To those of you who regularly visit London I suppose a 12.5% service charge is no surprise but it was a shock to me, up from the country, to find myself paying £9.01 when I walked up to the lounge bar and bought a pint and a half of (lousy) lager. Shocked at the price I asked the barman for a receipt (I thought he was defrauding me) only to find that a service charge of £1.01 had been added to the actual price of £8.05. Broken down, it was £5.25 for the pint and £2.80 for the half meaning that on the half I had been charged the equivalent of £5.60 per pint for not bordering a full one. That's an increase of 6.6% for nothing!
On top of that rip off I was charged another £1.01 for his "service" which took about 90 seconds to complete, including taking my money!
incidentally, the small writing on the table menu describes this as a discretionary service charge but does not make it clear that the discretion is at the behest of the hotel and not with the customer.
Other than that the hotel was very good and served an excellent breakfast.
But if you order anything in the bar (food included) be ready for that 12.5% extra for service plus another 7% if you just want to drink in moderation.More