Friday, 1 March 2013

Thinking about food? Good, me too.

Anyone who knows me relatively well knows that I like food. I like it quite a lot. Okay, I’m lying. I have an unnecessary, emotional bond with food, it is on my mind 90% of the day, and it is my sun, stars and moon. Thornton’s calls to me when I walk past (although my mum gets this too, so it's obviously a genetic disorder and therefore out of my control), and a Terry’s Chocolate Orange genuinely is mine, ALL mine, and so help me if you take the middle section or the final segment you will regret it.

So, in summary, I bloody love food.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am in no way a food connoisseur, in fact, I am actually terrible with food. My housemate can vouch for this; I am in charge of cutting and stirring ONLY, as I cannot be trusted with any other duty. I did in fact, on one occasion (as you only make this mistake once), put a potato wrapped in copious amounts of tinfoil in the microwave a few years back…as you can imagine that was not my most successful jacket potato.

However, not being able to cook doesn’t concern me that much because I know my true skills lie in the eating department. And my god do I do it well.

I have been blessed (or cursed in my waistline’s often-ignored opinion) with both a sweet and savory tooth. I believe whole heartedly in the power of the ‘second-wind’ – for those of you who don’t know, this is strategic breaking throughout a large meal, to ensure that you can eat the maximum amount possible. I get horrendous food envy; if you’re having chips, I am having chips. Salad is not real food – FACT. And I have just experienced what I called ‘Cake-Watch’ of the cake in the fridge on the ground floor of work. It really is surprising how fast you can move down 8 flights of stairs when you receive the email announcing the cake has been cut.

Okay so I will stop reminiscing and get to the point. As you may have realised, I like to eat, and apparently I cannot cook, so eating out is the perfect option for me, however my purse and I don’t quite agree on this.

But I have the solution! When I moved to London a friend introduced me to the wonderful Tastecard and it has honestly saved me so much money. This card gets you 50% off or Two 4 One in restaurants all across London and the UK. And I can tell you now it definitely takes priority in my purse over my gym membership card.

Just be careful that you ring up and book a table before hand and tell them you have the card as some places will refuse it if you haven’t pre-warned them. And a lot places won’t accept the cards on Friday and Saturdays, but it is all very clear on the website.

At the moment they are on sale for £79.95 for the year, which in fairness you would make back fairly quickly, however a few times a year they are discounted to around £30, which is far more reasonable, so I shall keep you in the loop when that comes around again. Alternatively you could try out their free trial which lasts for a month.

A few of my personal favourites include Imli (Indian Tapas, currently being refurbished) and Banana Tree (Indochina restaurant) both of which are on Wardour Street, Soho. I even kindly, but unknowingly, made an Orangutan Donation with my meal in Banana Tree last night, although that was my fault for not actually reading the menu properly due to my excitement.

[And I can tell you, the coconut ice cream in Banana Tree is ridiculously good, it fits perfectly into your dessert stomach, and this is coming from a girl who thinks a Bounty is not worthy of a spot in the Celebrations tin]

Fear not, for those who like to keep it simple with a good old Italian, Zizzi’s, Pizza Express, Prezzo and many more take Tastecard as well! It pretty much has every cuisine going.

So whether you are one of those people with a regular ‘Eat to Live’ type relationship with food or, like me, have a ‘Live to Eat, and eat some more, and then some more’ type relationship you need to get yourselves a Tastecard and start saving some money.

Please note that I take no responsibility for any expansion in waistline, increase in sales of slimming/hold-in pants or any additional time required on the Spawn of Satan, a.k.a the treadmill, as result of this blog.

And to finish could we please just all take a moment to give thanks to Marks & Spencer for bringing the buckets of Chocolate Mini Bite rolls into our lives. We are eternally grateful.

Follow me on Twitter: @HollyJ_Brown

Image of Mojito Cupcake from E&C Cakes. Follow on @EC_Cakes