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It Takes Two To Make Christmas Go Right…

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50% off in the Black Friday sales, giant Cyber Monday discounts and 2 for 1 offers in various shops… Christmas today is as much about good will and merriment as it is doubling up and making our money go further in the month of December. And that’s not where the association with the number two ends – there’s turkey and stuffing, pigs and blankets and let’s not forget two turtle doves, eh? Christmas is certainly not an event we want to do solo and never by halves. Make sure you go full steam ahead into everyone’s favourite festive event of the year…

Double Up Your Layers
It’s likely that you’ll get cold over the next month or so. With Christmas markets popping up everywhere from Budapest to Birmingham, more time spent outside is more time to feel the Christmas thrill but also the Christmas chill. Whether you’re having a mulled wine in the open air or trying to keep steady on a pair of ice skates, a few extra layers of winter woollies are vital to keep you feeling merry this winter. Why not grab yourself a pair of knitted mittens with a fur trim to avoid frosty fingers ruining the day? Don’t stress over footing a huge bill however – with cosy fur boots in short, medium or tall, we’ve got plenty up our sleeve to keep you snug without your bank balance suddenly halving in size.

Chic, classically styled and oh-so-cosy, these faux fur-lined boots will be just about perfect for the chilly months ahead...

Chic, classically styled and oh-so-cosy, these faux fur-lined boots will be just about perfect for the chilly months ahead…

Cosy Up…
We’ve all been there over the Christmas period (and sometimes after a Saturday night stint at the local curry house) – you dress in your best, indulge in a feast to put all others to shame, and end up uncomfortably bulging over your new skinny jeans. Why not go cosy from the very start and swap that stiff denim for a pair of stretchy jeggings that are as comfortable as they are stylish (not to mention capable of moving with your expanding sides)? We can’t think of many better excuses to double the indulgence this yuletide. Once the dining has been done, Wowcher’s handy dish drainers are here to ensure it is cutlery rather than your finances that are out to dry.

Just the Two of Us
Christmas is always better with double the numbers. So whether you’re a party of two or responsible for toddlers, babies and grandparents spilling out over the doorstep, make them feel loved – even if they already have what they need. For the person that has everything, why not double up on photo merchandise and get them a pair of mugs that’ll be there to support their caffeine consumption throughout all the seasons of the year? With Carolina Herrera 212 fragrances for men and women on Wowcher this winter, make couples and family members feel doubly as loved with a fragrance they’ll love almost as much as they’ll love the giver of the gift.

A perfect stocking filler for Christmas, Carolina Herrera 212 EDT for women or men was created by the Venezuelan-born fashion designer to represent the style and attitude of men and women in New York City.

A perfect stocking filler for Christmas, Carolina Herrera 212 EDT for women or men was created by the Venezuelan-born fashion designer to represent the style and attitude of men and women in New York City.

So there we have it – doubling up is far more fun than going solo (and if it’s fun you’re after, a certain body stocking and bullet set are sure to provide hours of entertainment, if you catch our drift). Why not multiply your Christmas enjoyment without doubling the spend?

Please note – deals featured may not be live. 

Wowcher Does On The List!


Fancy hitting the hottest show in town without having to worry about whether or not your name’s on the list? We know we do. So, we decided to check out OTL (On the List, darling) and have a peek at their exclusive online subscription – the service where for the price of an annual fee you can help yourself to tickets to some of London’s biggest and brightest events at the best locations. Theatre, comedy clubs, gigs, you name it baby! Having donned our shades, put our purses away and perfected our best ‘I’m on the list’ drawl, we decided to give the celeb lifestyle a go…

Comedy
Fan of funny? Course you are. Well, except when you’re stood outside a Soho club without a ticket and are forced to a) accept defeat and trudge home dejected or b) accept defeat and check out the dodgy pub round the corner. Well, that’s where OTL had us covered. We headed down, grabbed ourselves a couple of tickets with no fuss and plonked our bums down for a night of laugh out loud entertainment!

