A couple of weekends back I received what I could only describe as the most SCRUMPTIOUS of deliveries. The very lovely Laura of @laurascakery very kindly dropped off a ‘treat box’ to me after a busy day at a farmer’s market. The box was made up of 4 different treats, all very traditional, but with such modern twists. Up on offer, there was… – Jammie Dodger Rocky Road – Freddo Cookie Dough Slice – Millionaires Rice Krispy Treat – Cornflake Brownie As you can tell just by their names, they’re a bit of an edgier take on the classics. Every single thing was spot on – from their presentation, down to the last yummy crumbs, they just hit the spottttt! My favourite of them all was definitely the Jammie Dodger Rocky Road, the taste of this was just INCREDIBLE! I was also convinced that I could taste party rings in this but it turns out it was in fact iced gems! I loved this one the most simply because it looked MEGA, I can only imagine just how good this looks when it’s freshly made & ready to be sliced up! & also, it was soooo YUMMY! I love anything with white chocolate, & this was a fantastic way of mixing up the typical rocky road, it also meant that the treat wasn’t too sickly either, as white chocolate (I find) is nowhere near as rich as milk, in fact I probably could’ve worked my way through about 4 slices!! The Freddo Cookie Dough slice was by far the cutest looking of all the treats (just look at his lil’ face!) The chocolate on this was indulgent & thick, & the Freddo DEFO too cute to cut through! (… I had to cut this one up because the cookie dough was very rich, & there was no way I was getting through a slice of this all by myself!) In hindsight, I think I should’ve maybe warmed this up to get the full cookie dough effect, nevertheless it was still delish! This one I know has also been a hit/is very popular as many of you replied to my story saying how adorable this looks. The Millionaires Rice Krispie Treat… I LOVED the idea of this. Millionaires shortbread is amazing, don’t get me wrong but sometimes it can be slightly too much/too rich, so what a way to break it up, using Rice Krispies. You defo get the snap, crackle & POP with this, oozing with marshmallowy goodness. I would 100% recommend giving this a try, (not as rich = you can eat more!!) Aaand finallyyyyy… the Cornflake Brownie! This one was a straight up banger! I love a cornflake cake as it is, & I would’ve been more than happy just munching through the cornflake part on its own, but there was a decadent layer of chocolate brownie base & it was PHENOMENAL! The brownie was made just right, not too squidgy but not too tough, & just completed the treat perfectly! All of the treats were an absolute delight to sample & I cannot wait to try out Laura’s other goodies!! (check her page/highlights just to see what other creations she’s come up with – you’ll be impressed, trust me!) A huge thank you to @laurascakery – cannot wait to see what you’ll come up with next! [GIFTED]
We’ve decked the halls, trimmed the tree… the only thing missing? The Christmas chocolates — the advent calendar to count down the days, the warming hot chocolate to come home to, the ribbon-wrapped Christmas chocolate gifts for your Nice List. How long until December 25th? Yes, we’re thinking of Christmas already!
Hotel Chocolat has just launched over 30 new Christmas chocolate products – from advent calendars and stocking fillers, to Christmas hampers packed with both savoury and sweet festive treats. With gluten free and vegan options, there’s choice for everyone.
The award-winning Chocolat Cream Liqueur is back by popular demand; full-bodied 70% dark chocolate mixed with vodka and lashings of cream – what more could you ask for? A perfect stocking filler for adults who struggle to choose between booze and chocolate! £22.00 for 500ml
With all things Christmas due to hit the shelves soon, Hotel Chocolat boast a whopping 9 advent calendars already – from white to caramel, milk to dark – and even ones with festive tipples! Advent calendars start at £12.50 for individuals, and £26.00 for couples who don’t mind sharing that window-peeling moment. TheGrand Advent Calendar (which is as extra as it sounds) is set to be a sure favourite too, with its included cacao tea, gin, hot chocolate and truffles.
