6 Ways to Indulge in Fine Dining without Breaking your Wallet

6 Ways to Indulge in Fine Dining without Breaking your Wallet

While fine dining could be an everyday option for some, for others, the idea of visiting an upscale, exquisite and posh restaurant could be daunting or simply, unnerving. The cause of this nightmare is none other than the hefty bill one has to fork out to enjoy a taste of the finest quality. Yet, it never stops us from indulging in our guilty pleasure once in a while, whether is it on a special occasion or just to pamper ourselves with a treat at the end of the week. Thankfully, taking a few steps will just do the trick in realising our dream of acquiring a fine dining experience without breaking the bank.

Here are the 6 ways:

1. Engage in social dining platform to experience fine dining with local hosts at their homes.

Fine dining and wallet friendly probably sounds paradoxical but this is precisely what social dining platform like BonAppetour specialises in, providing a fine dining gastronomical experience for you with local hosts without burning a hole in your pocket. Fret no more about reservations, simply search for a local host that has an opening for dinner, and you would find yourselves immersed in a local’s company for a gourmet fix for the night.

2. Maximise your dining experience at the off-peak hours

Ditch candlelit dinner for a daylight light-hearted meal that guarantees wallet-friendly bill. In general, lunchtime fine dining is priced lower and the best deals such as set lunches could easily be caught despite the smaller portion. Also, enhance your meal experience by dropping by on weekday nights like Tuesday and Wednesday to avoid scrambling against the crowd for a table, and needless to say, every waiter would probably be at your disposal.


3. Have your cake and eat it too

A meal just wouldn’t be complete without desserts, and they are probably ranked as essential for our sweet-toothed meal buddy. Tapping into our needs for instant gratification, the price of desserts in fine dining restaurants are strategically hiked up. Hence, a smarter way of consumption would probably be picking a nearby cafeteria for pastries and a cup of tea that costs you a quarter of your bill at the restaurant. 


4. Abandon your ‘Top 10 restaurants to visit’ list and be your own list maker

Discard your list of must-go restaurants that have most likely made a name for themselves in the fine dining industry. Backed by popularity among the restaurant-goers, prices for cuisine in these established fine dining restaurants are off the roofs. Why not take a day off at be your own list maker? Be adventurous and unearth new restaurants in your neighbourhood. Who knows? A future Michelin restaurant could await to be discovered at the turn of the street.

5. Buy online discount vouchers

There are plenty of websites that facilitate consumers’ access to cheap deals and savings without forfeiting on the quality of the commodity. So why cut yourself short when you can enjoy both exquisite dining and massive cost savings through using platform like DealslandsUK where you can get exclusive deals and huge savings of up to 80% at restaurants by keeping a lookout for coupons or vouchers offered on the site.

6. Be the chef for the day

Who says that fine dining has to be provided or catered? Swap that business attire for an apron a day and be transform your house into a fine dining ambience for a heart-warming dining experience for your close friends and family. The upside for such venture is definitely the ability in serving customised food to your guests that have a dietary requirement. Did I mention that you will also get to sharpen your culinary skills and perhaps receive a bottle of wine from your grateful guests?


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5 Handy tips you must know if you are solo travelling in Barcelona

5 Handy tips you must know if you are solo travelling in Barcelona

Home to 9 UNESCO world heritage, it is no surprise that Barcelona welcomes 7.8 million globetrotters from all around the world as of 2014, and proudly acclaims its rank as the top 5 European countries to travel to. For thrill seekers who are planning a solo jaunt, Barcelona promises an adventure of self-discovery and self-indulgence that offers much liberation. To soften any turbulence during your expedition, here are 5 tips that are pulled together to make your trip a smooth sailing one.

1. Be accountable for your own safety

Armed with bulky luggage and disoriented in a foreign land, tourists make easy bait for quick theft. To counteract such unwelcomed guests to your pockets would be to plan well ahead your arrival. It is definitely recommended to schedule your arrival at a new location before the night falls so as to give yourself ample time to navigate your way to the accommodation and deposit your baggage. Also, while it is not uncommon that solo travelers are constantly on the lookout for cheap thrills, never risk your safety while practicing frugality. Flag down a cab if it is pitch dark to make sure that you are safe and sound for exploration the next day. 


