Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Jellyb
    • By Jellyb 2nd Oct 17, 7:44 PM
    • 19Posts
    • 160Thanks
    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 2
    • SingleSue
    • By SingleSue 2nd Oct 17, 11:51 PM
    • 10,031 Posts
    • 56,170 Thanks
    SingleSue
    The sweet potato fries would be the decider for me, can't stand them!
    We made it! One graduated, 2 currently at university, been hard work but it shows there is a possibility of a chance of normal (ish) life after a diagnosis (or two) of ASD. It's not been the easiest route but I am so glad I ignored everything and everyone and did my own therapies with them.
    Eldests' EDS diagnosis 4.5.10, mine 13.1.11 eekk!
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 3rd Oct 17, 12:14 AM
    • 23,371 Posts
    • 90,851 Thanks
    Jojo the Tightfisted
    If I had the money, I'd rather adopt two hedgehogs and forego the meal.

    I think it's actually a nice gesture to say she'd rather have any money that would have been spent upon a bottle of wine or a bunch of flowers going to help native wildlife than sitting at the bottom of the fridge until the next gift giving occasion when it gets rewrapped or dying in a vase over the next week. And I see the logic of the tattoo - she has something to see that will remind her of her friends for the rest of her life if they don't want to help a species that is in danger of becoming extinct.

    Go or don't go. It doesn't really matter. She wanted you there, but if you don't want to, fair enough.

    Give her what she wants for a present or don't bother with anything if you have a fundamental objection to small spiky things. I'm sure she'll be fine, as she obviously doesn't need anything - and deliberately doing something else could imply that you want to make a point that you don't care what she wants - rather like buying a kid a pink Barbie car when they asked for a Thomas the Tank Engine.

    I'm sure she'll be fine if you RSVP to say you can't come but have a lovely time.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 3rd Oct 17, 4:52 AM
    • 30,837 Posts
    • 18,445 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Book a regular table for yourself(and some other friends)

    Ask to be near the party group.
    • Tygermoth
    • By Tygermoth 3rd Oct 17, 6:11 AM
    • 1,295 Posts
    • 2,617 Thanks
    Tygermoth
    I love people that say 'I don't need to have a gift list shoved under my nose - i'm a good friend and know what they would like'

    Everyone who has a drawer full of tat from self confessed people who 'give great gifts' wince when you say that. If you don't believe me - check out the christmas bad gift thread. Every single one of those people though the gifts they got for the giftee was a great gift.

    A gift list isn't tacky or presumptuous - its MSE. Its a kind suggestion for those who would like to give something to a charity the Birthday person is passionate about or something they would really like.

    It ensures that there is no wastage and you actually get something you want or need. Normally because they have special friends who 'know what they like' so will get them that instead of what was suggested'.

    I have never found having a gift list being rude however having recently been involved in the planning of a small wedding the amount of people, after being invited, felt they had the right to approach the bride or the MOTB to 'helpfully' point out that really they should move venues to one that could take kids or could the meal plans be changed because the sitter can only start at four... the list went on and on and on of people that 'just felt you should know' that the gift list was inappropriate, the meal didn't cater to fussy teenagers and if they were paying for the meal (they weren't) something should be done about that.... Now THAT i found rude.

    Its not your party. your choices are politely accept the invitation or decline the invitation. That's it. You don't like the food or venue decline - its simple.

    If the birthday person asks you why then feel free to tell her your thoughts. If you choose to tell her you think the venue she picked for HER birthday is over priced and YOU don't like it - i would expect to get a
    Last edited by Tygermoth; 03-10-2017 at 6:59 AM.
    Please note I have a cognitive disability - as such my wording can be a bit off, muddled, misspelt or in some cases i can miss out some words totally...
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 3rd Oct 17, 6:15 AM
    • 16,141 Posts
    • 40,049 Thanks
    FBaby
    I find it very selfish to arrange something that really is to please yourself, and then expect everyone to spend a lot of money to do so. Fair enough when it is close family and best friends, but beyond this is putting a lot of pressure on people who frankly would probably much rather than spend that money on something else.

    Thankfully, my friends are not like this so I haven't come across this, but in my case, I would only agree to it for a family member/very close friends, in which case, I would know long in advance what they were doing, possibly give advice on value for cost and if they insisted on the place because it was what made them happy, at least I would have time to save the money.

    Any other friend, I would decline politely.
    • scd3scd4
    • By scd3scd4 3rd Oct 17, 6:32 AM
    • 542 Posts
    • 431 Thanks
    scd3scd4
    Must be an East London thing but to be invited to something and then pay and get told what it to eat. Plus a present!!!


