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Bit of a rant re my sister organising afternoon tea

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Aussie Willy, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Sharpie and I will be at the steakhouse with a lovely bottle of wine while you all are having tea and bitty bites. Go meat!
  2. Civic

    Civic New Member

    IMO, we don't have enough information to determine if AW's sister has been thoughtless in planning this reunion. We do know that AW doesn't feel she can swing it financially. IMO, that's all that matters.

    If I were AussieWilly I would ask my sister the following:

    Must I order the $70 tea in order to sit with the group? Could I order something less expensive but still be seated with the reunion group? Or do I need to pay $70 to even get in the door?
  3. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    The impression I am getting from this thread is not so much that Aussie Willy can or can't attend the tea despite the cost, it's that her sister doesn't know or hasn't considered AW's budgetary circumstances well enough to plan for something everyone can afford. Unless AW is able to address the situation with her sister, if it were me, I know I would feel pressured to go but guilty about spending precious money needed elsewhere, or excluded if I can't.

    It reminds me of a friend who, without asking me first, took it upon herself to buy a group birthday present for another friend, and then expected me to pay for part of it. I was really angry because it hijacked any chance for me to buy the birthday girl a gift of my own. Needless to say, there was a big to do, and I was the one who ended up apologizing

    As an arty - farty type, I found attending an afternoon tea myself, made no impression whatsoever. The experience was a bit snobby, and I felt totally out of place. I'd rather go on a picnic or to the local vegan restaurant for mud cake and a strawberry smoothie.

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  4. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    Aussie Willie indicated yes, no and yes - there is no option but to pay the $70 fixed price.
  5. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

    That's exactly how I'd feel. Even if I wanted to spend that kind of a money on a tea, unless I knew for certain that everyone I was inviting was able and willing to spend that kind of money, I wouldn't plan such a pricey event. There have to be plenty of good, but less expensive alternatives.

    I have a friend who has lots of money and we go out together a lot. She knows I'm not willing to spend as much as she is and so we don't. I try to make a concession on my part by letting her at least choose the kind of food she likes and probably do spend a little more than I would like.

    On the bright side, Aussie Willy, if it were my sister, she either would have planned in a cheap dive bar or she would have planned it in a very expensive place and wanted me to pay for it. :lol:
  6. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    No-one is the bad guy here. My sister has just organised an event that I consider is unaffordable for what I am prepared to spend money on. I am disappointed that unless it is something more affordable I won't be going. I think it is better to express those opinions here though than take anything out on my sister because that is not worth worth getting angry or upset with her about. Although I am surprised where the discussion has gone.

    What I could probably assume is that she has discussed it with a couple of others (because they were mentioned in the email) and they probably thought it was a good idea. So I might be the last one invited.

    To clarify (again) - they are not friends. They are people I went to school with many years ago.
  7. uyeahu

    uyeahu Agitator. Sharpie lover (figuratively speaking).

    My opinion is that anyone who thinks $70 for an afternoon tea is reasonable should be donating more to charity and spending a lot less money on trivial bullshit.

    Angelskates, you seem pretty judgmental of Aussie Willy's decision to invest $110 on a pair of work jeans she will doubtless wear for a year or more, so I have no trouble being just as judgmental of yourself who see's no problem spending $70 for an ephemeral afternoon tea. Let's break it down - If Aussie Willy wears those jeans twice a week for the next year they will have cost her about $1 per wear. My guess is that she'll likely wear them much more than that but I'm trying to be generous to you. The calories in those $70 cupcakes aren't going to provide Aussie Willy with any more energy than the calories in a $1 cheese sandwich and they cannot be re-used multiple times. If anyone's priorities are skewed, I'd suggest it is your own and not Aussie Willy's.

