October 2, 2016

Beautiful Bedrooms with Sheridan

One of the things I love most about staying in hotels is the luxurious bedding – from the soft pillows and cosy duvets through to the crisp sheets and beautiful duvet covers. So, why not try to create this hotel luxury at home? Thanks to Sheridan, the producers of the most luxurious linens on the planet, hotel luxury is within reach.

I was sent the Beadmore duvet and pillow set to review and it’s been our favourite duvet cover since. Not only does it look great in our bedroom, but it also feels amazing. You can really tell the difference and my new goal is to have enough Sheridan for every sheet/duvet change for every room in the house. It may cost more initially than a John Lewis own brand duvet set, but in the long run, you know it will work out to be a bargain, as the quality is far superior.

Shot of the Beadmore duvet on my bed

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The official shot

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Take a look at Sheridan for their range of duvets and to purchase.

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November 30, 2015

Cookbooks for Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, here’s my rundown of my top cookery, food and drink books for gifting this year.

1. Oh Come All Ye Tasteful (£6.99)

Oh Come All Ye Faithful A great stocking filler, this little book is a great gift for any foodie. This book will help you create a Christmas dinner that is so wildly impressive that even the most curmudgeonly great aunt or begrudging mother-in-law will swoon. Why let the millionaires be restricted to shortbread? From a morning Myrrhtini, to an after dinner 1918 vintage Armagnac this will be a feast that no one will forget. Grab your apron, put on your chef’s hat and let the games commence!

 2. Nerdy Nummies Cookbook (£11.89)

 

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For the foodie who is also a geek, give them the Nerdy Nummies Cookbook. Learn how to bake a Motherboard birthday cake, an Apple Pi Pie and even a Periodic Table of Cupcakes. The book follows Rosanna’s popular YouTube program. Easy to follow and with shot by shot instructions, it makes cooking easier than ever.

3. Mexico From The Inside Out (£23.37)

Mexico From The Inside Out Enrique Olvera is the most famous and celebrated Mexican chef working today. Olvera’s restaurant Pujol was ranked #1 in Mexico and #20 in the world at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. This is his first book and the first ever high-end chef cookbook in English on Mexican cuisine. It captures and presents a new contemporary Mexican style of food, rooted in tradition but forward thinking in its modern approach. Olvera has pioneered and defined this new way of cooking and belongs to a global group of gourmet influencers that includes Noma’s Rene Redzepi, Dom’s Alex Attala, Osteria Francescana’s Massimo Bottura and elBulli’s legendary Ferran Adria. Olvera rethinks how to use traditional, authentic local ingredients using unusual flavor combinations to create a reinvented way of cooking and eating. Mexico from the Inside out includes both sophisticated and more accessible recipes to explain Enrique’s philosophy, vision, and process. He is fueled by a constant exploration of Mexico’s ingredients and culinary history, and inspired by his early family memories about food. This book goes beyond stereotypes to reveal new possibilities of Mexican cuisine, which is now an essential part of the international conversation about gastronomy

4. Difford’s Guide: 365 Days Of Cocktails (£11.99)

DSC00764Difford’s has trawled the globe and pulled together a compendium of quirky happenings, anniversaries, birthdays and traditional events and, using their vast knowledge of the cocktail world, paired each one with an appropriate cocktail. Celebrate everything from Mandela’s inauguration to aliens’ alleged arrival from outer space. Contents include: * Leninade on January 27, the day the siege of Leningrad was broken * Honey Bee Mine on February 14, Valentine’s Day * Shamrock on March 17, St Patrick’s Day * The Money Penny on April 13, James Bond’s birthday * Darth Jäger on May 4, Star Wars Day * Dry Ice Martini on June 18, the Icelandic Independence Day * La Bicyclette on July 1, the day the first Tour de France started * Old Flame on August 24, the day Vesuvius erupted * Vacation Cocktail on September 27, World Tourism Day * Bitches’ Brew on October 31, Hallowe’en * Berlin Sour on November 9, the day the Berlin Wall came down * Rosarita Margarita on December 1, the day Rosa Parks got on a bus

5. Visual Guide to Drink (£19.99)

Visual Guide to Drink In a triumphant return to book publishing, Pop Chart Lab presents A Visual Guide To Drink covering the most important topics in graphical form: beer, wine and spirits. Infographically representing everything from the very many varieties of beer and the vessels to drink them out of, to the cocktails of choice of film and literature’s copious consumers, this book maps, graphs and charts the history, geography and culture of the world’s favourite pastime.

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May 6, 2015

Win every day in May: #6: Candy Kittens NOW CLOSED

Who doesn’t love a good sweetie? No matter how old we get, there’s always room for something a little sweet or as Candy Kittens says ‘We don’t stop eating sweets when we get old, we get old because we stop eating sweets’. So today I’ve got two packs of delicious Candy Kittens sweets to give away to one lucky reader.

Eton Mess

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They say not to mess with a good thing, but we couldn’t resist a modern twist on an old favourite!

 

Apple & Elderflower

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Presenting a quintessentially British flavour for the discerning sweet lover. Peaceful in theory, but punchy in taste.

 Made using the finest ingredients and absolutely no bad stuff, this gourmet gummy candy is gluten free and made from natural flavours, colours and real fruit juices.

