TablePouncer, Dinner's On Me

Thursday, 11 September 2014

I'm not really a chain restaurant kind of girl. I'm all about the independent eateries. Bournemouth and the surrounding areas aren't too hot on letting the local businesses do their thing, we've got more than our fair share of Prezzo,  Zizzi, Pizza Express, Frankie and Benny's and all that crap. Sure, they're fine for a meal if you're eating with fans of bland, but I want something more for my money. I like to have a little passion with my food. That being said, there are a few gems (often hidden) on the sunny South coast, and I like to explore as many as my penniless pockets will allow.

A few years ago I was given a membership to the Gourmet Society at a marketing conference, I also ended up with a Taste Card a while back. I rarely used them, because I wasn't really interested in the restaurants you can use them at, but they were useful on occasion for last minute generic dinners, although I'd never pay to subscribe to them. For those of you who aren't familiar with these cards, let me tell you a little more. You pay to subscribe for the year to the society/club (although you usually get a month's free trial), and they offer you up to 50% off or 2 for 1 at a range of restaurants across the country, although there are a bunch of time frames and things you have to fit to, and they tend not to work on weekends. It's a great concept, if they offer the discounts for the places you go, but pretty useless if you don't want to eat another mediocre pizza.

Recently Patrick from TablePouncer got in contact and offered a free promo code for all of my blog readers, so I thought I'd share this with you!

TablePouncer is different to the other memberships in a couple of ways. Firstly, it works for much better independent restaurants in a fair few cities across the UK; so you can actually get a huge discount on places you want to eat. That instantly makes it a winner in my books. Secondly, you don't have to subscribe for the year (although you can, for £49.95, if you'd rather do that), instead you pay a booking fee of £2.50 per person, and the voucher is sent through to your phone/email for you to use. It very much works on a first come, first served basis, and there are only a certain number of spaces each day for the restaurants; it can get a bit tricky as you can only buy for the day or day after booking. You choose where you want to eat, the number of guests, and the time, and it will show you the deals available to you. You just follow the process and get yourself the voucher, and then pop along to the restaurant and dig into all the tasty foods.

We've used it in a couple of places so far, Lemongrass Thai Restaurant in Ringwood, and Beirut Lounge in Bournemouth. I'll review both restaurants separately soon on the blog, so that you can hear about our experiences, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that the team at Lemongrass allowed us 50% off of everything in our meal, excluding drinks, so we were able to get the set menu (usually £19.95 per person) for £10 each, which was exceptionally good value. They even included dessert in the discount, which, in my past experience, a lot of restaurants don't with this kind of deal.

It seems like a great idea to me, I believe in supporting local businesses, and TablePouncer not only lets you eat out affordably, but helps restaurants to book up their last minute tables. You're also not signing up for a card you're not going to use, you're paying per booking and you're getting discounts that you can't find elsewhere, unlike the bigger chains where there are tons of voucher codes online that you're able to use instead of the discount cards.

So yes, give it a go.
Head over to TablePouncer, choose your restaurant, day, time, deal and number of diners, click 'book now', enter pinchofsalt into the promo code box, wait for your deal to be sent to you...and enjoy! You can use the code for up to 8 diners, and it can only be used once by each user, so choose wisely.

Let me know where you choose to eat and what your experience was. I guess this is another excuse for us all to go out to dinner, eh?
 

Review: Candy Japan Subscription

Wednesday, 10 September 2014




As those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will know, I recently went on an Asian adventure, with the trip starting in Japan. A massive part of the excitement of the entire trip for me was food. No surprises there. Every country we visited (bar India, which had a few delicious gems but a ton of less than delicious ones too) had exceptional food. So many noms. We basically woke up to eat, then ate a little more, took some trips (punctuated by snacks), stopped for lunch, had some sort of afternoon tea, ate an early dinner and then had supper. Think hobbit eating patterns, that's us. As well as full meals, we also reveled in the delights of snacks, treats and sweets.

