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    • Jellyb
    • By Jellyb 2nd Oct 17, 7:44 PM
    • 13Posts
    • 116Thanks
    Jellyb
    Birthday celebrations - paying for own meal
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 17, 7:44 PM
    Birthday celebrations - paying for own meal 2nd Oct 17 at 7:44 PM
    My friend is planning her birthday celebrations. (50 at the start of the year.) She said she would like to go to a restaurant hotel with a private room/space where she could host a meal.
    This sounded great until I heard the price - £40 a head. This sounds fine until I read the menu choices - very basic starters, desserts and the mains - macaroni cheese, chicken and mushroom pasta, gammon steak or a burger.
    Am I being unreasonable - to me this sounds expensive especially when I took the prices from their menu and to have the most expensive starter, main and dessert, large wine, soft drink and a coffee and it would still come to less than £40
    I don't want to be a wet blanket - but when you include drinks, coffee and taxi home - it turns out to be an expensive deal.
    p.s. 'Guests' have also been told what she would like for a present.
    Sealed pot challenge No 562
    Total so far £18.50
Page 1
    • indiepanda
    • By indiepanda 2nd Oct 17, 8:00 PM
    • 962 Posts
    • 6,425 Thanks
    indiepanda
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:00 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:00 PM
    The present thing sounds rather cheeky - I guess it's similar to what people do with weddings but I've not heard of it for birthdays (if friends/family ask I will give them a suggestion but keep it modest / in line with what we typically spend on each other, I'd never ask otherwise)

    As for the event - is it just a meal or does it include any entertainment or might it include some drinks? If it includes neither it sounds a bit of a rip off, but then judging by what some places charge for weddings, hotels do seem to be ready to charge rather a lot for having exclusive use of part of a venue.

    I guess the question is whether you can afford it and whether this friend is someone who matters enough that you'd want to be there and suck up the costs even if it doesn't seem good value for money?
    • Bogof_Babe
    • By Bogof_Babe 2nd Oct 17, 8:07 PM
    • 9,941 Posts
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    Bogof_Babe
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:07 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:07 PM
    You're probably having to pay more because of the private room. Still seems a bit cheeky of your friend though. Tell her straight you can't afford it, and see if she changes the venue. You won't be the only one.
    I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe


    • Jellyb
    • By Jellyb 2nd Oct 17, 8:12 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    Jellyb
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:12 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:12 PM
    It's not a completely private room - just an area that will be marked off. Unfortunately, the price doesn't include any drinks and any deviation from her chosen menu (ie regular chips instead of sweet potato fries) will cost extra.
    It feels like the staff at the hotel have done a very good job at flattering her by telling her it's her day and all the menu choices should be her personal favourites. There is no way she would change the venue. She seems to think this is a very good deal. My partner suggested the extra cost might be because she gets her meal for free! I wouldn't be surprised.
    As for the presents - vouchers or money towards a new tattoo or Adopt a Hedgehog. I'm considering doing the MSE way and suggesting she and I have a 'No-Present-Pact' as my birthday is a few months later...
    Sealed pot challenge No 562
    Total so far £18.50
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 2nd Oct 17, 8:20 PM
    • 17,978 Posts
    • 45,829 Thanks
    Pollycat
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:20 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:20 PM
    If you feel it's too expensive or don't like the menu choices, just decline the invitation.

    And tell her you'll choose what present you'll get her.
    How presumptuous!
    Actually, I'd tell her to forget a gift.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 2nd Oct 17, 8:22 PM
    • 5,036 Posts
    • 10,272 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:22 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:22 PM
    I don't think her present requests are unreasonable, she has given everyone the option to spend as much or little as they like, there is also a choice for a gift for her or to give to charity. Its not as if she is asking for all expensive items with no budget options,

    If the restaurant are changing more than what the standard menu price is, it seems she has got ripped off, but there isn't much you can do about that. If the price does include her meal nothing wrong in that when I go out with friends for birthday its standard the bill is split between everyone excluding the birthday person.
    • 74jax
    • By 74jax 2nd Oct 17, 8:31 PM
    • 4,491 Posts
    • 6,064 Thanks
    74jax
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:31 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:31 PM
    My friend is planning her birthday celebrations. (50 at the start of the year.) She said she would like to go to a restaurant hotel with a private room/space where she could host a meal.
    This sounded great until I heard the price - £40 a head. This sounds fine until I read the menu choices - very basic starters, desserts and the mains - macaroni cheese, chicken and mushroom pasta, gammon steak or a burger.
    Am I being unreasonable - to me this sounds expensive especially when I took the prices from their menu and to have the most expensive starter, main and dessert, large wine, soft drink and a coffee and it would still come to less than £40
    I don't want to be a wet blanket - but when you include drinks, coffee and taxi home - it turns out to be an expensive deal.
    p.s. 'Guests' have also been told what she would like for a present.
    Originally posted by Jellyb
    If you can't afford it then it's simple. You don't go.

