Monday, 29 December 2014

Resolve to say "No" to New Year Resolutions!

A top organisation for men has issued a surprising call for men to be brave and ignore the clamour for them to make some form of  New Year Resolution or an other and to just say no!

In fact, Round Table is offering a place of sanctuary to men who don’t want to  make a pledge to go on a diet, swear off alcohol or to join a gym.

Round Table, which has a staggering 400 clubs across the United Kingdom and Ireland for men who range in ages from aged 18-45, is promising to remain a resolution free zone and it's actively encouraging men to seek refuge in their local club.

The ringing in of the ‘New Year’ provides a chance to look at life and make changes.

But with nearly 80% of men and women failing to stick to their resolutions, Round Table is throwing open its doors to men who want to do more, but who do not want to risk stigmatising themselves as failures.

Steve Glaister, the president of Round Table Britain & Ireland, told That's Christmas: “New Year is about celebration and making the most of life…not a punishment pledge to radically alter our lifestyle.

“The high failure rates show resolutions are futile. This is why we believe they should be abolished. Why feel a failure for not keeping to a resolution?

“As a result, Round Table pledges to remain a New Year Resolution free zone, offering a safe haven for those wanting to celebrate life, to do more and feel a success.

“This is a chance for men from all walks of life to try something new. There are no strings attached. I urge men to discover a world of new activities and new skills.”

Round Table is offering men in the 18-45 age bracket a free night out with their nearest club in January 2015, with no resolution needed.

To learn more text JOIN and your postcode to 60066 to receive your invitation!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Friday, 26 December 2014

A White Christmas in Plymouth!

Drake Circus Plymouth had snow for last minute Christmas Eve shoppers.

Drake Circus, in the Christmas spirit, brought real snow to their shoppers this year. Festive snow fell at Drake Circus Shopping Centre this Christmas Eve.

Shoppers embraced the snow with many taking #snowselfie pictures with loved ones. The snow machines being used at Drake Circus were used as the official snow machines of the Sotchi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Happy St. Stephen's Day, everyone!

Yes, today we celebrate the feast of St. Stephen's Day.

This day, 26th December, is also known as Boxing Day in the UK and some Commonwealth nations.

Queen's Speech 2014: Her Majesty pays poppy and Ebola tribute

Christmas misery for thousands as City Link Parcels goes into administration

There is misery  this Christmas for thousands of employees of City Link Parcels and for some customers who might not have received Christmas deliveries that they were expecting.

It is rumoured that some staff are owed wages. Staff members were only told that they had lost their jobs on Christmas Eve.

It is understood that some undelivered parcels that are in the City Link system will be returned to the sender. Or that people expecting parcels might be able to collect them from a City Link depot.

The story is covered by the BBC at  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30602326

and by the Financial Times at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/572c548e-8c7c-11e4-ad27-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3MxcgPzJK

The City Link website is at http://www.city-link.co.uk.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

There are many film/movie versions of a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens here are some for you to enjoy

There are many film/movie versions of a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens here are some for you to enjoy. (c) is acknowledged where appropriate.










                                 

Give back some Heart this Christmas with your unwanted Christmas gifts

This Christmas, British Heart Foundation (BHF) shops are urging people to give back by donating their unwanted Christmas presents to charity. The profit raised from BHF shops goes on to fund life-saving research into heart disease.

Up to n64% of people said they receive two unwanted Christmas presents every year.

With the average price per Christmas gift at £21.75 (2), over £2.7 billion pounds worth of unwanted presents could be donated to charity this year.

BHF shops accept all of your unwanted gifts, everything from candles, Christmas jumpers, socks, games, handbags, books, DVDs and other items you no longer want.

BHF Deputy Retail Director, Diane Locke, told That's Christmas: "It’s incredible there’s £2.7 billion worth of unwanted Christmas gifts in the UK this year. Every year people receive presents that are just not to their taste, are the wrong size, or even two of the same gift.

“These unwanted presents can make an extraordinary difference to BHF shops. We’re encouraging  people to donate their unwanted gifts and help raise vital funds in the fight against heart disease.”

For more information on BHF shops and to locate your nearest shop visit: www.bhf.org.uk or call 0844 412 5000.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year

Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year

Joyeux Noël et une bonne et heureuse nouvelle année

Buon Natale e un Felice Anno Nuovo e prospero

メリークリスマスとハッピーで豊かな新年

Glædelig jul og et godt og lykkebringende nytår

Feliĉan Kristnaskon kaj feliĉan kaj prosperan Novan Jaron

Wesołych Świąt i Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku i dostatniej

Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches und erfolgreiches neues Jahr
Feliz Navidad y un feliz y próspero año nuevo

Nadolig Llawen a Hapus a ffyniannus Blwyddyn Newydd

Nollaig Shona agus Shona agus níos rathúla Athbhliain

Et bene ac feliciter anni Christmas

圣诞快乐和新年

Prettige kerstdagen en een gelukkig en voorspoedig Nieuwjaar.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers

And to everyone who has helped make That's Christmas the success it is!


Now you can read That's Christmas in your own language!

With the invaluable help of Google Translate, you can now read That's Christmas in your own language.

So when we say Merry Christmas, you will be able to read it as Merry Christmas in your own language.

This is just one of the ways that we at That's Christmas (basically my wife and myself) are working to provide our readers with an enhanced and improved service.

Looking for something different in the Twixtmas and New Year period?

Former Milking Parlour near Wookey Hole Caves and Cheddar Gorge New Year £584pw for four

A former milking parlour sleeping four near the Somerset village of Wookey and the famous caves at Wookey Hole and Cheddar Gorge is available for New Year week from Monday, 29th December.

When the children aren't busy exploring the caverns underground they can play table tennis in the games room alongside the cottage. The cathedral city of Wells and Glastonbury with its tor are also within easy reach for days out.

Newly converted using sympathetic local materials and preserving many original features, the smartly furnished cottage has oak beams and high vaulted ceilings. It’s priced at £584 for each week through West Country Cottages, to book call 01803 814000 or visit www.westcountrycottages.co.uk.

The Milking Parlour sleeps 4 for year 2014 | Helpful Holidaysphoto of Holiday cottages in Wookey, Somerset | The Milking Parlour sleeps 4 for year 2014 | Helpful Holidays

Spend Christmas and New Year on Exmoor at Pipistrelle Cottage £497 per week for four

A stylish barn conversion for four at Kentisbury Ford on the edge of Exmoor National Park, North Devon is available for Christmas and New Year weeks from Saturday 20th and 27th December.

Inside Pipistrelle Cottage is fresh and bright with an open plan living area, striking blue and white seating and beamed ceilings throughout making a welcome return after a day out. The coast is around five miles at Combe Martin. It’s priced at £497 per week (£124 pppw) during the festive season; to book call 01803 814000 or visit www.westcountrycottages.co.uk.

That's Books: In Love with Paris

That's Books: In Love with Paris: Thérèse provides top tips for penning the perfect circular letter Novelist Thérèse, was so enlightened by time spent in Paris that she w...

Shop While You Pit-Stop This Christmas! Welcome Break Is 2014’s Go-To Destination For Last Minute Gifts

Welcome Break, the friendly and helpful motorway services provider, has released its Last Minute Gift List for Christmas 2014, with ideas designed to soothe the minds of weary travellers who need to shop while they pit-stop this festive season.

