TAPP’D COCKTAILS // PRODUCT REVIEW

If you’re as much of a social media addict as I am, then I’m sure over the last few months at some point you would’ve seen Tapp’d appear on your news feed somewhere. It’s hard to escape these guys when they have the likes of Kate Wright & Rio Ferdinand, Denise Van Outen ordering regularly, to name a few. For those not so much on social media, perhaps you caught Tapp’d making an appearance on none other than This Morning, where Phil & Holly sampled their cocktails.

I have seen this company all over my social media feeds but had never really considered ordering from them (I’m more of a make-it-yourself-er) so when Tapp’d got in contact, I was thrilled! They offer a variety of cocktails which are easily ordered online, & they also offer same day delivery (please check this before placing your order as there is an extra cost). Ideal if you fancy a treat, or perhaps if you’re laying on a bit of an occasion – I’ve seen plenty of posts where the cocktails have been paired up alongside afternoon teas.

So I was lucky enough to receive a mixed box of cocktails, which consisted of;
– Espresso Martini
– Mojito
– Sex On The Beach
– Strawberry Daiquiri
– Pornstar Martini x2

Each & every cocktail was sensational! They really were delicious, they didn’t last us any longer than about an hour (terrible, I know!) but I can see why the cocktails have proved to be so popular. In particular, I was extremely impressed with the Espresso Martini – the cocktail had a deep vanilla taste to it, it was absolutely gorgeous! I would 100% order an entire case of just these. I also loved the fact that the SOTB cocktail was glittery (perfect for Boomeranging!)

I would definitely recommend checking Tapp’d out, & if you can, get some ordered in – the cocktails were genuinely lush, & their popularity among the famous names says it all. I look forward to sipping in the near future! [GIFTED] 

POSITIVE PARCEL // PRODUCT REVIEW

I’ve recently had the pleasure of receiving a gorgeous & very heartwarming box from none other than Positive Parcel. As the name clearly suggests, they exist to spread little boxes of positivity. The perfect pick me up for yourself, or just a little reminder to someone close that you’re thinking of them, or simply sending them a little smile. The box is made up of some yummy treats, these include 2 homemade chocolates from Positive Parcel (white chocolate, which is delicious), plus some Happy Tea from Teapigs. Receiving this actually allowed me to try Teapigs for the first time & I was v impressed! A subtle lemon tea that can lift your mood. The other bits in the box are sadly not edible, all very lovely nonetheless. The other items include a Relax Candle (this smelt absolutely amazing, I could smell it as soon as I’d unwrapped the post packaging, not the box!!), The Happy Newspaper, which features plenty of happy & uplifting news, Sticky Notes, (because when are sticky notes not useful?!) & a very calming colouring in sheet. I absolutely loved receiving my Positive Parcel, & it brought a genuine smile to my face. Help spread the joy & send a parcel yourself, at £17.99 with 10% of profits go to mental health charity Mind, too. 
Thank you very much to @positive_parcel for bringing a smile straight to my doorstep 🙂 [GIFTED]

Nationwide tea drinking survey reveals younger consumers coming back to tea during lockdown

Thanks to Jungle Cat Solutions for the following content

OUR LOCKDOWN LOVE AFFAIR WITH TEA IS HERE TO STAY

Nationwide tea-drinking survey reveals younger consumers coming back to tea due to hydration benefits and feel-good factor

A new independent survey of more than 2000 adults across the UK, commissioned by the UKTIA (the UK Tea and Infusions Association) – the authority on tea – has found that younger adults have rediscovered their love of tea during lockdown [1].

In-between juggling Zoom calls, remote working, online shopping and homeschooling, four in ten of 18-34-year olds are more likely to brew a warming mug of tea than before lockdown. And more than nine in ten say their tea-drinking habits are here to stay or will even increase in the future.

Overall, 86 per cent of adults are now tea drinkers – a rise of nine percentage points since a major government survey in 2000[2]. This equates to an extra 1 million tea drinkers[3]. Around half (53 per cent) are drinking tea daily, rising to more than 60 per cent in the over 55s.

Commenting on the survey, Dr Sharon Hall from the UKTIA said: “Everyone knows that wonderful ‘ah’ feeling of sitting down with a mug of tea, especially when you’ve had a busy or stressful day.

“This is probably why more than half of those responding to the survey (53 per cent) cited the ‘feel good’ factor as a reason for upping their tea intake. This was followed by hydration and the opportunity to socialise with family and friends, even if these days that means sharing a cuppa during a virtual chat.

“Lockdown has been hard for most of us – working alone at home and separated from loved ones, or dealing with boisterous children. Having a tea break has been one way for us to take a break in the confines of our own homes.

“Interestingly, younger consumers in their twenties and thirties are being more adventurous with their tea choices. Around four in ten tried new teas during lockdown – including herbal infusions for immunity, teas with added vitamins and different flavours of teas.

“In contrast, consumers aged 45 years plus are more likely to stick to family favourites – such as regular black tea – as nine out of ten said they were happy with their usual brew.

“With fewer opportunities to get out to cafes and restaurants, the lockdown was definitely the time for us to rediscover our love of tea – and it’s great that most people plan to stick with their new tea habit”.

Dr Sharon Hall’s top tips for the perfect cup of tea:
1. Always fill the kettle with fresh water each time you make a brew. This is because boiling for too long removes oxygen from the water and affects the taste.
2. Only boil the amount of water you need; this helps save energy
3. Just boiled water should be used for black tea. Green tea needs a slightly cooler temperature to bring out its best flavour, so wait a couple of minutes before you brew. Always read the instructions on the pack.
4. The hot water “energises” the leaf and extracts all the character the tea. Brewing time is a matter of taste, but you should allow your tea to brew for up to 3 minutes if you want to max out on the health-promoting polyphenol compounds found naturally in tea.
5. Brewing tea from a bag in a mug? Milk in last is best. That’s to maintain the optimal brewing temperature.

AWFULLY POSH LOMO CRISPS // PRODUCT REVIEW

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to receive a box of very posh & very fancy Lomo Crisps from Awfully Posh. At first glance, these crisps look very funky, almost a ray of sunshine with their fantastically bright packaging, as for the crisps themselves, well, they’re certainly not your average looking crisp!
As expected, these crisps were very posh indeed. Made from Spanish Pork Loin (one of the finest, if not the finest, cuts of pork), the crisps are cured with a blend of paprika & garlic to really bring out the flavour of the meat, then finally thinly sliced & air dried ready for consumption! The crisps are also high in protein, yet low in carbs (HOORAH!), & are Keto/Atkins diet-friendly, making them perfect for an afternoon snack, or a post-gym treat. What more could you ask for from a crisp I ask you?!

I loved these ‘crisps’, I am a tapas-fiend & these little bites of goodness oozed a gorgeous, summery, tapas-y vibe. Truly flavoursome, they are perfect served alongside some fresh olives & manchego (a jug of sangria wouldn’t go amiss either!) Personally, I wouldn’t reach for these as a crisp-y snack, over a bag of crisps over lunch, just my personal preference as I didn’t find them very filling, but I would hands-down serve up for perhaps a tapas themed dinner, or even as a picnic snack in the summer months. They are certainly something very different, & well worth trying, especially if you’re a fan of parma/Iberian hams. 

Now, as these crisps are exceptionally posh, they will set you back £23.99 for a box of ten, HOWEVER, they will provide you with a taste of Spain, & in comparison to the price of a plane ticket, this is nothing, & you won’t have to quarantine after eating these either! There’s also a chance to BAG YOURSELF A BOX of these babies as I’ve paired up with Awfully Posh to bring one of you the chance of winning a box, simply check out my previous post on Instagram on Awfully Posh & get yourself entered.

Crisps can be brought directly from https://www.britishsnackco.com/store/product/lomo-crisps-10-x-25g/. & don’t forget, The Awfully Posh range also includes Pork Puffs, Pork Scratchings and Pork Crackling. All of which are awfully posh of course!

