I woke up this morning with a new found respect and love for London. We are staying at a members-only hotel called the SoHo House. My wife being a model was given a global membership. Though they have houses all over the world, London is its birthplace. We are staying at the newest hotel in The Shore Ditch neighborhood. They have a beautiful pool on the rooftop, about 8 restaurants— 6 of which are accessible by members and hotel guests only. The other 2 are open to the public. The service has been excellent, the mixologists have been preparing excellent cocktails and the vibe is great. I have been charging everything to the room. However, every receipt I have signed includes a 10% service charge and there is no line for additional tip.

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Last night, we started off in the Mayfair area filled with the most exotic cars, and finest restaurants. Being half Lebanese, I was craving some good lebanese food and a hookah. We found a small restaurant across from the Saudia Arabian embassy near Buckingham Palace. Though the venue was small and the build out and design was a C+ at best, I have never seen so many people wearing $100k watches.  Apparently, much of the Saudia Arabian oil money from the Embassy was flowing over.  The prices were outrageous. A hookah typically goes for $15.00-$20.00 in the States. The cheapest hookah here started at £45, which even after Brexit is around 60.00 bucks. However, there were many add-ons to the hookah like— fruit, liqour, ice, custom blends, and mixes. One hookah could cost up to £200! As mentioned, I am not a cheap American, but I am also not a stupid one. I was outraged by the pricing, so when the bill arrived, I was fully content with the 10% service charge automatically added. They did offer an additional tip feature— first I have seen in London. I respectfully declined the additional tip.

london-katemoss-signOur night continued to many more members-only, and exclusive venues making me realize how diverse London truly is, and how much money is floating around. The venues were much smaller than New York and much more exclusive. I was experiencing a side of London I had never heard of before. Once getting into any of these venues, the level of service and professionalism to their trade— whether it being a doorman, security guard, bathroom attendant, bartender, or server— was top notch; much different than anywhere in the States. Hence, my new found love and respect for London. One more night to go…..stay tuned.

—TheTipster

Written by Jason

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