The volume of drivers stopping at a Welcome Break service station over Christmas has increased year-on-year over the past four years, and last year an incredible 43,000 cars used Welcome Break on Christmas Day, alone.

All 27 Welcome Break sites will be open for the full 24 hours of Christmas Day, so this means they are a remarkable and highly valuable resource for those travelling between their families and friends on the big day, or even those who have to work on Christmas Day.

Keeping this in mind,Welcome Break has put together a list of the Top 10 gifts that can be bought now at its sites nationwide, from a range of popular and high end brands like Starbucks, Baylis & Harding, Burt’s Bees and Hope & Greenwood.

There’s sure to be the perfect gift for everyone you can think of, be they a beauty mad teen or the foodie who appreciates the finer things in life:

1. For the coffee addict: Starbucks red Rudolph mug (£12.95) with Christmas coffee (£5.95 for 250g)
2. For the niece and nephews: Top Trumps sets (two for £10 at WH Smith)
3. For the beauty addict: Baylis & Harding Beauticology Gingerbread foot set (£8 at WH Smith)
4. For those with a sweet tooth: Krispy Kreme festive dozen (£10.95 for 12)
5. For the foodie: Heston from Waitrose Chocolate Christmas Cake (£16)
6. For the worn-out parent: Hope & Greenwood cuddle up Christmas set (£12 from Waitrose)
7. For the kids: Wallace Christmas Bear (£10 from Waitrose)
8. For the gardener: Royal Horticultural Society Wax Lyrical candle and diffuser gift set (£11.25 from Waitrose)
9. For the little princess: Tangled DVD (£9.99) and Brave DVD (£9.99, both from WH Smith)
10. For the host: Christmas rose gift (£6 from Waitrose)

Rod McKie, who is the CEO of Welcome Break told That's Christmas: “With more and more people travelling between friends and relatives on December 25th, we've seen visitor numbers increasing to the tune of around 12% year on year. When you throw increasingly busy lifestyles into the mix, then it’s understandable that Welcome Break is becoming a top destination for last minute shoppers who want to find high quality gifts on the last leg of their Christmas journeys.

“Fortunately the increasingly wide range of premium brands we have on site at Welcome Break, like Starbucks, Waitrose, and WH Smith, all offer a vast range of gift options so our customers are sure to find something for everyone.”

EDITOR: WH Smith, forecourt and toilet facilities will be open at every Welcome Break on Christmas Day for the full 24 hour period. Starbucks and Waitrose will be open, but please be aware that times will vary from site-to-site, but the core hours will be 8am – 10pm. But all sites will have hot drink facilities available whatever the individual store opening times.

Items mentioned above will, of course, be subject to availability. Stock and pricing may vary from store to store

Welcome Break has recently announced a new partnership with the Subway, and branches have opened at ten Welcome Break locations to date. It has also partnered with salad bar brand Tossed and has two units now open at Birchanger Green and South Mimms. Welcome Break also operates 29 Days Inn and Ramada hotels across the UK motorway network.

To find out where the stores and hotels are located, please visit http://www.welcomebreak.co.uk.

That's Christmas has a sneaky idea. If you suddenly realise that you are short of a present, perhaps something is broken, or you find out at the last minute that your family's version of Uncle or Aunt Scrooge,  after years of declining invitations to spend Christmas with you has, with the assistance of some Christmas Spirits (Scotch or Gin, perhaps?)  why not get in your car, go to the nearest Welcome Break facility, buy a suitable replacement or emergency Chirstmas present and you'll be the family Christmas hero for years to come!

And all with the help of those unsung heroes and heroines, the Welcome Break staff who will be sacrificing some of their Christmas Day to make sure that your Christmas Day goes well.



Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Germany tops the league for Christmas markets and delicacies

A survey for Europe’s top ferry operator, DFDS Seaways, shows that we Britons think Germany has the best Christmas markets, with Munich and Cologne topping the city leader board as first and second respectively.

37% of those polled rated German Christmas markets as the best, which was head and shoulders above the UK with 8% of the vote. Belgium came third with 6% of the vote and France only received 3%.

Bruges came third overall as being the city with the best Christmas markets with just over 6% of the vote. This wasn't true for all ages, however, as Paris came top of the list with younger people aged 16-24 years old, with a fifth of respondents citing the French capital as the best festive city, compared to just 1% of older people aged 55 years old and over.

Why visit?
When asked what would motivate people to visit a European Christmas market, going away as part of a mini break came out as the most popular choice (48%), followed by the desire to experience local traditions (37%) and a quarter (24%) cited indulging in European delicacies, that are not widely available in the UK, as a key motivator.  Interestingly, one of the most popular reasons given by the younger generation (16-24 year olds) to visit was to have a ‘magical experience’, with 41% giving that as a key motivation, compared to just 29% of those aged 55 years old and over. Over a quarter (28%) of those surveyed also said that buying presents was a key reason for visiting the markets.

UK knowledge of European delicacies
Most people were able to identify where traditional European delicacies originated from, with German Stollen being the most recognisable with 83% of the vote, followed by France’s Pain D’épices (82%) and Dutch Advocaat had 51% recognition. Generally, people over 34 years old had a greater recognition of the traditional foods from other European countries than their younger counterparts. For example, 83% of the older generation of 55 years and older had heard of Advocaat, compared to only a quarter (27%) of 16-24 year olds. Similarly, more than two-third of the over 45s were familiar with Panettone, compared to just a quarter of 16-24 year olds. Denmark’s Ris a l’amande was the least known treat with only 6% of respondents having even heard of it.

Max Foster, passenger director at DFDS Seaways, says: “Over the last few years we have noticed a greater interest in European Christmas markets and I was not surprised that nearly three quarters of those asked would like to visit one. One of the great things about travelling by car and ferry is that there are no luggage restrictions, so picking up special presents and delicious Christmas food and drink is easy. With our ferry routes into Holland and northern France, travelling to the European Christmas markets is also easier and more affordable than you might think, and we have some great Christmas market short breaks available on our Newcastle to Amsterdam service.”

DFDS Seaways operates 50 sailings a day between the UK and France, as well as daily sailings between Newcastle and Amsterdam, providing flexible crossing times and convenient travel options. All DFDS Seaways ferries are equipped with a range of high quality onboard facilities so your holiday starts as soon as you board the ferry.

www.dfds.co.uk.

Christmas in Shrewsbury - #oneoffstory



Shrewsbury’s first Christmas video, promoting it’s unique offer, was unveiled by Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID) at the town’s Christmas Cracker Event on Wednesday 19th November.

The film was projected onto the front of the Museum and Art Gallery in the town’s Market Square as part of a unique lighting display by Andy McKeown at the Lights Switch-On.

The video is now available to watch on the Original Shrewsbury YouTube channel and here at That's Christmas.

The film illustrates Emily Hurdiss’ Christmas story as she shops along the snowy streets of Shrewsbury and enjoys a series of ‘will they, won’t they’ close encounters with a handsome young man.

With the strap line ‘Let Your Christmas Story Start Here’ the film invites viewers to share Emily’s Christmas story whilst showcasing a selection of town centre shopping and leisure businesses and famous Shrewsbury sights with a sprinkling of Christmas magic.

