Review of Lidl Mince Pies

On a recent trip to Lidl I found myself in their Christmas section. Now, if I’m honest I didn’t expect to find anything suitable for a dairy free diet. I was proved wrong as their own brand mince pies were indeed dairy free. There was only one thing for it accidentally place them in my shopping basket to try later on as a sweet treat.

I liked the simplicity of the white and gold colour of the packaging. To front of the packaging is a picture of the mince pies pies, one of which is open with the mincemeat cascading out. I just wanted to dive in and give them a try. Onto the ingredients list wheat, sodium metabisulphite, sulphur dioxide are barley are highlighted as allergens. There is also a may contain warning for nuts.

On opening the packaging I was greeted by an aroma that I associate with apple pies. I thought that this was little strange as they were mince pies. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. I was the therefore a little confused as to what I was about to eat. The mince pies are a good size. To the top you have a slightly crunchy burnt 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. I always check this as I don’t like a soggy bottom. So this was a positive.

On biting into the mince pie I got a slight crunch from the pastry followed by crumbliness then a slight doughiness as I reached the bottom of the pie. To be honest I would rather have a soggy bottom rather than the doughiness that I experienced. Onto the filling there was a good quantity of mincemeat coated in what I would describe as a slightly seasoned syrup. The mincemeat filling was slightly crunchy and worked well with the syrup. Sadly the flavour of the mincemeat filling was quiet bland. The only real flavour that I could distinguish was apple. The other flavours from the rest of the fruit and mixed spice just seemed to be lacking. It was not really the mincemeat flavour that I had hoped for.

So would I recommend these Lidl mince pies if you follow a dairy free diet? I am afraid not I just didn’t enjoy anything about these mince pies from their aroma through to the flavour and texture. Sorry Lidl but these mince pies just weren’t for me.

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Review of Marks & Spencer Festive Classic Tea

I know that it’s a tad early for a Christmas review but I decided to start very early this year. Whilst on a day out shopping at Bluewater my mum and we decided to pop into Marks & Spencer food hall to pick up a few treats. I’ve not tried any Christmas teas so far this year so when I saw a packet of festive classic tea in Marks & Spencer I grabbed a box to try.

Onto the packaging I liked the deep colour of the box red. I found the picture with a single Christmas tree branch above a cup with a teabag hovering above a tad dull. Onto the ingredients Kenyan and Rwandan teas are listed. No allergens are highlighted and there is a no may contain warning.

On opening the box I was greeted by a sealed foil package containing the teabags. I like this as it keeps the tea nice and fresh. On opening the packet I got an aroma of an everyday black tea, nothing special. It certainly didn’t remind me of Christmas. The aroma did not change on my close up sniff test. I placed the teabag in my teacup and added freshly boiled water. The teabag soon infused with the hot water and it changed a medium / dark brown colour. I let the tea infuse for 3 minutes as instructed despite normally having my tea medium weak and milk free. The aroma from the teacup was pretty non descript it smelt like an everyday black tea. On sipping the tea it tasted like its aroma and I was unable to distinguish between the two elements to this tea. It just tasted like an everyday black tea. I was a tad disappointed by this to say the least.

So would I recommend this Christmas tea? As a festive tea definitely not. It lacked any ingredients that you associate with a festive tea. It was just like regular tea in a festive themed box. A bit of clever marketing which I sadly fell for. Sorry Marks & Spencer but this tea just wasn’t for me.

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Review of Alpro Unroasted & Unsweetened Almond Milk

Well my mission to try some new dairy free milks has not been that successful. So I am trying really hard to find some new dairy free milks to try. One of my favourite milks is almond as I like it’s fairly neutral flavour and that it’s low in calories. So when I saw my regular almond milk was out of stock I decided to try Alpro’s unroasted and unsweetened almond milk instead.

I liked both the colour and design of the packaging. It’s cream background with almonds with the milk cascading outside. Onto the ingredients list with 2.1% almonds noted. The almond is clearly highlighted in bold as an allergen. There is a may contain warning for nuts. The milk is labelled as being milk free, gluten free and suitable for vegans.

