Thursday 30 November 2017

Turtle Bay Norwich Christmas Menu Review*

As much as I love having a Christmas dinner, sometimes it can get a bit boring seeing the same menu in every restaurant over the festive season. When I found out that Turtle Bay had launched their very own festive menu, I couldn’t wait to try it out. I thought it was great that they were taking bookings for an alternative Caribbean Christmas experience.

I was offered the chance to come in and review the menu so of course I said yes. This would be my third time at Turtle Bay and it gets better and better with each visit. The dishes on the menu have been inspired by the island life and Caribbean sunshine.

The festive platters menu is perfect if you want that chilled out vibe and make your Christmas do more of a social experience and it costs just £9 per head. The platters consist of Turtle Bay’s most popular dishes alongside a delicious range of sides. Team this with a cocktail or two and you are good to go! Turtle Bay now allow you to pre-order drinks packages so your drinks could be ready and waiting as you arrive.

We arrived at 6pm - we like to go at this time not only because the cocktails are 2 for 1, but it means we can go straight from work. We were seated straight away and it was the first time we got to sit inside the well-known campervan area! It was great sitting here, really added to the atmosphere. We were given the All Day Christmas menu which consists at 4 courses for £24 per head. To start, we were offered some sharing dishes, firstly Garlic n Herb Flatbread which was topped with fresh rocket, crushed chilli and garlic butter. It was amazing, it was a lot bigger than I expected and the garlic butter was melted in to perfection. We also had Spicy Pork Rinds, the menu said these were served with a BBQ jerk but we didn’t seem to get this. These were a bit like pork scratchings but easier to eat. They made a nice dish for a little nibble. If you come here as a group, you will also get Trini Chickpeas which are baked spicy chickpeas dusted with thyme. I like that 2 of these dishes are vegetarian and the other 2 cater for coeliacs so it is handy if you have people in your group with various dietary requirements.

After eating our arrival nibbles we went onto starters. James decided to have the Crispy Chilli Squid which he has had previously and loves. He said they were cooked to perfection and piping hot. I decided to try something different and went for the Duck Rolls. I received 3 flatbread rolls filled with slow roasted shredded duck, sweet onion, soy sauce and chilli and it was served alongside an orange chutney. The portion size was ideal and the duck was delicious. It fell apart in my mouth, although they were rather messy to eat! The rolls had a good amount of filling to them so you didn’t feel like you’d missed out on any flavours.

Our main courses then arrived promptly after our starters. The timings were great I found, the staff really kept an eye on you and made sure plates and glasses were cleared away quickly and were always very attentive to us. For main course, James had the Half Jerk Chicken which looked like a pretty decent sized portion. His 24 hour jerk marinated chicken came with coconut rice ‘n’ peas and a Caribbean slaw. The chicken fell away from the bone and the flavours of the rice really complimented the chicken. He was absolutely stuffed after eating this. I went for the Pit Salmon, something I have never tried before and went for the original jerk glaze. The salmon was very flavoursome and had a delicious crispy skin. It was served with a grain salad, sweet onion chutney and green seasoning. The salad was really light so I didn’t feel overly full afterwards and the cooling flavours complimented the spicy marinade on the salmon. All in all it was very tasty.

When it came to choosing a dessert, we were both full! But as it is part of the £24 per head price, we needed to have one! After a bit of a breather, I decided I wanted to try the Sticky Black Treacle Pudding. I saw the words ‘salted caramel’ on the menu and knew this had to be my choice. The only one thing I would say about this is that it isn’t served warm, I think I would have preferred it to be heated up but it was still very good. I also would say if you’re full – maybe choose something a bit lighter as this was a heavy dessert, no fault of my own there! James went for the dark chocolate brownie which was served warm with vanilla ice cream and I am guessing he liked it as he ate every last drop.

When it came to drinks we also stuck to what we knew and I had my favourite cocktail, a Goombay Smash. James had a non-alcoholic Watermelon drink. Overall we had a really good meal and the atmosphere was great. As the night went on it got busier but this didn’t affect the quality of service we received. Head over to the Turtle Bay Facebook or Website for more information and to find out where your closest restaurant is.

Check out the Turtle Bay Christmas Menu and let me know what your choices would be? They also do a lunch menu so it’s worth a look whatever time of day you fancy getting festive!

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

Monday 27 November 2017

Psychic Email Reading - Review*

This post is a little bit different from anything I have posted before, however I want to share with you my experience. I was recently contacted about having a Psychic Email Reading and having never had one before I thought I would give it a go. I really didn’t know what to expect or what would come out of it, but after looking through Lyndsay’s website I was excited to give it a go. Lyndsay was born psychic and can give you insightful information about your past, present and future by working with a spirit guide.

