Need to find the UK’s best bites? Then @europcar has just the map for you #travel #map #food #drink #foodanddrink

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Ever wanted to take a trip around our great British Isles and find out where the best food from each region comes from? Then forget your conventional map because Europe’s leading car hire service Europcar has the solution – its a map called Britain’s Best Bites.

Whether you’re packing a picnic or shopping for the best ingredients for the Christmas table, you won’t go hungry with Europcar’s map of nibbles. so not only can you rent a cool car to see more of Great Britain, you can now enjoy the food along the way too!

So what is this map really like? 

Europcar’s Britain’s Best Bites is a scrolling parallax map which allows customers to take a journey down the country, from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Charmingly illustrated, with famous landmarks and images of the food in each region, the map features a green Europcar car, which can travel from place to place, unveiling gastronomic delights on its trip.

The route is 874 miles in total and covers key areas, including Edinburgh, the Highlands, Carlisle, Manchester, Stroud, Bath, Exeter and Cornwall.

Here’s some of Europcar’s top tip locations for yummy cuisine! Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 22.55.35

Caithness Smokehouse

At the tip of UK mainland, you’ll find the award-winning Caithness Smokehouse. Sample the mouth-watering smokey flavours of its locally sourced North Sea fish.

Tebay Services

In rural Cumbria, even the motorway services have farm shops. Stop at Tebay to fill up on hand-reared meat, homemade pies and relishes.

Lancashire Cheese

A trip to Lancashire isn’t complete without tasting the creamy, mild, crumbly cheese. Travellers looking for something to showcase on their cheeseboards should head to

Dewlay cheese-makers of Gartang, who have been making award winning Lancashire cheese for almost 60 years.

Stop for a coffee

Exeter’s Exploding Bakery is an original, no-nonsense bakery.  Order one of their ‘full-on-flavour’ tray bakes made with local Devon butter and free range eggs served with a relaxing cup of coffee.

With over 250 locations across the UK, there’s a Europcar branch along the whole of the Britain’s Best Bites route, meaning travellers can book a vehicle, wherever they are. It’s flexible and affordable car hire saves wear and tear on the family car, as well as added comfort for longer journeys. With additional items, such as baby seats, additional drivers and GPS, Europcar caters to every traveller’s needs, with the widest choice of vehicles, all on average less than six months’ old.

To find out more visit http://www.europcar.co.uk

Happy Travels! Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 22.55.50

 

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@nowtv can read your mind…well sort of! #technology #television #NowTV #magic

So earlier this month (and as you can see from the fun video above), the fab people at Now TV teamed up with the even more fab magician/oddball John van der Put and his pooch, Mr Piffles, to predict what you’ll love to watch on the NOW TV Box this winter…

With a captive audience at Waterloo station van der Put was put to the test earlier this month and managed to wow commuters with his magical prowess and predictions.

However, Now TV realised that van der Put was proving far too popular, and seeing that they couldn’t mass produce him, the easiest thing would be to add a new element to its already popular device, and they called it…the Mind Reader.

NOW TV Mind Reader, is a new magical predicition tool that helps viewers select the perfect film, sporting event or TV show for them from NOW TV’s expansive offering…keen to find out more?  You can try it for yourself here www.nowtv.com/mindreader and see what NOW TV predicts for you!

Sorry, I’ve forgotten, what’s NOW TV again? 

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The NOW TV Box, which turns your TV into a smart TV and gives instant access to Sky Movies, Sky Sports and the 10 entertainment channels including Sky 1 and Sky Atlantic, is available for £9.99 right here: https://shop.nowtv.com/

If you want to watch the great content NOW TV will predict for you, take advantage of a free NOW TV trial. Head over to www.nowtv.com to get started.

 

What are you watching this weekend? We recommend THE HUNGER GAMES – CATCHING FIRE #film

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 16.37.24If you had any worries or concerns that Director Gary Ross’s successor would be turning this sequel into a Twilight esq format, where each film has its own unique stamp per director, and the lead character looks more and more bizarre as the films progress, then fear not, as The Hunger Games – Catching Fire  continues the franchise brilliantly.

