gorilla

A Bloggers Brunch

I was invited by LivingSocial recently to join them for a bloggers brunch at the Devilled Egg – I had heard of the Devilled Egg before, knowing that they offered cooking lessons, but didn’t really think I’d be helping to make my own meal!

I was running late for a change (Ah, First Bus Bristol, you never fail to let me down) so by the time I got there, red and out of breath, everyone was waiting for me. Argh!

It was a surprisingly small group, of two other bloggers and their plus ones, my plus one (lovely Bonny), two people from LivingSocial and Barbora, the owner of the Devilled Egg.


We made quite a few things that had I seen the menu beforehand, I’d say those things were way too difficult to make, but Barbora made them look crazily easy – like in the photo above, where she’s kneading a batch of bread.


Here’s Bonny making choux pastry – you melt butter and water together, then drop flour and salt in and whisk together as fast as possible until its a smooth dough! Instead of small buns as you’d expect for profiteroles, they were made into huge buns, then filled with scrambled egg, yum!


The buns made from the bread (above) were to be used as bases for eggs Benedict – here’s Jeremy from LivingSocial making the Hollandaise sauce.

We also made soft boiled Scotch eggs in chorizo – these ended up being HUGE, like, the size of a shot put! I ended up taking mine home, after carting it all around town while shopping with Bonny. It was so yum when I eventually ate it though!

After a few hours in the kitchen, we went into the dining room to eat our creations and more – the scrambled eggs in choux buns, and salmon on blinis were one of my favourite items (who am I kidding, I loved it all)  – more and more food just kept coming and coming!

The bloggers brunch was to show some of the deals that LivingSocial do – while Groupon and KGB Deals seem to provide quite strange deals (especially at the moment – offering “personal massagers”?!), LivingSocial has few offers on for longer, which are a lot more interesting to me. I wouldn’t have thought about going on this course before, because I am not exactly a brave person in new crowds (which is why I didn’t push myself forward to cook some of the items), but I’d recommend it to any of you guys and would probably go (with a friend!) to another course.

Thank you LivingSocial and the Devilled Egg for such a lovely afternoon!

What Is Groupon?

I’ve been using Groupon for quite a few months now, and occationally write on their city blog, but it seems like most of you guys have only noticed it today for the fantastic ASOS deal*. I’ve already had quite a few questions from people on Twitter so thought it might be helpful if I put it all together in a post so I can point people towards this in future. (Apologies in advance if this seems a bit basic – it seemed the easiest way to explain!)

In the past year or so, “deal of the day” type sites have been popping up all over. In the UK, we have Groupon*, LivingSocial, KGB Deals, Keynoir*, and more are appearing all the time (even the Telegraph seems to be doing some sort of deal site now!) The biggest of these sites seems to be Groupon*, and its the one I’ve used quite a few times myself, so thats what I’ll refer to.

A deal will appear for a limited time, which will normally be shown on the page. There is usually a limited amount of how many vouchers are available, so its usually best to act early! (I woke up early on Sunday because Alex was off to Colorado again and saw a great deal for a local cafe – when I woke up again 3 hours later, it had sold out!)

The details of the deal are usually pretty clearly laid out on the page. Here’s todays national deal:

On the left, it says how much the current deal is (£9), how much you’ll save by buying it (£11), how long the deal is up for (assuming it doesn’t sell out – 36 hours) and how many have been bought. In theory, there is a minimum and maximum limit – if under the minimum buy the deal in the set time, then the deal doesn’t go through, and you don’t pay any money. I’ve never seen a deal be under the minimum amount though!

The highlights section picks out things of interest to promote the deal – for things like restaurants, it will mention any sort of limits on the choices, selling points of the restaurant, etc. The fine print will mention limits on using the voucher – whether you have to book, if you can only use it on certain days, how long you have to use it. For the ASOS one, it says that you have to spend at least £21 (so you can use the voucher and then pay £1 another way)

The voucher/code is usually emailed to you the next day (although it might be different for the ASOS voucher as thats due to last for more than 24 hours) and if there are no set limits on when you  can use the voucher from, you can get ordering straight away! For things like meals and beauty treatments, you usually have to mention that you’re using a Groupon voucher at time of booking, but that doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) affect the service that you get.

Most deals that these sites offer are quite specific to a certain city – I’m quite lucky because Bristol is on most of these sites, but even if you’re miles away from a big city, you can still use them. The vouchers are emailed to you, and with the national deal on Groupon, thats usually a website based deal – thats how I ended up with my Lomography voucher (I paid £20, I was able to spend £50 on their website)

I’ve been using Groupon* for nearly a year now – the first thing I bought was a voucher for an hours bowling at The Lanes which we used for my birthday last year. Instead of paying £30, I paid £10. I’ve had a few other offers from there as well – I had my hair cut and coloured in December at Kuchi Koo in Redland, which should have cost £117 but the voucher was just £35. I’ve not yet used Groupon for a proper meal yet, but have a voucher in my purse to get two cupcakes and two hot drinks at one of my favourite cupcake shops, Swinky Sweets on Park Street, for £4 instead of £10.20 (The price they usually say is the normal cost is usually the prices of the most expensive items on the menu)

I think I’ve covered most things that you’d want to know, but if theres anything else, ask! I’ll answer any questions in the comments.

 

(Links with stars next to them are affiliate links. If you click this link and buy something from that site, I receive a small percentage of the cost. It doesn’t affect your purchase, and most of the time, you probably wouldn’t notice! I think its fair to tell you though)

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