This year, Hotel Chocolat are pleased to offer a Christmas hamper for all budgets; starting at £20.00 for their chocolate and gin gift collection. Speaking of gin, their award-winning festive tipples have been placed in a bundle; a collection of its Cacao Gin, Chocolat Cream Liqueur and Salted Caramel Vodka Liqueur sits at £18.00.
Thank you to Posh Cockney for the following content.
WM Spirits Launches a new low alcohol vodka range: PURE LITE in celebration of its 1st Birthday.
The UK’s most innovative new Vodka start-up gets Lighter WM Spirits is expanding into the increasingly popular low alcohol market with the creation of PURE LITE. A lighter, lower calorie, spirit, this is PURE organic vodka cut to 20% ABV for half the guilt with the same delicious taste. PURE Lite delivers twice the enjoyment and… it makes an incredible martini.
Founder Adam Player says: “I’m absolutely thrilled to launch this new PURE Lite range. We are responding to consumer demand for a higher quality, better tasting drink without the calories. We pride ourselves on our environmental credentials, now our customers can be both eco-friendly and health conscious whilst enjoying their favourite cocktails. It’s been an incredible year for PURE. I’m amazed by how far we’ve come since our launch party in July 2019, and we’re not stopping here.”
PURE Vodka quite literally ‘launched’ itself onto the UK spirits market in July 2019 with an exclusive boat party on London’s Thames and proceeded to make a splash with PURE events around the country including sponsorship of Soultown Festival in September 2019. PURE quickly secured listings in leading bars and exclusive venues such as the W Hotel, Cafe de Paris and the Maxwells Group, and Champneys Spa. Online PURE vodka is sold through dedicated alcohol retailers such as: Master of Malt, The Whisky Exchange and Sybarite Cellars and distributed via Speciality, PH Wines, Champers Wholesale and Enotria & Coe.
PURE is a homegrown British success story. An idea born from a night out at the local pub and put into action by a single-minded entrepreneur who wanted to find a cleaner, healthier drink to share with his mates. “The goal was always clear: for PURE to be the good guy in the drinks industry” said Founder, Adam Player.
PURE Vodka is an ultra-premium, clean, organic spirit, built on the foundation of high-quality raw ingredients and owing its unique taste to the finest organic wheat it is derived from.
The journey from field to bottle begins as the wheat is harvested by organic family farmers, who take pride in their fertile, healthy soil; free of synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. This organic process protects the product that you drink from contaminating substances, as well as protecting the animals and environment around the fields from which it is produced.
The organic wheat is distilled to maximum purity removing any remaining impurities (including gluten) and cut by hand to vodka strength (40%), creating a light, smooth tasting vodka that is vegan friendly and gluten free.
With Covid-19 causing a huge shift in consumer buying habits, and an increasing focus on quality and value alongside health and wellbeing, the low alcohol market is experiencing a watershed moment. In May market researcher Nielsen reported strong growth (up 16%) for purchases of low and no alcohol spirits during lockdown, whilst prior to Covid 19 they reported that 67% of GB consumers were proactively trying to lead healthier lifestyles, indicating that PURE is on trend for the new post-covid health conscious customer.
ABOUT PURE VODKA: PURE is independently owned and managed by its founder Adam Player.
PURE is committed to running an ethically conscious, environmentally friendly and human-centric business.
All PURE products are organic and sustainable, and PURE aims to support independent suppliers, and small businesses wherever possible. PURE aims to help break the firm grip that the major multinationals have on the drinks industry.
As a business, PURE is concerned by the threats posed by Climate Change and believes it has a responsibility to be sustainable, which is why PURE tries to ensure all its packaging is 100% recyclable and PURE is working towards becoming completely carbon neutral. With campaigns like Save The Bees PURE gives its customers a direct way to help the environment, delivering a PURE drink, and a PURE conscience.
So recently here at Essex Foodies I have had the absolute pleasure of sampling a selection of fine loose leaf teas courtesy of Miss Teasmith. I received samples of 5 different flavours/styles of teas, all very different from one another. The different teas were made up of –
Ceylon Chai – comprising of Sri Lankan black tea & the spices of this tropical island.
