Sunday, 22 February 2015

Puka Womankind Tea

Puka Womankind Tea was tested out by women members of the That's Food and Drink taste test team.

It is described as: "A delicate dance of organic cranberry, rose and sweet vanilla."

Well. that's the description on the packet that the tea bag came in. But what is the reality? What did the ladies from the That's Food and drink taste test team think of it? How does that description match with the reality of the situation?

This was what they reported. One who was admittedly not the world's greatest fan of fruit teas was not keen on it.

But other team members were able to report that they had enjoyed it very much.

It was very pleasing to the senses of both scent and taste, they could definitely identify the various flavours, some more so than others. Rose and orange being predominant, they reported.

Bring a Puka tea it's a given that the ingredients are ethically sourced and that all of the ingredients are organic in origin and certified in the UK by the Soil Association.

The ingredients are chamomile flower, shatavari root, licorice root, hibiscus flower, marigold flower, beetroot, orange peel, orange essential oil flavour, vanilla pod (4%) rose flower (4%) and, finally, cranberry 4%.

Lalani & Co., Teas of excellence

My wife and I were recently introduced to the high quality teas of Lalani & Co of London.

My wife is something of an aficionado of high quality teas, but even she has had to admit that the quality of the teas that are purveyed by Lalani & Co are the best teas that she has ever drunk.

"It's clear that they love teas, themselves," she pointed out. "They have got everything exactly correct. These teas would be viewed as perfectly acceptable for the tea drinkers of the country of origin, which isn't always the case."

She has raved for days about their Okumidori Sencha Green Tea. "It's one of the best green teas I have ever tasted. It's perfection in a cup!"

She was particularly pleased that the tea is accompanied by such important details as to the region of Japan where it was sourced, which season and also the exact tea garden where it was grown, and if it is organic or not. In this case the tea in question was organic and the garden was the Wazuka Garden.

However, she reserves her special praise for their Matcha Gold tea, which is finely milled as only a proper Matcha tea should be.

She said: "Matcha Gold. I have had Matcha tes in the past and, to be fair, thoroughly enjoyed them.

But that was before I tried Lalani & Co. Matcha Gold. This is truly the Matcha experience to beat all Matcha experiences

"Apparently they pick it in Kyoto from only real, family owned farms, it's shaded from the sun for 21 days, then they mill it using the ancient method involving granite stones.

"It takes time to prepare it properly, which is the only way, as this tea deserves to be prepared and drunk with real respect."

It is sold in 30 gramme jars at a cost of £29.00.


Friday, 20 February 2015

Hardy's has a wine for that! Stamp of Australia Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir

Stamp of Australia Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir is a wine that is in a class all of its own.

It is a bright and as sparking as the best Champagnes,true, but Stamp of Australia Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir is so much more than a fizzy white wine.

It is an eminently drinkable wine. Although it is a white wine, the flavour is an intensely rich and fruity flavour, but with a buttery undertone and a finish that is redolent of meadow flower honey.

It is from South Eastern Australia and is obviously that the Thomas Hardy and Sons company are well and truly at the top of their game, which appears to be to give French wine makers a damn good run for their money!

It's 12% vol and is an ideal accompaniment with food or if you have something that you want to celebrate, then Stamp of Australia Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir is the wine you'll want to try.

Once you do try it, you will be hooked, for sure!

Patchwork Pate so good that your taste buds will sing!

My wife and I have tried some Pates made by the Patchwork Pate Company, recently.

The flavours we tried were Free Range Chicken Liver Pate with Chase Extra Dry Gin, Free Range Chicken Liver Pate with Chase Smoked Vodka and Free Range Pheasant Liver Pate with Chase Sloe Mulberry Gin.

My wife is an expert on making pates, herself. Her late mother was a cordon bleu chef who ran her own catering business. One of the products she made was pates and my wife helped her to make them.

When my wife was tasting the Patchwork Pates she said: "This is really, really good. Excellent, in fact!

"It's interesting," she continued to say: "But unlike lots of firms that make pates, Patchwork haven't just produced a base pate and then changed it a little bit by adding flavourings. Patchwork make each one of their pates from scratch and you can tell this from the really good depth of flavour. I have to say that these are so good I will have to give them 11 out of 10. They are really that good!"