The two minute film has been directed by local filmographer, Aaron Child, and features Emily Hurdiss and James Mitchell, having both grown up in Shrewsbury and now pursuing acting careers in London.

The soundtrack comes from Gareth Rhys Jones, winner of Shrewsbury BID’s competition to create the accompanying music for the video. Following its use on the video, Gareth is releasing the song on 1st December which will be available to download on iTunes, Amazon as well as other online retailers.

Kirsten Henly, Shrewsbury BID Manager, said: “We are lucky in Shrewsbury to have so much local talent on which to draw, including Aaron for the filming and Andy McKeown for his projection at the Lights Switch-On.

“Our first video ‘Summer in Shrewsbury’ attracted more than 26,000 views, so we’re hoping to build on its success with this latest film, which is packed with beautiful shots of the town, as well as local businesses and local people playing their parts in it. The nation is gripped by how brands are connecting emotionally with audiences at Christmas through creative marketing campaigns and our ‘one-off story’ presents Shrewsbury and its festive offer with a mix of magic and humour."

What’s in your Christmas dinner?

For most of us, Christmas is a time for presents, parties and piling on the pounds. But despite it only coming once a year, December 25th can be a daunting day for the more health-conscious.

LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor decided to do a little investigating to find out just how nutritious – or potentially artery-clogging – some of our favourite festive nibbles and tipples really are:-

Champagne
Champagne contains about the same amount of calories as a chocolate Digestive biscuit, which makes it one of the lighter Christmas tipples. But studies have shown that the carbon dioxide it contains can get you drunk quicker. If you’re feeling a little tiddly after a couple of glasses, have a glass of water and eat something to line your stomach.

Mixed nuts
Don’t be fooled – a pot of mixed nuts might be high in protein, but they're also very calorific and tend to come covered in salt and oil.

Turkey
Turkey is low in fat, high in protein, and contains a lot of B vitamins. It also contains tryptophan, which – when consumed with carbohydrates – produces melatonin, inducing that familiar Christmas day drowsiness.

To make your meal a little healthier, try removing the skin before you eat the turkey and bear in mind that light meat tends to be less fatty than dark meat.

Roast potatoes
Before they’re cooked, potatoes are almost fat free! To keep them as healthy as possible, cut them into large chunks (the bigger they are, the smaller their overall surface area, meaning less fat is absorbed). You can also switch goose fat for unsaturated vegetable oils.

Brussels sprouts
Sprouts contain lots of fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, and carotenoids (which are great for keeping your eyes healthy). They also contain high levels of raffinose, which cannot be broken down by the stomach. In the lower intestine, raffinose is fermented by bacteria, leading to the production of smelly gases!

Gravy
Make your grave healthier by using the water you’ve cooked your vegetables in, and skimming any fat off the meat juices before adding them.

Stuffing
A traditional chestnut stuffing will pack a nutritional punch. Chestnuts are low in fat, high in vitamin C and potassium and are a healthy, tasty alternative to sausage meat.

Cranberry sauce
Cranberries are a brilliant source of antioxidants, as well as vitamin C and fibre. Cut down on added sugar and additives by making it yourself.

Christmas pudding
Though Christmas pudding is packed with sugar, it’s also low in fat and high in fibre, and contains lots of B vitamins, potassium and calcium. Boost the health benefits of your pud by making it yourself (shop bought will contain more fat and sugar).

Eggnog
Any drink that contains sugar, cream and booze is unlikely to get the seal of approval from a doctor! But there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of indulgence on Christmas Day. Just make sure you enjoy your eggnog in moderation…

Chocolate
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a bit of chocolate. But if you’re worried about overdoing it, you can always swap your white or milk chocolate for darker varieties that contain less fat and sugar, and more antioxidants and essential minerals.

That's Christmas would like to thank Dr Tom, the LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor for his invaluable help in putting this article together. https://onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com.

When animals got prezzies!

The animal residents at Drayton Manor Zoo had a pleasant surprise earlier this month, when they all received a little something from Santa himself.

They all got early Christmas gifts, when the great man himself paid a visit to the 15-acre attraction on Wednesday 17th December, as part of its Animal Enrichment programme.

There was a wide variety of festive gifts for the animals, from rabbit for the leopards, mealworms for the meerkats.

The gibbons and parrots had nuts and seeds respectively.

Joyce Roberts, who is the manager of the zoo told That's Christmas: "Christmas is the season for giving and we wanted to make sure our residents at the zoo weren't forgotten, either!"

She went on to say: "The animals have given families who have visited the zoo a day out to remember and they definitely deserve their gifts!”

Drayton Manor Theme Park’s Magical Christmas event will be open from the 27th – 31st December and Europe’s only Thomas Land™ attraction will open on Saturday 14th February 2015 for a fun-filled February half term, closing on Sunday 22nd February. The 15-acre zoo will also be open. For further information about Drayton Manor Theme Park or to pre-book discounted entry tickets visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk or call 0844 472 1960.

Don't let them be alone this Christmas! But half a million will.

6.9 million older people in Britain will be relieved when Christmas is over, national research shows.

And what is worse, half a million older people in Britain will spend Christmas Day entirely alone.

New research, undertaken by pub chain Ember Inns shows that 20% of older people will awake on Christmas morning dreading the day ahead.

And nearly in 20 older people didn’t receive one single present last Christmas.

The worst part about Christmas Day for nearly one in 10 older people is spending the time alone. In fact, 11% say they feel upset when they see other people with families on Christmas Day.

Nearly one in 10 older people say will be making do with a pre-purchased ready meal on Christmas Day.

Ember Inns has decided to redress this problem by donating a table at every one of its 130 pubs across the UK on Christmas Day to lonely older people from the local community.

Each pub has donated a four course Christmas dinner, free of charge, so lonely older people can spend the day surrounded by their peers.

Fiona Richardson, who is the Marketing Manager for Ember Inns, said, “At Ember Inns we're passionate about communities. We all have friends or relatives who live alone. This can be a very hard for some of them, especially so in the run up to Christmas and our pubs are ideally situated in the community to help.

"Our pubs are all over the UK so lonely older people will be certain to have one near them that they can rely on for the perfect Christmas this year.”

In the UK over half of all 75 year olds live alone and one in ten suffers ‘intense’ loneliness but is reluctant to ask for help and 17% of older people think Christmas is ‘just like any other day’.

For more information visit www.emberinns.co.uk .

Merry Twixtmas from Wales!

A new idea that is aimed at beating a modern social problem, a lack of time due to over-planned and scheduled lifestyles, is happening in Wales, in  Bridgend County, to be exact. It's happening over the five days between Christmas and New Year.

Bridgend County is the first Welsh host of Twixtmas - a UK-wide campaign to offer a chance for families and friends to get together and try out some new activities, help other people and to rediscover how to reclaim valuable time during a traditionally 'dead' period in the calendar.

Between 27th and 31st January, the #WelshTwixtmas programme will motivate people to try something new, help others, or do things they've been putting off throughout the year.

In Bridgend, the Twixtmas campaign group's got together with top tourist operators and community groups, backed by the local council, to offer a fantastic range of Twixtmas events to transform what can be a boring part of the year into a period for families to enjoy a ‘happiness binge’.