On opening the carton there was a subtle marzipan like aroma to the milk. I’m personally not keen on milks that have a sweet artificial aroma but I was intrigued by this aroma. It poured easily into a glass it was cream/faint green in colour. It was slightly runny and wasn’t really creamy in consistency. On sipping the milk it was slightly smooth but not creamy in texture. There was a pleasant faint but subtle marzipan flavour to this milk. That said it didn’t taste artificially sweet compared to other brands that I have previously tried. I also warmed the milk for 90 seconds in the microwave ready for my famous Weetabix test. It microwaved well and did not separate or form a skin to the top of the milk. Its marzipan like aroma intensified slightly. It was absorbed easily by the Weetabix. On tasting the Weetabix the milk impacted on its flavour. This may sound a little strange but the Weetabix tasted a little like an almond based cake. The subtleness of the flavour was spot on and it added a great flavour to my Weetabix. It made for an enjoyable breakfast.

So would I recommend this almond milk? Yes I would. I liked everything about this milk from its aroma through to its flavour. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegan diet why not give this almond milk a try. So thank you Alpro for producing an almond milk that I can enjoy.

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Review of Tea Tourist Hats & Scarves Selection Box

Now I am a girl who loves her cups of tea. Not a day goes by when I don’t help myself to a cup of tea. It’s fair to say I’m a bit of a tea addict. Blogging has enlightened my tea palate encouraging me to try a variety of new teas. I love tea subscription boxes as they are a great way to discover new teas. So when I was lucky enough to receive Tea Tourist October’s selection of teas I couldn’t wait to dive in. Tea Tourist is a Derbyshire based subscription service that sends you a selection of loose leaf teas that you might not find delivered to your door each month. They choose from a range of companies from around the UK.

Onto the contents within the box. You get six resealable packets of different teas which contain 3-4 cups worth of tea. You get a card detailing the information about the tea that you have received. Each tea has its own tasting card with details of the company, a little about the tea, how and when best to steep the tea and a section for you to add your own notes, creating a nice little reference guide.

Mazawattee Earl Grey Tea by Mazawattee


I choose this tea first as it is one of my favourite teas. It is described as delicate blend of Faitrade black teas infused with orange and lemon peel. The tea produces a zesty and aromatic brew that’s naturally high in antioxidants, making it great for boosting your mood and supporting healthy digestion.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list or no may contain warning.

On opening the packet I was greeted by a strong and very inviting citrus aroma, it reminded me of a quality bergamot. I added freshly boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. The aroma was as I had anticipated that being of a strong quality black tea with fairly strong undertones of citrus noted. This intensified slightly on my famous close up sniff test. On sipping the tea it was fairly strong and well balanced and the subtle undertones the lemon and orange peel broke this up slightly resulting in a nice refreshing tea. I love a nice cup of earl grey and this certainly ticked all of the right boxes. It had the perfect balance of both aroma and flavour that I associate with a nice earl grey. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Mint Choc Royale By JollyBrew Tea Co


It is described as a peppermint blend infused with chocolatey flavours that delivers a truly mouth watering brew which tastes just like everyone’s favourite after dinner mint. It’s the ultimate guilt-free sweet treat, perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list and there is a warning that nuts are handled on-site.

On opening the packet a I was greeted with a fairly strong peppermint aroma with a fruity yet chocolatey twist. I added boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. The aromas of the peppermint and fruity chocolate intensified resulting in the aroma from the black tea getting a little lost as a result. On sipping the tea I initially got hit with the taste of a good quality everyday black tea but this didn’t last long. The peppermint and fruity chocolatey flavours soon kicked in. It was like my taste buds were getting hit from all angles. If I am honest I found it a little overpowering although I think some one with a sweet tooth may think differently. Sorry Jolly Brew this tea just wasn’t for me.

Spiced Orange Pekoe Tea by Spice Kitchen


It is described as a black tea blend inspired by Eastern European and Russian cuisine that balance the zesty flavour of orange peel with the spice Ines of cinnamon and cloves to deliver a heart-warming brew that’s perfect on a cold winters day.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list or a may contain warning. On opening the packet I was greeted by a very pleasant aroma of citrus and cloves with a subtle hint of cinnamon noted.