The flavours of each pate are a delicious sum of their individual parts. Yet each one is well balanced. My favourite was the Chicken Liver Pate with Chase Smoked Vodka, because there is an authentic and divine undertone of smokiness that really lifts the pate to unheard of heights.

My wife, who is an ardent aficionado of gin especially liked the Extra Dry Gin Chicken Liver Pate. The only potential problem is that we will now have to locate a supplier of Chase Extra Dry Gin in our area!

We both adored the Pheasant Liver Pate with the Sloe Mulberry Gin, a perfect combination.

The Free Range Duck Liver Pate with Orange Marmalade Vodka was a true revelation!

We ate the pates with Patchwork Pate Organic Spelt Oat Fingers with seaweed and also Patchwork Pate Organic Spelt Oat Fingers with Black Pepper and a simple salad that my wife put together.

The oat fingers are delicious in their own right and worked very well with the pates and the salad, plus the Patchwork's Apple Chutney with Hobgoblin Ale (another weakness of both my wife and I!) and a pinch of ginger. The pleasantly warming bite of ginger told us that it was a fairly generous pinch of ginger, but it worked so well that it was obvious the pinch was added with skill and love.

Each jar of pate costs a remarkably reasonable £3.95, and a Delight Hamper Chase which is a "Handy wooden crate with a selection of Chase jarred pâté, two of our Chutneys with Ale, and one pack of our Spelt Oat Fingers" costs a superb £20.30p.

Visit their online shop at and amuse yourself by turning the lights on and the off again!

There's so much more, too! Vegetarian options, hummus,  ice cream fro grown-ups, too, to name only a few items from the range of one of the best exports from God's Country (Wales, for any Saesneg out there!) that is known to man.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Lake District Dairy's Quark. All the taste, none of the guilt!

It's smooth, it's creamy and it tastes absolutely delicious, but it is really and truly fat free and low in both sugar and salt!

It comes in three flavours, Original, Lemon and Vanilla and is great for cooking, mixing and baking. (It's also good for just eating with a spoon, so long as nobody is looking!)

It makes a healthy and delicious replacement for cream cheese, creme fraiche, mascarpone, ricotta, Greek yoghurt, fromage frais, double cream and even soured cream.

This evening we spread it on freshly baked bread rolls hot from the oven and on fruited scones.

As we are -for a variety of rather tedious reasons- a day late with our Shrove Tuesday celebrations, we intend to serve Quark on our pancakes, tomorrow.

When you use Quark your usual naughty but nice desert suddenly becomes substantially less naughty.

For example should you replace cream cheese in your cheesecake with Lakeland Dairy Quark, the fat and calorie contents takes a bit of a nosedive, yet the flavour is every bit as scrummy!

It's reported that a strawberry cheesecake using Quark rather than cream cheese will have 292 calories per 339 gramme serving, as against 180 calories more for4 the cream cheese version.

So using Quark has got to make sense, hasn't it?

Tomorrow evening we intend to make some pancakes to a delicious recipe passed down through generations of my wife's Indian family and rather than using dollops of cream on them, we will, instead, use dollops of Quark.

Where can you get Lake District Dairy Quark? Most major supermarkets including morrisons should have it in their chiller cabinets.

Independent Nutritionist Fiona Hunter said: "Using Quark in everyday cooking or baking is a simple way to help make family meals more nutritious and healthier without having to sacrifice on flavour."

For recipes and further details please visit

By the way, a 250 gramme pot costs a remarkably reasonable £1.25.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Golden Syrup Days are here again on Shrove Tuesday

Usually we would have pancakes at home served with freshly squeezed orange juice and some sugar.

But for a special treat we would sometimes be allowed to use Lyle's Golden Syrup on our pancakes. 

But now such decadent luxury is available to all, especially with the cunning advent of the Lyle's Golden Syrup squeezy bottles of Lyle's Golden Syrup special pancake syrup!

Now, my wife and I thought long and hard about this fantastic innovation, available in golden syrup flavour and also in new maple syrup flavour. 

Should we keep this news to ourselves? Or should we spread the magic and tell you, our readers, about this fantastic duo of top tasting sauces?

We have decided on the latter, more honourable, course of action.

