Review of Marks & Spencer redbush tea

My mum, who I have inherited my love of tea from enjoys her rooibos tea and drinks goodness knows how many cups a day. So I thought it was about time I made effort and tried some new rooibos as an alternative to my mint, lemon and ginger or camomile infusion teas. I happened to stumble across a box redbush tea whilst I was shopping in Marks & Spencer the other day so I decided to give it a try.

I loved the vibrant black and red packaging with an interesting pattern which I would describe as being like mini space invaders. It is clearly labelled as a caffeine free tea to the front of the packaging. I was intrigued by its description as being sweet and mellow with a bright yellow colour.

Onto the ingredients well interestingly there doesn’t seem to be any. All I could see was 40 redbush teabags. There is no may contain warning with regards to possible allergens.

When I opened the foil packet I was  greeted by a woody aroma that I associate with a rooibos tea. This did not change on the close up sniff test and was still present on smelling an individual teabag.I added the teabag to my teacup and added the hot water and let it infuse as instructed. I was immediately hit by a slight woody and faint grassy aroma which became more apparent as the tea continue to infuse. There wasn’t much difference noted with the aroma on my close up sniff test. I didn’t expect this and was pleasantly surprised. It didn’t seem to take long for the tea to infuse with the hot water. It soon turned a slightly dark cherry like colour not the bright yellow colour described on the packaging. On sipping the tea it tasted like a good quality rooibos, there were undertones of both woodiness and grassiness that I associate with a nice redbush tea. I found the tea to be comforting yet slightly refreshing at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised by this tea as if I am honest it has been a bit hit and miss with the previous teas I have tried from marks & Spencer and didn’t expect it to be a nice as it was.

So would I recommend this redbush tea? Yes I would. I enjoyed everything about this tea from its flavour through to its aroma. It is a nice everyday redbush tea. So thank you Marks & Spencer for producing a nice redbush tea that I can enjoy.

Review of Lovemore gluten free spiced pear pies

On a recent visit to Morrisons to check out their new range of free from food section I discovered that there was a good variety of dairy free foods to choose from. This was especially true with regards to sweet treats. I discovered a packet of Lovemore spiced pear pies. I have tried a few of Lovemore products and have been suitably impressed so I decided to give them a try.

I liked the simplicity to front of the packaging with its light brown and bright colour scheme. To the bottom of the box are pictures of the pear pies showing the filling inside I just wanted to dive in and give them a try. Onto the ingredients the pies are clearly labelled as a free from product and are both gluten free and milk free. They are also suitable for a vegetarian diet. Therefore perfect for dairy free me. Egg is highlighted as an allergen in the ingredients list. It is highlighted that they are made in a factory which handles nuts.

On opening the packaging I was greeted by an aroma that I associate with fruit pies. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. It was nothing special if I’m honest. I was hoping for a spicy fruity aroma maybe I am being a tad harsh. The pear pies are of a good size. To the top you have a slightly crunchy looking short crust pastry topped with a little dusting of sugar. This becomes thinner towards the bottom. On checking underneath no soggy bottom was noted. This got an immediate thumbs up from me as I don’t like a soggy bottom.

On biting into the pear pie I got a slight crunch followed by crumbliness from the pastry. Onto the filling this is a combination of pear pieces coated in what I would describe as a lightly seasoned winter syrup. The pear was crunchy and worked perfectly with the gluppy winter syrup. The flavour of the filling was delicious. It was slightly sweet from the syrup but this was nicely complimented by the all spice flavouring. As for its quantity this spot on anymore would have resulted in a soggy pie. I couldn’t believe just how nice these pies were.

So would I recommend these spiced pear pies if you follow a dairy free and or gluten free diet? Yes I would it is great to have an alternative to an apple pie. I liked everything about these pies from their flavour through to their texture. So thank you Lovemore for producing a delicious pear pie that I can enjoy.

