I’m not sure about you, but this feels like the season for chocolate. From Valentine’s Day to Easter, it’s pretty much the law to have a couple of bars of the stuff tucked up in a cupboard, and my one of my favourites – Galaxy has made enjoying a little indulgence even easier with the release of their new fusion bars.
Available in three rather wonderful options, you can pick from a luxuriously smooth and deliciously intense dark chocolate, to a silky smooth salted blonde chocolate, there’s even a dark option peppered with raspberry and meringue if you’re feeling fruity! Each of the bars is a real treat to savour, and I love the fun twists like the additions of salt or freeze-dried raspberry, for a truly gourmet twist.
As you would expect from a bar of Galaxy, the Fusion range is wonderfully smooth and indulgent, and they make the perfect accompaniment to a great book for a cozy evening in. Available exclusively at Sainsbury’s, the trio is such a yummy treat to enjoy, and I know I’ve found a new favourite!
Galaxy Fusions Chocolate Bars are priced at £2 each, and are available exclusively at Sainbury’s.
The past year has, unsurprisingly, seen the rise of the ‘at home’ box. I’m not sure I’d even heard of the concept prior to 2020, but since restaurants have been closed on-and-off for the best part of a year, they’ve pivoted to providing these experiences which bring your night out ‘in’. This weekend we were very kindly treated to ‘One Night in Shanghai’ from Mamasan – one of Glasgow’s most popular restaurants. Delivered in a slick black box, you get everything you need for a delicious night in.
With three courses to enjoy, Mamasan have even included a snack to enjoy whilst you get everything ready in the form of a delicious Lobster and Prawn Toast, served alongside a burnt chilli jam. Filled with seafood, and crisp from the oven, the toast was the most delicious way to start the evening.
We had barely finished the Lobster and Prawn Toasts before it was time to tuck into our starters of Aromatic braised duck leg spring roll which came served with a rich hoisin sauce. These were such a treat!
What I love about boxes like Mamasan’s is how they get you out of your comfort zone. I don’t usually order pork when I’m dining out, but the main course of Sweet and sour iberico pork served with pineapple, banana shallots and dragon fruit was a dream. I crisped up the strips of iberico pork in the oven, before stir frying the vegetables, and combining the sauce. The result was a dish which was equal parts rich, sticky and delicious.
We enjoyed the pork alongside egg fried rice and green papaya & carrot salad. I’ve been dying to learn how to make egg fried rice, so finding out it’s so easy (and seriously good) was such a win. The salad was gorgeously fresh and crunchy, and we finished off the whole bowl!
We were, admittedly stuffed after such an indulgent set of starters and main course, so we took a couple of hours before enjoying the dessert – Asian pear sticky toffee pudding. Consisting of a richly spiced moist cake, and a spicy sauce, this wasn’t like any other sticky toffee pudding I’ve tried before!
As if three courses (plus snacks) wasn’t delicious enough, we washed the whole thing down with some delicious cocktails. Curated by Mamasan’s director of mixology and designed to enhance the meal, the Shang-hai-tea was absolutely divine. A mix of green tea infused gin with lemon, peach infused chartreuse served with lychee pearls and Sichuan pepper, it wasn’t overly sweet, and was such a treat to enjoy.
Mamasan’s One Night in Shanghai is priced at £65 per box, and deliveries are available in both Glasgow and Edinburgh
Now that we’re nearing the end of Dry January, I thought it was the perfect time to share one of my newest discoveries – Gin1 Seltzers. I don’t tend to drink too much (or too heavily) at home, but sometimes I just want to enjoy a cosy evening in, usually with a book or a few great movies. Having a drink as delicious as Gin1 Seltzers just makes the whole thing feel even more indulgent.
With only 58 calories per can, the drinks are sugar-free, low-calorie, low-carb and are even gluten-free. Mixing together award winning Declaration Gin with Number1 Sparkling Water and a twist of Orange, the cans are super refreshing. I like to have mine poured over crushed ice, with a slice of orange – and I’m already looking forward to enjoying them in the warmer weather too!
Gin1 Seltzer is priced at £30 per case and is available here.
With lockdown around for the foreseeable future, I’ve been thinking about ways to enjoy the weekends, and basically celebrate not being locked to a laptop for the majority of my waking hours, and apart from taking myself out for our recommended exercise jaunts, it’s been pretty humdrum. So, when Pasta Evangelists offered me the chance to enjoy restaurant-quality pasta at home, I absolutely jumped at the chance.
I’d seen the brand in Harrods, and been intrigued to how the whole idea works, but in a word – it’s genius. The brand have a seasonal, weekly menu, where you choose a couple of dishes, you choose your delivery day, and then sit back and wait for your fresh, handmade pasta to arrive. It’s super simple, and it arrives perfectly chilled, and the pastas and sauces are all labelled, so you can easily tell what goes where.
I cook ragu and similar sauces pretty regularly, so we wanted to try a couple of dishes I don’t make at home, so we went for the Fettuccine with Black Truffle Alfredo and the Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Crispy Pancetta.
I think what impressed me the most was the pasta – it was incredibly fresh, and came coated in semolina to prevent sticking, and obviously it was delicious. Between crisping up the pancetta and heating up the sauces, dinner was ready within a matter of minutes, and honestly, it was divine. Rich and cream, the fettuccini was rich and studded with morsels of savoury truffle, whilst the Carbonara was deliciously salty. We had ours at the weekend, and it made for such a wonderful treat – we’re already planning our next order!
You can save 30% when you order from Pasta Evangelist when you use the code LUXEPASTA here
With under six weeks to go until Christmas, it’s fair to say that the Festive Season this year is going to be rather different from normal. Whether you normally spend it surrounded by friends and family, or perhaps you treat yourself to a few days away in a luxe hotel, it’s not going to be ‘normal’, and as a result, the way we get to treat our nearest and dearest is going to feel a little odd too. To make up for the weirdness (and the general WTF which has been 2020), I’m going hard on finding the best bits to gift, and I thought I’d share my finds with you too.
One of my favourite finds has been the Craft Whisky Club – a members club, which treats your giftee to a full-size bottle of the finest small batch and artisan whiskies the club can find, delivered to their door every two months. The whisky comes beautifully packaged, and delivered to their door in eco-friendly packaging. As if that wasn’t enough, there are extras in every box – mine came with an etched crystal whisky glass, alongside a box of delicious savoury crackers – perfect for snacking on alongside the whisky of choice.
The first box from the Craft Whisky Club features The Lakes Distillery The One Orange Wine Cask Finish. I always think orange is such a festive flavour, so this feels lovely as a Christmas gift, and I’ve heard such amazing things about the distillery, and since it’s quite small, there’s a good chance that whoever you’re sending this too, still has it on their ‘to try’ list.
I absolutely love how a subscription introduces you to new distilleries, and in addition to all the goodies in the box, there is even a voucher to enjoy a tour the distillery (obviously when life gets back to normal). In the meantime, there’s the whisky to enjoy – finished in orange wine casks from Andalucía, there are notes of fresh lychee, marmalade and hints of tobacco on the nose.
Sounds like the perfect present? You can choose your perfect level of membership here
Memberships: 1 bottle every 2 months (£29.95 / Month) or 2 bottles every two months (£55.95/ month)