15 November 2011

Mulled Wine, Mince Pies & Christmas Shopping

Last week I played ‘hostess with the mostest’ to a Fun and Frolics Christmas Shopping evening with online boutique Mollie and Fred, Phoenix Trading and 20 very giddy guests ready to get in the festive mood!

My lounge was taken over with gorgeous homeware, gifts and Christmas decorations from Mollie and Fred. And my kitchen table was adorned with Christmas cards and gift wraps from Phoenix Trading. I was secretly hoping that one of the Wish Original Duck Doorstops would get lost and left behind.

The kitchen was definitely the place to be with everyone huddled round the mulled wine on the stove – I can deffo recommend the Schwartz mulled wine sachets.

Here’s the very simple recipe, which when I was too busy to follow, my lovely guests took into their own hands...

75cl bottle red wine
200ml (7fl oz) water
4 tbs brown sugar
2 Schwartz Mulled Wine Spice sachets


Place the wine, water, sugar and Mulled Wine Spice sachets in a large saucepan. Heat to just below boiling point and hold this temperature for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove sachets and serve with orange slices to garnish. Makes approx. 1 litre.

For a warming non-alcoholic alternative, add 2 sachets to 1 litre of cranberry juice, heat as above then remove the sachets and serve garnished with orange slices.

Mince pies were a selection from Morrisons and Marks and Spencers and I must say I preferred the Morrisons slightly cheaper version!!

Anyway mulled wine, mince pies, home shopping and friends – what better way to get into the festive mood!

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08 November 2011

Discovering Ladurée

Last weekend I finally got to experience Ladurée and the most a-mazing macaroons in the world.

Everything from the moment you step into the picture perfect store in Convent Garden, to the macaroon towers, exquisite packaging and ribbon, the sweet buttercream smell, to the rainbow coloured macaroons and the taste.

Taking advice of the sales lady we opted for the caramel with salted butter and chocolate.  Sadly I accidentally squashed the macaroons in my bag as we were saving them for a coffee break so we could fully appreciate their beauty, they were still okay,  my favourite was the caramel flavour which tasted like Werther's Original - divine!

The Ladurée website is full of whimsical character and worth checking out http://www.laduree.fr. I also recommend the The Goddess Experience by Gisèle Scanlon http://www.thegoddessguide.com/ who dedicates a whole chapter to macaroons!  If you like Ladurée  you'll love her book which is jam packed full of fashion, beauty, travel and inspirations from around the world - essential for any worthy goddess!

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01 November 2011

Freeze Festival

Nope, I’m not talking about some brrr cold festi in Iceland, although that would have been jolly nice - but the Relentless Freeze Festival at Battersea Power Station. What an epic weekend! If you’ve no idea what I’m babbling about check it out the website http://www.relentlessfreeze.com/  and read my top moments from Freeze this year! 

Battersea Power Station - great back drop
Here are my Top 10 reasons why I loved Freeze:

1. Shopping – a retail village with everything from skis, ski hats, ski jackets to ski holiday’s – everything you need to get yourself sorted for the winter season ahead. Plus, I picked up a pretty lush Nikita Jacket at a billy bargain price from the Freeze Pro Shop.
Loving my new Flying Saucer jacket by Nikita
2. One Piece - discovering the ultimate lounge wear must have and enjoying trying it on in public?!
Having fun at the One Piece stand
3. War and Piste – meeting the author Alex Thomas bantering about seasons, the first ski company she worked for and who we knew from the mountain... all top secret of course!

The book every newbie seasonnaire should read
4. Ostrich – tried my first Ostrich burger, which at £7.50 was worth every penny!

5. Tuaca – a rather yummy vanilla citrus liqueur which goes down well with coke.
Tuaca Lodge
6. Desperados – no ski winter event is complete without a Desperado, which left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

7. Kangol Bar – discovering some funky tunes and chilling out before the big acts in the Main Tent.

8. The Streets – 'mental' pretty much sums up their last London performance. The crowd were on one in more ways than one and Mike Skinner did not disappoint.

Mike Skinner doing his thing!
9. Big air – well, that’s what the whole festival centres around, big slope, big jump and big air = awesome!
Brave or mad?
10. Good vibes – which is what you get when you mix a load of snow loving bums, some après drinks and good tunes.

Festival rating = 8/10

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