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Wowcher at the Theatre: The Railway Children

“Try to imagine it as an adventure, all sorts of things might happen.”

E.E. Nesbitt, The Railway Children


That The Railway Children should be brought to life anywhere other than King’s Cross seems unimaginable, but even more unimaginable is how well the space at the King’s Cross Theatre plays host to the story, over a century after its initial publication. A staple of family Christmases and sick days, the charm and nostalgia of the story come together in a truly poignant production, adapted for the stage by Mike Kenny and directed by Damian Cruden.


The stage is set from the first moment you enter the theatre, right next to King’s Cross station itself, with the foyer transported back in time to the 1900s complete with platform signs and a Victorian-style sweet shop. The audience is directed to their seats on either Platform One or Two, either side of the incredible moving stage that lines the centre of the space. From the beginning it’s a truly immersive experience, with characters in the fabulous suits, top hats and smart dresses of the period wandering the space, greeting the excited audience. The exposed workings of a functional station, as well as the dangling lightbulbs casting a dusty orange glow, make you feel you’re really part of the story – somehow it even smells like smoke and oil. King’s Cross nowadays might be all cross commuters, but the magic of the railway is very much alive here.


For those unfamiliar with the story, Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis are three siblings transposed into poverty when their father disappears. At their new home in the North, Three Chimneys, they meet all sorts of new characters and predictably get up to all sorts of hijinks, mostly centred around the railway itself. Brought energetically to life by Serena Manteghi, Jack Hardwick and Louise Calf – all adult actors playing children – their naivety and innocence mean the darker elements of the story never dull the mood. The moving parts of the stage and the actual steam engine that appears, almost a character itself, keep the thrills up even when things aren’t looking so good for the family.


Complete with engaging supporting characters and some laugh-out-loud moments, this is as impressive a way to spend an afternoon as you’ll find in London. Its underlying values of kindness to strangers could melt the heart of even the most cynical person, and, well, we all know how it ends. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

For the chance to see top shows such as Memphis starring Beverley Knight and Matt Cardle, Dusty, the new multi-media ‘fusion musical’ based on Dusty Springfield’s life, and the spine-chilling Woman in Black for a fraction of the price, make sure you keep checking!

Please note: All deals featured may not be live.

Get the Cara Brow with Wowcher…

Some are born with great eyebrows, some achieve great eyebrows and some have great eyebrows drawn upon them. However, not all of us are brow blessed…

Eyebrows like these? Yes please!

Eyebrows like these? Yes please!

We would all love to wake up with a thick set of luscious and perfectly arched brows like Cara or the Kardashian clan, but unfortunately we have to make do with our own normal-human, sparse brows. Maybe you have naturally thin brows, or you lost them to the over-tweezing epidemic of 2005 (when having four single hairs above your eyelids was considered, er, cool)? Or perhaps you guys have a lovely brow-mance, but you just want to make them the fleekiest of them all?

Well, feast your peepers on the newest way to make your eyebrow game stronger than ever! Forget waxing and threading and all those other painful treatments, we’ve moved on to eyebrow extensions. I know what you’re thinking, but they’re not like hair extensions – you won’t look like Cousin Itt and you won’t be clipping anything onto your face.

Lily Collins and Cara Delevingne giving us serious brow envy.

Lily Collins and Cara Delevingne giving us serious brow envy.

In simple terms, eyebrow extensions are a semi-permanent eyebrow enhancement which involves carefully gluing individual synthetic hairs onto existing fine hairs or directly onto the skin. The treatment aims to fill in gaps, add volume and extend the brow line. Doesn’t that sound dreamy?

Imagine waking up and not having to worry about drawing in your eyebrows or plucking those random stray hairs. With this new-fangled treatment, the frantic search for your eyebrow pencil could be over for good, along with the “well, this eyebrow is so Cara but this one is a flattened slug” look that darkens your mornings.