Dark Romance – comprising of Sri Lankan black tea, cocoa shells & nibs, liquorice & mint, described as ‘pudding in a tea cup!’
Rooibos & Passion – comprising of rooibos, passionfruit, rose petals & rhubarb pieces (no caffeine).
Empa-Tea – a ginger & lemongrass herbal infusion.
Earl on the Moor – an orange black tea blend, made with blood orange & lavender.
Each of the teas were exceptionally different from one another, as to be expected, and each offered their very own take on a cup of tea. To start with, the Ceylon Chai was very bold, & very strong. Personally, I love a strong cup of tea (only a splash of milk, no sugar for me), so this is certainly something I would go for every day, alongside Earl on the Moor. EOTM has been my favourite out of the teas as it offers a slight twist on a classic, yet remains mellow & smooth. As I say, I would happily drink these every day! Next up we have got Empa-Tea. I found this tea a little too strong for my liking, I’m not a huge fan of really creative teas so I found this a little bit too overpowering for myself, not because the tea itself was too strong, but more because I find ginger can sometimes be a bit too much, however I would recommend this if you like your teas slightly more different tasting & you like a stronger, more different flavoured bold tea (think along the lines of peppermint for example). Onto Dark Romance, this was the tea I was most excited to try as it offers a completely different take on a cup of tea, described by Miss Teasmith herself as ‘pudding in a teacup’ – essentially dessert with less calories, perfect! I really liked the idea of this tea being dessert like, & it really did get me wondering just what it would taste like, so when the time came, I was not disappointed! The tea is lovely & strong yet sweet & dessert like – something very unusual but a welcomed twist. Lastly we have Rooibos & Passion, another tea I was very much looking forward to trying. I love all things passionfruit, so this was one I was certainly intrigued by. The tea itself was almost peachy, very smooth & full of fruity character. Almost tasting just like summer (think of those iced teas you would purchase in a supermarket on holiday!) It’s a strange way to describe a drink but I would say it was very feminine – perfect for a girls afternoon for example, so forget cocktails, & pour yourself a tea, hot or perhaps wait for it to cool, serve chilled & over lots of ice on a lovely sunny day.
Thank you so much to Miss Teasmith for getting these lovely teas over to Essex Foodies, with lockdown still ongoing my plan is to enjoy them with friends, as restrictions ease, with some lovely socially-distanced afternoon teas. To get your hands on these goodies, simply visit www.missteasmith.com & sign up for 20% off of your first order, as well as free delivery over orders of £25.
Last week, we received some delicious brownies from local company Mersea Mudcakes. The brownies arrived to us via the post, in a really cute little branded box, so we knew exactly what the package was! Inside of the postal packaging was another box containing the box. Delicately padded too with shredded tissue paper, the whole package was just very cute & thought through (perfect for a gift!)
The brownies inside also looked just as good, (if not better!) The brownies we received were salted caramel flavour – definitely one of our favourite choices. The brownies looked perfect – they were thick, chunky & looked perfectly spongey just as brownies should. What made them even better was their taste – no doubt about it! They were rich & chocolately, so one square piece was I would say more than enough. The salted caramel flavour was light but nice, every other mouthful offered a little hint of the flavouring – delicious. With this all in mind, I would without doubt like to try out Mersea Mudcakes other offerings!
The package as a whole was fantastic, the way the brownies were boxed up & presented was really lovely & gave a good first impression, & then the brownies themselves just topped it all off!
A huge thank you to Miriam @ Mersea Mudcakes for sending these out to us, they were very warmly welcomed!
We have been recently been lucky enough to be approached by a local marketer, who very kindly managed to get us some of the Shaken Udder milkshakes sent out. Shaken Udder milkshakes are produced very locally so being able to review these was definitely something we could not turn down! I’d already seen & heard all about these milkshakes (they are very popular at my place of work & are always picked up along with a meal deal).
We received some cartons of the chocolate flavoured milk, which I would describe as rich, creamy & full-flavoured. The cartons I have to say do look rather small however you should not let this deceive you as one carton is more than enough – any more & it would’ve been far too rich for my liking, plus little cartons are handy for on the go (or even for lunch boxes). The cartons are also really cute & feature a little joke on the back (just like Penguin bars!)