They are both equally delicious, though if you hanker after the taste of maple syrup, I know which one I would prefer. 

So, make the pancakes, perhaps even put lemon juice or orange juice onto your pancake and instead of reaching for a spoon filled with sugar, why not reach for the Lyle's Golden Syrup bottle and squeeze it a little or perhaps a lottle?

PLJ can help you get perfect pancakes

With Shrove Tuesday (17th February) here, our thoughts turn to creating that perfect pancake to help celebrate Pancake Day the traditional way.

So to help you make this year’s batch the tastiest yet, classic British drinks brand PLj Lemon Juice has created a few tips to help you make this year’s event the tastiest yet:

PLj’s Perfect Pancake Tips:

Cast it with iron - Using a shallow cast iron frying pan is traditionally the best method for achieving a perfectly round, flat pancake.  While they are heavier than modern non-stick pans – you’ll need to use two hands to toss – cast iron pans distribute heat more evenly to create a better pancake.

Whisk, whisk and whisk the pancake mixture – doing so will add air to the batter, creating a lighter and fluffier consistency.

Butter up - Always use butter rather than oil in the pan, as it gives a better, creamier flavour.

Keep it hot – heat your chosen pan for two to three minutes before adding the butter to the pan.  Once the butter has melted, you can then add your batter mix.

Thin and crispy - For a thin, crepe-style pancake, pop two tablespoons of batter mix into the pan and swirl with a spatula to spread evenly around the pan.

Time out - Cook for about 30 seconds on each side of the pancake.  Flip at least once, but twice or more will give a better result if you are feeling extra enthusiastic and confident!

Enjoy! Drizzle each pancake with PLj Lemon Juice (an easy and convenient alternative to squeezing lemons) and dust with sugar for a traditional favourite.

Ingredients for the perfect pancake (makes 6-8 pancakes in an 18cm pan)

110g sifted flour

1 egg

100ml milk and 50ml water

50g butter, for frying

To serve: PLj Lemon Juice and a sprinkling of sugar

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Make a well in the centre of the mixture and break the egg into it.  Whisk the egg together with the flour, and while continuing to whisk gradually add the milk and water until you have created a smooth batter.

Add 2tbsp of the batter to your hot pan, evenly spread and cook for 30 seconds on each side.  For a traditional taste, add a splash of PLj Lemon Juice, a sprinkle of sugar and enjoy!

An invigorating support to calorie-controlled diets, PLj is a blend of lemon juice and is rich in vitamin C – a 25ml serving contains at least 75% of the recommended daily intake and just 9 kcals – yet is free from all artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners.

With approximately 20 servings per bottle, PLj is the easy way to enjoy real lemon juice, but without the mess or hassle of chopping and squeezing. PLj is available from Tesco priced £2.49 RRP for 500ml.

A few facts about Pancake Day

·         Pancake Day is known as ‘Shrove Tuesday’ in the UK, and falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, or the first day of Lent

·         The day is known as Pancake Day because pancake recipes were traditionally made to use up stocks of flour, milk and eggs, which were forbidden during the abstinence of Lent

·         The word ‘Shrove’ is derived from the Old English ‘shrive’, meaning to ‘confess all sins’.  On Shrove Tuesday, people would go to church and be ‘shriven’ ahead of the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday

·         In the UK, the term ‘shroving’ was a custom in which children sang or recited poetry in exchange for food or money

·         Meanwhile, ‘Lent Crocking’ was a term used to describe a custom whereby children would knock on doors asking for pancakes – and throw broken crockery at the doors of those who declined their requests!

·         Pancake races are held around the UK on Pancake Day.  One of the most famous takes place in Olney, where according to local folklore, in 1445 a woman of Olney heard the shriving bell while she was making pancakes and rushed to the church, frying pan in hand.  Participants of the now world-famous Olney Pancake Race must be local housewives and wear an apron and hat or scarf when taking part!

·         Pancake Day is celebrated differently around the world. In Brazil, Pancake Day is known as Terca-feira gorda and is the final day of the carnival in Rio De Janeiro while in New Orleans the day is marked by the Mardi Gras carnival

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Will they apologise for their bogus "dangerous" fat advice?