One place that knows eyebrows speak louder than words and offers eyebrow extension treatment in London is Checkers Salon in Maida Vale. The friendly team are fully trained in transforming eyebrows that look like they’ve been sponsored by Nike to arch-tastic works of art – that’s what we like to hear!


Why not get eyebrow extensions at Checkers Salon with a little help from Wowcher?

Just remember these keys thing when deciding what to do with your brows: one, don’t let anyone with bad eyebrows tell you anything about life, and two, what’s the one thing you can get into shape without exercising? Your eyebrows, of course!

Please note: All deals featured may not be live. But with fab new deals added daily, make sure you keep checking!

Wowcher’s Feel-Good Story of the Week

It’s easy to get bogged down in trivial events each week, whether it’s getting barged on a tube at rush hour, missing your train home, dropping your precious iPhone on the floor or (God forbid) spilling your tea. But every so often we hear some news that makes us forget those insignificant things and thoroughly brightens our day…


A short while ago we started working with Vet Nurse Direct, a fantastic company that offers a range of online animal care courses teaching pet owners how to properly care for their four-legged friends. We Brits love our pets, so unsurprisingly the deals we ran with them were a huge success. Not only did sales go through the roof, with ladies and gents from the Royal Veterinary College even buying the deal, but Vet Nurse Direct were flooded with emails from pet owners and pet care professionals alike declaring how much courses had helped. Having hundreds of people across the country learn to administer first aid on their pooches and pussy cats is a feel-good story in itself, but there’s more.


With a healthy helping of sales comes a healthy helping of money. But, being passionate about pet care, Vet Nurse Direct didn’t put the money towards an extravagant work Christmas party or a trip to the Maldives, they used it to buy a pet ambulance instead! With no national health scheme for pets, they felt it was a much-needed service, giving pet owners the opportunity to have their animals transported to the vet or the groomers safely and without stress.


To help sick and injured animals is a hugely admirable pursuit, and we were so thrilled to have played a part in Vet Nurse Direct buying this ambulance and achieving their goal. And don’t forget, if you purchased one of their courses you helped pay for this ambulance, too! Who knows, you may have unknowingly helped save a spaniel, care for a Cheshire cat or rescue a rabbit. Now that’s what we call a happy ending!


Please note: All deals featured may not be live. But with fab new deals added daily, make sure you keep checking!

The Hottest Hair Trend… Just in Time for Fashion Week

When it comes to favourite smells, embracing somebody with freshly washed tresses is up there with stepping onto a newly mowed lawn, or that waft of oven-fresh bread as you pass the window of a bakery.

Not everyone has time to wash their hair each morning, but even those that do can’t escape the everyday whiffs that can turn hair from fresh to musky with one stroll down the street. With this in mind, Wowcher was thrilled when two powerhouses teamed up to ensure your locks smell as good as they look.


The first of this magnificent duo is Blo, a trendy blow dry bar in the heart of Covent Garden. Last week I was lucky enough to have them transform my flat, dull hair into something a little more glam and a lot less lifeless, and I was beyond impressed with the results. Voluminous, healthy-looking and long-lasting – I was instantly hooked, and have already returned for another appointment. The tempting menu of styles ranges from ‘Holly Would’ to ‘Executive Sweet’, but I plumped for the more natural ‘Pillow Talk’ – a tousled “oh I just woke up like this, no big deal” kind of look.


Shortly after my ‘Pillow Talk’ blow dry.

So Blo is making hair look catwalk-ready, but who’s the second in this new pairing? The Batman to Blo’s Robin, if you will. Well, shortly after my first visit, I was invited back for an exciting announcement, and it was here that I discovered that Blo has teamed up with The Perfume Society to bring you hair scents that make your top-quality blow dries smell as good as cut grass and warm bread all rolled into one.


Pair the ‘Holly Would’ blow dry with Thameen Amber Room hair fragrance.

Hair fragrances are on the rise, with perfume giants such as Dior and Chanel already jumping on the trend, and we believe it’s only a matter of time before a spritz of hair perfume becomes as essential in your day-to-day routine as your favourite eau de toilette.


