Thursday 23 December 2021

That's Food and Drink: Free From Fellows marshmallows for Veganuary

That's Food and Drink: Free From Fellows marshmallows for Veganuary: They taste delicious, they are fantastically fluffy and free from bad stuff.  Free From Fellows’ gelatine free Vegan Mallows are the ideal s...

That's Food and Drink: Veganuary 2022 is coming

That's Food and Drink: Veganuary 2022 is coming: It doesn't really seem possible, does it? As I write this, Veganuary is only nine days away. What can you do during Veganuary 2022? You ...

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Tuesday 21 December 2021

That's Books and Entertainment: Sentenced

That's Books and Entertainment: Sentenced: Sentenced  is a memoir written by two apparently vastly different people; Victoria Oak, a London housewife with four children and Andrew Haw...

Monday 20 December 2021

Last Minute Christmas Gift Shopping? It's now easy and fun!

There are some people who are laser focused and super efficient. Their Christmas shopping was probably over quite a while ago.

But for the rest of us, there are usually several last-minute Christmas presents to buy in the last few days before Christmas. The neighbour who feeds your cat, the friend who walks your dog and someone who you feel needs a bit of extra cheering up. 

That's Christmas has ten really neat and nifty gift ideas that range from £8.50 to £45.00. And they are all made by UK-based artisan  producers. So they are unique, local and sustainable.

Got a foodie to gift for? They'll be thrilled to receive these South Indian cooking sauces. Each sauce is tailored to enhance out the flavour of specific meats or vegetables. 

Made using 100% natural ingredients they are also free from added sugar and starch. https://www.meltedinside.com/ultimate-curry-sauce-gift-box.html They cost £19.99.


Friends who have a sweet tooth will go nuts for this lovely handmade nougat giftbox. It's luxuriously soft and chewy with award-winning flavours likes macadamia nut, raspberries and flowers, honeycomb, pistachio and cranberry, hazelnut, almond and dark chocolate. 

https://www.meltedinside.com/tadinka-nougat-deluxe-gift-box-36-piece.html  £32.00


And for the drink aficionado there's this very special treat. Chocolate and whisky have been combined  together to make this rich, malty drink presented in a beautiful bottle to make a perfect gift. It's made from 100% natural ingredients and produced sustainably. https://www.meltedinside.com/dark-chocolate-whisky-liqueur.html  £29.99


Like the idea of Biscotti for Christmas? Then you'll go wild for Biscottilicious and their handmade treats. Such as their Wild Forest biscotti before with green pistachios, white chocolate and warming cardamom. https://www.meltedinside.com/wild-forest-300g-luxury-box.html £32.00

 

Got a hot sauce lover to buy for? At only £13.49 this trio of hot sauces will delight them.

The Woolf's Kitchen is a brand of spicy sauces inspired by founder Dominique Woolf's Thai roots. The set includes Tamarind Ketchup, Hot and Sour and garlic kick Jalapeño and Lime. https://www.meltedinside.com/the-woolf-pack-all-3-sauces.html

 

Roasted peanuts with rich peanut butter and chocolate are another decadent treat and will make a perfect small gift or stocking filler. 

Slow roasted peanuts are caramelised with sugar in small batches to give them a delightful caramel crunch, then cooled in a peanut butter, milk and dark chocolate mixture before being enrobed in 58% dark chocolate and cocoa powder. https://www.meltedinside.com/caramelised-chocolate-peanuts-cocoa-dusted.html. £8.50


If you have a marmalade loving friend or family member, this marvelous little hamper is absolutely perfect. Made in South Norfolk, Simon's Hamper will contain not one but two jars of Simon's Marmalade, a box of shortbread and a bottle of Simon's Marmalade Gin Liqueur.  https://www.meltedinside.com/simon-s-hamper-no-2-marmalade-marmalade-gin-liqueur-marmalade-shortbread.html  £30.80

 

Buying for a tea lover? Then This is ideal for you and also for them. Buy them a Marulin Gift Bag which includes award-winning Hearty Breakfast tea, Four Seasons Green Oolong Tea and English Beauty, Oriental Beauty and Black tea from Taiwan. 

Marulin is heavily committed to direct sourcing teas from genuine small-scale farmers, paying fair market price and supporting farmers to ensure sustainability and quality. https://www.meltedinside.com/marulin-gift-pack-3-x-tea-tent-pouches-tote-bag.html £18.00


From Curry on Cooking there's a brilliant idea that includes a chapatti pan for Indian chapattis, dosas, naans, parathas, pancakes and crepes. The kit includes six Currylicious kits with easy to follow recipes and shopping lists to help you create The Great British Curry in the comfort of your own kitchen. https://www.meltedinside.com/chapatti-pan-and-6-curry-kits.html £45.00

 

Last but not least there's a beautiful hand-packed Woodland Honey Gift Set which will put a smile on everyone's face. 

It comprises three jars of super delicious raw honey: Acacia Honey, Linden Honey and Forest Honey and comes with a wooden honey dipper. https://www.meltedinside.com/scottish-honey-gift-set.html £18.00


Not sure what to buy? Let them make their own minds up by gifting them with a Melted Inside gift card  https://www.meltedinside.com/search?q=gift+card There are three options: £20, £50 and £100.

Need more ideas for stocking fillers, visit the large selection of suggestions here https://www.meltedinside.com/stocking-fillers.html

Although this Christmas is still not yet normal, it should not stop us from celebrating by sharing.



That's Food and Drink: Manifesto "Give the Gift of Beauty"

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That's Books and Entertainment: The Fly and the Tree

That's Books and Entertainment: The Fly and the Tree: In his new mystery novel The fly and the Tree , author and consultant neurologist Dr James I. Morrow brings lovers of mystery novels a great...

Friday 17 December 2021

An unusual stocking filler for Christmas. A tyre pressure gauge?

A tyre pressure gauge? For Christmas? Why? Aren't Christmas presents supposed to bring joy and happiness?

Yes, they are. But what could bring more joy than helping to ensure that your loved ones who are drivers don't get involved in a car accident due to the pressure of their tyres being too low or too high?

A simple to use and easy to read digital pressure gauge will cost about £20 to £30 or less and will be available from Halfords, or from some independent tyre stores and from online retailers such as Amazon and eBay.

Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe Chairman, said: “We are all looking forward to having an incredible Christmas this year, especially after so much uncertainty and the restrictions that we faced a year ago.

"But it only takes a matter of minutes to check your tyres, and to keep your Christmas merry and bright, but keep other road users and passengers safe too. 

"We invite you to make tyre checks your first priority on your Christmas countdown, to ensure you have a safe and happy festive period on the roads.”

TyreSafe is a UK-based tyre safety organisation that promotes tyre safety. 

You can find out more about TyreSafe by visiting their website http://www.tyresafe.org

That's Food and Drink: Clear Lemon Meringue Pie

That's Food and Drink: Clear Lemon Meringue Pie: Probably everyone reading this post has made or at least eaten a lemon meringue pie. However, I saw something on the Internet that intrigued...

Monday 13 December 2021

That's Food and Drink: Mawish Superfood Blends

That's Food and Drink: Mawish Superfood Blends: Mawish is a leader in producing superfood blends.  Liquid Gold Turmeric Blend costs £8.99. It is  powerful and nutritious blend that makes a...

Sunday 12 December 2021

Buy Dyson for Christmas

If you want to make a good impression this Christmas, you really should consider buying Dyson gifts for Christmas.

Dyson now produce a wide range of products. From vacuums to haircare products to air conditioning units and heaters, every one of them will make an excellent Christmas gift.

If you have someone to buy for who sufferers from asthma or allergies they will be really appreciative of a Dyson HEPA vacuum cleaner.