    I had a wedding last week. All food drink included, free bar.


    50 wedding anniversary and a 40th next month.................both will be the same.


    All alien to me...........but then that just me.
    Last edited by scd3scd4; 03-10-2017 at 6:35 AM.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 3rd Oct 17, 7:27 AM
    • 18,582 Posts
    • 47,836 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I love people that say 'I don't need to have a gift list shoved under my nose - i'm a good friend and know what they would like'

    Everyone who has a drawer full of tat from self confessed people who 'give great gifts' wince when you say that. If you don't believe me - check out the christmas bad gift thread. Every single one of those people though the gifts they got for the giftee was a great gift.
    Originally posted by Tygermoth
    That would be me then.
    My friends and the only close relative that I buy gifts for don't have a drawer full of tat (at least not items gifted by me).
    I know because I see them wearing gifts I've bought.
    Not just the once but often.
    Too often for them not to like the gift.

    Maybe you need a friend who really knows what your tastes are.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 3rd Oct 17, 7:45 AM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 1,219 Thanks
    NeilCr
    I find it very selfish to arrange something that really is to please yourself, and then expect everyone to spend a lot of money to do so. Fair enough when it is close family and best friends, but beyond this is putting a lot of pressure on people who frankly would probably much rather than spend that money on something else.

    Thankfully, my friends are not like this so I haven't come across this, but in my case, I would only agree to it for a family member/very close friends, in which case, I would know long in advance what they were doing, possibly give advice on value for cost and if they insisted on the place because it was what made them happy, at least I would have time to save the money.

    Any other friend, I would decline politely.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    As you say, this rather depend on the numbers involved. Which we don’t know - along with a number of other things. Most people would have a different reaction if this was about a group of 8 (say) as opposed to 40.

    To me, it’s a special day for the person concerned and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be doing what she would want to do on it. And ask those who she wants be with. There seems no suggestion that the OP cannot afford it - rather that they think it’s a bit steep for what it is (on the bare facts it sounds like it might be to be honest), And the do is at the start of next year so there is a chance to save up for it

    All groups are different. My lot wouldn’t bat an eye as they just like being out with each other - we always make the most of whatever the situation and make sure we enjoy ourselves. The reaction to this would be - hmm looks like the menu is a bit iffy - maybe a bit pricey but we’re out together, we’ll find a way to make it a rocking good night and that the birthday girl has a night to remember

    Nobody would be giving advice on value for money to anyone else. We just don’t work like that!
    Last edited by NeilCr; 03-10-2017 at 7:52 AM.
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 3rd Oct 17, 8:49 AM
    • 540 Posts
    • 480 Thanks
    NineDeuce
    Just tell her you will meet her in Wetherspoons after....
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 3rd Oct 17, 10:37 AM
    • 3,710 Posts
    • 12,433 Thanks
    Out, Vile Jelly
    £40- you've got off lightly. I'm having to go to a cheesy weekend at a well-known holiday camp chain (bring your own towels), minimum 3 night stay, with a load of heavy drinkers who'll want to do a drinks kitty. I'm sick to death of big birthdays.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 3rd Oct 17, 11:02 AM
    • 3,634 Posts
    • 7,999 Thanks
    onomatopoeia99
    I've always paid for my own meal at birthdays, but no-one has ever suggested a Harvester menu at forty quid a head! Nor have they asked for presents, since we're all grownups. I'd probably decline the invite.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 3rd Oct 17, 11:28 AM
    • 2,653 Posts
    • 27,522 Thanks
    CRANKY40
    £40 for what's on offer sounds like an awful lot. For my 50th earlier this year, I discussed a few ideas with friends. A lot of them have youngish children so would have had to pay babysitters for an evening meal. I'm not good with gatherings anyway so I would have spent the whole day dreading it. We opted instead for an "eat as much as you like" breakfast in a local carvery. I was in a good mood so I paid and it cost roughly £65 for 11 of us. I didn't expect any presents and told my friends that, but I did get some which was nice, and after we'd all finished we were free to go about our usual daily "stuff". It was actually a good laugh, and good value for money too.
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 3rd Oct 17, 12:09 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 1,875 Thanks
    pearl123
    I opted for a picnic instead for my 50th. It took the pressure of everyone, including myself.

    I found a beautiful spot for the picnic with a magnificent view. They all brought picnic bites.

    The following day everyone emailed or phoned to say that they just love it.