Before my reading, I sent over a photograph of myself and was asked for two questions that Psychic Lyndsay would then pass on to the spirits. The first question I asked was about my financial situation. Anyone that knows me will probably be able to assume that over the next year I won’t have a lot of money with a wedding to plan and pay off, so I’ll be honest I did expect this to come back in my reading. My reading was very accurate, the spirit even said I may have some money left over for a holiday and I am hoping this means a honeymoon as it is something we weren’t thinking was possible due to funds. I won’t go into every single detail, however I could relate to every single part of the reading.

The second question I asked was about my career, as I have been trying to get myself a promotion by taking on extra work and activities. I was told that I need to stand up for myself more and know my worth which is 100% true. I often find myself doing too much work that is above my paygrade but not standing up and saying no. The spirits believe I will be in my role for another year max, so that was quite interesting to know. My role at work is changing so whether that means what I am doing now will change or a whole new job I am not sure. I felt very positive after my reading and I think the spirits confirmed to me what I already knew deep down. It makes such a difference when you hear these things from someone else.

Psychic email readings include a minimum of 600 words with in depth answers to your two questions and cost just £33. I think it would be a good gift idea for someone who has everything, or even for yourself if you are curious. The reading is delivered in PDF format to your email address within 10 working days. Mine came through rather quickly and I was so excited to read it. There is so much more I want to know!

If you would like to get your own email reading, head over to Lyndsay’s Website. What do you think?


Thursday 16 November 2017

Homemade Jelly Sweets Recipe - feat. Titch & Cable*

I love sweet treats and chocolate and this time of the year it is hard to avoid the temptation. With Christmas right around the corner I have been looking at healthier alternative ways to get my sugar fix in and this is where my homemade jelly sweets came into play. I have been making these ‘sweets’ for a while now and they are fantastic if you want to save some calories (and your teeth!). Being on slimming world, this is a recipe that I have discovered over the years and tweaked to make delicious chewy sweets, keep reading to find out more.

I recently found out about a new company called Titch & Cable and I was surprised at the wonderful range of items available on their website. I found this mini jelly baby mould for just £7.95 and I knew it would be absolutely perfect for my homemade sweets, as well as lots of other things such as homemade chocolates and funky ice cubes that I know will be loved by people of all ages. The mould is made from a high grade silicone and is oven, freezer and microwave safe. My order arrived via DPD which is great for me as they text you when your parcel is going to be delivered so if you’re not going to be there you can then choose to have it delivered to a neighbour or DPD pickup point. Spend over £60 and next working day delivery is free if you’re in the UK.

2 Sachets of Sugar Free Jelly Powder
2 Sachets of Powdered Gelatin (Vegetarian alternative can also be used)
1 Muller Light Yoghurt
½ Pint of Boiling Water
Silicone Mould

Firstly add the gelatin powder and the jelly crystals to the boiling water and stir well. Pour half of this mixture into your silicone mould and pop in the fridge to set until firm. I usually give it an hour.

Once the first part has set, mix the remaining jelly/gelatin mix with your muller light and then pour this into your mould on top of the jelly. Pop back in the fridge to completely set. Once set you can then take these out of the mould. As the mould is silicone, the sweets are really easy to remove without altering them in any way. I couldn’t believe how perfect they came out. I used to put the mixture into a pyrex dish and then cut into squares which was so messy, however my new mould has been amazing and there was a lot less cleaning to do.

This whole serving made a total of 24 sweets and works out at just 3 syns for a batch (if following slimming world) or less than 250 calories for the lot. They last in the fridge for up to a week if you haven’t eaten them all by then of course.

Titch & Cable are passionate about providing their customers with a good experience and choose the suppliers that they partner with carefully to ensure products are ethically sourced. I thought the prices of the products were very reasonable and if you’re looking for a great Christmas gift there is something for everyone from kitchenware, tableware, linen and gifts. I think another amazing thing about this company is that they have partnered with Compassion, a Christian child development organisation. A portion of their profits are helping to build kitchens in Sri Lanka, ensuring children have safe, nutritious meals.