Japan in particular has a more than impressive array of sweets and treats, the likes of which are sometimes spotted in candy specific stores here in the UK (at one bajillion times the price), but there are many that are yet to be spotted round these parts, including the tens of flavours of Kit Kats that we searched high and low for on behalf of the kitkataholic, Sara.

I was recently sent a bag of sweets from Bemmu at Candy Japan. Now I really enjoy getting post, I'm an active snail mail sender and spend a fair amount of my time coercing people into writing me nice things so that I don't feel sad when the only action my letter box gets is flip-flapping borderline-aggressive messages from the Student Loan hate squad grumbling that I'm not rich enough yet. Poop.

Candy Japan is a lovely little subscription company that send out a selection of sweets to you from Japan twice a month. The packages are twinned with emails explaining the sweets (as a lot of the labels are in Japanese). It's a fairly simple system, you pay $25 a month (about £15) and Candy Japan send you two orders a month, stuffed with as much candy as they can fit in the envelopes (usually between 2 and 6 packs).

I received 3 items in my envelope, Super Mario Gummy, Honey Kumquat Jelly, and Salt Milk Caramel.



Super Mario Gummy

'Super Mario is a video game character loved by people all over the world. There are many products based on this popular character and candy is no exception. The taste is cola. If the package contains other shapes than just Mario, consider yourself lucky. For example you can find gummies shaped like power up stars, coins, mushrooms or question mark mystery cubes. "Mario became a gummy!" proclaims the packaging.'


I've been a fan of Super Mario almost as long as I've been a fan of food, and I was pretty excited to receive this little packet in my envelope. Brightly coloured and super jolly, with a handy and practical resealable top (because we totally need this function and won't just eat the whole pack in one go), the packet had already won me over before I set eyes on the sweets.

After filtering through and ensuring we had indeed collected a variety of shapes (mystery box, Mario, Toad and a coin) we gave these candies a little nibble. Although they're cola flavoured, and I'm not the world's biggest fan, they were surprisingly tasty, with a really tough chewy consistency that I liked. I probably wouldn't opt to buy them, but if someone was offering them around I'd definitely have a chomp, and I'd love to try other flavours, if they make them!



Honey Kumquat Jelly

'What is a kumquat? They are a type of citrus fruit that is cultivated in Japan among other places and used to make jelly. The outer layer of the candy is sweet and sour, with kumquat syrup inside. If you look at the character in the wrapping, you can see that the bear with a green hat actually resembles a kumquat fruit. The candies have a very soft texture.'

Definitely the wild card of the envelope, I'm still not entirely sure what I think of these guys, even though I'm chewing on one as I type (in an attempt to gather creative inspiration of course). Flavour wise, they're pretty delicious, and I really like the packaging, who can resist a happy kumquat bear? They're a bit too sticky and wet for me to fall in love with them though. The sweets are covered in a sugary layer, and are squidgy to the touch; the centre is a soft jelly filled with a syrupy middle. They're quite unusual tasting, and I've not tried anything similar in the UK, so you're definitely getting your Japanese sweet experience here!



Salt Milk Caramel

'Even though the name contains the word "salt", these are actually not all that salty. They are made from cream that comes from Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. The rock salt used in this is made in Lorraine, which is an area in France. The candies are chewy in texture and as is common in Japan, individually wrapped.'

The most conservatively dressed sweets in the envelope, but surprisingly the most delicious! I left these 'til last, as their name and packaging didn't fill me with too much confidence that they were going to make me grin; however, I was wrong. Chewy, tasty and bizarrely mouth-wateringly good, these salt milk caramels were our favourite sweet in the envelope, and we accidentally worked our way through the majority of the packet in a couple of minutes. If I saw them on a shelf, I'd stock up on a couple of packets.

