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Blog Categories: Food and Drink

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…

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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

Wowcher’s Guide To Brilliant BBQ-ing!

Ah, summer. The season of sun-kissed skin, briefly requited love and infinite barbecues. But much like falling in love, only downright fools rush into hosting barbecues. However simple the idea of ‘mixing meat with fire’ may seem, an impromptu barbecue could end in disaster. Picture a singed lawn, food-poisoned friends, children choking on charred hot dogs and flustered neighbours flapping wet towels over the ashen remains of their fence. To prevent such catastrophic scenes from spoiling your summer, we’ve compiled a guide to hosting a seamless barbecue that’s sizzling for all the right reasons.

With six handy pockets for storing utensils, salt, pepper and more, the 7-piece BBQ tool and apron set ensures you’re fully prepared with all right equipment at the ready

With six handy pockets for storing utensils, salt, pepper and more, the 7-piece BBQ tool and apron set ensures you’re fully prepared with all the right equipment at the ready

Equipment
There’s nothing worse than turning up at a barbecue and waiting hours for the host to get their, er, kit together, so ensure you’re fully prepared with all the right equipment at the ready. This seven-piece BBQ tool and apron set features six handy pockets for storing utensils, salt, pepper and more. Fasten the apron around your waist, so when that first burger reaches sizzling point, you can whip out the spatula from your groin and flamboyantly flip it to your first carnivorous guest. Better yet, the lockable wheels on this charcoal barbecue will ensure no burger or sausage can escape the spindly clutches of your utensils or the doughy arms of your buns.  Read more

Wowcher Does Waldorf Hilton Hotel’s Afternoon Tea

Mention the term ‘afternoon tea’ and sweet fancies come to mind; floral doilies, clinking cups and moreish nibbles wheeled on squeaking dessert trolleys. Think again, dahling. Nowadays humble tearooms have evolved into stylish hotspots. Asian fusion, gluten-free, decadent dining and cosy abodes litter London, offering both a unique and customised afternoon tea experience. And as you may expect, choosing between them is difficult. So to help whisk you through the ever-popular pick-me-up, I went to visit the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in Covent Garden to see how the British tradition is done best.  Read more

Wowcher Does Trapeze Bar, Shoreditch

When Wowcher runs great food and drink deals at exciting venues around the UK, we really love to get to know the places personally. My mission, whether or not I chose to accept it, was to find a small group of friends and enjoy a huge sharing cocktail and food platter at the delightfully intriguing Trapeze Bar in East London. Located close to the hipster hub of Shoreditch, Trapeze Bar presents itself as an intriguing cross between a nightclub and a circus tent, with the ceiling adorned with hanging trapeze bars. It describes itself as ‘bathed in faded circus glamour’ and it’s this nod to the faded glory of the travelling circus which lends Trapeze much of its unique charm. Read more

Wowcher Does Zucchero’s World Buffet

They say less is more, but with a chance to try out Leicester’s premiere buffet venue I wasn’t sure I agreed. Upon approach to the city-centre venue, I was experiencing a mix of emotions – hunger and excitement being key. I was also feeling slightly apprehensive – with Zucchero’s range of freshly cooked world cuisine, how could I physically try it all? I was unsure quite how to play things… Should I begin by dishing up a plate of cultural starters – prawn crackers, spring rolls, poppadoms, samosas, nachos, salad and more? Or serve myself according to region – an Italian plate followed by an Indian plate, and a Chinese plate to finish?  Read more

Know Your World Cup Opponent – Italy!

Who’s ready for some international sportsball then? Phwoar! Goals! Brazilians! A trophy! Kicking! You get the idea. That’s right, the time has finally come: that magical month or so out of every four years when we all gather round our newly-purchased HD TVs to yell advice at a bunch of professional athletes, all in the name of the beautiful game. Bobby Moore, 66, Wemb-er-ly, come on you England, phwoar!

Our boys are jetting off to Brazil to play in the greatest tournament on earth – bigger than the Superbowl, more fun than the Olympics and with more gratuitous shots of bikini-clad blondes than Crufts – it’s the World Cup, of course. This time around, our brave Lions’ first test on the inevitable route to glory comes in the form of Italy. The rugged, handsome, stylish Italy – pasta, Pavarotti, the Romans, The Godfather, moustaches. Italy.

We’re in no doubt that the team’s wise owl/manager Roy Hodgson has mentally prepared his team for this tough test in the searing Brazilian heat, but we ask are you ready? It’s always important to know your enemy – know what makes them tick, what they get out of bed in the morning for, what they eat, what they drink, and some other stuff. If we really want to cheer on our lads then we owe it to them to suss out this glorious country. So, without further ado we bring you the Wowcher guide to Italy – it’s an offer you can’t refuse… Read more

Wowcher Does Lobster London

US food chain Red Lobster sold for a colossal $2.1 billion last month. For a shellfish with such humble origins, that’s a lot of dollar. You see, up until the 19th century, American lobster was a sign of abject poverty. So plentiful was this hard-bellied crustacean that they often washed ashore, covering the Massachusetts Bay Colony in heaps two-foot high. It was only later, after serving as fertiliser, fish bait and as a low-priced canned food that lobster started to gain culinary momentum.

While historians champion improved transport links and tourism for the rise, it’s still astonishing to think that the lobster managed to claw its way up to ‘delicacy’ status. Today its fans range from stay-at-home mums to bon vivant twenty somethings – and so far they’ve amassed over 730,000 (and counting) hashtags on Instagram. But is it really as tasty as those stylish filter-enhancing snaps would have us believe? As one of the last remaining shellfish virgins in London, I went to find out.  Read more

Wowcher Does Yazu Sushi

Shake Sashimi – Image by Alexander McBride Wilson: www.alexandermcbridewilson.com

Thou shall have a fishy on a little dishy…or to be more precise, 10 little fishies on little dishies to share between two at Mayfair’s very own Yazu Sushi. Motivated purely by curiosity and not at all by our stomachs, we thought we’d take a closer look… Read more