Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Silentnight Just Like Down Duvet

I  like duvets but often get really hot and bothered under one, not due to my husbands attentions I might add before the spammers latch on, but I get restless legs, so I like a lightweight cover but I also  like to feel warm.

This can be difficult to achieve, a 13 tog is too heavy and my legs start getting jittery and itchy,  a 10 tog I get cold, the seasonal ones never seem right either. Before marriage to Chris I had an eiderdown, filled with as the name says eider duck feathers, he was and is wheezy with certain animals and feathered ones are amongst those. So I had to ditch the husband or the Duck Duvet, Chris makes a good cuppa so he got to stay!

I recently received the  Silentnight Just Like Down to try and I am very very impressed, now wherever you have been in the country, you have I imagine experienced some of the coldest winter temperatures on record.

I mainly associate Silentnight with beds
 and the now well known hippo and duckling, in our house I like to consider myself the duckling!! I was surprised to learn Silentnight have bedding and really it makes sense that they would and also be good at it as with the beds.

The duvet looked really thick but the case it came in said 10.5 tog so I did think it might be a little cold. Its extremely soft and silky to the touch due to the Microfibre cover, its non allergenic, good for Chris and its also I am pleased to see washable.
Its superbly soft and light and as it states "Just Like Down" its actually a polyester filling, I had expectations that this could be really good.

It filled the duvet cover well and it was still quite light, when getting under it that night I was impressed as it felt soft and fluffy and yes light. But it was incredibly warm.
I was very cosy and Chris loved it too as he gets quite hot under most duvets. It does come in a 13.5 tog too so if you get really cold at night this would be ideal.

I have slept comfortably with no heavy itchy leg syndrome and yet have been really warm, when the temperature did warm up briefly, I also slept well.

Silentnight Beds offer a range of bedding accessories to help you achieve even greater levels of comfort whilst you sleep.
Made under license by leading bedding manufacturer, Comfy Quilts, our exciting range includes:

Irresistibly snuggly pillows and duvets
Luxurious pillows and duvets made with Egyptian Cotton
Technically advanced bedding that helps keep you cool
A full range of anti-allergy bedding
'Impress’ Memory Foam mattress toppers and pillows
Electric blankets for added warmth
A host of bed linen in a wide range of designs and colours

To buy online and for more product information please visit

Alternatively contact Comfy Quilts direct for details of your nearest stockist

on 0870 766 27 27 or e-mail

Available at Argos,Tesco, TJ Hughes and Matalan

Closed Win Bottlegreen TRY ME HOT Cordials - Giveaway #19 -09/02

Bottlegreen have long been a favourite did you know you could drink some of the range hot too Read my review just here!

I am pleased I reviewed them as I have found a warming winter drink when I don't fancy tea and to keep me off the vino, however my mind has been ticking to see if I could make a mulled wine type drink or a hot toddy!

Bottlegreen cordials are made actually using traditional wine making techniques there are many flavours so to make it easy to choose which ones are best for heating, the bottles have a "Try Me Hot" flash. I want one of those on me!!! Hehe.

For one lucky follower you wont have to look for the flash just yet as Bottlegreen have kindly offered to give away four bottles of the cordial flavours best served this way. You can of course drink them as a cold drink too.

Lime cordial
Spiced Berry
Ginger and Lemongrass

To be in with a chance of winning, you must comment on Bottlegreen and do the following three really easy  things:

 Visit BOTTLEGREEN and have a nosy, then pop back here and tell me about a recipe that appeals, it can be drink or food, or maybe a flavour you wouldn't mind trying. In fact tell me any interesting fact you find as I have not had the time just lately to do this, it will be nice to sit down with a glass of hot Elderflower and find out more from your entries!

(1) Follow my blog with Google Friends Connect (over on the side bar on the right)

(2) comment on any of my other blog posts and tell me where you commented (other giveaways don't count !)

(3) leave me a comment with an email or twitter name so I can contact you if you win. If I don't hear back from you within a week, I'll will pick another winner.

