I love to be out in the fresh air. Eating outside in the summer is a must, so of course are barbecues. I have been lucky enough to be invited to a couple of barbecues this year. I love catching up with friends and family but don’t enjoy the dreaded food element. Anyone with a food allergy or intolerance will no doubt understand. Friends and family often try to be very helpful and accommodate your dietary needs but it can be a little hit and miss. I always take my own pack of goodies with me to enjoy not to be rude but to be safe. So when some old friends invited us to stay for the weekend and have a barbecue we just had to say yes. I bought some emergency food supplies to take with me for the weekend. My other half told me not to worry I would be catered for. What I didn’t expect was that most of my food would be coming home with me.
Our hosts Stuart and Heather came up trumps big time. I was well and truly spoilt. They had carefully checked all of the ingredients of the food for the barbecue. It was all completely dairy free everybody had the same as me. I felt humbled that they had gone to so much trouble for me. I tried everything on the barbecue now that never normally happens. I even ate two naughty burgers in a bun because I could and they were delicious.
So a massive thank you to Stuart and Heather for a wonderful weekend and spoiling me rotten.
As a lady who enjoys her cups of tea on a daily basis I am always on the lookout for new teas to try. Yet for some unknown reason I tend to drink very little green tea. This is strange as it is a great tea to be enjoyed milk free so it is therefore perfect for dairy free me. I have tried a couple of brands of green tea of varying qualities. So when I was lucky to receive samples of Jadu China Green tea from the Top Draw Show I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
I liked the design of the box. It was a simple black box with a simple label to the middle and a bow keeping the box sealed. The actual tea boxes on the Jadu website are a blue suede style box and look like that they are aimed at the luxurious tea market. Inside my sample box I had two samples of this tea. They were in clear sealed packaging but allowed you to see the teabag and its contents inside.
There was also a card inside the sample box which described the teas and detailed their ingredients. What was interesting was the short expiry date that the tea had to be used by, evidence that only fresh ingredients are used in these teabags. I checked the ingredients to the teabags and the only ingredient was green tea. Please note though that tea is blended and packed in the UK and made in a factory that handles nuts.
On opening the packet I was immediately hit by the aroma from the tea. It smelt like a grassy meadow with a subtle hint of smokiness. It was a really inviting comforting aroma. This aroma remained the same on my close up sniff test. I just wanted to make my cup of tea.
I placed the pyramid in my cup and added the boiling water and let the tea infuse for two minutes as instructed. The hot water soon changed to a light green colour. The aroma from the tea did not intensify and remained the same, even on my close up sniff test. I was personally surprised by this, but didn’t mind because for me the aroma was already spot on. I think if it had intensified it may have become a little too strong. On sipping the tea I could taste the grassy element with the subtle undertone of the smokiness intermingled amongst this. It was a nice refreshing tea that somehow had a nice soothing and comforting effect as I drank it. I never expected this from a green tea.
So would I recommend this green tea, yes definitely. I fell in love with its subtle aroma which didn’t intensify on steeping the tea. It was a light refreshing yet comforting and soothing tea. So if you fancy a milk free tea, why not give this green tea a try. So thank you Jadu for producing an exquisite green tea. I shall be purchasing some in the near future.
Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this tea. All of the opinions in this post are honest and not influenced by this.
This summer I have had the opportunity to try a couple of new dairy free creams, all of which I have enjoyed. So when I stumbled across a new vegan cream from Valsoia on Ocado I just had to give it a try. It is a soya cream that is marketed as being like whipping cream and is made in Italy.
I liked the simplicity of the packaging with a picture of whipped cream with a strawberry balance on top. It certainly looked very appealing, I just hoped that the cream would end up looking like something in the picture. Although the cream is made in Italy and imported I found the labelling to be user friendly as an English label was placed on top of the original packaging. On the ingredients list soya was in bold as an allergen and there was no may contain warning. It is labelled as being both dairy and gluten free diet.
Although it is a UHT cream I placed it the fridge as recommended so that I could try it chilled with my strawberries. On opening the carton I was expecting a slight creamy aroma what I experienced was an aroma similar to that of dairy free vanilla ice cream. On pouring the cream into the bowl it had a much thicker consistency compared to other creams that I previously tried. At this point I have to confess to being very excited and poured it into little peaks in my bowl. Oh I forgot about the colour, this was a medium cream in colour. On tasting the cream it was completely different to other creams that I have tried. It tasted just like it’s aroma like a dairy free vanilla ice cream, it was rich and very delicious. In fact I struggled to eat the quantity I had put in my bowl. I also tried it was both strawberries and raspberries it was truly delicious.
