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Returning to restaurants

22 Jun 2021

women eating bruschetta

We don’t know about you but one of the things we love to do is hang out with friends, enjoying good food and conversation. All that came to an end last March when lockdown started and, literally overnight, we had to stop seeing friends and family and meals out became just a memory.

We were curious to find out which restaurants our colleagues have missed most in the past year, and the first place they headed back to when eating out became part of everyday life again. Here's what they said:


We weren’t surprised that this was top of the list. Having a cheeky Nandos has become a British way of life since the chicken restaurant opened in 1992.  Famous for its peri-peri seasoning, we love that there’s something for every palette – from garlic or lemon marinades, all the way to their VUSA flavouring...their hottest marinade, if you’re brave enough to try it. And can we all just agree that adding a side of halloumi to any dish makes it the perfect meal?!



While the communal seating is something we had to get used to, we love a visit to Wagamama for their ramen and rice dishes.  Their chicken katsu curry has developed an almost cult-like following but, for us, the yakisoba noodles or pad thai is where it’s at. Add an order of perfectly seasoned edamame and steamed buns and we’re happy diners. Plus, their fresh juices are a nice change from the normal carbonated drinks at most restaurants. 


Who doesn’t love Italian food? Pasta, pizza, antipasti, cheeses...we could devour it all! Starting off with marinated olives and their ‘Little Soul’ breads is a must and then comes the big decision – what to choose for a main course? We recommend their linguini or lasagne or their superfoods salad is a delicious lighter choice if you overdid it on the starters.



neon guitar hard rock cafe signHard Rock Cafe

This is our choice for a meal and drinks to recover from an afternoon of shopping. Set down your bags and pick up a refreshing cocktail while you peruse the menu. If we’re being totally honest, we stick to the same starter and main each time – the classic nachos (huge and so tasty) and the steak salad – but if you’re a burger fan, you’ll be spoiled for choice! Don’t forget to pick up a souvenir shot glass or bottle opener to commemorate your visit.

Miller and Carter

Sometimes, only a steak will do and when that feeling hits, head to Miller and Carter. They specialise in sharing cuts; check out their Butcher’s Block, Chateaubriand and Cote de Boeuf. We love their famous onion loaf and wedge salads that are served with every main course. If you’re not a great meat eater, they also offer vegetarian and fish dishes and the desserts, in particular the classic Crème brûlée, are always a winner. 


These restaurants can be found all over the UK so, even if there’s not one in your town, you won’t have to travel far to enjoy their menus. But, after such a tough year for the hospitality trade, why not enjoy some of the local restaurants in your area? Check out our Stagecoach Rewards site to see if there are special offers for eating out at smaller restaurants near you.