Well, the cat is well and truly out of the bag. That advice they gave us, 30 years ago? You know, when they told us to give up real foods like butter and cheese and directed us to eat "healthy margarines and low fat spreads," instead?

It turns out that advice was not only wrong, but potentially unhealthy, too.

Here's what Xynergy Superfoodist Rick Hay has to say on this hot topic: You may have seen news on a report this week regarding past 'fat guidelines' issued in the 1980s that are now being called into question.

"The report released stated that the dietary advice warning people to avoid eating fatty foods such as butter and cheese "should never have been introduced," (according to new research).

February is National Heart Month so the timing is apt for such news, when it appeared on the online journal 'Open Heart'.

Figures show that 1 person dies every 7 minutes from pulmonary heart disease, thats 200 a day, or 73,000 p.a. (this is down from 178,000 in the 1980s though). "

Xynergy Superfoodist Rick Hay appeared on Sky News recently to discuss just this, saying that we shouldn't make a simplistic analysis, as people have now turned to a higher card diet, resulting in the crisis we see today.

He recommends that we simply eat sensibly, that we do not disregard any food group, (though we should avoid transfat).

He went on to say: "Eating a healthy diet that is as close to nature as possible should really help us on our way, and it is this philosophy that brought about Rick writing the Anti Ageing Food & Fitness Plan. Featuring easy to follow healthy recipes, choosing organic where possible, the right mix of protein, carbs & good fats plus including the right supplements to assist you in your health goals. The plan features such products from Xynergy Health Products."

Nutrient density is the key he says, and always include super foods in your daily diet regime.

So, what do we do? My wife and I no longer eat margarines. Incidentally this coincided with a decrease in eczema for my wife, so there already seems to be a health boost as far as we can determine.

So, will they apologise for their bogus "dangerous" fat advice? Probably not.

You can order your favourite foods from That's Food and Drink

Yes, it's true! That's Food and Drink runs a special food and drink shop where you can buy the best of the world's food and drinks from the comfort of your own home or from your tablet or smartphone wherever you happen to be.

The shop is powered by Amazon and is reachable via the link on the right hand side of That's Food and Drink.

Try some Clark's magic on your pancakes

Why not try some Clark's magic on your pancakes this Shrove Tuesday?

Clarks Original Maple Syrup, is the UK’s top retailing maple syrup.

What's different about it? Well, it is a special lower sugar alternative to traditional syrups.

It can be used in cooking, used in making really delicious smoothies, adding to your morning porridge and dripped and drizzled all over your pancakes.

It is a clever blend of pure maple syrup (No.1 medium) from Quebec, Canada, plus carob fruit syrup from the Mediterranean.

Why? Because carob fruit syrup has a low glycemic index, and this Clarks Original blend product has  an impressive 45% less sugar per 100g than white sugar (RRP £1.98, 180ml).

 It’s available in major supermarkets like Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's.

For those who are not needing to keep a close eye on their glycemic index or blood sugar levels, there is still Clarks No.1 Medium Maple Syrup, which is harvested from the start of the second half of the season, this pure premium blend is considered the ‘King’ of maple syrup.

It's perfect for pouring over pancakes, bacon or cereal. It should cost you £3.40, fror 180ml in Sainsbury's. Also available in 500ml containers.

Luscombe Drinks when taste, quality and your values matter

Everyone wants a good, tasty drink. And if you are the kind of person who cares about things like what you put into your body and the bodies of your family members and the ethics of how they are produced, you will undoubtedly do some research and find drinks (and foods, too!) that are not only pleasing to the palate but also ethically produced, too.

One such producer of drinks that you will want to try for yourselves is Luscombe Drinks of Devon.

I suppose that technically speaking they should be called 'soft' drinks, but that does tend to do them something of an injustice because whilst they may be free from alcohol they are most certainly strong on taste.

It is a family owned and family operated business and they have been producing their most excellent range of drinks since 1975, so that's an unenviable unbroken record of 40 years of providing delicious beverages to people like yourself, people who care about what they consume.

As they themselves say: "Welcome to Luscombe, where we've been making beautiful drinks since 1975. Based on a farm in deepest Devon, all of our drinks are crafted with exceptional care and integrity. Gabriel David, the head of our family-owned business, sources the ingredients direct from growers he trusts. There are no compromises, only the best goes in the bottle."

