Cooking is one of the skills attempted whilst at university that continues to baffle students across the country, who tend to long for Mum’s Sunday roast almost as much as their own bed. With so much going on at the start of university, few find the time to learn or bother with cooking a substantial meal and would rather enjoy the luxury of eating out.
So, unless you manage to luck out and share your accommodation with the next Jamie Oliver, this guide to the best affordable London eateries, from Shoreditch to Covent Garden restaurants, will be well worth a read.
While cooking is a chore and buying takeaways or booking a table seems the more appealing option, it doesn’t take a finance degree student to know that the price of restaurant dining can take its toll on the lowly student bank balance. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to turn to the Tesco basic noodles or meat-free options to cut back on the pennies; like everything else, there are student deals out there to make the cost of eating more manageable. Here are a selection of the best sites and deals out there for the hungry student:
- Taste London The tastecard gives you either 50 per cent off or two for the price of one across thousands of participating restaurants. Tastecard London provides this offer at loads of popular restaurant chains across the city including Prezzo, La Tasca and Planet Hollywood, as well as some of the most high profile establishments. It costs to join but you could be racking up the savings in no time if you’d prefer to stay out of the kitchen.
- Groupon Everyone’s favourite city-based deal provider comes good once again. Offering hundreds of restaurant deals daily, there is always a saving to be made. Sign up to their London restaurant offers at their website, Groupon.co.uk.
- Student Beans Why get deals everyone can access when you can make the most of studying with the exclusive student restaurant offers on Student Beans> Hundreds of deals aimed specifically at students are updated every day and they’ve even been known to offer half price taste London tastecards in the past. Visit Studentbeans.com for details.
Alongside all-day breakfasts and great student offers, London holds another considerable perk for its gastronomic students – the many celebrity chef restaurants that it attracts. As well as providing great food that tends to beat the traditional ‘Maccies’ 4am pit stop on the way home, there is also the fact that London is the best city in the country for combining celebrity spotting with dining.
The Jamie Oliver restaurant London has to offer is one of the best. As well as being reasonably priced for a celebrity chef joint – and just downright ‘pukka’ – his Fifteen restaurant at Westland Place is famed as one of his best.
For the more adventurous among you, there is always Heston Blumenthal’s offering in Knightsbridge. The menu here draws more on his 1700s-style experiments than the avant-garde Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, and is well worth a visit.
The Sunday roast
If there is one meal that would have you missing home it is the roast dinner, but never fear – you don’t have to abandon degree study in London to get your mitts on a quality Sunday meal. There are a number of London restaurants which specialise in that area and make a roast that’s almost as good as mum’s. Almost.
Toby Carvery is the Sunday roast classic that not only offers an all-day carvery to rid any feelings of homesickness but, with prices starting from £5.99, it can’t be beaten on price either. Snaresbrook in London provides a carvery which is conveniently close to the centre.
A keen rival of old Toby is the Harvester and, with many restaurants to choose from, you can just type in your postcode to the restaurant finder to find your local.
While finding a cheap Sunday roast is all well and good, what do you do when you need to take that special someone out on a student budget? Never fear. This guide has compiled all the top date night restaurant locations that are student-wallet friendly but will not leave your date feeling like they should have stayed home!
There are a number of Covent Garden restaurants offering the perfect romantic setting just around the corner from the theatre that will keep your date happy at a price that will keep your bank balance ecstatic. Café des Amis, Cote Covent Garden and Mon Plaisir are three French restaurants which provide that readymade date night atmosphere for an average price of around £30-£35.
Away from the romantic Covent Garden restaurants London has to offer, there are plenty of other eateries that offer a fantastic date night experience for the student population. The Vincent Rooms in Westminster has a three course menu sandwiched between canapés, coffee or tea and petits fours for just £22.50 and, for the Italian lovers, there is no better spot than Princi in Soho, where a meal for two, drinks and service will cost you just £30.
Now, there’s one particular day that no-one wants to be seen as stingy when taking that special someone out on the town. In a city as great as London, however, even Valentine’s Day isn’t an issue for its undergraduates’ budgets. Websites such as Toptable.co.uk, bookatable.com and TimeOut.com have some great Valentine’s Day offers for students to take advantage of so that they too can get all romantic on February 14th.
Do you know of any other top student eateries? Let your fellow hungry undergrads know on the GSM London Facebook page.
Image Credit: WordRidden, Ewan-M (flickr.com)
This content was written by Rachel Smith. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.