Sunday, 15 January 2017

Float Norwich Experience and Review

A few months ago my friend Kelly and I decided to book an experience which took place at Float Norwich. They were offering a half price float to promote the opening and we thought it would be an interesting thing to go along to, not really knowing much about what happens or how it works. I thought I would write a blog post on my experience if you are thinking of going or have any questions that aren’t available on the website.

We arrived at 11:30 for our appointment. There are only two float pods so we booked simultaneously in order that we could go together, however the pods are in separate rooms and each experience is just for you. If you don’t know what ‘floating’ is all about, in simple terms it is a flotation therapy which involves lying in a pod filled with salt water enabling you to float effortlessly. You can eliminate all outside distractions such as sound, light and gravity. When we entered the building we were welcomed with a smile.

We took off our shoes and handed over our coats. The first thing was to sit in a massage chair for 5 minutes to loosen up your joints. The chair felt like it was going to eat me alive. It massaged each part of your body, in some places it is quite firm. This was a weird experience but I did feel better afterwards.

We were then separately shown into our pod room and the member of staff kindly explained everything and answered any questions that I had, then when I was comfortable with what I was doing, I was left alone. The room consists of a shower, float pod and a space to hang your dry clothes. Firstly, I showered to rinse myself down and then I could get into the pod. You are provided with ear plugs so you don’t get any salt in your ears and also a towel for when you get out. They really have thought of everything.

I got into the pod and closed the lid. The temperature is set to body temp so it felt lovely and warm. Inside the pod is a light switch, a spray bottle with water for if you get salt in your face and also a button that goes through to reception if you need anything. It took me a while to get used to how easy it was to float and get comfortable. I then turned the light off and completely relaxed. When the hour is up, some music comes on and you can slowly ease yourself out of the pod. I then had a full shower where shampoo, conditioner and body wash was provided. Rinsing away all the salt left my skin feeling surprisingly soft. I then got myself dried and dressed and headed through to the pamper room.

The pamper room was lovely, with space for two people there was hairdryers (GHD ones!), GHD straighteners, hair clips and styling products. You will just need to bring along a hair brush with you. We got ourselves ready (taking 40 minutes!) then headed back to reception. Kelly apologised to the staff for taking so long and he reassured us that we could take as long as we needed and that there was no rush. The whole experience felt like this, we really could take our time with everything. We were then offered a herbal tea and a bowl of sorbet which was refreshing and lovely. We signed the guest book and sadly it was time to leave! We both had a really great time.

A single float experience which includes a 60- minute float session, followed by a refreshing sorbet and organic tea costs £55, if you would like to float at the same time as a friend like I have, it’s £100 so you can save £5. Head over to the Float Norwich website for more information. I cannot wait to return!


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Luxury Fairtrade and Organic Chocolate from Chocolate and Love*

The one thing I enjoy more than any other sweet treat is chocolate. I like all different kinds of chocolate so when I was offered the chance to review a brand I’d never heard of before, Chocolate and Love, I said of course! How could I resist?

Chocolate and Love is a luxury Fairtrade, organic chocolate brand set up by husband and wife team Richard and Brigitte O’Conner. The collection includes seven different flavours so you can indulge every day of the week! The flavours include Coffee, Creamy Dark, Rich Dark, Mint, Orange, Panama and the popular Sea Salt and Caramel. Ingredients include cacao sourced directly from Peru, The Dominican Republic and Panama, cane sugar from Paraguay and Costa Rica, and bourbon vanilla from Madagascar.

I received four of the seven flavours in Sea Salt and Caramel, Panama, Orange and Rich Dark. Each bar has more cocoa and less sugar than most other bars on the market and has the added benefit of being gluten free, GMO free and contain no additives. Apart from the Creamy Dark and Sea Salt variants, the rest of the bars are also dairy free making them ideal for vegans.

Firstly I tried the Panama flavour, with single sourced cocoa from Panama (80%). This rich high percentage dark chocolate is very rich and incredibly smooth. I was surprised that this was not at all bitter considering the high cocoa content and very easy to consume.

The second bar, Sea Salt and Caramel was my absolute favourite of the lot. I love salted caramel and find that a lot of bars in supermarkets are either too salty or you cannot taste the salt at all. The caramel and salt in this bar was perfectly balanced and the combination between the sweet and the salt is absolutely divine. So far the company has won a staggering 15 awards for the range so far, this bar in particular has won Gold 1-star award in Great Taste Awards 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The third bar I tried was the Rich Dark flavour. This bar contains cocoa from Peru and The Dominican Republic (71%). It also contains refreshing hints of red berries naturally coming through the cocoa. I love dark chocolate and this one is delicious and something I would definitely reach for over other brands. The chocolatey finishing notes are welcoming and this does not leave a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

Finally I tried the Orange which really did not disappoint. Chocolate and orange is a delicious combination and the zesty flavour comes from natural cold pressed oil from real oranges. The flavours in this bar are well balanced and complement each other beautifully. I also thought I would mention the packaging which really did catch my eye. The designs are bespoke and hand painted, I think they are lovely and would make the perfect gift.

Chocolate and Love is available to buy in Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic and Amazon. The seven flavours will be launching in Sainsburys online and in store from the end of February.  Each 100g bar retails at £3.00. For more information head over to the Chocolate and Love website and Facebook page.

*I received these items free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way.
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