They will also appreciate a Dyson air conditioning unit, because these are also fitted with HEPA filters. Some also heat and cool, some also have a humidifier instead of a heating function.

Dyson has also introduced a range of very stylish lights designed for the home or office using the latest LED technology to provide lighting for up to 60 years.

This means that Dyson lights can become a family heirloom passed down through several generations.

Dyson products are available for order direct from Dyson  https://www.dyson.co.uk or from major and independent retailers throughout the country and from other retailers outside the UK.

Our American readers can buy Dyson products at https://www.dyson.com/.

To find out about purchasing Dyson in the rest of the world please contact Dyson.

To check out demonstrations of the entire range of Dyson products please visit 

https://www.dyson.co.uk/inside-dyson/dyson-demo.

Do we have any commercial relationship with Dyson? No, but we do own three Dyson air conditioning units (two that are hot or cool, one that is a humidifier and a Dyson stick vacuum cleaner, so we can recommend Dyson products based on our own experiences. 

Saturday 11 December 2021

AlphaBetty Doodles & Her World of A to Z

Your little ones will really love AlphaBetty Doodles & Her World of A to Z. And you will love it too, because it's a fantastically written and brilliantly illustrated book from author Cheryl Griffin.

You will read and see the adventures of a very special little girl, AlphaBetty Doodles, as she roams around in her very special world.

Fly with AlphaBetty Doodles and check out the clouds, enjoy discovering butterflies, listen as  AlphaBetty Doodles tells her purring pussy cat about her day.

And what about AlphaBetty Doodle's sweet little sausage dog and their adventures in the park? Why did they have to go home? Read this gentle, lovely book and you'll learn why.

There's a host of characters, both human and animal, all with brightly coloured illustrations on each and every page, with each mini story (there are over 25!) told in a neat and fun little rhyme.

And do watch out for the word puzzle that the book contains which adds a little bit more magical fun to this funny and fascinating book.

You must buy this book as it's probably one of Christmas 2021's top stocking fillers.

It is available on Amazon at £7.99 in paperback or £2.99 for Kindle. Why not buy both, then you and your children will always be sure to have AlphaBetty Doodles adventures to hand for when you need them most!

And remember:-

"AlphaBetty

Loves Spaghetti

Slurp Slurp

It gets a bit messy"

That's Food and Drink: Bounce back with Bounce Back

That's Food and Drink: Bounce back with Bounce Back: Sometimes wouldn't you like something to help you bounce back a little in your life? Done too much? Partied more than you should? Or per...

Wednesday 8 December 2021

BBC Countryfile Christmas in the Park

BBC Countryfile Christmas in the Park will take place for the first time this weekend. And it'll be a live, three day Christmas event, commencing this Friday (10th Dec) with a Grand Opening with BBC Countryfile presenters: Matt Baker, Steve Brown, Tom Heap, Sean Fletcher and Adam Henson cutting the ribbon.

More familiar faces from the show such as Brian Turner, Anita Rani, John Craven, Joe Crowley, Tom Heap, Charlotte Smith and Margherita Taylor will also join the line-up across the weekend.

BBC Countryfile Christmas in the Park takes place from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th December within the splendid grounds of Wiltshire's Charlton Park Estate.

There's Christmas activities to please the entire family across five acres of wonderful parkland. You'll enjoy woodland walks, seasonal crafting and Christmas cooking presented by top chefs, plus local food heroes, the show’s iconic arboretum and special festive tented village will welcome all guests.

The Countryfile presenters will be dropping into feature areas across the show’s weekend run, including Ellie joining a walk with Woodland Trust experts, alongside meeting, greeting and taking selfies with visitors.

Join the Countryfile presenters for a packed programme of six live shows daily, featuring a host of special guests.

Talks on environmental trends to farm life, Friday and Saturday will launch with Countryfile farmers regaling show-goers with stories from their years on the farm, in a talk called Winter on the Farm and how the industry adapts. 

Later on Friday and Saturday and first on Sunday visitors will see the presenters discuss filming Countryfile in the winter months and how the show battles the elements to continue to create award-winning content year after year. 

The stage will also be the scene for a good-old fashioned Christmas quiz, A Question of Christmas, where Countryfile presenters challenge guests on their festive general knowledge!

The Christmas Kitchen for 2021

The party is always in the kitchen and it’s no different at Countryfile Christmas in the Park. The Christmas Kitchen, which has the backing of NEFF and Bosch, will present a wide menu of TV culinary stars, local chefs and food heroes, hosted by one of the countries favourite celebrity chefs, Brian Turner. 

But that's not all! Chef and presenter of BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, Matt Tebbutt, will also be joining the extensive list of culinary talent cooking up a festive storm over the weekend, with TV Chef and Food Writer, Ching He Huang MBE, Food writer, Xanthe Clay and BBC Masterchef Champion 2020, Thomas Frake. The Countryfile presenters will also join in the festive fun to help cook sustainable Christmas feasts.

The Christmas Shopping Village

But there's more! Timed to coincide with the final two-week Christmas shopping dash, show-goers can purchase their 2021 Christmas shopping from over 200 of the best independent traders and brands in the Christmas Shopping Village, including Gloucestershire Chock Shop and Beckfords of Bath, with thousands of gift and decoration ideas for stocking fillers on offer.

NEFF and Bosch Merry Baking Tent

A baking demonstration tent hosted by Bristol-born, Hobbs House Bakery’s The Fabulous Baker Brothers, Tom and Henry, the NEFF and Bosch Merry Baking Tent will take guests on a festive baking journey of live stage demonstrations, including ‘How do you bake the perfect loaf?’ and ‘What can you do to get the kids involved at Christmas?’ The Baker Brothers will share their secret tips and ideas, as well as welcome guests including award-winning patisserie chef and chocolatier, Will Torrent.

Deck The Halls

Visitors to Deck The Halls will be invited to watch modern and traditional craft makers working, learn how to make Christmas wreaths and decorations with natural materials, plus watch beautiful furniture being hand whittled and the process of candles being made. The weekend will kick off with a demonstration on making a wire robin with Zack from Paper and Wood, followed by beeswax Christmas candle making by Wild Harvest School of Self-Reliance.

Classes throughout the weekend will also highlight sustainable wrapping ideas while making the picture-perfect present for under the tree.

Carol-oke Live

Whether it’s ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ or ‘O Holy Night’, everyone loves belting out a carol! Guests can rest assured that they will get their chance, alongside the Malmesbury Community Choir and online choir, the Wiltshire Wailers, who will be treating visitors to festive carol performances throughout the weekend at the Carol-Oke Live Stage. Guests are encouraged to pick up a song sheet and join in the carolling. 

Winter Woodland Walks

Outdoor lovers can also join The Woodland Trust on a series of expert-guided walks around Charlton Park’s stunning arboretum, where they can learn about the various flora and fauna, as well as how to tend their own gardens over the winter months. Kids can also get involved with Woodland Trust festive workshops, such as make your own reindeer from hazel sticks.

All of this fun will work up an appetite and thankfully there’s plenty of opportunity for delicious festive delicacies at The Park Food Market & Wine Bar, offering a tempting array of street food and of course warming mugs of mulled wine.

https://www.countryfilelive.com/christmas-in-the-park

Making Christmas Crackers in 1910

Making Christmas Crackers (1910) | BFI National Archive
 


I found this video on YouTube and I have shared it here for your viewing pleasure.

To learn more about the BFI please visit https://www.bfi.org.uk/

A Christmas Vehicle Recovery Story

I don't think we have published a fictional Christmas story on That's Christmas, before. 

This is about to change with a story called "A Christmas Vehicle Recovery Story."  I hope you enjoy it.



Bob and Mike had drawn the short straw that Christmas Eve. They were one of the two vehicle recovery teams their employer, MacV Recovery, was using to provide 24/7 recovery that day and on Christmas Day. They were working Christmas Eve, someone else was working Christmas Day.