#WelshTwixtmas will encourage you to do something different during Twixtmas. It encourages you to ‘Seek’ ‘Blitz’ ‘Learn’ ‘Give’ and ‘Walk’ during the five days, through a series of engaging events in Bridgend County Borough. These will include:

27 Dec: Seek the Naturekeeper’s quest through a family treasure hunt in the Bridgend countryside through the council’s new ‘Dare to Discover’ mobile app
28 Dec: Blitz your environment through a beach clean-up at Porthcawl’s Rest Bay beach
29 Dec: Learn something new at a ‘University of Twixtmas’ event at Cwm Tawel Yurts
30 Dec: Give blood to the Welsh Blood Service or donate food to Bridgend Food Bank
31 Dec: Walk the stunning Bridgend stretch of the Wales Coastal Path

As part of its support for the Twixtmas campaign, a UK-wide initiative,  the campaign group will also launch a ‘Happiness Binge Guide’ to encourage people to take up the activities on offer and set goals for 2015 in line with the Twixtmas drive to ‘do something different’.

Andy Green from the Twixtmas campaign group, said: “We live in a society that is characterised by overscheduled lifestyles and rife with a real lack of time to spend quality time with ourselves, our families and friends. Research shows that the average British family spends just 49 minutes per day together - with many parents having to adopt a ‘shift parenting’ approach to taking care of their children."

“The five days of Twixtmas are an opportunity for people to reclaim valuable time, reassess their lifestyles and do something different - for themselves, the community, their family or someone else. It’s a timely reminder to all of us of the importance of taking quality and leisure time seriously to address work/life balance issues.

“We’re delighted that Bridgend will be the first Welsh county to host an event for #WelshTwixtmas. It’s positive to see so many businesses and the local authority supporting the initiative with a suite of exciting and unique activities across the county.”

Bridgend Council Leader, Mel Nott OBE, said: “The Twixtmas concept is all about transforming the five days between the Christmas and New Year holidays into a unique opportunity that reminds people to reclaim valuable personal time, undertake new experiences and approach 2015 with a fresh outlook for managing their work-life balance over the year ahead."

To learn more please visit www.twixtmas.com and www.bridgendbites.com.

(EDITOR: Thatschristmas will be following Twixtmas on Twitter.)

Monday, 22 December 2014

Report a Christmas Crime discretely on the trains

If you are on a railway station or on board a train over the Christmas period and you witness a crime British Transport Police are advising you that you can discreetly inform them of the situation by texting them on  61016, which is their force national text number.

You can also call them on  0800 405040.

However, they do remind us that in an emergency, we should still use 999.


Views on that's Christmas are up!

Which is only to be expected as people are doing online research for last minute Christmas presents, food ideas and the like.

Folks, chill out, you can do it!

I would like to take this opportunity to raise a glass of Single Malt Scotch to all of my readers and to all of the PR folks who have come to my assistance this season and who have helped make That's Christmas the website that it is!

And if you are still worried about finding a suitable gift for someone, please refer to this post that I made several days ago which will help you sort out a Christmas present at this late stage in the day.

http://thatschristmas.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/dont-panic-you-can-still-get-great.html.

Which reminds me, later today I will have to stop working on That's Christmas long enough to pop into my nearest Morrison's store to buy wrapping paper and labels!


Today is Defrost Your Turkey Properly Day

The UK's Food Standards Agency is running a campaign to help ensure that every frozen turkey served throughout the homes of Britain are properly defrosted to ensure the minimum number possible of people suffering from food poisoning.

"Families across the nation are getting ready for Christmas and the majority of us will have turkey on the menu. Incorrect thawing provides a way for bacteria like campylobacter to spread, leaving you with a turkey dinner that looks and tastes delicious, but contains a hidden risk that can’t be seen, tasted or smelled.

"The Food Standards Agency is reminding you and other consumers that it’s the little things that you do that will keep you and your loved ones safe this Christmas. That's why this year we're saying: 'defrost your turkey correctly'."

For the full information on the campaign and some useful tips please visit https://www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/campaigns/defrost-your-turkey-properly.


Sunday, 21 December 2014

The zodiac Guide to Successful Relationships and Careers

The zodiac Guide to Successful Relationships and Careers written by Y Kwan Loo is a truly amazing book.

It's strapline is "How research-based Western and Chinese astrology can help you make the big decisions in life."

That's a pretty big claim and after looking through the book (aided by an astrologer, as That's Christmas is nothing if not thorough!)  we had to come to the conclusion that this book is, indeed, the real deal and that, to once again mine shamelessly in the rich seam of the cliche, that this book does, indeed, do what it says on the tin.

The author has spent many years on deep analysis of multiple streams of data and has woven them together to form a synthesis of a theory of how we all work together in reference to our star signs, both Western and Chinese.

The data that he has amassed and processed covers, amongst other items, nearly 1,000 different careers and reachsearch based on a staggering array of people, in excess of 24,000, to be honest!

We checked our entries in the book and were more than a little intrigued to see that the book had correctly identified our major character traits but had also accurately listed our likely career fields, too.

It also shows which media personality also matches your sign.

The book also has a chapter that uses public examples of notable business or romantic relationships, pointing out a variety of points where astrology indicated good and bad aspects.

The book will make an ideal Christmas present for the dedicated follower of astrology or the person who is curious and who wishes to learn more about the world around them.

It is published by Mereo Books, the ISBN is 978 1 86151 202 4.

It costs £12.99 and can be bought at Barnes and Noble, Amazon.co.uk, Waterstones, Amazon.com, WH Smiths and Google Books.

http://www.mereobooks.com.

Lillian. A book by Dorothy Blake

Lillian is the biography of Lillian Vickers.

She was a pretty girl, typical of many girls of her time, when she went to work on a farm.

The story tells of the often hard life that Lillian and her family suffered, of ill-health and fortunes, some good, some bad.

It relates tales of the strong bonds that run deep through the generations of the families involved in the life of Lillian. And also, in a way, it tells the life stories of thousands of other Lillians and Susans, and Marys who also lived lives of hardship, deprivation and of love and loss, hope and heartbreak.

Because although this is Lillian's story, it is their story and our story, too. For the vast majority of us have Lillians in the history of our families.

If you are buying presents for someone of farming stock, or someone who is just interested in social history or in biography, this book will be an ideal Christmas present for them.

It is published by Austin MaCauley at £6.99, the ISBN is 978 1 78455 057 8.

www.austinmacauley.com.

The Well Travelled Gourmet's Jolly Hot Chilli Sauce

For those who like something a bit different here's The Well Travelled Gourmet's Jolly Hot Chilli Sauce.

It is hot, but not implausibly, impossibly, hot. It is sweet, yet it is the natural sweetness one would expect from well-chosen and properly preserved and properly cooked green chillies.

What can you do with Jolly Hot Green Chilli Sauce at Christmas time?

What about using it to make a delightful dip for some mozzarella cheese dippers? Or what about using them with some of those lovely hand cooked crisps that you like?

What about adding it to the gravy for the turkey? Obviously, not unless you tell everyone what you have done as some people (sadly) don't like chillies.

What about the turkey? There are recipes for preparing your humble Christmas dinner bird into something of a super bird, using chilli sauce, so why not?

Obviously you can use it on Boxing Day to boost the inevitable turkey curry, or go all out and produce a Thai special dish with it?

Or how about a nice turkey chilli?