Theatre
The fanciest of all things to do in London town, we figured we’d have to up our game if we were going to blend in with our next fancy crowd of culture vultures. So, with our best tea-drinking pinkies flexed and our tiny posh binocular things hand-bagged we decided to go West with a board-treading thespian extravaganza. In amongst the dancing, prancing and stunning mise-en-scène in the third act, we felt we felt a profound cultural awakening wash over us, imbuing our very souls with an insatiable and mystical wonder for the arts. Shame they didn’t sell popcorn, though.

Gigs
Perhaps a sweat-drenched, raucous gig is more our cup of tea (three sugars, love), so we figured why not? Thanks to OTL, we rocked up in the rider (or took the tube, whatever), resisted the temptation to nonchalantly purr ‘we’re with the band’ and strolled in. It was an experience euphoric enough to stop us from wondering: ‘is that warm beer that’s just been chucked at the back of my head or something else?’ To put it simply, it was great. You know how Kate Moss probably feels when she strides casually into a music venue like the biggest superstar this end of the catwalk? Well, we’d have to say it was the closest to that feeling we could get. Except better – we didn’t have to go in on Pete Doherty’s pasty, unwashed arm, for one.

Where and what were these exclusive events you ask? Well if you knew that, you’d be as big an A-lister as we are. You’ll just have to check out OTL’s exclusive membership for yourself…

Please note – deals featured may not be live.

Czech Yourself, Don’t Wreck Yourself!


Historical capital of the Holy Roman Empire and Bohemia, Prague is a cobblestoned library of surrealist beauty and gothic splendour. Wherever you walk, you’ll be spied upon by stone gods and gargoyles, playful puppets and prophets, immortalised authors and angels. Behind the peeling walls of the old Communist facade lies a culture that’s rich in old and new art forms, Moravian music and Bavarian beer, the beautiful and the downright bizarre. This is why we love Prague. Czech it!

Gods and Gargoyles
Whereas in Paris you need to keep a firm eye on the ground in case you step in something, we recommend you look up at the skies in Prague. Medieval warrens and saints, puppets and prophets, Kafka and queens are just some of the statuesque figures you may see looming above. Thirty Baroque sculptures alone line the sides of the iconic Charles Bridge, one of which depicts the testicles of a lusty saint after he’s been castrated by a dog. Sexy stuff. We recommend visiting at dawn to enjoy the glorious sunrise, and maybe even treating yourself to a hot dog for breakfast. Mmm…

clock

When the Prague Astronomical Clock strikes the hour, bells ring, wooden saints pop out from trap doors, cocks crow and trumpeters trump – well worth a visit!

The Prague Astronomical Clock
Ticking since 1490, this is the third oldest clock in the world and almost as impressive as that calculator wristwatch you had at school. It may not be able to give you the square root of 243, but it can give you a masterclass in medieval morality, as well as show you the phases of the moon and Babylonian time (useful stuff). When the clock strikes the hour, bells ring, wooden saints pop out from trap doors, cocks crow and trumpeters trump. It’s the most clock-related fun you’ll have since Hammer Time.

Dead People
One of the most eerie cemeteries you will ever visit, the Old Jewish Cemetery is a tiny patch of tree-shaded ground that contains over 10,000 bodies all stacked on top of one another. The ancient sandstone and marble headstones are crammed in like bodies on a rush-hour tube, and they remain a stark reminder of the lack of space accorded to the ghetto in the 15th century.

Prague is known for it’s nightlife, and we recommend checking out the industrial suburb of Zirkov. With more than 300 bars in 2 square miles, it’s almost certainly the densest concentration of bars in Europe.

Nightlife
There’s nothing more interesting than learning the local dance moves when vising a new city. Housed in a 1950s nuclear bunker, Bunkr Parukářka is an underground club that’s buried deep in a hillside. DJs play avant-garde electro-pop mixed with industrial music, so you’re sure to see some interesting shapes being thrown around – but don’t worry, there are a couple of ventilation towers to avert the risk of meltdown. If you’re more of a bar person, we recommend the industrial suburb of Zirkov. With more than 300 bars in 2 square miles, it’s almost certainly the densest concentration of bars in Europe!