And as Mac, the owner said, every year: “If we say we offer 24/7 recovery, we’d better offer 24/7 recovery, even over Christmas and the New Year!”

They were in the MacV Recovery flagship, a very substantial well-lit recovery truck, an American-built Vulcan V70 from Miller Industries.

The area the company covered was a substantial one so rather than keeping both duty recovery trucks waiting in the compound in the centre of the area, it was Mac’s habit to have one unit parked up in a layby in the North of the area, whilst the smaller Volvo tow truck was further south.

The Northern position was colder and more prone to snow as it was on higher ground. 

Bob and Mike chatted about Christmas. Both of them were married, Bob had been married for 15 years to Betty, they had one son, Josh and Mike was not long married to his childhood sweetheart, Sally. They had no children, as yet.

Times had been tough of late and they’d had to scrimp and scrape to get the money together for presents. 

Bob said: “We wanted to get Josh a top of the range iPad, but the shop we ordered it from burnt down, so I have no clue when we’re going to be able to get one for him. Unfortunately we'd paid for it weekly, but as the owner wasn't properly insured, we might lose all the money we paid.”

“That’s terrible!” replied Mike. “I’d love to get Sally a real diamond necklace, but my budget could only stretch to £100, so I got her a cubic zirconia necklace. The diamond one was £1,000. Way beyond what I could afford. What are you getting Betty?”

“Some perfume. Not the expensive stuff I’d prefer to have got for her, but like you the budget was stretched, what with getting Josh his iPad.”

The heater was doing a good job of keeping them warm and the radio was tuned to a station playing Christmas tunes. They were both at the point of nodding off, when the radio gave a burst of static and died. There was a flash of light and a whooshing sound from above their vehicle.

“What was that?” gasped Bob. 

“Dunno,” said Mike. “Was it a plane crash?”

“We’d better get out and take a look.”

They put their reflective winter jackets on and clambered from the truck, amazed to see snow had been falling and there was already a covering of about four or five inches. 

Behind them in the layby they saw a sight that stunned them. There was an old fashioned red sleigh like you see on Christmas cards and a man dressed as Santa stepped down. He turned and waved at Bob and Mike then ensured his six reindeer were feeding from nosebags.

Bob and Mike looked at each other, gobsmacked, for want of a better word.

“One of us must be dreaming!” said Mike. 

Santa walked toward them, his boots crunching in the snow. “Hi, lads! Am I glad I spotted you. Could you help me out, please? I’m having problems. It’s the left hand runner, it’s developed a squeak and made the sleigh shudder. I don’t want to be behind schedule, I’ve got presents to deliver all around the world, tonight.”

“I’ll just get my tool kit,” said Bob. Mike stood there, transfixed. 

Bob returned with his tool kit and approached the sleigh. He noticed the reindeer had stopped feeding. They were gently steaming and were eager to get going again, as they were pawing the ground.

Bob put his headlight over his cap and turned it on. He looked at the ornately carved wooden runners. He was no expert, but he thought they looked early Victorian. They were, he thought, in very good condition, especially considering their age.

He called out: “Santa, I see what your problem is. It looks as if a bolt has sheared through. It’s a non-metric one, a Whitworth imperial. But that’s not a problem because I always keep some old style Whitworth imperial screws, washers and bolts in case I meet up with a classic car, or an interesting vehicle…” Mike finished off by saying: “Like this one?” Bob nodded. To be honest, he still thought he was dreaming.

Mike looked at the reindeer and had helped keep them calm. He reasoned they couldn’t be that much different from the horses his sister kept.

When Bob had finished greasing and tightening the nut Santa said: “How much do I owe you, boys?”

Bob shook his head. “That’s fine, Santa. There's nothing to pay. I’m just glad we could help.” Mike nodded in agreement. 

“Thanks, boys! I’ll be off, now! Merry Christmas!” He walked to his sleigh, climbed in and with a “Ho, Ho, Ho!” the reindeer took the sleigh and Santa off and up into the night sky.

Bob took his tool kit back with him, as they talked about what had just happened. “Got to be a dream,” said Bob. “Yeah,” replied Mike. But whose dream?”

As they climbed back up into their recovery truck they noticed the radio was working again. But to their shock they saw there was a box containing a brand new top of the range iPad, a bottle of very expensive perfume and a box containing a very costly genuine diamond necklace. And two bottles of top single malt Scotch.

“Happy Christmas, Bob,” said Mike. 

“Happy Christmas to you, Mike," replied Bob.

Mike said, with a grin, “What should we put this job down as on our record sheet?”

"Ho, Ho, Ho!" replied Bob.


We would like to thank OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay and Miller Industries for the photographs and images used to illustrate this story. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Interested In Pixabay? Please visit www.pixabay.com.

Want to learn more about Miller Industries recovery vehicles, tow trucks and wreckers? Please visit them at https://www.millerind.com/


Monday 6 December 2021

200 Degrees Acts of Kindness lets you swap hygiene products for coffee

Those fantastic people at 200 Degrees Coffee are enabling their equally fantastic customers to help those who are less fortunate than they are.

How? They are going to let their customers donate hygiene products in exchange for coffee throughout its coffee shops this Christmas season.

Why? Because the sad reality is that many people in the UK simply do not have proper access to basic hygiene products. And this problem, points out 200 Degrees, has been made worse by the pandemic.

So 200 Degrees is inviting its coffee loving customers to bring new, unused, unopened items like deodorants, soaps, shower gel, shampoo, period products, baby care items, shaving foam, household cleaning products and other hygiene basics into any of its premises. 

200 Degrees will then work with local charities within each city to make sure they are distributed to local people in need.

They'll be hosting a Swap Shop on Wednesday 8 December, asking their customers to bring in personal hygiene products at any of its coffee shops, in exchange for a free cup of coffee.

The teams in each of their coffee shops have chosen local charities, which includes Manchester's Booth Centre,  a community centre offering support for people impacted by homelessness, and Helping Hands, Birmingham which provides food, blankets and other essentials to homeless people nightly.

The team at 200 Degrees are continuing to spread kindness with other initiatives including its ‘12ish Days of Christmas’ campaign, which will see surprise gifting of all sorts of experiences, messages of kindness on takeaway coffee cup lids and rewarding some of its loyal customers with 200 Degrees goodies.

Will Kenney, who is the commercial director at 200 Degrees Coffee, said: “The festive season should be a restful time of year for all, but sadly there are many thousands who face difficult circumstances, instead.

“Acts of Kindness is about us trying to make a small, positive difference to people who are having a tough time and also thanking our customers for being brilliant.

“The Swap Shop alone will collect much needed products that will be distributed to the amazing communities around our shops.”

To find out more about 200 Degrees and their 15 coffee shops please visit them at https://200degs.com/.

Their coffee shops are located in Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Leicester, Cardiff, Sheffield, Lincoln, Liverpool, Manchester, York and Cannock. https://200degs.com/pages/our-coffee-shops.

Sunday 5 December 2021

That's Books and Entertainment: If I Die Today

That's Books and Entertainment: If I Die Today: Readers of the The Flowers of the Grass  series of novels by N L Collier set during the First World War, which began in 2016 will welcome th...

Friday 3 December 2021

Have a Gusto ethical and delicious Christmas

Once you taste Gusto Organic drinks, you'll understand why it's won so many awards.

Gusto Organic deliver a range of eight tantalising adult-focused soft drinks, guaranteed to bring a sense of occasion to celebrations this Christmas.

Perfect when experienced neat, as a thirst-quenching treat, or accompanying premium spirits as a zippy mixer. Each drink offers a unique blend of flavours made only using  the finest ingredients. There are zero free artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners and guaranteed to bring pleasure in every sip.

