26 July 2021

After Eight - Strawberry & Mint (GB Gifts) By @Cinabar

After Eight - Strawberry & Mint

Not that long ago I would have said that the idea of combining mint and fruit flavours was crazy, After Eight have changed my opinion on that. They have successfully combined mint with orange previously and even other ingredients like Mango and Pineapple. There was a Gin and Tonic edition at one point too, the flavours are quite mad sometimes. For Summer this year they have mixed mint with a classic summer fruit and here we have After Eight Strawberry & Mint, I couldn’t wait to try it.

After Eight - Strawberry & Mint

The box is bright and red on the outside and the box is quite posh on the inside too. The After Eights look like the normal ones with the usually paper enveloped and the dark chocolate with the white filling. The flavour is very different, the mint is at half strength and the berry flavour for the other half. There aren’t many occasions where you can describe the flavour as a refreshing strawberry but that is what these are. The have a nice sweet strawberry fruit flavour that mellows to a cool mild mint. They work well, like many of the limited edition After Eights they shouldn’t but they do. These are a lovely treat and I heartily recommend popping them in the fridge for an extra bit of cool.

25 July 2021

Naked Japanese Style Katsu Curry Rice (@Nli10)

 What do you do for lunch when it's too hot to go out to the shop? Get Naked!

Luckily that's a capital N there and i'm just talking about the snack brand.  Here we have a Katsu 'style' pot of stuff.

The sneaky fluffy rice that is almost like rice crispies.  Interesting tech.

Soon looks normal with water

And 5 mins later looks (and smells) like food!  And granted - this isn't a luxury lunch - it's rather homogeneous but the Katsu flavour is good, and it did fill me up (but maybe less so than the Huel grains).

Not one to rush out and buy again, but a plesant enough option to have stashed away for a rainy (or heatwave) day.

24 July 2021

Hickory’s Pale Ale (Hickory’s Smokehouse @Hickorys_) By @SpectreUK

Hickory’s Pale Ale  at Hickory’s Smokehouse

My mom has her Birthday just before mine. We decided to have a meal out at the Hickory's Smokehouse in Wallheath, near Birmingham. After being seated and reading the extensive menu, I decided on the Black and Blue Butt Steak, whilst trying not to think too much regarding the 'butt' part of my meal. Sirloin steak in the UK is called Butt steak in America, so it should be okay.

Steak at Hickory’s Smokehouse

I ordered the Hickory's Pale Ale to wash down my steak, Stilton cheese, bacon and maple syrup meal, with chips. There was a citrus hoppy aroma from my pint when it arrived at the table. Deep caramel brown in colour my pale ale was 5% in volume.

There was an initial smooth sweetness from the caramel malt followed by pale malt, and then citrus hops, which were crisp and bitter, and then a light kiss of herbal hops. The sweet caramel malts and pale malt mixed with the bitter hops and washed around my mouth into the aftertaste.

This was a lovely beer, which went well with my huge thick paprika spiced and Stilton cheese covered steak. I had Alabama Fudge Cake to finish off my meal just to max out the calories after my light lunch, for a super chocolaty, super tasty, super lovely Birthday meal.

Fudge Cake at Hickory’s Smokehouse

23 July 2021

Fruit Salad Ice Lollies (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Fruit Salad Ice Lollies (Iceland)

With the heat this week it shouldn’t be any surprise that I have another ice cream review. It is the weather for it, and knowing Britain it may be the only week of hot weather we get all year. Next up is the retro sweets Fruit Salad turned into ice lollies. I used to love these sweets as a kid and couldn’t wait to try out the ice lolly version. The sweets are a mix of pineapple and raspberry and these lollies mimic that with a raspberry sorbet and a pineapple ice cream intertwined on the stick.

Fruit Salad Ice Lollies (Iceland)

I should say it was hot when I bought these and as as such the pretty shape got a little melted before I could get them in the freezer. The flavour was spot on though, it tasted just like the Fruit Salad sweets. They are fruity fun and full of flavour, one of the most refreshing ice creams I have had this year, I loved them. I like Twisters, but it strikes me these are so much better. The raspberry zing is super refreshing. That lovely Fruit Salad flavour is just shining through, these Fruit Salad Ice Lollies are how you keep cool. Just remember to keep them cool till you get them in the freezer to fully appreciate their shape!

