When it comes to going all out this Easter, I don’t think you can do better than by heading to Hotel Chocolat. Whilst their stores might still be closed, their website is chock-full of goodies to help you indulge in over the holiday weekend.
I couldn’t resist trying the Extra Thick Patisserie Chocolate Egg – much more than your average Easter goodies, this behemoth has two different chunky chocolates halves, and is filled with the brands’ signature Patisserie chocolate truffles to enjoy.
An absolute feast of an egg, so it’s big enough to share, and the rich and indulgent chocolates are a real treat to enjoy. The fact that it comes in a beautifully fluted tin means that it makes the most perfect Easter gift too. I loved all the different flavours and textures, and it’s such a fun update to the classic egg.
I also got the chance to try their Dozen Quail Eggs – a collection of 12 delicious truffles dressed up as tiny eggs. With two of each flavour, it was a real delight to enjoy everything from plain chocolate to a fruity raspberry and heavenly chocolate. Best enjoyed with a steaming hot cup of coffee, one or two of these were the perfect afternoon pick-me-up!
You can find these, plus a whole host of other goodies on the Hotel Chocolat website here.
When it comes to forming healthy habits, I’m a big believer in keeping things as simple as possible. Make a habit enjoyable, and it’s even easier to incorporate into my days. When I got the chance to try Press London’s Health Foods and Juices, I absolutely jumped at the chance. After all, we’re coming out of Lockdown in a matter of weeks, so I want to feel as good as possible, as I have a feeling that this summer might just be a busy one!
Getting Press London goodies couldn’t be easier – just head over to their website, and you can choose from a range of diets, cleanses juices and food packs, all of which are nutritionist-designed to be vegan, and as healthy as possible, and even better, absolutely everything I tried was absolutely delicious! I loved the mix of juices, soups and even dinners including curry and chilli, so if you’re looking for a couple of fridge fillers to enjoy on nights when you just don’t feel like cooking, Press London have your back.
Delivered in a climate controlled box via courier, the bits and pieces are all well secured, and I only had one casualty in the form of a slightly leaking soup. Not bad when you consider it made its way all the way from London to Edinburgh during the height of lockdown! Once I unpacked everything, I had about a week’s worth of morning juices and delicious suppers, it was such a treat not have to think about what I was going to have for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. The Fiery Coconut Curry was a real favourite – not too spicy, it was filled with vegetables, and paired perfectly with a bowl of brown rice.
Probably my favourite product from the whole box with the Berry Boost. A seriously delicious mix of lemon, mint, strawberry and apple, it tasted like a Strawberry margarita without the booze or calories! Seriously fruity, I had mine for breakfast, and it really set me up for the day, and I wasn’t even close to peckish until well after lunchtime.
The fact that the products are all vegan is such a plus, and this is a super simple way of cutting meat and animal products out of your diet without trying too hard. The fact that you can have your order shipped right to your door is incredibly convenient, and I’ve already placed a few orders as I just can’t be without them now!
When it comes to things I didn’t think I’d do in lockdown, developing a pasta-by-mail habit was one of them. Previously I’d been unconvinced that you could enjoy restaurant-quality dining at home, but happily, I’ve been proven (very) wrong by Pasta Evangelists.
With a menu which changes weekly, we’ve really enjoyed oohing and aching over all the different pastas, sauces and even desserts which are on offer, and we’ve been able to enjoy dishes which are completely new to use too! Last week we fell in love with this lemon and mozzarella ravioli which made us feel like we were on the Amalfi Coast, rather than battling the snow at home.
As if the pasta dishes weren’t glorious enough, Pasta Evangelists also run a range of great offers if you’re looking to try a dish or two. Just use the code LUXE-SPRITZ and you will receive the cutest Aperol Gift Box which makes the perfect pre-supper treat.
With everything you need to make the perfect aperitif, we treated ourselves to one on a cold Friday evening, and honestly, it was the perfect start to the weekend!
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