Plant-based and vegan, Gusto’s drinks are not only made with an ethical conscience by supporting farmers around the world with its Fairtrade mission but are also packed to the brim with taste, making them the perfect tipple for every guest.

You should begin Christmas Day with Buck’s Fizz by pairing Sicilian Blood Orange with Champagne or Prosecco, a traditional drink to kick start festivities. Gusto’s Sicilian Blood Orange is made with organic blood oranges from the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily, using whole orange pith and peel, blended with blood orange juice, creating a super orange blast from the sun-drenched South, bringing a wonderfully diverse zesty flavour.

Designed for discerning drinkers and citrus lovers, Gusto Organic boasts the world’s finest lemonade as a healthier alternative to mainstream lemonades - Sicilian Lemon with Yuzu blends a hint of yuzu magic, sweetened with Fairtrade agave, Fairtrade apple juice and a light touch of organic grape juice and with just 100 calories per bottle and its low GI won’t leave you with a sugar high. It’s also the perfect partner for Gin this Christmas.

For those thirsty for a more complex, quintessential adult soft drink, Fiery Ginger with Chipotle is sweet, hot, zingy and dry. It is also a superb mixer with Vodka, or for that legendary ‘Dark n Stormy’ with Rum. 

Made with organic ginger juice from China, blended with ginger from both Nigeria and Indonesia and sweetened with organic, Fairtrade apple juice and organic, Fairtrade blue agave from Jalisco in Mexico. To elevate the taste further, it packs a punch with Mexican chipotle – a wonderful smoked chilli that offers heat, a little smoke and a wonderful hum on the taste buds.

For the cola nuts around the Christmas table, Gusto’s award-winning Real Cola, Naturally Slim Cola and indulgent Real Cherry Cola, use Cola nut from the rainforests of Africa, which balances the flavour of its cola drinks, adding a bitter note to counterbalance the sweetness of the agave. Cola nut also mildly stimulates and revives you in a completely natural way. 

"While many big brand colas use synthetic caffeine derived from ammonia and phosphoric acid, known to damage bones, Gusto Organic uses the revered cola nut for its natural active ingredient theobromine to stimulate, which translates as ‘Food of the Gods’. Gusto’s Naturally Slim Cola sits at only 55 calories a bottle, also one to reach for calorie reduction, based on natural plant-based ingredients only and no artificial sweeteners.

Coined ‘the perfect hangover cure, its Original Energy and Lemon Energy drinks should be the go-to drinks to boost energy levels naturally, enjoyed over ice, or as the ultimate mixer. Gusto Original Energy is a unique energy drink– ‘no nasties’ 100% natural and powered by Amazon guarana, African cola nut and 14 Chinese herbs for strength, focus and wellbeing. For a different tangy taste sensation but the same stimulation, Lemon Energy contains whole crushed organic lemons, including crushed peel with Amazon guarana, powerful adaptogen Siberian ginseng and a sweetening blend of organic grape, agave nectar and apple to keep you partying without the hangover!

Founded by Craig Sams, (the entrepreneur behind Green & Blacks) and Will Fugard, CEO and alchemist in chief, Gusto Organic has harnessed both European and global markets with their organic, Fairtrade and refined sugar-free soft drinks. Not only possessing a raft of Great Taste Awards, the brand was voted the No.1 Ethical Best Buy Soft Drinks brand in 2020 by Ethical Consumer Magazine and are also a proud sponsor of sporting events across the calendar year.

"At Gusto Organic we pride ourselves on producing the finest tasting soft drinks, which are the antithesis to mainstream fizzy drinks, our organic and Fairtrade drinks offer complex aromatic flavours with ingredients of exceptional provenance. No weird chemicals, artificial sweeteners or excess sugar; there’s a Gusto for every Christmas moment. Every one of our fully recyclable glass bottles supports Fairtrade farming projects around the world, they taste great, and they do good, the Gusto way.

The Gusto Organic range is available online from Ocado, Abel & Cole, Amazon, Holland & Barrett, Farmdrop, Gusto Shop and at Fortnum & Mason, Waitrose Farm Shop, Wholefoods, Eversfield Organic and many premium natural trade retailers & farm shops across the UK. RRP from £1.89


Wednesday 1 December 2021

Update to That's Christmas

We have made a slight update to the That's Christmas site.

For some unknown reason the search function vanished.

Upon noticing this we decided to re-introduce the search function so visitors can now search for whatever they need to make this Christmas a very special Christmas.

Also, when you purchase something that you have seen mentioned on That's Christmas, please do mention us when you do.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us source Christmas goodies over the years that we have been working on That's Christmas.

And if you have a product or service that you'd like to see featured here on That's Christmas, for free? Please email thatschristmas@mail.com.

Tuesday 30 November 2021

Make it a Habulous Christmas this year

What is Habulous?

A spokeswoman for the brand tells That's Christmas: "Habulous ceramics are all individually handmade by Nicky Edmunds; mugs, vases, storage containers, jugs and many other decorative and useful pieces for your home."

She adds: "Most items are thrown on Nicky's potters wheel, although from time to time she will also hand build. Her pieces of work all reflect the time, energy and skill that she puts into them. Every piece is unique and crafted with care."

She said: "The jellyfish air plants are unique to her and are proving to be very popular indeed."

I must admit that I have long admired pottery items, especially handcrafted works. My only experience with traditional pottery came about by working in the archaeology unit of the Ironbridge Museum which includes craftsmen and women using traditional techniques to make pottery items before firing them in a kiln.

My favourite event, however, involved digging out a large bottle kiln and find the pawprint of a cat on one of the bricks on the base used for the kiln when the bricks had been left out to dry before baking!

However, let's return to Habulous, shall we?

The pottery items sold under the Haboulous brand are nothing short of astounding.

Handmade Ceramic Mug Moorland Series which costs £25.00. Or if you preference is for a ceramic tumbler, then the Handmade Ceramic Tumbler Moorland Series at £22.00 will be more to your liking.

Handmade oil pourers, handmade espresso mugs, handmade ceramic hanging planters (limited edition, so do order these now!) dome vases, jugs, treeline broaches, there's actually something of a match to the limited edition lidded pot with Moorland trees decoration.

Or what about a gorgeous handmade ceramic soap dish? Or perhaps you are looking for something different for your kitchen? How about some nice ceramic bowls? Or a large ceramic bowl? A very dinky and exquisite mini vase? A small jug ideal for the table?

An amazing range of handcrafted pottery items, I think you'd agree? But that's not all that's available!

There are truly unique jellyfish air plants, wax melt burner sets, handmade ceramic hanging bird feeders, handmade jewellery, cards and more. 

To learn about the full range please visit https://www.habulous.co.uk/.


Fantastic Services make Fantastic Gifts!

 

Fantastic Services make Fantastic Gifts! 

What is Fantastic Services? It's a rather unique company that offers over 25+ services to in excess of 50,000 customers every month. 

A spokesperson said: "Some of the services we provide are mobile beauty and wellness, domestic cleaning and gardening. We serve domestic and commercial clients in London, the South East, and the North West." 

They went on to say: "There are just a few things you can compare to the feeling of knowing that you don't have to worry about the house cleaning. We allow our customers to have somebody else do the chores before or after a big party at home. We allow them to enjoy the warmth and cosiness of their homes without exhausting themselves with wiping and vacuuming before that."

Now Fantastic Services are offering a very special, personalised gift voucher that you can send as a very special Christmas gift for someone you love. Or why not self-gift so you can make sure your house or flat is gleaming and ready for your Chirstmas Party?

Gift vouchers are available in £50, £100 and £150 amounts.

To learn more please visit them at https://www.fantasticservices.com/.