Petřín Hill
Arguably not as funny as Benny Hill but certainly more beautiful and more manageable in large doses, Petřín offers a stunning view of the Czech Republic’s capital. Pretend you’re a giant next to the miniature Eiffel Tower, feed the squirrels in the landscaped gardens or admire your devilish good looks in the mirror maze.

The view from the Petřín observational tower on Petřín hill

The view from the Petřín observational tower on Petřín hill.

Beer and Boar
We may have Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry, but the Czech Republic’s national treasure is its beer. You may be familiar with Kozel and Pilsen, but what you won’t be familiar with is paying less than a pound for a pint of Kozel and Pilsen. Everything tastes a lot better when it’s cheaper! For the strongest brew in the Czech Republic, visit U Medvidku Beer Hall and get yourself a pint of X-Beer 33 – don’t go crazy though, it’s 11.8%!

The pub grub is equally cheap and tasty. Traditional goulash dishes served with wild boar and dumplings are often less than the price of a Snickers Duo, and they’re a lot more palate-pleasing. They are quite heavy though, so we recommend some light exercise post-feast…

There you have it – a short guide to one of the prettiest places on the planet, and we didn’t even mention the tourist hotspots like Wenceslas Square and Prague Castle. There is so much to do in Prague, you’ll almost certainly want more time to see it all, no matter how long you end up staying. It’s a cobblestoned cultural paradise and the perfect destination for a Christmas treat! And with affordable deals like this one, you can rest assured your Czech won’t bounce. ZING!

Please note – deals featured may not be live. 

Wowcher Does Shezan, Knightsbridge


Tucked away from the main hustle and bustle of Knightsbridge, Shezan is easy to miss with its unassuming exterior – but miss at your peril. Because inside I discovered a lavishly decorated restaurant where tasty food, friendly service and a warm ambience were all on the menu.

Traditional arches, Mughal artwork and a colour scheme that wouldn’t look out of place in a palace transform this Indian restaurant into something special (whilst making me even more desperate to devour the contents of the menu!) So with a glass of wine in hand and a desire to try something new, I pour over the extensive menu which features traditional Pakistani and Indian dishes with a twist. Read more

Wowcher Does a Vintage Photoshoot @ Belgravia Studios, Victoria

In search of a quirky new look, my friend and I ditched our usual work attire in favour of 1950s glamour and a whole load of scarlet lippie! On arrival at Belgravia Studios in Victoria, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect – would we suit our retro makeover? How would we take to life in front of the camera? Luckily we had no reason to worry, as we were greeted with a glass of bubbly on arrival (the best way to be greeted, in our opinion!) and introduced to our hair and makeup stylist for the day. We were given the opportunity to request a specific look or style, but we decided to let our stylists take creative control – a short while (and lashings of eyeliner) later, we were rocking a look Marilyn Monroe herself would have been proud of! With glossy red lips, smoky black eyes, victory rolls and curly locks, we were feeling fabulous and beginning to wish we’d been born fifty years before our time! Read more

Wowcher Presents…Presents!

It’s true, Christmas is coming, the geese are indeed getting fat and we hope you’ve found the time to put a penny in the old man’s hat. Nursery rhymes aside, it’s time to start thinking about the titanic task of buying all the necessary gifts for your nearest and dearest. Whilst some nice perfume might suffice for mum, a new watch for dad and a large bottle of whisky for your ‘fun’ uncle, it’s the kids who are hard to buy for. Playground trends move too fast that it can be difficult to know what’s good to buy for the little ‘uns without appearing behind the times or out of touch. Never fear mums and dads of the UK, you can put the Tamagotchi, Space Hopper and other out-of-date kids toys down right now, because Wowcher is here to present you with some great Christmas gifts for kids… Read more

Wowcher’s Guide to Picking the Perfect Perfume

We’ve all emerged from the perfume shop smelling like an explosion in, well – a perfume shop. Once you’ve spritzed three or four different types, it’s easy to get lost in a cloud of zest and musk and ultimately lose the ability to differentiate between them. Combined with bamboozling talk of base notes, top notes and eau de toilettes, you’re often left wondering how something as simple as scent can become so complicated. Another issue to consider is your perfume style. Just like taste in clothes or music, you’ll find that many people have a certain type of scent they prefer, be it fresh, floral fragrances or spicy, Oriental ones. So where to begin? Wowcher are here to get to the bottom of the jargon and assist you in your hunt for a signature scent… Read more