Review of Harney & Sons Chamomile Tea

One of the teas or herbal infusions that I like enjoy on a regular basis is chamomile. It is often a tea that I tend to drink later on in the day. On a recent trip to America I found it quite difficult to get a cup of tea. So I have to admit being a little surprised when I found a selection of Harney & Sons chamomile tea in the hotel lobby to enjoy whilst in New York. I of course just had to give it a try. I have to confess to taking an extra packet to try again once I was back home in the UK.

I liked the packaging of this tea with its light cream colour and the integrated star pattern to the right. It was larger than the packets of tea you tend to get at home and wanted to open the packet to see what the silken sachet was like inside. Onto the ingredients list I personally found this to be a tad annoying and disappointing. There are no ingredients listed. It is just described as caffeine free herbal chamomile with the scent of green apple. There were no allergens highlighted and there is no may contain warning.

On opening the packet I have to admit to being a tad surprised. There was a fairly strong grassy aroma that I associate with chamomile coming from the silken sachet. Sadly, the scent of green apple seemed to be missing. On undertaking my famous close up sniff test this didn’t change. I placed the teabag in my cup and added the hot water. It didn’t take long for the tea to infuse with the water resulting in a pale yellow colour. On infusing the tea produced a nice subtle grassy aroma but that scent of green apple was simply lacking. This didn’t change on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea it had a light mellow taste with a subtle grassy undertone noted. It was light, refreshing and provided a slightly comforting and soothing sensation in my stomach. I gave the tea another try at home to ascertain if it tasted any different with freshly boiled water and in a nice teacup. Its aroma and flavour were just the same as I remembered for a split second I was back on my holidays.

So would I recommend this camomile tea? Yes I would it is a nice everyday chamomile tea. I liked everything about this tea from its aroma through to its flavour. It’s a shame that the scent of green apple missing but to be honest I don’t expect this with a chamomile tea anyway. So thank you Harney & Sons for producing a nice chamomile tea.

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Review of Naughty By Nature London’s First Healthy Pop Up Bar


I was lucky enough to receive a press invite to the launch of Naughty By Nature London’s first pop up free from bar to embrace healthy living. It comes from the founders of the Free From Festival which I have been lucky enough to attend. All of the food is free from dairy, gluten and refined sugar with most also being suitable for a vegan diet. The bar features cocktails which were free from artificial additives, colours , flavours, high fructose, corn syrup and unnecessary sugar. Its located within a few minutes walk from Vauxhall station. Be careful though its hidden by what I would call a secret door that I missed first time round. On entering the sunlight courtyard I was greeted by a nice prosecco. It was then time to explore this intimate venue. A quaint hidden courtyard glazed in the evening sun.


I was immediately drawn to the Cake and Cucumber stall. All of the sweet treats on offer were dairy, gluten and refined sugar free and suitable for a vegan diet. I sampled all of Phoebe’s treats. The first I tried was the chocolate brownie it was very rich and had a slight bitter undertone to it. I would struggle to eat a whole one. The chocolate banana cake bite was very moist in texture and had subtle undertones of banana noted. It was very moorish indeed and would go perfectly with a nice cup of tea. My favourite was her last minute concoction which was a charcoal and coconut cake. It was very light in texture and very coconutty. The sweetness from the coconut worked perfectly with the slight bitterness from the charcoal. I may had a few extra samples of this, naughty me.

Next was Pomodoro E Basilco a vegan Italian pop up stall. They have previously attended the Free From Festival but I somehow managed to miss them. They had a variety of sweet and savoury treats to sample. I confess to sampling most of them. My highlight was their mozzarella. It was made from soya milk and came in a little sample with tomato and pesto. I loved everything about this cheese from its flavour through to its texture oh and the pesto was just delicious. Onto the sweet treats they had two versions of their twix to try their original and macha. They are made from dates and almond butter. My favourite was the macha this just worked perfectly with the sweetness from the dates.

Everyone at the launch received a complimentary cocktail. The bar staff were fantastic and my personal highlight was the iced cucumber water. I had a few glasses it was highly refreshing and just perfect on a warm evening. I had a lovely evening enjoying the evening sun in a delightful location sampling some fantastic foods. So if you are in the area I recommend that you pop in to try a cocktail and sample the food. You won’t regret it.

