Ja-maica your pancakes a little more special this week with @appletonrumuk #pancakeday #recipe

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Yes that’s right it really is Pancake Day tomorrow. We’ve been rattling our brains to find out how best to make our pancakes a little different this year and nothing says ‘step away from the children’ and indulge yourself like a little bit of boozy pancake offerings!

Ynxj4gxfscYmk02APD3gwGekjCmI_l6BzRris7cccqMSo forget Blue Peter, lets get down to business with an old (but new to us) recipe from the world famous Appleton Estate rum makers, that dates back to 1749!

And to make it a little more fun, even the recipes look like they’ve come from the olden days – well, the 1980’s at least! (We can thank the PR’s for that!)

Enjoy, but if the kids are going mad from the sugar and lemon toppings, then stay safe in the knowledge that these ones are all for yourself and you deserve it!

Happy Pancake Day Snoochers!

 

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Why sip tea when you can chew it? @chewtea #foodanddrink #drink #coffee #tea #soho #london

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Recently launched in London’s Soho area is a new tea and coffee revolution. Forget Seattle and its Starbucks, its all about the Far East and the rise of Bubble Tea and now for the first time in the UK, Bubble Coffee, housed by brand new franchise Chew.

Where can I Chew?

You can’t really miss the shop if you walk past it, its neon orange lights will be a beacon of hope for those walking the streets upon night fall, and a nightmare for anyone with a hangover!

This first site has been fashioned by Afroditi Krassa, the award-winning designer who created the brand identity for Itsu and was later appointed Creative Director by founder Julian Metcalfe – who also started sandwich chain Pret a Manger. Chew is aiming to pioneer the next step in the bubble beverage evolution by kick-starting the next big drink trend.

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So what is Chew?

Chew, so called as it is literally the drink that you can eat, will be serving adventurous Soho residents not only a new take on freshly brewed coffee, but will also be offering over 30 fruit and milk-based bubble teas. Tea has be reimagined and given the Chew treatment. A variety of black and green flavoured teas have been ‘sexed up’ with the signature bubble tea ingredient, jelly-like tapioca balls – which are freshly prepared on site, and have the strangest, yet most addictive texture!

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Where did Chew come from?

The Bubble Tea phenomenon originated in the streets of Taiwan in the 1980s and the trend has slowly been travelling West ever since. 30 years on the bubble tea movement is far from middle aged and in the UK it’s still in its infancy. Over the last couple of years various concepts have introduced the Far Eastern inspired refreshment to British palettes. Chews founding owners, husband and wife team Karim and Sara Hemsi first came across bubble tea in San Francisco, fell in love with the concept and then travelled to Taiwan to be trained in the art of modern tea making!

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How did it hit the streets of London?

In 2011 Boba Jam in Chinatown claimed to be the first bubble tea parlour to open in Central London. Bubbleology launched the same year and now has six outlets. Bubble tea appears to thrive where trendy young people converge however it would seem that the Chew brand aims to brew tea of the bubble variety not only for Soho hipsters, but also for the Great British tea-drinking public.

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So how much will this set me back?

Bubble teas are available in two sizes

Medium is 500ml and is £3.45

Large is 700ml and is £3.75

Bubble coffees are available in two sizes

Medium is 500ml and is £3.55

Large is 700ml and is £3.85

I’m sold, lets chew! You can follow chew on Twitter @chewtea and find out much more about the company on its website! 

Plan ahead and sort out your new years hangover RIGHT NOW!! @verywisenutri @nutricentre #health #hangover #newyears

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.11.23Do you remember the morning of January 1st 2013… we assume it came part and parcel with a stinking hangover right? Then your family came round wanting to spend New Years day together and all you could think of was crawling under your duvet praying that the room would stop spinning, and knowing that there is not enough paracetamol in the world to stop this pain in your head. 

Well to stop this happening all over again, our friends at Very Wise Nutrition have been doing their research and have some handy hints to get you back to your A-Game come 2014. 

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When it comes to drinking, it’s all about damage limitation, look after your body and your body will look after your hangover.  Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist at www.nutricentre.com shares her top tips to hangover-proof your Christmas!

Power on with Protein!

“Before heading out, make sure you eat a meal containing lots of protein (fish, meat, nuts, seeds, eggs, tofu) before you go out. Protein takes a long time to digest so it helps to line the stomach. Also as a preventative measure, take a milk thistle tincture before you party as this helps the liver deal with the toxins that will be introduced to the body.  Before bed, have a snack to help balance blood sugar levels – try marmite, humous or peanut butter on wholegrain toast, ‘’ explains ShonaScreen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.12.07

Face facts!

Woken up looking like the bride of Dracula with last night’s make-up smeared all over your face?  Let the power of fruit enzymes get your skin glowing in no time!  MyChelle’s new festive White Cranberry Cleanser, £8.50 from www.nutricentre.com naturally exfoliates, cleanses and brightens.  Willow Bark and Totarol™ help bring balance to oily and blemish-prone skin conditions. Pomegranate, a super fruit rich in antioxidants and naturally exfoliating fruit acids, protects against environmental aggressors, while keeping pores clear and skin calm.