I thoroughly enjoyed my envelope of mystery sweets, and would definitely consider subscribing sometime in the future (when I've sorted my life out a bit, and have a few spare pounds kicking about). Great to share with family and friends, not too expensive, and a lovely treat to receive in the post. If you're a fan of quirky sweets or Japanese food then this is the subscription service for you!

*This package was gifted to me for consideration of review from the team at Candy Japan, no further compensation was received.

Recipe: Almond Cake With Raspberries

Saturday, 16 August 2014




There aren't many cakes I'd turn down. I'm not such a fan of cupcakes these days, and I'm not really one to go in for anything Death By Chocolate, but I do have my firm favourites, and it takes a lot to steer me away from just mixing up a lemon drizzle cake because it's super quick, really easy and (most importantly) delicious. Now and then I commit myself to making a cake that requires more effort than just tossing a couple of ingredients in a bowl.

This recipe takes a little more effort than the easiest cake in the world, but far less effort than tarts and all that fiddly stuff... plus it's full of almonds, and I love almonds! This is the sort of cake that can be shown off, will impress other peoples parents, and will make friends come back for a second (or even third) slice. It also gets better with age, resist eating the cake as soon as you pull it out of the oven (I know I'm asking you to do something difficult, but trust me on this one). Definitely a 'second day cake' if ever I knew one. This is actually the recipe that I mentioned months ago in my Easternoon Tea post, taken from How To Be A Domestic Goddess, written (of course) by the lovely Nigella Lawson ; it's had a little fine tuning and is ready to be presented to you! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

Now, you don't have to add the raspberries if you don't want to, but they taste delicious with the cake, and I think the contrast is pretty important to the overall flavour. So go on, splash out and buy a punnet, it makes this cake an integral part of your 5 a day. 

Ingredients

250g softened marzipan
250g softened butter
150g caster sugar
150g self raising flour
6 large eggs (I know it's a lot, but it's worth it, promise)
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp almond essence
1 punnet fresh raspberries

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees/ GM3. Smash/cube/chop the butter and marzipan until it's in the smallest/softest pieces you can be bothered to battle with. 


Chuck into a food processor with the caster sugar and process until combined and smooth. 


Add the essences and process again. Continue to process, adding the eggs, one at a time, through the top hole of the food processor, ensuring each egg is mixed in before adding the next. 


Pour the flour through the hole, and process until well combined. Pour into a well greased, fairly large (Nigella recommends 25 inches) tin and level the top (preferably with a piece of baking parchment in the bottom).


Cook for around 50 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. 


Leave the cake in the tin until cool (resist that temptation!). Turn out and top with raspberries. Serve (or wait) and eat! 

(Finished and delicious)

(Lovely and dense)


(Perfect with a cup of tea, mmm)

Review- Bun & Bowl

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


I love exploring new cities, who doesn’t? Birmingham and I have crossed paths once or twice before, but never really in any depth, and not for any real length of time. This time I managed to get a good few days of exploring in before heading back to the sunny south. Tied in with our Birmingham jaunt, Sara and I took a trip to the recently opened Bun &Bowl, situated in The Cube near Birmingham town centre, and were offered a meal and drinks. How could we refuse?

Bun & Bowl is one of 3 eateries owned by Birmingham restaurant entrepreneur, Mike Nayla, and is a swanky kind of place with a loose speakeasy vibe, exposed brickwork and boys-in-braces serving your food. 

We were met at the door by Jai and his team, and the two delicious looking cocktails they’d conjured up for us (always a good sign). Unbeknownst to us, we’d managed to time our visit with 4th July, which of course is American Independence Day, and the team put together themed Lemon Cheesecake cocktails to suit the occasion. We definitely weren’t complaining.


The cocktails were delicious; I'm not usually a white wine girl, but surprisingly this combination of  wine, gingerbread syrup, Limoncello, cinnamon and cream totally hit the spot after a day of traipsing around the city in the heat. 

