Tonic at Home *

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I’m not sure about you, but I think I’ve had my fill of lockdown. The first few weeks were a great chance to get life in order; cupboards were cleared, the garage tidied, that junk drawer finally got sorted. The next few weeks were filled with getting routines in place – long beach walks, work files all put in order, and now? Well, it’s safe to say I’m missing all my regular haunts and routines.

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One of those routines? Evenings with friends spent putting the world to right. Happily though, Edinburgh’s Tonic has made enjoying their signature drinks at home a breeze thanks to their new Tonic at Home service.

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You simply head over to their website (here), make your selections, and you’re good to go! If you live in Edinburgh there’s a delivery service, or you can do what I did, and just pop by and pick them up at your allocated time (contactless).

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The cocktails come pre-mixed in sealed bags, complete with instructions and garnishes – just follow the instructions, and you’ll have bar-worthy drinks in a few minutes. Genius! The pouches also keep well in the freezer, so it’s worth ordering. few extra and stashing them in there for effortless summer sipping.

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I popped all of my cocktails straight into the freezer the day I picked them up, and it only took a couple of hours after moving them from the freezer to the fridge for the cocktails to defrost perfectly. I have a guilty love for frozen strawberry daiquiris, so I left that pack in until it was time to serve for a perfectly frosty drink, and the result was basically summer in a glass.

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There are six signature cocktails to choose from – espresso martinis, pornstar martinis, starburst martinis, strawberry daiquiris, there’s no place like tonic, and the non-alcoholic bubblegum daiquiri.

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No Place like Tonic is a sweet and fruity mix of Tanqueray Gin, Basil & Ginger Syrup and mango puree. Serve with a slice of dehydrated lemon, I have a feeling this would make a good frozen drink too!

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The Starburst Martini mixes Ketel One Vodka, Briottet Creme de Cassis, Apple Juice, Raspberry Syrup, and Aquafaba or egg white. Shake over ice for a foamier finish, and Tonic even have a video on their website showing how you can replicate their signature swirls at home!

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The Pornstar Martini is a real classic – and it’s perfect to enjoy if you have a little Prosecco which needs using up! Shake over ice for a foamy finish and enjoy the mix of Ketel One Vodka, Passion Fruit Puree, Caramel Syrup, Aquafaba or egg white.

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My final choice was a luxe espresso martini, which combines Vanilla Infused Ketel One Vodka, Kahlua, Espresso and Vanilla Syrup. It comes complete with coffee beans to garnish – and honestly, I was just thrilled I got the beans to float on top!

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Tonic at Home cocktails are £5 each and are available to order here.

Saint Laurent Panier Medium Woven Bag – Black

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Remember at the start of the year, when we all though summer holidays were going to be possible? I started the year full of thoughts about where to go for a few weeks – all of shortlist were warm and sunny, some were farther away than others, but I had a wishlist of destinations I was slowly whittling down, and I was starting to collect little treasures to take with me. Then Covid-19 hit.

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Like the rest of the world, my summer plans have been put on ice, and the goodies I’d been squirrelling away have been packed up and popped in the ‘summer cupboard’ ready to enjoy when we’re allowed out of the country again.

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One of those little treasures is my Saint Laurent Panier Medium bag – most definitely the chicest beach-bag I’ve ever bought, it’s actually the first bag I’ve bought in nearly a decade. Why? I can be super picky about my bags, I get bored of things easily, so when I’m investing in something like a bag, I want to know I’m going to love it forever.

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Unlike most straw bags I’ve had in the past, Saint Laurent’s Panier is sturdy – with leather straps and interior pocket which holds all of my beachy bits. The only nod to the brand is the subtle tag, which can be worn inside or out of the bag, and can even be taken off completely – perfect if you’d rather people not know that it’s YSL.

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Available in black and natural straw, the Panier tote is perfectly sized as a ‘throw-all’ and can hold multiple books, pouches and bits whilst still looking sleek. It’s also one of the few straw bags I’ve seen which doesn’t look like it’s only been made for the beach – it looks as great thrown on with a pair of jeans and a shirt as it does pool-side. Perfect for trying to combat heavy bag surcharges!

Saint Laurent’s Panier Medium Bag is priced at £750 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Celebrate Father’s Day with Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon*

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When it comes to no-fail Father’s Day gifts, is there anything better than a great bourbon? Whether your dad drinks it neat, or as part of a cocktail, it’s a drinks cabinet must-have! Wild Turkey sent over their 101 Bourbon – a perfect gift, which will guarantee your place as favourite for another year!

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Made in Lawrenceville Kentucky, Wild Turkey 101 is an expert blend of 6, 7, and 8-year-old bourbons, which mix to create a strong blend of toffee and caramel notes. Sipped straight there are notes of spice and vanilla with additional layers of toasted oak and butterscotch. Truly the brand’s stand out offering, Wild Turkey’s 101 Bourbon is a must-have for any discerning bar cart!

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This Father’s Day, why not go the extra mile, and package up your bottle of Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon with all the bits of an Old Fashioned? Start off with a traditional rock crystal cut glass, bitters, simple syrup and an orange.