Get juiced!

Resist that fat Cola and try a natural nutrient booster instead.  Shona suggests ‘’In the morning, have a smoothie made of banana, kiwi, flaxseed, cinnamon and spirulina and omega 3. This will ensure a good supply of vitamins and help balance blood sugar levels.’’ Add some Omega 3 to make for the ultimate hangover smoothie, VeryWise’s new OmegaWise with mango and peach tastes great and contains your RDA of Omega 3 and Vitamin D, £8.80 from www.verywisenutrition.co.uk

B Prepared

According to Shona, ‘’Alcohol destroys your body’s vital energy boosting and nervous system protecting  B vitamins.  Ensure you keep your B levels topped up the day before a big drinking session with a B complex’’Quest’s new Mega B 50, £6.69 for a month’s supply from www.nutricentre.comScreen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.12.22

We asked Shona some questions on hangovers to help separate the fact from the fiction…

1. Can food really help with a hangover or is it a myth?

Hangover symptoms show that the body is suffering from dehydration, mineral loss and low blood sugar, as well as the presence of toxic metabolites of alcohol. We can use food to prevent or reduce hangover symptoms, because certain nutrients are used for the body’s detoxification processes. We can use food and drink to counteract dehydration and nutrient loss caused by drinking, as well as to support balanced energy levels.

2. What should you eat before you go out and why?

The best foods and drinks to focus on are those which promote liver function. Firstly ensure you have protein (eggs, meat, fish, beans and lentils) because some amino acids facilitate detoxification, particularly of acetaldehyde which is thought to be a cause of unpleasant hangover symptoms. Secondly ensure you have antioxidant-rich fruits, fresh vegetables and leafy greens because they offer protection from free radicals which are considered another cause of hangovers.
Overall, it’s important that you do eat before drinking to slow the absorption of alcohol and additionally reduce the irritation that it causes to the stomach. Include healthy fats such as an olive oil dressing to slow absorption of alcohol, thereby slowing the work for your liver.

3. What should you eat the next day and why?

Start the day with a protein- and nutrient-rich breakfast.  Ideally choose eggs, because they are rich in cysteine which is needed to break down acetaldehyde. Try a healthier cooked breakfast of poached eggs, green leafy vegetables, grilled tomatoes and wholegrain bread. Keep your energy up by having plenty of slow release carbohydrates from wholegrains and vegetables.
Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, or even better drink coconut water as it’s naturally rich in electrolytes which helps to better hydrate you – like a sports drink but without artificial sweeteners. You could also have a fruit smoothie. Alcohol consumption results in dehydration which contributes to symptoms such as headache and fatigue, so this is very important.

4. What foods and drinks should you avoid (before and after drinking)?

Before, during and after drinking it’s best to avoid sugary foods and drinks, because alcohol consumption tends to play havoc with energy and blood sugar control. Refined sugars will compound this problem so it’s better to focus on protein and unrefined carbohydrates which release glucose slowly.
After drinking it’s best to avoid caffeine because it could worsen the dehydration.  Finally, after drinking the stomach may be irritated so it’s best to avoid very spicy or fatty fried foods.  It’s not wise to start drinking alcohol the next day because it prolongs the period of time for which your liver is processing alcohol.

So there you have it, get yourself ready for a new year without the hangover hang-ups!!! 

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.

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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

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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!

Call yourself a storyteller? Then this competition is just for you…@jura_whisky #winningwords

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Ever thought you were un-appreciated for your literary talents? Found people wouldn’t take the time to read your stories? Well, nows the time to make them all stand up and listen, as Jura Whisky is launching a new campaign to search for the world’s best stories!!

The brand is looking for pieces of Flash Literature to be submitted in 1,000 characters or less and one lucky winner will receive an all-expenses paid VIP trip to the 2014 Jura Whisky Festival!  

As part of this amazing prize, the winner will be staying in the distilleries lodge, a beautifully grand 5 bedroom retreat on the Island of 170 inhabitants.Stewart/Scotland

This place is so amazing that even literary great George Orwell referred to Jura as “the most un-get-able place on earth” whilst writing 1984 there.  

So how does it all work?

Well, Jura Whisky will be providing you budding writers with five themes each running for two weeks, and kick off this week with Travel Adventure, followed by Day Dreams, A Brush with Death, Into the Wild and Happily Ever After. You can submit a story of up to 1000 characters based on these themes. Six favourites from each theme will have an illustration created of their writing; similar to what Jura have done to its  own tale of triumphs, catastrophes and whisky. Once all themes are complete, voting will open for one lucky writer to win.

Here’s the link you need to get started: http://bit.ly/JuraStory 

Need some inspiration?

Here’s a picture of the illustration to support ‘The Jura Story’ cute huh?!

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Oh and the wonderful people at Jura Whisky also commissioned this video to be made about writer Marcel Theroux, where he talks about his own inspirations for writing, hopefully that should help you all too!

So what are you waiting for? Get those creative juices flowing and enjoy a little sip or two of Jura Whisky (only if you’re old enough though!) to help you win this fantastic prize!

GOOD LUCK!!!