Personalised NASA Astronaut Helmet with Movable Visor

Everyone loves space and your little astronauts will be mission ready with this ultra cool Personalized-NASA Astronaut Helmet with a Movable Visor!

The realistic looking Astronaut Helmet can be personalised to order with your child's name on it and  it complements other items in the Aeromax Astronaut range which includes Personalised Astronaut Suits, NASA Hoodies and NASA Bucket Hat also available. Available from Etsy and eBay.


(Personalised) NASA Astronaut Costume with Cap

This cool Astronaut Dress Up Costume is perfect for the budding astronaut and includes a NASA style cap.

You can also personalise the costume so kids will feel as though they are part of a space shuttle adventure - lifting off into outer space! 

Embroidery is in Black - similar to the NASA Logo. The NASA Astronaut Costume is available in both Orange and White in a variety of sizes: Age: 2-3 4-6 6-8 8-10 12-14

My Very Own Fairy Jar

This Brainstorm Toys gift will delight the fairy lovers in your life.

They can awaken their imagination and create their own fairy world with this beautiful light and sound Fairy Jar. 

Insert the enchanted forest background in your Jar with coloured stones and grass-green felt. Decorate with pretty flowers and leaf garland. 

Then they can add the toadstools, acorn with love-heart stand and their adorable fairy, for a magical fairyland scene. 

Then sprinkle with eco-fairy dust and make a wish! 

They can write a special letter to their favourite fairy, with five charming mini notes and envelopes. At bedtime, or outside in their night-time garden, the colour-changing LED turns their jar into a delightful night-light. Auto shut off saves battery life. 

Use the key in the sparkling-sound compartment to unlock a secret code. Use the secret code online to discover lots of fun, fairy activities! Make edible wands and fairy energy balls. They can employ their crafting skills by making fairy outfits or home-made glitter. 

Dance along to fairy music with your very own instruments. You can find out their fairy name (mine’s Crystal Dragon-fire!) or their birthstone. Well-being is so important, and these activities include mindfulness and yoga exercises as well as positive affirmations. Never dull your sparkle and believe in yourself today!

The RRP is £19.99 and they are available from John Lewis and all good toy retailers.

Kuhla 43L Table Top Fridge Amp/Speaker Design

Now available from Amazon, The Kuhla Table Top Fridge collection features some stunning and amazingly different designs.

Fancy sleek black, white or stylish stainless steel? Each has an impressive and very useful 43 Litre capacity and its modern space saving design is a must-have for your chill out room to store refreshing drinks and snacks. 

Each Kuhla 43L Fridge comes with a highly helpful bottle rack, a removable wire shelf and a reversible door so you can customise to suit your needs, either left or right. 

It also includes a handy ice box too. The on-trend design led Kuhla 43L Fridges will make real statement and the Amp design is perfect for music lovers, too!

Or what about the Kuhla 42L Rainbow Design Table Top Black Mini Fridge?

It's a special limited edition design that is available from Amazon. The fun and funky vibrant rainbow design of this mini bar fridge will be equally at home anywhere in your home. Your kitchen, bedroom, playroom, office home bar, or your conservatory.

It's ideal for Christmas entertaining as well as perfect teen gifts and a present for the person who has everything. It costs £89.99.

Sunday 28 November 2021

Sorting out Christmas foods? Call on Squeaky Bean to help out

This Christmas you will probably be catering for a wide variety of diners and eaters.

As well as the Christmas Dinner you'll be sorting out lunch and teatime snacks, buffet style dinners, intimate suppers and Christmas and New Year's Eve parties.

Some of the guests will be confirmed meat eaters, some will be omnivores (if it tastes good, they'll eat it, no matter what it's made from!) some will be vegetarians, whilst some will be vegans.

Those very smart and amazing people over at Squeaky Bean will be able to help you out.

New from their range is the New Yorker Style Sandwich Duo. 

Ready to eat plant-based beef style slices made frim wheat gluten and also slices made with chickpea flour.

Ideal if you want to present your guests with something to make New York Deli style sandwiches with, unless you make them up before the meal. Either way, they'll go down great.

If you like things with a bit more spice to them then the new Squeaky Bean Spanish Chorizo style slices will be a great option. 

Rich in protein and so tasty in a meaty sort of a way that you'll need to keep the wrappers to convince guests who doubt that vegan substitutes can taste this good. 

Another new addition to the Squeaky Bean range is the Milano Salami style slices. Made with wheat gluten, tofu and with black and white peppers throughout, these are probably the closest to meat salami that I have tried.

Serve with salads, crudités, cheeses (vegan, obviously!) crackers or freshly baked bread, these will make your meals go with a real swing.

There's also a whole load of other vegan foods available from Squeaky Bean. Just check out Asda, Coop, Ocado, Sainsburys and Tesco.

To learn more please visit https://www.squeakybean.co.uk/.

Friday 26 November 2021

Build your own unicorn

EUGY Unicorn is a nifty toy from Brainstorm Toys.

The recipient of this wonderful present can build their own 3D models with this unique collectable.

 Beautifully detailed yet simple miniaturised animal figures with some extra, added cuteness.

 Children will collect them, love them and treasure them. 

They are environmentally friendly, fully biodegradable made using special card and the ink employed with is 100% natural eco-friendly ink and glue is, naturally, guaranteed to be non-toxic. 

Just glue the pieces together using in numerical sequencing and they'll be put together in about 10 to 20 minutes. 

Designed in New Zealand and fully patented. 

Want something as an ideal stock item for toy and gift shops, garden centres, aquariums, zoos, museums and all other visitor attractions?

Educational fun facts included. Design, ecology, originality. Collect them all!

RRP Price £8.50.

https://www.brainstormltd.co.uk/.


See the world how others see it

Brainstorm Toys have really come up with an idea the likes of which I haven't seen before. See The World Through Others' Eyes.

And that's no pun. You'll see what I mean, when you read on.

Have you ever looked at someone or something and wondered: "How does the world look like to you?

Well, what does the world look like if you are a human baby? 

How can a cuttlefish see it’s underwater world? 

If you have ever wondered these types of thoughts, (and let's be honest, who hasn't?) now you can see the world as other creatures see it!

Just pop on these ultra cool viewing goggles on with the very special 22 interchangeable lenses and you'll be transported into a very different sphere of existence allowing you to perceive  the world through others’ eyes! 

You'll see the world in at least 17 different amazing ways, or even work out how to create your own!

Lenses include wide angle, coloured, polarised, split vision, faceted, spectrum plus more besides.

You'll learn some amazing facts. Learn exactly how many lenses a dragonfly has up, for example. 

Learn about the science of sight and vision the lenses fact-filled leaflet.


Typical price £19 from good toy retailers or department stores and Amazon. 

Night Sky from Brainstorm

Those lovely and very clever folks at Brainstorm Toys have introduced Night Sky.

Night Sky is one of those excellent transformational toys that are not merely a toy but a way to take your children and yourselves together on a never ending voyage of discovery.

With Brainstorm Toy's Night Sky light show you'll magically transform your room into your very own planetarium. 

You'll all learn about the night sky with the projector which includes four amazing projector discs.

From the comfort of your own lounge or living room you'll be able to view the planets of our solar system, our moon, the night sky and over 20,000 individual stars.

Night Sky projects up to a 3.65m wide image and it features amazingly vivid incredible projection quality, offering stunning and ultra-sharp images. 

The images will rotate on your wall or your ceiling. It has an adjustable projector angle and features a 30-minute auto shut-off. 

A secret code included in the accompanying leaflet unlocks multilingual online space information.

You'll learn about the Universe. What is its size? What is it made from? How it all began.

Find out about the constellations and marvel at the specially detailed with information about the ten key constellations in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, including the Great Bear, Orion and Draco. There are lots of amazing deep space images and links to further online Solar System and Moon information.

