Walking often requires an early start. Early starts often require coffee. Coffee usually requires money. Here’s a way of reducing how much you pay to wake up and walk.

But first, a legend.

The sun was barely rising over Nottingham Station, on the day of my grandpa’s funeral, and I needed coffee. Urgently. I greeted my mum on the platform and looked for our train to Langley Mill but my salty breakfast from the Jury’s Inn had left my mouth dry as a bone. One too many intriguing sausages consumed, one too many glasses of orange juice passed over. I started to yearn for a hot beverage. Mother began to spin a yarn about a fabled token which, upon presentation to the shopkeep, would render their price list null. The shopkeep would nod and cede the point that train station beverages, nay – all train station sundries – are too expensive. With tears in their eyes they beg forgiveness and offer a new deal, 20% off of the advertised price. I laughed at this idocy, after all why would they willingly provide a backdoor? Did reality really have the culverted stream under the walls of Helm’s Deep? Was the vent in the Death Star a regular part of our economy? The proof would be in the battle.

We donned our armour and approached one such vendor named ‘Pumpkin’. He stood impassive behind the rampart, but as we boldly approached his face twisted into a cruel and greedy apparition. His gnarled claws stroked the till, his blazing eyes examined us from under a protruding sweaty brow, and his ulcered tongue moistened his cracked lips. Mother, undaunted before this horror, pulled the gleaming Granny Smith-green BITE card from her purse like the sword from the stone. A thunderclap rent the sky apart and a beam of golden light fell upon us, the highest choir of angels warbled far above and the shopkeep recoiled before our righteous fury. As foretold, the price tumbled like Jericho as he squirmed to redeem himself before crusaders bearing the bargainous mark of Travelwise. As he writhed to escape the heavenly light he screamed agreement to our counter offer to his pricing structure. With relief he handed over a steaming beverage with a dollop of honest contrition.

As I took my seat on the train to Langley Mill I was rewarded with a much better deal for more coffee than I strictly needed to sate my thirst, but possibly not enough to cope with the funeral of someone I loved very much.

My free BITE card, for 20% off of food and drink in train stations

So yeah, BITE card! Whoop! If you want 20% off of the price of anything then get the BITE card and present it to the till goblins in:

  • Pumpkin
  • Delice de France
  • Camden Food Co.
  • Caffe Ritazza
  • Burger King
  • Millie’s Cookies
  • Nam-po!
  • Upper Crust
  • The Pastry Shop

AND

  • Loads of train station pubs such as the Iron Duke at London Victoria, Bonapartes at Bristol Temple Meads, Coopers at York, The Merchant at London Liverpool Street

Apply for the BITE card here¬†and have a look at the FAQs for everything you need to know. My card took about a week to arrive by post and I have used it several times already, including some extremely naughty post-pub Burger King visits after work. It’s really handy for those early morning walks where I have to pass through hub stations.

You’re welcome.

Oh, and the Pumpkin person was actually quite nice and friendly, but that’s not a fun story. Please don’t fire them, Pumpkin bosses…