Match ‘Executive Sweet’ with Sachajuan’s protective hair perfume.

So what fragrance goes with what style? Thankfully, Blo and The Perfume Society have done the hard work for us, picking the perfect perfumes to accompany Blo’s most popular looks. For example, if you opted for Blo’s classic ‘Red Carpet’, you could spray the sophisticated U Luxury Alanna Hair Perfume onto your tresses, or if you went for ‘Pillow Talk’ like me, you could try out the Byredo Blanche – an innocent, refreshing and understated scent. Not only will everyone get a heavenly waft every time you toss your hair over your shoulders, but you can top up throughout the day to disguise any less-than-fresh smells!


The ‘High Society’ blow dry goes perfectly with Miss Dior’s seductive hair mist.

‘But why can’t I simply spray my favourite perfume on my hair?’ we hear you holler. What blasphemy! Your poor hair is sensitive and can’t deal with perfumes that have a high oil or alcohol content. The fragrances expertly selected by The Perfume Society not only make your hair smell delicious but protect it, too. It’s a no brainer – we always make sure our breath smells minty and our body smells fresh, so why shouldn’t we do the same for our hair?

For great discounts on Blo’s fabulous treatments, keep an eye on

Please note – deals featured may not be live.

Wowcher Gets Weird @ Ripley’s Believe It or Not!


Here at Wowcher, we’re fans of the wonderfully weird, the beautifully bizarre and the just plain peculiar. We can’t wait to head down to Somerset to wander through Banksy’s ‘bemusement park’, we’re desperate to try KFC’s new pink burger buns, and hell, we were even on board with green ketchup. So, as a special end of summer treat, I was sent off to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (courtesy of Buyagift), the world’s largest Ripley’s museum, to marvel at the very best of the world’s wackiest artefacts and interactive exhibits.

Ripley’s Warehouse complete with a life size woolen Ferrari, because what warehouse is complete without a car made out of your jumper?

Ripley’s Warehouse complete with a life size woolen Ferrari. What warehouse is complete without a car made out of your jumper?

You start on the fifth floor (because starting on the first floor is for losers) where you stroll through Ripley’s Warehouse, a cluttered room filled with everything you can possibly imagine. There’s a suit made out of duct tape, a giant wooden chair, a mechanical dinosaur, a life-size woollen Ferrari, and even (what I hope was a replica of) an eight-legged Siamese calf. One thing’s for sure, if Robert Ripley was born half a century later, he’d definitely be featured on an episode of Hoarders.

Old McDonald had a farm EIEIO, and on that farm he had a roaring mechanical dinosaur and an eight-legged Siamese calf…EIEIO.

Old McDonald had a farm EIEIO, and on that farm he had a roaring mechanical dinosaur and an eight-legged Siamese calf…EIEIO.

As well as being a cartoonist, an entrepreneur and quite possibly a hoarder, Robert Ripley was also an amateur anthropologist, and this is pretty evident when you enter the Hall of Exotica. Other than your run-of-the-mill mummified Egyptian hand and a self-deformed Peruvian skull, you can also find some Amazonian shrunken heads and decorated cannibal skulls…

Would you believe me if I told you this was a really tiny person sitting on a normal sized chair?

Would you believe me if I told you this was a really tiny person sitting on a normal sized chair?

Art is also a big feature, but you won’t find any oil paintings or water colour portraits here! What you can find is a portrait of Michael Jackson made entirely out of candy, and one of Whitney Houston made out of the inside of a cassette tape, because, why not? This was something I found myself saying a lot. ‘What’s this? A coffin shaped like a giant eagle? Yeah, why not?’