Bonus Entry

Tweet the following

Win a set of Warming Bottlegreen Cordials on @Jo_Bryan 's blog here > > Please RT


Open to my UK followers only
Ends 09/02 Midnight
Only entries following the terms above will be entered

Other Giveaways

WIN TICKETS TO THE IDEAL HOME SHOW 2011 #Giveaway 18 11/02

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Valentine's Day Recipes from Bottlegreen

Valentine’s day is fast approaching, so why not spoil your special someone with this sumptuous mocktail from bottlegreen. Made with sweet raspberries, a splash of fresh lime and Bottlegreen's pomegranate & elderflower sparkling pressé, this pink drink will certainly have your Valentine blushing. To give it an extra explosion, try adding a splash of gin or vodka.

And why not serve something sweet to finish the night, with some elderflower and lime shortbread stars. These melt in your mouth bites will get your taste buds tingling and will really impress your loved one. Try using a heart shaped cutter and adding a drop of pink food colouring to the icing for that perfect romantic treat.

Super Blush Mocktail


75g fresh raspberries
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
Chilled bottlegreen pomegranate & elderflower sparkling pressé


Press the raspberries through a sieve to make a puree.
Discard the seeds.
Add the lime juice and then pour into a large glass.
Pour in the bottlegreen pomegranate & elderflower sparkling pressé and serve.

Elderflower & Lime Shortbread Stars

Ready in: 30 minutes

Makes: 18

100g softened butter
50g caster sugar
3tbsps bottlegreen elderflower cordial
1 lime
200g plain flour
150g icing sugar
Silver balls and ribbon

· Pre-heat oven to 180c (160c for fan assisted oven) gas mark 4.
· Cream together the butter, caster sugar and 2tbsps of the bottlegreen elderflower cordial, add the grated rind of the lime.
· Sift in the flour and mix to a dough, knead lightly.
· Roll out on a lightly floured work surface, cut into stars approximately 7-8cm diameter. Place on lightly greased baking trays, cook for approximately 10-15 minutes until pale golden, cool on a wire rack.
· Mix together the sieved icing sugar, remaining 1tbsp of bottlegreen elderflower cordial and enough lime juice to make a smooth, spreadable icing. Ice the biscuits and decorate with silver balls. Leave to set for several hours.
Other reviews that may interest you.
Grand Marnier Grand Espirit

Visit for more details and some delicious and warming food and drink recipe ideas.

Closed WIN TICKETS TO THE IDEAL HOME SHOW 2011 #Giveaway 18 11/02


Create your Ideal Home with the Nation’s Most Loved home event; The Ideal Home Show, returning to London’s Earls Court, from 11-27th MARCH 2011

BRITAIN’S favourite consumer event, The Ideal Home Show, famous for making home-making a national passion, is returning for its 103rd year, for 17 days from the 11th – 27th March 2011, and have 5 pairs of tickets for our lucky readers to win, to this year’s Show.

This year’s Ideal Home Show will take visitors through an exciting and spectacular showcase of inspirational living that combines EIGHT different sections into one exciting event that includes; the stunning Ideal Show Homes, a series of three exciting, full scale properties that demonstrate different concepts in homes from refurbishments to new build homes each offering an alternative to your current home.

In addition the fantastic Ideal Home Improvements section has everything you need to help with those DIY home improvement projects, as well as the hugely popular Idea Interiors and Ideal Gadgets section helping you bring your home up to date with the latest looks and must have gadgets and gizmos.
Our Ideal Gardens section offers a wide range of advice and designs, for those green fingered visitors among us, and the Ideal Food section will offer some tasty treat that will tickle your taste buds.

And if all of that’s not enough this year will see the return of the fabulous Ideal Woman section where visitors can relax and be pampered in luxury for the afternoon, and more Ideal Shopping than ever before!

There’s everything from DIY to fine dining, gadgets and pampering, as well as a host of celebrity guests across the 17 day event; creating the UK’s biggest Home Show and a great day out with something for the whole family, all rolled into one.

This year’s show will also unveil a series of industry firsts and UK product launches, more interactive features than ever before, as well as a series of workshops and seminars to help visitors achieve their very own Ideal Home.