After trying Shaken Udder for the first time, I am definitely inclined to try out more flavours & I look forward to doing so.
A huge thank you to both Nikki & Shaken Udder for getting these out to us to review.
Congratulations to Dusk on winning this fantastic award. We had the privilege of visiting this exceptional restaurant when it first launched & can totally see why it has come this far so soon. Thank you to Avocado Media for supplying the following press release.
PRESS RELEASE DUSK Restaurant scoops Global Hospitality Award
DUSK Restaurant in Brentwood, Essex, has scooped a prestigious LUXlife Magazine Global Hospitality Award for fine dining, within months of opening.
Following a soft opening in June ahead of a glittering official launch at the beginning of July, the restaurant and shisha lounge as quickly established itself as one of Essex’s top destination venues, and is busy throughout the week and fully booked every weekend. Having already generated thousands of social media followers, it is apparent from customer comments that DUSK has become the place in Essex to go and be seen.
A unique venue, DUSK provides a multi -purpose hospitality destination, offering dinners a selection of world cuisines, with a choice of fine, casual and private dining experiences with live music and entertainment in the popular alfresco shisha lounge.
The award for Best Fine Dining Shisha Experience, came as a complete surprise for venue co-owner Sharif Uddin, who had not known the venue had even been nominated.
“I knew we were doing something right, because of the overwhelming positive customer feedback, the packed tables and the fact that we already have a top four restaurant of over 3,000 listings on TripAdvisor – for any cuisine – in the whole of Essex. But to win such an accolade, so quickly. came as a complete shock,” he said.
DUSK’s executive head chef Steve Gomes is no stranger to winning top awards. He received two AA Rosettes for his former restaurant, Moksh – the first Indian restaurant in Wales to achieve this. He was named ‘Ethnic Chef of the Year’ at the Craft Guild of Chef’s Awards and represented Wales on BBC2’s Great British Menu. He won ‘Curry Chef of the Year’ at both the Welsh Curry Awards and the English Curry Awards. He has held the title of ‘Best UK Indian Chef’ with the Cobra Good Curry Guide for a large part of a decade; and was crowned the ‘Outstanding Asian and Oriental Chef of the Year’ at the House of Lords.
“This latest award is a great achievement for the entire team in delivering a unique fusion of Mediterranean and Asian cuisines, using the finest produce sourced locally,” said Gomes, adding, “It’s also a great testament to the adventurous nature of the people of Essex, who have taken to our cooking style with such enthusiasm.”
LUXLife awards coordinator Edward Faulkner commented: “DUSK has demonstrated excellence and commitment to the hospital industry. We showcase the individuals and enterprises who offer outstanding gastronomic delicacies. The awards acknowledge the best establishments offering sumptuous cuisine from across the globe.”
Published quarterly, LUXlife covers all aspects of highend lifestyle, including the finest, food and drink, hotels and resorts, health and beauty, automotive, jewellery, art and technology from around the world. It is distributed globally to an affluent readership of 280,000, attracting over 1.8 million views in the past year. www.lux-review.com
With three discrete dining areas each with its own menu, the restaurant, which caters for up to 400 customers, has been transformed with an investment of almost £1million by restauranteurs Sharif Uddin and Shakil Islam.
Sourcing the finest produce from local farmers, butchers and fish mongers, Gomes has designed a menu which requires a second reading to appreciate fully. The ‘Fish and Chips’ is in fact John Dory in a premium batter, with rose infused ketchup, grape tartar sauce chips and a peas mouse. Another signature fish dish is Black Cod, pan-fried and served on a bed of cherry tomatoes and garlic, topped with rhubarb aioli, infused with CO2 essence, served with steamed rice. A unique Turf and Surf, pairs lamb shank with lobster.
There is also a DUSK Till Dawn dish, featuring a prime marble 3-5 wagyu ribeye steak, with a stilton cheese sauce, quail’s egg, roasted potatoes, sautéed pakchoi and C02 tomato gazpacho.