We perched ourselves in a booth (never opt for a table when there's a booth to be sat in) and set to work choosing starters. As Bun & Bowl is a burger and shrimp restaurant, I felt it only right to sample both! I decided to go with the Shrimp in Garlic, Lemon and Parsley Sauce (at the waitress' recommendation) for starters, and oh what a choice it was. Sara chose the Grilled Halloumi Cheese, a clear winner; and we sipped cocktail shots of Baileys, Malibu and chocolate liquor that had somehow made their way over to our table, whilst waiting for the food to arrive. 





The Shrimp in Garlic, Lemon and Parsley Sauce (£5.95) blew me away. Big meaty shrimp, swimming in a gorgeous clear broth. I'm quite fussy about shrimp/prawns (what is the difference anyway?!) and am rarely impressed by shrimp dishes in restaurants where meals cost less than diamonds, but the chefs at Bun & Bowl have a great thing going on. Sara, definitely not the world's biggest shrimp fan, was coaxed into a nibble, and was soon dipping her pita bread in the garlic-y broth. The ciabatta was a nice addition to the dish, and provided ample mopping material when the shrimps were no more. 


Sara's Grilled Halloumi Cheese (£4.90) was tasty, as expected, and the portion generous; but it's hard to compare to halloumi elsewhere, as it's always fairly delicious! The dish was served with a side of cucumber slices and warm pita (perfect for broth thieving).

For mains I toyed with the idea of ordering the 3 Burger Sliders (as I'm terrible at deciding), but was won over by the Pulled Beef Ribs Sandwich. Sara chose The Naughty Chicken Burger. As always, it was a hard decision to make, with 5 choices of shrimp dishes, and 16 burger choices, as well as a couple of salads to choose from. 

Choosing sides was another toughie, however I managed to coerce Sara into sharing portions of Potato Frites (£2.95) and Sweet Potato Frites (£3.50) with me. We also ordered a Sour Cream dip (£1.50). Sour cream is definitely my dip of choice,. If it's an option, I'll have it- regardless of what I'm putting it with. Unfortunately the Sour Cream was the low-light of the meal for me. It was single cream consistency rather than the whipped double cream consistency that we all know and love; however, the Sour Cream being just an extra meal component meant that no tears of sadness were shed. 



The Sweet Potato Frites were as delicious as they look. A generous portion served beautifully in a cone, the frites did all you want fried sweet potatoes to do. Crispy outside, soft, perfectly cooked inside.  They definitely ticked all the boxes, and there were so many that we didn't even manage to eat our way to the bottom of the cone. 



The Potato Frites were plentify, tasty and hot; however they were nothing spectacular. In a battle of fried sides, sweet potato would trump these guys every time. 



My Beef Ribs Sandwich (£9.25) was huge. We renamed it the 'man-wich' and I tried my goddamned hardest to plough through it. Beautifully presented on a wooden board in a (giant) ciabatta roll, stuffed with lettuce and slices of beef tomato and piled high with sticky beef, pulled from the bone; this sandwich did everything it said on the tin. I'd chosen to have my beef topped with BBQ sauce, which was tasty but a little overpowering. It seems a shame to cover great meat with such a strong flavoured sauce, and next time I'd like to try the sandwich 'naked'. The meat was a little chewy, a little tender, and quite a lot delicious. It'd have been really nice to have had the BBQ sauce in a little pot on the side, that way the eater can add as much or as little as they like! It would also be interesting to see the team experiment with different BBQ sauce recipes, a sticky bourbon and brown sugar style BBQ would make this dish heavenly! Regardless, I'd describe this guy as a winner.

Sara's Naughty Chicken (£9) did everything a chicken burger should do, and, even though she wasn't able to fit the whole thing in her mouth, this feast was met with all the right 'you're delicious, please get in my belly' noises. No complaints here. 


