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Blog Categories: Food and Drink

Come Dine with Wowcher!


Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the only day of the year you treat that special someone to a fancy meal out!

You may think that Cupid is simply the face of Valentine’s Day – just your run of the mill, curly-haired flying baby, sporting a nappy and armed with a bow and arrow. But in classical mythology, he is the god of love, desire and eroticism. Such a passionate being would be absolutely appalled to find out that many of us use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to limit organising romantic meals out with our partners to once a year! Where’s the passion in that?! Here at Wowcher, we strongly believe that you should be dining with your loved ones regularly lest the spark blow out. Therefore, we’ve created a handy guide to the best restaurants where you two can eat your hearts out, all year round.

Casa Italia, Southport
There’s nowhere more romantic than Italy, so bring your partner to Casa Italia and re-enact that famous scene from Lady and the Tramp with their delicious spaghetti carbonara. With a fantastic atmosphere and a plethora of scrumptious Italian cuisine to choose from, this restaurant is the perfect place for the two of you to convene and unwind after a stressful day at work. No one does food better than the Italians, right? Well Casa Italia proves it. Bravo!

Rated 4* on Trip Advisor, Manchester's very own Lola Lo makes for the perfect place to to chow down on delicious food and enjoy some seriously scrumptious cocktails!

Rated 4* on Trip Advisor, Manchester’s very own Lola Lo makes for the perfect place to to chow down on delicious food and enjoy some seriously scrumptious cocktails!

Lola Lo, Manchester
Aloha! If you and your partner are after a trip to a tropical paradise, but feel unsure about the hefty price tag and stress that comes with travelling half way around the world, Lola Lo’s should be your first port of call. You and your special someone can devour the most delectable hotdogs or burgers with more topping choices than you could possibly ever need. Accompany your meal with an island-themed cocktail and you may just forget you’re still in Manchester! Although, don’t get too carried away; you may get some strange looks if you whip out your bikini and start applying sun lotion…

Chamberlain’s, Leadenhall Market
Grab your top hat and pearls, this will be the fanciest Sunday lunch you’ve ever demolished. Forget about watery gravy and over-cooked veggies, Chamberlain’s is a 5* restaurant that is out to make you question everything you once knew about Sunday roasts. Enjoy two courses, choosing from a rump of beef, corn fed chicken or a whole baked salmon sole, to name but a few of Chamberlain’s tasty dishes. Need waking up from a heavy Saturday night? Enjoy a cup of their steaming hot coffee, or if ‘hair of the dog’ is more your style, have a glass of Prosecco too!

Fusing traditional Lebanese décor with the sleek furniture typically found in trendy London restaurants, one step into Yamal Alsham and you know it’s more than just your taste buds that are in for a treat!

Fusing traditional Lebanese décor with the sleek furniture typically found in trendy London restaurants, one step into Yamal Alsham and you know it’s more than just your taste buds that are in for a treat!

Yamal Alsham, Knightsbridge
Do you struggle deciding what to order at a restaurant? Food envy is all too real – seeing your orders arrive at your table and wishing you had opted for the same as your partner is enough to put a downer on any evening out. Yamal Alsham has managed to combat this problem by giving you a ten-course (yes, TEN course!) tasting menu filled with authentic Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. Not only does the food taste great, but the ultra-trendy restaurant looks great too. So long, food envy.

A trendy Shoreditch bar and restaurant inspired by the late ‘king of cool’ Steve McQueen, not to mention winner of ‘Best DJ Bar’ at the London Club and Bar Awards 2014, McQueen is our pick for a night out to remember.

A trendy Shoreditch bar and restaurant inspired by the late ‘king of cool’ Steve McQueen, not to mention winner of ‘Best DJ Bar’ at the London Club and Bar Awards 2014, McQueen is our pick for a night out to remember.

McQueen, Shoreditch
Trying to add a touch of style and sophistication to your relationship? Then we suggest the two of you start hanging out at the award-winning McQueen bar and restaurant in Shoreditch. Inspired by the ‘King of Cool’ Steve McQueen, this restaurant is about as chic as it gets. Enjoy a three-course meal and while away the hours discussing how trendy you now are over a bottle of wine. A word to the wise, don’t forget to sample one or two (or five…) of their cocktails. You won’t be disappointed.

And so there you have it, you now have absolutely no excuse to limit having romantic meals to once a year. Please note – all deals featured may not be live. But with fab new deals added daily, make sure you keep checking!

The Perfect Pancake

pan3Pancake Day, loved by kids and adults alike, is not only a great excuse to fling batter around the house on a school night but it saves on washing up and doesn’t break the bank when it comes to buying ingredients! Here at Wowcher, we’re all about saving you money, so we’ve prepared a short guide to help you make the perfect pancake.