With over 500 exhibitors offering an unrivalled range of products, visitors to this year’s show will find top tips and tricks to help give your home a brand new look, and expert advice to help with extensions, and complete renovations, and new build projects.

The Ideal Home Show is giving readers the chance to WIN one of 5 pairs of tickets.


Ideal Home Show has teamed up with, to give you the chance to WIN one of 5 pairs of tickets.

To be in with a chance to win, follow my blog and simply answer the question below.


How long has the Ideal Home Show been running?

Leave a comment on any of my reviews in a seperate post.

Leave a contact, twitter name or email please. Already getting anonymous or empty blogger details you will not win if I cannot tell you.

*Terms and Conditions below

Another Giveaway here
Win 4 Bottlegreen Cordials

Tickets can be either booked online or by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0844 415 4144. Group bookings can be made by calling the Groups Hotline on 0871 2305 581, or for further information about the show and to purchase tickets online visit the website

Follow the Ideal Home Show on Twitter

Ticket Information:

On Door In Advance

Weekday Adult £16 £11 Buy Now

Weekend Adult £18 £13 Buy Now

Weekday Concession (Over 60's) £12 £10 Buy Now

Weekend Concession (Over 60's) £14 £12 Buy Now

Children Under 15 Free* Free*

Late Night Thursday Open until 9pm £5 after 5pm £5 after 5pm

*Children under 16 do require a ticket which should be requested at the time of booking. Must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Please note that Free of Charge tickets do not qualify for a free showguide.

Opening times:

Opening Day – 11th March 10am – 6pm
Weekdays & Weekends 10am – 6pm
Thursday – late night 10am – 9pm

*Terms and conditions

1. This offer is only open to UK residents
2. Complimentary tickets are valid for one day only, on any one day of the show between the 11th – 27th March 2011 at London’s Earls Court
3. Tickets are non transferable
4. Complimentary tickets obtained through this offer may not be duplicated.
5. All tickets will be scanned on entry to the show
6. The closing date for this offer is 11/02/2010
7.Winners need to contact me with their address within 14 days of winning to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen.

Zoobles Review

Well are you parents of little girls ready for the cries "Please can I have a Zooble?"
Its coming we are not long past Christmas and I have three little girls birthdays to buy for and I think Spin Master have just helped me out.
Zoobles are a new collectible toy for girls, think Bakugan for boys and you have an idea.
We were sent Jaffa who is a cute pink and yellow Zooble, she is a giraffe and is from Azoozia, all Zoobles come from a land, you can find more out about each character their personality and their land at the link below.

Her face is appealing big eyes and lashes and her big ears close over her eyes in the closed position.
She closes up totally into ball  and you can store your toy in the Hapitat the Zoobles home. Then when you want to play again, you can also pop it on top of the Hapitat as there is a magnet on the bottom of Jaffa and one on the top of the Hapitat. You can now see the toy spring to like and blink.
I think this toy will be much more fun when lots of girls have them and then start to play and maybe even swap. The face features and colours make them very endearing, I imagine they will be a huge hit.
I also think as a nice collectible to display on a bedroom shelf they also have appeal.

Curled up in little balls, Zoobles™ come to life when you place them on their “happitat”. See them spring up and transform into cute, colourful animal characters to play with! Press their heads and they’ll blink, wink or even wag their tail! Each Zooble is unique and comes with its very own happitat where it can curl up to go to sleep, or spring to life on the hot spot.
Some happitats even feature a special thumb-wheel hot spot for added “dance” play.

From magical lands and underwater worlds like Petagonia, Seagonia and Azoozia, there will be over 150 Zoobles for little girls to collect.

 If you want to find out more about Zoobles

Encona Sauces Range

I have been a long time fan of one of the Encona sauces, West Indian Hot Pepper sauce I regularly used it in and on Jamaican cooking. Still do in fact.
Chicken Rice and peas and Ackee and salt fish, Curried Goat were recipes that were years ago closely guarded secrets by the mothers of Jamaican and West Indian friends.
It was also a time when the hottest thing an English girl like me had was good old Colman's Mustard. This was then a challenge to see if I could add it to a meal and not weep because of the heat.