Giant eagle coffin. Please note, this is how I want to be buried…

Giant eagle coffin. Please note, this is how I want to be buried…

You don’t merely stare at the artefacts at Ripley’s, there’s plenty for you to touch and get involved with, too. Pop your head and torso through a special table that makes it look like you’ve got no legs, enter into a room that makes it look as though you’ve doubled in size and see if you can make it through the Hall of Mirrors without face-planting your mirror image. The visit ends with a laser race, where you’ve got to get through a room of lasers in the fastest time possible, without touching them and setting off the alarm. I dominated this section. I don’t like to brag, but have you ever seen Entrapment? I was basically Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Getting absolutely legless…

Getting absolutely legless…

If I were to list every single thing I saw, we’d be here for a while, and I’ve got to go catch up on Bake Off, so I’ll leave you with this sentiment: the exhibits at Ripley’s were so extraordinary that, at times, I wasn’t sure if Ripley’s was playing fast and loose with the word ‘genuine’, causing me to suffer a bit of an existential crisis mid-way through my visit (‘Is this a real shrunken head? What is real? Am I real?’). But whether I was looking at the real thing or a replica, the story behind it was true, and this reminded me of one thing that no one can dispute: the world we live in is wonderfully weird and filled with extraordinarily exceptional people, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

For great discounts on tickets to Ripley’s, keep an eye on

Please note – deals featured may not be live.

Top 5 European city break destinations!

sky and the sea of clouds.

Here at Wowcher, as much as we’d love to take a month off, fill up our backpacks with bikinis and head to Southeast Asia to ‘find ourselves’, we’ve had to reluctantly accept that our wallets – and our annual leave – just won’t stretch that far. Luckily for us in Britain, our little island is nestled in one of the most diverse, historical and fascinating continents there is, and some of the world’s greatest cities are just a hop, skip and a quick Wowcher deal away. Check out our list for the top five European city break destinations!


5. Rome

Roma Foro Romano

When you don’t want to just ‘fly and flop’, there’s nowhere that packs a historical punch quite as hard as the Italian capital. Nicknamed the ‘Eternal City’ for its timeless beauty and tangible past, just a few hours in bella Roma will have you racing to throw your wishing coins in the Trevi Fountain to make sure you return! Take a tour of Vatican City and add a whole new tick to your ‘countries visited’ list, marvel at the classical architecture or stay out until the sun comes out with one of the most glamorous crowds on the planet. With a millennium-long history of culture, power, fine art and fine food, this is definitely the city to head to for an intoxicating taste of ‘la dolce vita’!


4. Budapest

Szechenyi thermal baths in Budapest.

After spending decades as a hidden gem, Budapest is now Europe’s worst kept secret – and after visiting for yourself, you’ll be able to see why! Embracing the banks of the Danube, you’ll find an achingly trendy atmosphere married with exquisite architecture and a historical feel that you can really sink your teeth into. Fans of the city reckon there’s no view more romantic than looking out from a bridge at the twinkling lights of the city, there’s no architecture more impressive than the Art Nouveau marvels that embroider the winding streets and there’s no party quite as exciting as those happening in the super-hip crevices of the Jewish Quarter. There’s a reason it’s known as the Paris of the East, dah-ling.


3. Blackpool

Blackpool Tower Illumination

The sparkling lights of New York City, the casinos of Vegas and the beaches of Thailand – all just a train ride away from wherever in Britain you call home. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but Blackpool is certainly the crown jewel of England’s seaside resorts! If you like your tack flashing right where you can see it (who doesn’t, occasionally?) and don’t fancy braving airport check-in queues for your next holiday, there’s nowhere better to head than glittering Blackpool. With the neon lights of the illuminations, the retro seaside piers and the hugely entertaining Pleasure Beach, you can rest assured that even if there’s no sun, there’s sure to be fun!


2. Venice

Venice. View of Grand Canal at dusk from Rialto Bridge

As much as we love discovering a hidden gem, there’s no denying the classics are classics for a reason! Venice does romance, grandeur and beauty on an electrifyingly epic scale. From the grand Palazzo Ducale and the wondrous Basilica di San Marco to the local stone churches and charming statues that decorate the labyrinth backstreet, you can flock with the thousands of like-minded Italophiles or discover what makes Venezia special to you. We’re thinking about the lagoon sparkling as the sun sinks, quiet al fresco dining on a cobbled lane, local Prosecco on tap and stripey-shirted oarsmen serenading lovebirds on their gondolas. Cliché doesn’t get any better!