Social Media Accounts:
Facebook @awfullyposh
Twitter @awfullyposh
Instagram @awfullyposh
URL https://britishsnackco.com

[GIFTED]

NUDIE SNACKS // PRESS RELEASE

Thank you to Nudie Snacks for the following content

Groundbreaking brand Nudie Snacks has harnessed the plant power in wonky veg and is the first to market a new product made from fresh produce that would usually have been discarded.

The Caulifower Crisps are made from 40% fresh cauliflower grown in Scotland and come in two different flavours – cheese and caramelised onion and katsu curry. They offer bold and innovative flavours with a broad appeal to all ages and tastes.

The Ayrshire brand says the crisps are in line with its ethos of producing quality plant-based snacks that are a healthier alternative.

With no artificial flavourings or colourings, the Cauliflower Crisps are low in sugar, high in fibre and 40% lower in saturated fat than traditional potato crisps, making a healthier snacking option. Importantly, they are cutting food waste as the crisps are made from vegetables often thrown out because they don’t meet standard shape and size requirements.

“We wanted to find a way to use all the wonky cauliflowers that shops think they can’t or shouldn’t be selling and making them into a snack we’re proud of,” said Tracey Hogarth, founder of Nudie Snacks.

“We are the first to market this product – it’s the perfect snack and doesn’t compromise on taste or quality.

“With the health risks associated with diabetes, obesity and coronavirus, it has never been a more important time to keep your immune system and gut health in good condition. Eating pulses is better for you, keeps you fuller for longer and prevents you reaching for high-fat, high-sugar snacks.”

A 22gm bag of Cauliflower Crisps has 118 calories and is perfect for adults and children, in packed lunch boxes, to nibble on during the day or in the evening.

Suitable for those following vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free diets, the crisps are part of a new range by Nudie Snacks that includes Lentil Curls flavoured with Chilli and lime, Quinoa Chips with Sundried Tomato and Garlic, Lightly Salted Roasted Corn, Lightly Salted Hummus Chips and Popcorn.

The new range is available to buy from https://www.nudiesnacks.co.uk/

Prices from £9.99 for a box of 12 packs of Cauliflower Crisps, delivered straight to your door.

MRS BROWNS KITCHEN // NEW PRODUCT

Thank you to Palm PR for the following content

MRS BROWN’S KITCHEN LAUNCHES WITH RANGE OF PUFF PASTRY CROWNS EXCLUSIVELY AT ICELAND

Mrs. Brown’s Kitchen is the first-ever food brand launched by TV’s hilarious Mrs. Brown. It will bring Mammy’s cooking straight to the homes of hungry families across the UK with a range of ready-to-bake, savoury pastry treats, available exclusively in-store and online at Iceland.

Brits are familiar with Mrs. Brown’s iconic TV kitchen, which has been graced by a host of celebrity guests, from Pamela Anderson to Caitlin Jenner. But now consumers can experience ‘d’Mammy’s cooking and get a real slice of the Brown’s family action in their own homes for the very first time.

The Range
Mrs. Brown’s Kitchen is launching with a range of bakery-fresh Puff Pastry Crowns. Each Crown is a little parcel of golden, flaky puff pastry filled with delicious ingredients. There are two varieties in the range, each with their own unique fillings:

  • Ham and Cheese Crowns (RRP: £1.25 for a box of two) – ‘Yer can’t beat a classic. Mrs. Brown’s favourite: Ham and Emmental cheese in a creamy sauce, wrapped in her delicious and fluffy puff pastry. Perfect with a cup a tea.
  • Chicken Fajita Crowns (RRP: £1.25 for a box of two) – A little spice is nice. Mrs. Brown has prepared a tasty mix of chicken, Cheddar cheese and vegetables in a spicy fajita sauce, wrapped in her delicious and fluffy puff pastry. Winnie’s favourite!

The recipes were created by ‘fecking food genius’ chef Aly. A lot of people will recognise him as being the chef on All Round to Mrs Browns, but Chef Aly has spent many years working around the world developing his culinary skills. For those more ramshackle than Gordon Ramsay, don’t panic – any eejit can make ’em. Mrs. Brown’s Kitchen Puff Pastry Crowns are ready-to-bake straight from the box in under 25 minutes. Just shove ’em in the d’oven and then scoff the lot.

Mrs. Brown’s Puff Pastry Crowns are perfect for everyday occasions. Easy to cook and even easier to eat, enjoy a Crown or two for a quick and simple brekkie, lunch or dinner, or whilst watching an episode of Mrs. Brown’s Boys! They make a tasty and filling teatime treat for the whole family, or cook ’em en-masse to bring a little of Mammy’s pizzazz to parties.

The Mrs. Brown’s Kitchen range is available exclusively in Iceland stores nationwide and via Iceland online from 1st May 2020 (RRP: £1.25 for a pack of two). Grand.

Get the latest news, hot from d’oven:

  • Instagram: mrs.brownskitchen
  • Facebook: mrs.brownskitchentreats

TWELVE BURGER & BEER (SOUTHEND) // RESTAURANT REVIEW

A few weeks back, we visited Southend’s latest burger restaurant Twelve Burger & Beer. (Please bear in mind, the latest Covid restrictions were not in place when we made our visit). The restaurant itself is located in the heart of Southend, making it ideal to stop off for a snack if you’re out shopping, or perhaps a cocktail or two after getting off the train from work. We visited on a rainy Thursday evening, & enjoyed some yummy food! Sadly no alcoholic drinks for us (other than a small glass of prosecco on arrival – which was a really lovely touch), as we were driving. The restaurant runs a fantastic offer of 241 on ALL alcoholic beverages between 5 & 7pm, so it really is the place to pick up a couple of drinks. We saw several cocktails carried through the restaurant during our visit, & they all looked fab. We were gutted we couldn’t try some! We did however indulge in some fantastic food – we each upgraded our burgers to a ‘meal’ so as well as the burger, you get chips & a drink included in the price. Our burgers of choice were…
– Bacon Cheese Burger. This was delicious! The caramelised onions were what totally made this burger, it added a huge depth of flavour. I wish I’d gone for the double tbh! However, saying this, the burger itself was very big & I did need cutlery to make my way through it, or else it’d have slipped straight out the bun. This would definitely be ordered again!
– The Twelve Chicken Burger. Another delicious burger! The chicken on this was lovely & tender, with it being chicken thigh rather than fillet. This was quite nice to see actually, as most places will use chicken breast, but thigh is much more juicier – this was very welcomed. The only little tweak that we would probably make to this burger would be using mayo, as we much prefer mayo in a chicken burger. The sauce in this was almost like a raita, which was nice, but just not to our preference.
The burger menu itself wasn’t too extensive which we think is a GOOD thing – too much to choose from can be overwhelming, & with a smaller menu, this allows the restaurant to really perfect what they have on offer.
Each meal came with a portion of chips which were lovely – these didn’t need seasoning at all, & were wolfed up! Following our meals, one of us enjoyed a gorgeous vanilla milkshake – this was SOOOO yummy! It wasn’t thick, as we expected it to be, however, you should not let this deceive you! This milkshake was absolutely bangin’! All of the food was really nice & we enjoyed our visit here, just a couple of little bits that we think could’ve been improved – our meals didn’t come out at the same time, which meant one of us had to wait for the other, just a little timing issue, & secondly, we found the music a little too loud over dinner – we are all for music, but we would’ve probably preferred this if we were having a drink!
Thank you very much to @ for having us – we look forward to popping in again! [GIFTED]

SORAI SAUCES // NEW PRODUCT

Thank you to Words You Can Use Ltd for the following content

A TASTE OF BORNEO FOR ALL THE FAMILY
LAUNCHES AT ST FAGANS FOOD FESTIVAL

The boom in home cooking caused by the COVID-19 lockdown inspired an entrepreneur to launch a range of sauces which she hopes will get the whole family cooking together.

Abergavenny-based Sorai is launching its new range of cooking sauces, Aroma, at the first virtual St Fagans Food Festival on September 12 (Saturday).