My taste buds are now well used to and welcome the heat, times move on and chilli sauce is on most supermarket shelves in varying heats and added flavours.
This is still a favourite and I now can choose from a whole range of chilli sauces from sweet chilli, papaya to original.
Also added are fabulous ketchup's which add real punch to a midweek burger or chop.
I recommend the American chilli Ketchup, it again adds spice and flavour if you like a little heat.

I have popped a recipe on below that you may like to try too.

Spice up your summer with Encona Sauces and take your taste buds on a journey they will never forget. Encona Sauces is the chilli and hot pepper sauces range that adds a dash of inspiration to any dining occasion.

Encona Sauces Taste Explorers have travelled the world in search of new and exciting flavours for you to enjoy with your family and friends. The search has taken Encona Sauces far beyond its Caribbean origins, to exotic destinations across the Far East, Asia and the Americas.

Encona Sauces still feature all your favourite varieties, such as West Indian Original Hot Pepper Sauce the perfect accompaniment to spice up any dish, Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce, adding a Thai twist to any meal and Indian Sweet Mango Chilli Sauce, but get ready to broaden your taste horizons with four new mouth-watering flavours!

Other flavours include two delicious sauces inspired by the Far East, the UK’s only Thai Chilli and Ginger Sauce made with fresh Asian ginger and Thai Chilli and Garlic Sauce, made to a traditional Sriracha recipe from Thailand. They are joined by Jamaican Jerk BBQ Sauce and a real family favourite, American Chilli Ketchup.

Our best selling range is available in a variety of different pack formats and heat levels to suit both chilli novices and chilli hot-heads alike.

Encona Sauces are wonderfully versatile, the perfect condiment for meat, chicken, fish, sea-foods and vegetables. Also try drizzled into stir-fries, rice dishes, dips and salad dressings. Great too as a marinade brushed onto food during grilling or barbecuing, stirred into soups and stews or use simply as delicious, everyday table sauces for all your favourite foods.

Encona Thai Sweet Chilli Crabcakes

2 tins of white crab meat, drainedPrepare to send your taste buds around the world. Enjoy!

1 tin of brown crab meat, drained
1 tbsp corn flour
100g fine breadcrumbs
1 egg white, lightly whisked
5 tbsp Encona Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce (add a little more if you like it hotter)
Juice of 1 lime
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
Salt and milled black pepper

1) In a large bowl lightly break up the crab with a fork. Stir in the corn flour and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and milled black pepper.
2) Add the coriander, spring onions, lime juice, egg white and Encona Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce and combine all the ingredients together, trying not to break the crab up to much.
3) Divide the mixture into eight equal parts and shape into little patties.
4) Dust a tray or plate with a little corn flour and place the crab cakes on.
5) Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
6) Gently heat the groundnut oil over a low to medium heat and cook the crab cakes for 4-5 minutes until golden.
7) Drain on kitchen roll and serve whilst hot with Encona Thai sweet Chilli Sauce, lime wedges and fresh coriander.

Note: You will need a heavy based frying pan with approximately 1cm of groundnut oil for cooking the fish cakes.

The Encona Sauces range is available in 142ml, 220ml and 285ml squeezy packs, prices start at 99p (142ml), £1.39 (220ml) and £1.89 (285ml squeezy).

Available at Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Somerfield, Waitrose, Co-Op, Netto, Iceland and at all good convenience stores nationwide.

Alex computing for technophobes

Marion Colman was a technophobe, sent into panic by the mere sight of a computer. She felt miserable, pathetic and embarrassed.

That was until alex changed her life. alex is a computer designed for the over 50’s and for the computer illiterate.
Marion says
"I’m 63, divorced and working full time. Ten years ago I was traumatised when my employer computerised my entire department in a very short space of time and offered me - by then into my fifties - two days of "crash" training on Windows. Yes, everything from Word to Excel in just two days. My previous work experience ranged from Girl Friday in a stately home, PR positions and roles in TV and the music business. All this was in the pre – IT era so, my experience of computers at this point in my life was virtually nil.