1. Reykjavik

Northern Lights over City

Seeing the Northern Lights still topping your bucket list? Us too! Whilst we can’t guarantee you any sightings of the Aurora Borealis, we can recommend somewhere that’ll give you a pretty good shot! We’re all for a beach break, but sometimes you’ve got to get out the winter woollies and try something a little different – so why not try Reykjavik? This is the heart of Iceland’s Viking history, and the coastal hub is pretty much picture-perfect from every angle, with a mountainous skyline, pretty pantone buildings and a thumping nightlife on an astronomical scale. What are you waiting for?

Top 5 money-saving apps you need right now!


Piggybank and calculator. Isolated on white background


We don’t know about you, but here at Wowcher, we love saving a bit of cash. Whether it’s money off the latest beauty treatments, savings on a fabulous European mini-break or great discounts on romantic candlelit dinners at the hottest night spots, we never get tired of a bargain!

But you don’t just have to save on the occasional treat, as there’s plenty of everyday ways to save a bit of cash, from your phone bill to your weekly shop. All you have to do is check out our handy money-saving guide. Smartphones at the ready…


5. 08 Wizard

Angry bearded man screaming into the phone

Want to avoid the additional charges for calling 0800, 0845 and 0870 numbers? Well, thanks to the handy 08 Wizard, you can make sky-high phone bills a thing of the past. The app works by switching 08 calls with an 01 or 02 landline number, so the call becomes inclusive as part of your contract’s free minutes – or at least at a lower rate if you’re on pay-as-you-go. (79p from the AppStore).


4. Tip N Split

Tip on a restaurant table

Yeah, that’s right – you can say goodbye to watching your friends frantically dividing the bill between 15 and getting it hopelessly wrong before you snap and just pay the thing yourself! Tip N Split calculates how to split your bill evenly (including service charge), which means no more miscalculation, no more fuss, and a little more cash in your pocket come home time. (Download for free).


3. Foodmatic

Woman eats night stole the refrigerator

Too much month at the end of the money? We’ve all been there! Luckily, when you’ve got a week until payday and the cupboards are looking a bit bare, Foodmatic can help you get creative with what’s left. All you have to do is enter the ingredients and the app gives you the best meal you can make with what you’ve got. That means no waste, no extra trips to the supermarket and a (hopefully) fabulous culinary creation – brilliant! (79p from the AppStore)


2. Red Laser

Sale in Supermarket. a woman is shopping.

Red Laser transforms your smartphone into your very own barcode scanner, allowing you to price-check items across online and offline stores. If you find what you’re after cheaper on the app, you can get it delivered to your home or arrange to pick it up from a local store. You’ll wonder why you even left the house in the first place! (Free from the AppStore)


1. Wowcher!


Oh come on, didn’t you see this one coming? Where do we start when it comes to saving with Wowcher? Beauty treatments, great days out, gifts for loved ones, the savings never end! But it’s not just about treats, as there’s plenty of amazing essentials you can save on too – from toilet roll and cleaning products to the latest mobile phones and tablets (hey, they’re essential!). Whatever makes you say wow, you’ll find it all on the app!

Download the Wowcher app for free for iPhone or Android.

For Ends More Split Than Chris & Gwyneth…


We know that Hollywood romances aren’t necessarily renowned for their longevity (although Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr, who are still going strong 12 years on, would probably disagree), but some recent breakups have had us reaching for the Häagen-Dazs, we must admit. Call us emotional, but the day Gwyneth and Chris consciously uncoupled was a dark, dark day for hopeless romantics everywhere, only made worse when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner decided to call it quits just two months later. Why, Bennifer? Why?!