Overall, these sweets went down a storm with everyone who tried them and I cannot wait to whip up another batch. I am going to try chocolates next so keep an eye out for a future post on those. If you’d like to find out more about the products available from Titch & Cable, head over to their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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

Monday 13 November 2017

We Are Tea - Review*

Anyone that knows me well or reads my blog knows that I am a lover of all different kinds of tea. Whether that be black tea, earl grey or green – I am happy to try any new flavours that I come across. I was recently contacted by a brand called We Are Tea, who asked me if I wanted to try out some of their teas, of course I was happy to oblige.

We Are Tea are an independent award winning tea company based in Ladbroke Grove. This ethical company was set up by a husband and wife team Spence and Suzy. Their philosophy is simple, to ethically source exceptional whole leaf teas and hand pack them here in the UK. They focus on design, innovation and collaborations to bring their tea to a new range of people. They even created a bespoke blend for their chari-tea partner, Contact the Elderly. 

I was lucky enough to receive some boxes of Sencha Green Tea and Earl Grey Supreme Black Tea. These boxes of 15 are a reasonable £2.99 each. I love green tea so I was keen to try this one out first. I was really impressed by the quality of the teabag for a start which is made from biodegradable corn starch, and this brewed up like a dream. You can also buy this in loose leaf if you prefer. The Green Tea is full of super antioxidants so you feel really good drinking this. It's smooth and has a delicious flavour to it. This green leaf from the Anhui Province of Eastern China is a store-cupboard essential in my opinion. 

I also received a few different samples so it would have been rude not to try them out. The Sleep Super Tea intrigued me the most and as I sometimes have trouble falling asleep I thought I would give this one a go. This ultimate night time blend contains chamomile, lavender, rose and holy basil. Combined, all of these ingredients are the perfect combination for a great nights sleep. I felt calm and relaxed after drinking this and it even helped to aid my digestion so I could sleep comfortably. I also found the chamomile and peppermint teas were great ones to have before bed as well as I felt relaxed and calm. There isn't anything a good brew can't fix.

Finally, I tried out the Earl Grey Supreme Black tea, which also comes in loose form if you prefer. The aroma is gorgeous, I love Earl Grey and this one from We are Tea did not disappoint. It has actually received 4 great taste awards so you know it's going to be tasty. Milk is optional but I prefer to take this tea black, and really appreciate all of the amazing flavours such as Keemun, Darjeeling, Ceylon & Assam.

If you’d like more information, or to try some of these teas for yourself then please head over to the We Are Tea website. They offer free UK delivery on orders over £20. In addition to independent retailers, find these teas in Morrison’s, Holland & Barret and Ocado.

If you're a tea lover, or know someone who is then I highly recommend this brand. The boxes would be ideal for hampers or stocking fillers this Christmas. I also enjoyed taking the Tea Consultation to see which tea would suit me best, so feel free to find out what your perfect tea would be!

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

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Five First Date Ideas on a Budget*

Dating can be expensive and when you first meet someone, you may not want to commit to spending a lot of money in case things don’t work out. I have come up with five ideas for dates that won’t break the bank, but at the same time give you the opportunity to really get to know someone. You never know, it could lead to extravagant meals in nice restaurants, but whilst starting out there is no harm in doing it on a budget.

Home Movie Night
I know it may seem a bit strange on a first date to invite someone round to your home, but some people may be comfortable with this. If you wanted a casual opportunity to “get to know someone” then why not invite them over for a home movie night. Get some popcorn in, maybe cook some nachos and stick Netflix on. You don’t have to spend a lot and you also don’t have to sit in silence like you would if you went to the cinema. You may also feel more relaxed in your own environment.

Games Night
Similar to hosting a movie night, you could also host a games night. You really get to know someone over a game of Monopoly – this is when true emotions are really shown. It can be a fun way to lighten the mood and if you’re nervous or run out of conversation you always have the games to talk about and keep you going. Ask your date to bring over any games they have, it could be a chance to get nostalgic with old favourites such as Jenga or Snakes and Ladders. Make it interesting by turning them into drinking games, loser takes a shot.

Walk in the Park
You don’t have to spend any money to go for a walk and if it’s the right time of year, a trip to the local park can make for a nice first date location. Choose a central location and meet up for a walk and maybe a take-away coffee. This is also a great idea for dog owners as you can get to know someone whilst also seeing what your dog thinks of them. Dogs always seem to be able to judge character I am sure of it. If you live near the coast, the beach is also a good option. A portion of chips and an ice-cream will cost you about £5 and you’ll benefit from the fresh sea breeze.

Pubs with Extras
The pub can make for a great first date location due to the atmosphere and the flowing drinks you’re bound to avoid any awkward silences. Choose a pub that has some extra facilities, perhaps a pool table or darts. You can then add a bit more fun to your date and also get a feel for how competitive they are. It’ll also help settle any first date nerves and help you to pace out those drinks so you don’t make a fool of yourself.

