Celtic Manor Summer Afternoon Tea

When someone messages you asking if you fancy trying their afternoon tea it doesn’t take much to say yes, does it?! So when the Celtic Manor in Newport asked us to try out their Summer Afternoon Tea there was no thinking needed. Tea, cake and much more with great company in Jo from First Time Valley Mam and Sally from Teddy Bears And Cardigans.

We were shown through to the light and airy Olive Tree room, seated and offered a glass of Prosecco, sadly I had to decline as I was driving! The bottle was brought over to and opened at the table to the ladies that were partaking in a glass.

Jorge came and introduced himself and talked us through the choice of blends of tea which he showed us in glass vials. We could have: Black/White/Green/Herbal Infusions as well as English Breakfast and there was also coffee if preferred.

The teas were brought in a proper teapots, not small ones either! We were given one each and the tea was in leaf form so we needed a good old fashioned strainer which we were also provided with.

We were asked before the food was brought out whether there were any allergies/intolerances within the group and we advised that yes, we required 1 to be nut free and 1 to be gluten free. This was not a problem we were told and we chatted amongst ourselves while we waited for the goodness to arrive.

Due to the allergies we were brought separate options for the nut free and gluten free and the ‘normal’ one was enough for the 2 others in the party to share. The savouries were brought first and consisted of:

  • Goats cheese and pesto mousse with pickled shallots
  • Smoked salmon, cream cheese and caviar blini
  • Baked tomato and chilli tart with minted pea salad
  • Roasted ham and wholegrain mustard finger sandwich
  • Mini brioche bridge roll with egg mayonnaise and baby spinach
  • Hafod cheese and spiced carrot relish finger sandwich

There was only one out of them all I disliked and that was the smoked salmon, I really wanted to like it and I tried it because I wanted to be open to trying everything so I could fully experience it. I disliked it purely on personal taste and no other reason. My favourite was the baked tomato and chilli tart, the chilli gave it a kick, the pea and mint gave it a little sweetness. The cheese and spiced carrot relish was orangey, almost a marmalade taste which I actually really liked.

Once the plates for the savoury were cleared we were offered more tea/coffee asked if all was ok and told the news we all couldn’t wait to hear, the sweets were on there way!

Again they were brought out as separate versions for the nut free, gluten free and standard. They included:

  • Red berry and vanilla shortbread ‘Jammie Dodger’
  • Summer Pudding with citrus creme fraiche
  • Raspberry and chocolate canneloni
  • Strawberry mousse and almond tartlet
  • Freshly baked raisin and vanilla scones with strawberry preserve and clotted cream

The cakes are small and you might be fooled into thinking you can stuff the lot no problem. Think again! I have the worlds worst sweet tooth and I really struggled. I managed a scone with preserve and cream, raspberry and chocolate cannelloni and summer pudding. My favourite was most definitely the scone. We asked for some boxes to take our remaining cakes home though so if you do go, don’t forget to ask for one!

Prices are:

£21.50 per person (Monday – Friday) £29.50 per person (Saturday & Sunday) Children £10.75 per person (Monday – Friday) £14.15 per person (Saturday & Sunday)

Book online here and there are other options and themes for afternoon tea available as shown here.

The only thing I would say was that because we had separate tiers of food, we struggled to fit everything on the table and we could have done with a little more room although this is a minor gripe and didn’t stop the enjoyment of the food itself. Everything was clean and tidy, nothing was too much trouble for the staff and although the room was really busy it wasn’t too noisy. I wouldn’t hesitate to go again or recommend to a friend. It would make a lovely birthday/christmas/just because present. In fact whilst we where there there was a lady having her baby shower.

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*We were invited free of charge to try the afternoon tea for the purpose of this review however all opinions remain honest and my own*

Sugar Free Fairy Cakes With Natvia

With sugar being in the media as a top bad guy most of the time it’s great to know there are choices and that you can have alternatives. Natvia is made from Stevia and Erythritol which makes it a healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners and sugar. We have been sent some Natvia products to try out and see what we thought. We were sent:

Natvia Sweetener 

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Natvia Sweetener Tablets

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Myself and the children decided we’d have a go at making some cakes as they love them and we wanted to see how they would compare. I’m always looking for different snacks I can give them – especially whilst they’ve been off school for the holidays and ask umpteen times a day. But am also aware of high sugar/salt content in most of them.

