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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

Wowcher’s Guide To: Festival Fashion

If the star-studded snaps of this year’s Coachella have left you questioning whether your go-to waterproof cagoule is as practi-cool as you think, fear not: there’s still time to salvage your festival wardrobe. Our home-grown festivals might not promise the scorching sun of the California desert, but our British spirit (not to mention our unparalleled – if at times eccentric – fashion sense) always manages to shine through instead. So whether you’re a Glastonbury goer or a V-Fest veteran, we’ve hand-picked a wish list covering all your backpack essentials to celebrate the start of the festival season!  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’s Guide To: Enjoying the World Cup (At Home)

Not one England supporter visible – they must be watching the final…

So you didn’t get tickets to Brazil this summer? That’s fine – neither did Zlatan Ibrahimović, Gareth Bale or Samir Nasri. There’s no point getting your knickers in a twist, Samir – just admit that you’re not quite meant for the bright lights of construction sites, and make sure you get the most out of the World Cup at home!

Rather than spending 90 minutes staring at the back of someone’s head or peering through the fabric of one of those massive flags, why not get yourself a HD TV and speaker system? Substitute vuvuzelas and tambourines with the dulcet tones of Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend in stunning HD quality.

We’re also going to need something safer and more stable than the stands of a half-built stadium. Forget clambering around the telescopic boom of a hydraulic crane to see fat Frank pile drive one into row Z, because we’ve got plenty of beanbags and sofa beds for you and the whole World Cup watching team.

With kick-off times as late as 11pm and the fact that Henderson and Jones have been included in the England squad, you might have a few heavy eyelids. That’s where the cinema sofa bed comes in handy! One crying England fan in a bed is more than enough, so make sure you’re evenly spread out around the house. You may even want to invest in an ’anti-snore’ device, as we all know lager has the potential to turn people into grunting farmyard animals.

The first step to enjoying a World Cup match is knowing who is playing, followed closely behind by knowing which team is which. For those in need, this should help!

The first step to enjoying a World Cup match is knowing who is playing, followed closely behind by knowing which team is which. For those in need, this handy kit guide should help!

Let’s imagine (bear with us…) that England qualify from Group D, or don’t all collapse from heat stroke in fixture number one – you’re going to want to celebrate! Why not have a mini carnival in your front room without the danger of fireworks and pickpockets? Alternatively, take the party outdoors, put up your parasols, and relax with the help of some Rattan garden furniture and turn your patio into a rodizio. After the recent removal of 2.6kg of food from the England hotel due to it being ‘unfit for consumption’, you would be forgiven for preferring a healthy George Foreman family grill in your kitchen to stadium hot dogs. Grill some Ricky Lamb-burgers and fill your Leighton Buns with Chiplallanas (other England-themed snacks are available). Certainly beats the out-of-date salmon offered in Rio!

And for the tidy-up, you can always rely on our 2-year supply of bin bags, a Dyson DC25 Special Edition upright vacuum cleaner and 7-in-1 steam-mop deals – if only there was a gigantic mop for the local councils in Brazil, the clean-up process might actually stand some chance of completion. Good luck peeling the sunburnt Brits off the promenade of Copacabana beach.

Finally, C’MON ENG-GER-LAND!

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’s Guide To: Father’s Day Presents

First thing’s first, if you haven’t already, make sure you pencil 15th June in your diary now. Father’s Day has been celebrated around the world since its origin in the USA in the early 20th Century. It’s meant as a simple celebration of the bond of male parenthood and it’s a brilliant chance to say thank you to our dads by spoiling them rotten.

As well as making the effort to spend time with your dad on June 15th, it’s high time to think about a great present too. This is where Wowcher comes in. We present to you, the ultimate guide to picking a great present for your old man (hint, don’t call him old) this year…

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Wowcher Gets Pampered at Nature’s Way

Some things in life are inevitable. The sun will rise in the east, the grass is green and, at some point, you’ll find your back knotted up like a pretzel. The latter is particularly true for me.

See, I’m a self-confessed gym addict. Yep, one of those people who bounds out of the house in Lycra at 6am to fit in a sly spin class before work. A good habit, you might think, but coupled with my fondness for sitting in awkward positions and slouching over my PC, it leaves me tenser than Phil Mitchell in a cop shop.