Remember, folks! Google is your friend, you can find lots of neat recipes at www.google.co.uk or www.google.com.

Well Travelled Gourmet products are available from www.tesco.com.

The Girl on the Pier

The Girl on the Pier is a new novel by Paul Tomkins.

It concerns the story of Patrick Clement, a skilled and expert forensic sculptor who helps recreate in 3-D renditions, the features of the corpses of unidentified human remains.

There are interwoven threads of different and apparently disparate threads.But are they quite as disparate and as different as one might think at first sight? 

Or are darker, more evil forces at work here?

There's a damaged and brutalised marriage, a wrecked piece of art, a love lost before it is even breathed about, let alone consummated after an extremely brief encounter on Brighton Pier one oh so very hot summer's day, years previously. 

Then there is a skull of a girl who has been unidentified for almost five decades, after she was found, the victim of a murderer, also on Brighton Pier in the early 1970s.

Who is the mysterious artist's model, Black? What is the link with the artist who painted the damaged artwork, Jacob Dyer?

Is there a connection with the murder of the girl back in the early 1970s? If so, how deep does that connection go? Who is the killer?

If you know someone who likes tightly written, compelling psychologically driven mystery novels, then you really must get this book for them. It will make them a very welcome Christmas present. 

It is published by Matador at £8.99, the ISBN is 978 1784621 049.

It is available through bookshops and can be purchased via the Amazon-powered book shop at the sister site of That's Christmas, That's Books:  http://thatsbooks.blogspot.co.uk/.

That's Food and Drink: Good Indian cooking is Our Little Secret!

That's Food and Drink: Good Indian cooking is Our Little Secret!: As a friend of ours said: "You know, the only real, surefire way to get a real Indian meal, cooked by a real Indian chef is to go to ...

You need Pistachios nuts or Almonds at Christmas? Go Wonderful!

Yes, if you like to have a good supply of Pistachio nuts oe Almonds at Christmas, doesn't it make real sense to ensure that you do have a good supply of Pistachio nuts or almonds for you, your family, your friends and your guests? Pistachio nuts orv almonds that are fresh and tasty which are nutritionally sound and richly satisfying?

Yes! Of course it does! So why do so many people risk buying their nuts from a shabby little so-called pop up shop with a few shelves of bags of nuts that, although labelled as 'fresh' may well be older than some of the people that you know?

Or nuts from a chain of "bargain" shops with bags of nuts with implausible names that came from goodness knows where, but which even the wild birds in your back garden will turn their beaks up at in disgust? Or launch a retaliatory strike on your washing!

Why? Why do people take that risk every year? Is it in the desperate and forlorn hope that one day it might be different?

There is only one way to change this, to ensure that you get the nuts that you need and that your guests deserve and that is to seek out a named brand, well, one named brand in particular, Wonderful Nuts!

They say Wonderful on the packet, and the contents of their packets is, of course, Wonderful.

There are traditional roasted and salted pistachios and something that is more than a little bit unusual for all your fans of pistachio nuts, Sweet Chilli Pistachios!

They also produce a unsalted variety and a salted and peppered type, too!

As for the almonds, they come in blanched, salted and unsalted varieties, too.

To learn more visit http://wonderfulpistachios.co.uk.

or http://wonderfulalmonds.co.uk/uk/

Do something different with the leftovers, go Chancham this Christmas

Not heard of Chancham, before? Well, neither had we. But now we have heard of it, and tasted it, boy! Are we glad to have made its acquaintance!

Chancham pepper sauce is proudly, lovingly and carefully made in Britain. But it is made to a traditional Bajan recipe.  Bajan is otherwise known as Barbadian, and comes from the Caribbean Island of Barbados.

It is a tasty and welcome though quite warming addition to Christmas leftovers, so it will certainly add more than a little heat and heart to your turkey curry, turkey casserole, turkey Bolognese (never has turkey bolognese made with minced leftover turkey? Trust me, you haven't lived!)   and turkey soups in the post-Christmas period.

It makes an excellent accompaniment for sliced cooked meats, too, plus with cheese and biscuits,

The flavour is fresh and lively, the kick of the peppers is offset and balanced by the pleasant tang of the distilled malt vinegar, the mustard and the tumeric which gives it its attractive yellow colouring.

Buy a bottle and you'll soon be unable to remember how you coped without it in your kitchen.

To learn more about their full range and to purchase visit them at www.chancham.com.

Rosebud Preserves are jars of pure joy

Yes, Rosebud Preserves are jars of pure joy. The jar of pure joy that we partook of was a jar of Rosebud Preserve's Ampleforth Abbey Beer Fruit Chutney.

It is dark and extremely fruity chutney, It is made with Ampleforth Abbey's delicious beer, cider vinegar, onions, sugar (unrefined, of course!) prunes. dates, apricots, sea salt, allspice and cayenne pepper.

The result is a dark and thick chunky beer fruit chutney that is an ideal accompaniment for cheeses (such as Wensleydale, mature cheddar and Shepherd's Purse cheeses and also it is wonderful with sliced turkey, so is a must have for Boxing Day turkey sandwiches.

To learn more about their range or to buy online please visit www.rosebudpreserves.co.uk.

Don't panic! You can still get great presents for Christmas!

You can still get great presents for Christmas!

Amazon is great, as you can even buy e-mail gift tokens from them on December 25th!

All you need do is to visit the That's Christmas sister site, That's books,  http://thatsbooks.blogspot.co.uk/ and use the Amazon-powered shop their to buy books, DVDs, games, gifts and Amazon gift tokens for the people in your life who matter to you.

Also, most town markets, independent retailers and large stores and supermarkets will have late opening this week, some will be open 24 hours a day, so you should be able to get everything you need.

Retailers! If you have something to promote on That's Christmas, please email thatschristmas@mail.com with the details and we'll do the rest for you!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Songs that are popular in Britain during Christmas Time

There are several season songs that, although not necessarily religious, certainly mean it is Christmas Time to the people of Britain.

Here are a selection of them:-

Roy Wood's Wizard, with I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day.


The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale Of New York

Paul McCartney A Wonderful Christmas Time
Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You


Dean Martin - Let it Snow!

Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone

Slade - Merry Christmas Everybody 
Cliff Richard - Mistletoe And Wine

Merry Christmas, everyone from all of us at That's Christmas!

Arrange some neat accessible trips out this Christmas season

This Christmas season, you will be able to find plenty to entertain you and your family. And that are accessible, too.

There are some fantastic days out available, with ideas for indoor venues all over the UK from The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain: Family Days Out.

The Family Days Out microsite is a compilation of the best accessible outings from all over the UK, that are rated as being family friendly.

It also has helpful reviews of family-friendly attractions like The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.

There's the Imperial War Museum location at Duxford near Cambridge. Explore a stunning collection of aircraft from World War I right up to the present day.

Belfast has the W5 Science Museum and Discovery Centre, with in excess of 250 interactive exhibits for adults and children alike.

The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain and the Family Days Out microsite have been developed with Motability Operations, the company that operates the Motability Car Scheme for disabled people. These online reviews contain all the must-have accessibility information needed to enjoy a great day out.

For more information, please visit   http://www.accessibleguide.co.uk/family-days-out.html, follow www.twitter.com/accessibleguide or ‘like’ www.facebook.com/accessibleguide.
 