When I was young I was fascinated watching my Mum make cakes without a recipe and when I asked how she knew she told me always remember 8,8,8. As in, 8 oz of the dry goods that go into the cake. So that’s how I decided to go with this. As Natvia is spoon for spoon the same sweetness as sugar we used the same amount as we normally would but you could play around with the amounts to suit your own taste. You could also exchange the butter for a lighter version if you wanted to make these even less naughty for weight loss. For our fairy cakes we used:

Ingredients (makes 24 small cakes) 

225g (8 oz) butter
225g (8 oz) Natvia
225g (8 oz) self raising flour
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c and line a cake tins with cake cases 
Cream the butter and Natvia together and add the vanilla essence
Add the eggs one at a time
Fold in the flour
My daughter also added a few drops of red food colouring just because she likes to!
Bake for 10-12 mins (our oven is fan assisted) or until golden brown 

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The mix looked exactly as you would expect it to and the cakes looked no different to a cake baked with sugar, so if you wanted to do these without telling the kids in my opinion they wouldn’t know the difference. Because there are no chemicals involved, only natural ingredients it doesn’t have that bitter aftertaste you come to expect from something that isn’t real sugar. My kids said they tasted exactly the same so that’s a win in my eyes!

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Some other great facts about Natvia:

  • 100% naturally sourced
  • 0 calories
  • Zero impact on blood sugar levels
  • Great for cooking and baking
  • Nothing artificial included
  • Tooth friendly
  • Fructose free
  • Suitable for diabetics and vegetarians
  • Can help slimming or weight control as part of a calorie controlled diet
  • Available to buy from Tesco, Ocado and Wholefoods Market

Are you trying to go sugar free? What would you have a go at making?

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*We were sent the items for the purpose of this review however all opinions remain honest and my own*

Appy Kids Co Drinks Review & Giveaway

Having the kids off school means that every other minute they’re asking for something to eat or drink! We were delighted to be sent some yummy drinks from Appy Kids Co  for them to try out. Appy Kids Co make wholesome and low sugar drinks without compromising on the taste. Their packaging is earth friendly by using recyclable materials and they also give back by replanting trees. What’s not to like? Stick around for the chance to win some for yourself at the end of this post!

We received a mixed box of:

Paw Patrol Juice Drinks in Orange & Apple 

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These are 200 ml juice packs with a plastic wrapped straw to the back. Featuring characters from the Nickleodeon cartoon Paw Patrol. We tried both orange and apple flavours which went down a treat, with the apple being the winner. The sweetness of the drinks comes from the fruit & Stevia (a healthy sweet leaf replacement for sugar or artificial sweeteners). The apple version has red/green & golden apples plus Stevia and the orange version has apples, oranges and Stevia. Just the right amount to quench a thirst, the children really enjoyed them.

Peppa Pig Tropical Juice Drinks

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These are 200ml juice boxes with a plastic wrapped straw attached to the back featuring characters from the Peppa Pig cartoon.  We got the tropical flavour which contains Apple, orange, passion fruit, mango, apricot, pineapple and Stevia. Again these were well received and I’m reliably informed that the technical term is “Yummy”.

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Some other great points:

  • Vegetarian Society Approved
  • Great for lunchboxes or days out
  • There is an app that can be downloaded from the App store or Play store then the packs can be scanned to get props to use within the app to customise pictures.
  • No worries about sugar overload – all good stuff in these!
  • There are Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Gruffalo, Minions, Dora & Friends and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles variations available.

For a list of stockists click here.

For your chance to win an awesome bundle for yourself which includes:

Appy prize hamper

  • 3 x 5-pack of Paw Patrol Juice Drink Pouches
  • 3 x 3-pack of Peppa Pig Fruit Drink Cartons
  • 1 x Peppa Pig 9in1 Puzzle Pack by Jumbo Games

Click on the Rafflecopter below to enter:

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1. The giveaway is open to residents of the UK only.
2. There is 1 prize available.
3. There is no cash alternative offered.
4. To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget above.
5. The winners will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries.
6. The giveaway will run until Midnight 03/09/17.
7. Once the giveaway is over the winner will be contacted for their details to arrange postage of their prize.
8. Emails collected as part of entry will not be shared with any third party.