Fruit Salad Ice Lollies (Iceland)

22 July 2021

KitKat Chunky - Cookies Dough (@NLi10)

 I'd not seen these before but I wanted a little treat, and I decided to give it a go.  Basically an Oreo's KitKat!  Nestle do seem to use the Chunky range to give the UK the flavours.

Straight out of the fridge due to the heat - and it looks like it survived it's trip in tact.

It's a little hard to see all the layers, but it's indeed a cookie dough style paste on top of the usual wafers.

And it's decent - it's not a strong flavour so I doubt it's going to cause many people to declare it their favourite.  It's more similar to the Hershey style than the Oreo style too, but it does work with the milk chocolate.  I'd be happy to keep eating after the three chunks, these don't seem as filling as when they first appeared, but as a little afternoon snack on a hot day it was very welcome.

21 July 2021

Sour Patch Kids Cola (Co-op) By @SpectreUK

Sour Patch Kids Cola

I've previously written about quite a few Sour Patch Kids sweets before, and I've tried mostly good and only one that I wasn't so fussed about. Our friend in America has mentioned that I've left his most favourite Sour Patch Kids until last; Sour Patch Kids Cola. So I'm rather looking forward to these.

It mentions on the front of the packet that these Sour Patch Kids Cola are "sour then sweet". On opening the packet there was a sweet traditional cola smell from the bag. There was a multitude of little kids shaped gummy sweets inside which were cola coloured. 

Sour Patch Kids Cola

  On taste these Sour Patch Kids Cola have quite a sour kick. I could instantly see why our American friend likes these cola flavoured sour sweets so much. They have a sour kick and then a sweet traditional cola flavour to finish. I'd definitely have these Sour Patch Kids Cola again. These are some of the best cola sweets I've tasted. They are seriously moreish and I found myself popping one into my mouth after another.

Information on the packet;
The 160g bag has 78 calories per 8 sweets (24g) with less than 0.1g of fat, 15g of sugar, and less than 0.01g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Sour Patch Kids Cola

20 July 2021

Funny Feet Ice Creams (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Funny Feet Ice Creams

Another hot day requires another ice cream review, I’m desperately trying to keep cool. This review is a retro ice lolly brought back out again, Funny Feet. I used to love these when I was a kid, I even remember my brother and I collecting lollipop sticks and sending them off to get a Funny Feet and Friends joke book, so it was a proper nostalgic trigger when I saw these in Iceland.

Now the weather is hot, very hot, so please excuse the slightly melted toes on my lolly, I tried to get them into the freezer as quickly as I could, but my word it is hot here in the UK. Don’t forget we are a country without air conditioning because if we could control the temperature what would we complain about?

Funny Feet Ice Creams

The flavour was a sweet creamy strawberry ice cream, just like I remember from my childhood. The flavour isn’t too strong just sweet and creamy strawberry. I loved the shape of the lollies, it made me smile with nostalgia. I can’t wait to try some of the other retro favourites that are being relaunched.

Funny Feet Ice Creams

19 July 2021

Slush Puppie The Original Ice Cream Blue Raspberry (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Slush Puppie The Original Ice Cream Blue Raspberry

Slush Puppie has been going a long time, I associate it with fun days out in Summer and having the famous blue drink to cool me down and quench my thirst. This ice cream is based on that famous blue slush drink and is raspberry flavoured. It is a hot day here, so a perfect day to have ice cream for dessert. Anything to try and help us keep cool.

I opened up the tub and scooped some ice cream into a bowl, I got very distracted by the colour, it is very blue. I mean seriously bright blue. Not in a good way, something about it being milk based made the colour worse. I gave it a try anyway and loved the taste, the raspberry flavour is good and was very refreshing. It is sweet and tasty, but not as strong as the drink was. I started to ignore the shocking blue colour and just enjoy the ice cream for the fruity flavour that it was.

When I was finished I caught myself in the mirror, my tongue is bright blue!!! Oh my, there is no forgetting the colour after all!