More from Nairns

We have already written about Nairns Oat Cakes, but perhaps we might have inadvertently mislead you. Whilst it is true that cheeses do cry out for Nairns Oat Cakes, Nairns are not just for cheese.

Nairns are so deliciously light that they can be eaten by themselves without any topping.

But they'll be at home with cheeses (of course!) and with pate, both meat and vegetarian, with smoked salmon, (perhaps served on a bed of cream cheese? Delicious!)  and with chutneys, jams, preserves, marmalades and with cold cuts of turkey, pheasant, duck, beef, lamb or pork.

It really is up to you. And don't forget that the type of Oats used by the masterbakers at Nairns have something of a reputation as being a super food. They provide slow release energy (no nasty sugar rush!) and the biscuits themselves contain 40% less sugar than your average biscuits!

And this really brings us to another point. If you can have Nairns Biscuits, why would you settle for anything that is merely "average"?

So! Raise your Nairns, take a dram of Scotch and give a toast of thanks for Nairns!


That's Health: Aldi can help you get back in shape!

That's Health: Aldi can help you get back in shape!: If you are anything like us, you'll have indulged in all the good things that were on offer from Aldi over the Christmas season (The f...

Take time out for Costa coffee, this Christmas season

Everyone knows about the delicious range of coffees at Costa.

But, perhaps not so widely known about are the special seasonal items that Costa places on their menu every Christmas.

Not only are there special drinks there are some other, equally special and equally delicious seasonal food items, too.

For example you can try one of the following items from the Costa menu:-

Starting with the drinks, there's a somewhat bewildering choice of: Gingerbread & Cream Latte (EDITOR: This is my favourite!), Brownie Hot Chocolate , Orange Hot Chocolate, Sticky Toffee Latte, Praline Cappucino, White Hot Chocolate, Black Forest Hot Chocolate. All delicious and a delightful pick me up when out battling your Christmas shopping!

And, as I mentioned, there's the special foods, too. Turkey and the Trimmings, Cheese and Cranberry Topped Toastie and the Brie, Bacon and Cranberry Panini.

And for a neat sweat dessert treat, there's Gingerbread Muffin, Cherry and Almond Muffin, Mince Tart, Christmas Cornflake Crunch,   Mini Chocolate Cake,  Salted Caramel Yule Log, and Festive Teacake.

Looking for a lighter bite? Stollen Bites, Chocolate and Cherry Mini Tartlet,  Orange and Cranberry Mini Tartlet,  Caramel Hazelnut Mini Tartlet, and Hot Spiced apple. (EDITOR: Stollen bites? Served with a Ginergerbread and Cream Latte? Wow! Now I am in Heaven!)

And to keep the little ones happy and content (whilst allowing them to get into the festive spirit by being creative, too!)  Costa has 'ice your own' Ginerbread biscuits. What a super idea!

(EDITOR: It's also good to see that people like my wife who is gluten intolerant are catered for by Costa. There are Gluten Free Turkey, Bacon and Cranberry Wraps and some Gluten Free Christmas cake, too! And vegetarians don't need to feel left out, as the special Christmas sandwich range has a Cheeseboard Panini with Festive Chutney specially for you!)

Looking for a suitable Christmas gift for the Costa lover? Then you can buy them some festive ceramic mugs that are sold in store for £7.95 and come in four cute Christmas characters - Santa, Reindeer, Elf and Snowman.

You can also buy them Costa gift cards, too!

To learn more please visit http://www.costa.co.uk.
You can also enjoy some Costa products at home. Please visit http://www.costa.co.uk/menu/costa-at-home/ to learn more.

Letter from Paris, a new novel

Buying a Christmas present for someone who is keen on romantic novels? Then you need look no further, as Letter From Paris will be the right choice for them.

It is written by Therese, and is a continuation of the story of India Butler. (You may have met India in the novel India's Summer, if not, you could well buy that for your friend, too).

India is 40 and sort of still single.

She has always had a longing for something that may well be, at least in part, somewhat unattainable.

She desires to be French, she desires je ne sais quoi, to speak better French, to act and live like a Frenchwoman.

And what better place to pursue this dream than the capital of France, Paris?

But there are problems in her life, those little things that niggle away at us. She doesn't entirely trust the long-distance love of her life, Adam. But should she be more trusting of him? Or not?

Her life seems to be spread over several continents, and the life of her and her friends are chaotic and made so by their own flawed decisions and the flawed or arguably bad decisions of other people.

There's LA, there's London, there's Paris and Las Vegas and raw human emotions of love, lust, betrayal and redemptions, that are interwoven by novelist Therese to create a story that is compelling, romantic, realistic and refreshingly honest.

It's published by The Story Plant. The cover price is $13.95, the ISBN is 978-1-61188-141-7.

It is available from good book retailers and also online from the Amazon Book store (£8.76, paperback) at http://thatsbooks.blogspot.co.uk.


More Frozen Fun this Christmas

Frozen is another of those Disney cartoons that have apparently taken the world by storm with children and their parents singing the songs and children hoping for Frozen products in their Christmas stocking this year.

One such product is a delightful SuperColor Frozen Glitter Puzzle from Clementoni.

It's designed with a serious purpose in mind, to assist your child in developing their manual dexterity, their use of logical thinking and their observational skills.

However, the main reason that you will be buying this puzzle is because you know that your child or children will love to complete it as it is based on and around the storyline of Frozen and the characters that they know and love so well.

Perhaps mums and dads and grandparents will join in the fun on Christmas morning as the puzzle is completed? Perhaps even humming along to the tunes from Frozen that they will demand are played?

You can learn more at http://www.clementoni.com/en.

The game is available from good toy retailers and also from online retailers such as www.amazon.co.uk.

It should cost around £10.00.

Santa is welcome to use a free travel pod courtesy of Thistle Hotel, Heathrow

If Santa (or any other traveller, really) is keen to get started on their somewhat tiring world travels without having to be worried about parking for the reindeer or the sleigh,  they'll find everything they require at the Thistle London Heathrow T5.

Because throughout the Christmas period, the hotel will be transporting its 25,000th guest by driverless pod to Terminal 5.

The modern and go-ahead hotel company which launched free, fast and unlimited Wi-Fi throughout all of hotels earlier in 2014, plus unveiling  what is the world's first online ‘Choose Your Own Room’ service, recently, has got together with Heathrow Airport to offer their very special guests (including Santa!)  exclusive access to the world’s only commercial driverless pod transport system..

It costs a very reasonable £5, and the service runs 1,000 times every day between 3:00 a.m and 1:00 a.m, with a journey time of a mere five minutes to terminal 5.

And there's another bonus, as it needs no pre-booking with up to four guests, experiencing no waiting time at all.

"Getting around at Christmas can be a hassle and we are keen to make sure that our guests have a great start to their travels. The pod is just another example of how we use technology to make their lives easier" said Jorgen Rasmussen, General Manager, Thistle London Heathrow Terminal 5.

The pod is operated by Ultra in partnership with Heathrow Airport.

Just think how exciting this will be for the family, as they jet off to visit relatives for the Christmas season or start off on the Christmas and New Year holiday of a lifetime!

The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game

It's a new game from Rascals and it's set to take Christmas by storm in families up and down the length and breadth of the UK this Christmas!