To get us through this difficult time, we did the only things we could: We gave up on love completely. I mean, if Gwen and Gavin can’t do it, why even bother? But, after a lot of soul searching and a short stint in a convent, we eventually found the answer to curing our vicarious heartache: A good old fashioned haircut! 2015 has seen more splits than the 2012 Olympic gymnastics tournaments, and we are certainly not going to stand about idly when it comes to the precious ones on our heads. We’re talking split ends, ladies!

Always one step ahead of us, Gwyneth is already involved with Blo, helping herself and us regular folk disguise our split ends with the ultimate Hollywood blow dry. As it stands, everyone seems to have come to terms with the sudden conscious uncoupling of the beautiful pair (if you still haven’t, get your tresses down to Blo in Covent Garden), and we can only presume this has everything to do with the blow dry bar and absolutely nothing to do with anything else. With this in mind, we’ve come up with a list of ways to help our fave celeb ex-couples, get over, and get rid of, their splits.

Blo, Covent Garden

Blo, Covent Garden

Some splits are messy, out of control and just darned unmanageable. Zayn and Perrie, for example, have been subject to cheating allegations and a whole load more drama. ‘Drama? What drama?’ Glad you asked! One of Perrie’s Little Mix bandmates, Jesy, signalled towards Perrie when singing the line ‘just to help him see what he’s been missing’ at a gig, while Jade held up a sign reading ‘Zayn is irrelevant‘ after a meet and greet. What did we tell you? Drama! Looks like they’re all in need of a Brazilian blow dry from Beauty Box, Marylebone – sure to make any split end smooth and way, way more manageable.

We can’t say that we were entirely surprised when Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick ended their relationship, but that doesn’t make it any less heart-breaking. Kourtney, it has to be said, is absolutely slaying this breakup. Not that we’re insinuating that a breakup is a competition, of course (ahem…), but if it was, Kourtney would have just won gold, and Scott would still be tying up his running shoes. We therefore think it’s Mr Disick who’s in need of a trip to the hairdressers. Scott – why not head to Exquisite Hair and Beauty in Tooting, where you can chop off those split ends (and even get a half-head of highlights should it take your fancy)? Plus, seeing as you seem to fancy a tipple of late, they’ll even throw in a glass of Pimms…

After 13 years of marriage, a simple cut and blow dry just won’t tidy up all straggly ends. Instead, we reckon Gwen Stefani’s ex-bae, Gavin Rossdale, should think about taking a trip to Parkwood Clinic for a six-month hair loss therapy treatment. We assume all these cheating allegations must be rather stressful, and just want Gavin to be prepared should it cause some premature balding. With clinics in Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow, you can thank us later, Gav.

 Gwen Stefani and  Gavin Rossdale

Gwen goes back on her word and tells Gavin she’s not ‘Just A Girl’

Perhaps the most devastating break up of 2015 was Kermit and Miss Piggy’s. We’re not for one second implying that Miss Piggy’s superficial (heaven forbid!), but we’ve heard the split could have had something to do with the fact that Kermit was looking a little thin on top. Thankfully, Kermy got wise to this notion and got himself down to FUE Hair Clinics© for a hair transplant, and now things are looking like they’re on the mend! Take note, Gavin…

There’s still one split that we just can’t get over. We’re looking at you Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. We don’t want you to have to cut off your straggly ends, we want you to reconcile your differences and EXTEND your love affair! Sure, there have been cheating allegations, sure there’s been a story about a shady nanny, but the Paparazzi love to spin tales, and we’re hoping that’s exactly what this is. I mean, he’s freakin’ Batman! He would never be so foolish as to get involved with the babysitter, would he? So, we think Jen should get herself down to Hair Replacement Technology, Manchester for a one-day hair extension course to see if that can inspire Jen to extend their relationship. Fingers crossed…

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner (AKA Bennifer)

…Let not’s forget, Noah and Ally (from The Notebook, duh) spent years apart before finally reuniting and declaring their love for each other in a rather dramatic and very rainy climax. This reminds us of two things – firstly, Ryan Gosling looks pretty damn good in a wet t-shirt (am I right, ladies?), but secondly (and arguably, more importantly), if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. What we’re trying to say is that even faced with this rather dis-tresses-ing list of Hollywood splits, we are forever hopeful. But please, Hollywood, no more splits this year. Even with a killer haircut, our little hearts can only take so much… #TeamBennifer

Please note: All deals featured may not be live. But with fab new deals added daily, make sure you keep checking!