Slush Puppie The Original Ice Cream Blue Raspberry

18 July 2021

Too Hot - Drink cooling Jasmine Tea (@NLi10)

Britain is currently Too Hot.  To this end I bought and carried a couple of litres of ice-cold tea for bumbling around the shops (which was silly - should just buy one at a time).  Only one was *new* to me and of interest.

We mostly spent the day in the Custard Factory looking at the cool new market area on Floodgate Street and hanging in Wayland's Forge.  Here I am hiding in the shade and guzzling tea.

It's a relatively simple affair - and I was warned before buying it - there is no sugar in this!

There isn't much of anything - what a swizz!  Well, actually an unsweetened Jasmine tea is just what I fancied.  I'd have preferred a deeper flavour (this is from powder - oops) but it was too grassy for my sister so it's probably just my taste buds.  It was refreshing, icy, watery, fragrant Jasmine tea.  And I felt very refreshed afterwards.

17 July 2021

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon (@BestWesternGB) By @SpectreUK

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

We haven't been away on holiday since September 2018. What with my knee recovery after the operation, which was soon after that date, and the pandemic, there just hasn't been opportunity to do so. My Birthday is coming up and every spa hotel seemed to be fully booked. Cinabar tried Secret Escapes and found the Welcombe Hotel, in Stratford, and she booked a two night stay.

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

We had a lovely couple of spa days, and the staff were very welcoming and attentive. On the first night we sat down for a restaurant meal in a classical room in the mansion house. There was a beautiful view outside.

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

We had a crab and spinach tart to start with, then I had a sirloin steak for my main meal. The food was excellent and the portions were rather filling. I washed my meal down with a Goose Island India Pale Ale.

Goose Island IPA is a six-time medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival. Dry-hopped with Cascade hops, as well as using Pilgrim, Celeia, and Centenniel hops in the brewing. My 5.9% in volume Goose Island IPA had a pleasing herbal and citrus hoppy aroma.

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

On trying my pint the herbal hops come to the fore first, which were bitter and crisp, with sweet pale malts to follow with a little hops into the aftertaste. Mmm… lovely with my steak meal. I had Cheese and biscuits with a Cockburn port for dessert. I liked this meal so much, I had it both nights.

The full English Breakfasts in the mornings were enough to fill me for breakfast and lunch too. We had a wonderful relaxing couple of days, and we're looking forwards to a return trip there soon.

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

16 July 2021

Reese’s Overload (Co-Op) By @Cinabar

Reese’s Overload

I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, it doesn’t seem that popular here in the UK but our American friends are masters of the flavours. The brand Reese’s do have a few more bars out in the UK than they used to and this is one I haven’t seen before, Reese’s Overload. I spotted it in our local Co-Op while I was doing a top up shop. This takes the winning combination of peanut butter and chocolate and adds a new element of texture, salted pretzel.

Inside the wrapper are two mini bars both coated in milk chocolate. I gave one the taste test and absolutely loved the texture, the pretzel adds crunch making it a very satisfying bar to eat. The salt from the pretzel goes well with the peanut flavour and the addition of some caramel meant the flavour was very much full on. I won’t lie I put portion control aside and ate both pieces in one go. There was chocolate, peanut, caramel, salt and pretzel, there was all the good stuff here, the bar was absolutely divine. I was nice to munch on and so very much full of flavour it totally lived up to its name, Reese’s Overload. Definitely one to pick up again.

Reese’s Overload

15 July 2021

This seasons Krispy Kremes - mint choc chip, raspberry ripple & Biscoff (@NLi10)

 Tesco have made it easier to buy some Krispy Kreme for my birthday.

It looks a bit sparse here but I had just taken 12 out.

I got a mixed box so I could try all the new flavours.

Here we have a lovely Dolce Gusto coffee and the new raspberry ripple doughnut 

Filled with amazing jam, one of my colleagues called it her new favourite. Essentially a raspberry and vanilla mix. Excellent 


For the more choc minded person we have the mint-choc-chip. A minty topped doughnut filled with choc creme.

Lastly we have the Biscoff - which I think I’ve had before but happy to have again

Crumbled on top and with wafers of white choc it’s very nice

Yum! Probably the least exciting of the trio, but really nice too.