As strange as it sounds, I recently went to bingo and had an amazing time. It cost me less than £10 for my game and meal with a drink. You can get to know one another between games and generally have a good laugh. You may even win something which would be an added bonus! I didn’t win anything when I went but we still had a great time and a few hours’ worth of chatting can be just what the doctor ordered!

If you want to try some of these ideas out and want to go on some dates then why not visit senior dating. The great thing about these date ideas is that you can do them regardless of where you live including Aberdeen dating and Hampshire dating. There are some lovely pubs in Kent if you fancy Kent dating and for the perfect beach date why not try Norfolk dating.

What have you got to lose?

*Sponsored Post

Monday 6 November 2017

English Provender Co.'s Cheese-Board-Tastic Chutneys Review*

The nights are drawing in and I can’t help but start to feel a bit festive. Christmas is my favourite time of year and I love everything about it from the crisp air to the pretty lights and especially the food. My Christmas eve revolves around food and I love putting on a big buffet to feed the family. One of the things that always makes the list is a cheese board, which everyone loves.

With just 7 weeks until Christmas, The English Provender Co have kindly sent me some of their new range of chutneys and pickles, an ideal pairing for my cheese board! I can confirm they were all absolutely delicious! I’ll definitely be serving these alongside my festive spread.

The range has undergone a bit of a makeover and I love the new packaging. The stunning watercolour labels are vibrant and each jar looks great with my cheeseboard or even wrapped up as a gift for someone this Christmas. I received three flavours, all of which I had to try out just to test them of course.

First up was the Caramelised Red Onion Chutney which I thought was going to be my favourite as it is definitely one I have tried before. This is best paired with a strong cheese like a mature Cheddar or something like Stilton. I personally love having this with a bit of Brie, on something toasted. I tried this on a toasted wholemeal bagel and my goodness, with the Brie it was absolutely amazing. The sweetness of the chutney paired so well with the cheese and I highly recommend you give it a go.

I also received the Sweet Tomato and Chilli Chutney which was also really good. The sweetness balanced with a bit of a kick from the chilli was a great combination. This is best paired with a mild Cheddar or a smoked log cheese. It would also be really good with Red Leicester and I think would be nice on crackers.

Finally, I received the Plum and Bramley Apple Chutney which in the end turned out to be my favourite, which did surprise me. This was really sweet and is best paired with Brie and other soft cheeses. I actually had this with some Wensleydale with cranberries and it was amazing. It tasted like the sort of cheese and chutney combo you would want to get on a cheeseboard for dessert as it was a real sweet treat.

Overall I really enjoyed giving these chutneys a try, they have really added a bit of zing to my cheeseboard and I know they’re going to go down a treat at Christmas. Know a cheese lover? I think these would make the perfect stocking filler! What do you think?

For more information head over to the English Provender Website.

*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.

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide - Collaboration with Contrado*

Ever wanted to create your own Christmas jumper or garment? Looking for a gift that would suit those who “have it all”? When I was contacted by the company Contrado, I was intrigued as to what they had to offer. The company Contrado is a creative customised printing company that collaborates with artists and designers.

I went on the website and saw that you can literally design and customise almost everything. From pyjamas to hoodies, jackets and leggings as well as home ware items such as tea towels. I thought it would be quite apt to design a Christmas jumper seeing as this product was going to be shown off in my Christmas Gift Guide. Contrado are experts at printing, especially on fabrics. I loaded up the website and couldn’t believe how easy it was to choose a design. You could change the colour of the arms, front and back of the jumper with ease. There was an option to add text, clipart or your own images to the garment.

Their products are sustainable and do not print using water. I decided to design my jumper using Photoshop. I simply cut out photos of my cat, added Christmas hats, snowflakes and then made sure the background colour matched the colour I had chosen for the jumper on the website then saved this as a JPG file. I then added the image to the jumper and cropped it to make sure it fit on the front. It looked amazing on the website when it was designed. This cost just over £50. When the jumper arrived, I was nervous to open it. I had hoped it met my expectations after seeing the preview on the website.

I needn't have worried as the jumper was even better than I expected. I have received many compliments on the jumper and when people realise it is actually my very own cat on the front they can't quite believe it! I have even had people say they want their own ones done with their pets! If you too are intrigued by what fantastic gifts you can create, head over to Contrado - you won't regret it!

*I received this item 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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