Founder Maria Stella (pictured above) drew on her life growing up in Borneo to create the sauces. She said: “One of the big things about living as we did in Borneo is cooking and eating together. It’s such an event, a time when families get together and can share cooking skills and stories and laugh together. I noticed during lockdown that families were coming back together to cook here too, so I wanted to give them sauces which will keep that trend going after the pandemic ends.”

“Cooking from scratch is also healthier for us as we know exactly what’s going into a dish. I had been thinking about making cooking sauces for a while and decided this was the time to do it. These sauces are designed to be an integral part of a dish from the start, rather than being something
added to it at the end.”

“The new sauces aren’t as intensely spiced as our other sauces because we want people to add items such as chilli, salt, or pepper to make their dishes to their family’s taste.”

The plant-based cooking pastes can be used in a marinades, stews, casseroles, soups, and stir frying. They join nine other sauces sold under the Sorai banner.

The new cooking sauces are:
– Rendangerous – Addictively enticing with warming aromatic spices.
– Tribal – Wholesome herbs, no-nonsense humble warm tribal flavours.
– LaksaRomin – Rich, aromatic, and infused with 25 ingredients to ignite your taste buds.

Maria said: “I had worked in the public and voluntary sector in England for decades, but when I moved to Wales, I was looking for something different to do so I could continue to spend quality time with my children. So, I created my business with products derived from many years of recipe development having served them to family and friends and at community and corporate events.”

You can attend the first virtual St Fagans Food Festival on the event’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/278328393509516 

To make an order, just go to https://www.sorai.co.uk/products and take advantage of the promotional code 10OFF for a 10% discount on any sauces.

Find out more information about the festival here: https://museum.wales/whatson/food-festival-2020/

For more information about Sorai sauces, go to: 
https://www.sorai.co.uk/products

RISE // COFFEE SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE

Thank you to Thomas Reed Freelance PR for the following content

RISE and shine with café quality coffee beans delivered straight to your door

RISE coffee box Coffee Subscription box available for UK delivery NOW. 

Delivering a carefully curated selection of the UK’s most interesting and varied independent coffee direct to your door every month, RISE coffee box is on a mission to do away with mediocre coffee. Unlike other coffee subscription services which rely on the same own brand coffee every time, RISE coffee box is determined to scour the UK to find exciting, innovative and fiercely independent roasters for its subscribers. 

Launched during lockdown via a triumphant Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, in only three months RISE coffee box has already welcomed hundreds of subscribers on its adventure to bring amazing coffee to the masses. Founders Alice and Ben, from South London, brewed up the idea whilst complaining to each other about the lack of interesting and locally sourced coffee beans at the supermarket, instantly recognising a gap in the market for them to fill. 

In the box, subscribers are treated to two 225-250g bags of coffee ground to perfection and a coffee-related gift, like the exciting upcoming collaboration with Mr Black Coffee Liquor. Not wanting to shy away from where the coffee comes from, RISE coffee box aims to educate its customers in the wonderful and incredibly varied world of coffee by supplying accompanying materials on the selected roasters for that month. So far, RISE coffee box has partnered with the likes of Origin and Press coffee & Co, both of which are trailblazers on the London independent coffee scene. 

With being kind to the environment intrinsic to the way RISE coffee box operates, all coffee suppliers are carefully picked to ensure they operate as sustainably as possible, with limited to no plastic, fair wages for the farmers and a proactive stance on climate-friendly production practices. The box itself is sustainability manufactured using certified wood and natural glue to ensure they are bio-degradable. Combined with this, RISE coffee box has committed to the ‘onepercentfortheplanet’ initiative which means 1% of sales go to environmental NGOs. 

As the UK public adapts to life working from home, RISE coffee box believes customers shouldn’t have to put up with mediocre instant coffee or a bland coffee ground. RISE coffee box is committed to giving their subscribers a delicious and exciting variety of coffee, straight to their door. 

Price and availability
RISE coffee box will deliver a new and unique coffee box straight to your door every month for £16.99. Available to all UK addresses, users can sign-up at https://www.risecoffeebox.co.uk and are able to cancel their subscription at any time, no strings attached. 

Looking for a gift for the coffee lover in your life? RISE coffee box offers a variety of gifting options starting from £21.99. 

MASTERCARD TO PROVIDE FREE FOOD FOR DINERS!

Thank you to Talker Tailor for the following content.

Mastercard teams up with OpenTable to pick up the bill for diners giving them Priceless Surprises throughout September as part of Dine Local restaurant month

Throughout September OpenTable and Mastercard will be celebrating Dine Local, a month-long homage to dining out, with more than 200 restaurants offering special offers, set menus and added value offerings to diners across the UK and Ireland.

As part of this, Mastercard and OpenTable have also teamed up to surprise and delight lucky diners at 30 restaurants in 30 days across the UK and Ireland with the chance to eat and drink for free* in one of the participating Dine Local restaurants. Every evening during September, Mastercard will treat diners, who are in the right place at the right time, with a Priceless Surprise by paying their bill including food and soft drinks at one of the restaurants taking part in the wider Dine Local campaign.

The UK’s dining industry has experienced a hard few months and whilst diners are showing confidence in eating out again, the Dine Local campaign has been initiated to encourage people to continue to dine out and support their local restaurants and community going forward.

Additionally, as part of the campaign restaurants across London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin will offer limited-time, great-value specials to showcase their menus and attract diners. Restaurants get the chance to reconnect with their loyal clientele while attracting new diners to take part in an uplifting local initiative, and diners have a unique opportunity to try out neighbourhood gems while supporting local restaurants. Visit www.opentable.co.uk/restaurantweek to discover the Dine Local restaurants taking part and the special menus available.

The first Priceless Surprise will take place in Hertfordshire on 1st September, before moving to London then across the country to bring truly Priceless moments to diners. OpenTable asks diners to book and support the Dine Local restaurants during the month of September to enjoy great special offers and menus, and be in with a chance to have their bill picked up by MasterCard and OpenTable. 

Angela Altvater, Marketing Director, OpenTable EMEA commented “We are pleased to see that the restaurant sector in the UK is slowly recovering. It is clear that many people really missed the experience of dining out at a restaurant over the past few months. As a partner to the industry, it is particularly important for us to help the restaurant community get back on their feet and to get diners excited about dining out again and rediscover old and new favourites in their local area.”

Janne Karppinen, Head of Retail at Mastercard commented on the campaign.“It is great to see people back in restaurants and eating out safely with friends and families. 2020 has been a hard year so we’re pleased to work with OpenTable to bring moments of joy and excitement to customers. We have extended the offer not only to Mastercard customers, but to everyone who is in the restaurant at the right place on the right night – a truly Priceless Surprise.”

All the signs show that people in the UK are eager to get out to dine again. In a recent survey1 conducted by OpenTable, 65% of Brits answered that the thing they were most excited about restaurants reopening was eating delicious food. 94% of those surveyed stated that the support of local restaurants is important to them and 62% said they planned to eat out more or at least as often as before the lockdown.

*Alcoholic drinks are not included 

1Source: OpenTable Survey on Dining out after lockdown. 32,000 people in the United Kingdom of different age, sex and geographical origin in the UK participated in the survey. The survey was sent out through the OpenTable email newsletter. Data collection took place between June 24th and July 2nd 2020 through an e-survey on Survey Monkey.

About Mastercard:
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About OpenTable:
OpenTable, part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), powers reservations for the hospitality industry. OpenTable’s software seats more than 1 billion people per year and helps more than 60,000 restaurants, bars, wineries and other venues attract guests, manage capacity, improve operations and maximize revenue.

JACK LINKS BEEF BAR // NEW PRODUCT

We were recently lucky enough to get our hands on the fantastic protein filled, Jack Link’s Beef Bars. We only tried the Original flavour, but there is also in fact a Sweet & Hot flavour to choose from too.These little bars are ideal if you’re a bit of a snacker or a grazer, as they come in at only 65kcals per bar, with less than 6% sugar, & will keep you filled throughout the afternoon. The bars are also gluten free & are made from 100% beef. You can pick these up at your local Asda, (we found them very easily, at one of the ends of a refrigerated aisle!)