You know all those nice, worthy family games with an emphasis on fairness and decency? Well, that doesn't describe The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game!

This is a game for the rest of us! It's described as "The competitive family game of bluffing, double-crossing and fun!"

It's for two to six player ages 12 to adult.

You have to earn prize money with your own horses. Or perhaps you will secretly amass great wealth (or not?) by attempting to secretly back another horse.

And here's were the Really Nasty aspect of the game comes in, because you can wreck the outcome of the race by bringing your Really Nasty cards in to play to sabotage the outcome of the race!

But do watch out! Other members of your clan would very well pull the same evil stunt and do you out of the outcome of the race that you had set your heart on!

It's an award-winning game and it is clear to see why this is the case as there will be plenty of fun, excitement and mayhem in your family should you invest in this game!

There's everything you will need for your day at the races, including a bookies' board and a dry marker, a large wad of money, horses, jockeys, a riderless horse, race cards, and 24 Really Nasty cards.

The game is available from toy stores and www.Amazon.co.uk and should cost about £20.00 or so.

German Wines can help make your Christmas a fairytale Christmas

Christmas in Germany has been described to me by a friend who grew up in Germany as being "a magical, fairytale time."

She described visits to her grandmothers home in a forest, the Christmas Markets, the fairytale castles with the impossibly ornate turrets, the seasonal special foods, the Christmas spices, the stollen, making gingerbread houses and the variety of wines that Germany is famous for.

There's a wide variety of wines, wider than you might have thought possible. If you pop into Tesco you can pick up a bottle of Peter and Peter Riesling at £7.49. It's a crisp Mosel wine which has fruity notes and tones and even a hint of ripe apples on the finish.

Another Riesling is the Fritz Willi Riesling, it's another Mosel yet is different again from the Peter and Peter offering. Are there hints of ripe peaches there? Yes! Yes there jolly well are! At £11 to £12 a bottle this will be another sure fire winner this Christmas. You'll find it at Noel Young Wines of Cambridge, www.nywines.co.uk.

If you are more of a red wine drinker you will be pleased to know that the German wine makers have not overlooked your needs.

The That's Christmas taste team can also heartily recommend the Villa Wolf Noir 2012, Pfalz. It's a rich blend of all sorts of summer fruits, combined with the flavours of the gorgeous grapes.

You'll find it at £10.49 to £11.49 and it is available at Oddbins.

You'll also find a wide range of fine German wines from your local supermarket, some corner stores and local and national wine merchants. But do make sure that you order early to ensure delivery for Christmas or the New Year.


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Travelling tips for Christmas

It has been said that it is only when we are lost that we begin to understand ourselves (Henry David Thoreu, it was, who said this) and sometimes we need a little time alone in a new setting to allow ourselves to be captivated by history, culture, fine cuisine or shopping.

Novelist Thérèse, was so enlightened by time spent in Paris one Christmas that she was inspired to write her latest novel, Letter from Paris, a witty and glamorous account of a trip to the city of light and romance.

“Travelling alone can be daunting, especially during the holidays - the idea of stepping off the plane into the unknown without a companion can seem alien– but believe me it can be one of the most liberating things you’ll do. Sitting in a café with a crisp glass of wine, a good book to read  and the delights of watching the world go by- is bliss and something you don’t appreciate until you try – after all, there’s always the possibility of  a handsome stranger or old friend to entertain you if you’re desperate for a little conversation.”

Thérèse has compiled 5 essential tips for travelling alone this Christmas:

1.       Look up old friends and business contacts through online channels and let them know of your impending arrival.  Don’t be too rigid with your plans as it could impinge on exciting opportunities to meet new people (perhaps even  under the mistletoe)
2.       Enjoy a glass of Sancerre before you set out for the evening, it will relax and reinvigorate you.
3.       Stay in a boutique hotel, the setting is almost guaranteed to be unique and charming, as well as elegantly festive. Often, boutique hotel bars are exclusive and intimate allowing you to meet like-minded guests travelling alone
4.        Buy a beautiful journal and note down your thoughts and musings; this will allow you to reflect on your time when and more importantly ‘if’ you decide to head home…
5.       Follow the footsteps of your favorite author / character from a book set in the city you are visiting, as well as providing inspiration for the book in you, you see the city in a different light. I followed Ines de la Fressange’s guide book Parisian Chic and every day felt like an adventure.
Read more about Thérèse’s adventures at www.thereseblogs and pick up her latest novel ‘Letter from Paris’, published by The Story Plant and available from Amazon $11.71, as well as on Kindle.

Heartsease Farm drink You'll need to remember the name

You will need to remember the name of Heartsease Farm, as you will need to order some of their sparkling fruit drinks for this Christmas and New Year.

The Blackcurrant drink is  sold as "Carbonated spring water with British blackcurrant juice."

And whilst that's certainly true as far as descriptions go, it certainly doesn't tell the whole story or show you the big picture.

It's a little bit like describing The QE2 as "quite a big ship, really" or a Rolls Royce as: "a nice ride."

When you open the bottle there's a pungent yet welcoming smell of real blackcurrants, so you know that real fruit is within the bottle.

It is not overly carbonated, the level of carbonation is just right, and it is obvious that a great deal of thought has gone into the correct level of carbonation for this drink. And I like that, because if the people who make a drink clearly care so much about it, then that makes it easier for me to care about it, too.

The flavour is another area where the Watkins family (who have farmed at Heartsease Farm since 1903, that's 111 years) show an extraordinary attention to detail.

The favour is just right, not too strong, not too weak, not too tart. not too sweet, but perfect.

They also use their own spring water to make the juice drinks, from Radnor in Powys, Wales, where their family farm is.

As well as blackcurrant they have Traditional Lemonade, Elderflower Presse, Raspberry Lemonade, St Clements Presse and Fiery Ginger Beer.

To learn more please visit  http://radnorhills.co.uk.

They are also looking for retailers so if you have a shop or run an online food and drink retailer, they'll be pleased to hear from you. Please tell them That's Christmas sent you along!)


Need provender for Christmas? The English Provender Company has it covered

Yes, the English Provender Company has Christmas covered for you.

The cook and then sell a wide range of very special condiments, chutneys, curds and salad dressings and they have now launched a very special range of festive gift packs.

They have eight gift packs now available. They make ideal gifts for the foodie in your life, or they'd make a spiffy Secret Santa Gift for a special friend or workmate. And what about an awesome self gift for you? Well, why not? You deserve a treat, too, you know!

They have the English Provender Co Hamper Selection, at a remarkably modest £28.00, this one consists of Caramelised Red Onion Chutney, Sweet tomato and Chilli Chutney, Sea Salt & Rosemary Biscuits, English Mint Sause with Balsamic Vinegar, Grated Horseradish and a Luxury Leon Curd, for good measure.

Then there's the English Provender Salad Bowl, £26.00 for a lovely wooden salad bowl, some servers and some light balsamic dressing.

The English Provender Slate Cheese Board which costs £25.00 and has some Caramelise Red Onion Chutney and some Sea Salt & Rosemary Biscuits.

There's their Cheese dome, this costs £22.00 and which comes complete with Sea Salt &Rosemary Biscuits, plus some delightful Plum and Apple Bramley Chutney.