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*We were gifted the drinks in return for the purposes of this post however all opinions remain honest and my own*

Nurture Prize Bundle Giveaway

WIN A NURTURE FRUITY WATER+ PRIZE BUNDLE!

I’ve teamed up with the lovely people at Natural Immune Products, producer of the healthy children’s drinks Nurture Fruity Water+, to offer five lucky readers the chance to win a fabulous Nurture prize bundle – worth £25 each – which includes:

* A Firsty plush neck pillow (available in pink or blue) for comfy travel

* A Nurture puzzle book to challenge little minds

* A Nurture growth chart to measure our growing kiddies

* PLUS 4 mess-free pouches of Nurture’s delicious drinks to include Cherry & Strawberry Fruity Water+ and Orange & Pineapple Fruity Water+

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Nurture Fruity Water+, sold in Boots, Holland & Barrett and Ocado, is targeted specifically at young children (aged from 1 year) with added nutrients to support immunity and lower naturally occurring sugar. Made with 45% natural juice and 55% water, as well as nutrients that support immunity, bones, and teeth (scientifically proven with EU health claims) – Nurture Fruity Water+ contains no added sugar and less than 1 teaspoon of naturally occurring sugar per 100ml. What’s more, it is school approved and offers the UK’s first mess-free pouch for on-the-go convenience.

Nurture Fruity Water+ was created to support children’s immunity and help busy, on-the-go families stay healthy.It’s the first functional drink of its kind targeted specifically at young children (from 1 year). Nurture is the story of parents Lucie and Derek Sanders. With three children of their own, they were on a mission to create a children’s drink that not only tastes delicious but is healthy, thanks to its natural goodness. Driven by a firm belief that if children consume less sugar from an early age, they will be less inclined to develop a ‘sweet tooth’ and more inclined to make healthy consumption choices later on, Lucie and Derek have focused on flavours that kids love. Nurture Fruity Water+ is all about nurturing our little ones’ healthy habits for life. Out with sugar, and in with flavour!

For a chance to win enter via the Rafflecopter below. Visit nurtureimmunity.com for stockists and information.

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1. The giveaway is open to residents of the UK only.
2.There are 5 prizes available.
3. There is no cash alternative offered.
4. To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget above.
5. The winners will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries.
6. The giveaway will run until Midnight 04/03/17.
7. Once the giveaway is over the winner will be contacted for their details to arrange postage of their prize.

 

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SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

The Tipple Lovers Valentine’s Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day is soon to be upon us (for anyone that’s from the planet Zog it’s on the 14th Feb). Whether you’ve been in a relationship for a while or just starting out it can be difficult to know what to buy. Here are a few ideas from online drinks vendor 31 Dover for those of you that like a drink and want something special for your Valentine.

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1. Warner Edwards Victoria Rhubarb Gin 20cl £19.95

Pretty in Pink and with it’s own tin this Gin is made with hand picked Queen Victoria Rhubarb from a Crown Estate farm.

2. Pothecary Gin 10CL & Chocolates In Gift Box £22.95

Includes a sweet little bottle of gin and two highly original new sweet treats from Miss Witt Chocolates using their signature water ganache. The chocolates made from Venezuelan 40% milk chocolate and featuring Lavender and Sicillian Lemon flavours are sure to be a hit.

3. Men’s Society Make Your Own Leather Hipflask Kit £34.95

This nifty little  kit contains a 30oz hip flask and everything you need to make your own leather hipflask case  including leather pieces, a leather punch, needles and thread, the manual and even a practice leather piece too. Great for when you want something a bit different for the man (or woman) in your life!

4. Peated Malts Of Distinction Miniature Gift Pack From Beam Suntory £17.95

This of 4 5cl miniature peated malt whiskies including Ardmore Legacy, Connemara Original, Bowmore Small Batch and Laphroaig Select and includes a booklet about the peated whisky production process.

5. The SloeGasm Cocktail Bundle £47.95

Containing 1 bottle of  Chapel Down Blanc de Blancs Brut 2009 and 1 bottle of Sipsmith Sloe Gin it’s everything you need to make a naughty but nice Sloegasm cocktail to share 😉

6. Smirnoff Electric Berry Group Shots £32.95

This bundle includes a bottle of Smirnoff Berry Electric Vodka Liqueur and 4 stainless steel metal shot glasses for you to share the love and enjoy with friends.

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 *This is a collaborative post*