What’s lurking in the water?

Today’s post could almost be my first review of a specific place.

This weekend, a group of us went to The coal shed for dinner – this is a steak place. I’ve put the receipt below and I’d just like you to see if you can spot what is up with this – hint it isn’t the crazy price tag!


It is hidden away at the top of the receipt. 

That’s right. We were charged a whole pound for water – not enough to warrant making a fuss about but, what? I know you are charged to take water out of a tap, and you’ll need to spend money washing the glasses and jug it was delivered in – but should that cost be passed on to me?

I’ve already expressed my dislike for water to come with bits in it (check it out here) but we didn’t even get any fruit in it to make this an almost valuable investment. We were served up plain old water.

To make this matter worse, the group didn’t arrive in one go, 3 first while we waited for the other couple – we were offered water while we waited, at no point was there a hint there would be a cost to waiting. If I was offered bread I’d expect that to pop up on the bill (although some places do that free too) – but water? Ordinarily I would have asked for a jug of water for the table while in a restaurant when ordering our food as it is important to stay hydrated.

When we are spending over £250 with you – is that one pound really important to you? Clearly, it is important to me as I’m sat here writing about it. They could have charged any amount and I wouldn’t have been happy, but when it is less than 0.5% of the bill I’m not really going to moan to the restaurant to get it removed.

The UN has recognised the right to water as a Human Right, yet if you venture to the coal shed you’ll be paying for that right. I know a whole blog post over 300 words dedicated to a pound expenditure seems excessive but the principle is why this matters, if you let a pound slip here and there who knows how much money will drain away (pun intended)


The food, however, was great but be prepared to spot water on your bill.

8 thoughts on “What’s lurking in the water?

  1. I completely agree. A £1 charge is petty and one of the things I really don’t like about the UK. If they had put it there with a zero charge it would have had way more effect. As it is, they just look bad. Living in the US now I’ve got used to free refills on sodas and water being brought automatically without charge (unless you venture in to bottle waters obviously)
    “Petrol pump” soda is ridiculously cheap and has an eye watering mark up. The good will that free refills generate is unfathomable. I deeply resent being charged for every refill when I go home now and I completely understand why people that side of the Atlantic refuse ice! Being “nickle and dimed” to death ruins an evening and absolutely guarantees no return custom from me!
    It’s the little things!!


  2. This is actually like a little culture shock to me. Back home, in India that is, water is given freely unless you want the bottled mineral water.
    I live in Beijing now, and here no one serves you water until you ask them.


  3. I can’t believe they charged for water! Plus 22 pounds for 4 beers seems excessive too, how is bone marrow cheaper than beer? ALSO £10 for JD and coke?! My heart stopped. As a quasi-vegetarian (as in I don’t seek to eat meat but will enjoy a chicken nugget, yet somehow still feel superior to other meat eaters?), I’m happy that I don’t go to many steak restaurants. I just don’t understand how you can buy a steak from someone and then they have the audacity to charge extra for things like potatoes!
    You’ve got me ranting too, glad you enjoyed your meal though.


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