#ad #gifted 

HOLY MOLY GUACAMOLE! BURGER TOPPER

Thank you to PALM for the following content.

Just in time for the Bank Holiday, Holy Moly Guacamole is now on offer in Tesco for just £1.50 instead of £2.00!

This mouth-watering burger topper can be enjoyed on its own, or used as an ingredient as part of a larger dish. Each pot contains around two sun-ripened Hass avocados, which are grown, hand-picked and hand-scooped on a four-generation family farm in rural Mexico. Unlike other guacamoles, it is also free from dairy, preservatives, additives, gluten, is kosher, suitable for vegans and has no added sugar.

Holy Moly is now available at Tesco £1.50 instead of £2.00 until 1st September.

https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/306952551

OUR REMEDY CBD OIL // PRODUCT REVIEW

A little while ago, I was very lucky to receive a product called Our Remedy CBD Oil. Now this is something completely different to what I would normally post about but I am always looking to broaden my horizon, plus this is still an edible product, so it sort of ties in with the foodie background (just about!)

So this product claims to help relieve period pains but with a twist! You can actually use this in no less than… cocktails (check https://ourremedy.co.uk/cbd-cocktails/)! I was beyond excited to give this a go & to see whether it lived up to expectations. Probably TMI but I suffer quite badly from those kind of cramps & pains, mainly a dull backache & the classic punching feeling in the tummy. Anyone who suffers will know just how much the pain can really ruin your day, and retailing between £26.99 – £31.99, I think this is definitely worth splashing out a little more on. Naturally, upon first discovering the product, I was a little sceptical – I did think it was a little gimmicky however I was soon proven wrong! When I first tried the product, I didn’t actually sample it in a drink, but just went straight in consuming only a small dose of the oil. I have to say, it was far more effective than any paracetamol/ibuprofen or even Feminax – so straight off, I would recommend.

What I liked about the product…
Okay, firstly, my favourite thing about the product is that it is pain-relief product than can be used with alcohol – you can add to cocktails to give it a little bit of a peppermint-y taste, or alternatively you can add to a hot chocolate to give it a little bit of a twist!
The product also arrived via DPD which was extremely speedy! I am unsure whether this is standard, or whether it was sent faster due to being a PR product – either way I was very impressed. The package was also gorgeously presented, very neat & very pretty. The heavily-Instagrammable box itself was also filled with other little goodies you might crave or fancy at that time of the month, including the delicious Lindt Truffles, plus a couple of teas & some other ladies’ items!

All in all, I have really enjoyed being able to sample Our Remedy – it’s certainly a product worth investing in if you suffer badly with period pains, & it is a fantastic & much tastier way of relieving pains!

Thank you so much to @OurRemedy for getting this over to us.

[GIFTED]


GERMAN DONER KEBAB ‘THE BOSS BOX’ // PRODUCT REVIEW

We recently teamed up with the guys at Deliveroo to get our hands on the new Boss Box from German Doner Kebab. GDK is somewhere we have visited before & really enjoyed, so when we received the invite to take part in this new project, we knew we would be in for a treat. We were gifted with a voucher each to be used via Deliveroo to purchase The Boss Box from GDK – very straightforward! We used the Lakeside branch of GDK as we were visiting anyway, & we opted for collection rather than delivery.


We each enjoyed a meal of The Boss Box, which contains the following
– a kebab of your choice (we both went for the Doner Durum Wrap, mixed meats)
– a side of either Chilli Cheese Bites or Doner Spring Rolls (we had one of each)
– Fries
– 3 of GDKs signature sauces
– a ‘slim’ drink of your choice
(we also added on a few extra bits with the remainder of the vouchers)


The box that the meal itself is presented in is sleek. The box is glossy & black, & certainly gives any other takeaway packaging a run for its money. The box itself to the inside is also presented very neatly – sections are divided so your meal is perfectly spaced, plus there are handy little holders for the sauces too which makes a huge difference & saves the faffing of having to pick up the pots to dip your fries in.


Now onto the food, GDK never disappoints, portion sizes here are extremely generous, & you can add extra salad at no extra cost (which we both did), although saying this, it probably isn’t necessary to do so. The kebabs are fully loaded with meat (you can choose between beef or chicken, or both) & are beyond filling – neither of us finished our kebabs! We did however finish all of our sides. The chilli cheese bites are absolutely delicious (we even ordered extra of these bad boys!), & again, the Doner Spring Rolls are exceptionally generous when it comes to their sizing. Everything at GDK is always bursting with taste & flavour, the only thing that sort of lets the meal down is the fries – the fries are more ‘chips’ as they are slightly chunkier, & to be honest, you could probably do without these anyway as the kebab is just so filling!

The Boss Box will set you back £12.99 but we would say that it is total value for money – you get a lot of food there.

Thank you very much to both Deliveroo & German Doner Kebab.

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BRICK LANE BAGEL CO. // RESTAURANT REVIEW

So here it is… our first ‘lockdown’ outing post! The team at Brick Lane Bagel Co. got in contact with us during lockdown to invite us down to their Theydon Bois branch, which remained opened during lockdown as part of essential services. We were offered a lunch for two, which we thoroughly enjoyed! Our lunches of choice were…
– salt beef bagel with mustard & gherkins
– chicken escalope bagel with melted cheese, lettuce & mayo
plus a couple of drinks (coke & a latte), followed by a delicious, fresh jam doughnut (which we shared between the pair of us as we were full from the bagels!)

The bagels were hearty & delicious! The bread itself was so fresh & so soft, it really contributed to the yumminess of the bagels. The salt beef was ever so tender & truly did melt in the mouth, plus the sheer amount of it was very generous too. The salt beef bagel was absolutely brimming with flavour, thanks to the mustard & gherkins complimenting the beautiful salt beef. The chicken escalope bagel was sensational! A nice big chunk of chicken, served with lashings of lettuce & mayo, plus an oozing cheese centre – it was incredible. Almost like the taste of a chicken burger but much, much better. We opted to have our bagels halved so that between the pair of us, we could each try both different filling, and despite both flavours being exceptional, we agreed that the chicken escalope was our favourite of the two, moreso because it isn’t something either of us would normally go for, but were recommended to try. Following on from our delicious bagels, the pair of us shared a yummy jam doughnut, which just like the bagels, tasted ever so fresh. What also impressed us with the doughnut was the size – forget the typical supermarket sized doughnuts you’d find in a bag, this was double, & of course way better!

What we also picked up on during our time at Brick Lane Bagel Co. was just how busy it was, the business proves to be doing exceptionally well & is clearly a roaring success. During our visit there were always customers present, filling all of the outside seating, despite the lockdown circumstances – this was fantastic to see!

We would also like to point out that this was the friendliest service we have experienced so far – prior to our visit, during & after. Everyone involved could not do enough for us from the staff in the shop itself, to the marketing behind their Instagram page. This is definitely what fantastic customer service is, and it honestly does make all the difference.

Thank you very much to Brick Lane Bagel Co. for inviting us down, we look forward to visiting again.

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ESSEX CONFECTIONARY // SWEET DELIVERY SERVICE

If you have a sweet tooth, then this is the home delivery for you! A little while back I was very kindly delivered a selection of goodies from the team at Essex Confectionary. I have to say, delivery was extremely quick & I did not expect the sweets to arrive as fast as they did (no complaints here!)
I was given a pick n mix pouch which was absolutely stuffed with colourful sweets. There were a variety of jellies, both new & old school as well as a classic Refresher in there too. These pouches start at £5 for 500g, which to be quite honest, is really reasonably priced in comparison to what you’d pay in a shop or at a market. I was also given a Malteser box which was packed with, you guessed it, Malteser treats! These are charged at £7, making them ideal for a present. I would say that all of the goodies from Essex Confectionary are ideal for a loved one as a surprise, a birthday gift or even just a treat for yourself. They even offer Big Night In bundles which are perfect for movie nights (a great idea if you’ve got kids to entertain, & certainly a lot cheaper than a cinema trip!)

All sorts of treats are available, whether you are a jelly fan or more of a chocolate fan. I loved everything that I received, & I would certainly make an order for myself.