The Pan is mightier than the wok
Shrove Tuesday falls on February 17th this year and if the Scouts taught us anything, it’s ‘be prepared: don’t try to make a pancake in a wok’. You could be the most prolific pancake-flipping professional but without a good pan, you might as well not bother. Your pancake will look crêpe. You’ll need a shallow, non-stick, medium sized pan like this. Once you have the pan, you’re ready.

Flour power
Creating the pancake mixture is pretty simple, but it would be against a batter judgment to let you tackle it without any of our flipping great tips. Sieve the flour with a pinch of salt to get all the lumps out. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat them with a dash of dark rum (optional) and vanilla paste. Make a well in the flour and add the egg mixture. Then, gradually add milk and water until the batter is smooth. Lumps in one’s throat is never a good thing so get the batter smoother than George Clooney in a butter bath. We’re talking really smooooth.


Whisky Business
Having let the batter settle, melt a knob of butter in your frying pan and whisk it in to the batter before it starts to brown. Now you’re ready to pour the batter into the frying pan. With a ladle bit of luck, two scoops should be enough to thinly cover the pan. Do it carefully though, not like Oliver Twist’s soup chef, more like a Masterchef finalist carefully adding deconstructed jus to a chicken bone. After a few seconds cooking, it’s ShowTime…

Can you flip it?
Can you flip it? Yes you can. Can you flip it? YES YOU CAN! The key is confidence. Believe in your pancake and your pancake will believe in you. Flip the wrist sharply with the perfect amount of up-thrust and your cake will move in the air like Tom Daley doing a backward somersault pike. If you fail on the first flip then DON’T PANIC! Everyone fails first time. Tom Daley probably belly flopped onto a front-crawler the first time he jumped into a pool. Keep practicing, don’t flip your wig if one lands on the cat. Once you’ve nailed the first one, the rest will be a breeze – like tying your shoes or disarming a bomb.
Top Bananas
Although your pancakes may be singing ‘don’t top me now, I’m having such a good time’, you have to stop flipping at some point. Carefully slide your creation away from the warm, greasy clutches of the pan and onto the plate. Now you’re ready for the toppings! Here at Wowcher we have selected some of our favourite sweet pancakes:

  • Classic lemon and sugar
  • Banana, cinnamon and raspberry jam
  • Maple syrup
  • Blueberries and vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate spread

If sweet is not your thing (really?) then try some savoury recipes like ham and cheese or creamy mushroom. Failing that, experiment and have some fun! Pancake Day is often a good excuse to use up forgotten ingredients and half-eaten spreads. There you have it, the guide to the perfect pancake. Make sure you keep an eye on for more pantastic offers!

Please note deals featured may not be live. 

Wowcherching’s Valentine’s Gift Ideas

Love is all around us…

Valentine’s Day… the perfect opportunity to treat your boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, wife, fiancé, partner or, let’s just say, special someone who’s yet to make an official title. Play your cards right and buy a gift through Wowcherching, and we guarantee you’ll receive a very happy return – cashback, of course!

For all the remaining singletons, we’d like to dispel the idea that Valentine’s celebrations require an essential other half – you are complete as you are, and deserve to rejoice in love and reap the cashback rewards too! Plus, as Wet Wet Wet (among others) soothingly sang, ‘love is all around you’. In other words, no wallowing, no grumping around, and you have two options: 1) share the love, be it with your lover, friends, family, pet or indeed self, and get cashback; or 2) find the love (of your life), and get up to £60 cashback with eHarmony or up to £45 with!

How does cashback work? You click through to a retailer via our website and shop as normal. We do all the rest for you – any purchases you then make from said retailer will be tracked and before you know it you’ll receive cashback in your Wowcher Wallet plus 10% bonus, all of which can be spent on Wowcher Daily Deals! As a Valentine’s treat, we’ve compiled a list of Valentine’s retailers which will get you 25% cashback bonus – all the retailers mentioned in this post included!  Read more

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 Dines A La Française @ Café des Amis, Covent Garden

Vin. Soup du jour. Jus d’orange. Essentially we’re just listing liquids in French, but if you’re already salivating as you swill an imaginary glass, eyes closed, then you’re as captivated by a throaty continental accent as I am. How a language can make a humble glass of OJ sound like the drink of a king, I’ll never know, but I decided to try some classic French cuisine for myself at Café des Amis in Covent Garden… Read more

Wowcher’s Guide To Back To University Essentials

Whether it’s your first year of university or you’re returning for another year of spaghetti hoop breakfasts and Fruit Loop dinners, we’ve got everything you need to be the ultimate student. Here is the Wowcher guide to everything UNI-d:  Read more

Wowcher Does Coattails and Cocktails @ Good Godfrey’s, The Waldorf Hilton

Nestled on a tree-lined thoroughfare in the heart of London’s theatre district, Good Godfrey’s at The Waldorf Hilton is the perfect place to take shelter from an unexpected mid-August downpour – a fitting scene for an evening of divinely indulgent cocktails and delightful nibbles. Despite the name conjuring up images of Basil Fawlty desperately trying to decipher the ingredients of a salad, The Waldorf Hilton is not a place for flustered or frantic minds. The chirpy man wearing coattails and a bowler hat will happily take your worries off you at the door, never to be seen again.

