Britain for beginners: Strange British Houses

Se vi invitano a trascorrere un periodo in una casa britannica, è opportuno prepararvi a qualche peculiarità strutturale e degli arredi: dalla dimensione delle stanze fino ai dettagli più insidiosi, per esempio la divisione dei rubinetti e la temperatura dell’acqua calda.

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Are you staying with a British family? Here are some useful tips for living in a British home!

Most Brits live in houses with two floors  and a garden. They are not all rich, so the houses are sometimes quite small, with small rooms and low ceilings. The bedrooms in particular are very small. It’s a question of space. If you want an economical house on two floors, you need some space for the stairs and the area at the top of the stairs, or landing. The wall wall cupboard on the landing is called an ‘airing cupboard’. It is extremely useful because the hot water tank is usually in here. The hot tank and pipes make the atmosphere in the cupboard hot and dry, so most British people keep their clean sheets and towels in this cupboard.

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CARPETS

Another factor is the climate. It can be very cold in the winter and the summers are not always hot. Small rooms with low ceilings conserve heat. There are usually carpets in most of the rooms, with curtains at the windows. This also makes the rooms warmer and cosier.

Unfortunately, this can be a big problem in the summer. In houses in warm Mediterranean countries, people close the shutters during the day when the weather is very hot. British houses don’t have shutters and on hot summer days the temperature indoors can be very high.

BED LINEN

Summer nights are the worst. British people often prefer polyester cotton sheets, because they can wash them, put them in the tumble drier and then back on the bed, or in the airing cupboard, in a very short time with no crumples. This is perfect for a busy family but terrible in June or July, because these sheets are not cool like cotton or linen.

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THE LOO

If you can’t find a washing machine in the bathroom, don’t worry, it is probably in the kitchen. Most houses only have one bathroom, perhaps with a downstairs toilet, and there isn’t usually a bidet. If this is a problem for you, try wet wipes for adult bottoms you can find them at the supermarket near the toilet paper! One last bathroom tip: be careful of the hot tap. Usually there is no mixer tap and the hot and cold water are separate. Sometimes the hot water can be boiling hot!

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