Food and Drink

I’m a Christmas Hamper lover

I love a hamper, not just a little box of items (which I also love), but I mean a big wicker hamper packed full of lovely items. Then after you have indulged on all of it’s yummy content you are left with a gorgeous wicker basket to use around your home or for taking out for picnics.

christmas-hamper-from-prestige-hampers

With Christmas coming it’s the perfect time to be buying a hamper either as a gift for someone or for yourself. Recently Prestige Hampers got in touch to see if I would like to receive one of their hampers, how could I possibly say no?

A simply delicious Christmas Hamper

I had no idea which of their many fabulous hampers I would be receiving, so when a rather large box arrived, I was very excited to open it. WOW, a fabulous large wicker hamper was sat there. I was sent their Simply Delicious hamper, and simply delicious it really was.

When I first opened the basket, I could see 5 or six lovely items. It wasn’t until later then I was showing my Hubby the hamper, when I realised that there was so much more hidden within the packaging. The Simply Delicious hamper was actually packed with 13 different items including 2 lovely bottles of wine. 

Included within my Christmas Hamper was, Mrs Bridges Ploughman’s Chutney, cheesy nibbles, sweet chilli and lime crisps, cappuccino coffee shortbread, mint chocolate thins, mint cremes, after dinner ground coffee, English afternoon tea bags, Monty Bojangles pistachio marooned truffles, an Ooh! Chocolata minty bar and a box of Jacquot fancy truffle. Not forgetting a bottle of Chardonnay and a bottle of Merlot. So many fabulous items. I cannot wait to dig in and try them out.

A hamper gift for everyone

What I love about Prestige Hampers is that there really is something there for everyone. It could be you are looking for a new baby gift, wedding present, anniversary gift or just a gift to make someone feel loved. I love the idea or ordering a luxury hamper for a romantic picnic for me and the Hubby, to just add a some fresh bread and some cheese, then head out for a date. 

Hampers make a fabulous Christmas gift, I have a few people who are very difficult to buy for. I always like to buy gifts that people will love, not just a buying a gift because I have to. I put a lot of time into finding the perfect gift for family and friends. With the large range of hampers that Prestige Hampers offer, I know I will be able to find something for just about everyone on my Christmas lists.

Thank you Prestige Hampers for sending me out a beautiful hamper, I love it! Plus the basket will be great for keeping my blankets in over the winter months.

New menu launch at the Cosy Club Stamford

I love going into Stamford, it’s a beautiful little Lincolnshire town, which is about 15 miles away from my home. It is somewhere that I go with friends for lunch, out for drinks and a meal with my hubby and a great place for shopping as there are some lovely shops in the town. Stamford is sat on the river Wellend, which is a lovely spot to take the children for a picnic in the warm months. Stamford for me is a go to place for lunch, when the children are in school the Hubby and I will often head there for a wonder around and some lunch.

cosy-club-stamford

The Cosy Club Stamford

When we head there for lunch and sometimes breakfast, we would normally choose the Cosy Club, the only time we haven’t been there when visiting Stamford was when the Christmas Markets were on and it was so busy we couldn’t get in.

The Cosy Club have recently launched a new set of menus, they now offer a vegan, gluten free and of course their standard menu, plus they have a new selection of puddings and cocktails. So they invited me along to try out the new menu.

I love the Cosy Club in Stamford, I have visited many times before, I love the atmosphere there. It’s has a real old English feel to it, with a large vintage union jack flag hanging in one corner. Wood panelled walls, mismatched chairs and tables, random lampshades and pictures on the walls, all working in perfect unison together.

Mocktails

cosy-club-stamford-mocktails

I took my sister along with me to try out the food and drinks. Looking through the drinks menu I was drawn to the cocktails, however with the school run to do later that afternoon we both went with mocktails. I will be honest, I don’t normally order a mocktail, in fact I don’t think I have had one since being a child. After trying them I am not sure why I don’t choose them more often.