In the second installment of the hugely popular film adaptation, Tribute victors of the 74th Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem. As a result, President Snow decides to hold the 75th Hunger Games in which all previous victors will once again fight against each other.

If you have been a fan of the books and then watched the first film, you may have felt a little short changed in terms of the detail throughout the Games section itself. Catering to a 12a audience, the first installment of this franchise lacked some of the more graphic scenes of violence throughout, and replaced this with clever jump cuts and edits to keep the action flowing. I for one, was one of those people, and felt slightly underwhelmed when walking out of that original viewing.Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 16.40.18

However, this second film seems to have found its feet much more – realizing that there is a large share in terms of older audience members, it quite purposefully takes more risks. There is a whipping scene involving Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) the shooting of an old man who dares to acknowledge the revolution, and a very unceremonious punch to the face for Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). Although these are all wincing to the eye, they are a refreshing progression for the film, and as the film tackles more grown up subject matter, you very much feel like you’re watching a much more grown up film.Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 16.37.46

Once again the lead characters are portrayed well. Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen is brooding and thoughtful, more of the relationship between herself and Hemsworths Gale is explored, and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta Mellark has realized that he must suppress his feelings in order to play the game and put on a great show. There is also an influx of new cast members (all the other Tributes get killed off in the previous film – in the style of a less brutal Battle Royale!) and one of the biggest surprises of this is Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair. With a flawless American accent, a smile to melt a lot of hearts in the female share of the audience, this British actor will probably use this character to cement his place in the Hollywood heart throb elite – Robert Pattinson better watch out!

Out with the old and in with the new is the way this second running of the film works, the style has been cleverly matched by Director Francis Lawrence to its predecessor and not a minute of filming is wasted. Even if you’re coming to the movie having loved the book, its truthful approach to what is written will be a welcome relief, and it may even hold some surprises for you too. Plenty of action for everyone, some eye candy for both boys and girls, and a very enjoyable film to watch. You will not be disappointed!

4 Stars

Get into the Capitol Couture as we celebrate The Hunger Games – Catching Fire!

Lionsgate and luxury clothing brand Net-a-Porter have developed  “Capitol Couture by Trish Summerville” which consists of 19 ready-to-wear pieces as well as jewelry and leather goods inspired by “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and designed by Trish Summerville, the film’s Costume Designer.  The collection comprises of dresses and separates including a laser-cut patent dress, leather bomber jacket, silk and leather jumpsuit and slogan t-shirt is out now!

What we particularly love about this collection is that it doesn’t go overboard with the Hunger Games theme, its subtly and stylishness allows for a sleek sophisticated look with the odd hint of Mockingjay!Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 23.13.02

Prices start at £60. 

Need to complete your look, then check out Barry M – they have a fab collection of masterful make up that would make any Tribute proud! Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 23.07.27

Prices start at £4.49.

So go watch a great film and get fabulously fashionable at the same time!

 

If your New Years resolution is going to be a health kick – you’ll need a shot of this! @verywisenutri #health

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Already planning your New Years resolution? If so, maybe a health kick is top of your list, and we’ve found a brand new product that may be able to help you start 2014 with a healthy bang!

We hear all about the health benefits of omega-3, we think we know where it comes from, fish, oily food etc, then we get told something different, and basically we get all confused…one of  the biggest problems is knowing how much makes a difference to our lifestyles? I mean, do we need to eat ten fish a day to get enough Omega 3 in our diets? Who knows, its all a very big head ache!!

Luckily, one brand of health oils has done all the thinking for us (phew!) VeryWise is new range of delicious tasting multi-nutritional health oils, which are designed to deliver high levels of omega-3 goodness, in a convenient and great tasting shot.

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How does it all work?

VeryWise oils use a proprietary process called WisdOM-3TM, where the omega-3 fats are broken up into tiny droplets, mimicking the action of the digestive juices. In this form, they have been found to be much more absorbable– even up to 100%. VeryWise oils are the only products on the market which are manufactured using the unique WisdOM-3™ process, which make it ultra absorbable in the body, more so than any other omega product on the market.