14 July 2021

Cadbury Caramilk (B&M) By @SpectreUK (B&M)

Cadbury Caramilk

I'm always willing to try new types of chocolate bars by Cadbury's. This new Cadbury Caramilk combines two favourite flavours of mine, which are white chocolate and caramel. Cadbury Caramilk Is a blend of caramelised white chocolate. It simply sounds like heaven in a chocolate bar.

Cadbury Caramilk

As you can see from the photograph, this Cadbury Caramilk is a creamy golden colour. It pretty much tastes like it says on the wrapper. It tastes like you'd expect caramelised white chocolate to taste like. Creamy Cadbury white chocolate blended with a sweet caramel flavour. There is no soft centre here, as expected… Just solid blocks of caramelised white chocolate. And it is heaven in a chocolate bar!

Information on the wrapper; The 180g bar contains 557 calories per 100g, with 33g of fat, 58g of sugar, and 0.22g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Cadbury Caramilk

13 July 2021

Cadbury Dairy Milk Fizzing Cherry (B&M) By @Cinabar

Cadbury Dairy Milk Fizzing Cherry

Spectre is normally keen to try any new Dairy Milk chocolate I find, Cadbury is by far his favourite brand. His favourite will always be the original but he does try different bars. I knew when I picked this Cadbury Dairy Milk Fizzing Cherry bar up he wouldn’t touch this one, he hates cherries and cherry flavoured anything. He is a bit weird, what is not to love?

This bar describes itself as containing tingling popping candy too, my inner child loves popping candy so I was keen to give it a taste test. The front of the chocolate looks like a regular bar but that back shows chocolate with lots of goodies packed in. I tried a piece and found that I was loving the texture, the cherries are jelly pieces and the popping candy fizzled on the tongue and there was biscuit for crunch too, such good fun. The jelly pieces have a secondary kick, they seem to be coated in chilli which makes the chocolate have a gentle burn too. This was weird at first, but actually quite interesting to eat, it made me smile. The only issue I had with this bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk Fizzing Cherry was that the cherry flavour itself was quite mild, there was a fruitiness but it could just have done with being stronger. A decent bar and nice to try something so different.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Fizzing Cherry

12 July 2021

Wagon Wheel Orange (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Wagon Wheel Orange

I was browsing new items in the supermarket online and I stumbled across these new Wagon Wheel Orange editions. It has been ages since I last had Wagon Wheels and I was rather excited to see a new flavour, and to pick up a pack of the originals for nostalgia reasons too.

Wagon Wheel Orange

 When they arrived I was eager to get stuck in and decided to have one with an afternoon coffee. They are in a bright orange pack ad each Wagon Wheel Orange is individually wrapped. The Wagon Wheel consists of two layers of biscuits sandwiching a layer of soft mallow and a layer of orange jam. The whole item is covered in milk chocolate. As someone who loves textures in food Wagon Wheels work very well for me, they are really interesting to eat. Orange was an obvious new edition for this year, chocolate orange is so popular at the minute, but what can I say as it works. The jam is very much a Jaffa flavour, sweet but not too sweet but plenty of citrus. It is only a thin layer but the balance of orange and chocolate is spot on. I actually found myself thinking this is one of the nicest biscuits I’ve had in ages, these Wagon Wheel Orange editions may well be my new favourites!

Wagon Wheel Orange

11 July 2021

Morrisons Taste - Plant based eating - Salted Popped Snacks (@NLi10)

Here is a bag of crisps - that isn't actually a bag of crisps.  The trend towards popped things instead of potatoes is picking up speed, and here we have rice/potato/chickpea/cornflour exploded baked discs of fun.

I am a little worried that these are called plant based eating - what were your last crisps made of!!

We have the four flavours on the bag - essentially plain, spinach, beetroot and sweet potato

And you can tell which is which at a glance which is great

And although they are horribly out of focus here (and we ate them all so I can't take it again) you can tell the difference between them so instead of being a slog through one flavour and texture we actually really enjoyed these!

I think that Popchips showed that there was a market here for this kind of thing (when done well) and these are pretty great.  Perfect for watching all of the sports without feeling too bad about snacking at the same time!