I went with the watermelon and green tea cooler, my sister a virgin summer sangria. Later on during our meal we ordered another mocktail each a virgin passion fruit mojito and a St Clements they were lovely, by far my favourite one was the watermelon and green tea cooler. It was so refreshing and enjoyable, I would happily have it again and again.

Tapas

For food we opted for the Tapas, which was an unusual choice for us. We head out for lunch together quite often but we have not had a sharing meal before, but the Tapas really appealed to both of us. There were however a lot of other items on the menu we would have loved to try. 

cosy-club-tapas

The Tapas is priced at £13.95 for 3 items or £4.95 each. So we decided on 6 items to share.

  • Halloumi sticks with a chipotle chilli jam.
  • Pulled chicken and chorizo with crispy potatoes.
  • Tempura king prawns with a soy and ginger dipping sauce.
  • Squid and chorizo pan fried with red wine and garlic and served with mixed leaved and butter bean aioli.
  • Crispy sesame seed chicken, with a soy and ginger dipping sauce and a coriander salad.
  • Garlic Mushrooms on a sourdough toast.

We also added a bread board of Ciabatta with dipping balsamic vinegar and oil.

We both really enjoyed the tapas, my favourite would have to be the crispy sesame seed chicken and the garlic mushrooms. Although it was all delicious, my least favourite was the squid and chorizo, mainly because I am not the biggest squid fan but it was my sisters favourite dish. The flavours all worked really well together, the halloumi sticks are very popular right now and I know why, along with the chipotle chilli jam they were so yummy.

The 6 items of tapas and the bread was more than enough for us both for lunch.

Desserts

I love a dessert, in fact I generally will look at the dessert menu first before deciding on a main course, eating at the Cosy Club was no different. There is a fabulous range of desserts on offer at the Cosy Club Stamford. My eyes were drawn to the salted caramel cheesecake, with butterscotch sauce and popcorn straight away. My sister went for the Nutella and vanilla cream doughnut, topped with candy floss and raspberry dust. When they arrived they looked amazing, and we began digging straight into them.

cosy-club-stamford-desserts

I was a little disappointed with the cheesecake, I felt it was a bit warm, as though it needed another hour in the fridge to set, the base was also so thin that you hardly knew it was there. It did however taste amazing, full of caramel and butterscotch flavours. Just wish it was a bit firmer and a thicker base.

My sister is a big fan of doughnuts and nutella, so she was winning with this pudding. However, she also was disappointed with it. She felt that she couldn’t taste the nutella as it had been mixed with vanilla cream. I also tried a little bit and although there was some chocolate flavour I wouldn’t have said it had that rich nutella flavour I was expecting, it was a little disappointing.

The staff

I honestly have never had any issues with the staff at the Cosy Club, whenever I have visited they have always been helpful and welcoming, answered any questions I might have had. Our visit was no different, the manager who I have seen there a few times, was on hand to help with any questions, the staff were all happy and efficient in their work. They clearly have great mixology skills as the mocktails were all fabulous.

Although our desserts were a little disappointing, we had a wonderful meal at the Cosy Club Stamford and I wouldn’t hesiate to go back again, in fact my Hubby has a couple of days off work soon, so I thought we could go over together for lunch. He would love the tapas but also the Major-General burger, is what I would put money on him ordering.

Thank you Cosy Club for inviting me along to try out your fabulous new menu, great job.

A Royal Wedding to remember with a Royal Wedding Garden Tea Party

With less than two weeks until the Royal Wedding, have you thought about how you are going to be celebrating that day? On the 19th May 2018 HRH Prince Harry will be marrying the beautiful Ms Meghan Markel at the Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, and I cannot wait!

As the country prepares to celebrate along with them, how will you be celebrating the Royal Wedding day? Street parties have been planned it thousands of locations, National Trust properties are showing it wedding on large outdoor screens, garden parties and afternoon teas will also be happening in homes across UK, not forgetting the millions of people sitting in their front room watching the coverage on the TV. Like so many others I cannot wait to see the dress of the year that Meghan will be wearing.

royal-wedding-garden-party

For me, our Royal Family is such an important part of British heritage and it should be celebrated. When Prince William got married to Kate Middleton in 2011 I spent the day at home watching every single minute possible on the TV and this will be no different. However I couldn’t miss the chance to host a Garden Party with some friends even if it was a couple of weeks early, when the sun was shining. I decided not to host my Royal Wedding Garden Party on the day the wedding, because honestly I didn’t want to be preparing the afternoon tea sandwiches and miss out on watching it all happening on the TV.