Right.. thats the science bit, now how good does it taste? 

They are then flavoured with natural fruit extracts to make creamy and tasty syrups that have no fishy smell or taste, but provide all the same benefits as fish oil. VeryWise supplements therefore provide an excellent alternative for children and any adult who finds it difficult to take standard fish oils, particularly those who may have issues with absorption of fats. Unlike some health oils, which taste less than desirable, all VeryWise products have been carefully flavoured, to ensure that they are great tasting for both adults and children when taken directly as a shot (or from the spoon) – or added to any cold drink such as water, fruit juice or milk.

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So what do we get in the pack and how much do I need to fork out?! 

The VeryWise range includes six oils which are all individually targeted towards specific health needs (e.g. brain health, joint health, heart health, metabolism, energy, and general health) and accordingly have their very own prescriptive mix of added nutrients including vitamins, minerals, natural extracts, plant sterols and energy boosting natural additives. The VeryWise range can be a great ‘all-in-one’ answer for those of us who don’t want to take several different supplements.

The six VeryWise products in the range include:

  • OmegaWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamin D for general wellbeing, £8.80 for 150ml
  • JointWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamin D, glucosamine and rosehip, £9.80 for 150ml
  • BrainWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, K and folic acid, £9.80 for 150ml
  • CardioWise, omega-3 fish oils, plus plant sterols, vitamins, CoQ10, £12.90 for 150ml
  • MetaboWise, omega-3 fish oils, plus plant sterols, vitamins, CoQ10,  £12.90 for 150ml
  • EnergyWise, medium chain triglycerides, B vitamins, cartanine, taurine and caffeine,     £4.95 for 150ml

When can I get hold of some?

Verywise hits health food stores nationwide in January 2014, perfect for that post Xmas health kick. Need to keep up to date with when it officially hits the shelves, or want to find out more? Then click here.

 

Get the party started and then pick up your hangover with the @PiccadillyIns and @alibidrink Christmas cocktails! #drink #party

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 13.13.00The Christmas party season is gearing up, and we have just the two cocktails that will get you started AND pick you up when you need rescuing the morning after!

TO GET THE PARTY STARTED! 

Launching today via the Piccadilly Institute comes a fun Christmas cocktail called THE AVALANCHE!  Not your average xmas cocktail it’s a banana and amaretto combination that will set your festive taste buds alive and the bit that we love best is that looks exactly like an avalanche. Accompanied with a Lego man skier, all we can say is Christmas has come early!Avalanche

Want to learn how to make it yourself? Of course you do, then you can impress all your mates with some pre-party festive cheer! Here’s the recipe!   

Ingredients:

12.5ml Ketel One

12.5ml Crème de banana

12.5ml Amaretto

12.5ml White cacao

Top with milk

Recipes:

Prep glass with crushed ice; mix all ingredients together in a shaker and pour over. Top with extra crushed ice and garnish with crushed amaretto biscuit and place Lego skier delicately on top of the avalanche.

TO RESCUE YOU THE NEXT DAY! 

FORGET THE BLOODY MARY! THIS IS THE ONLY DRINK YOU’LL NEED….

THE BLOODY ALIBI! 

This cocktail packs the same punch as its mother Mary, but with 19 vitamins, minerals and natural herbal extracts in one can of Alibi, it’s a lot more nutritious and better tasting than Dot Cotton’s favourite fruit juice. Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 12.23.19

Ingredients:

½ can Alibi Pomegranate

40ml vodka

20ml fresh lemon juice

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes Tabasco sauce

1 pinch pink Himalayan salt

1 pinch black pepper

Recipe: 

Add all ingredients, except Alibi, to a cocktail shaker filled with cubed ice. Shake hard and strain into the glass. Top with Alibi Pomegranate and garnish with a cherry tomato.

TA-DAH! There you have it, all you will need for the perfect party starter and pick me up the morning after! So the countdown to Christmas has really begun, dust off that LBD, shine those shoes and get celebrating!

