REVIEW: Hotel Chocolat Summer

I’ve recently been trying out Hotel Chocolat – Summer Fusions Sleekster box.  The collection includes fruity flavours, caramels and nutty mixes.

The chocolates feel very indulgent, something you can savour rather than devour!  Personally I prefer them at room temperature as the choclate and flavours combine better. During the heatwave last week we had to put them in the fridge – well I didn’t want them to melt!!  Tasting them straight out of the fridge gives you a different taste experience as the chocolate cracks open to reveal the cool inner flavours!

soosie wales, hotel chocolat, summer sleekster

 

Some of the flavours are :

  • Summer Cooler – Apple, cucumber and mint – yeah I know weird.. This one wasn’t unpleasant but did taste rather strange.
  • Blackcurrant Bombe – WOW this one really is a bomb – the flavour explodes in your mouth.  Hubby’s favourite.
  • Burnt Caramel – I’m not a lover of caramels normally and this one was the last one in the box.. ah…. BUT it was lovely, slightly smokey soft caramel – one of favourites.
  • Pineapple and Coconut – a white chocolate coat on this one. It tasted really refreshing.
  • Peach & Hazelnut Gratin – Fruity ganache and nutty praline topped with a whole hazelnut – This one was my ultimate favourite.

The above selection is £24 – a good price for the quality that they are. They also have smaller selections if your budget won’t stretch.

Why not pop over to Hotel Chocolat Summer to see for yourself.

 

I received the above selection in return for an review. All words and opinions are my own. 

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REVIEW: Hotter Shoes

I recently attended a Blogger Event at Hotter Shoes in Cardiff.  It was a great opportunity to meet up with some of the ladies I only know via blogging. Many thanks to TBAM of The BoyandMe for the invite. 🙂

We were welcomed by the ladies and gentlemen who work in the store – a lovely happy bunch!  Mel the PR lady told us a bit more about Hotter.

  • They started making slippers
  • Every pair of shoes have wiggle room for toes
  • The soles are filled with millions of air bubbles – one of the reasons why they are so comfy.
  • Over the past 4 years or so they’ve gone from 5 stores to 65 – not bad expansion in an age of recession!
  • They are the biggest UK sohe manufacturer – they make a pair of shoes every 20 seconds.

It was good to learn more about the company and to see and try on some of the shoes. I must admit that I have never been to Hotter shoes before and always thought that they were aimed at the ‘comfort minded’.  I was impressed by the variety of styles and why they can appeal to all ages.

After checking  their website a few days before and found several styles that took my fancy, I couldn’t wait to try them out!

 

soosie wales, hotter shoes,

Hotter Shoes – Hannah and Donna

I tried out some of the shoes but didn’t get that ‘these are right for me’ moment until I tried on the black Shake style.

 

soosie wales, hotter shoes,

Comfy Shake – Black

I’ve worn them a few times now and they are very comfortable.  They are so light you barely know you have them on. I’m really impressed with them!

Why not take a look at the website for yourself  Hotter can offer you 10% off plus free delivery you can use the following code PKCTEN and the terms and conditions are:

10% off plus FREE delivery is for first orders only. You are entitled to 10% off the total order value of any full priced items in the Hotter range (excluding shoe care products) plus FREE delivery.  This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or on Sale or Factory Clearance items and gift vouchers.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL – I ALSO HAVE A GIVEAWAY FOR YOU TOO!

You can win a Juliet Handbag or a £20 voucher. (One winner will have the option of having the bag OR a voucher)

Just pop over to my Facebook Page Or if on a mobile enter via the Rafflecopter link (http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c96d9e7f2/) – Remember to check the T&Cs on the bottom of the Rafflecopter.

I was allowed to choose one pair of shoes for myself in exchange for an honest review. 

May Bank Holiday with #Morrisonsmum

Along with some other bloggers I became a #Morrisonsmum for the Bank Holiday weekend. This was an initiative with Morrisons and Britmums.
I was sent some vouchers to complete my Bank Holiday food shop and to take a look at the new cheaper Morrisons. I browsed their website and made a weekend menu plan and a list of some of the food I wanted to buy.  We have a reasonably new Morrisons here in Newport, it’s well set out and always inviting.

The fruit and veg area is always full of fresh produce and they pump dry ice over some of the display. I chose the usual spuds, onions, bananas, apples, tomatoes and cucumber. I also bought some prepared salads, peppers, a chinese stir fry, strawberries and pineapple especially for the weekend.

Then it was onto the meat counter – Rump steak on offer so that HAD to go into the trolley along with a rack of ribs. I also decided to buy 2 chunky steak pies as we’ve not bought them for a while.

I carried on around the store to pick up the rest of my list. They have made a real effort to drop prices on lots of products and there are lots of shelf edge tags and other signage in the store to promote the new pricing.

Morrisons, #morrisonsmum

I came home with quite a haul.  I was impressed with the lower prices, some were pennies but quite a lot were big cuts making Morrisons excellent value and more competitive.

Morrisons, #morrisonsmum The menu plan for the weekend:

Friday – Chunky steak pie  – We used to buy these whenever we visited Morrisons but stopped buying them a while ago as the filling was sparse and the pastry recipe changed – they no longer tasted like home made. Mr. Morrison please don’t do this..I’d prefer pay more than compromise on taste. The filling was still sparse but the pastry was back to how I remembered. They are good value at £1.60 for two.

Saturday – Griddled Rump Steak, tomato and sweet pepper sauce, mushrooms and baked potato. I have never been disappointed with the quality of meat at Morrisons and their rump steak is always juicy and tender.  I made the sauce to go on the side with the mushrooms.  The steak was melt in the mouth tender but please Morrisons butcher don’t tuck the fat around the back it makes it look like you’re trying to hide something – most people know and indeed expect to see a layer of fat at the top of their steak.

