10 SquareMeal spots to visit, while earning Virgin Points
Virgin Red has recently partnered with SquareMeal, the UK’s leading independent restaurant guide for more than 30 years, so now you can earn points every time you eat out.
There’s no better feeling than discovering new food you love, and you can experience that feeling with SquareMeal. From the best independent restaurants to new openings, you can find reviews on over 7,000 restaurants and bars on squaremeal.co.uk and be one click away from booking a table.
Good things come in threes; points for a delicious meal, points for linking your payment card, and points for an enlightening review for your fellow foodies!
Earn Virgin Points* for pizza, puri or peking duck! But how much could you earn?
100 points for making a reservation and dining at your chosen restaurant
100 - 3000+ points each time you spend £20 or more in one of SquareMeal’s participating restaurants with your linked payment card
25 points for your opinion by leaving a review of your experience
With all these sides of points, Virgin Red wants to recommend some of the top dining spots across the UK to get your Virgin Points balance growing.
Brasserie Blanc - London
Situated between Waterloo Bridge and the Royal Festival Hall, the Chancery Lane branch of Raymond Blanc’s user-friendly brasserie chain is tailor-made for commuters, families, and culture vultures en route to exhibitions or live performances. Start with a drink in the bar, before moving into the main dining room for reasonably priced helpings of French bourgeois food. From two-course set menus (from £10.95 lunch, £14 dinner), to various kids’ deals and Gallic regional wines direct from the producer, there are so many reasons to be impressed. There are also alfresco tables on the terrace.
Inamo - London
Fancy points for peking duck? Like its Soho sibling, this neon-lit restaurant, Inamo, serves up futuristic fun alongside a menu of pan-Asian favourites. Your table doubles as an entertainment centre: spy on the kitchen with ‘Chef Cam’, play retro video games of Pong, or choose the design of your place settings (you can upload photos beforehand to create a personalised tabletop montage). This branch occupies three floors, including a stylish basement bar, and the kitchen features a robata grill. Place your order via iPad, and dishes (all made for sharing) arrive courtesy of the friendly, helpful staff.
Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen - London
The food at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen ticks off global trends without alienating anyone: think potted salt-beef brisket with mustard, piccalilli and buckwheat crackers followed by superfood salads, Josper-grilled rare-breed meats, or pork and fennel sausages with braised borlotti beans, nduja and salsa verde. Bar food is based on flatbreads with breakfast, brunch and a hearty Sunday roast menu ramping up BSK’s reputation outside traditional City hours.
Adam Reid at The French - Manchester
Adam Reid turns heads at this flagship restaurant within Manchester’s vintage Midland Hotel. There are a number of menu options to choose from, including four- and nine-course tasting menus, as well as one based on popular cooking show Great British Menu. Meanwhile, spot-on service with a friendly and efficient edge ensures a stunning gastronomic experience without any fine-dining stuffiness. Because of its city-centre location this is a great one to add to your list when visiting for a day of shopping or shows, and is equally as pleasant at lunch or dinner time.
Hawksmoor - Manchester
Londoners and visitors to the capital will surely know the Hawksmoor drill: great steaks, banging cocktails and an epic dessert. With this in mind, it’s only fair that Hawksmoor has branched out to other major cities, starting with this one in Manchester, which already feels like part of the city’s fabric. To eat, start with gooey, fatty bone marrow or perfectly cooked plump scallops with fragrant tarragon and garlic. Steak cuts are priced by weight, and the friendly staff are always happy to advise on what’s available and suitable for your appetite. For those who don’t fancy steak at all, there are plenty of fish and seafood dishes, including south coast monkfish and cod.