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Ingredients:

2 oz. (50ml) Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Up to 1 oz. (25ml) simple syrup
3 dashes of bitters
Orange zest

Large ice cube

Method:

Put the ice into a lowball glass filled with a large ice cube.
Measure out the Bourbon and pour in a mixing glass with the syrup and bitters. Strain into the lowball glass over the ice Garnish with an orange peel.

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon is priced at £32.75 and is available for purchase here

The Hair Boss – The Double Mask*

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If you’ve read here before, it’s no surprise to you that I’m using Lockdown as a bit of a re-set period. I’ve upped my skincare routine, and I haven’t touched my straighteners since March. Basically, I’m trying to introduce as many good habits now, so that when we go back to normal, I’ll not feel like the last few months have been an absolute write-off.

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One of my favourite discoveries of late has been The Hair Boss collection – available in Superdrug, it’s affordable haircare which performs like premium-priced products. My main aim for my hair over the past few weeks, has been to get it as healthy as possible. Since it’s on the finer side, I need to wash it daily, but I’ve swapped my daily conditioner for The Hair Boss’ Double Hair Mask – a duo phase conditioner designed to instantly fix bleached, coloured, dry and damaged hair.

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Packaged in two super-chic pink-topped jars, both products have been designed to be used together for ultimate hydration. After shampooing as normal, I squeeze out as much moisture as possible, then comb through a layer of Phase 1 root to tip. The first layer is a smooth, lightweight goop, which easily coats hair. If you’re just dealing with dry ends, or your hair just needs a little TLC, you can focus on ends, but I love how strong this has made my hair feel.

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Next up is Phase 2, which feels more like a regular hair mask. Rich with a silky feel, I smooth a generous dollop over everything and then leave it to work its magic whilst I get on with the rest of my shower. The mask, like all Hair Boss products I’ve tried, smells absolutely incredible – really light and fresh, it’s such a treat to use, and it makes restoring hair health an absolute breeze.

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The difference in my hair since using the duo has been pretty impressive. It’s so much smoother and shinier than before, and even when I’ve been enjoying walks along the beach, my hair hasn’t been getting as frizzy as it normally would. An absolute game-changer of a product – I’ve just bought my second duo of the pots!

The Hair Boss – The Double Hair Mask is priced at £19.99 and is available here

 

Hickory@Home Launches*

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When it comes to lockdown living, one of the things I’ve most missed is going out for a great meal. Catching up with friends over some fabulous food is one of my favourite past-times, and 11 weeks of lockdown have seen me cooking every.single.night. Whilst I’ve enjoyed learning a few new recipes, and eating hyper-local, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t dying for a night off! So, when Hickory got in touch to see if I’d like to try a trial-run of their new Hickory@Home service, it felt like perfect timing.

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Hickory is an award-winning food and events company, so it’s so wonderful to be able to enjoy their delicious dishes at home. The Hickory philosophy is all about celebrating the incredible produce we enjoy here in Scotland by using it to create inventive dishes. Talk about a match made in heaven! As of this week, Hickory@Home will be delivering to homes in Edinburgh and East Lothian – so if that’s you, I’d highly suggest you get your orders in quick!

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The meal comes portioned out in labelled containers, and I was emailed over the menu with cooking instructions the day before it all arrived. After popping dessert in the fridge, I got to work, laying everything out, and getting everything organised. Rather delightfully, there are even nibbles for the cook to enjoy whilst they get everything prepped!

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Since dinner was a team effort – we popped the homemade focaccia in the oven to warm for five minutes and got to laying the table. Served warm with cultured butter and seaweed salt, it was such a delicious start to the meal. We nibbled on the beetroot crisps too – dunking them into a creamy edamame hummus and  garlicky ajo blanco, chilled almond soup.

Starters were as tasty as they were easy to assemble – English asparagus and new season Scottish potatoes were sautéd in the pan, the served with a rich and creamy Berkswell cheese custard and topped with a Parma ham crumble. The perfect start to a summery supper – I’ve already got the ingredients on my next shopping list so I can recreate it again!

The main course was equally fantastic – Miso and onion roasted chicken, served with truffled mac n cheese and herb salad. Truly, a dish to fall in love with. Arriving butterflied in its own roasting dish, we popped the chicken in to the oven whilst we were enjoying the starter. The chicken itself was heavenly – covered in a sticky miso sauce, it was pretty much the roast chicken I dream about each Sunday. Cooked alongside shallot petals and spring onions, it was a real treat to enjoy. Served alongside the richest, creamiest truffled mac’n’cheese and a zesty dressed salad, it was a perfect balance.

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I could go on (and on) about the chicken (seriously high-quality, cooked to absolute perfection, still dreaming about it), but dessert was just as spectacular. A decadently rich chocolate and green tea fondant served with a rather indulgent clotted cream ice cream and pistachio crumb. The mix of hot and cold, chocolate and cream was really delightful, and I just loved the molten green tea filling – talk about a show stopper!

As if all that wasn’t enough, the meal comes with a fabulous red wine – Somelieri Dolcetto Monferrato DOC 2017. It was such a clever choice, as it really went well with each and every course. 

The quality of the meal was so impressive, and following the instructions meant that we got to enjoy a restaurant-quality dinner at home. During a time like this, it’s these kind of of treats which really stand out, and really make a whole weekend.

The set-menu and wine is £65 for two people and you can order your own at https://hickoryfood.co.uk/home-delivery/

 

 

 

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