Our meal was followed with a (much welcomed) trio of cocktails; Espresso Martini, Mango Daiquiri and a cola-replaced-with-cranberry Long Island Iced Tea style little number, that I can't remember the actual name of. All beautifully made, and presented by the excellent bar team. 

Although Bun & Bowl doesn't have an extensive dessert menu (yet) their sister cafe, joined to the restaurant by a small corridor, has an extensive selection of french pastries, puddings and desserts. Unfortunately we were stuffed to the brim, and couldn't manage a crumb more. Next time. 

We had a lovely afternoon at Bun & Bowl, and managed to spend a good few hours there, drinking, slurping, chomping and chatting, before making our way (well, stumbling) home. The staff were friendly, professional and smartly dressed, the atmosphere, relaxed and warm and the menu was concise and well thought out. The food was evidently of a high quality and was extremely well priced, and the portion sizes were plentiful, with lots left over to share . I'm looking forward to heading back to the restaurant sometime soon and exploring the menu further... I'll definitely be getting a mains sized bowl of prawns next time though! Delicious. 

Recipe: Marmalade Cake

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


I'm such a sucker for packaging, you all know that. This shallowness also stretches to presentation and all things fickle. For me it's important to something to look nice as well as tasting nice, and as a result I tend to opt for fancy-pants cakes over plain looking ones. We're not talking garish here, hell, I have taste; but I'd rather have something layered with beautiful icing over a plain loaf cake.

Of course when it comes to matters of practicality I'm willing to be more lenient. I spend the majority of my summer in fields, and cake is often hard to come by. Just before heading off to Glastonbury, Olivia and I whipped up a batch of cakes. The criteria? To be able to endure being bashed up in a bag full of festival crap and last for 7+ days whilst still being delicious. Not as easy as one might think.

We spent too much a bit of time rifling through baking books in search of something wholesome and tasty, and eventually settled on Marmalade Cake from Cakes- Regional & Traditional (we also made Apple Cake and Honey Cakes too, but that's a different story). I'm not sure if I've talked about this book before. It was a present, quite a few years ago...and it sat on the shelf for a long while before I even looked at it. It's not particularly pretty or noteworthy, except for the fact that it's chock-a-block full of hundreds of recipes from all parts of the UK. On closer inspection Cakes is pretty impressive. It leans more to the sort of cakes that grandmothers make (the ones that always make you feel better and somehow can never quite be replicated) but if that's what you're after then it's definitely worth a buy!

We chose Marmalade Cake, as the marmalade keeps the rest of the cake nice and moist. Also, because marmalade is delicious. Oh, and the cake only has 6 ingredients. It's a win all round really. 


Ingredients
115g Butter
115g Soft Brown Sugar
115g Marmalade (cheap is fine, as long as it's got shreds!)
225g Self Raising Flour
2 Large Eggs
115g Sultanas


Method
Preheat the oven to GM3/150. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 


Add all other ingredients, and stir through with a wooden spoon until well mixed. 


Spoon into a greased average sized loaf tin. I like to put a strip of greaseproof paper across the centre of the tin, to use as leverage when getting the cake out! 


Bake for 90 minutes or so (check after about 70 minutes though, just to be safe) until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. 


Allow to cool for 30 minutes (or as long as you can be patient for) before turning out onto a wire tray and leaving to cool completely (or not). 


Eat and enjoy! 



Review- Zoukinis Vegetarian Restaurant, Westbourne

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


I used to be a vegetarian. In fact, for about half of my life I lived that vegetarian lifestyle, chowing down on falafel and bean burgers a-plenty. These days I enjoy eating meat, I also enjoy eating fish; but the majority of my diet is still vegetarian, mostly due to the fact that it's cheaper, keeps longer and I know everybody (well most people) can eat it. I recently went for dinner with a whole bunch of friends, a few of who are vegetarians, and they chose the restaurant Zoukinis, in Westbourne.

