of shoes (which I have done on several trips) they certainly would not be Nikes (or addidas, or Sauconys, etc). If you only want one pair they should be comfortable walking shoes in a dark color -- that way they are good with any sort of clothing and just about any sort of event. Much more flexible (and often more comfortable) than Nike-type shoes.

But it is usually a good idea to have one extra pair of shoes in case you get soaked in a rain storm. Wearing wet shoes for several days is a real downer.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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m-kingdom - "Wear the shoes that you've taken to wear in the evening."

I think the point is jand plans on the SAME pair of shoes for everything - they won't have different shoes to wear in the evening . . . . . . .
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 07:38 AM
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Oh, how ridiculous!

I always take a selection of shoes for the daytime, even a pair of trainers (sneakers) by Prada are included. As for the evening, an even larger selection is important. They're no hassle to be packed - just slip some trees in, and put them in their shoe-bags.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 07:39 AM
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And another thing - it's not just Dorchester, it's The Dorchester!
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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I'm not one of the fodors fashionistas but I would feel underdressed in Nike's at the Dorchester.
obxgirl is online now  
Old Aug 10th, 2004, 08:08 AM
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I assume you mean The Dorchester (hotel in London) not Dorchester (the town where Thomas Hardy lived).
To put it bluntly you would look stupid wearing blinding white Nikes to afternoon tea in an upscale hotel. Afternoon tea is supposed to be a whole "experience" and that means dressing properly.
If you wanted to go somewhere less formal, go to The Orangery by Kensington Palace. Informal, but very nice. Your Nikes would be accepted there.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 08:13 AM
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I would seriously reconsider bringing only one pair of shoes on your trip. Your feet will want a break, and it's such a good feeling to change shoes in the evening after spending all day walking in the same pair. (Plus, as another poster mentioned, if they get wet in the rain, you'll be miserable!)
strass is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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it seems you've planned for a casual trip, in which case tea at the Dorchester doesn't really fit in, and they may require a tie and jacket for men, the Ritz does I believe.
I just checked the Dorchester website quickly, didn't notice comments about a dress code for tea, but I you can email them. They do say "Afternoon tea is a spectacular high point - an occasion recalling a bygone era of English gentility." That doesn't suggest sneakers to me, but that's me.

For a pleasant afternoon tea, in addition to the Orangery mentioned above, there is a restaurant in the Thistle Charing Cross hotel that serves afternoon tea in their Strand Terrace, and while they do get some business folk, I think you could get away with sneaks and more cas' dress. Tea is not so ceremonial there, they'll basically serve it and leave you alone (that was my experience), but they have plenty of food choices and extras, and their scones were very good when I had them.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 08:25 AM
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Thanks all. Looks like we have to drop the afternoon tea idea. If I bring another pair, it has to be something comfortable not dressy. Janis, thanks for pointing out the rain factor. That does make it sensible to pack an extra pair. All we are going to do is sightseeing (which involves lot of walking) and other outdoor activities. So we have no need of evening wear and such. We were already thinking of going to Fortnum & Mason (downstairs) for tea as well. I guess we will be have to be content with that. Thanks
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 08:29 AM
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No, I don't listen to the Fashion police either, BUT, I would never wear sneaks to a high afternoon tea! It is just not appropriate IMVHO. Drop the Dorchester, and go MUCH more casual. I agree with Elaine, do the Charing Croos tea.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 09:39 AM
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You are going to spend days in London in August and are going to be wearing one pair of trainers all day and every day?
All, I can say is "phew!"
If you go for tea at the end of your trip, I hope that the Dorchester has a good supply of clothes pegs.
Old Aug 10th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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Have been to the Dorchester for tea and breakfast and the sneakers would earn you a label you really don't want. If it comes down to packing, go to the Cafe Richoux on Picadilly near the Ritz for afternoon tea. It's the grandest of the chain and they serve a marvelous tea and you can wear those shoes (if you must).
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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jand, I cannot imagine taking any trip with only one pair of shoes, and fashion has nothing to do with it!

As others have said, no matter how comfortable the shoes, your feet will appreciate a break. What if they get wet? (You're going to England -- rain is always a possibility, if not a likelihood.) Imagine this: you've been sightseeing all day. You come back to your hotel, shower and change your clothes before dinner, and put on the same soggy pair of Nikes. Ugh.

At the least, slip a pair of Aerosoles flats into your bag. They'll take up no room and give you something else to put on your feet. Whether they are appropriate for The Dorchester tea is another matter.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 01:58 PM
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be smart (in the american and british sense!) and if you must bring only a single pair, make it a pair of dark leather shoes. not dress shoes but something that just blends in and is comfortable.

Even discounting The Dorchester Tea, Nikes are not appropriate for wearing around a major city. Perhaps they are ok for kids but if you are an adult, you want to real shoes in the city.

You don't mention your other travel plans but if you want to do the typical things in london (decent dinners, shows, museums, etc) real shoes are the way to go.
walkinaround is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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I must be very sure that the Yankee does NOT see this thread!!
If he sees that some woman is actually going to pack only ONE pair of shoes, I will never hear the end of it!
Even two would be impossible for me.
Jand, you will not have to carry the bags everywhere you go! You can pack an extra pair for yourself and any other athletic-shoe-wearing members of the family. What will you do if something happens to the one and only pair of shoes you are wearing?
What if, once there, you reeeally want to do something a touch nicer, and all you have is a pair of Nikes??
Nikes are great shoes, wear them when you run or do your aerobics, but please take a pair of regular shoes on you trip so you can enjoy Every aspect of what London has to offer...please
Thank you,
Scarlett, always appropriately shoed~
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 02:11 PM
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remember, comfortable is not just physical but also knowing that you are dressed appropriately for your surroundings. real travellers know that you need to go from a 4 mile walk, then to a nice museum or gallery, then on the tube, then to a working class pub, then to a nice restaurant for dinner. a smart pair of black leather shoes will do all this.
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