An Insider’s Guide to Tipping Etiquette in London

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Wondering how do you tip in London? Let’s delve into tipping etiquette in London and learn how to tip like a local and reward the good service you receive while you explore the city!

How Much to Tip

Tipping in London is a relaxed affair and is largely based on goodwill. The rule of thumb is, if you are happy with the service, then feel free to tip around 10 per cent of the bill. Remember, it’s not obligatory, so there’s no pressure for you to tip. You can choose to tip in cash or add it to your card payment. However, in more casual venues like cafes and bars, cash may be preferable, so it goes directly to the staff who served you. Read on to know where and who to tip in London.

Tipping in Restaurants

In sit-down restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip of 10 to 15 per cent of the bill. For example, if you have had a three-course meal at a restaurant, paired with drinks and all the trimmings, then leave a generous tip. While paying, look out for a ‘discretionary service charge’ that gets automatically added to your bill. If you see this, you don’t have to tip extra, but you can if you think the service was exceptional.

Tipping in Pubs and Coffee Shops

Tipping in coffee shops and pubs in London is usually more relaxed than restaurants. If you’re being served at the table in a pub, it’s always nice to leave a pound or two. You may also want to tip bartenders, if you’ve had a good banter or if they’ve made you a stellar cocktail!

At most coffee shops in London, you might see a tip jar on the counter, it’s up to you to drop in some spare change, but it’s not an obligation. If you’ve simply dined in for a coffee and a pastry at a café, then perhaps just round up the bill to the nearest pound, rather than adding a full 10 per cent.

Tipping Tour Guides

If you’re planning to explore London’s iconic attractions near your central London stay at The Montcalm at Brewery London City or experience the city’s culture with guided tours, it’s customary to give your guide a small tip if you’ve had a good time. With many tours and attractions being free in London, tipping is a gesture to thank. If you think you’ve been well entertained, you can tip 10 to 15 per cent of the cost of the tour or according to your will for a free tour.

Tipping Taxi Drivers

As for taxi drivers, Londoners often tip about 10-15 per cent for long journeys. This applies whether you’re in a black cab, using a ride-share app or a minicab. However, if you feel the driver has been particularly helpful, feel free to tip more. Additionally, if you’re taking a minicab, you might also be charged a pre-agreed flat fare, which most people do not tip on.

Remember, tipping in London is usually at one’s discretion and based on the quality of service. So, when in doubt, use your judgment well and don’t hesitate to ask locals for the best advice.