Wowcher gets high with Virgin at Bristol International Balloon Festival!

Friday AM Flight - View

Nestled in the rolling Somerset countryside, every year the picturesque Ashton Court plays host to The Bristol International Balloon Festival – Europe’s largest hot air balloon event. And this year, a few Wowcher elves were lucky enough to be among the visitors!

This year’s festival, the 37th annual event, proved to be a record-breaking spectacular, with around 500,000 turning out across four days to see seven mass ascents up into the sun-kissed skyline. We’re told that thanks to the glorious weather, it was in fact the first time in the festival’s history that all seven scheduled flights were able to go ahead. Just goes to show you can always count on the great British summertime – perfect weather conditions at just the 37th time of asking…

But these brave Wowcher elves weren’t just spectators – oh no, this year we got the chance to slip the surly bonds of earth and take to the skies for real! After all, what better way to drink in the breathtaking British countryside than in a hot air balloon?

At first, the thought of being suspended hundreds of feet above the earth in a basket, was, well, a wee bit unnerving. But speaking to our pilot, Virgin Balloon Flights’ very-own Mark Simmons, our, shall we say, anxieties were quickly allayed. A veteran of the skies, having flown all over the world (once with Richard Branson himself), Mark said the event was one of his favourite places to fly. And if he can be trusted to ferry around one of the world’s most beloved billionaires, we knew we must be in pretty good hands.


With typical Virgin panache, our balloon was of course among the most spectacular sights at the fiesta. Ascending alongside other balloons of all shapes and sizes, the iconic red balloon you’ve likely seen a hundred times gliding across the skyline must have looked pretty cool from down below. Other balloons at the fiesta included none other than a giant Minion (those things are everywhere nowadays) and even the event’s famous Power Ranger balloons. As much as children at the event may have been thrilled to see the Despicable Me franchise’s favourite sidekick ascend, it’s nothing compared to our thrill at seeing some genuine Mighty Morphin’ heroes take to the skies. Naturally, the theme song was stuck in our head for the rest of the day. Not quite the soundtrack to stunning aerial views of the countryside we had in mind at the beginning of the day, but never mind, eh?

View of Bristol

Speaking of children, the fiesta also featured a very special guest – Peppa Pig! Joining the team at the Virgin Balloons exhibitors stand, everybody’s favourite cheeky piggy was on hand for photo opportunities and was even handing out hot air balloon goodie bags to her fans. Speaking to Peppa herself, we enquired if she’d be getting up in an air balloon on the day. She replied “When pigs fly!” much to our confusion. Only kidding, although she did say, “it’s snout my style”. Kidding again. Peppa in fact used to have a fear of flying, she’s cured now though…

Peppa pig

Nothing less than an unforgettable day of high-flying fun and spectacular views, a flight with Virgin Balloons is really something you have to experience first-hand to believe. If you haven’t booked with Wowcher yet, now’s a good time – you don’t want this experience to fly straight over your head!

Wowcher’s Guide to Afternoon Tea Week


There is an endless list of stereotypes about British life and people – a love of queuing, gabbing about the weather and having disastrously bad teeth, to name but a few. Some seem rather ill conceived (the latter), but some, it has to be said, are bang on the money, namely our unfading, eternal love of tea. We seem to love our tea more than we love the Queen, Harry Potter and maybe even our mothers, especially when devoured alongside scones, tiny sandwiches and cakes, so it’s unsurprising that Britain has decided to dedicate a whole week to the glorious pastime, naming it (rather creatively) National Afternoon Tea Week. We are, after all, the nation that awarded a show about making cake (The Great British Bake Off) a BAFTA. Sounds about right.

