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This 87 message thread spans 3 pages: 87 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Are the Brits out of their mind?
UK and horrible prices!

 3:09 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I just returned from the UK, middle of nowhere, Northhamptonshire. I was on company expenses, but I had to pay for my own dinner on Monday night. The meal at the hotel cost me £23.50 (~34 €, ~44 US$) - and it was just plain convenience food (soup, grilled chicken breast, 1 beer). A beer at the bar was £3.50 (~5 €, ~6.60 US$).

Isn't that outrageous?



 3:26 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

In my local pub - in central London - a pint of lager is £2.70. In the hotel just up the road, it's about £4.

Traditional Sunday lunch in a decent pub will cost maybe £6-7. In the same hotel it's £16...

And the moral of the story is: never eat and drink in hotels unless it's all included in the price..;-)



 7:55 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Was the service good, the food well presented, the chefs and cooks taken 3 years at uni?

Don't forget you're both in the middle of a busy city and Syzygy you were in the middle of London!

A meal for 5 (pudding, starter and drinks inclusive) would cost £50 to £60. (We live in a UK village)

Location, location, location!


 8:28 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am from the UK but now live in Central Europe. A good of rip-off-Britain is buying the train ticket from Stanstead to my home town in Hampshire. Often more than my flight ticket. It is enough to make me want to leave again.

Then I go and look in the estate agents window. How overpriced is the UK housing market? Prices rising far above inflation for 10 years in a row. Petrol, most expensive in Europe, the rates ( council tax) my parent pay on their house, a single ticket on London undeground. Etc.

Mind you nothing compared to cafes in Paris. We paid 30 euro for 4 coffee's a few weeks ago.


 12:46 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

never eat and drink in hotels unless it's all included in the price..;-)

Yep. And for better prices still, head north (from what I've seen). I was astounded by how cheap meals/drinks were in Northern pubs... even for places that served *good* food.

Hotel food is a ripoff no matter where you travel, I'd bet. It's like airport food... they're banking on the fact that you don't want to (or can't) bother leaving the building to eat.


 4:51 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

always support your local pub :)

one thing I've never understood is the houses are small in the UK, cost a lot, and the weather is rubbish so we have to stay inside, how does that work? :) we should have big houses with entertainment rooms for next to nothing.


 5:36 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hotel food is a ripoff no matter where you travel, I'd bet.

Yeah.... and that's if you DON'T order room service! You better be Mark Cuban for room service....


 8:35 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

@cmatcme: In my case it was NOT a big city. The next big city would have been Birmingham, and that was 1 hour by car (I know because that's where I flew in). Another slightly larger city would have been Northhampton istelf - which would have been 20min by car. I did not have a car though.

Yes, calling a cab and directing it to the next pub would have probably been cheaper - but who knows where the next pub might have been? Next time I go there, I'll be better prepared.

Another issue was: no laptop-phone connection in the room (phone was sealed and cord went directly in the wall). WiFi only in the Lobby at £3 / hour.

Last night I was with a friend to a local pub in my town. We had salad, pizza, loads of beer and two "Schnaps". We paid each 20.50 € including tips.


 3:39 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, the prices are much cheaper up north.

Here in Durham City you can get a traditional Sunday pub lunch (meat, potatoes, 3 veg, Yorkshire pud) for £3.00 - yes, three quid! - and beer is still under £2.00 a pint in some places.

I live in a 4-bedroomed detached house with a large terraced garden and a front view of Durham Cathedral. We're half an hour from the bright city lights of Newcastle, or half an hour from the sandy beaches and rugged coastline of Sunderland.... all for £250,000.


 6:54 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Mark Cuban - Didnt he get invovled in a Silver fraud c1982?

Any how debbie, as Im a soft southerner hailing form Essex, my small two bedroom flat cost £200K Sunday dinner at a pub is £6.95. I dont drink beer so I cant compare prices.

However living in the south is worth all the extra expense just so as to not have dour (unemployed) northners in flat caps and whippets wandering around going 'by eck its grim'.


 7:06 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

LOL Essexboy.

Yeah, the Brits are out of their minds. I recently posted how my hosting company wants £200 to renew a Thawte cert [webmasterworld.com] when it's about £75 directly from Thawte.

Rip-offs abound everywhere. But the biggest is the tax. As a business I figure I pay about 90% of what I make in tax (17.5% VAT, 10% Emp NI, 11% Employers' NI, 40% PAYE, about 8% in rates and various other bits and peices ...from DPR fees to DTI credit licence renewals). 90 frigg*ng per cent. I must start charging my customers more.... hmm


 7:10 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Remember, stay on topic and away from politics.


 12:53 pm on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah its not a cheap country to live in I think it ranks closer to Switzerland in terms of living cost.


 1:10 pm on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the UK has surpassed Switzerland in the rip off ratings chart.

Spent a month in Berne end of 2004, and recently returned from a trip to London....London prices for food and hotel accomodation definitely eclipsed those of Berne.....

Plus the Swiss tax laws are far less draconian than those in the uk. Most of the tax inspectors in the uk are like ravenous pit bulls, whilst the Swiss equivalent are like cuddly st Bernards :)


 9:26 pm on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

It is getting to the point where quite a few high net worth people I know are thinking of leaving. Oh well.


 10:56 am on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Essexboy, I don't blame them. I came down your way recently and went to the famous PeterPan's playground on Southend beach. We paid £4.50 each for helium balloons for my kids. Nothing fancy, just normal helium balloons. That almost $9.00 for a balloon, guys! And, we're not talking central London.

If I want to leave or to setup an offshore company to receive some of my dollar earnings - where do I start?