The history of Afternoon Tea

I love an afternoon tea, finger sandwiches, cakes, scones, china tea cups and a glass of fizz to go with it, so what better way to start the wedding celebrations than with a traditional very British afternoon tea.

Did you know that afternoon tea was first served back in1840 to the Duchess of Bedford, who started to get hungry about 4pm between her lunch and then her dinner at 8pm. So she requested a try of bread and butter, cakes and a pot of tea be served to her room at that time. As the years followed she invited friends to join her and by the late 1880’s ladies would have afternoon tea parties, but be dressed in beautiful dresses, hats and gloves for the occasion. Since then afternoon tea has been a quintessentially British tradition, with hotels across the country serving them and visitors from around the world wanting an afternoon tea when they come to UK.

Royal Wedding Garden Tea Party

For my Royal Wedding garden tea party, I invited some of my closet girly friends round, my 4 year old daughter and baby niece to share the fun.

An afternoon tea is made up of various finger sandwiches, mine included, salmon and cream cheese, ham and the cucumber, with a mix of white farm house bread and a seeded batch loaf. All delicious. My scones were served with clotted cream and my home made plum jam from the fruit trees in our garden. Then a variety of cupcakes, french fancies (my sisters favourite), Viennese whirls with lots of little flags, that I added in extra. I have a lovely collection of cake stands, that I have been collecting for years. The cake dome is a new addition from ProCook, I love it, it’s perfect for cupcakes, a larger cake and even for cheese. I even borrowed my Hubby’s Gran’s vintage glass cake stands.

As the day was the hottest of the year so far, I decided that pots of hot tea was not what we needed, so instead I used my Royal Wedding tea pot filled with ice cubes and my new favourite William Chase Gin. I borrowed my Hubby’s Gran’s pretty little china tea cups, added ice and then topped them up with Fentimans, Connoisseurs tonic water, that works perfectly well with the William Chase Gin. As you all know I am a big lover of gin, so trying out a new gin and another of Fentimans fabulous tonics was great for me, my friends are all gin lovers too, I guess you have to be to fit in at our house. It’s not often people come round and the gin isn’t out.

No cup of tea, even if it is gin, is complete without a biscuit on the saucer. These luxury biscuits by Elizabeth Shaw are amazing, I was sent the raisin and hazelnut plus the mint and cocoa. Although both very tasty I loved the raisin and hazelnut ones the most, however all of the biscuits got eaten very quickly. Yum!!

As my little girl was joining us, she was drinking water with fruit filled ice cubes. However, I was slightly concerned about her having Gran’s vintage china tea cups. So, she was using some glasses that have been toughen and are also designed that if they so smash they will shatter into cubic pieces to reduce the risk of injury. Perfect for my little girl to think she is more grown up drinking from glass cup, instead of her normal plastic ones.

No Royal Wedding Garden Tea Party would be complete without the addition of Union Flag bunting hanging from the trees. I managed to find mine on amazon for about £6.99 they have a real vintage feel to them, plus they are fabric which I plan to use in my son’s bedroom, when we eventually get round to decorating.

Every celebration includes a bottle of fizz and for my Royal Wedding garden tea party I used Prosecco, which is a favourite among my girly friends. I added fruit to the ice cube trays when I froze them, to add a bit of colour to the ice bucket. Placing the Prosecco into the ice bucket helped it to stay cold on such a hot day. Plus we used the ice to add to the gin and tonic throughout the afternoon, the fruit in the ice also flavoured the gin as the afternoon went on.

Well that’s my Royal Wedding garden party! How will you be celebrating?

 

*Some items within this post were gifted to me, in exchange for being included within my post. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*