Thank you to Essex Confectionary!

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COMPETITION TIME!

COMPETITION TIME! Fancy getting your hands on a box of @power.of.peanuts peanut bars? Keep reading..

I have teamed up with the guys at @power.of.peanuts to offer one lucky winner & a friend to get their hands on a case of POP’s delicious fibres bars packed with protein. To enter, simply like the Instagram post, follow both @power.of.peanuts & @essexfoodies on Instagram, tag your bestie & in 3 words sum up your friendship! 
*Please note that you will need to enter this competition via Instagram. Any entries made outside will not be counted.

Closing date for competition is Friday 31st July 2020 with winner announced on Monday 3rd August 2020. UK only. Good luck!

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BAILEYS RASPBERRY RIPPLE COOLER // COCKTAIL RECIPE

Thank you to Taste PR for the following content.

Created by drinks columnist Abbie Moulton, the Baileys Rapsberry Ripple Cooler is an indulgent and treat-worthy cocktail that’s perfectly light and scrumptious for a summer afternoon. This cocktail hits the trend of being perfect for al fresco evenings with its grown-up fruity flavours. It’s the perfect adult treat for picnics and small garden get-togethers! 

Ingredients
[0.9 units per serve – recipe serves 2]
100ml Baileys Original Irish Cream [1.8 units]
80ml coconut milk 
1 x 500ml tub vanilla ice cream 
1 x small bottle raspberry puree, or a tin of raspberries in syrup
Handful of fresh raspberries
Serve in a stemless wine glass / water tumbler

Method
– Blend 100ml Baileys Original Irish Cream with 80ml coconut milk and a handful of ice. You should get a light, foamy mixture
– Add 1 generous spoonful of raspberry puree to the bottom of each glass
– Top with two or three scoops of ice cream
– Drizzle another generous helping of raspberry syrup
– Pour over the Baileys Original Irish Cream & coconut milk mix, so it comes to just below the top of the ice cream 
– Drizzle over the raspberry syrup 
– Top with fresh raspberries and enjoy!

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MISS TEASMITH – PRODUCT REVIEW

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.

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KELLY BRONZE TURKEYS // CHRISTMAS LEFTOVER IDEAS – BOXING DAY TURKEY WRAP

Thank you to Belle PR for the following content

Paul Kelly’s Boxing Day Turkey Wrap

Ingredients

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Leftover stuffing
  • Leftover KellyBronze turkey (and skin)
  • Kellybronze hot cranberry jelly

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Lay the cooked turkey skin flat in a baking tray and cook in the oven for approx. 10 minutes or until crispy.
  3. Grab a wrap and spread the mayonnaise and cranberry sauce in the centre. Add the brussel sprouts, turkey, stuffing and once crisped, the delicious turkey crackling.
  4. Fold over one side of the wrap, followed by the bottom and finally roll over until the filling is fully enclosed.
  5. Slice in half and enjoy!

CAFE ROUGE // £5 PERKBOX DEAL

Cafe Rouge & Perkbox have partnered to bring this fantastic deal together. All you have to do is simply login to Perkbox (if you’re employer is part of the scheme) & purchase the Cafe Rouge main for £5 voucher. The £5 voucher will get you a main of either a burger or croque, both of which are served with fries/house salad. This means that once you’ve added a drink on, you can get a meal in for under a tenner – bargain!

TURTLE BAY // COMPETITION TIME!

Thank you to Cab PR for the following content

Turtle Bay and British Virgin Islands launch competition with more than a thousand prizes up for grabs including a luxury trip to the Carribean

Popular Caribbean restaurant, Turtle Bay, has partnered with British Virgin Islands Tourist Board to offer one lucky winner the ultimate Caribbean experience to the British Virgin Islands (BVI)*.

Each week, from 2nd September 2019 until January 2020, one hundred prizes will be up for grabs at Turtle Bay restaurants across the UK, including a once in a lifetime holiday for two, sailing with Dream Yacht Charter around the islands of the BVI for seven nights, including round trip flights from London Gatwick, full board meals and five-star accommodation.

To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is pop in to your nearest Turtle Bay, enjoy the best Caribbean cuisine on the block, and you will be given a special competition card containing a unique code to unlock an online competition entry page here: www.turtlebay.co.uk/win*.

The grand prize draw will take place in January, but not to worry, whilst you wait to find out if you’re heading to one of the world’s most sought after destinations, Turtle Bay will be selecting an additional one hundred winners each week and treating them to Caribbean-inspired giveaways.

Bottles of rum, BVI GIN, complimentary meals, cocktails and huge discounts vouchers are just some of the incredible prizes up for grabs, not to mention the ultimate prize to experience stretches of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a taste of the best life.

To enter simply visit your nearest Turtle Bay. Every time you visit you’ll get a feel-good entry code to use online to enter the competition. Visit www.turtlebay.co.uk/win for full competition instructions and terms and conditions.  

COCONUTS ORGANIC VEGAN ICE CREAM // NEW PRODUCT

Thank you to Tremplin Marketing for the following content

Coconuts Organic is a fabulous vegan ice cream that genuinely tastes as good as the dairy! Made with coconut cream and unrefined coconut sugar and just a few other natural ingredients to this base, It’s certified organic, officially vegan, and probably the best non-dairy ice cream you’ll taste!

With Christmas and Veganuary coming up, they have loads of delicious flavours; Mint Choc; Creamy Coconut; Rum ‘n Raisin…..and lots more!

Coconuts Organic (formerly Coconuts Naturally), the vegan ice cream made famous on BBC Dragon’s Den, announce a significant step in the growth of the business as they secure Tesco listing. From June 17th , Coconuts Organic will be available in more than 600 Tesco stores around the UK, with two brand new flavours (Choc Orange Swirl and Double Caramel) exclusive to Tesco. The timing of the store listing will coincide with the official rebrand when Coconuts Naturally will become Coconuts Organic – the same award-winning, all-natural ice cream, but with a new name and striking packaging! Launched in 2015 by entrepreneur Cecily Mills, the Cornwall-based business has achieved more than 100% sales growth every year in its first three years (partly thanks to the ever-growing customer appetite for vegan products) and has firmly established itself as a dominant player in the free-from category. Commenting on the announcement; CEO and Founder, Cecily Mills said; “Securing a listing with Tesco UK is a real milestone for the business, and we are so excited to share our two new flavours with Tesco shoppers. This has been a huge year for us – starting out with a successful crowdfunding campaign, and now the rebrand, new product launch and coming on board with Tesco. For me personally, it feels like a huge achievement to have Coconuts Organic in supermarket freezers across the country.” In addition to the Tesco listing, Coconuts Organic is currently available UK-wide, via Ocado and in independent stores and cafes via two national distributors. Internationally, the product is available in Dubai. The brand is also developing its international expansion plans, with a particular focus on the Middle East and Asia.

TURTLE BAY // NEW MENU

Thank you to Cab PR for the following content

Turtle Bay launches a new menu with more options than ever before, including Caribbean brunch for the very first time!

Curry Aubergine, Mr Fabulous’ Jamaican Patties, Five Alarm Chicken Curry – just some of the mouth-watering dishes you can get your hands on – and sink your teeth into – on the brand new menu at Turtle Bay.

For the first time ever, diners can start the day at Turtle Bay with a scintillating selection of breakfast items packed full of Caribbean flavours, such as Curry Goat Hash and Blackwell Breakfast – porridge served with a shot of Blackwell Rum. Other brunch offerings include dishes like curried chickpeas, jerk sausage and sweet plantain for both adults and ‘Little Turtles’ to enjoy.

Some of Turtle Bay’s specialities and iconic dishes will remain (so fans don’t need to panic) but in addition the new menu features a variety of reimagined dishes, and fresh new and exciting delights to try. There will be a selection of sharing platters and classic Caribbean curries to choose from. Inspired by street vendors from across the islands, cutters are Caribbean-style tapas dishes – perfect as a starter, for sharing or as a side. Not forgetting the fiery jerk flavours and scrumptious soul food that Turtle Bay is renowned for.  

