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-   -   What do meals cost in England? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/what-do-meals-cost-in-england-101397/)

Melanie Jan 22nd, 2001 09:40 AM

What do meals cost in England?
 
How much can I expect to pay for a dinner (evening meal) in a restaurant or pub in the Cotswolds area? I realize that there is going to be a great variation from one restaurant to another, so I'm mostly looking for a range.

anna Jan 22nd, 2001 10:16 AM

Don't know about the Cotswald's area per se, but when we were in London, the prices on the menus were remarkably similar to prices in the US, except they were in pounds, not dollars, so everything was about 67% more expensive. Currently it would be about 46% more expensive, if that rule still holds.

Meg Jan 22nd, 2001 10:19 AM

In a pub you can expect to pay 10-15 GBP per head for a two course meal excluding drinks. In a restaurant 15-20 GBP per head, again excluding drinks. A bottle of wine with your meal can add 10-15 GBP to the price. "The Howard Arms" in Ilmington is a <BR>recommended pub just outside the main Cotswold area but quite close to Chipping Campden. hope this helps

Patrick Jan 22nd, 2001 11:14 AM

Anna, funny how you regard the prices. I have always found that dining in London at a restaurant similar to one in a major city in the US, that the prices always looked very cheap on the menu, and they would be if they were in dollars not pounds. At a really nice restaurant it always looks good when I see that most of the main courses are in the 12 to 20 pound range, when at home at a similar restaurant I expect to see $18 to $30 range for the same things. For example seeing a wonderful seared tuna main course at a fine restaurant in London for 15 pounds. But when converted to dollars, it was about the same as at home -- about $23.00. Our bottom line charge price always looks cheap in London, but by the time it is converted to dollars on my credit card statement, it seems just like what it would have been at home, or usually less. Also we tip 10% in London but 20% at home, so that is an added bonus, as well as the tax already included in London, not added on at 6 to 10% as it usually is in the US. So you're saving 15 to 20% right off the bottom of the bill.

anna Jan 23rd, 2001 10:54 AM

Obviously, I live in a less expensive area of the US than you do, Patrick. <BR> <BR> Anna

Tony Hughes Jan 23rd, 2001 11:22 AM

remember to tip in dollars . . .

Tony Hughes Jan 23rd, 2001 11:22 AM

remember to tip in dollars . . .

Patrick Jan 23rd, 2001 01:41 PM

Anna, actually I wasn't just referring to my home town. I was referring to nice restaurants in any major city (don't forget London certainly is one). I was thinking New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, for example. If one lives in a small town, of course the prices can be much less that a large city, but you probably wouldn't be comparing the same type of restaurants, just as food is much less expensive in towns outside of London than in London itself. I saw fish and chips in London for 1 pound at a little take-a-way. But I'm not sure that I've ever seen $1.50 fish and chips in the US anywhere! By the same token I would compare Bank or Quaglino's in London with Farallon or Cypress Club in San Francisco. Or I'd certainly compare Joe Allen's in London with Joe Allen's in New York or Miami. In both those comparisons, the prices (especially with the tax and tip taken into consideration) are far lower in London than in the US.

Edward Jan 23rd, 2001 03:51 PM

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I agree with the first response. The cost was very similair to here with the difference being the exchange ratio. As a general rule, I would suggest to add 30 to 40 percent to get an idea of how much US dollars you will spend. Inother words, a dinner over here is around 20 dollars, the same dinner over there will be 20 ponds but that will cost you 28-30 dollars. Hope that helps

Liz Jan 24th, 2001 05:35 AM

I hope you're ignoring Tony Hughes suggestion that you should tip in dollars. Tip in pounds, obviously!

Al Jan 24th, 2001 06:05 AM

We took British friends to dinner in a suburban London Chinese restaurant. The bill for four -- and nothing fancy -- came to more than $100. We could not help comparing what a similar dinner-for-four would have cost in our home town Chinese restaurant. A much finer, better prepared, and much larger dinner would not have cost more than $40, tip included. Frankly, we have found British eating-out costs to be outrageously expensive compared to American quality, quantity, and preparation. Sorry, but that has been our experience.