What drinks are available? There's Pure Devon apple juice, English Apple Juice, Apple and Pear Juice, Apple Juice with Elderflower, Apple Juice with Ginger, Apple and Apricot Juice, Orange Juice, Carrot and Orange Juice.

As well as the juices there's also a range of soft drinks, too: There's Damascene Rose Bubbly, Madagascan Vanilla Soda, Strawberry Crush, Blueberry Crush, Sicilian Lemonade, Lime Crush, St Clements, Raspberry Crush, Cranberry Crush, Elderflower Bubbly, Cool Ginger Beer, Hot Ginger Beer and Passionate Ginger Beer. (The latter is ginger beer with the added little extra twist of passionfruit for a slightly different an even more uplifting flavour.)

And for those who look for a little bit of an extra kick with their drink, there is also a most excellent traditionally made Devon Cider, with no added Sulphur Dioxide, so this cider does make a refreshing change, in more ways than one.

The That's Food and Drink Taste Team had nothing but kind words for the entire range of Luscombe drinks that they sampled.

They liked all the drinks they sampled, but some they liked more than others. "As one taster commented: "All of the drinks are really, really good. So good that's its a bit hard to state a preference. But in my case, the Elderflower Bubbly scores very highly. It's just like our family's traditional recipe!"

Another taste tester favoured the Madagascan Vanilla Soda.

Taste team members also liked the fact that the drinks are organic and come from a producer which is big enough to cope with high demands for their excellent products, yet who are small enough to care.

(EDITOR: My favourites were the Damascan Rose Bubbly, the Strawberry Crush and the Elderflower Bubbly.)

So a toast to Luscombe Drinks! To learn more visit

Put a real Spring in their step this Easter with Lindt chocolates

Why not discover Lindt’s exclusive Easter editions, with your family and friends?

You can bring some Springtime Easter magic home and share the joy with your loved ones with the exclusive Easter range of Lindt luxury chocolates.

There's the iconic Lindt Gold Bunny (they even have a real little bell around their delectably sweet little chocolates necks!) collection and his new friends to deliciously refined eggs and sharing assortments, the Easter range offers a selection crafted by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers with the finest chocolate made with the highest quality ingredients.

Our roundup of Lindt Easter classics and new additions offers gifts for the smallest members of the household and indulgent Easter treats for adults - the perfect accompaniment to magical Easter celebrations.

Nothing marks the start of Easter like the iconic Lindt Gold Bunny. This delightful character has long been a firm seasonal favourite and comes in many varieties and sizes to provide an Easter treat for one or an enchanting gift to share.

Lindt Gold Bunny
From classic milk and creamy white to elegantly dark and delicious hazelnut – there is a Lindt Gold Bunny for everyone!
Lindt Gold Bunny Milk 10g (£0.49), 50g (£1.59) 100g (£2.99), 200g (£4.49), 500g  (£17.99)
Lindt Gold Bunny White 100g (£2.99), 200g (£4.49)
Lindt Gold Bunny Dark 100g (£2.99), 200g (£4.49)
Lindt Gold Bunny Hazelnut 100g (£2.99)

Lindt Gold Bunny Milk Chocolate 1kg
Guaranteed to make a big impression, the 1kg milk chocolate Lindt Gold Bunny (£39.99) is wrapped by hand and beautifully presented in an elegant carrier case making it the perfect statement Easter gift.

Lindt Gold Bunny Storybook (This is a new edition for 2015)
A perfect gift to bring home the magic of Easter - The enchanting Lindt Gold Bunny Storybook (125g, £6.49) brings the Gold Bunny to life in an engaging and interactive story. This new gift also contains a selection of 15 Lindt milk chocolate treats to enjoy with storytime.
The Lindt Gold Bunny Storybook is a Waitrose and Ocado exclusive.

Lindt Gold Bunny Soft Toy
This adorable Lindt Gold Bunny gift (30g, £13.49) means the family can enjoy the magic of the Lindt Gold Bunny all year round and is accompanied by three mini milk chocolate Lindt Gold Bunny miniatures.

