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UK Travelers/Residents: Difference between B&Bs and Guest Houses?

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SeanOhio Donating Member (274 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:05 PM
Original message
UK Travelers/Residents: Difference between B&Bs and Guest Houses?
We're thinking of going to the UK next summer. Can anyone tell me what the difference between a "bed and breakfast" and a "guest house" is? I've stayed in a bed and breakfast in Bath and Isle of Wight, but I'm rather clueless about what a guest house is.
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MaggieSwanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm not entirely sure, but here are a few travel tips...
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 10:28 PM by MaggieSwanson
These were forwarded to me by some friends in London. Sadly, I had just arrived back home, so I could not make proper use of my new-found knowledge...


Useful travel tips when visiting England.

This wind-up article appeared recently in an American magazine. By all accounts it was taken seriously by a lot of people

Because they were American.

MONEY. The Brits have peculiar words for many things. Money is referred to as goolies in slang, so you should, for instance, say Id love to come to the pub, but I havent any goolies. Quid is the modern word for what was once called a shilling, the equivalent of seventeen cents American.

MAKING FRIENDS. If you are fond of someone, you should tell him he is a tosser he will be touched. The English are a notoriously tactile, demonstrative people, and if you want to fit in you should hold hands with your acquaintances and tossers when you walk down the street.

CUSTOMS. Since their Labour government whole-heartedly embraced full union with Europe the Brits have been attempting to adopt certain continental customs, such as the large midday meal followed by a three-hour siesta, which they call a wank. As this is still a fairly new practice in Britain, it is not uncommon for people to oversleep (alarm clocks, alas, do not work there due to the magnetic pull from Greenwich). If you are late for supper, simply apologise and explain that you were having a wank everyone will understand and forgive you.

RELAXING. One of the most delightful ways to spend an afternoon in Oxford or Cambridge is gliding gently down the river in one of their flat-bottomed boats, which you propel using a long pole. This is known as cottaging. Many of the boats (caller yer-in-nalls) are privately owned by the colleges, but there are some places that rent them to the public by the hour. Just tell a professor or a policeman that you are interested in doing some cottaging and would like to know where the public yerinalls are. The poles must be treated with vegetable oil to protect them from the water, so its a good idea to buy a can of Mazola and have it on you when you ask for directions to the yurinalls. That way people will know you are an experienced cottager.

FOOD AND WINE. British cuisine enjoys a well-deserved reputation as the most sublime gastronomic pleasure available to man. Thanks to todays robust dollar, the American traveler can easily afford to dine out several times a week (rest assured that a British meal is worth interrupting your afternoon wank for). Few foreigners are aware that there are several grades of meat in the UK . The best cuts of meat, like the best bottles of gin, bear Her Majestys seal, called the British Stamp of Excellence (BSE). When you go to a fine restaurant, tell your waiter you want BSE beef and wont settle for anything less. If he balks at your request, custom dictates that you jerk your head imperiously back and forth while rolling your eyes to show him who is boss.

Once the waiter realizes you are a person of discriminating taste, he may offer to let you peruse the restaurants list of exquisite British wines. If he does not, you should order one anyway. The best wine grapes grow on the steep, chalky hillsides of Yorkshire and East Anglia try an Ely 84 or Ripon 88 for a rare treat indeed. When the bill comes it will show a suggested amount. Pay whatever you think is fair, unless you plan to dine there again - in which case you should simply walk out; the restaurant host will understand that he should run a tab for you.

TRANSPORTATION. Public taxis are subsidized by Her Majestys Government. A taxi ride in London costs two pounds, no matter how far you travel. If a taxi driver tries to overcharge you, you should yell, I think NOT then grab the nearest policeman (bobby) and have the driver disciplined. It is rarely necessary to take a taxi, though, since bus drivers are required to take detours at patrons requests. Just board any bus, pay your fare of thruppence (the heavy, gold-coloured coins are pence), and state your destination clearly to the driver, e.g. Please take me to the British Library. A driver will frequently try to have a bit of harmless fun by pretending he doesnt go to your requested destination. Ignore him; he is only teasing the American tourist (little does he know youre not so ignorant!).

For those traveling on a shoestring budget, the London Tube may be the most economical way to get about, especially if you are a woman. Chivalry is alive and well in Britain , and ladies still travel for free on the Tube. Simply take some tokens from the baskets at the base of the escalators or on the platforms; you will find one near any of the state-sponsored Tube musicians. Once on the platform, though, beware! Approaching trains sometimes disturb the large Gappe bats that roost in the tunnels. The Gappes were smuggled into London in the early 19th century by French saboteurs and have proved impossible to exterminate. The announcement Mind the Gappe! is a signal that you should grab your hair and look towards the ceiling. Very few people have ever been killed by Gappes, though, and they are considered only a minor drawback to an otherwise excellent means of transportation.

AIRPORTS. One final note: for preferential treatment when you arrive at Heathrow Airport, announce that you are a member of Shin Fane (an international Jewish peace organization the shin stands for shalom). As savvy travelers know, this little white lie will assure you priority treatment as you make your way through customs.

Safe travels and Bon Voyage

on edit: I love this email, it makes me giggle every time. If no one here has the answer, you might want to try posting in the Travel forum. Hope you go and have a great time!
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MaggieSwanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. My FAVORITE joke email and no one else thinks it's funny?
*puts hands in pockets, scuffs dirt with booted toe. turns and walks away, head down*

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. I don't know about guest houses, but B&Bs and hotels are in a sense
flipped in the U.K. from the U.S.

Bed and Breakfast's here are MORE expensive and rarer than hotels. In UK, B&B's are cheaper than hotels generally.
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