While I typically treat my aches with a cheeky massage from a colleague at lunch, bribing them with tasty baked goods, it just wasn’t quite doing the trick – plus, it was costing me a fortune in cakes. It was time to make a change, so I headed to leafy St John’s Wood for a luxurious full body massage, courtesy of WowcherRead more

The Coasts With The Most…

Woolacombe Sands, North Devon

Whether heading abroad is out of your price range this summer or you simply want to experience the beauty of our own fair isle (and we don’t blame you!) we’ve got something for beach bods and party-goers. Here are our top coastline suggestions to give you inspiration for that spontaneous mini break…

North Devon
A stone’s throw from Exmoor National Park, Ilfracombe’s coastline stretches for as far as the eye can see, encompassing the sights and sounds of Devon. Home to the ‘Tunnels Beaches’, these unique attractions were carved into the cliff face in the 1820s and still remain a favourite for children and adults to explore. No trip to the area would be complete without a visit to the nearby Woolacombe Sands, famous for its sand dunes, rock pools and marine life. Those who fancy a little more than bathing on the beach can depart on a boat trip to barely-populated Lundy Island, a unique area voted Britain’s tenth greatest natural wonder and renowned for its flora, fauna and serene jetty and harbour…

Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle

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Wowcher versus Tyson Fury Fight Night

fury

Boxing is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it.” – George Foreman

I have to agree with the lean, mean fat-griller-endorsing machine on this. Boxing to me is very much like jazz – I haven’t got a clue how it works, real fans of it seem near enough mythical and I would definitely not be all that interested in having a go. Aside from the knowledge I have gathered from the Rocky movies (i.e. none whatsoever), I was and still sort of am a virgin when it comes to this, brutal, cinematic spectacle. It doesn’t strike me as a contest for gentlemen like days of old, it’s more like a contest for modern men – not just men, but manly men. Men who like to hit each other in the face. Men who buy tigers and keep them in their homes, men with a penchant for shiny suits, fast cars and going bankrupt. Men.

But I figured a slightly gentler introduction to the sport would appear in the form of the Tyson Fury charity fight night – taking place in the famous Clapham Grand. A night where people would have a few drinks, watch some dedicated sportsmen respectfully do what they do best to each other, and have the proceeds go to a good cause. While it certainly wasn’t exactly gentle, it offered an altogether more charming side to boxing to which I hadn’t really ever been exposed. Read more

HOLI ONE Super-Colourful Saturday Batman!

No we’re not talking about a Saturday spent inside Frankie Dettori’s wardrobe, we’re talking about HOLI ONE Festival of Colour which is taking place all around the UK this summer.

Originally a Hindu celebration of harvests and fertile land, now an alcohol-fuelled rave in a UK park. Whatever the origin of this Holi festival, the spirit of bringing people together and revelling in the mid-afternoon sun is very much alive. Last summer we were lucky enough to get in amongst the powders at the iconic Battersea Power Station.

We arrived at the abandoned car park in Battersea dressed in our crispest white linens ready for our celebration of human togetherness. Once inside, we headed straight to the counter to stock up on bags of paint and then we were ready for battle. At 2pm sharp, the first countdown begun, everyone crouched down clutching their bags of blue, green, orange, yellow…3, 2, 1 and AAAAGH! Absolute chaos. Clouds of colour churned though the crowds attacking clothes and any open mouths or wide eyes. You just had to develop a taste for it as it was impossible not to smile. This process repeated itself every hour and as a result everyone became more and more indistinguishable. There was a short interlude for some traditional Indian dancing, then another countdown. People slowly realised the fun could be magnified if you mixed the paint with water and as the afternoon tired, so did the public. The regimented countdowns gradually degenerated into private paint pelting parties, big kids chasing each other around the concrete confines of Battersea car park with bottles of liquid paint. The day ended with Instagram absolutely saturated and most of Battersea looking like the crash site of two Dulux cargo trucks. A vibrant success. Battersea never looked so beautiful.

For your chance to throw bags of paint around with lots of strangers why not get your ticket to the 2014 HOLI ONE festival here!