There are even more veggie and vegan options than ever before too, as the new menu features a mouth-watering selection of dishes including Chilli Smashed Avocado Salad, Jerk Tofu a Vital Vegan Platter and more. 

Even the puddings on the new menu pack a punch. From the Chilli Chocolate Brownie to the Caribbean Mess, Banana Toffee Cheesecake, Fiery Root Ginger Kickin Ice Cream and more, these sweet treats are not to be missed, especially when you can sample two for £9, three for £13.50 or four for just £17 – get your spoons at the ready and prepare to tuck in!

Turtle Bay’s new lunch meal deal is available Monday to Friday between 12pm and 3pm, where diners can choose any burger or roti, plus one side and homemade soft drink for £10. Set menus will also be on offer all day Sunday to Thursday, with options to feast on two courses for £12 or go the whole hog and devour three courses for £15. 

Turtle Bay is all about slowing down, hanging out and feeling good, and this is exactly what its new menu will deliver. With the ultimate food freedom, customers can ‘lime’ away the hours in the restaurant, from 10am until late into the evening.

Go to www.turtlebay.co.uk to see the new menu and set your taste-buds on fire. 

COPENHAGEN // ESSEX FOODIES ABROAD

Back in August I visited the very beautiful (& expensive) city of Copenhagen. The city offered plenty of sights & some beautiful food. Below are the various dishes enjoyed throughout the trip!

The trip of course started with the classic airport Wetherspoons breakfast. Here we have eggs royale & American breakfast. (Wetherspoons – Windmill, Stansted Airport).

Lunch at Sole D’Italia, Copenhagen – spaghetti carbonara & spaghetti bolognese. Such a photogenic lunch!

Margarita pizza from Gorms Pizza @ Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen. One of the nicest plain pizzas I’ve ever had albeit expensive for what it was coming in at around £16! I highly recommend checking Gorms out.

A delicious Danish pastry from our hotel, Osterport. All of the food served for breakfast here was fantastic, a great variety & just very tasty! My favourite was definitely the fresh pastries – warm & delicious! We stayed on a B&B basis, & I would suggest doing this if you ever think about staying in Copenhagen as going out can be quite pricey. The hotel which we stayed at charged around £10 per person per day for breakfast which I thought was very reasonable, when realistically if you popped out for a coffee & pastry, you’d be looking spending around 6 quid or so anyway.

Next up we have dinner here in Malmo, Sweden. Malmo is only a short train journey from Copenhagen so we spent an afternoon here, & we had dinner in a lovely Indian restaurant called Green Chili. The food here was perfect, & was similar in price to Copenhagen.

And last but not least, lunch at Kayak Bar, Copenhagen. We stopped off here a couple of times as it is such a cool place! Again, it’s a little bit on the pricier side but that is to be expected with cities. The food here was very simple, the menu was limited but it was very nice! This is definitely somewhere nice to sit of an evening & enjoy some light food & powerful cocktails!

LINDA MCCARTNEYS // PRODUCT REVIEW

Following one of our recent posts on National Hotdog Day, we were very kindly gifted with some vouchers to use towards Linda McCartney’s vegetarian range. As someone that eats meat daily, I was a little sceptical of what the products would be like but I’m quite open minded & willing to try out new foods, so this was the perfect opportunity to do so. I did a little research to try & find the cheapest place to get my hands on the products, as the vouchers offered £2 off per product, & ideally I didn’t want to have to add any money on. Upon investigation, I found that Tesco were actually stocking the range with prices starting from £2 – spot on! So I got myself down to Tesco & stocked up on a variety including the following;
– vegetarian red pepper & chorizo sausages
– vegetarian red onion & rosemary sausages
– vegetarian mozzarella 1/4lb burgers
– vegetarian pulled pork 1/4lb burgers
I’m yet to try each product, I’ve only got round to trying the red pepper & chorizo sausages as of yet & I have to say, I’ve been really pleasantly surprised. The sausages are packed full of flavour & (sounds quite strange) have a nice texture to them – meat sausages can sometimes be a bit gritty, these are not at all, I can see why people go for them! I’m excited to try the rest of the products out, I won’t be going veggie any time soon but I could certainly incorporate veggie substitutes into my diet!

Thank you to Taste PR for gifting us with the vouchers.

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THE OJOS FOODS // PRESS RELEASE

Thank you to The Ojos Foods for providing us with the following content

THE OJOS FOODS LTD, LUTON

The Ojos Foods – Gold Fork Award Winner

The Ojos Foods already winner of 3* Stars, has won The Golden Fork Award and been nominated for the Supreme Champion Trophy with their premium Cured Beef “El Abuelo Maragato Halal”. These achievements put The Ojos Foods and El Abuelo Maragato amongst the elite. Only 20 products were selected for the The Golden Fork Awards including well known high street names and El Abuelo was the only Spanish Product.

The Ojos Foods were nominated again in the prestigious GREAT TASTE AWARDS 2019. These awards, held in London since 1994, are considered the “Oscars” of food. This year, 12,772 products have competed from more than one hundred countries. This year, four of The Ojos Foods Spanish products have been recognized:

The unique cured beef, El abuelo Margato Halal, is the only Spanish product to be awarded the prestigious 3 stars and Golden Fork Award 2019. Using the best “know how” and made only with natural ingredients the cured beef delivers a GASTRONONICAL MASTERPIECE, described by the experts as “Tender, sweet, velvety… simply phenomenal”.

The Ojos Foods starred winners are:

El Buey – 2* – Described as “The flavour is delicate, clean and very appealing, the fat offers sweetness and interest, adding depth. A delightful product made with care and attention to detail, the judges found it hard to fault this product”

Omeya Halal Beef Salami – 1* – Described as “Rich dark colour and good distribution of fat. The texture is moist and meaty and there is good mouth feel – not greasy. There is a perfect balance of seasoning and sweetness and a pleasing warmth of pepper at the end”.

Chorizo de Geras -1* – Described as “A fine looking Chorizo, beautifully prepared and presented. The fat content is good, the paprika heat well judged and the gentle smoke adds further pleasure. The fat release brings a succulence to the mouth. The finish is balanced and long.

Almost 13,000 products entered the Great Taste Awards, with the judges selecting only 20 to make it to Golden Fork Award Final. “When a company is considered a “multi-Great taste winner” it means that the black and gold star label adds much more value to your product in terms of credibility, when we talk about product quality. This opens doors to new buyers and translates into sales” explains Encina Barragan, The Ojos Foods Business Owner.

BELLA CAFE & LOUNGE // BRUNCH REVIEW

Last weekend we visited the lovely Bella Cafe & Lounge (formerly known as Bella Gelato) in Rayleigh. The restaurant is conveniently located just off of the high street, with parking very close by.

At first glance we could see that the cafe/restaurant was exceptionally busy, which indicated something was definitely right here! We arrived & were very quickly shown to our table.

We soon placed our orders, & our breakfasts of choice were the Lebanese breakfast & the traditional breakfast, & our drinks of choice were the chocolate milkshake & coco loco smoothie. Our drinks naturally were first to arrive & they looked amazing! The chocolate milkshake was thick & delicious (& polished off in minutes) whilst the smoothie was exotic & bursting with sweet flavour. Both drinks were very generous on size, & the glass that the smoothie was presented in was in the shape of a pineapple – a really cool touch. Our breakfasts arrived fairly quickly as well considering how busy the restaurant was which was great & definitely shows that the team here work fantastically together & under pressure, so hats off to each & every member of the team! Both breakfasts were huge & looked beautiful on their plates. The Lebanese breakfast was delicious – somewhat similar to a traditional breakfast but with a few pleasant twists, including spicy sausages, poached eggs sprinkled with a little spice, flatbread & outstanding grilled peppers & halloumi. Everything about this dish was incredible! The halloumi especially was cooked perfectly – I would go as far to say that this was probably the best halloumi I have ever had. I would hands down take this breakfast over a traditional fry up any day of the week! The other breakfast was a traditional breakfast, & was unquestionably delicious! Again, everything was cooked perfectly, especially the wonderfully photogenic & instagrammable poached eggs & I’m told the sausages were something else! We followed our breakfasts with a couple of coffees & a brunch ‘dessert’. Our coffees of choice were cappuccino & latte, & our desserts of choice was the strawberry pancakes. After such a filling breakfast, we opted to share a dessert as we knew we wouldn’t be able to get through one each – we definitely made the right choice in doing so because the pancakes were again very, very filling. Both coffees were lovely & smooth, & worked perfectly with the pancakes. The pancakes were outstanding – drizzled with white chocolate & served with fresh cut strawberries, everything about these pancakes was perfect. Absolutely faultless.