Sunday – Ciabatta with stir fried vegetables, spare ribs, fruit salad. I bought a large ciabatta loaf and a pre-prepared stirfry with water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. I cut the loaf into quarters and sliced through each one, place under a grill to warm through,  stirfry the veg and add a little sticky plum sauce. pile into the ciabatta and serve. We also had some spare ribs and finished off with fruit salad. It was demolished quickly by the family!

Monday – Packed a picnic – ham sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, salad, quiche and fruit. Spread it all out on a blankie in the park.

 

Morrisons, #morrisonsmum

I really enjoyed shopping for all the bargains and it’s good to know that Morrisons are keeping prices down. Just don’t compromise on the quality OK Morrisons!!

I’ve added some recipes that I hope you’ll try:

Tomato and Sweet Pepper Sauce to serve four the cost was a total of £1.50 (Peppers 66p, onion 5p, tin tomatoes 79p)

Spare Ribs – to serve two the cost was a total of £4.00 (ribs £3.50, onion and glaze made up another 50p)

I was sent some Morrisons vouchers to shop for the Bank Holiday. All words and opinions are my own.
The words and pictures cannot be reproduced without my permission. 

 

REVIEW: Baker Days Letterbox Cake

I was recently asked to review a Baker Days Letterbox Cake.  They have a huge range of cakes in various sizes available for any occasion you can think of and they can be personalised with stock designs or you can upload your own design/photo/words.

As it’s my birthday soon I chose a birthday cake – you can see more of their selection here: Baker Days Birthday Cakes.

baker days, letterbox cake

The Product: The cake comes well packaged inside a tin to stop it getting damaged, the tin is then placed inside a sturdy box along with a gift card and few balloons, candles and a party blower.
I opened the tin to find a really pretty cake. The icing not only covers the cake but also extends to the edge of the cake board. I kept it for our Bank Holiday day out.  Before we set off I cut it into portions and placed it back in the tin.

baker days, letterbox cake

 

The taste: The cake was a moist Madeira cake with a little butter-cream which is used to keep the cake sliding off the board. The icing was not too thick and was  nice and soft.  It was shared between Hubby, son, grandson and myself. We all liked the taste and texture.

baker days, letterbox cake

The Verdict: The idea of a Letterbox Cake is great but at £14.99 I personally think it’s too expensive.  However I can see the appeal if you want to send something a little different for a celebration.

Baker Days  sent me this letterbox cake for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. 
All words/photos are copyright of Soosie Wales. 

REVIEW: Total Recall 2012

It was with a certain amount of reservations that we went to see Total Recall. It’s a remake of the 1990 film starring Arnie. The new one stars Colin Farrell – always good to see on the screen for us ladies!!!

The film is set in a future where most of the earth has been poisoned and the only two habitable places are the United Federation of Britain (UFB) and the Colony (Australia). The two places are connected via a tunnel through the earth that houses a lift called the Fall.

The film, directed by Len Wiseman, follows the same storyline as the original film based on the book by Philip K Dick. Doug Quaid appears to be an ordinary bloke doing a dead-end job and married to Lori. He considers going to Rekall to get some false memories and decides on ‘Secret Agent’. This is where it all goes wrong for Doug, his memory has already been adjusted and all hell breaks loose at Rekall and again when he gets home and tells Lori. Lori is working for Cohagen and is only with Doug to make sure he doesn’t remember his past experiences with Cohagen who effectively runs everything. Continue reading

REVIEW – Derren Brown – Svengali

Hubby and I have spent a few days in Torquay, Devon. It’s one of our favourite places in the UK. (There will be more posts about Torquay soon – follow my blog so you don’t miss out!!)

Last week I was cruising the internet to see if there are any events we could go to on our trip. I noticed that Derren Brown’s Svengali show was on at the Princess Theatre. I checked the box office and tickets were still available. Woo hoo..

For those not familiar with Derren Brown, he is an illusionist par excellence! His shows and TV performances contain magic, hypnotism, illusions and psychology. You can read more about him here.

I’ve watched him many times on TV and often wondered if there are stooges or camera tricks involved. My son has been to see him 3 times and has always kept secret what goes on in the live shows.

Derren has courted quite a lot of controversy over the years, the most notable being the Russian Roulette programme where he used a member of the public to load a handgun with a single bullet and Derren proceeds to aim the gun at his own head.

So on to the live show – The show starts with Derren asking the audience not to tell anyone about what goes on during the show, if you use social media or blogging please don’t reveal what goes on, but feel free to spread the word. So – how do I review a show I can’t tell you about??

Well the show contains illusions, magic and lots of mystery. There is  some audience participation and Derren has a wonderful knack of taking the rise out people without being offensive.  There is a lot of psychology involved too and he uses the ‘do you want to change your mind’ / ‘are you sure’ lines to good comedic effect. The first half of the show starts with a magic trick and then a couple are bought to the stage for some fun with a paint ball gun. This puts you on edge and also makes you laugh out loud too!! This was followed by a ‘guess the celebrity’, Derren via an audience member paints a picture of a celeb without knowing who it is – absolutely amazing – I wish I could have the finished picture.. I’d treasure it forever as it was of one of my favourite actors!!!  There are a few other set pieces but I can’t give the game away!!

The second part of the show involves the use of an automaton – Svengali who can spell out names of the dead. If I give more information it really will spoil the show for anyone wanting to go to see it!!
The final set piece involved numbers, random on top of random on top of random – how the heck he does this really does defy logic!! It really is jaw dropping to see the result!

This was a really gobsmacking show – no camera tricks and no stooges, so how does he do it?? If you ever get the chance to see him live go for it you won’t be disappointed.

This post is my own opinion.