Two weeks later, unable to cope and out of my depth, I resigned. I simply couldn't cope with the new technology and felt desperate. I fell back on my people skills and landed a wonderful job in the retirement sector. And, though the role was office-based, there wasn’t a computer in sight. What a relief!

Put simply, I was a technophobe, sent into panic by the mere sight of a computer. I felt miserable, pathetic and embarrassed. My two sons were frustrated that they couldn't email me, particularly when my grandchildren came along and photos had to be posted. Needless to say, I received very few.

When I read about alex I was curious and hopeful straight away. A computer for someone like me? That’s a dream come true! Admittedly, I was sceptical and apprehensive when the package arrived (I was even incapable of reading instructions of anything remotely techy), however, getting alex up and running and ordering broadband was simple.

Today, I email, surf the web and download photos of my beloved grandchildren. I can access and listen to every music genre imaginable on the amazing YouTube, which is invaluable late at night when sleep evades me. I have a Facebook page and have started dabbling in online dating and genealogy. But, the high point so far was being able to watch my elder son's wedding ceremony in the USA. Being a nervous flyer, there was no way I could attend the event but, thanks to alex, I was able to watch in real time from my home via a web-feed. What a joy.

So, I’ve gone from extreme technophobe to keen web surfer and social media user in just a few days. And what made that change possible? An uncomplicated, user-friendly and intuitive new laptop called alex.
alex has been developed by working with focus groups drawn specifically from the ‘digitally excluded’ - people who have fears or apprehensions about using computers or surfing the internet.

Research shows that in particular the fears are:

I will damage the computer

It will crash and I will lose my data
I could become a victim of credit card fraud
I may lose valuable data as a result of a virus
Someone may steal my identity
I’m afraid that the equipment will become obsolete and I won’t know what to do
I won’t know even how to do the basics.

In autumn 2007 the Broadband Computer Company ran a 12-week trial among 138 people in 42 households (a range of people from a variety of ages, background and computing experience). Results included:

9 out of 10 people who tested alex would recommend it to others

more than half of those trialled rated alex 9 or 10/10 for ease of use.


Following the three-month trial, a friends and family trial took place from Summer – Autumn 2009 to further hone the product.

alex computing is now available from just £9.99 per month at or by calling 0800 694 6000. The Broadband Computer Company can also provide a broadband internet connection for customers without an existing connection. This connection requires no skill or expertise to start-up.


An online demonstration of alex is viewable at or at

Win Shake up mealtimes with Colman's Season & Shake

I recently reviewed The Colman's Sean and Shake, I loved the ease and fuss free midweek meal and the flavours of the food once cooked, you can read my review here.

I just wanted to let you know that Colman's and alton Towers have joined up to offer a fab new competition to win a family day out to Alton towers.

Children say the funniest things, especially at mealtimes. If there is something on their plate they dislike, they won’t be holding back! Luckily for you, we want to hear the funny stories your children have said at mealtimes and if yours is chosen as our favourite you could win a family day out to Alton Towers courtesy of the new Colman’s Season & Shake range.

It can be hard to please everyone at mealtimes, especially your little ones, but with Colman’s Season & Shake it’s easy to make simple, delicious meals the whole family will enjoy.

Funny family moments

Colman's Season & Shake wants to hear the funny things kids have said to you at mealtimes. And the best one will win a family day out to Alton Towers.


So did your child once refuse to eat spaghetti unless you detangled it? Did your child worry that eating carrots would make her hair grow orange? We'll be printing your funny stories online and the best will win this fantastic prize.

