We don’t have a culture of tipping in London bars. It’s just not the done thing. Not because we are a tight fisted people more because drinks are already ludicrously expensive in most places and because, unlike other countries, being a barman isn’t seen as a legitimate vocation here, more of a stop gap on the way to something else. This is shame as other countries can do it so well. In the U.S the barman takes your drinking very seriously as you tip him after each drink. He’ll make sure your drink is refreshed before you even ask him to, he’ll give you some bar snacks and after you’ve had a few drinks he’ll give you a couple of free ones. There are no such things as measures either.
Here every single last drop of booze is strictly measured to make sure that you don’t have accidentally enjoy even one tiny drop, one wayward bit of booze vapour more than you’ve paid for. Bar staff will sell you a drink only to bark less than 20 seconds later “Ladies and gentleman can you finish up your drinks PUH-leese” and threaten to take it off you unless they see you gulping it down in the manner of someone who has just emerged from a terrifying, thirsty ordeal in the Sahara desert.
Maybe if drink prices were lowered just a smidgen and bar staff became a little more attentive then we could start a culture of tipping here. It’d take a while to get used to at first but as the smoking ban proved seasoned drinkers are a versatile bunch who can adapt to change easily. Incentives like the one displayed above could only help things along.
Spotted by Tom Cullen
Odd Night Out, Bethnal Green
As improbable nights out go this is up there with the best of them. A show encompassing not only the horrific Victorian killing spree of Jack the Ripper but also the WWII tragedy that was the Bethnal Green Tube Disaster brought to life onstage by Cheryl Baker and “TV’s DIY expert” Tommy Walsh.
How is that going to work then?… Read more
No Ho’s, Soho
I’ve been sent and have taken so many pictures of these signs in Soho. It must be real problem for people living and working there. It makes me think that getting into the old “No Prostitutes” sign writing business may be a good idea…business is certainly booming. Then again, this suggests that the prostitutes are doing all right as well…or at least there’s no shortage of customers looking for their services, knocking on the wrong doors all shifty and sweaty palmed.
I’m not sure I’ve got the ruthlessness to make it in the pimping game, nor have I got the steady hand or patience to be a sign writer. I might just leave it.
Spotted by Dan Rogger
Proving that citizen journalism reaches the places traditional news can’t, Shit Londoner James Melly sent us these stunning images from Limehouse and reports….
“A couple of Saturdays ago I spent the evening watching the tediousness that was the France vs Spain Euro 2012 quarter-final in The Narrow (the riverside Limehouse pub that Gordon Ramsay hasn’t managed to completely ruin), unable to numb my senses because I am off beer for a couple of weeks. However my spirits were lifted on my way home by the site of this lovely lady resting on the debris that was lapping around the front gates of Limehouse Lock. It was a bit dark to take a decent picture which is why the first one is a bit speckled, so I popped out again in the morning, to find that the arrival of a boat had let her into the lock itself and I was there just in time to watch one of the lock-keepers removing her with a pole.”
Outstanding work James!
Pool Table, West Ealing
I feel a little sorry for this pool table. Yes it may be not be performing to the best of it’s abilities but give it a break ( ahem ) , it’s a table, a table covered in felt, that can make the distinction between a coloured ball and a white ball, that accepts change and makes cool clunking noises. As far as tables go it’s a goddamned genius.
Spotted by Chris Gilson