I generally don't eat in Westbourne, although I'm not sure why. I guess it's the other side of the pond for me, and I get a bit stuck in my ways and eat at my local spots quite often; but I really enjoy it when friends recommend restaurants I've never visited before.

Zoukinis was a new restaurant to me; it's vaguely been floating around on the peripheral of my restaurant collection for some time now, but I'd never quite made it over there. A whole gaggle of us headed down one evening and tried out the majority of the menu.

(Posing in the outside seating area) 

So, although Zoukinis have a pretty small menu, with only 6 main courses on offer; what they lack in mains they make up for in starters, desserts and juices. The menu appears to change with the seasons, they also sell weekend breakfasts, have a variety of lunch deals, and run a Thali menu once a month. 

(Our table) 

Zoukinis has a lovely atmosphere, and the two ladies who served us were jolly, friendly and eager to please. They even endured our bizarre desire to take lots of group photos all over the restaurant, and happily took a couple of snaps of us too. The restaurant itself is kitted out in hanging fabric, comfy sofas and Indian scarf table runners. It's basically like eating at my mum's house, only nobody has to do the washing up afterwards.

(Delicious juices) 

Although my funds didn't quite stretch to allowing me to buy a drink (I spent way too much money on blankets in India), the juice menu at Zoukinis was mouthwateringly impressive. I'm a sucker for a juice, and the carrot zinger sounds delicious. Next time


Meze Platter- £12.95

I kind of cheated on my meal. I'm indecisive when it comes to choosing food. I like to think of it as a good thing, I don't think anybody else agrees. Basically if there's a way to have a bit of every dish, I'll attempt it. I'm forever harassing people into sharing dishes or leaning across people's plates to have a nibble of whatever they've ordered. If there's a meze platter on the menu, chances are I'll find some way to incorporate it into our meal. 

I opted for 'meze platter' (even though it was technically a starter, rather than a main meal), it's a pretty good deal, although a tad overpriced (in my opinion). You get to chose any four mini dishes from their selection; I decided to go for som tam (papaya salad), humus, olives and sweet potatoes. 

The plate came with flatbread (for dipping) and was a fairly impressive colourful feast. The humus had a great consistency, and was definitely a winner. Handmade humus can be a bit hit and miss, it often ends up slushy or grainy or tasteless! Yuk! This stuff was good though, a fair amount, and tasty scooped up with the flatbread. The olives were nice, not breathtakingly delicious, but not bland or squishy. The sweet potato fries were the real winner. Sweet potato seems to be cropping up a lot in my life at the moment, and can taste so awful if cooked wrongly. These guys obviously know what they're doing on the sweet potato front though, and these fries were chunky, slow-cooked and super sweet. The meze was definitely filling enough to be a main course for one, and the only let down of the dish (surprisingly) was the papaya salad, which tasted nowhere near as good as anything I ate in Thailand (unsurprisingly), but instead of being just a lesser version of what I expected, it was an oily mix of nondescript vegetables, topped with (slightly redeeming) triangles of sesame tofu. I'd give that one a miss next time. 

The other folk ordered a variety of dishes, which they all seemed to enjoy, although they enjoyed them a little too much for me to get a nibble! Next time eh?


Bean Burrito- £10.95 'Sweet potato, peppers & beans in a spicy smokey tomato sauce, wrapped in a tortilla with cheese and lightly baked, served with guacamole, jalepenos, sour cream & Zoukinis salad.

Despite looking nothing like a burrito, I heard good things about this one!


Toff 'N' Chips- £9.50 'Battered fillet of organic tofu packed with a samphire & watercress pesto served with chips, homemade minted mushy peas and tartare sauce'.


Baked Aubergine- £9.95 'Filled with goats cheese, sun blush tomatoes topped with a pesto crust served on a fresh green salad with a chive and white balsamic dressing. Layered with sautéed potatoes & served with a herb cream sauce and wilted spinach'.