 12:55 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

The countryside is no better. It used to be that people left their cottage in the country to live in a terrace and find better paid work in the city and make their fortune. Now you've got to work most your life in the city to be able to _afford_ a cottage in the country.


 5:01 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wales is nice and cheap, but the vast majority of over-40s are ignorant and nasty. My house cost £90k and my mothers is worth £280k when they are both the same size, hers is in Hertfordshire is all. I've been to most countries is Western Europe and the UK is definitely the second most expensive behind Norway. Never been to Switzerland though.


 6:42 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would say Scandinavia is pretty nasty too. Beer is 5 quid a pint in most nordic countries. I saw a soup for 12 quid too in Copenhagen. You can also get a 60 year mortgage there because no-one has any disposable income due to all the taxes.

On the other side in Prague beer is 50p, my 80m2 flat with 3.5 meter ceilings by the river costs me 300 pounds a month, employees are affordable and many more. All this in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.


 8:56 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Essex_Boy, you've spent far too much time watching "When the Boat Comes In", either that or you're 30 years out of date.

I'm a Northerner and I don't wear a flat cap, don't have a whippet (or know anyone who does), and I've never been unemployed in my life.


 7:07 pm on Mar 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Debbie - Im pulling your leg. I have been up north, to Cambridge :)

The Welsh can be a bit touchy though - My brother was refused service in several rural Welsh pubs due to him being English.


 7:30 pm on Mar 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Never been to europe but it sure is interesting listening to the way you guys/gals talk. What amazes me is all of europe is a portion of the size of the US (i'm just guessing) yet you guys have so many cultures and countries.

Thanks to Walmart, McDonalds, Starbucks, Blockbuster and so on I can pretty much go anywhere in US or Canada and feel right at home. Although it can get kind of boring everything being pretty much the same no matter where you go, but at least my dollars work everywhere except Canada, but thats easy enough to exchange.


 10:00 pm on Mar 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

all of europe is a portion of the size of the US (i'm just guessing)

The European Union is about 40% of the size of the USA [en.wikipedia.org], but has about one and a half times the population [en.wikipedia.org]. The EU is the largest economy in the world [en.wikipedia.org], although the USA has a higher per-capita GDP.

You should note, however, that the EU does not contain all European countries, although it seems to cover most of the area of Europe west of Russia [upload.wikimedia.org]. (But there's a whole chunk of Russia in Europe.)

my dollars work everywhere except Canada

That means, since you're talking about the USA and Canada, that they only work in the USA :).

Back on topic:

One of the reasons for high prices in the UK is, of course, the high value of the pound.

There are a number of reasons for this, and I'm not going to get into a discussion about it at this moment. However, it should be noted that, when the euro was launched it immediately fell in value against the pound. There was much gloating about this in the euro-sceptic press in Britain, but the eurozone authorities generally did not worry about it. It gave them a sort of protective barrier against the British without them having to breach free-trade rules.

The low value of the dollar also works to make European prices high for US residents.


 10:50 pm on Mar 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not to keep trying to drift off topic but it just seemed unfamiliar to me people talking about traveling to places a few hundred miles away and everything being so different.

Here, I can get up in the morning, go to starbucks for coffee, eat breakfast at mcdonalds, buy a magazine at walmart. Get on a plane. Travel 3,000 miles away. Get off the plane. Have dinner at mcdonalds, have another coffee at starbucks and stop by walmart to pick up some pretzils. Although the irony is I would never eat at mcdonalds, drink coffee from starbucks, or shop at a walmart.


 3:17 am on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

With housing so expensive in UK, where do people live? Or are the wages proportionally higher?


 9:34 am on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

A question dear to my heart - i work in social housing.

Currently housing is very expensive, private developers that I work with are offering under the table discounts of around 10% as they are now unable to sell the homes they are building. On the projects I work with that at least UK£20000 - USD$30000 for a small flat.

Reality is starting to kicking.

Many people are unable to afford to buy so rent in the private sector, which is also expensive, quite often the gov will subsidise the rent with a contribution.

Our current gov is building vast amounts of social housing at low rents which I hope will reduce house price inflation.

An example I bought a mid terrace Victorian house in '97 for £40000 it has just sold for close £120000 eight years later. Madness.

In responces to wages, No wages are not vastly higher which is causing serious problems for a lot of people.


 10:10 am on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yep, unfortunately lots of Brits are still living with their Moms and Dads well into their 30s - or renting/sharing etc.

I was lucky that I purchased my first house at a relatively good time.

But house prices are more expensive and smaller also because of population density.

It always amazes me when you do a property search on some websites they stick a propery from abroad (commonly Florida) - to tempt (?) and you see what you can get for the same price range!


 12:39 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah I know I saw TV program where a family bought a 5 bed house with around 3 acres of land in France for £80000!

I almost fell off my chair.

It does seriously make me wonderwhy I stay here as much as I like teh country.....


 12:48 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interesting how this thread evolved. I am surprised to hear about house prices in the UK. I always thought that house prices are pretty low in the UK, given that it is "normal" to own a house, and sell it again if you move, and - excuse me - the quality of the houses is rather simplistic (plumbing, electricity, substance).

I live in Germany, and it is "normal" even for Middel Class to rent an apartment (or buy one). Real estate (as being the land only) prices are high, house building costs even higher since we Germans overdo it a bit with regulations on how a house is to be build, what materials to use etc.

I live in a rented 120sqm apartment with my 4-head family and we pay some 900 EUR / month (warm). And that's not high - that's standard.


 1:45 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)


You would be lucky to rent a 2 bedroom flat in Northamptonshire for that - more like 1 bedroom.

Well perhaps 2 Beds. But renting is even more expensive.

This 87 message thread spans 3 pages: 87 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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