The Ultimate London Etiquette Guide

Designed by Mary Galloway.
Mind the gap, health and safety, Keep Calm and Carry On. We get it. What we don't get, however, is why it's taking that man so long to top up his Oyster card. Also, how are you supposed to get to work without causing bodily harm when everyone is walking like a pack of slow-moving, pavement-hogging zombies? And for all that is holy and good, what does a girl have to do to get a tea up in here?

Sorry. Rant over. As a rule, we Brits hate to moan too much. Still, we can't help but feel that things around London might run a bit more smoothly if everyone adhered to a few basic points of etiquette. Nothing crazy like practicing a perfect curtsey in case the Queen should ever darken your doorway. We don't expect (and, frankly, we don't want) everyone to start acting like they're dining with the Dowager Countess at Downton Abbey. Ultimately, we just want you to do you — while also doing us a solid by, say, not being a jerk on the Tube or a total energy vampire. Deal?

Some of these pointers are cultural quirks. Some are modest requests. Think you can get on board?
1 of 11
Designed by Mary Galloway.
Friends, neighbours, the plumber...anyone who will be in your home for five minutes or more should at least be offered a cuppa.
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2 of 11
Designed by Mary Galloway.
Why, yes, lady with the oversized Primark bags. By all means, barge your way on without letting me hop off first. It'll do me some good to be stuck until the next station. I can just walk back. I could probably use the exercise. How considerate.
3 of 11
Designed by Mary Galloway.
We're being polite. This is not an invitation to launch into a one-woman show about your latest breakup, hellish Tube journey, sick cat, or disappointing chia-pudding breakfast.
4 of 11
Designed by Mary Galloway.
Unless it's your best friend's current, not-single-at-all partner, the only way forward is to keep mum. They recognise you, you recognise them, no right-swiping occurred, and it's all just better to pretend it never happened.
5 of 11
Designed by Mary Galloway.
The English Channel isn't the only thing that separates us from the French. Elbowing your way through might be the norm in other countries, but 'round these parts, it's all about sucking it up and queuing in a nice, orderly fashion. You will not cut. You will not moan. You will wait your turn.
6 of 11
Designed by Mary Galloway.
We don't mind queuing. We do, however, mind queuing when someone who has had ample opportunity to sort him/herself out gets to the front and then starts fumbling around and hemming and hawing. Be prepared. Use your queuing time wisely. Pull your finger out.
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7 of 11
Designed by Mary Galloway.
Finger food? What's that? Call it a waste of cutlery, call it fussy, call it confusing. We don't care. Salads, burgers, pizza, sandwiches, and so on will all be sliced and diced with a knife and fork. Fact: We've seen people eat cupcakes this way, too.
8 of 11
Designed by Mary Galloway.
Small talk? With a stranger? Don't be silly. Unless, of course, you need to say "sorry" about something.
9 of 11
Designed by Mary Galloway.
Now that the election is over, can we please take a vote on which side of the pavement we're all walking on now? And can we then all agree to honour that vote, and post signs for tourists to follow suit? We're sick and tired of dodging bodies every time we cross the road or, heaven forbid, take the stairs to the Tube station at rush hour.
10 of 11
Designed by Mary Galloway.
We can't help it. "Sorry" just seems to be our default whether we're the guilty party or not. You trod on my toe? I'm sorry. You undercooked my steak? I'm sorry. With apologies to Elton John, sorry never seems to be the hardest word, unless the person who should be apologising doesn't. Saying "sorry" forgives a multitude of sins, but not saying "sorry" is grounds for an arse-kicking (or at least a dirty look).
11 of 11
Designed by Mary Galloway.
This one has stuck around for a good reason. We have little tolerance for whining and big outbursts. It's not meek. It's civilised.
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