Lindt Giant Carrot
It wouldn’t be Easter without the Lindt Gold Bunny and what Bunny wouldn’t be complete without a carrot! The Lindt Giant Carrot (140g, £5.99) is packed with mini versions of the milk chocolate Lindt Gold Bunny, double milk chocolate Carrots, Lindor Eggs and Hollow Eggs. Treat your family and friends to this gift with a difference!

Lindt Chicks and Little Lambs
New playful characters are perfect as an Easter treat for little hands

Also new for 2015
Joining Lindt’s family of delightful Easter characters are the super-cute double milk chocolate Chick figures (100g, £3.69), carton of six milk chocolate Chick eggs that little ones can easily be split in two (168g, £4.99) and five Little Lambs (50g, £2.59) - perfect to hide around the garden as part of your Easter egg hunt, or for your little ones to share with their friends.

Egg-stra special eggs
Lindt chocolate skilfully crafted into special edition Easter eggs for a festive take on the favourites

Lindor Luxury Easter Egg
Hand crafted with love, this milk chocolate Easter egg  (322g, £10.99) is tied up with a beautiful red bow and accompanied by delicious Lindor mini eggs with their famous smooth melting centres.

Also new are...
The Lindor Mini Easter Egg
An adorable gift for family and friends; this mini version of Lindt’s much loved Lindor Luxury Easter Egg is accompanied by Lindor smooth melting centre eggs. (55g, £2.99)

Lindor Strawberries & Cream Easter Egg
This delicious Lindor truffle flavour now comes in this special Easter egg edition. A creamy white chocolate egg is complemented by irresistible strawberry and cream truffles - a silky smooth filling with a white chocolate casing and real strawberry pieces.  (285g, £8.99).

(EDITOR: The That's Food and Drink Taste Test Team couldn't get enough of these strawberry and cream truffles. In fact they very kindly saved me two! "And you are really lucky to have those!" said my wife, eying them up! I gave my wife a 'look' and said: "I thought you are allergic to chocolate?" To which she grinned and said: "Once I tried a nibble of one, I was hooked! Besides which, this is why they invented antihistamines!")

Lindor Spring Easter Egg
For the Lindor fan who just can’t begin to choose their favourite flavour - this irresistibly smooth milk chocolate Easter egg is accompanied by an assortment of deliciously indulgent Lindor chocolate truffles (285g, £8.99).

Lindor Luxury Mini Eggs
You’ll be spoiled for choice with a mix of favourite Lindor flavours including: Milk, Stracciatella, Coconut and Strawberries & Cream (115g, £3.99).  Perfect for sharing a moment of Easter bliss with your loved ones.

For those who appreciate the darker side of chocolate, the Lindt EXCELLENCE egg (220g, £10.99) makes an elegant gift. The deliciously refined egg is complemented by luxurious dark chocolate mini eggs for a sublime Easter experience.

Lindt EXCELLENCE Mini Eggs
The Lindt Excellence Mini Eggs canister (90g, £3.99) contains 18 luxuriously smooth, deliciously intense dark chocolate mini eggs - the perfect Easter treat for the dark chocolate lover in your life.

Master Chocolatier Collection Easter Egg
This decadent Easter egg (350g, £19.99) is a real Easter favourite that perfects the balance of fine chocolate and hazelnuts that Lindt fans love. Smooth Lindt milk chocolate is rolled in roasted Piedmont hazelnuts and generously coated with a final chocolate layer. It’s not to be missed!

A celebration of the season with limited edition packaging encases a selection of Lindt treats that make for the perfect gift.

NEW FOR 2015
The new Taste of Spring Boutique Collection is a beautiful selection of delicious gifts; the perfect treat for your family, friends and colleagues.
Choose from the Taste of Spring Boutique Gift Box - a mix of twist wrap eggs and flavours (200g, £6.99); the Taste of Spring Boutique Praline Box - a mix of Spring bunny, eggs and flower shapes (120g, £5.99), a Taste of Spring Boutique Mini Eggs (150g, £4.99) or the Taste of Spring Boutique Flame Egg (57g, £3.99).
The collection is exclusive to Selfridges, Harrods and other premium outlets.