The 1920s-inspired bar awash with marble table tops and prohibition-style furnishings is full of historic splendour, something prevalent in every fine detail, even in the delicate descriptions dotted throughout the cocktail menu.

With classic concoctions dating back as far as 1862 and names such as ‘Corpse Reviver #2’, deciding which cocktail to have may be the trickiest decision I’ve had to make since switching my broadband provider. Luckily there are snacks to keep my partner entertained. Whilst she knocks back the sundried tomatoes and nibbles on an artichoke, I stumble across Godfrey’s Cobbler…one of the most famous cocktails of the 1880s and the first cocktail served with a straw. Served with a trio of berries and a triangle of chocolate, this Byhrr wine-based aperitif mixed with Mozart Dry chocolate liqueur was nothing short of exstrawdinary. Touches of vanilla and fresh lemon made it extremely tricky not to guzzle this tasty tail down in one.

Cocktail number two was Corpse Reviver #2 – presumably Corpse Reviver #1 was not hugely successful. Created by Harry Craddock at the American Bar, he used to say “four of these taken in swift succession will revive the corpse again”. The blend of gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, fresh lemon juice and Absinthe did just that. You know what they say, ‘absinthe makes the heart grow fonder’ and my post-work corpse greatly appreciated the expertly-crafted concoction.
Other cocktails tried and tested:
Tango Essence (Martin Millers Gin, Mandarin Napoleon liqueur, home-made forest tea, fresh lemon juice, vanilla sugar and a dash of rose water)
Green Aldwych (Calvados apple brandy, vanilla and green tea syrup, fresh lemon juice and a touch of apple juice, finished with Champagne)
Red Samba – A Good Godfrey’s Special (we can’t remember what was in it but it was delicious!)

Needless to say, when we bid adieu to our bowler-hatted friend, our worries were nowhere to be seen. Perhaps they were under a pile of coats, lost down a prohibition sofa or dispatched along with the fourth cocktail. We weren’t fussed. The rain had stopped and the 1920s were drawing to a close. Thankfully the doors to the Golden Age reopen at 8am!

For your chance to experience the roaring twenties and enjoy a tipple (or two), keep your eyes peeled for deals on WowcherPlease note – all deals featured may not be live.

Wowcher Does Deena Kakaya’s Vegetarian Cookery Class

Give us a fancy food gadget and something strange happens: optimism bubbles, eyes glaze and suddenly even the most challenging of culinary creations seems nothing more than child’s play. Blanching? No problem. Fricassee? Idiot-proof. Steep? Hit me. And yet before you can say al dente, you’ve flambéed your worktop, blitzed your apron and swapped sugar for salt in your gluten-free, vegan-friendly, zero carb cake mix. So this week we decided to ditch the space-age processors for a back-to-basics cookery class…  Read more

Time for Tea? The Wowcher Guide to National Afternoon Tea Week!

“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things”

Hoorah! It’s that time of year again! No, it’s nothing to do with the football, it’s the big one, the week of the year bound to make us British folk a little bit giddy – it’s National Afternoon Tea Week! It’s thought the tradition was founded back in the Victorian era by the Duchess of Bedford as a way of filling the void between meals (no telly back then, you see). And of course, what better way to keep one entertained in the afternoons than indulging in delicious treats, tiny sandwiches and tea?

So in honour of perhaps our greatest tradition and export, we’ve brought you our guide to the best spots up and down the country to celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week…

Read more

Wowcher Does Baku, Knightsbridge

Image courtesy of Evelyn Rose Worman

In the search for deliciousness we decided to pay a visit to the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence-winning Baku restaurant in Knightsbridge. We certainly weren’t disappointed by what we found…

Azeri cuisine. I’ll be honest, up until last week I’d never heard of it. Yet here was a dinner menu promising some pretty punchy flavours: starters of yoghurt-spiced quail breast and scallops with cauliflower and cumin puree, mains of West Country beef tikka and steamed Cornish sea bass, plus curious dishes like seasonal baked gutab nuzzled against sweet pickled sour cream. That was enough. Next stop I was on a bus heading straight to the source – alas, not via Heathrow Terminal 5, but to London’s trendy SW1. Read more