So Night Sky will be the perfect gift no matter where the recipients of this wonderful gift live from London to Brisbane, from New Zealand to San Francisco, they'll be able to see their sky or yours!

The RRP Price is £42.00.

Available from John Lewis, Very and all good toy retailers.


Thursday 25 November 2021

Get your Christmas going with Lakes Distillery

 

Yes, it's time. Time to get your Christmas going with a visit to the Lakes Distillery. Or with a visit to their super-duper website!

As the name might implies, Lakes Distillery distils their most excellent drink in the English Lake District. 

And, well within time for this Christmas they have brought out a very spiffing range of special alcoholic crackers to provide festive fun and frolics for Christmas dinner parties for fellow gin and whisky lovers.


Or if you wish, purchase them as some very unique Christmas stocking fillers for the gin and whisky overs in your life.

Individual or as boxed sets? The choice is entirely yours.  



But if you are looking for something else, why not check out their amazing range of gin balloons, cocktail kits, cocktail bar spoons, twizzle sticks, whisky glasses, cocktail strainers, or some truly awesome whisky stones that chills your drink without diluting the taste of the spirits?

Or why not look at their more commodious bottles of spirits? There are at least six different unique styles of whisky, plus a range of different gift sets to make a perfect Christmas gift.

Or if you are looking to buy a gift for a gin lover there are two very distinct gins and two nifty gin liquors available, plus a range of different Christmassy gift sets.

Or trying to find a vodka that they'll remember you buying them for years to come? The Lakes Vodka or The Lakes Salted Caramel Vodka Liquor should be on your present list for the good boys and girls on your list for this Christmas! (I speak as a great lover of the concept of just about salted caramel anything, to be honest!)

To check out the entire range or to order gift vouchers for people who your love enough to order from the Lakes Distillery but aren't entirely sure what they'd prefer, visit their website  https://www.lakesdistillery.com/online-shop-c13/gifts-vouchers-c4

https://www.lakesdistillery.com

Masha. The Christmas gift your kitchen would ask for

Yes, Masha is the Christmas gift that your kitchen would ask for, if you allowed your kitchen to make a list to give to Santa.

What, exactly, is Masha? It's something that once you have one, you'll never be able to understand exactly how you managed before you had one.

If you want to produce fluffy, delectable and creamy mashed potatoes, or guacamole equal to or even better than produced in top restaurants, fresh and chunky homemade soups, you'll want a Masha.

Desire delightful fresh humous, nutritious and delicious fresh and super palatable baby food, the best whipped cream ever, perfect cake mixes or batter mixes, light and fluffy meringues, brilliant Yorkshires or nifty and very buttery crumbles or pastries? Then Masha is for you.

It employs simple but perfect mains-powered Masha action using a unique and very carefully designed and patented rotor cone technology, which Masha assures users will provide "perfect results every time."

It comes complete with two special rotor blades, one designed to provide smooth and lump free results (this is what you need for potatoes, for example) and another blade for light and fluffy work.

When I was talking with my wife about the merits of the Masha she looked at the blades and said: "Yes, that's a heavier duty unit, idea for producing smooth results. And the other one? That's for aerating. If I were making whipped cream, or a meringue, that's the one I'd use, obviously." I must point out here that my wife is the chef of our household.

After examining it she expressed appreciation in the fact that the handle is of an ergonomic design and has a non-slip texture. She hefted it and said: "They have got the balance about right, too. I don't think this will put any strain on my hands or wrists. And with my arthritis that's a major concern with kitchen devices."

It's also easy to get to the blades to change them as necessary and all removable parts are safe for dishwashing. Sharp metal blades are things that always worry me. So imagine my delight and relief that both blades are made of high strength but totally not sharp plastic, rather than metal.

On test Masha proved itself to be a most appropriate gift for our kitchen for this Christmas. It's motor is powerful (yet reasonably quite) and can power through the ingredients with no bother at all. And it's easy and safe to clean, too, even if your dishwasher is a human and not a machine!

I predict a busy Christmas period for Masha in our kitchen. In fact, I predict a busy life in general for our Masha, because a Masha is for life, not just for Christmas!

Masha is made by Sensio Home and comes with a five year guarantee and a very helpful guide with a number of recipes to try, ideal if you are new to home cooking.

It's available at a number of retailers including Lakeland, Sensio Home, Amazon, Argos, etc for between £40 to £45. Very good value for money in our experience of buying kitchen devices over the years.


Personalised Christmas gifting ideas to celebrate treasured memories

This Christmas, treat the people you care about to a truly unique gift that is special to them.

If you are looking for a meaningful, loving Christmas present Whether you’re shopping for your spouse, something for a family member, something thoughtful for a friend a nifty stocking filler or a secret Santa gift, CEWE has the perfect gifts to help them celebrate their favourite memories this festive period. 

Here’s a selection of CEWE’s most loved festive gifts for this year. And they will not be as costly as you might expect.

A Photo Snow Globe can cost as little as £6.99.

It's a perfectly seasonal gift and makes an ideal stocking filler. The Photo Snow Globe can be personalised with a photo and text of choice and comes complete with artificial snowflakes.

Or why not opt for a Photo calendars from £3.49?

It's a gift they'll love year-round, a personalised photo calendar! With every passing month, they’ll remember a happy moment and the fact that you chose this special gift for them that helps add personality to their workspace or keep their busy home organised. Choose the size and style that suits them, from kitchen calendars to A5 calendars and year planners. 

Or what about a Square Photo Book? From £9.99

They have a clean, modern look that’s ideal for displaying your best images in landscape and portrait style, making it the best option for creating a unique travel album or memory book. 

Compile your recipient's favourite memories, family breaks, weddings, parties, pets, etc.  They’ll be thrilled when they get to look back at their cherished memories.

Or what about a Photo Mugs - from £7.99?

This lovely present will remind them of a treasured memory with every cuppa! Choose a photo, drawing or text of your choice that is sure to put a smile on their face each time they reach for a sip.

 And idea secret Santa gift for a colleague or a unique present for a loved one. The choice is up to you.

Small Photo Book – from £5.99.

A small photobook is the ideal way to celebrate special memories you share together. Whether it’s a memorable holiday or an important milestone, create a quick album of your favourite snaps for a perfect stocking filler they’ll be able to cherish forever.

Or what about Jigsaws – from £9.99?

112 piece puzzle with personalised photo of child and childs name. 1000 piece personalised jigsaw created by Ravensburger.

This gift is sure to provide plenty of entertainment over the festive period – for both kids and adults! Create a unique original Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle that features a photo of your choice. Choose from a portrait of a beloved pet, a group family photo or a piece of artwork by the kids.

Unique gifts under £25:

Large Landscape Photo Book – from £19.99

The perfect size for any occasion and all sorts of stories, it’s easy to see why this photobook is a best seller. With every page they’ll be filled with joy as they get to look back at their favourite memories. This large photo book would make the perfect gift to display wedding photos, travel memories or as a family photo album.

Classic Canvas Prints - from £12.99.

A canvas print. A beautiful gift for a loved one to display a treasured memory in their home. This gift is something that they can appreciate all year round and will brighten up any room in the house.

Phone cases – from £14.99

If you’re shopping for someone who always has their phone in their hand, a personalised photo phone case is the perfect gift! Add their favourite family photo, an image of a well-loved pet or something that will make them smile.

hexxas wall art – from £9.99 

CEWE hexagonal wall tiles provide a unique gift that allows them to create a showstopping display in their home. The magnetic hanging system means they can reposition their pictures and rearrange the display whenever they fancy – the possibilities are endless! This stylish statement piece will add a personal touch to any room in their home.

Wood Prints  - from £24.99.

