Reflections on our just-completed trip to London and Edinburgh…
No, I’m not talking about eating nothing but haggis and neeps, which would cause most people to shed pounds. It’s just that it was interesting how, with one exception, none of the places we ate in London or Edinburgh put out that big a spread when they served food. I hadn’t realized how much I expected dinner, for example, to be introduced with bread of some kind until I noticed its absence. Nor did we ever eat at a restaurant where a salad came with the meal (that’s certainly not the rule in the US, but it’s not at all uncommon). The portions were smaller, too. Perhaps food is just more dear over there?
I was also struck by how thinly staffed the restaurants were. It wasn’t unusual to see just one waitress holding down a room of ten or more tables. I suspect that’s due to waiters and waitresses being paid more, which would also explain why tipping is less prevalent, even in establishments that don’t include a service charge on the bill.
The exception I mentioned earlier? That’d be your friendly local pub. Pub food is not only tasty, albeit dominated by frying, but served in greater portions. Probably because most of the profit gets generated by the sale of alcoholic beverages :).