Wowcher’s Bite of Tokyo


The most densely populated city in the world, Tokyo is a fascinating mix of modern fads and old-fashioned tradition. The crowded cityscape swarms with both ornate shrines and slick skyscrapers, while entertainment ranges from gentle geishas to kitsch karaoke. Tokyo can be an intimidatingly tricky city to navigate, but a great – and appetising – way to tackle it is to sample its vast dining options. Whether you’re sinking your teeth into sashimi or sipping a steaming bowl of miso soup, you’ll soon see why the metropolis is so unique.

Chopsticks Challenge
Many a gaijin (foreigner) visiting Tokyo may not be accustomed to eating with two sticks of bamboo, which can be a dangerous territory for the slippery fingered. Probably the most famous cuisine to arise from Japan, sushi is traditionally finger food (think of it as a breadless sandwich) but is commonly eaten with chopsticks. Tokyoites can enjoy sushi in a number of settings, from takeaway bento boxes to eat-in kaiten-zushi restaurants, where dishes are whizzed around a conveyer belt for as long as they can be resisted. Those after a more upmarket sushi dining experience can head to Kyubey , where fresh ingredients and impeccable service make the restaurant one of the most popular in the Ginza district. Whether you master chopsticks or not, remember it is regarded as highly impolite to leave a grain of rice on your plate.

Delicious Fish
Not for the squeamish, faint-hearted or vegetarian, the Tsukiji fish market is the world’s largest seafood market. Freshly-caught fish from the tiniest of sardines to the hugest of tunas are meticulously weighed, cut, packed and sold, with live auctions kicking off at 5:30am and lulling by 9am. If you’re an early riser (or find yourself at the market in a confused state of jetlag), head down to catch the spectacle before indulging in a sushi breakfast from the market shops. Fish doesn’t get fresher than this!


Eating Eggs
Legend has it that eating kuro-tamago, a black egg from Owakudani (the Great Boiling Valley, just under an hour from Tokyo) will prolong your life by seven years. The eggs are bubbled in the stifling valley’s hot springs until they reach boiling point and turn black. If you don’t sample this local specialty, you should at least take the aerial gondola up the mountainside to see the volcanic action up close. Sulphur may fill your nostrils and steam might burn your face as it’s breathed upwards from the bubbling pools, but the views across the valley are unforgettable.

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Tea Ceremonies
If you’ve tried a kuro-tamago in an attempt to delay death and would like to cleanse your palate of any lingering taste, then the best way to do so is to visit a traditional Japanese teahouse. Homely tea shops provide welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, but if you’re after more than just a cuppa, it’s worth taking a day trip to Kyoto on the bullet train. The ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto is a sublime paradise of gardens, secret temples and vivid shrines, where geishas are spotted shuffling under cherry blossom trees. Join a tea ceremony in a townhouse such as Nishijin Tondaya to experience the traditional ritual for yourself. You’ll be left feeling cleansed, revitalised and truly Zen.

To try Tokyo for yourself, check out our seven-night tour on Wow Go!

Please note – deals featured may not be live. 

A Little ‘Me’ Time For You!


Ah yes, the planned romantic gesture from your other half – rose petals, scented candles, some aromatic oils and Barry White lilting gently in the background. Then comes the most ham-fisted, bone-crunching, oafish and downright clumsy excuse for a massage you’ve ever, ever had. But simmer down, because there’s no need to plot your revenge just yet. We’ve devised a handy guide to the best places where you can really indulge in a little me-time and untie a few of those knots along the way. One of them could be the perfect way to make it up to you…  Read more

Wowcher’s Top 5: Christmas Markets in Europe

FRANKFURTXMASOnce your parents have stopped giving you stockings and slipping surprise chocolate coins in your lunchbox, the once blindingly bright lights of Christmas can seem decidedly dim. That’s why this year we’re swapping stale figgy pudding and even staler cracker jokes for a little continental magic, courtesy of Europe’s best Christmas markets.  Read more