2.  Be alert and instinctive

Instead of veering off from famous tourist attractions like La Sagrada Familia or Las Rambles that are hotbed for thieves, read widely on prevalent scams and pickpocketing techniques so that you are regularly in check for your valuables. It is always a wise decision to decentralize your money and place them in different compartments to avoid putting all eggs in a basket. There is no better advice than to listen to your instinct and intuition. If you feel that something is amiss, switch to safer routes and be constantly in the public. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

3. Be solo but open to travel companions

While solo travelling does have its perks, having a travelling companion in your solo trip may be equally rewarding! Finding a travel companion would be a breeze if you are staying in hostels where virtually every person you see is a travel enthusiast and would hop on to any impromptu plan that makes a great addition to their to-do list. Another alternative channel would be to partake in bond activities that bring travelers together, providing a platform for you to mingle and share travel hacks with.

4. Putting on a disguise

Looking fancy is probably something you are not interested in if you are on a solo sojourn, and we suggest you swap those ritzy wallets and Swarovski phone cases to battered ones to lessen it as a target for wallet lifters. In addition, having a phony phone conservation on the cab with ‘somebody’ explaining your location, your estimated time of arrival as well as the car plate license would easily create an illusion that you are accompanied.  Acting as an effective protective measure against ill-intentioned cab drivers, you can be pretty sure that you will arrive at your designated location in one piece.  

5. Worry a little less, enjoy a little more

Perhaps it is your first attempt in embarking on a solo jaunt, and you are in a bundle of nerves. Instead of preoccupying your mind with scenarios and coming up with 101 ways your trip could go wrong, sit back and relax! As much as you have to be cognizant of your surroundings, tap on your identity as a solo traveler and take advantage of solo benefits! One of the luxuries is to be flexible with your itinerary and travel on your own terms, you can even abandon certain sightseeing spots for an afternoon coffee break. It’s your call!

Being a solo traveler is really a privilege that not everyone gets the chance to enjoy, and you certainly do not have to wait for someone to bestow you that entitlement. As the saying goes, ‘Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer’. What are you waiting for? Start packing your bag and take a leap of faith! I promise you that you will not regret it.






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7 Tricks for Visiting Barcelona on a Budget that No One Tells you About

7 Tricks for Visiting Barcelona on a Budget that No One Tells you About

Do you find yourself cultivating an unhealthy habit? Having a routine of booking flights and dropping them into the cart, but have never gotten the courage to click on the check-out button? What’s holding you back, my friend? Could it be that empty wallet that jerks you back to reality?

Here are 7 tips to show you that having plenty of dough is not a pre-requisite for travelling to Barcelona, the city of dreams; be assured that you will have a blast in Barcelona with your budget no matter how tight it is.  

1. Hit the road when the time’s right

Before you type ‘best period to visit Barcelona’ in the search engine, you may want to reconsider the period you are planning to visit Barcelona. While August and September promise large parties such as Fiesta de Gracia and La Merce festival, it could probably be a much better idea to march to a different drum and avoid the hiked up accommodation and food prices. Making a slight amendment to visit Barcelona at its own peak months during April through May, and middle September to October will definitely allow you to magnify your dollar power to spend less on accommodation, and hopefully more on satisfying your Tapas and Paella cravings.


2. Choose the smartest way to get around in Barcelona

Getting around a foreign land by metro is probably a budget tip that we already know at the back of the mind but picking the type of metro ticket probably requires a little more effort. Instead of buying an individual trip ticket, a more economical and time-efficient option would be to get a T-10 ticket instead. It not only entitles you to unlimited, yes, unlimited journey rides on public transport over the span of your visit, it offers discounted price for entrance fees to shows, attractions, souvenirs store and restaurants!

3. Appreciate the art of Gaudi without paying a single cent

A trip to Sagrada Familia definitely sits on top of the list of attractions to visit, but entrance into the Catholic church not only tests one’s patience at the snaking queue, but it also necessitates a hefty sum to be forked out in exchange for the privilege. We highly encourage you to appreciate the exteriors of Sagrada Familia and save some of your eyeball exercises to Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia, a stunning Gothic architecture that permits free entry.

4. Pick up a few lines of Spanish from the locals

Speaking in Barcelona native’s tongue will definitely give you an edge whether you are getting directions or simply putting your bargaining skills to test. An easy outlet for you to replace having to sit through a YouTube video ‘Learn useful Spanish phrases in 3 mins’ would be to pick up colloquial phrases directly from the local themselves! The Friday Language exchange class is held every Friday at França Railway Station's Bar and is entirely free of change. Did I mention that not only do you get to practice a language while having a drink, you would be meeting friends from all over the world!