I added freshly boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. The first thing that I noticed was the colour of the tea it was slightly weaker and a lighter shade of brown than what I had expected. Don’t get me wrong it looked like the perfect colour to me. Then came the aroma the orange, cloves and cinnamon took centre stage and was very inviting. It reminded very much of a nice chai tea. On sipping the tea my experience was the same the strength of orange, cloves and cinnamon intensified with the flavour from the black tea taking second place. I enjoyed everything about this tea from its aroma through to its flavour. It was a comforting yet refreshing tea that would be perfect in the colder months. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Vika Tea by The Tea Expereince


To is described as A Scandivian-inspired black tea blend infused with sweet flavours of vanilla and floral notes of marigold blossom. Originally developed for Harrogate’s Nordic-themed cafe, Baltzersen’s it’s perfect to enjoy on a starry winter nights.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list or a may contain warning.

On opening the packet I was greeted by a very pleasant aroma of vanilla, with a faint flora noted. I added freshly boiled water to the tea and infused as instructed. The aroma of the vanilla intensified slightly. It was clearly the predominant flavour to this tea yet it was not too strong or overpowering or artificially sweet. This intermingled with a subtle floral element from the marigold blossom. On sipping the tea it was a very mild black tea that had a subtle sweetness from the vanilla with a slight floral kick. The three elements to this tea complimented each other perfectly with the right balance to each ingredient. I enjoyed everything about this tea from its aroma through to its flavour. It is one of nicest vanilla teas that I have tried. I would definitely recommend this tea and purchase it in the future.

Turmeric Revival by MD Tea


It is described as a soothing herbal blend with sweet spice and soft citrus flavours that come together to creat a heart-warming brew with a smooth, creamy texture and fragrant aroma of autumnal nights around the fire.

Onto the ingredients list liquorice is listed and there is no may contain warning.

On opening the packet I was immediately struck by the ginger and liquorice aroma. I was pleasant but I was a little disappointed by this I was hoping to be greeted by the turmeric and a hint of cinnamon. I added freshly boiled water and infused the tea as instructed. On doing so the aroma of the ginger and liquorice intensified and seemed to overpower the other aromas from this tea. On sipping the tea my tastebuds got hit by an even balance from the ginger and liquorice followed by a subtle floral aftertaste. I was disappointed that I was unable to distinguish the turmeric or cinnamon element to this tea. I am afraid that I really didn’t enjoy this tea I found that the aroma and flavour from the ginger and liquorice just overpowered the other ingredients in this tea. I’m sorry MDTea but this tea just wasn’t for me.

Time For Winter by Caley’s Apothecary


It is described as an organic herbal blend that balances the sweetness of liquorice, spicy zing of ginger and earthy floral notes of thyme and elderflower to deliver a soothing brew that will keep you cosy warm on cold winter evenings.

There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list and there is a warning that asteraceae.

On opening the packet the I immediately got hit by the delightful aroma from the sage. It was a little stronger than I had anticipated and slightly overpowered the aroma from the other ingredients from this tea. I added freshly boiled water and infused the tea as instructed. The sage aroma intensified and was intermingled with the liquorice. I was a little disappointed as I was unable to distinguish the elderflower of ginger root elements to this tea even on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea it tasted just like its aroma. The sage and liquorice were quiet strong and seemed to drown out the elderflower and ginger root. I am afraid that I really didn’t enjoy this tea. Whilst I loved the initial aroma from the thyme the combination of this with liquorice impacted on the other elements to this tea. A mixture of thyme and liquorice just isn’t for me.

So would I recommend this subscription box? Yes I would. I really enjoyed the opportunity to try a diverse range of teas that Tea Tourist offers. It allowed me discover a new variety of tea companies without having to hunt them down myself. It’s a great and convenient way to try new teas. I can’t wait to try the next box.

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Review of Chocologic Free From Christmas Chocolate Lollies

This year I decided that I should make it my mission to start my Christmas reviews early. So when I discovered that Tesco’s had launched their Christmas free from range I had to pop in store and find out more. Sadly, a lot of the section was already out of stock. However, there was chocolate and I love chocolate so I decided to grab some to try. The first festive chocolate I decided to try was Chocologic free from lollies.

I personally liked the packaging, simple clear cellophane which means you can tell exactly what you are going to eat. To the back is a white label with the ingredients list. It is clearly labelled as being dairy free and suitable for a vegan diet. Onto the ingredients list with regards to allergens soya is highlighted. There is a may contain warning for peanuts and nuts.


