Half price breakfast, lunch and dinner - Eat Out to Help Out bargains you can enjoy
- Credit: Archant
Queues formed outside restaurants, cafés and pubs as diners flocked to grab a discounted dinner under the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which launched on Monday in a bid to boost the industry. Our reporters enjoyed a taste of the bargains on offer.
Our journey began with breakfast at Olive’s, an independent café on the corner of Elm Hill and Wensum Street, which is famed for its fry-ups.
Without the discount the café’s big breakfasts would set a punter back between £10.50 and £14 without extras, while lighter options range between £4 and £8.50.
Taking full advantage of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, we opted for the Full Fruit Pig - a mammoth plate consisting of two fried eggs, two chipolata sausages, streaky bacon, bubble and squeak, baked beans, black and white pudding, potato hash, fried bread and cost.
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This writer would need to be feeling fairly extravagant to splash out £14 on a breakfast ordinarily, but at £7 this was just the ticket.
A pot of coffee that comfortably filled two large cups for an extra £1.50 brought the bill to £8.50 for a proper feed.
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While the café was relatively quiet at the time we dropped in - around 9am on a Tuesday morning, owner Mick Marsden said the early signs were that trade was definitely being helped.
He said: “Monday was manic - just a non-stop flow of customers all day. That was only day one but people definitely seem to be enjoying the offer.”
Would have been: £17
Now costs: £8.50
Next on our day out with Rishi was a trip to Logans Sandwich Bar in Swan Lane.
Known in the city for its fresh sandwiches and cakes, it offers you the chance to eat in or takeaway and when we arrived at 12.45pm more or less all of the tables were taken.
Despite all of the delicious sounding sandwiches on offer, such as the Logans cheese steak which was £3.45 with the 50pc discount, we went for two fresh chicken Caesar salads which consisted of thyme and garlic roast chicken, romaine lettuce, cucumber, mature cheddar, croutons and Caesar dressing.
The discount meant each salad worked out at the bargain price of £3.15. We did add bacon to one which usually costs 75p but when the salads arrived the bacon was piled so high there was enough to share.
We had ordered soft drinks to accompany our salads with the 500ml bottle of Diet Coca-Cola now at the supermarket price of £1.13. There was no way we could leave without trying one of the succulent cakes and we opted for a very moreish raspberry and white chocolate blondie which cost us just over £1.
Co-owner Anthea McNamara said it was too early to tell how much of an impact the scheme would have on customer numbers as they “are still not sure what the new normal is” but she said they were considering adding Mondays to the opening hours later in the month.
Would have been: £12.20
Now costs: £6.10
It was an early start to dinner, just after 5pm, but the Oak Bar and Terrace, at the Oaklands Hotel on Yarmouth Road, was already busy, with plenty of its terrace tables full.
The warm evening made for perfect weather to dine al fresco, and we grabbed a table on the edge of its spacious decking area, joining groups of families and friends nearby.
With Blofield Food Hall and Café having just opened a second branch inside, the restaurant prides itself on its Norfolk focus, including an all-Norfolk wine list, which it believes makes it the first in the county to do so.
There’s plenty of deals to be had, but hungry after an early start at work, we went for the Norfolk beef burger and chips and its Blofield butcher pizza, with local sausage, bacon, beef and ham.
Usually the meals would have cost £14 and £11 respectively, and with the half price deal they certainly felt like a bargain.
The burger, topped with cheese, tomato and salad, was accompanied by crispy skin-on fries and a gherkin, and was generously portioned.
We had two soft drinks, a flavoured tonic water and cloudy lemonade, at £1.60 and £1.50 under the deal.
Marcus Pearcey, from the business, said they had seen a rush in bookings since the scheme started, and, as they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, it meant it had been a manic couple of days.
He said so far it had not detracted from their weekend bookings, and said they had seen more families coming down to try out the restaurant.
Customers were upgrading cuts of meats to more expensive choices, he said, and added that overall the offer had seen a usually quieter part of the week for the industry pick up in pace.
Would have cost: £30.25
Now costs: £15.13
• The offer gives diners 50pc off (up to a value of £10 per head) from Mondays to Wednesdays at participating restaurants throughout August. Visit our website for a full map showing which restaurants are taking part.