    If you can afford but don't want to go, just let her know it's not your kind of food. But you'd love to go for coffee or drinks with her another time.

    As for being told what she would like, saves you having to ask I suppose.

    If it was my friend I'd go as it's her birthday, her choice and I'd want to spend it with her. If it was just someone I knew. but not close to, I probably wouldn't go.
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
    • lika_86
    • By lika_86 2nd Oct 17, 8:33 PM
    • 1,155 Posts
    • 4,170 Thanks
    lika_86
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:33 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:33 PM
    What would you normally expect to pay for a birthday meal out and a present for a 'big' birthday?
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 2nd Oct 17, 8:35 PM
    • 17,978 Posts
    • 45,829 Thanks
    Pollycat
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:35 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 8:35 PM
    I don't think her present requests are unreasonable, she has given everyone the option to spend as much or little as they like, there is also a choice for a gift for her or to give to charity. Its not as if she is asking for all expensive items with no budget options,
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    If I want to give to charity, it will be my choice of charity, not someone else's.
    I think she's being really cheeky specifying what she wants.
    But then, I don't like being shown a wedding present list.

    [QUOTE=iammumtoone;73207185
    If the restaurant are changing more than what the standard menu price is, it seems she has got ripped off, but there isn't much you can do about that. If the price does include her meal nothing wrong in that when I go out with friends for birthday its standard the bill is split between everyone excluding the birthday person.[/QUOTE]
    The OP can decline to go to the meal - that's what she can do.
    The OP doesn't say if it's standard procedure within their circle for guests to pay for the meal of the birthday person.
    If it isn't, there is something wrong with expecting the other guests to pay for her meal.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 2nd Oct 17, 8:39 PM
    • 19,568 Posts
    • 31,587 Thanks
    Spendless
    Could you start a conversation with her along the lines of 'How come they're charging £40 a head when I've priced the most expensive starter, main and dessert off their regular menu and it comes to £x cheaper'

    You might get an explanation of something you're unaware of or she might realise she's being ripped off.

    Just a thought whilst typing, some places put on an extra charge on meals for parties over a certain size. Might that be the reason?
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 2nd Oct 17, 9:03 PM
    • 5,036 Posts
    • 10,272 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    If I want to give to charity, it will be my choice of charity, not someone else's.
    I think she's being really cheeky specifying what she wants.
    But then, I don't like being shown a wedding present list.


    The OP can decline to go to the meal - that's what she can do.
    The OP doesn't say if it's standard procedure within their circle for guests to pay for the meal of the birthday person.
    If it isn't, there is something wrong with expecting the other guests to pay for her meal.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    each to their own, I suppose it one of those times 'you can't do right for doing wrong'. I'd love that option I could give up to what value I wanted and have no objection giving to a charity of a persons choice. In this situation I would probably give half for the tattoo and half for the charity. I like to be told what to get as I would much rather buy something wanted than something that would be put in a drawer and forgotten about.

    Take your point about this might not be the way of the OPs circle of friends but I don't think its that unusual. Of course if on everyone elses birthday the birthday girl/boy pays for the whole party then it is out of order.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 10 #017
    Declutter 2017 items in 2017 - 78/2017

    • Bogof_Babe
    • By Bogof_Babe 2nd Oct 17, 9:31 PM
    • 9,941 Posts
    • 15,647 Thanks
    Bogof_Babe
    What do the other friends who have been invited think? Or don't you discuss such things?

    I would have a forehead slapping moment and suddenly remember a prior engagement. Something you really can't get out of.