Bottlegreen introduces new “Try Me Hot” cordial range


** Giveaway to win some here **

I have been drinking Bottlegreen for a long while now, in fact its in one of my first ever reviews. Here

I associate it with long summers, Grand Marnier, bbq's the BBC Good Food show my favourite memories of it are all summery, so when Bottle Green asked me to try it hot, I was intrigued.
I get fed up with tea in the evening sometimes, I am overly into cold drinks at night unless they are alcoholic *hic*
So the idea appealed to me in theory, in practice its very appealing.
I tried the  Elderflower as its my favourite flavour and it is so soothing, warming and sweet. I would never have thought I would like it as I was never a fan of hot blackcurrant offered as a child.
Its light and flowery still and comforts on a cold night, makes a perfect change to tea for me and keeps me away from the wine.

I also recommend the Ginger and Lemongrass, I believe this will be a real treat when I am full of the sniffles, its spicy and sharp but again sweet and really warms me.
Ii was overall surprised on just how lovely Bottlegreen are hot and I am keen to try the other varieties too.
With the nights still long and dark and smoke rising up from chimneys, there’s nothing better than to curl up in front of the TV with a nice warming drink. Delicious, elegant and warming, bottlegreen’s cordials served with hot water make the ideal alternative to caffeinated hot drinks.

Made using traditional winemaking techniques and only the finest, natural ingredients, the cordials are blended to create the perfect balance of flavours, and there are numerous tantalising flavours to choose from. We thought we’d make it easier for you to choose the best flavours to serve hot. Look out for the new “Try Me Hot” flash on some of our most popular hot cordial flavours, including the NEW bottlegreen Lime cordial.

If the weather is getting you down, put a zing back into your step with the new bottlegreen Lime cordial. This wonderfully zesty cordial is made using only the juiciest and flavoursome limes and is sure to keep the winter goblins and ghouls at bay.

If you’ve managed to get over the January blues then reward yourself with a little “me time” and a mug of bottlegreen Spiced Berry. Curl up on the sofa with your favourite book and enjoy this delicious blend of winter berries, cloves and stimulating hot spices make this an ideal winter warmer.

Let your mind escape to the exotic Orient with a truly warming drink of our fiery Ginger & Lemongrass cordial blended with hot water. Try this warming combination of fragrant Thai root ginger and tender shoots of lemongrass served with food, or as a refreshing midday pick-me-up.

Used by herbalists since Roman times as a traditional cure to ward off the (symptoms of colds and flu, elderflower may be a traditional summer flavour, but try bottlegreen Elderflower cordial with hot water and you’ll discover just how soothing this classic flavour can be on a chilly winter’s night!

All bottlegreen cordials contain no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners and are available from all major supermarkets, upmarket independents and, starting from £2.89 for a 500ml bottle.

When diluted 12:1 with hot or cold water, each 500ml bottle makes up to 25 delicious servings to enjoy.

Visit for more details and some delicious and warming food and drink recipe ideas.

Other reviews that may interest you

Win Try Me Hot Bottlegreen Cordials

Valentine's Day Recipes from Bottlegreen

Toast to the Lads & Lassies with Monkey Shoulder this Burns Night

Happy Burns Night to you all,
 Who's hitting the town for haggis and whiskey?

Keep an eye  out for my review of Monkey Shoulder coming soon, in the meantime, perhaps give it a welcome review of your own, its the perfect night for it!

Monkey Shoulder has created two winter-warming cocktail recipes in celebration of Burns Night, providing a contemporary twist on the most classic of Scottish celebrations.

Burns Night, celebrated on Tuesday 25th January, celebrates Scotland’s most renowned bard, Robert Burns, author of world famous poems including, Auld Lang Syne, My love is like a red red rose, Address to a Haggis and the favourite among all whisky connoisseurs – Scotch Drink.

With its specially created cocktails, Monkey Shoulder provides the perfect accompaniment to wash down the haggis and tatties.

For the toast to the lassies, the Bobby Burns cocktail is a punchy combination of Monkey Shoulder Whisky, Sweet Vermouth and Benedictine.

The John Barleycorn uses Scottish Innes and Gunn ale to enhance the vanilla flavours of Monkey Shoulder along with a hint of ginger and apricot making for a whisky drink with wide appeal. John Barleycorn was a character in many of Burns' poems, most notably Tam O’ Shanter a mythical figure that represented barley - a historic cornerstone of Scottish life.