I would most definitely return to Bella, the service we received was fantastic, & the food was incredible – not only to eat but also get photos of, as it was so well presented! I’m certainly going to be visiting again, I’m intrigued as to see what the rest of the menu offers throughout the day. Thank you so much to the team here for inviting, warmly welcoming us, & looking after us!

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THE HALL (LAKESIDE) // LAUNCH

Intu Lakeside have recently undergone a bit of a renovation & are bringing lots more than just shopping to the centre, including this fantastic new food hall. We were lucky enough to be invited down to the launch day & be among the first to try it out.

The event was invite only, & on arrival our names were ticked off on the guestlist before being shown inside. We were then given a voucher (to the value of £10) which could be spent in any of the 6 eateries in The Hall, & presented with a much appreciated glass of fizz.

The 6 street food inspired eateries at The Hall include:
– Baoziinn Chinese
– Fanny’s Kebabs
– Burger & Beyond
– Fundi Pizza
– Mother Clucker
– Curry On Naan Stop

My friend whom I visited with chose to eat from Curry On Naan Stop, & I opted for Mother Clucker.

Each of our meals were great – there was a bit of a wait for both however this was to be expected with the venue being new, & how busy it was, however staff did everything they could to cater for all & made sure everything was perfect. I even managed to blag some extra chicken in my burger for waiting, & my friend managed to get her hands on some free fries – win win all round! We will be back for sure to try out the other stalls!

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SACLA // PRODUCT REVIEW

At Essex Foodies we have recently been lucky enough to be gifted with a small selection of rich & tantalizing Italian ingredients from the team at Sacla – a massive thank you to Sacla for getting these out to us!

In our package we received the following;
– ‘Nduja pesto
– Red pepper pesto
– Truffle pesto
– Tomato & olive intenso pasta sauce

We are of course looking forward to trying each ingredient out & sharing our creations with you. Keep a look out to see what we will be pairing each ingredient up with.

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ROYAL HOTEL // AFTERNOON TEA REVIEW

Last weekend Essex Foodies were lucky enough to be treated to an afternoon tea with fizz courtesy of The Royal Hotel in Southend. The afternoon offered everything you’d expect from an afternoon tea – delicate finger sandwiches, melt-in-the-mouth scones, deliciously rich cakes, as well as endless amounts of tea/coffee & the odd tipple.

Upon arrival, we were shown to our table overlooking a very busy Southend Seafront (thanks to the warm weather), & were served up a luscious glass of prosecco, neatly finished with a decorative raspberry. The prosecco went down a treat (as did it all!)

Next to arrive were our hot drinks – I opted for tea & Mum went for coffee. Each of us were given a large pot with our drinks of choice which were regularly topped up – service here was smooth & faultless, the girls waiting on us were so on the ball & made sure we never went without, or never left waiting.

Shortly after, the sandwich/cake stand arrived, & it looked incredible. On the menu there was;

sandwiches
– chicken mayo (my favourite by far)
– salmon & cream cheese
– egg mayo
– cucumber & cream cheese

scones
– fruit
– plain

cakes
– white chocolate tart
– strawberry bevarois
– Carribean cake

Despite there being plenty, we managed to get through everything! The sandwiches were perfect – the bread was fluffy & soft, & the sandwiches were not overloaded with filling meaning they weren’t too sickly – so top marks all round on the sandwich front! The scones again were perfect – they were still warm so you knew they had been freshly baked, & once you had sliced into them, they just crumbled – divine! The cakes were of course a hit too – they were sweet & complimented the savoury tastes very well. My favourite dessert was the white chocolate tart – it was light like a mousse but offered a depth of flavour. Again, top marks all round! Everything that was served up was eaten, so to me this speaks volumes. The Royal Hotel have certainly got the afternoon tea down to a t (pardon the pun!)

You will see from the photos below also how gorgeous everything looked – from the hotel itself, to the food. I would say that this is the perfect place for a girly treat.

A massive thank you to The Royal Hotel for having us, especially to Matt (Director) for inviting us along, & to all of the girls that looked after us on the day, everybody was so forthcoming & friendly & made it a very pleasurable experience. We can’t wait to come back!

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LIVE DOSA // ANNIVERSARY EVENT

Earlier this week, we had the absolute privilege of attending Live Dosa’s fifth year anniversary celebrations – so first off, thank you so much to Fazila & family for inviting us back to be part of the special celebrations & secondly, a massive congrats to these guys on their fifth year – they are clearly doing something very right! The restaurant was absolutely rammed, which was absolutely fabulous to see (& very well deserved).

The evening started with a prosecco reception which was definitely welcomed by all. We opted to sit outside with our drinks, as the sun was beaming! Once we had finished our drinks, we were led to our table inside where we were greeted with some delicious appetisers. It was a really nice touch that the appetisers were ready & waiting on the table – it’s definitely nice to have something to nibble on whilst waiting.

Following from appetisers were starters – & of course there were going to be dosas! If you’ve not tried a dosa, you need to! They are a large crepe stuffed with a potato masala filling, & they are amazing. Saying that, everything on offer was outstanding, I particularly love the onion bhajis here, they are perfectly crispy & full of fresh flavour, & my friend particularly enjoyed the chicken pudina – made using fresh mint from the garden.

Next up were mains – there were four different main courses on offer, so there was something for everyone! Mains were served with basmati rice & appam – the perfect sides to accompany the hot & powerful curries. Our favourite of the four mains was definitely the chicken curry (Chicken Pirattal) – it was warming with a fiery kick, but not too intense – exactly how a curry should be. The other dishes were nice but not dishes that we would choose ourselves – having said that, we did give each of them a try. On offer there was Mix Seafood Roast, Erissery & Nadan Parripu.

Once the tables had been cleared, the fun started! Desserts were served, & entertainment began. Fazila made a lovely speech, thanking everyone for their support over the years which was lovely & very touching – you can really tell how passionate the family are about cooking & their restaurant. A massive, massive congratulations to them & a happy fifth birthday to Live Dosa! Entertainment came in the shape of traditional Southern Indian dancing, firstly performed by Fazila’s daughters (this was adorable, the girls absolutely loved it, their little faces were glowing), and secondly by performer Suzanna Harrington. The dancing was energetic & got everyone in the party spirit!

As always, we had a fantastic evening at Live Dosa, & it’s so refreshing to see an independent restaurant doing so well for themselves. Thank you to Fazila for inviting us to the special celebrations, & a big thank you to all of the team for looking after us. We look forward to the next milestone celebrations!

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THE RUBY // TAKEAWAY REVIEW

On Friday evening, Essex Foodies were treated to a delicious takeaway courtesy of The Ruby, which is an Indian takeaway based in Braintree. It had already been agreed what we would be taking away & this was the signature Kati roll – Special Murghee Roll. The roll is a wrap filled with chicken tikka, onion bhaji & salad, so a couple of Indian takeaway classics in the convenience of a wrap.

My friend & I each had a roll of our own, which at first we did question whether this would be enough but as soon as we started tucking into the roll, we realised it would definitely be enough. The roll was absolutely brimming with flavourful chicken, onion bhaji & salad! The chicken itself was very tender & tasty, & the salad was fresh & crunchy, whilst the onion bhaji provided a bit of crunch – all perfectly complimenting each other.