For vegans, there is a Tofu Shashlik with almond milk roux, served with rice and chips – and special versions of the Momo, Ratatouille, Hakka Noodles, American Chop Suey, and on Sundays, a Toad in the Hole.
No alcohol is sold on the premises, but customers may bring their own. There is no corkage charged – representing a considerable saving for connoisseurs of fine wines and premium spirits. The bar stocks the largest range of alcohol-free drinks in the UK and serves a vast array of mocktails, still and sparkling wines, and beers.
The extensive shisha menu features Savacco, Sarbuzz and Al Fakher flavours, priced from £25. The premium Shapes Shisha costs £130, with a £15 premium for the ice upgrade.
Inside DUSK there is space for around 130 diners to sit in the main restaurant, with an occasional pianist and an open kitchen barbeque area. Outside, there is another 150 seats in the alfresco dining area in pergola with detachable roof where people can smoke flavoured shisha and eat from the street food menu.
For weddings and private functions, there is a separate banqueting room overlooking the golf course, which can cater for parties of more than hundred dinners.
Business partners Sharif Uddin and Shakil Islam, own five other Essex venues. The portfolio comprises Aladdin’s shisha lounge in Ilford, Empire shisha lounge in Romford plus and three Kushi Indian restaurants in Lakeside, Canvey Island and Gidea Park.
With parking for over 500 cars, a short distance from junction on the M25 (J28) and served by a fast train service from London’s Liverpool Street Station.
Stephen Gomes is a Welsh executive chef and TV television personality, originally from Mumbai, he is renowned for his molecular gastronomic take on Indian recipes. He is a fourth-generation chef, His father, James Gomes, worked at India’s first five-star beach hotel there, before working in, USA and UK, as an executive chef in hotels and restaurants. Stephen’s grandfather served as a chef on board a battleship during World War II. His great grandfather was Head Chef at the Eastern Shipping Company during the Raj.
In 2015, he was awarded two AA Rosettes for Moksh; the first Indian restaurant in Wales to do so. He was named Ethnic Chef of the Year at the Craft Guild of Chef’s Awards 2015. In August 2015, Stephen was chosen to represent Wales on BBC2’s Great British Menu. Other accolades including the Ethnic Chef of the Year Award at the UK Craft Guild of Chef’s award 2015; Goldstar Welsh Curry Chef of the Year at the Welsh Curry Awards 2014; and Goldstar English Curry Chef of the Year at the English Curry Awards 2013. He has held the title of ‘Best UK Indian Chef’ with the Cobra Good Curry Guide for a large part of a decade. At a ceremony at the House of Commons, Stephen Gomes was crowned the Outstanding Asian and Oriental Chef of the Year 2017.
A la carte Restaurant CLOSED MONDAYS (excludes Bank Holidays) 18:00 – 22:30 Sunday – Wednesday 18:00 – 23.00 Thursday – Saturday 13.00 – 22.00 Sunday
Restaurant: Over 12s Dining Only Shisha Lounge: Strictly Over 18s Bring Your Own Alcohol Venue no Corkage Vegan/Gluten Free options Smart/Casual Dress Code Restaurant No hats, No tracksuits, No sportswear No alcohol sold on premises
Essex Foodies have recently been gifted with a selection of crisps from Essex based Fairfields Farm. Fairfields Farm is a family run farm dedicated to the production of crisps situated in Colne Valley, North of Colchester. The farm sees the entire production of the crisps take place including the potatoes grown & harvested to being hand cooked & package all on site.
The selection we were very kindly gifted offered a fantastic variety of flavours of which included; – Sweet chilli – Bacon & tomato – Sea salt & Aspall cyder vinegar – Cheese & onion – Lightly sea salter – Sea salt & black pepper – Tomato & herb lentil bites – Jalapeno & lime lentil bites
We’ve not yet managed to munch our way through all of the packs but once we have, we will give a run down of our favourites & more of an insight of our thoughts.