5. Craft your own Spanish cuisine (with the help of the locals, of course)

Eating out could easily cost an arm and a leg if you are not inclined to dine in the restaurants that sell affordable Tapas or Paella, so a better suggestion would be to join in a cooking class that shows you the ropes in crafting a Paella that is not only moreish and meltingly tender but uniquely yours! Learn from one of our cordial BonAppetour hosts David as he shows you the way to produce a spice-laden Paella that withholds Mediterranean flavours using the traditional way. If Paella-making is not your cup of tea, meet Yves for a Tapas workshop for a gastronomical experience where you not only get to taste the legendary Tapas, but also learn the makings behind creating an opulent and earthy flavour.

6. Sharpen your ‘market-ing’ skills at the local markets

Popping by local markets like La Bouquerie is a splendid idea to get your hands on freshproduce, which are generally priced to be wallet-friendly. To enhance your market-going experience, be a little adventurous and dive into the interior to save yourself from escalated prices at the entrance. Alternatively, pay a quick visit to Santa Caterina market if you are on the hunt for a less touristy marketplace. Keep a lookout for our upcoming article that features a guide to La Bouquerie that includes the market layout and more!

7. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Located near Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, Els Encant Vells, the ‘Old Charms’ flea market boasts the sale of a range of commodity from antique and vintage artworks to second-hand clothing, records, and even furniture. You name it, they have it! ­­Like any other flea markets, a good bargain tests one’s patience so hold your horses and wait till 12noon where items that are not sold usually will go on massive price cuts. If you are there early, do catch the spectacle of public auction at 7.30 am to 8.30 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Perhaps, it’s time for you to throw in a few sentences of Spanish you have acquired from the language exchange session to haggle for the best price.

Photo credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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A Foodie’s Travel Guide to Europe

A Foodie's Travel Guide to Europe

This is a guest post submitted by Christopher from DealsLand UK.

If it is your first time to Europe, you will naturally be really excited and yes of course a little confused too. Why wouldn't you be?! You have so much to do in a short amount of time. You'll want to try out some of the best restaurants in the land, and enjoy every bite without worrying about your budget. It's well-known that Europe can be more than a little expensive, so you should read this guide to find out how you can have your cake and eat it too by following these options to get budget bites in European countries.

Espresso bars in Rome

If you are visiting Rome, have your breakfast just like a Roman. Go to any espresso bar and order some goodies. You will find there cookies, croissants, biscotti as well as some other delicacies. So just take some time in the morning, visit any of these bars, and to be extra Italian be sure to order an espresso along with any of these snacks.

Order your pizza anywhere

The Papa John chain has a number of outlets across Europe. So in case you feel you are missing your slice of pizza, just visit one of the outlets and order one. The pizzas available here are not that costly and moreover you will be able to get a good discount too.  

Street food at Crepe stands in Paris

One of the best ways to enjoy quality cheap food isto indulge in some trendy street food. If you are in Paris and looking for something to fill your stomach after a night out, go for the French staple: Crepes. You will find kiosks for Crepes all over the place. Crepes are something like thin pancakes which is folded and filled with whipped cream, jam or you can go savoury with things like ham…You can put just about anything in them!

In Brussels? Try Belgium waffles

Belgium is known for two things: waffles and chocolate. Trying the former is easy enough as you will find a number of stores making and selling waffles. They are thick and fluffy, loaded on top with whipped cream and fruit. So take a walk around the Grande Place with this best bite in your hand.

How about homely food?

Yes, this is definitely a possibility! You can get a taste of the authentic local food of a place by visiting homes. This has been made possible by BonAppetour. It helps you to connect with the hosts across the different countries of Europe and enjoy food at their place. You will feel satisfied having tasted the amazing food as well as making new friends at a price that is friendly to your wallet!

Try out fish & chips if you are in London

Fish & chips are the staple food of England. You can find chips and fillet of fish seasoned with salt and vinegar around every corner here in London. You can either have them on-the-go or take a seat and enjoy them. It's a great way to enjoy a traditional meal at a low cost

Mulled wine in Prague

There is nothing really amazing like a glass of mulled wine. It is hearty and homely in the winter time and will make your stay in Prague extra Christmassy. You can get this inexpensive drink from a stand at the Christmas Market in Old Town.


Make sure you taste these delicacies and have a happy time in Europe. Let us know your best budget tips for travelling in Europ in the comments below!

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