Simply follow the rafflecopter instructions below to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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December 20, 2014

Rodells – A review

What do you get if you add a whole pile of passion, a heap of seasonal ingredients and a huge amount of creativity? Simply…the menu at Rodells.

A restaurant in the heart of Watford that is breathing fresh air into the culinary scene of the town.

We headed down on a Saturday night to review the menu, not quite sure what to expect, but with a certain amount of anticipation, as it has already received such fantastic reviews.

The menu has been created to showcase new ideas, ingredients and dishes daily, meaning no visit will ever be the same. Here’s the menu from our visit – but who knows what will be on the menu when you go…the one thing that’s guaranteed is that it will be good! Inspiration is taken from across the globe and then moulded into a Rodells original before being presented on the menu.

 

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We chose a few different dishes off the menu and shared them. This would really be a great place to bring a big group of friends, so you can taste everything!

 

Mac n Cheese Sushi Style

Amazingly decadent slices of mac and cheese served just like sushi

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Cuban Piccadillo

A gently spicy stew with black beans and rice

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Pulled Pork Baos

Amazingly melt in the mouth pulled pork in light and fluffy sweet buns

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Gambas al Pil Pil

Spicy prawns – and boy do you get a good portion size. Plenty of delicious juicy prawns

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Patatas Brava

Not your ordinary Patatas Brava, these were so spicy they would blow your socks off – just how we like it! Cut into smaller pieces than normal, each bite had more flavour than with the traditional dish

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And finally, just because we had to…we shared one of the delicious desserts off the menu (all of which sounded amazing)

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Warm cookies and ice cream

Deliciously decadent chocolate chip cookie covered in vanilla ice cream, raspberry coulis and frozen raspberries. A great, very sweet end to the meal

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 A fantastic meal enjoyed in a warm and welcoming atmosphere made for a fantastic night. We’ll definitely be back.

Thanks Rodells for inviting us down to review the menu.

Visit www.itsrodells.com to find out more.

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March 3, 2014

What I’m loving this month…

February flew by, as it has a tendency to do…We are finally beginning to see some sunshine and summer is just around the corner, so my focus the last couple of weeks has been healthy eating.

I’ve always wanted to try a slow cooker, but never quite got around to trying one, which is why I was thrilled to be sent a lovely CROCKPOT to try out. It’s amazingly simple and I can’t get enough of it. So easy to make delicious and healthy meals without any real effort. So far I’ve made the best Boeuf Bourginon ever (even if I do say so myself), a lamb tagine using a Waitrose Tagine Spice mix (highly recommend this one) and a couple of chicken and tomato style casseroles, packed with vegetables and goodness. The beauty of slow cooking is that you can also use cheap cuts of meat, which become amazingly tender and delicious after 8 hours in the crockpot.

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You can buy a crockpot pretty much everywhere, but if you want to find a specific retailer, visit :http://www.crockpot.co.uk/

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Another little healthy addition to your diet can be made by a simple swap – your cooking oil. I was sent some lovely GOOD OIL to try. A British Hemp Oil, which can be used in place of Olive Oil, on salads and in your cooking.

This oil has a deliciously nutty type taste which is fantastic in a dressing and was delicious when used in place of Olive Oil in a stir fry and packed with Omega 3, you know it’s doing you some good. It’s produced in a natural way, meaning no bleaching, chemicals or messing around with – you only get pure, delicious oil.

The hemp is grown on a farm in Devon and the company creates a variety of hemp based products for consumption, not just the oil. It’s worth checking out here: www.goodwebsite.co.uk

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Everyone needs a bit of a pick me up and treat every now and then, and if you struggle to get hold of delicious gluten free treats, why not give PERK!ER a go. An absolutely delicious range of gluten free snacks, porridges and bars, which should satisfy any craving. The range includes porridge pots in Apple, Cinnamon and Raisin, Golden Syrup, and fruity berry, as well as full sized packs of Porridge including an amazing sounding Gingerbread & Raisin Porridge. There’s also a large range of treats from Tiffin to Rocky Road, to cater for everyone.

The company is run by a lovely lady, Ann Perkins and her partner and was launched in 2012, when she was looking for Gluten Free options for herself. It certainly seems to have gone from strength to strength since then, as it’s now stocked in almost all the supermarkets.

Not only are all the products wheat and gluten free, they are also made without any hydrogenated fats and no artificial colours or flavourings.

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Visit http://www.perkier.co.uk/ to find out more and to see where stocked (hint – pretty much any supermarket!)

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And finally, another little healthy nibble I’ve been tucking into…New Crackerbreads from RYVITA. I’ve always loved Ryvitas and in recent years they’ve introduced a whole new variety of wonderful flavours…and now, they’ve moved into the lighter crispbreads variety. I was sent the cheese and the pepper ones to try. I love them. Only 19 calories each, they are really packed full of flavour. So much so, that they taste great straight from the pack.

Definitely worth adding to your shopping basket if you are looking for a healthy snack or lunchbox filler.

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Visit www.ryvita.co.uk for further information on the range and for recipe inspiration.

Thanks to Crockpot, Perk!er, Good Oil and Ryvita for the samples.

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