Judy Jan 24th, 2001 06:12 AM

Liz, I was wondering about Tony's comment.... Tony?

frank Jan 24th, 2001 06:16 AM

London is expensive.In most of the UK you pay less than GBP10 for a 2 course meal in a bar, but this isn't always freshly cooked. <BR> I had a really excellent meal an a bistro attached to a bar a few nights ago, 3 courses GBP12.95 <BR> The RULE is : the more tourists you see, the more you pay.In London, eat in Greek cafes.Also, ask the locals (if you can find one!) <BR>The greatest variation is in quality rather than price.

xxxxx Jan 24th, 2001 06:29 AM

To the person who would spend $40 at home for dinner 4, I want to come and visit! that's less than $10/person and I know nowhere that cheap! Grantd I live in chicago where everything is inflated (my wife and I stopped for ice cream the other night, purchased 2 small milkshakes $9.45!) I have lived in less expensive areas but none as cheap as yours. I definitely think prices in london and Paris for dinner are comparable to dinner out in a big city in the US

Celia Jan 24th, 2001 08:56 AM

We were in London a couple of weeks ago, and for pub lunches we paid between 5 and 8 pounds usually. At Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a very touristy place (although there were plenty of local lawyer and financial types there too), we paid 4.95 pounds for Bolognese (hamburger with tomato sauce & peppers), chips, and salad. At other places we paid between 4 & 5 pounds for fish & chips or hamburger peas & chips. Drinks were extra. <BR> <BR>We were impressed with the quality of the food. Ten or 15 years ago British restaurant prices were sky high, I thought, and the food not all that good. Things have changed in that regard.

Mark Jan 24th, 2001 09:19 AM

Melanie, <BR> <BR>In the Cotswolds region, you would expect to pay about 10 - 15 GBP for a dinner in a restaurant, a little bit less in a pub, maybe 8 -12 GBP. As you say, no doubt there are more expensive places, so it depends on your taste.

Liz Jan 24th, 2001 11:07 AM

Judy <BR> <BR>I think Tony's comment about tipping in dollars was a joke reference to an earlier debate on this board. <BR> <BR>That debate concluded that there ARE some countries where tipping in dollars is preferred to tipping in the local currency. However, Britain is not one of them! <BR> <BR>Countries which have a poor economy, where the national currency is not strong, may prefer cash in a stronger currency. For example, when I visited Turkey 2/3 years ago, all the restaurants and shops quoted prices in UK pounds as well as Turkish Lira. This is because the exchange rate was changing by the day, and they preferred to get their hands on sterling currency, as this was more stable than their own. I don't know if this is still the same - we were getting a quarter of a million Lira to the pound, then, and I think it's getting up towards a million Lira to the pound, now. <BR> <BR>But definitely tip in pounds, in England. I work in a nice restaurant in Yorkshire where we get quite a few American visitors, and fortunately, I've never had anyone tip me in dollars - yet!

Al Jan 24th, 2001 04:16 PM

For those who doubt we can feed four persons Chinese food for $40 or less, come to our town in Arizona where the chef is from Shanghai and his food is scrumptious -- fresh shrimp, egg rolls, dim sum, all or any of eight entrees, both steamed and fried rice, melons, tea, cake, fortune cookies. All you want at the self-service steam table: $7.95. If you are a senior, deduct $1. In London, just rice, egg roll (1), choice of a single entree, tea. For four: $105. And the preparation was not half as good as that made by our local chef. If you think I am kidding, write us direct and we will send directions.

Patrick Jan 24th, 2001 07:46 PM

Al, then you clearly went to the wrong Chinese restaurant in London if price was an issue. Chinatown in London has a number of very good places with all you can eat buffet tables for around 5 to 6 pounds. We did a superb Indian buffet in Soho all you can eat with great food for 6 pounds also. Again if you take into account a 10% not 20% tip (maybe less if it is a buffet) and no tax, you can come out very reasonable. I think the problem here is comparing a restaurant in a town in Arizona to any restaurant in London, just as it would be wrong to compare it to one in New York. Please folks, lets compare apples to apples. I still maintain that a fast food sort of restaurant in New York or London will cost about the same, and a 5 star dining experience at a top name restaurant in London will also be about the same cost as one at a top name restaurant in New York.

kam Jan 24th, 2001 09:20 PM

I would expect 15-25 pounds for a nice 3-4 course dinner in the Cotswolds. That's without wine.


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