19 May 2016

24 hours (ish) with Gourmet Society

As a person who equally enjoys eating out and saving money, 'twas a happy day indeed for me when I was recently sent a Gourmet Society card and encouraged to eat and save to my heart's content!

Gourmet Society membership allows the card (or app) holder to access great discounts at a huge range of participating restaurants, from local independents to national chains. I was challenged to spend 24 hours with Gourmet Society, to see what kind of great deals could be had over the course of a breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I did stumble slightly at the first hurdle, as I did struggle to find somewhere locally that I could use the card for breakfast. It does look like a couple of breakfast options are available in other areas, so if you are a big-city-living breakfast fan, fear not. But, I reasoned, I would rarely go out for breakfast anyway (I make a mean bowl of Cheerios at home), and an early enough lunch could count as brunch, which is essentially breakfast, right? Especially if it contains bacon! So with that in mind I had another search for something that'd fit the bill! (the search function on the site is really easy - you just put in a place/postcode and it'll list all the local options, you can also search for restaurants by name!)

The Wyke Lion belongs to the Vintage Inns group, and my previous experiences with them have left me convinced we'd find good food in a cosy country-pub atmosphere - perfect for a late-breakfast-lunch thing!

They do some grand full meals, but for a lighter lunch the sandwiches are pretty perfect. My bacon and Camembert melt was an absolute joy -- mmm all that gooey melty cheese!  The sandwiches are served with chips or salad too - the chips were great big fat fluffy things too, beautifully seasoned - loved them! 

I didn't realise 'til the Gourmet Society site highlighted it that we had one of these inns so close to where I work and I'll definitely be back again now I know how convenient it is - especially with the 25% off the bill we got, £4.08 saved! 

A favourite Bradford stop off for lunch or dinner is the Brew Haus. I love the food here and their cocktails list is mighty impressive but it's still nothing that can't be improved by an 25% off - the discount available when you flash your Gourmet Society card.

I called in with my mum and sister-in-law as a pre-theatre outing (the Brew Haus is just up from Bradford's glorious Alhambra theatre so prefect for a pre-show bite - but make sure you leave plenty of time, the service is always friendly here but can be a little... leisurely!), where we started with drinks.

Taking advantage of not driving for the day, I headed straight to the cocktail list and settled on a refreshing sounding gin based 'Phil Collins', and the others opted for lager and wine respectively.

Food wise, my mum had the bacon cutlet, and my sister-in-law decided she fancied a juicy burger, and the feedback was positive from both. My first dish of choice was unavailable and pizza is never a bad back up so I ordered the Diablo - how thick is that pepperoni?! It was my first time having pizza here and I wouldn't hesitate to order one again!

Again, I just showed them the card when I went to pay, and 25% was knocked off - a saving of £9.65!

Our evening meal proved to be a great excuse to re-visit the Yo Yo Bar and Restaurant in Shipley. I've been meaning to return to the Asian-inspired restaurant since my first visit a couple of years ago but had just not got round to it until the promise of a great deal gave me the push I needed!

The Gourment Society card offers a free main meal at the restaurant when another one is purchased, so we quickly got to perusing the extensive menu, which is split into dishes from China, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.

I only got a little nibble of my companion's Duck Teriyaki but it was truly delicious, and I was a momentarily a little jealous that I didn't order this myself - but once I got started on my Chicken and Beef Kway Teow Goreng (a Malaysian noodle dish with beansprouts, spring onions, and fresh chilli) I was happy again!

Plus, the 'free main' made it really easy to justify ordering a dessert too - though to be fair I don't think anything would have stopped me ordering Ice Cream Tempura anyway!

As promised, the cheaper of the two main meals was deducted from the bill - a saving of £11.50.

Three meals out in Bradford and not a curry amongst them! (Don't worry though, still plenty of curry options amongst others on the participating restaurants list for me to work my way through!) 

As an alternative to the 25% off total bill deal, and 2-for-1 offers available with the Gourmet Society, some places will offer 50% off the food portion of your bill - the relevant offer per restaurant is laid out on the site or app though, so you know what you are getting, along with any restrictions (some discounts can't be applied on weekends, for example, or during certain hours). It's always recommended to book ahead, mentioning the card, but honestly the only one of my meals I booked in advance was the Brew Haus one - for various reasons we just turned up at the others and they were more than happy to accept the card. Not that I'm recommending this - I don't want to be blamed for any rejections - but it certainly made using it a lot more convenient for me! 

Altogether I saved more than £25 over the course of three meals, so I imagine it'd be pretty easy for someone who eats out a lot to save well over the value of the card over a year! It's currently really easy to see how much you could save yourself too, as the Gourmet Society are currently offering a three month membership for just one pound!

* I was compensated for this post.
** I didn't actually visit all these places and consume all this food with the same 24 hour period. I definitely could have done though.

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