Autocar EDrron Maurice A. Smith D.F.o. aPoFTB EDrroR Peter Garnier AaatsTANT EotToBE Leonard A. Aytonr Ronald B$ker mtoLAND EDtroB Edward Eves ABT EDrroR Howard Vyte

12 JUNE T964

tAr{aotHo DtREoroE H. N. Priaub< r.a.e.

Around and About ^n NE of the pleasant aspects of motoring I I journalism is the travelling it entails. Ilardly \-, a week passes in which members of Autoar staff are not driving on the Continent as well as around Qssal lritain. Often we go farther afield. One out- come of this is the o<perience we accumulate of hotel service, prices and food. They vary enormously from country to country, area to area and according to season.

During the past five years the quality of food to be found at random in Britain has improved gready; menus are more varied, hours at which meals are served have b€en extended and the cooking is much better. In contrast, though the French still serve tbe most excitiag and exotic dishes to be found ia Europe, the cost in their country has risen alarmingly-ouuageously in some cases-and the senrice in general has not improved, Of coutse, thete are exceptions here, as everywhere else, and each of us keeps a private list of several countries to which we return regularly for excelleot food and service at reasonable prices.

In the long run, the guests determine wherher hotels are good or bad. They do not return to the poor oues and should have the courage to complain and witbhold tips if service is below standard. On the subject of corlTEfrfa

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tipping, British practice is oow very confusing. Quite a number of hotels and restaurants have started to add l0 to 15 per cent service to bills, as is the custom on the Contiaeot, but many do not; it is therefore imporrznt to e-qrnine the bill calefully. On more than one occasion we have noticed people double-tip in efror.

Regarding prices for food, Great Britain is again in a strong position but there is a marked tendency for the British to go to, say, France, Switzerland or Holland, pay at least el per head for a dinner and then praise it to the skies in comparison with a 7s 6d soup, meat-and-two-veg and fruit salad meal at their local ino. Not surprising. ![e doubt if there is a country in the world that serves better meat, or meat better than Great Britain, but if you prefer your meat to be disguised with a tasty sauce, then France is still the place to go to. Select your restaurants carefully and, price for price, you can eat as well or better in Englandparticularly Southern Ergland-thao in any other cou[try we know.

" Staff Problems "

During the holiday high season most good hotels and restaurants work to capacity and everywhere it is advisable to book well ia advance. At other times many of the.skilled suff naturally go into the capiml cities to which people are drawn in the winter season. Neither the service nor the cooking will necessarily be the same at a holiday resort in February as they are in August. After the recent Automobile Association's A.G.M. it was asked, with some justffication, whether a four-star summer hotel should continue to charge fourstar prices for one-star winter service. On the Continenr many hotels shut up altogether through the winter.

There remains one dull patch in the British scene; it is the small inns and socalled hotels who give " staff trouble " as an excus€ for refuring to provide the traveller with more than a cheese roll and that only at certain dmes. Refrigerators are here to stay. At least it would be fairer if the proprietor or nranager came clean arrd said rny wife/daughter is too lazy or superior or inept to beat up an omeleme for you. For the hot dish at any time and almost anywhere, the Continent sdll wins hands dorrn.

FOUXOEO lt!!. Publlrh.d by lltic friltEtlort PubllcsttoB Ltd., Domt llouse. Stamford gtreet, LDdon, 5.8.1 lT.Whonc: Wstcrloo 3533). (Teler 25117.) Tclcgraw: Auto&t., Lotdon, BnANCE OFFIOES: Covlmrr, 8-lO Corporatlon Strot (?cle?rroa?: Covelttv 45210). BrsrrNcu. ttlg Edrerd Eour., New Str€t, Blml!8bsm 2 < Tclcahne: MHfmd ?191), M^NcBsrtn. 260 D€aEgate, Malch6t€r 3- (TeleDho\e: Blsclfrlars 4413. Desnsgatc J595). Cusoow, 12tl ltope Streot, Otssaov, C.2 lfeleplsrc: CcntBl 1265-6). Bllslof,, ll MaBb Stret. Brktol I < Tclcahqe: Btistal 31491-3). Tbo adru8l aubscrlDtlon ls: U.I<. ,, l8s. oycisegs e6. Cansdc ud tbc Ir.8.A. ll7.0o. se@nd Clas prlvllc8s authori4d st Ner Yorl. N.Y. @ Uitrc ftenrport Publl6tlors Ltd.. 1964. Pcrmlrston to rsDroducc lllwtratlons md lett rpros in this loumsl en bo EBDttrd only under vrltl,€D VOLUrI tt, rSnmr[llL Brfcl *trrctt or omlDcntc Eay bs udc ylth duo sclnoslcdg@eDt- l{UltlBER 366t