Give yourself an indulgent sweet treat this weekend and check out @Divinodessert at the @BBCGoodFoodShow #food #foodanddrink

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 12.15.36So who feels like they are in need of a sweet treat this weekend? Thought so… well, Winter may not be the obvious time to try a ice-cream esq desert, but when they’re as yummy as this, its worth a go right?

Following the huge success of Divino’s Celebrazione line of gelato-filled fruit assortment boxes, Divino, maker of premium Italian desserts, is launching its new Indulgenza line of individually packaged gelato-filled fruits (super yum!)

Oh, and incase you were wondering, Divino are the “healthier option” of deserts too… check this out…

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So, who is this team of expert desert makers I hear you ask….!

Divino specializes in crafting handmade, all-natural, fat free, gluten free, and preservative free fruit gelato.  Fruit is hand-picked from Italy’s Amalfi coast, and the pulp is carved out.  The pulp is used to create the gelato, which is then placed back into the fruit skin and frozen.

Previously, Divino has sold the Celebrazione assortment box of award winning fruits: Vesuvian Apricot, Ciaculli Tangerine, Montella Chestnut, and Roman Kiwi.  This weekend, at the BBC Good Food Show at London Olympia, Divino will be launching Indulgenza, single fruits.  Alongside Vesuvian Apricot and Montella Chestnut, new available fruits are, Apulian Peach, Camarosa Strawberry, Sorrento Walnut, and Irpinia Fig.  The assortment box is perfect for sharing, so you can now treat yourself to any fruit of your choice with Indulgenza.  Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 12.11.52

So if you haven’t heard of Divino before, maybe now’s the time to give your tastebuds a treat and check out this delightful dessert!

To find out more visit the Divino website here!

New @superdrug research shows we’re a generation of Selfies!! So we better start buying more make up! #instagram #photo #selfie

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So Snoochers, how many have you taken? I’m talking about selfies, come on now, don’t be shy we’ve all done it…those self-portraits taken on a mobile phone, which is then shared via social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.

I’m not going to lie, selfies have happened in the weirdest of places, there was recently an article released about the rising population of people taking selfies at funerals! (Not cool people!) and popular personalities from Rihanna to Rosie H-W love taking pictures of themselves posing to model perfection, its even given way to the birth of new TV shows based around the Instagram lives of the rich and famous kids, who love to share pictures of themselves and their wealth!

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Recent research by Superdrug of 2,000 women showed that half of all young women (18 to 24 years) admit to taking selfies, with one in ten admitting to taking them ‘all the time’, taking on average five minutes and 45 seconds to get the perfect “impromptu” shot.

62 per cent of the young women questioned said they used their selfie as their profile picture on social media.  In the battle of the social media big three, Instagram is the top place for posting selfies with 30 per cent, 21 per cent post theirs on Facebook while 13 per cent use Twitter to publicise themselves.

If only they had selfies back in the day!

If only they had selfies back in the day!

Now these are some interesting numbers, but get this…

While it takes on average five minutes and 45 seconds for young women to take the perfect photograph, it takes them a staggering 11 minutes before then to ensure their hair and makeup are perfect. But why is there all the fuss? Well, Superdrug’s Buying Director Simon Comins, may have the answer, he said:  “The rise of mega pixel cameras on phones ensures that today’s young women want to look picture perfect and this means high definition makeup, flawless skin and artfully styled hair.”

So with this in mind, is it any wonder why we’ve seen a huge rise in the purchasing of make up to help us look “picture perfect” just for our very own selfie?!!

Superdrug reports sales of makeup primers have increased by 21 per cent so far in 2013.  Other products highlighted as essential for selfies also on the rise including eyebrow pencils and volume boosting mascaras.

So whats the verdict?! 

Well, these aren’t going to please everyone, some may say that the selfie is an arrogant, immature thing to do from people who want attention; whilst others may applaud it for giving people the confidence to step in front of the camera and feel beautiful enough to take a snap of themselves. Either way its proving to be big business particularly in the area of make up. So whether or not you decide a selfie is a perfect expression of how you’re feeling at that particular “moment in time” or not, remember…its all a bit of fun, right?

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