For those with a sweet tooth, Monkey Shoulder has created the Pink Scotch Drink. Named after the famous Burns poem and taking inspiration from the traditional Scotch dessert, Cranachan, the Pink Scotch Drink is a heady mix of cream and fresh raspberries.

John Barleycorn

Glass: Highball

35ml Monkey Shoulder
20ml Sweet Vermouth
20ml Ginger Wine
2 tea spoons of Apricot Jam
75ml Innes & Gunn ale


Shake all but the ale with ice. Fill a highball glass with ice and add the ale. Fine strain the mix over the ice, stir and garnish with a large orange wedge.

Bobby Burns

Glass: Martini

50ml Monkey Shoulder
20ml Sweet Vermouth
10ml Benedictine
Lemon twist


Stir all the ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled Martini glass, garnish with a lemon twist.

Pink Scotch Drink

Glass: Tumbler

50ml Monkey Shoulder
20ml Cream
20ml Milk
4-5 Raspberries
10ml crème de Framboise
Tea spoon of Honey


Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain over cubed ice in a rocks glass, garnish with 3 raspberries and serve with all butter shortbread.

For further information on Monkey Shoulder
About Monkey Shoulder Whisky

From renowned independent, family-owned distillers William Grant & Sons Ltd, Monkey Shoulder uses only malt Scotch whisky from three of Speyside’s finest distilleries. The ‘triple’ malt is ideal for mixing as well as drinking in the more traditional way.

Crafted in small batches of just 27 casks, Monkey Shoulder’s smooth and rich taste has accents of malty sweetness, vanilla, marmalade and barley sugar. The iconic bottle design, complete with three brass monkeys – each representing one of the constituent single malts - ensures it’s not one to hide away in the drinks cabinet.
The triple malt whisky is named in honour of the distillery maltmen who turned the barley by hand and used to suffer a temporary strain nicknamed a ‘Monkey Shoulder’.

It is available from Royal Mile Whiskies, Peckhams,,, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Oddbins and select supermarkets nationwide from £22.49 (RRP) for a 70cl bottle.

The Ideal Home Show Returns to London for 2011

I have fond childhood memories of the Ideal Home Show, I was about 10 when I first went, I remember being amazed at the full sized houses built indoors and all the people and lots of samples and gadgets galore. Free food being handed out was the one happening that surprised me most as a child, older I realise its to market a new food, but then I thought it was magical and so generous.

Being a fan of the show, I have been many times and its now in its 103rd year. I wonder what it was like in 1908, I wonder what the kitchen inventions were then. From the image above it looks as popular as it is today.

I just like being thrilled by some new must have, I have a few collected over the years some never used more than once.

A couple so versatile it was money well spent. I bought a food saver that had five slim compartments one on top of the other they had a circular tube at the end and they slotted neatly together, you could slide a plastic tube down this opening, then swing them all round and you had a clever party multi platter almost like a layered Lazy Susan.

I often take Paige and Conor we wander around Paige loves trying the latest hair gadget and being madeover.  We get our nails buffed until they shine, try massage chairs, Conor and Chris drool over hi tech new appliances eat lots more samples than us girls and we all come home tired but very happy with bags filled with goodies.

Do you visit the Ideal Home Show, do have any fond memories of the show, what do you like seeing, what do you like to try and then maybe buy. Let me know and keep your eyes peeled for a giveaway of five pairs of show tickets later today.

BRITAIN’S best loved consumer home event, the Ideal Home Show is back, for its 103rd Year for 17 days, from the 11th – 27th March 2011, at London’s Earls Court.

The Ideal Home Show, voted Consumer Show of the Year 2010, is returning to London once following the phenomenal success of the revitalised London show at Earls Court last year.

This year’s Ideal Home Show will continue with the new look, and seventeen day format, but with more features and exciting content than ever before and a staggering EIGHT sections in one which include; Ideal Show Homes, Ideal Interior, Ideal Home Improvements, Ideal Gardens, Ideal Food, Ideal Shopping, Ideal Woman, and Ideal Gadgets and plenty of Ideal shopping for all of those home and gift needs.