    I'll be having steak and vino with Sharpie and Rob and bet I can do it for under $30 and the company will be MUCH more stimulating. :fan21:
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  8. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    The pants have been worn twice this week already so getting my money's worth already. Very comfortable (which is important at work).
  9. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    :rofl: This is exactly how my bf calculates how trivial "saving" money by driving around to cheaper gas stations is (amongst other things that people sometimes irrationally do to save money). "So by driving out of your way to the cheaper gas station, you'd be saving $3 a month. Whoop dee doo." :rofl:
  10. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    :rolleyes: I donate more than 60% of my income to charity (including tithe), I am lucky enough to live in a country where cost of living is low and I have a decent, albeit not salaried, income. I've never said anyone's priorities are skewed, or are right or wrong, I've merely said, everyone's are different. Who are you to tell me what is trivial bullshit? You can say what is trivial bullshit to you, but I shouldn't have to conform to that. :rolleyes:

    Let's break down the $70 tea. If I only see those people once a year (and with many of my close friends and family in another country, once a year is the maximum), it's less than 20c a day for a great experience, which I will relive with photos, remember and enjoy for years to come, as will they. I wouldn't pay that for dinner with anyone (certainly not people I went to school with), but I most certainly would for some. Heck, I'd spend a lot shouting certain people so they could share the posh experience with me if they couldn't afford it, and I could and knew they'd enjoy it.

    My opinion is that anyone who tell others they need to be donating more to charity should get off their pedestals and STFU.
    TAHbKA and (deleted member) like this.
  11. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

    Do it for 2 years, and you can afford an afternoon tea :cheer2:
    slicekw, jamesy, antmanb and 5 others like this.
  12. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    It is reasonable for some places to charge that much for afternoon tea and a worthwhile price for those who want the experience of a fancy afternoon tea. At one of the classier hotels here (the Empress in Victoria) I believe afternoon tea is about $100.00.
  13. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

    There seems to be a lot of that going around, don't you think?

    But if you aren't angry or upset, why do you feel the need to post a thread about it?

    Yes, for me, it wouldn't be the cost of the tea so much as the fact that the tea would be too expensive for the circumstance. What if one of your old friends has grown up to be someone you don't want to spend two minutes with? And there you will be, having spent all that money to spend time with her. Like I said, Applebee's 2-for-$20 would suit me. But there are people with whom I know I would very much enjoy a $70 tea, and so it would be worth the expense just to have the experience with those particular people, even though I think $70 is pretty outrageous. And I would only want to do it if I were sure everyone could afford it, because it isn't fun to spend money you don't have.

    And yes, uyeahu, I donate to charity, too :saint:.
  14. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    If that's CAN, then doesnt' that work out to about $70 US right now? More than the one Aussie Willy's talking about. When we get into the amount of overhead for the hotel (the nicer the venue, the more things cost, and again, it hit me these are more labor-intensive to prepare than a steak--steak houses make a lot of money because they charge for what are mostly fairly low-skill preparations--or the sous-vide nuking that goes on at chains) that can be pretty reasonable. It's not an amount I'd blink at for a high-end restaurant. Just becuase you call it "tea" and have to put more plate design into the food doesn't make it cheaper for the venue.

    And unless you're looking at someone's tax returns, the only person being judgemental is the one who sticks their nose in the air and says "If you can afford that you should be giving more to charity and not spending it on yourself." Seroiusly, I would love to make people who go around deeming how other people should spend their own money have to put THEIR money where their mouth is by giving all their after-tax income to charity. When you're Mother Theresa, you can act all holier-than-thou about how people spend what they earn. Until then, I'd keep quiet on the subject.

    Now, I wouldn't spend the roughly $53 US to go hang out with people I went to school with who are more friends of my brother than me. Which I think is closer to the objection. But then I wouldn't even bother with drinks at TGI Friday's in that scenario unless someone else is buying and I can get a free drink out it as I'm not especially interested in seeing old school people. When my two best friends in college came to visit me in DC while I was doing my junior-year internship, on the other hand, we DID go to afternoon tea at the Mayflower and had a great time. I don't honestly even remember what it cost at the time (somewhere in the $30-40/head range, I'm sure, and we all paid separately.) But I do remember we had a fantastic time and I'd happily do it again.
  15. marbri

    marbri Hey, Kool-Aid!

    Live rates at 2010.04.21 15:45:28 UTC

    100.00 CAD = 100.059 USD

    100.00 CAD = 107.897 AUD
  16. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    The US and Canadian dollars are pretty much at par right now. As I said earlier in the thread, $70 Australian dollars is not out of line with hotel teas in other parts of the world if you consider that the price likely includes tax and gratuity, and if you account for the exchange rate.

    It would actually be interesting for the sake of this discussion, since there is so much focus on the price, to know which hotel we are talking about, and the actual price.
  17. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    This could be a fun game. I'll go first. Is it the Hotel Windsor?