We’re sure you all want to go out and celebrate this momentous occasion in true British style, so we’ve come up with a few high tea hot spots that you simply must visit, lest you be ostracised by society for being decidedly un-British.

There are few things in life that can’t be made better with a little sparkle. We’re not talking about the sort of sparkle you might get from diamonds, a really clean pan or Edward Cullen when he’s in the sun – we’re talking about sparkling wine! The Wroxeter Hotel is based just outside scenic Shrewsbury and offers an indulgent afternoon tea complete with a selection of sandwiches, scones, shortbread, cakes and a glass of sparkling wine in their bright conservatory overlooking the beautiful hotel gardens. We can picture it now…

More of a Champagne gal? Then head to Kettner’s in Soho for a delectable afternoon tea served with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne. The iconic venue, frequented by Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie and Bing Cosby, is a Georgian Grade II listed building and features beautiful 1920s décor. You’ll be served delicious treats such as tartlets, quiches, cupcakes and even a lollipop, alongside the usual afternoon tea requirements. Fabulous, darling!

Kettner's , Soho

Kettner’s , Soho

For the crème de la crème of modern and sophisticated cream teas, look no further than The Paper Mill in Lasswade, Scotland. Here, not only will you be able to enjoy some scrumptious sandwiches, cakes and scones in a striking restaurant filled with reclaimed materials, screen-printed artworks and found objects, but you’ll do so while overlooking the beautiful River Esk. The food, interior and view are sure to ‘wow’ in equal measures. Don’t mind if we do!

The Paper Mill, Lasswade

The Paper Mill, Lasswade

Now, we thought it was nigh on impossible to improve upon the traditional afternoon tea, but Best Western Plus Windmill Village Hotel in Coventry proved us wrong. Of course, you’ll still be able to devour scones, cakes, sandwiches and tea, but you’ll also be able to enjoy free rein of their spa facilities. Relax in the sauna or steam room, or do a few laps in their heated indoor pool to work off some of those pastries. Not a bad idea!

Like what you’ve read so far? We’re just getting started! 200 St Vincent Street, a restaurant which has been awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, offers skyline views across Glasgow and is housed in a Grade A-listed building decked out with marble and dark wood, designer lighting and stylish, minimalist seats. You’ll chow down on your sandwiches, éclairs, macaroons, tarts, meringues and possets on their chic rooftop, washing it all down with cup after cup of tea or coffee. Bliss.

Now, for a hearty Lancashire afternoon tea, head straight to Cherry’s Coffee. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200. Here you’ll tuck into fresh sandwiches with a choice of fillings, scones with jam and clotted cream, a salad bowl, and of course, yet more pastries, tea and coffee! We’d expect nothing less…

Situated on the verdant, tree-lined thoroughfare of Aldwych, the 5* Waldorf Hilton Hotel is a perfect destination for an elegant afternoon excursion. Make yourself at home in the stylish Homage Restaurant, where you will indulge in the finest food alongside distinct blends of tea, as well as a glass of Fantinel Prosecco. Lady Mary would be proud…

The Waldorf Hilton Hotel, Aldwych

The Waldorf Hilton Hotel, Aldwych

Perhaps the most famous tea party of all time was hosted by The Mad Hatter, so it’s no surprise that this next venue has named itself after the famous tableau. Head to Madhatters in Nottingham and you can enjoy a lavish afternoon tea in a quirky, cosy tea room that we’re sure Alice would just love (we’re close personal friends, don’tchya know). What are you waiting for? You’re late, you’re late, for a very important date!

The Amba Hotel, which has been awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, has taken this theme to the next level, with Alice in Wonderland-themed edible goodies. After munching on magical meringue mushrooms, a chocolate clock tart and a chocolate Mad Hatter, you’ll be grinning like the Cheshire Cat, we’re sure of it.

The Amba Hotel, Charing Cross

The Amba Hotel, Charing Cross

And so there you have it, some perfect places to enjoy a good old spot of afternoon tea. Please note – all deals featured may not be live. But with fab new deals added daily, make sure you keep checking!