The rolls were absolutely delicious & left nothing to be desired whatsoever! The size of a roll is definitely adequate for one person, you wouldn’t need anything else to go with it (unless you wanted to, of course). In all honesty, this wouldn’t have been something I would’ve chose personally to have as when it comes to takeaways, I’m more of a picky-eater, & would rather a bit of everything, however saying that, now that I have tried the roll, it would be something that I would have again. I think that it’s also a good value option too in that if you were ordering for one person, this would literally be all you’d need, & you’d only be paying for one dish – saving £££.

Both my friend & I really enjoyed our rolls & our hunger was definitely satisfied, so thank you to The Ruby for sharing their signature dish with us – we look forward to ordering again & sampling more of the menu (which I have included below) & can be viewed here – https://www.theruby.co/menus/.

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PETTY 4S // RESTAURANT REVIEW

A couple of weeks ago, Essex Foodies very politely received a message on Instagram inviting us to come along & visit this brand new restaurant in Canvey. With the restaurant being so new, there was very little to go by (no website, nothing on Tripadvisor), so we were pretty much going in blind, other than what we had seen on Petty 4s Instagram page (all of which looked incredible). Our visit did not disappoint, & our review will show you exactly why.

We visited Petty 4s on Friday evening, so a nice little treat at the beginning of the bank holiday weekend. Upon arrival, manager Leah showed us to our table & advised that we would not be choosing from the menu, but rather sampling a few dishes from the menu so that we could get a feel for it all.

To begin, we enjoyed some homemade sourdough bread with butter. The bread was exceptionally good, & extremely more-ish, we tried to resist asking for more as we didn’t want to get too full before we had even started but we soon gave in!

For our starter(s), we enjoyed crab ravioli followed by garlic chicken. In all honesty, I was a bit nervous with the crab as when I have tried it before, I’ve not liked it. I’ve found it to be, as silly as it sounds, too fishy. I still gave it a go, & was very pleasantly surprised! Everything at Petty 4s is made from scratch, so the pasta had been freshly made & the crab had been brought it fresh from Billingsate Market (alive!) & prepared by Chef Alfie in the kitchen. The ravioli was absolutely lovely & would definitely be something I’d order in future.

Next up was the garlic chicken. A simple dish very well presented, as you can see.

The chicken was nice, & I did enjoy it, however it wouldn’t be something I would necessarily order (just personal preference). I did really enjoy the bed of spinach & sweetcorn which it came on – an unusual combination of flavours that worked.

Next up on the menu was steak… (woohoo!) I absolutely love steak & will quite often order one if I go out for dinner, so I was very excited to try it Petty 4s-style.

The steak was cooked medium-rare & was served with fondant potatoes, caramelised onion & parsnip puree, all of which were fantastic. The steak itself was melt-in-the-mouth & left nothing to be desired. I would certainly order this for myself, & would definitely recommend it.

Following on from our steak main, we enjoyed two different desserts – lemon posset & chocolate cake.

The lemon posset was lovely, light & refreshing, almost a palette cleanser after our main meal. The portion size was just right, & I especially loved the modern/trendy bowls that the dessert was served in. If you ever happen to be in Canvey along the seafront, I would definitely recommend popping in & getting yourself this over an ice cream!

And finally.. The chocolate cake!

The chocolate cake was delightful! It was rich, sticky & the right taste to finish off our meal. I generally find chocolate cakes a bit too rich, however this was just right, thanks to its small portion size & serving of ice cream.

My Mum & I were delighted with everything that we tried, & both agree that we would definitely visit again (especially after their Sunday roast was mentioned). The service was fantastic, & the staff couldn’t do enough for us.

Thank you to all at Petty 4s, especially Leah & Alfie, for inviting us & looking after us, we had a fantastic evening, & left with very content tummies!

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JODHPUR INDIAN KITCHEN // BLOG EVENT

Last week, Essex Foodies attended their first ever blog event! So this itself was a milestone for us, to be recognised & invited along. We attended this Indian restaurant located in Basildon alongside various other bloggers, & enjoyed an array of delightful Indian dishes.

The first dishes on offer were a small tray of poppadoms per pair which were accompanied by a variety of dips, also on offer was a small dish consisting of chickpeas & lentils, however I did not try this as I’m not a fan of chickpeas.

Next up we had a variety of starters. The food was served family-style (so picky bits), & was shared between 8 people per table, meaning everyone got to sample everything. There were onion bhajis, chicken tikka (herb), as well as a couple of other bits which I didn’t catch the name of but were a chicken-styel kebab & a deep fried dish. I tried each starter & I really liked them all, in particular I liked the fish. What stood out to me the most with the starters was infact the presentation, & how beautifully bright all of the dips were. There really was something for everyone!

Next up were mains, & again these were served family-style. Honestly, I didn’t find this ideal because it was a bit of a scramble having to share the dishes out around the table, I think it would’ve made more sense to have maybe done a few more dishes but smaller portions, this would’ve meant everyone could’ve sorted their dinner sorted a bit more efficiently & also a bit less awkwardly! Nonetheless, it was still very pleasant, & I enjoyed all of the dishes I tried.

Unfortunately I didn’t catch the names of each of the curries, but they were very nice! I only braved three of them, as the dry dish we were advised was a hot one. On offer was also a potato curry dish, which I was actually really surprised at – I didn’t think I would like it, but it was really nice! I was expecting it to be very heavy, & it was the complete opposite. There was also a good selection of rices, I went for the mushroom & pilau rices to accompany my meal.

Apologies for how unphotogenic this picture is, but it’s curry, once it’s on your plate, it never looks appetising! As you can see, I also had a bit of naan bread, I wouldn’t normally go for this as I find it way too filling & it ends up ruining the meal for me as I will be too stuffed but, this particular naan was pink peppercorn! A must try!

The food at Jodhpur Indian Kitchen was all lovely, & I couldn’t say a bad word about any of it. Each dish was extremely tasty, & very filling.

One thing that we did also notice on the menu, was that the curries do actually come with sides, meaning you don’t have to buy each dish separately (unless of course you do want additional bits), which essentially is fantastic value.

Thank you to Jodhpur Indian Kitchen for hosting a wonderful evening, & for their outstanding service – each member of staff we spoke to were very passionate, which was really lovely to see, & thank you to Verri Berri for inviting us along.

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ESSEX FOODIES ABROAD // BRATISLAVA

Last month (March) I visited Bratislava, Slovakia just as a little weekend getaway. Prior to any trip I go on, I will always rummage through Tripadvisor to see what’s hot & what’s recommended. Somehow, I stumbled across a little restaurant called Jump Street. It looked amazing. The restaurant specialises in serving black bun burgers, which, much to my liking are extremely Instagrammable. Even if the reviews were bad (which they weren’t) I was still set on going purely for the pics.

The restaurant was easy to find (with the help of Google Maps), however it isn’t very noticeable – so if you do plan on ever visiting, don’t expect glistening neon lights! Moving on to the burger…

Ok, so I honestly had little hope for this burger (apologies to Jump Street), I expected it to be a gimmick with the burger presented as it were, but let me tell you, it was GLORIOUS. The meat itself was cooked medium, & was packed full of tasty burger juice, amongst onion, tomato, relish etc. I would certainly suggest checking Jump Street out if you happen to travel to Bratislava, not only because the food is incredible here, but because you you’ve got the chance to get the perfect burger-biting action shot! Their dessert – chocolate lava cake is also pretty awesome.

SILKE // RESTAURANT REVIEW

A bit of a special post from Essex Foodies this evening. There’s not a full review to put up because at the time we were invited to this restaurant, we were not writing reviews in the format that we currently do, instead we were using the Instagram page more as an advertising platform for local businesses, by posting only images… how times have changed! Anyway, Silke holds a bit of a special place in the EF hearts as this was the first restaurant we were ever invited to, so essentially, this is what kick started us (thank you, Silke!) I can honestly say this was one of the best places I had eaten in Chelmsford. The restaurant was family owned & run which I 100% prefer, as I find it calmer with a better atmosphere, & you just always feel so much more welcomed than you would in a chain. Sadly, Silke has since ceased trading, however I wanted to give them a mention as they were there, right at the very beginning.

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