So would I recommend this Valoisa cream, yes definitely. I have found a whipping cream that I can have and enjoy. Next time I will use it sparingly as it is quiet rich. My only complaint is that its consistency didn’t maintain on the day after opening the carton. Yes it still had a whipped consistency but this was no where near as impressive. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegan diet then why not give this cream a try. So thank you Valosia for producing a nice dairy free cream that I can enjoy.
Earl grey is one of my favourite teas I find it to be a light and refreshing tea that works really well milk free. So it’s perfect for dairy free me. That said I am always on the look out for new varieties of tea to try. Whilst shopping in Tesco recently I spotted that they sold Darjeeling teabags in their Finest range. It was marketed as a delicate tea with a mild strength rating of 1. This seemed to be the perfect tea to try milk free so I just had to give this tea a try.
I really liked the design of the packaging and was drawn to the description of the tea being uniquely flavoured with hints of muscatel. I loved the instructions on how to make the tea, always warm the teapot first with boiling water. Everyone who makes me a cup of tea always knows that I must have my cup or mug warmed with hot water first. This tea seemed to be made just for me.
On opening the box there was a sealed foil package with the wording Darjeeling. On opening the foil I was greeted by an aroma of a subtle faint aroma of an everyday black tea. I was expecting an aroma from the muscatel so I was a tad disappointed by this. That said I hoped that the weaker aroma would lead to a weaker tea. I placed the teabag in my favourite tea cup and added the freshly boiled water. The teabag immediately infused with the water to produce a light brown colour. I left the teabag infuse with the hot water for the 4-5 minutes as instructed. Interestingly the aroma of the tea didn’t seem to intensify and remained pretty much the same as it did on removing it from the foil packet. As for the taste I’m afraid that it tasted like a weaker version of an everyday black tea. I was unable to taste the hints of muscatel.
So would I recommend this Darjeeling tea. If I am honest probably not. It’s flavour and aroma don’t quiet match up to its description of having being uniquely flavoured with muscatel. It was however a light and refreshing tea. It might therefore be suited to those who like a weak everyday black tea. Sorry Tesco’s but this Darjeeling tea just wasn’t really to my liking.
Now I am a creature of habit and I tend to have Pom-Bear crisps with my sandwiches for lunch. That said I am always looking for new savoury treats to try as an alternative. I recently discovered Eat Real quinoa chips and really enjoyed them and may have had several packets since. For some reason I forgot to try their other chips. So whilst in Tesco’s this week I picked up their tomato and basil hummus chips to try.
I liked the simple grey packaging with the splashes of purple. The pictures of the chips looked really appealing and I just wanted me dive in. Being in the free from aisle they are gluten free and labelled as suitable for vegans and therefore suitable for dairy free me. No allergens were highlighted on the ingredients list.
On opening the packet I was greeted by a pleasant aroma of tomato. The chips or shells as I like to call them were of a good size. They had a good scattering of flavouring on them. On biting into the chips there was a nice crunch noted. The tomato flavouring was spot on but I struggled to taste the basil element which I found a tad disappointing. After trying a few chips there was no greasy residual left on my fingers, just a little of the flavouring which was slightly powdery in texture.
So would I recommend these hummus chips, yes I would. I liked the shell design of this savoury snack and enjoyed their crunchy texture. The tomato flavour was nice but seemed a little artificial to me. As for the basil element this seemed to bypass my taste buds, so this was a tad disappointing. That said I still enjoyed the flavour. I personally preferred the garlic and herb quinoa chips. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or vegan diet give these hummus chips a try. So thank you Eat Real for producing another savoury treat I can have.
Now most days I enjoy a nice cup of earl grey tea. I am a creature of habit I’m afraid. That said I am always looking out for new earl grey teas to try. So when I saw that PG Tips did an earl grey tea I just had to give it a try.
I loved the packaging it is the same as with all of the other PG Tips tea that I have had. It has a picture of a cute monkey to the back who had a wonky bowler hat on. Onto the ingredients I was a tad disappointed by this, black tea with flavouring. Erm…. This could mean anything. That said there is some wording above this made with a bergamot flavour. On a positive note at least there were no allergens listed or a may contain warning.