     

Berry Berry Sweetheart- £5.95 'A selection of summer fruits, crushed meringues, with a Chantilly cream & raspberry coulis'.

Triple Indulgent Chocolate Brownies- £5.95 ' Rich and intensely chocolatey! With dark & white chocolate chips served with fruits of the forest sorbet'.

I made a massive judgemental error. A I opted out of dessert. What a mistake that was! Often I feel that I can't justify spending £4-6 on dessert, unless it looks and sounds exquisite. These desserts sounded like an Eton Mess-esque sundae and a brownie, but oh my, they tasted delicious. Top quality ingredients and perfect measures of quantities allowed these sweets to be truly decadent. I tried my best to slyly nibble my way through them, but I was definitely sussed. If you're going to Zoukinis, make sure you leave room.

(A fruity margherita)

The drinks menu is extensive, the juices look amazing, and the cocktail menu makes some twists on some old classics. The service can't be faulted, and I felt like we could (and did) stay in the restaurant for hours, without feeling like we were being a nuisance. They even sell Giggi's gelato! 

If you're a vegetarian or enjoy vegetarian food and you enjoy comfy over chic, then I'd give Zoukinis a try. The food is a little more than I'd pay for a general eating out experience, but for a birthday or other special occasion then the price is just fine (Starters for 1 around £5, mains around £10 and desserts around £5). Everything is beautifully homemade, and it's obvious that a lot of effort has been put into the meal choices. It's so nice to get vegetarian dishes that aren't an afterthought. 







Review- Tick Tock Honey Lemon Ginger Rooibos

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


We are borderline tea hoarders in this flat. Maybe borderline is an overstatement, but we have a hella lot of tea. To list all the varieties would probably be a little excessive and quite boring too, but we've got black teas, fruit teas, herb teas, loose leaf teas, speciality teas and imported teas. Our standard at the moment is Yorkshire Tea, we've got about 6 types of green tea and almost the entire line of Clipper fruit teas (I'm a sucker for their packaging...and taste). We've got a lot of Pukka teas too, which I bought and haven't touched since (they've all got liquorice in, regardless of the flavour, and I can't stand that stuff in tea, it goes all sickly and sweet, they look lovely though).
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the tea isle in supermarkets. I try and avoid going down it, as I usually emerge 15 minutes later clutching an armful of brightly coloured boxes that I most definitely do not need. Now and then I'll treat myself and have a sneaky wander down the isle, I did this yesterday and came out clutching a box of never-seen-before Tick Tock Honey Lemon Ginger Rooibos.
I really enjoy Rooibos tea, it's something I've only discovered in the past year or so, and inevitably my passion for it is growing. I've got a couple of the Dragonfly Rooibos teas, Vanilla and Earl Grey, and they're bloody delicious! When I saw Honey Lemon Ginger on the shelf I couldn't help myself.
Firstly, the packaging is beautiful. Tick Tock have a beautiful, bold signature design, and their style and colouring always reminds me of canal boats (weirdly). Secondly, I adore the combination of honey, lemon and ginger in anything...especially tea! I often get a sore throat (probably from talking too much) and I like a cup of something hot and soothing of an evening to unwind with.
Far from synthetic tasting, Honey Lemon Ginger has strong, natural flavours that complement the distinct rooibos taste, and I don't feel the need to add extra honey, lemon or ginger to create more of a flavour (which I tend to do with some of the weaker teas), and the fact that the tea is caffeine-free means that I can drink it before bed, and still sleep like a baby!
Honey Lemon Ginger won a Great Taste award in 2013 (and they're usually pretty good at choosing delicious things) and Tick Tock support the British Beekeepers Association for honey bee health research, I'm totally down with that. They seem to be fairly good folk all round really. The tea is only £1.99 for a box of 40 bags, and you seem to be able to get it at most supermarkets/health food shops. If you enjoy tea and the blissful combination of honey, lemon and ginger, then this one's for you!