Photo on wood 

If the person you’re buying for has a rustic décor theme in their home, this is the perfect gift for them. A beautifully unique piece of wall art that captures a treasured memory and can be admired for the years to come.


To place your orders or to learn more please visit https://www.cewe.co.uk.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Super Sapiens

 

What is Super Sapiens? 

Super Sapiens is dedicated to helping children to explore hidden histories and also to cultivate a deeper  understanding about the world.

Super Sapiens also works hard to help the children learn how to make the world a better place for everyone. 

It will also assist the children to develop their own superpowers through self-care and self-love.

Their Educational Kids Card Game Family Fun Diversity Empowering Snap Memory costs £12 and can be bought at their own ebay shop, here https://bit.ly/3cNt5dM.


Social Stories Club has a mission

Social Stories Club’s mission is to share social ventures and their amazing stories with the world. 

They create sustainable gift boxes and hampers. 

Each item in the giftboxes comes from a social venture and supports different social causes including empowering artists with disabilities, reducing landfill waste, providing education for young girls in tea growing regions, and more besides.

Their Luxurious Hug In A Box Gift For Her Get Well Soon Present Pamper Hamper Gift and be bought via their own ebay shop. https://bit.ly/3DS749x at £29.00 per box.

You can learn more about them by visiting https://socialstoriesclub.com.


The Goodwash Company

The Goodwash Company offers a wide range of products that are only made with the finest of natural ingredients.

The ingredients are also sourced from suppliers of cruelty-free products.

But what's also of equal importance is that the profits they make are only used to better and improve the lives of people and also animals within their local communities.

Their Natural, Vegan Body Wash comes in 250ml bottles at £19.50 from their own ebay store. Just visit https://bit.ly/3cNlNHc.

The ingredients are all sourced from the Welsh countryside that surrounds their workplace and from the seas.

Give them the gift of learning this Christmas with Learned.Live

You can give them the gift of learning this Christmas. 

From card tricks to basic diving techniques, starting your novel, learn the basics of drumming and a crash course in modelling with clay.

There's a wide and eclectic range of courses covering fields as diverse as Arts and Culture, Business and Finance, Health Beauty and Wellbeing, Humanities and Social Studies, Life Skills, Music, Science nd Tech, Sports and Outdoors, Hobbies and Crafts, Languages.

Teaching and Education, Charity Courses, Free and Taster Courses, Seasonal and Fun.

All of the courses are delivered by experts in their field. For example the card tricks course is taught by Johnathan Reynolds, a British-American who runs his own entertainments company and who has been performing before a wide variety of audiences worldwide for 14 years. He also offers courses in the English language and Chequers and Chess.

The courses are provided by Learned.live, a company founded by Johnathan Reynolds and Sophie Spencer.

The courses are served to students using the Zoom platform so they can learn either within their workplace or at home. 

Learned.Live was launched as a way for Sophie and Jonathan to deal with the first COVID restrictions that put their businesses on hold.

There's an interview with Sophie that explains all the details here https://bit.ly/3DTiMB4.

You can book courses with a gift voucher. Details of how to book the courses plus a full list of courses can be found here:- https://learned.live/.


A wine cooler for Christmas

If you do a lot of entertaining and have sufficient space, you should consider installing a dedicated wine cooler.

Haier offer a modern, attractive wine cooler with a 42 or 77 bottle capacity

You can keep track of your wine collection via a Wi-Fi app. 

It also features a dedicated and utterly unique humidity control air flow system that allows you to store your wine at the perfect temperature.

And it's got a special Dual Zone feature, with independent temperature control for storing red and white wines 

3D warm lighting system design to store wine for the optimum taste and colour

Temperature range between 5 and 20 degrees - preserves wine to the best flavour

Adjustable door – for easier opening for a tailor-made experience in your kitchen

Haier have launched a fabulous, new range of wine coolers. Wine Bank 50 Series 7. 

These new products which were first previewed at IFA last September, feature advanced technologies, premium design and a tailor-made experience. As more people become interested in wine both as an investment and as a hobby, wine cellars have increased in popularity. 

Available at AO and Currys. Visit www.haier-europe.com for details.



Christmas baubles, filled with gin that also light up

If you are looking for the ultimate in adult stocking fillers, the look no more! Because in our quest to find you fantastic Christmas gifts and treats, That's Christmas has found you some Christmas baubles that are filled with gin that also light up!

But it's not just any gin! This gin is crammed full of tantalising with a delicious winter berry gin liqueur and edible 23 karat gold leaf. You'll find notes of redcurrants, blueberries and cranberries.

The mini snow globes will sparkle on your tree. Merely press the button on the base to turn on the light and the bauble will light up for a full 10 minutes before turning itself off to save power,

Each bauble is decorated with a very pretty and utterly perfect Christmas scene to make a festive set.

Ideal sipped neat or served with a dry tonic or perhaps some ginger ale. Plus a good amount of ice (if icy cocktails is your thing. Looks good if garnished with your favourite winter berries or even out of season strawberries.

Where can you find these special Gravity Drinks baubles? They are stocked by Costco, Master of Malt, Amazon, Firebox and Harvey Nichols.

A set of six will cost £39.99 from Amazon.

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Volcano Coffee your Christmas treat

If you are looking to buy someone some special Christmas coffee which not only tastes great but has some genuine green credentials, then fully independent South London coffee roasters Volcano Coffee Works have a gift list that is perfect for the speciality coffee lover.

What about the Volcano Coffee Works compostable coffee pod subscription? This suits a wide variety of different tastes. 

Each subscription contains 40 Nespresso®-compatible, 100% compostable and vegan friendly coffee pods. The capsules, lids and bag packaging are made from a bio-based cornstarch material. 

So after your coffee is made, just put the waste in your local council's food-waste collection bin. 

They are delivered free of charge. You can specify whether you want them delivered weekly or once a monthly.

The Volcano Coffee Works subscription pod options are:

The Bold Morning Shot with Nespresso® Compatible Eco Coffee Pods subscription is priced at £26 and available from the Volcano Coffee Works website: https://volcanocoffeeworks.com/products/subscription-bold-morning-shot-pods

Balanced All Day Subscription (Nespresso Compatible Eco Coffee Pods) - 40 pods subscription is £26 and is available from the Volcano Coffee Works website here: https://volcanocoffeeworks.com/products/subscription-balanced-nespresso-compatible-eco-coffee-pods

Reserve Rich Sweet Subscription (Nespresso Compatible Eco Coffee Pods) - 40 pods subscription is priced at £28 and is available from the Volcano Coffee Works website: https://volcanocoffeeworks.com/products/subscription-reserve-rich-sweet-pods

But there's another great gift that they'll really love you for. Thr Espresso Making and Latte Art Masterclass!

You can gift them the experience to learn the mastery of the espresso machine and all forms of espresso based drinks. 

Your gift recipient will learn the differences between each drink, plus how to serve the perfect version.

 Espresso making starts with coffee grinding, tamping and extracting espresso shots before moving onto the fundamentals of latte art. Participants will learn milk texturing, pouring and how to create latte art designs of Tulip, Heart and Rosetta.

A £65 ticket includes: A complimentary 200g bag of Volcano Coffee Works coffee, 10% off brewing equipment, a Volcano Coffee Works tote bag, a brew guide booklet to take home and a subscription offer. The ticket will be downloadable once purchased and can also be accessed through logging into your Volcano Coffee Works website if the recipient can’t attend the date it can be easily changed to another available date.

https://volcanocoffeeworks.com/collections/gifts/products/espresso-making-and-latte-art-masterclass-2022?variant=41311069601973

Roaster's Choice Coffee Gift Subscription

Volcano Coffee Work's Gift Subscription delivers a unique new coffee to subscribers every month. Pay for your friend or family member to receive three, six or twelve months deliveries and start them on a voyage through a world of new coffees.