LINDOR Easter Egg Milk – 215g, £6.99
LINDOR Easter Egg Assorted – 215g, £6.99
LINDOR Easter Egg Milk – 285g, £8.99
HELLO Cookies and Cream Easter Egg – 314g, £10.99
EXCELLENCE Dark Flavours Easter Egg – 265g, £10.99

GOLD BUNNY and Carrots – 140g, £5.99
GOLD BUNNY Family Hutch - £5.99
GOLD BUNNY Paw – 20g, £0.69
GOLD BUNNY Canister – 100g, £3.99
GOLD BUNNY Milk 5 Pack – 50g, £2.59
GOLD BUNNY White 5 pack – 50g, £2.59
GOLD BUNNY and Plush Ears – 50g, £5.99
GOLD BUNNY Easter Egg – 125g, £5.99
GOLD BUNNY Luxury Easter Egg – 260g, £10.99
GOLD BUNNY and Friends Sharing Pack – 182g, £5.99

LINDT Carrot Double Milk – 13.5g, £0.69
LINDOR Milk Egg – 28g, £0.69
LINDT Solid Mini Eggs Canister – 200g, £3.99
LINDOR Mini Eggs Bag – 100g, £1.99
LINDOR Assorted Mini Eggs Bag – 100g, £1.99
LINDT Easter Fun Bugs & Bees – 50g, £2.59

(EDITOR: If you care about someone, perhaps if you know someone who is going through a difficult time, why not 'Lindt them a helping hand' with some of the best chocolates in the world?

Because of how good they taste, Lindt chocolates probably will not last too long, as they'll be eaten, joyfully, within minutes, but the memory of good Lindt chocolate products will last them a lifetime.)

Friday, 6 February 2015

Make Pancake Day Speculaas Day, from now on!

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day as it is also known should, in my opinion, now be known as Speculaas Day, in honour of the spices produced by the Speculaas Spice Company, launched several years ago in London by Dutch-born Steven Dotsch.

The speculaas spice mix really boosts pancakes to an entirely new level.

Holland has had a long and interesting association with the spice trade dating back at least to the 15th century and, in all likelihood, well before that.

This fine tradition of excellent spices is carried on by the Speculaas Spice Company who still produce their family's traditional and highly secret speculaas spice mix.

Even as late as the 1970s most bakers in Holland had their own special family speculaas spice recipe. Sadly most of these died out with the advent of mass-production.

But Steven Dotsch wanted to revive the tradition. Fortunately he had his grandmother's own recipe and used that as the basis for his business, the Speculaas Spice Company.

This morning we made some pancakes with this special spice mix and the evocative flavours of another age flooded our senses with memories of trips to Holland back in the 1970s and the sites and sounds of Holland.

The spice mix is Vandotsch Speculaas and it is a careful and special blend of Sri Lankan cinnamon, cloves, ginger and six other (secret!) spices that provides a little bit of a lift and a kick to the tastebuds!

You can learn more about these most excellent spice mixes by visiting which contains the detailed story of why Steven started his company, some delicious recipes and how to buy the spices!

I would like to thank my wife Anni for her help in preparing the batter mix and in photographing the pancakes before they completely disappeared!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Romance will bloom with Bloom Gin

My wife and I recently enjoyed some of the finest gin that we have ever tasted.

I have to confess, I am not know for my affinity to gin. Real ale or a nice single malt, but gin? Not so much.

Until, that is, I was introduced to Bloom Gin.

Why is this the case? Why is Bloom Gin so vastly different to other gins?

Some gins remind me of aftershave, the taste is harsh and unpleasing to the palate.

This is, however, certainly not the case with Bloom Gin.

Bloom Gin has an essentially floral flavour to it, with a subtle intermingling of herbs deep in the background.

My wife' chief love is for Plymouth Gin. "Bloom Gin is even better than Plymouth Gin!" she said, excitedly, after taking a cautious first taste. And that's high praise, indeed.

We were also fortunate enough to try some Bloom Gin Strawberry Cup. Oh my word! This has to be one of the best alcoholic drinks that I have ever tasted!

It was as if strawberries had been soaked in essence of meadow flowers for a time before the addition of Bloom gin!

Ideal for a romantic Valentine's day tryst with your spouse, or for a hot summer's day (serve with ice) or for eating al fresco, Bloom Gin Strawberry Cup is the ultimate drink for this summer.

And please do remember to look out for bottles of Bloom and Fentimans tonic, a classic combination.

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