There's also the Sunday Roast Condiments Selection, £12.50, an ideal adornment for the dining table, with Mint Sauce with Balsamic vinegar, Bramley Apple Sauce with Calvados, Grated Hot Horseraddish and wild Cranberry Sauce.

The Classic Chutney Trio at £12.00 is ideal for the chutney folk in your life. Apple Pear & Fig Chutney, Plum Bramley & Apple Chutney and another opportunity to purchase their Caramelised Red Onion Chutney.

What about the spicy one? The Chilli Duo at £8.00, Sweet Tomato and Chilli Chutney and the hot Chilli and Red Pepper Chutney.

To buy online visit http://www.englishprovender.com/natural-foods
To find a retailer visit http://www.englishprovender.com/wherecanibuy

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Vaseline an ideal present this Christmas

Although at first blush, the name Vaseline might not be a name that one might consider to be synonymous with ideal presents at Christmas time, as Christmastime in many parts of the world falls during the time of year when the weather is cold and damp, it actually is a very good gift idea.

Vaseline acknowledges this and it has a range of gift sets that show off their highly useful products at their best light.

For example there is the Vaseline Lips Lip Therapy set with a handy compact complete with an integral mirror and a tin of Vaseline Lip Therapy that's sure to help stop the people you care about getting chapped lips.

And the attractive case it comes in, with its handy magnetic clip, is sure to wow even the most hard core fashionista!

There are also a wide range of Vaseline gift sets that are available form a wide range of retailers both in the High Street and online. Boots, Asda, Tesco and more plus, the like and Amazon and other online retailers.

Give the love of your life a Vaseline gift set and your kind and thoughtful Christmas gift will last them well beyond the New Year.



Give the gift of beauty this Christmas

You can give the people you care about the gift of beauty from within this Christmas with the science of Alimetics.

How does it work? The theory is that what we consume makes us stronger and better. If that wasn't so, would vitamin C prevent scurvy? Of course not! But it does.

So beauty 'in has taken this basic scientific concept and developed it into a whole range of beauty products that work from within.

There's teas that can be drunk either hot or cold, drinks that you Blast, Shake and Drink, beauty candies and beauty bars to be eaten.

The range of products contains a wide range of minerals and vitamins, oils and hydrolysed collagen to help you maintain a good healthy and glowing skin.

They not only taste remarkably good they are also remarkably good for you, too.

The range has been developed by Cristiana Arcangeli, one of Brazil's foremost beauty experts.

They are available in the UK, to learn more visit www.beautyin.com.

Kirsty thinks about the foods you eat, so you do not have to


The problem is with people who are on restricted diets (gluten free, for one) is that their allergies or food intolerances do not, magically, switch themselves off for the Christmas period.

Those who are on diets to reduce their weight can laugh off the extra pounds that they put on over Christmas and address the problem in the New Year,  but for people who can't eat gluten or wheat eating delicious foods over Christmas can't be  compensation for the terrible pains that can, literally, have them rolling on the floor in agony.

So what can you do for your guests or family members (or even yourself) if they or you have such irksome food allergies or intolerances?

You don't need to do a thing, you don't need to think, puzzle, or worry, all you have to do is to let Kirsty do all the work for you.

Who is Kirsty? Kirsty is a young, professional chef who produces a range of foods that are designed to taste excellent yet to have no gluten and to have no dairy products in them, making them not only good to eat but safer to eat, too.

Kirsty states: "I don't think our products need dairy or wheat to taste delicious... so we avoid putting them in our recipes. That way everyone can enjoy them, including people with these allergies."

People like my wife, who has, usually, to be very careful about what she eats.

My wife said: "What I love about Kirtsty's meals is that I know the hard work about what allergens might be in them has already been done by Kirsty before I eat them. There are none!

"And I also love the fact that they taste so good! The sausages in the Sausage with Sweet Potato Mash were really tasty, the best sausages I'd tasted in a while and the sweet potato mash was really very good, too.

"I'm not normally a fan of gravy, but I ate all of the gravy as it was very good!"

To learn more visit www.kirstys.co.uk.

Currently the range consists of: Moroccan Vegetables with Quinoa, Sausage with Sweet Potato Mash, Beef Lasagne with a Rich Bolognese Sauce Thai Chilli Chicken with Rice Noodles, Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato Mash, Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Basmati Rice and Spanish Chicken with Brown Rice.

It's a gift, Jim! But not as we know it!

LivingSocial has unveiled a very interesting selection of free gifts to spread Christmas goodwill.

Special ‘deals’ include promises to do the dishes on Christmas day, share the remote control and even entertain the in-laws!

Local discovery engine LivingSocial has unveiled six alternative Christmas deals to spread Christmas goodwill over this festive season.

In a bid to capture to true spirit of Christmas, the six deals will show that the best presents don’t have to cost you a penny.

LivingSocial’s six goodwill gifts:

1.      Do the dishes on Christmas day https://www.livingsocial.com/content/offers/554-dishes-xmas-uk

Once every last bit of turkey is eaten (and every last sprout brushed aside), there’s the inevitable pile of washing up. Only the chef is exempt so if you need to do your bit, don your favourite pair of rubber gloves and promise to do the dishes after Christmas dinner!

2.      Share the remote control https://www.livingsocial.com/content/offers/556-remote-xmas-uk

Christmas TV is hardly the best, but at the very least it should be democratic. Are you guilty of hogging the remote control? Can you not live without every second of Eastenders or the Downton Abbey Christmas Special? If you’re ready to relinquish control, then share this free gift and promise to let someone else choose for a change!

3.      Entertain the in-laws https://www.livingsocial.com/content/offers/562-inlaws-xmas-uk

Some say Santa Claus has the right idea…only visit once a year. And if that’s all it is, it ain’t too bad! Is it your turn to entertain the in-laws or chat to that wacky aunt this year? Share this free gift and promise to put the effort in this Christmas.

4.      Designated driver https://www.livingsocial.com/content/offers/566-driver-xmas-uk

A festive cocktail or two is a nice treat, but getting stuck in town without a taxi home is no fun on cold winter nights. Do a nice thing and designate yourself as a responsible chauffeur one evening this Christmas by sending this free gift to your friends.

5.      Take your pick from my wardrobe https://www.livingsocial.com/content/offers/570-wardrobe-xmas-uk

Christmas is a time to scrub up and don your glad rags but don’t forget – sharing is caring! Has your friend been dropping hints about your designer shoes, sparkly top or little black dress? Sate her green eyes this Christmas and promise she can take her pick from your closet.

6.      Free pass from the sales https://www.livingsocial.com/content/offers/574-salespass-xmas-uk

The pre-Christmas shopping frenzy is never quite enough, as we all know the best bargains are to be had on Boxing Day and beyond. Remember though, crushing through shopping centre doors isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Send this promise to your long-suffering bag carrier and let them put their feet up for a change.

Steven Marritt, the ebullient CEO of LivingSocial UK told That's Christmas: "Christmas is all about giving a little back to friends, family and the people who have supported us throughout the year. This is why we've launched our free goodwill deals - to spread a little joy this festive season.

"Lost for ideas? Need a stocking-filler or two? These alternative Christmas gift vouchers are fun, free and exciting presents to share with friends, family and loved ones at Christmas."

The gift vouchers are available to download now from the LivingSocial website and from the links above.


For more information and for your downloads please visit: https://www.livingsocial.com/gb/