The Roaster’s Choice includes:

400g of limited edition coffee from a new country each month

Coffees of the world information cards to learn more about the coffees and how to brew them

The set is £17 from https://volcanocoffeeworks.com/collections/gifts/products/roasters-choice-coffee-gift-subscription?variant=37452021235893

Friday 19 November 2021

Their first Christmas together!

 

Nyetimber has partnered with professional tablescapers, Lay London, to launch their first ever Christmas tableware gift set

This Christmas, English Sparkling Wine producer, Nyetimber, is collaborating with expert tablescapers, Lay London, to create a range of very exclusive festive homeware items, available to both buy and also to rent.

Sisters Jemima and Alice Herbert founded Lay London, the city’s first tablescape rental service to deliver beautiful dinner party looks straight to the door. And for Christmas 2021 they have designed tableware items especially for Nyetimber.

In each of the products, the sisters have taken inspiration from Nyetimber’s colour palette. The spearmint green of the Cuvee Chérie bottle foil and the iconic Nyetimber Routemaster bus forms the base of the scheme and for Christmas 2021, the bus is returning in the form of a festive bauble. Lending a fresh twist on the typical Christmas setting, the collection combines the Nyetimber green with wintery blues, snow white and hints of festive sparkle.

All good dinner tables begin with a beautiful tablecloth, which is the first of three items exclusively created for Nyetimber. Lay London has produced a large hand-block printed tablecloth with a powder blue and green floral base. By combining rich colours with a bold pattern, the cloth is still suitably festive, with a contemporary makeover. 

To compliment the look, there is also a set of eight cotton napkins, adorned with a minimalist, hand-printed take on a traditional Christmas tree. Finally, to tie the whole scheme together, Lay London has put a Nyetimber twist on their trademark marbled dinner candles. Tall, glossy candles, hand-dipped in marbled hues of mint and emerald-green, have been designed by Lay to complete the classic yet modern look this Christmas. 

Discussing the collaboration, the Herbert sisters said: “It’s been a real joy to partner with Nyetimber, such a modern yet iconic luxury British brand this Christmas. We love creating bespoke tablescapes so when tasked with using the Nyetimber brand and heritage as inspiration, we were keen to get going. Traditionally, Christmas décor is associated with rich reds and a deeper palette which we’ve steered away from in favour of a contemporary look with a variety of textures and bright, vibrant patterns. Nyetimber may use traditional production methods and be steeped in history, however it’s a forward-thinking brand which we wanted to reflect in our scheme.”

CEO and Owner Eric Heerema added: “Precision and attention to detail run through the core of everything we do at Nyetimber, so I was delighted to see the efforts that Jemima and Alice went to, to incorporate the Nyetimber ethos into the overall scheme. Their modern reimagining of Christmas is beautiful and once a bottle of Nyetimber is brought out on Christmas Day, the whole table will be complete and really sing.

The exclusively designed items are available to purchase as part of two gift bundles, bringing together the best of Lay London and Nyetimber. There is also the option to rent the full tablescape with wine. Please visit www.nyetimber.com.

Thursday 18 November 2021

Draw your own 3-D Sweets with Polaroid

Just in time for Christmas 2021, Menkind have brought to market a truly stunning technological innovation. A device that lets you draw and print your own sweets in 3D!

Menkind are the exclusive retailers of the Polaroid Candy Play 3D Pen, with which you can actually draw your own sweets!

It's an easy-use pen device that employs edible filaments that are available in six different flavours, or a you can used mixed flavours.

What flavours are available? Apple, Cola, Grape, Lemon, Mixed Flavours, Orange and Strawberry. 

To launch your new career as a 3D Christmas sweet printer you get four free strawberry-flavoured cartridges. Plus they provide a special finishing cartridge that ensures you can use every particle of the sweet stuff in your cartridge.

And you can order as many replacement cartridges in whatever flavours you want.

What can you design? Houses made from sweets, lovely little crowns, flowers, little bushes, in fact you can make just about anything you can conceive.

Make edible personalised party treats, or even create very exclusive cake toppings. And even if your design might not work out perfectly, don't worry! You, your family and friends can hide the evidence by eating them and starting all over again!

The sweets created are vegan friendly and totally sugar-free, so nobody needs to miss out on these wonderful 3-D sweets!

It's specially designed for easy cleaning and it's powered by via USB-C.

It's suitable for people age 14 and up. But, of course, you'll be able to make sweets for all your younger siblings and relatives.

The Polaroid Candy Play 3D Pen (complete with four strawberry flavoured cartridges to start you off) costs £35.

Extra 40 filament packs can cost £14.97.

To order your Polaroid Candy Play 3D Pen you can visit your local branch of Menkind or order on line at https://www.menkind.co.uk/.

You'll also find a whole host of other amazing gift ideas from stuff for foodies (including a sausage making machine!) to novelty items to high tech gadgets.

Have yourself a Laura Ashley Christmas

There's a lot going on this Christmas at Laura Ashley. In fact, there's always a lot going on every Christmas at Laura Ashley, ever since Bernard and Laura Ashley launched the brand back in 1953.

So, what nifty gifty ideas can you find at Laura Ashley for this Christmas?

Everyone loves a nice sea breeze. So why not make Beachcomber one of your Christmas gifts this year?

They'll be able to infuse their home with a fresh coastal breeze. When they open it, they delight in fresh fruity notes of sweet, ripe melon and crunchy apple, which are matched with seaside floral scents, with an underpinning of creamy sandalwood. 

The top notes featured are: Apple, Lemon. The heart notes: Lily of the Valley, Ozonic Notes, Base notes: Violet, Sandalwood. It's £16 for a 100 ml difuser.


Or perhaps you will be buying a gift for a candle lover? Then look no further than this delightful candle. 

With a burn time of some 40 hours, they'll be able to bring about a welcoming and homely environment with its enjoyable and comforting floral fragrance with notes of freshly pressed linen, fragrant jasmine and soft white musk.

It is 8.5cm tall and has a diameter of 12cm. And it costs £18.







Buying a delightful fur throw can be a little bit of a challenge. After all, whilst everyone loves the look of fur, we don't all want real fur these days.

Which is where this comes in to its own and makes a might fine Christmas gift. 

It's a gorgeous soft chocolate fur throw. The Hexham throw has a velvet velour reverse featuring an exquisitely embroidered Laura Ashley signature.

It's absolutely perfect for creating a warm and cosy look in any room. Ideal for an orangery, a conservatory or a garden room, perhaps? 

It's dry clean only and is 100% Polyester. It's available at £140.

Also available is the matching Hexham soft chocolate fur cushion with velvet velour reverse featuring a beautifully embroidered Laura Ashley signature. A cushion pad is included for instantly plush style.


Or perhaps you have someone in mind who has a space in their home (and heart!) for a stunningly attractive clock this Christmas?

The high-shine mirror surface of the Laura Ashley Lexham Clock is perfect for contemporary homes, and the modern, sleek feel is a perfect complement to chic and clean interiors.

Its height is 32cm, the width is 5cm and it's 15cm deep. It costs £34.



Actually, giving this matter some thought, if you are going to gift them the Lexham Clock, why not also buy them an utterly delightful and charming set of two mirrored Laura Ashley trinket boxes with gorgeous, beautiful mirrored panelling. Largest H9.2 cm, W98 cm, D98 cm. Smallest H7.2 cm, W8.1 cm, D8.1 cm. £22 for the set of two makes this an affordable Christmas present.





Of course, that's only a tiny part of the range of eminently suitable Christmas gifts from Laura Ashley, so please visit https://www.next.co.uk/laura-ashley to learn more about what's available. Incidentally it was my wife who introduced me to the quirky and delightful world of Laura Ashley over 30 years ago.