    The proposed meal doesn't sound like a load of laughs anyway. No proper chips???
    I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe


    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 2nd Oct 17, 9:57 PM
    • 17,978 Posts
    • 45,829 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I like to be told what to get as I would much rather buy something wanted than something that would be put in a drawer and forgotten about.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    Maybe it's because I only buy gifts for people I know really well so instinctively know what they would appreciate.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 2nd Oct 17, 10:03 PM
    • 1,022 Posts
    • 1,102 Thanks
    NeilCr

    If it was my friend I'd go as it's her birthday, her choice and I'd want to spend it with her. I
    Originally posted by 74jax
    This.

    Over the years I’ve done things with friends that I wasn’t keen on. Likewise, I am sure I have dragged them off to do something/somewhere that wasn’t their cup of tea. Part of the whole friendship thing.

    To me being asked to their “special” days has been an honour even if it’s been at a place I didn’t fancy or was, in my view, pricey for what you got.

    It’s your friend and her day. Unless you can’t afford it or she is just an acquaintance I’d say go

    As for the presents - that’s not the sort of thing that my circle do. But, as others have said, they don’t seem OTT and I’m always happy to adopt a hedgehog if nothing else!
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 2nd Oct 17, 10:40 PM
    • 1,736 Posts
    • 4,670 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    If she's said she wants to 'host' that normally means paying doesn't it? Are you sure you'll definitely be expected to pay for your meal?
    • maman
    • By maman 2nd Oct 17, 11:09 PM
    • 16,842 Posts
    • 100,581 Thanks
    maman
    My first thought was that it's a really carp menu so can't be much of a venue.

    Now I know she's chosen it I'm wondering about her taste. Then having a tattoo for her 50th birthday confirmed it. It's tacky IMO.

    So it wouldn't be my idea of an evening out but that's not the point. She's your friend. If you want to help celebrate the birthday in a way that will please her then you'll have to just grin and bear it.

    If you aren't that worried about not going, then just make an excuse or tell her why but it could sour the relationship.
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 2nd Oct 17, 11:11 PM
    • 1,191 Posts
    • 1,818 Thanks
    pearl123
    My friend is planning her birthday celebrations. (50 at the start of the year.) She said she would like to go to a restaurant hotel with a private room/space where she could host a meal.
    This sounded great until I heard the price - £40 a head. This sounds fine until I read the menu choices - very basic starters, desserts and the mains - macaroni cheese, chicken and mushroom pasta, gammon steak or a burger.
    Am I being unreasonable - to me this sounds expensive especially when I took the prices from their menu and to have the most expensive starter, main and dessert, large wine, soft drink and a coffee and it would still come to less than £40
    I don't want to be a wet blanket - but when you include drinks, coffee and taxi home - it turns out to be an expensive deal.
    p.s. 'Guests' have also been told what she would like for a present.
    Originally posted by Jellyb
    If this were my friend my first response would be "to hell with that". To pay so much, I'd expect it to be a really super restaurant.
    I wouldn't pay out, especially for something that sounds so unimpressive. It's too much money IMHO.

    I also think it's rather distasteful that she presumes there will be gifts.
    If she had manners she would not be mentioning gifts at all.
    • JIL
    • By JIL 2nd Oct 17, 11:29 PM
    • 2,745 Posts
    • 18,534 Thanks
    JIL
    My daughter works in a hotel as an events planner and they hire private areas and have specialised menus, however it's much better food than what you are being offered. The cost is also lower. The hotel make their money on the drinks, but the price per head can be increased with extras such as specific table decorations, cake, candles etc.
    Maybe there is something you are not being told?

    However if she is a close friend you have a decision to make, perhaps sooner rather than later as events like these usually want the money up front.

    I really don't enjoy events like these as it's so difficult to please everyone. A few drinks and a paid for by me tapas buffet at my local and a come if you want to suited me, I also asked people not to buy gifts. I can't be doing with all the fuss.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 2nd Oct 17, 11:43 PM
    • 2,694 Posts
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    cjdavies
    I dislike set menus but for that price blimey i would expect at least a decent steak cut as part of that mains!
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 2nd Oct 17, 11:46 PM
    • 60,253 Posts
    • 352,016 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    I'm sorry .... I can't make that night, I won't know until the very last minute as things might change... so keep me informed, but don't put me down as coming! If I can make it at the last minute and "missed out" then that's the way things are....

    That gives you the ability to slide into the event if it all changes and the venue becomes affordable/good value.

    I did that once... super posh place 'planned'; I was "out of the equation" right from the very second it was mentioned .... roll on 3 months and it ended up as a local pub meal and miraculously, at the last minute, my diary cleared and I could make it!
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