Advantages Huge choice of restaurants
Disadvantages None - bit of a win win situation for me
The Taste Card, formerly the Taste London Card, is a discount card available to use in over 5,500 restaurants across the UK. It offers either 50% off your food bill, or 2 for 1 on meals. Annual membership is advertised on the website as £69.95 but there are always deals to get membership for as little as £29.95. Once you have brought at the discounted price, all renewals are charged at the same rate. They also offer a 30 day free trial. I am now on my third Taste Card and think it is an amazing idea.I live and work in London where a majority of the restaurants seem to be and use it all the time. To order the card you need to go to the website (http://www.tastecard.co.uk/index.php) and input all your details. The card is issued immediately and I received my last one within 2 working days along with a glossy book detailing all the restaurants where the card can be used.
When you want to use the card to eat out, it is easy to search by postcode, restaurant, train station or landmark on their website. There is also a fantastic app for the iPhone which will search by your location. You can also be more specific in your choice by adding in the cuisine you would like to eat. I tend to use the website rather than the book as it is more up to date – restaurants are being added all the time, and occasionally some are also withdrawn.The restaurants have varied availability when you are able to use the card. The best are obviously the ones you can use any day at any time for any number of people. All restaurants will have a key next to their information explaining how and when the card can be used. The specifics include not being available on a Friday or Saturday (sometimes just the evening – worth checking with the restaurant if you are going for lunch), whether or not you need to call the restaurant to book or if it is ok just to turn up, how many people can dine on the Taste card (sometimes only 2 people but most are more) and whether or not the card can be used in December. It also denotes whether it is 50% off or 2 for 1. It will also tell you in the individual restaurant details whether the card can be used on Bank Holidays, Valentines Day etc.
The choice of restaurants is huge, from big chain ones to small family run ones, from posh hotel restaurants to local pubs. In my experience most restaurants are happy to accept you with the card if you just turn up especially if they are quiet – there is only one I have walked out of when they refused to accept it as we hadn’t called and the restaurant was empty. My favourite at the moment is Café Rouge, where I meet a friend for lunch every couple of weeks for a treat and we have a croque monsieur and a glass of wine for the grand old price of £7 each! It is also better now that is in national, rather than just London. The pub near to my mums has recently started offering it so when I go to visit I can take her for a nice cheap meal!I know there are many discount vouchers etc which you can get for free, but these seem to be sporadic, you usually have to print them and they have less availability.
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