    It might become a tradition.
    If my birthday was in winter I'd try and think of something, along the same lines which didn't cost too much.
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 3rd Oct 17, 12:36 PM
    • 1,360 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    I think its rude to 'invite' friends then expect them to pay, no matter what the cost. If your friend wants a get together you could all meet for a drink on a casual basis or go to her house for drinks and snacks. Whoever shows up if its outside pays for their own drink or if you go to hers take a bottle. That seems fair. Not a meal though. You shouldn't engineer a get together that is going to cost other people. They might not be able to afford it or just not want to spend that much. As for the actual price you mention, £40 does seem steep. Our works Christmas meal is £19.95 per head if that gives you an idea.
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 3rd Oct 17, 12:54 PM
    • 728 Posts
    • 768 Thanks
    bertiewhite
    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.
    Originally posted by Jellyb
    How good a friend is she? If she's your best friend then why not volunteer to arrange it for her? That way you can try and get a cheaper deal (or not as the case may be).

    If she's not that good a friend then just don't go.

    This rather reminds me of the Moral dilemma thread about the Bride expecting her guests to pay for the hen night.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 3rd Oct 17, 1:56 PM
    • 16,141 Posts
    • 40,049 Thanks
    FBaby
    My lot wouldn’t bat an eye as they just like being out with each other - we always make the most of whatever the situation and make sure we enjoy ourselves. The reaction to this would be - hmm looks like the menu is a bit iffy - maybe a bit pricey but we’re out together, we’ll find a way to make it a rocking good night and that the birthday girl has a night to remember
    But that's the point you enjoy yourself, so it's not just about making the birthday person happy, it's also about paying to have fun.

    I personally don't enjoy these kinds of gathering, actually quite dread them, so that would be £40 to do something I don't want to do. I would do it for someone I'm closed to, not for someone who isn't.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 3rd Oct 17, 3:14 PM
    • 18,582 Posts
    • 47,836 Thanks
    Pollycat
    But that's the point you enjoy yourself, so it's not just about making the birthday person happy, it's also about paying to have fun.

    I personally don't enjoy these kinds of gathering, actually quite dread them, so that would be £40 to do something I don't want to do. I would do it for someone I'm closed to, not for someone who isn't.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    I'm not even sure I'd do it for someone I'm close to.
    It's not the sort of thing I'd arrange for my birthday so wouldn't feel obligated to accept such an invitation.

    Relationships with our friends are pretty relaxed.
    We go out and if we bump into them, we'll have a great time.
    Very few specific arrangements.
    Sometimes somebody will suggest a meal, that will be somewhere we are all happy with and the bill will be split equally between all the couples.

    Perhaps the differences of opinion is because of the difference in what each of us class as friendships.
    • pjcox2005
    • By pjcox2005 3rd Oct 17, 3:45 PM
    • 480 Posts
    • 528 Thanks
    pjcox2005
    Why is nobody concerned about the hedgehogs? What if they don't want to be adopted? Do they have to move area, have a curfew on bedtime etc. It's a live changing event for them.
    • Quizzical Squirrel
    • By Quizzical Squirrel 3rd Oct 17, 4:11 PM
    • 171 Posts
    • 4,192 Thanks
    Quizzical Squirrel
    I'm not sure I feel the same.

    I think the line between an invitation to a party and a birthday dinner celebration is blurred.

    For the party invitation, I'd expect to pay but dinner in a restaurant with close friends tends towards a different thing. Where's the line?

    For example, if I go out with a friend out for a birthday meal, I don't automatically expect her to pick up my tab. It's her birthday so why should I be the one getting treated even if the place was her idea? If she offers, great, but I'm expecting to go Dutch or even pay for her.
    At this point I would not be a good friend if I said I had better things to spend my money on, so pony up girlfriend.

    But at what exact point does multiple friends become a party that she's now expected to pay for?
    If there's two friends are we still treating her, going Dutch or is she now expected to pay for our company? How about 3 or 5?

    Where's the line?
    • Quizzical Squirrel
    • By Quizzical Squirrel 3rd Oct 17, 4:11 PM
    • 171 Posts
    • 4,192 Thanks
    Quizzical Squirrel
    And why is no-one sponsoring their squirrels instead?
    Ruddy hedgehogs.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

216Posts Today

1,356Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @bearface83: @MartinSLewis check out the @Missguided new 60% off offer. Upping the cost of items almost double to make us think it?s a?

  • RT @efitzpat: Thank you SO SO much @MartinSLewis for your Student Loans refund advice! I just got a grand refunded right before Xmas! Whoop?

  • Have a lovely weekend folks. Don't do anything (fiscally) that I wouldn't do!

  • Follow Martin