I was recently contacted by John Lewis and asked if I would like to try one of their Christmas hampers. A few days I received via courier a Vintage Holly hamper. The hamper was well packaged in an outer box and the items were well secured in the box pictured above with lots of polystyrene balls which went all over my living room as I opened the box the wrong way. (Muppet LOL!!) The hamper contained the following items:
- Brookford Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, 75cl
- Brookford Chardonnay Semillon, 75cl
- Edinburgh Preserves Shortbread with Cinnamon & Demerara, 160g
- Maxwell & Franks Christmas Pudding with Cider, 454g
- Chocca Mocca 100% Real Belgian Milk Drinking Chocolate,150g
- Buiteman Cheese & Sesame Crumbles, 75g
- Cartwright & Butler Cheese Biscuits, 75g
- The Dormen Caramelised Almonds, 95g
- Lily O’Briens Sticky Toffee Chocolates, 110g
- The Original Cake Company 4″ Round Top Iced with Gingerbread Star
- Rural Foodies Vanilla Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Discs, 90g
- Cottage Delight Mini Mince Pies with Almond Topping
I was very impressed with the selection in the hamper and most of the brand names in the hamper were well known to me beforehand. I am looking forward to trying the Christmas pudding on the big day itself and my friends and I loved the mini mince pies on our coffee morning. The Christmas cake is very sweet and is the perfect size for a treat for a couple of people. The toffee chocolates, cheese biscuits and shortbread will give you plenty to nibble on over the festive period. I think this hamper would make a lovely gift for a foodie couple or one lucky person if you do not really know what to buy for them this Christmas.
Disclosure: I received a John Lewis hamper for review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
A short while ago, I was sent a Christmas hamper from hampergifts.co.uk. As I am pregnant I decided to try a non-alcoholic hamper called The Noël. We were very impressed by the speed of delivery (via courier) and how well packaged and presented the hamper was. Everything is held in place with cellophane and there is a large bow on top suggesting that there are lots of treats inside.
The hamper contained:
- Olives Et Al Chilli & Garlic Olives 150g
- Dark Chocolate Coated Marzipan Loaf 100g
- Cottage Delight Spicy Mango and Ginger Chutney 340g
- Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Co. Fresh Ground Breakfast Coffee 56g
- Large Christmas Fruit Cake 500g
- Milk Chocolate Coated Almonds 150g
- Alice McPherson's Petticoat Tails Shortbread 150g
- Olive and Sesame Savoury Breadsticks 100g
- Triple Chocolate Gourmet Cookies 100g
- The Wooden Spoon Cranberry and Orange Sauce 113g
- Walkers of London Milk Chocolate Fruit & Nut 240g
- Buchanan's Chocolate Russian Caramels 100g
- English Breakfast Tea x 10
Overall, we were very impressed with the hamper. There are lots of well known quality brands inside and the contents was very varied so there is something that everyone will like in it. The free teddy bear that came with the hamper is a nice touch especially for a younger member of the family. I have not sampled every product that came in the hamper yet but I can confirm the triple chocolate cookies, shortbread and Russian Caramels are divine! This would make an ideal present for a family who likes foodie things but who you are unsure what to get them.
Disclosure: I received a hamper to review. All views are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
I was recently asked by Lindt to try the Heavenly Hazelnut milk chocolate egg from their Easter Range. Initial impressions of the egg were good. It was packaged in a bright spring yellow box and the egg looked a generous size. We were not disappointed when we tried the egg either. The egg has one layer of chocolate on the bottom, then it is topped by hazelnuts and more chocolate has then been poured on top. It's a triple layer delight!
The chocolate is rich and creamy and highly addictive. The nuts provide an interesting texture and taste change. Nuts are not really my thing in massive quantities but I can enjoy them in this egg. One slightly disappointing aspect of the egg is the price. I did not know the price of the egg (£19.99) when I recieved it and when I tasted it. Although the egg is good, I do not think it is worth that much. However if you do like milk chocolate and hazelnuts and want a treat this Easter, then this is the egg for you!!
Disclosure: Lindt sent me this egg to review. All opinions on my own. I did not have to write a positive review.