The Pump Room - Bath
Built in 1795 and now part of the city’s World Heritage Site, the Pump Room is a marvel of Georgian splendour and a magnet for tourists. Located above the Roman Baths, most of the features of the Pump Room remain unchanged, including the spa water that still spurts from its famous fountain overlooking the natural hot spring. Many choose to visit the Pump Room for afternoon tea as the surroundings lend themselves perfectly to this quintessential pastime. The afternoon tea menus have been designed to champion the local producers from Bath and the surrounding area, meaning sandwiches are made with bread from Bakers of Bath, cheese from Pensworth Dairies, and meat from Bath’s family butcher, Bartlett & Sons.
Greenwoods - Edinburgh
Greenwoods boasts a pillarbox red frontage and cosy, rustic interiors. Guests can snuggle up on wooden bench seating that is dotted with scatter cushions, or grab a stool and sit at the countertops by the window which looks out to the street. The menu is an all-day selection of breakfast and lunch dishes, with the restaurant priding itself on sourcing ingredients local to Edinburgh where possible, as well as making much of its menu fresh on site. From classic Dutch appeltaart (apple pie) served with whipped cream and a classic Scottish fry up, to a stack of savoury pancakes topped with bacon, sausage and eggs, there’s loads to get your teeth into. You can also enjoy a traditional cream tea at Greenwoods, while the drinks list ranges from coffee and fresh juices to wines, beers and brunch cocktails.
The Rolling Mill - Birmingham
Situated in Birmingham’s reinvented Jewellery Quarter, The Rolling Mill is a trendy restaurant headed up by the Rull brothers who are passionate about combining ethically sourced ingredients with consistently high quality cooking. Inside you’ll find a wealth of spaces that are set within the confines of the sympathetically restored building. Join the buzz of the crowd in the main hall or plump for one of the semi-private spaces for something a little more exclusive. The menu will please all, and covers internationally inspired small plates, burgers, pizzas and a whole host of hearty mains. On Sundays there’s a run of four roasts with all the trimmings, plus a bar menu open all day during the week for those who prefer to take their time over a couple of grazing bites. Drinks have been carefully considered, with a far-reaching wine list that covers red, white, rose and fizz as well as a selection of interesting non-alcoholic options.
Cosy Dove - Newcastle
Only a 15 minute stroll of Newcastle’s city centre, The Cosy Dove is a community pub which has a village feel - everyone is welcome here and locally sourced ingredients underpin the food menu. As the name suggests, you can certainly expect to feel cosy as soon as you walk in the door here, thanks to the pub’s traditional interiors, which feature studded leather banquettes, exposed brick walls, shelves lined with classic books and a fireplace in the corner. The menu here consists of classic pub grub alongside some more modern propositions. Naturally, The Cosy Dove is home to all of the usual drinks you would expect to find at a local boozer, while on Saturdays, hungry punters with little time to spare can grab a burger to takeaway.
The Salt Room - Brighton
Located behind a sleek black facade, The Salt Room mixes exposed brick and bare lightbulbs with a menu that majors in locally-sourced seafood and meat roasted over coal. The weekday set menu offers good value if you’re happy with a choice between two dishes for each course, while the Sunday sharing menu is more of a special treat (though kids under seven do eat free, if that sways it). The bar’s a good shout too with plenty of trendy wines, including fine wines by the glass, though it’s also worth noting the cracking BYO deal on Monday evenings (corkage £5). Slick, friendly service and a lovely terrace for ocean-gazing during the summer months add to the overall buzz of this popular Brighton restaurant.
The small print
*Your side of Virgin Points are only awarded at participating restaurants.
You can earn 100 Virgin Points for making and completing your restaurant reservation through the SquareMeal website.
You can earn 100-3000+ Virgin Points each time you spend £20 or more using a linked payment card to pay for your meal, so make sure you check in advance on the SquareMeal website to see if your chosen restaurant has available card linked offers.
You can also earn 25 Virgin Points for leaving a review on the SquareMeal website after your restaurant visit; these will only be awarded for reviews of restaurant visits booked through the SquareMeal website.
The points earned will show on your Virgin Red account within 30 days of your visit.