Disclaimer: I received a free invitation to this event all the opinions in this post are honest and my own.

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Review of Sainsbury’s bacon crispies

I recently discovered that it is possible to eat frazzle style crisps if you follow a dairy free diet as not all brands contain cows milk or its derivatives. Whilst in Sainsbury’s the other day I found myself in their crisp aisle. My other half really fancied some frazzle crisps so grabbed some of Sainsbury’s bacon crispies. I had my old faithful Pom Bears and didn’t even think about checking to see if they were safe for me to eat. This all changed when we got home and were preparing our lunch and I thought that I should try these crisps to review on my blog.
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I liked the design of the packaging. I liked the pink colour with the crisps cascading down the packet. You knew what to expect inside and just I wanted to just dive and give them a try. Onto the ingredients there are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list. They are also labelled as being suitable for vegans. So of course I just had to give them a try.
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On opening the crisps there was a slightly artificial aroma of bacon noted. This was not too strong or overpowering, but was a little off putting if I am honest. The aroma remained the same on my famous close up sniff test. On picking up a couple of crisps to try each crisp looked like a frazzle crisp. They were cream in colour with what I would describe as beetroot red coloured stripes. The crisps felt a little greasy to touch and left a light powdery residual on my fingers. On biting into the crisp a nice crunch was noted but this was followed by a slightly powdery texture. After consuming a few crisps I could feel a greasy coating on my tongue, not particularly pleasant. As for the flavouring this was a little hit and miss. Some crisps lacked flavouring whilst others had a strong artificial bacon flavour. It was as if the seasoning had not been distributed eveningly. After eating a few of these crisps I had a greasy and slightly powdery residual on my fingers. I found this in conjunction with the greasy coating on my tongue to be a little off putting if I’m honest.
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So would I recommend these crisps if you follow a dairy free and or vegan diet? Sadly not. I really didn’t enjoy these crisps. They were a bit to greasy for me and I just didn’t enjoy their texture and found the flavouring a little to artificial. Sorry Sainsbury’s but these crisps just were not for me.

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Review of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Double Mint Tea

One of my favourite caffeine free teas has to be peppermint. I drink it most days as way to reduce my caffeine intake. So when I recently popped into Sainsbury’s to top up my tea selection I stumbled across their Taste the Difference double mint pyramid teabags. My supply of mint tea was running low so I just at grabbed a packet to take home and give it a try.

Onto the package of this tea. Well I personally calming light green colour scheme which consisted of leaves. To the bottom of the front of the packaging is a small clear window allowing you to see pyramid teabags  inside. To the top is pictures of the mint leaves.

Onto the ingredients list peppermint (70%) and spearmint (30%) are listed. There are no allergens highlighted and there is no may contain warning.

On the packet I was greeted by a sealed packaging. I was intrigued by this as I am used to seeing foil. I guess this didn’t work with the design of the packaging. On opening the plastic packaging the pyramid teabags emitted what I can only describe as a very strong but very pleasant mint aroma. I found it difficult to distinguish between the two mint elements to this tea. This aroma intensified on my close up sniff test  but did seem weaken on smelling an individual pyramid teabag. I placed a pyramid teabag into my teacup and added the freshly boiled hot water. The water soon changed to the light brown / greenish colour. It didn’t take long for the teas aroma to develop. It was very pleasant and continued to strengthen and became quiet strong. In fact stronger than I had anticipated. On sipping the tea, it was definitely one of the stronger mint teas that I have tried. The peppermint flavour was fairly strong but worked well with the subtle undertones of the spearmint. It was very pleasant and when comparing its taste to other mint teas that I have tried. Overall I found the tea to be very refreshing and I got that warm comforting sensation in my tummy as I sipped it.

so would I recommend this tea? Yes definitely. It has a strong but very pleasant aroma and flavour. I personally prefer this. If you prefer a weaker peppermint tea just infuse the  pyramid teabag for a minute and re steep it later to have another cup of tea. So thank you Sainsbury’s for producing a nice mint tea that I can enjoy.

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