This year’s Ideal Show Homes will see a series of three full scale homes set within a real life street set-up, each showcasing a different way of living to visitors. The first, will be our Ideal Home Re-fit, a live demonstration based on one of the UK’s most iconic British Homes, offering inspiration and advice to consumers on how to improve their homes, utilize existing space more efficiently and green their homes on a budget. The second property is the ‘Princes Foundation Ideal Home’. Supported by the Princes Foundation for the Built environment this a traditional Georgian family home takes a look at new and green building innovations, and the future of community living. The third property offers a modern day alternative to Contemporary Living with our ‘Open Plan Living House sponsored by Dulux’, inspired by European design and modern, spacious design.

Visitors will once again be able to experience and explore all of these different homes offering new concepts in design and style that offer easy home improvement ideas and ways to reduce energy bills, in a variety of different ways de-mystifying to help consumers live a greener life in the home.

The Ideal Home Improvements section brought to you by TV presenter and Architect George Clarke, will see a range of home improvement ideas, advice and products to suit any project, big or small that will demonstrate simple ways visitors can add value to their homes easily and affordably whilst reducing the cost of domestic bills.

This year’s show will also see the return of the popular Ideal Interiors sponsored by Dulux section hosted by Linda Barker, with a wide variety of room sets and a host of interior design tips and advice on the latest trends to make your home a cosy haven.

Within the interiors section will also feature an exciting array of the latest gadgets and gizmos in the Ideal Gadgets and Home of the Future section brought to you by Virgin Media and hosted by TV favourite Suzi Perry. This year’s ideal gadgets will focus on the technology of today and tomorrow with the very latest in domestic gadgetry to make your home an entertainment hub.

New face for 2011 Diarmuid Gavin will be showcasing this year’s Ideal Gardens sponsored by Hydropool, with a range of feature gardens and expert advice on the best ways to utilise your outdoor space. This year will also see the first ever Ideal Garden Design and Landscaping competition, where eight of the best gardening colleges across the UK will go head to head for the first time showcasing new ideas, skills, talent and determination to flourish into talented designers.

Visitors will also be able to tickle their taste buds and experience the best of British grub with Gregg Wallace’s within the Ideal Food section and his brand new Gastro style restaurant.

2011 will also see the return of the Zee Asian Pavilions, which will celebrate London’s rich cultures and offer a wide range of food, fashion and entertainment in unique section within this year’s show.

If all of that’s not enough, the Ideal Woman section hosted by Fiona Philips will offer a wide variety of style advice, catwalk fashion shows or even take the weight of your feet, and indulge in a little pampering with our Beauty Bar, or for some more shopping ideas head to the Ideal Shopping area, to pick up the latest home wares and accessories.

There will also be advice and tips from the UK’s leading industry experts and some of the nation’s favourite celebrity experts on hand, offering 100’s of helpful hints and tips on your home improvements, in our workshops and theatres around the show.

With the widest collection of the UK’s biggest brands, and over 600 exhibitors, featuring a series of industry firsts and UK product launches, the Ideal Home Show offers everything consumers need to create their very own ideal home, and enjoy a Great Day Out for all the family, with something for everyone.

The Ideal Home Show will also be supporting the ABF Soldiers’ Charity for the second year, following an incredible campaign in 2010 which saw a total of £102,000 raised for the ‘Ideal Homes for Heroes’ campaign, launched at the show in 2010, in aid of soldiers, former soldiers and their families in need of support and grants for home improvements and mobility issues.

The Ideal Home Show, London will open its doors for 17 days from 11th – 27th March 2011, at London’s Earls Court. Tickets can be either booked online or by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0844 415 4144. Group bookings can be made by calling the Groups Hotline on 0871 230 5581, or for further information about the show visit the website 50p per ticket sold goes to the Ideal Homes For Heroes appeal supporting ABF The Soldiers’ Charity – see for details.

DONATE – To donate to the ‘Ideal Homes for Heroes’ Appeal, please logon to;  for further information.