On opening the packaging I was immediately greeted by a subtle aroma of sweetness that I associate with free from the chocolate. I was looking forward to trying this chocolate Santa. The actual chocolate is made up of one piece which was impossible to break into pieces. On biting into the chocolate my taste buds were first hit by the sweetness from the chocolate. Onto the chocolates texture. The chocolate was slightly hard to initially bite into. This soon became smooth in texture and melted slightly in the mouth. I ate this chocolate in one sitting and confess to licking the stick it was on to make sure that nothing was left behind.

So would I recommend this chocolate Santa? Yes I would It is a great value festive chocolate with the right balance of flavour and texture. So if you like chocolate and follow a dairy free, gluten free and or vegan diet give this festive treat try. So thank you Chocologic for producing festive chocolate that I can enjoy.

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Review of Sainsbury’s Lemon & Ginger Infusion Tea

I am lady who loves her cups of tea. Sometimes I can be a little naughty and find myself having a bit too much caffeine. Despite this I am still on my mission to reduce my caffeine intake continues and I am always on the look out for a new caffeine free tea to try. I tend to find lemon and ginger a nice comforting tea so when I popped into Sainsbury’s recently I decided to grab a box of their lemon & ginger tea to try. I fell for vibrant deep autumnal orange colour of the packaging of this tea. To the bottom of the packet is a black teacup decorated with orange segments flowers and leaves again in autumnal colours. The tea is clearly marketed as being naturally caffeine free.

Onto the ingredients list. Apple, apple pulp, ginger root (20%), flavouring, rosehip, lemongrass, chicory root, lemon peels (0.5%). I am always personally put off by generic flavourings and would like to know exactly what this means. There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list and there are no may contain warnings.

On opening the cardboard box foil packaging I was immediately hit by a very fairly strong aroma of lemon and ginger. This remained the same on my close up sniff test and was even noticeable on sniffing an individual teabag. I placed my teabag into my teacup and added my freshly boiled water as instructed. What immediately struck me was the immediate ginger aroma coming from the tea. I infused the tea with the hot water as instructed for 3 minutes. On removing the teabag there was a distinct aroma of lemon with subtle undertones of ginger noted. This slightly intensified on my close up sniff test. On sipping the tea I was initially hit with the lemon element followed by the faint subtle undertone of ginger. I wasn’t able to taste the apple or chicory but this didn’t bother me as I only really wanted to taste the lemon & ginger. I found this tea to be refreshing yet comforting and soothing on my stomach at the same time. I have personally found it to be a little hit and miss with the previous Sainsbury’s teas that I have tried. I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised by this tea.

So would I recommend this lemon & ginger tea, yes I would. I liked everything about this tea from its aroma through to its flavour. It was a refreshing yet comforting tea, perfect for the cooler months. So thank you Sainsbury’s for producing a lovely lemon and ginger tea.

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Review of Lidl Bats & Webs Barbecue Snacks

With Halloween fast approaching I found myself in Lidl looking at their special buys section. Next to this I spotted a display of Halloween themed savoury snacks. I spotted a packet which was barbecue flavour and decided to grab a packet to take home to try.

I liked the simple orange packaging with a picture of a bat to the centre and a spider on a web to the bottom left of the front of the packet. In addition to this there is an accurate picture of the snacks inside and the phrase terrifyingly tasty to the top right corner. Onto the ingredients list no allergens are highlighted. No allergens are highlighted on the ingredients list and there is a may contain warning for gluten.

On opening the packet I was greeted by a fairly weak barbecue aroma. This aroma did not change on my famous close up sniff test. The snacks were of a varying sizzle and in the shape of webs and bats. They didn’t have an obvious scattering of the barbecue flavouring on them. On biting into the chips was a nice clean crunch was noted. The barbecue flavouring wasn’t scattered eveningly across the snacks and as a result it was hit and miss on the flavour front. After trying a few snacks there was a powdery residual left on my fingers from the flavouring. A little disappointing as the flavouring on the snacks were a little hit and miss in the first place. So loosing more of this may have impacted on the strength of the flavour which wasn’t that strong in the first place.

So would I recommend these barbecue snacks, no I wouldn’t. I liked the festive style of this savoury snack and enjoyed their crunchy texture. But their lack of flavour and powdery residual just outweighed this. So if you follow a dairy free, or a vegan diet I would give this Halloween treat a miss. Sorry Lidl but this festive savoury treat just wasn’t for me.

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