  18. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

  19. Habs

    Habs Well-Known Member

    I SO want to go to the tiffin afternoon tea!!! :rofl:
  20. Nan

    Nan Just me, retired

    Given your first post, what direction did you think it would take?
    Prancer and (deleted member) like this.
  21. genegri

    genegri Active Member

    I never think twice about dropping $100 for a good meal and I hardly ever buy clothes more than $100. :D But that's just me. DH laughs at me saying: other girls go for brand names but at least at the end of the day they have something to show for. All your money goes straight to your tummy! :lol:

    Anyway, I think $70 is quite an expensive amount for an event like this without consulting everyone. So I think your sister is a little inconsiderate.

    Before the economic downturn, my company used to have really generous travel allowances where breakfast was up to $35, lunch $45 and dinner $65 per head. It was great if there were a group of us were traveling together. My coworkers and I would go to the best restaurant in town and order the most expensive items (filet mignon, lobster ...) on the menu, with appetizers, red and white wine, desert samplers and all that jazz. We ate to the brim, gave a huge tip and never went over $65 per head.

    So anyway, I have to say $70 is a quite a lot.
  22. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Correct - you get a gold star!!!

    :gallopin1 We don't have a star emoticon so you can have a pony instead.
  23. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    This was the 30 dollar afternoon tea at The Windsor I had in 1997. Wow, talk about inflation. Anyone thinking of going had better eat big before hand. They don't feed you anything!!
  24. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    Yum, it's got a dessert buffet!

    If enough people weren't willing to pay, it wouldn't be offered. Hotels don't loose money on their restaurants.
  25. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    So on weekends when it's $69, you get the tea service (sparkling wine, tea/coffee, scones, pastries, and finger sandwiches) AND a chocolate or ice cream buffet? Yum!

    And looking at the menu...there is a crapload of labor involved in that from the kitchen's end if all that is made in-house. The easiest thing on there is the scones, and that involves prep and bake time so you have your baker there, your pastry shop (when they'd do baking and construction would depend on what they're serving and how much of it's in-house...the thought of making my own puff paste...well, I can do it,but....) and then you have the $#*%& finger sandwiches. When it's for a $49-69 service those had better be PERFECT meaning that is a LOT of prep and assembly labor and HUGE potential for waste because there will be stuff that's EDIBLE, but you can't send it out because it's not PRETTY and when people pay $69 for a tea it had better be PRETTY. And those are expensive ingredients. The buffet is adding more cost as they have to allow for lost/wasted product. Actually all of it's got potential for waste--some of the pastries might be able to hold over until the next day but the scones and sandwiches aren't. You have to do a lot of careful planning on amounts or you're going to end up with wasted product if you overprep.

    Then you've got your normal service staff, linen, wash costs, your flowers or other table/buffet decor, and all the normal overhead. Really, the hotel is probably not making a huge profit on this. They would need a decent volume to make it work.

    Really, as a consumer I love the idea of afternoon tea, but from the food-service end it makes me want to cry. That's a lot of labor.
  26. WindSpirit

    WindSpirit OmnipresentAdmeanistrator

    You have a proof that Walmart does it, and it's only Walmart? Because I've seen a lot of clothes "Made in China/India/etc." at Bloomingdale's, too. But we are sure they pay the workers a decent wage and all of none of them are children, right? Bloomindale's wouldn't do that, would they? It's only the evil Walmart.
    Nan, Kasey, nubka and 3 others like this.
  27. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member


    I think a high afternoon tea is on my bucket list - or if it wasn't I just put it there :p
    Habs and (deleted member) like this.
  28. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

    I think my best friend is planning a "high tea" type thing for my future potential wedding shower :lol: I LOVE tea.. like L-O-V-E it! I think that's why I like Alice In Wonderland so much.. because of the Mad Hatter's crazy tea parties :lol:

    I would like to be able to go to High Tea at The Empress one day when I have an extra hundred bucks lying around. HA! Like that ever happens :lol:
  29. my little pony

    my little pony war crawling into canada

    I used to go to tea at a particular hotel (where the martini glasses are the size of birdbaths!) with my one friend pretty regularly but we haven't gone in a while. Thanks to the length of this thread, I finally made reservations for this weekend.
  30. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    I don't think anyone in Omaha does high tea. :wuzrobbed