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Wowcher Does Old Macdonald’s Farm

An on that farm he had a...HORSE
The summer holidays may be coming to a close, but there’s always time for a fun family day out! Like the children’s nursery rhyme, which no doubt is going round and round in your head as you read this, Old MacDonald sure does have a farm. It’s based in Brentwood (yes, home of TOWIE), just off the M25, so, with one excited 5-year-old, a car full of snacks and our wowchers in hand, we headed over there to see what all the fuss is about.

Unlike the nursery rhyme, however, this award-winning farm not only has cows, pigs and sheep, but a whole host of unusual animals, such as alpacas, a wallaby and even some reindeer! Much to the amusement of our little boy, the farm has a “traffic light” system, whereby a red label means you can’t touch or feed the animals, amber means you can touch with caution, and green means you can touch and feed them. Off he went, shouting out the colours excitedly as we explored the pens, pointing out the animals he recognised such as guinea pigs, rabbits and even an owl or two.

Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O

Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O

As soon as we turned the corner and saw the giant inflatable bouncy slides, trampolines, and tractor ride, his eyes widened even further and he was off again. A particular favourite was the helter-skelter, where the kids form an “orderly queue”, collect a sack and then climb the stairs to face the swirly slide at the top. Plus, he also loved the Wacky Worm Roller Coaster and the Happy Horses Pony Adventure Ride! And don’t fret – even if the weather is grey and miserable, your kids won’t be when they see the indoor Battle Barn, with a colourful soft play area full of slides, ropes and bridges, plus brilliant ball games to keep them entertained for hours. It’s right next to the restaurant, so mums and dads will be happy too.

And on that farm he had some...RIDES.

And on that farm he had some…RIDES.

Open until November, and then again for the Christmas holidays, Old MacDonald’s Farm is enjoyable for little kids, big kids (and even kids of the goat variety) and you can rest assured that the activities are well-maintained and manned where necessary for ultimate safety too.

The only way is Old MacDonald’s Farm! So look out for tickets here!

Wowcher Does Celebrity Planet’s Jack The Ripper Tour

East London hasn’t always been flooded with fixie bikes, craft ale-dipped ironic beards and vegan cafes, you know. It was once a much more sinister place…

Once upon a time the East End was in fact full of what historians now officially term ‘dodgy geezers’. Now we’re not just referring to loveable rogues in the mould of Del Boy, the Kray Twins or even Harry Redknapp. No, east London in fact has a rich and particularly fiendish history of full blown naughty goings on. None more infamous than Jack the Ripper. Undeterred by the thought of being caught by the ghoulies, we decided to check out the Celebrity Planet’s Ripper Walk to get closer to the capital’s most gory mystery… 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

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 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

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 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

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