A woman was left shocked after being given a bill for almost £2,000 – despite only having one cocktail.
Lynsey Bennett, from Belfast, was enjoying a break in a five-star hotel in London when she and her husband went to the bar for a drink.
“My husband and I were in London just before New Year. One day, we had been to the theatre, had a nice meal, we were a little bit tipsy and went back to our hotel bar,” she said in a TikTok post about the incident.
“I always drink champagne, I rarely drink cocktails and I thought, I’m gonna order something a little bit different. So, I ordered a cocktail which was called 1890 and I thought that was the cost of it, £18.90.
“The bartender brought out a bottle of Cristal, popped it open – gold leaf, 30-year-old Cognac – he gave me this huge book to sign and there we were, thinking we were the bee’s knees.
She added: “And then they presented the bill for £2,000 and I was like ‘uh oh, I can’t afford to pay that’.
“I showed my husband the receipt and he was furious at me so he left me there on my own to deal with it.”
Lynsey, who owns a tanning company, did not reveal what bar she was in. There are a number in London that have drinks costing over £1,000, such as the American Bar at the Savoy.
But it was the next part of her story that raised suspicion.
She said: “I said to the bartender, ‘I’m so sorry, I had no idea this was £1890’
“It was set out on the menu where it said one eight, gap, nine zero so I presumed it was £18.90.
“Looking back, the rest of the drink prices were written like ‘£19.90’ and it was ‘1890’ so it was definitely my mistake but it was a genuine one.
“So I started to panic, he started to panic. He called his manager over. This was a five-star hotel so the manager was discreet and wonderful.”
She added: “He completely played it down, he was like ‘look it’s fine, don’t worry about it. Go up to your room, enjoy the rest of your stay and we will sort this out’.
“This was the first of a five-night stay at this hotel so the whole time we were there my nerves were absolutely wrecked.
“I kept thinking ‘my God if they ask me to pay £2,000 for this cocktail I didn’t even enjoy, because it was whisky-based and I don’t like whisky, I’m going to have an absolute heart attack.”
She avoided the bar “like the plague” before going in again with her sister days later.
She said: “We walk in and the manager put his arms out to me and says ‘oh this is the girl that made us open the Cristal and I had to drink the Cristal’ and I said ‘I am so terribly sorry, it was a genuine mistake’.
She proceeded to ask the manager how the bartender was because he had been so nervous about what happened.
“He says, ‘well, I sacked him’. So I burst into tears, I was so upset. I was like ‘look, it’s not worth the guy’s job, I will pay the £2,000, I’m so sorry, it wasn’t his fault’.
“He says ‘calm down drama queen, we didn’t sack him but we had given him training as this has happened before and he was told whoever orders that cocktail to make sure they know it’s £1,890’.
“Then we had drinks with the manager and his family and it turned out to be a really great New Year but I will forever check the price of cocktails from now on.”
However, some TikTok users weren’t convinced of her story with one saying: “This can’t possibly be true.”
Another said: “Who orders a whisky-based cocktail if they don’t like whiskey?”