On opening the box I was hoping for a subtle aroma of bergamot. Sadly, this was not the case the only aroma I could smell was that of which is typical from an everyday black tea. Very disappointing. Even on my close up sniff test this did not change. On adding the hot water to the teabag the tea soon infused with the water. The water turned a light brown/ medium brown colour. I left the teabag to infuse for 2 minutes. The tea itself was stronger than I anticipated I think because it was more like an everyday black tea. Sadly, still no bergamot aroma noted. On sipping the tea my taste buds were hit by what seemed to be an everyday black tea. I couldn’t taste the bergamot flavouring at all.
So would I recommend this tea, no if I am brutally honest. I’m afraid that this has to be one of the worst earl grey teas that I have tried. There simply was no bergamot aroma or flavour to this tea. It smelt and tasted like an everyday budget black tea with a faint flavour of something added which changed its flavour slightly. It certainly didn’t taste like bergamot to me. Sorry PG, but this tea certainly was not for me.
I don’t often eat out for breakfast so when I was invited along to breakfast out with friends how could I refuse. It was decided that we were going to try the Beefeater. I didn’t get to check the allergen menu in advance. However, I have eaten at the Beefeater on several occasions and had enjoyed several safe meals there. I had also read other reviews from fellow dairy free bloggers who had a good experience. I was quiet excited to be eating out with no advanced planning. On arrival I explained to the server that I had a dairy allergy. They were great and very knowledgeable. I explained that I wished to have the full English breakfast. He explained that I would not be able to have all of this, so it would be minus the hash browns and mushrooms. He also informed me that I would not be able to have the toast that was available in the continental breakfast. I would have toast that would come with my breakfast. The chef was also informed of my food allergy and my breakfast would be cooked separately. When having the full English breakfast at the Beefeater this includes the continental breakfast. Again our server politely explained to me that I couldn’t have any pastries, or bread. I could have certain cereals, fruit salad and fresh fruit. I even got offered soya milk to have with my cereal and tea.
Whilst waiting for the cooked breakfast we headed for continental breakfast. It was mainly pastries which looked and smelled delicious. I had a bowl of corn flakes without the soya milk because sadly it never arrived and I couldn’t grab a server to get this. In a way this worked out well as I topped my corn flakes with sliced banana and apple instead.
As for drinks to have with my breakfast there was a good choice of fruit juices, tea and coffee. Of course I opted for the tea. There was a good selection of Twinings teas, it was great to be spoilt for choice and you could help yourself to as many as you liked. As it was breakfast I opted for breakfast tea, very unusual for me. I didn’t let the tea steep to long in the hot water and hit the spot nicely. I had several more cups despite having a great selection of teas to choose from.
Our breakfasts arrived mine came separately. The server explained that this was because it had been cooked separately. I then had a separate plate on which my white toast arrived. I had a little bit of breakfast envy at this point although my breakfast was a good size it looked depleted compare to my friends. I totally understand I had less due to my food allergy but it would be nice to have an extra piece of bacon or sausage instead. Onto the food itself it was piping hot and freshly cooked a great improvement on other establishments I have eaten at. The sausage was of a good quality and again nicer than others that I have tried when having breakfast out. I enjoyed the bacon and this was cooked perfectly. The eggs were hit and miss, but I could still dunk so that was ok. I really enjoyed the baked beans and the tomatoes these were full of flavour and juicy. The highlight of my breakfast was the toast. I enquired who made it apparently they use Genius bread. This surprised me as it looked of a larger size than what you can buy and it was hole free. Oh and what about my soya milk. Well this is clearly marked in the menu as an alternative option. I asked again and got it in a dedicated little silver pot. They currently use Alpro soya milk. I made my friends try it as I had already had my cereal and have all my tea milk free.
So Would I recommend the Beefeater if you are dairy free or have food allergies or intolerances for breakfast yes I would. There is an allergy menu which is very concise and the staff appeared to be very knowledgeable about food allergies. The breakfast was freshly cooked especially for me and of a good quality. The option of soya milk is a nice bonus. Oh and the great selection of Twinings tea is a nice touch for a tea lover, like me. So thank you Beefeater for an enjoyable breakfast, I’m sure I will be returning in the future.