I started a similar post in January to tell you about some of the things I had come across and thought as I had a few more this month I would do the same. These are a mix of things I have been sent to review, and things I have bought. And rather than do a separate review for each item and clog your inbox I have decided to do a monthly round up.
Last month I mentioned Peer Index. I flipping love this website. If you are on social media, not just a blogger but if you have Twitter or Facebook page do sign up to them. They “reward social influence” so if they think you are at all influential online, you get something that they think you might like to talk about. Though there is no obligation to do so.
It was through them that last month we got a fabulous complimentary box of meat from Field and Flower. You simply visit the website, order the meat you want and it is delivered to you door. And in times of uncertainty on meat origins, you can rest assured with all of theirs. It is fully traceable (ALL from within 15 miles of their own farm), ethically sourced and reared to the highest standards of welfare.
A trip around Borough Market recently led us to discover Artisan du Chocolat. Primarily because they had a tobacco flavoured chocolate and since I have never smoked I was intrigued. It didn’t taste how imagined a Marlboro light to taste and was actually quite pleasant. Their other flavours of truffles included such delights as raspberry, jasmine tea, basil and lime, cardamon and sesame. J and I stood at the stall sampling more than was polite really. So we bought a box of 30 (for just £12 which I thought was a bargain).
I have also been the lucky recipient this month of an advanced copy of Kate Atkinson’s latest book called “Life After Life”. How is this for the premise of a book?
What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.
What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life?
If you had your life again would you change anything? Or a bit like Sliding Doors, what would happen if you hadn’t missed a train?
It has me gripped already and I have only just started it. I am a huge fan of Kate’s, having read all of her previous books. But I have a feeling this might be my favourite so far. It is out on March 14th.
Next up are a couple of DVDs. For younger viewers there is a new Scooby Doo DVD out called “Mask of the Blue Falcon”. Typical Scooby Doo. You just know what when a comic book convention is called Mega Mondo Pop Cartoon A Con and is held in California there is going to be trouble. There is slime, there are bats, there are dogs. There is a ghost causing havoc. Or is there? The usual suspects of a Scooby Doo film have to piece together the clues to find out who is behind all the shenanigans. Will it be “those meddlin’ kids”? Will it be the old caretaker? It might have been in my day but who is this time?
This is a great kids film, one the whole family can enjoy with a big tub of popcorn on a Saturday afternoon.
And we were also sent a copy of Argo which has cleaned up at the awards ceremonies this year. Winning BAFTA’s, Oscars and Golden Globes in numerous categories, including the top award of Best Picture in all three. It sounds like the perfect premise for a film and you can imagine this being written as a screen play. Hard to believe though that it is actually a true story. It is based on real events, chronicling the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis.
On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. In the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, the Canadian and American governments ask the CIA to intervene. The CIA turns to their top “exfiltration” specialist, Tony Mendez, to come up with a plan to get the six Americans safely out of the country.
The true test of a film for me is: Do I stay awake and watch the whole thing? Oh yes to this!
The film came out this week on DVD and Blu ray and you can get it everywhere, including Amazon:
Cakes. Amazing cakes. Oh my word, cakes that make your mouth water just by thinking about them. Patisserie Valerie asked me if I would like to try some of theirs. Stupid question. And since we live out in the sticks there isn’t one near by which meant Mr B had to go and collect them for me as he works in town. I then got a text with a picture that said “choose one, they won’t last, be quick”. And with that they had been shared around the office. Various comments were “it was like I was on a terrace in Paris” / “the best cake I have ever tasted” and several “yum”s.
I have to say that having eaten that one on the left with the chocolate bit on top, I would agree with all of those remarks.
And finally, wine. Yes wine. I have received a lot of wine this month but this one is perfect for this week. For next weekend it is Mother’s Day and the lovely people at Gallo thoughtfully sent me a bottle to try. Their press release said this:
With its refreshing fruity flavours of cherry, pomegranate and raspberry, Gallo Summer Red is the perfect partner for a traditional roast rib of beef with all the trimmings and bot forgetting a berry-based dessert.
A red wine best serve chilled, Gallo Summer Red has a lighter, sweeter taste that has been developed for people who like the idea of red wine, but feel it is too rich and warm for their taste. Gallo Family Vineyards has created a refreshing and easy-to-drink wine that is suitable for all year round and perfect for mum to enjoy whether she is a red wine drinker or not.
Gallo Summer Red has an RRP of £6.79 and is available from UK retailers including including ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Co-op. Please visit Gallo Family for more information.
And I have to say that I REALLY enjoyed it. I am not normally a fan of red wine or rose but this was a pleasant surprise. And definitely had those fabulous fruity flavours.
Now if somebody will just cook me the rib of beef.
Field and Flower I received free as a peer perk; the Artisan chocolates I paid for; the DVDS, cakes and wine were all sent for us to review. The book I was sent as a gift from a friend who works at the publishing house.