I was recently asked to try a Baker Day's letterbox cake. I have never been known to turn down an offering of cake and I was intrigued, could they really send me a perfect cake through my letterbox?
With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I decided to order a cake for Stuart and let it be a surprise. When it arrived, my initial impressions were very good. The cake was packaged in a box and sealed in a tin within the box so could pretty much take whatever the Royal Mail could throw at it. The cake even came with instructions for how to remove it from the tin.
Once I got the cake out of it's packaging and onto a plate, I was sadly disappointed. The cake was very small (the picture on the top of this post is the cake on a side plate.) I was not expecting a massive cake to come through my letterbox but thought the cake might be slightly bigger. The decoration on the cake was excellent. However, the sponge was average and very dense in texture for my taste.
Overall, I like the idea of a letterbox cake but think the idea needs some refining. I am sure that many people will enjoy the novelty of having a cake posted to them but think the actual cake, especially for the price you pay (£14.99) needs improving.
Disclosure: I recieved a Letterbox cake to review. All opinions are my own.
Stuart and I are both cider drinkers so when I was to try new Press 81 cider from Aston Manor cider makers in Malvern, Worcester I jumped at the chance. My first impression was of how modern and interesting the bottles were. It is the first cider to ever be sold in an aluminium bottle and has cold activation technology in it which tells the drinker when is the perfect time to drink it. As cider is considered a traditional drink, I think the bottle design will go a long way into making it trendy and appealing to a younger generation of drinkers.
We tried both the apple and pear varieties and were very impressed with the flavour of both. The flavour was crisp and sharp. Stuart and I both agreed we could enjoy a few of these on a warm summer's day in a pub beer garden. I shall be seeking them out when I go out in the future and I recommend that you do too!
Disclosure: I was sent 4 bottles of Press 81 cider for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
With Christmas very nearly upon us, I was very happy when I was contacted and asked if I would like to try Rudolph Potatoes. They are great for roasting, baking and mashing, making them the ideal potato to accompany your Christmas dinner. The potatoes have red smooth skins with a creamy white inside.
As I have limited time at the moment, I have not had chance to test out the Rudolph potatoes roasting potential however as the advice I was given was to keep them in their skins, I decided to make potato wedges for an easy after work supper one night this week. I could not decide what to serve them with so ended up with a bowlful of them on their own with lots of garlic mayonnaise. The recipe below is loosely based on the recipe on the website but feel free to make up your own based on what is in your kitchen.
Spicy Potato Wedges
Ingredients (serves 2 people as a side or 1 hungry person on their own)
- 2 large or 3 small ruldolph potatoes (washed and skins left on) cut in half then into 4 wedges each half
- 1tsp hot chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1tsp paprika
- 1 tsp rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Couple of tablespoons olive oil
- Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly until everything is evenly spread all over the potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees (200 degrees fan oven)
- Put the potatoes, herbs, spices and oil onto a baking sheet in one even layer and place into the oven.
- Cook for 30 – 40 minutes until golden and crispy, turning at least a couple of times during cooking
- Once cooked, remove onto kitchen paper and allow to drain for 30 seconds. Add more salt and pepper if required and serve. Enjoy!!!
Overall, I was very impressed with Rudolph potatoes. They crisped up to perfection and they were some of the best potato wedges I have ever made. I will certainly be buying them when I next go to the supermarket!!
Disclosure: I recieved some Rudolph potatoes, a roasting tray and some oven gloves for the purpose of this review
I was recently sent a Joseph Joseph Bowl Set from Find Me A Gift. It is a really useful set that would look great in any kitchen and as everything fits together in the largest bowl, it is perfect for the smallest kitchen too! The set contains:
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium mixing bowl with pouring spout
- Measuring spoons
The set is really well made and is excellent quality. I loved the colours in the set. It really brightened up my kitchen.
This Joseph Joseph Bowl set is currently retailing at £25.99 at Find Me A Gift and is according to the website available for next day delivery meaning it will be here in plenty of time for Christmas
Many thanks to Jo for sending me the set to review. It is greatly appreciated