Thursday, 15 November 2018

Get Inspired with Manchester Vegan Christmas Market this weekend

With an estimated 3.5 million people, and rising, in the UK identifying themselves as vegan, there’s never been a better time to find out more about this growing lifestyle choice. The Manchester Vegan Christmas Market happening on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November 2018,  features a wealth of exciting Christmas gift ideas, workshops, and new seasonal food to try and buy...

Vegan Festival Organiser Victoria Bryceson says, “With the number of people in the UK describing themselves as vegan at an all-time high, there’s a massive demand around the country for vegan-friendly events. Our festivals are set to be a fantastic day out whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or simply vegan-curious. The idea behind the festivals is to educate and inform everyone about the vegan lifestyle and offer support to anybody who would like to try it.”

Each festival includes a wide variety of fantastic stalls selling Christmas gifts, world food caterers, exciting cookery demos, inspirational talks, interactive workshops, yoga, a wide range of free food samples to try, and children’s activities running throughout the day.

Food on offer includes a varied and exciting array of plant-based hot and cold dishes, including Asian, Mediterranean, Indian, Greek, Hotdogs, Burgers, Street Food, Raw Food and Gourmet Food! There will also be a huge range of Christmas food, pies, cakes, chocolates, cookies, doughnuts, sandwiches and salads to take away as well as alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, juices, smoothies, tea and coffee. Plus there are lots of exciting foods and other products not available in the shops.

There will be a great selection of non food stalls at the event selling a wide variety of items including  gifts, fashion, footwear, jewellery, beauty and skincare products, candles, crafts, clothing, footwear, homeware, gifts and charity merchandise.

If you are thinking about going vegan, have tried being vegan before but have come across some challenges or you’re a new vegan, the event has talks and workshops giving ideas on what to buy, where to eat, and how to deal with family and friends and to answer any questions you have about going vegan.

The festival is run in partnership with animal welfare charities including Miracle's Mission. “It’s all about trying new things and opening people’s eyes to new possibilities,” continues Victoria. “Cutting out meat and dairy from your diet is easier than you might think and many people are increasingly looking for alternatives as they want to live more healthily and ethically. They want to find out more about the new innovative foods and recipes now available and want to do it affordably. Our festival will educate people on how to do all of this.”

These events also help local homeless people, whilst also helping to reduce food waste. Stall holders are asked to donate any surplus food at the end of the festival, and a group of volunteers distributes it to homeless people after the event, providing a hot meal as well as cold dishes.

The Manchester Vegan Christmas Market takes place on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November 2018 from 10.30am to 4.30pm, at Sachas Hotel, Tib Street, Back Piccadilly, Manchester, M4 1SH. Entry is from just £3 (under 16’s free) and this includes entry to all areas and activities. Standard tickets are purchased at the door on the day. VIP tickets, £15, include fast track entry and a goody bag full of vegan products, samples, discounts and offers can be purchased in advance but sell out quickly. For more information please visit or

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Xmas Gift Guide

We have now seen the back of Halloween and bonfire night and that can mean only one thing.... the countdown to Christmas begins, with many shops already decorated and have shelves full of gifts, food and decorations then I though it time to put together a little gift guide of a few things I would like to see under the Xmas tree.

One gift I always end up rushing around and finding last minute is a teachers gift and it usually results in a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine, so I absolutely love the look of these prosecco gummies from Personally presented, and better still you can personalise the label with your very own message making it a gift any teacher will love, and as a pre school worker I would love to receive something like this as an alternative to chocolates.

These alcohol-free bottle gummies are soft and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Personalised 'It's Prosecco O' Clock' Gummies Jar can be personalised with a name or role in UPPERCASE of up to 12 characters. 'It's PROSECCO O' Clock' is fixed. Sweet Jar and Contents weigh a total of 400g costing £15.49

For the techy traveller a good dash cam is a must, with dashcam evidence being used for insurance purposes and even helping solve motoring offences they are fast becoming a must have item for anyone who travels a lot, so how about one of these dash cams from Nextbase, plenty of choice to ensure you find the ideal one to suit your needs

With Prices starting at just £49.99 for the Nextbase 112 featuring 720p HD recording capabilities, a 2.0” LED colour screen, a 5-element glass lens and a 120-degree viewing angle into just 360g of Dash Cam. Combined with the magnetic Click & Go mount, the 112 is as light and compact as it is easy to use, ensuring you can be recording your next journey just minutes after opening the box.

Now it is no secret I like a gin or two so how about a bottle from The English drinks company, at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) 2018 – considered to be the most prestigious competition of its kind in the world The English Drinks Company scooped a coveted Silver for its The Orangery Gin (a delicious, traditionally crafted gin infused with Valencian oranges, that boasts zesty, citrus notes and a delicate smooth finish) and a Bronze for its popular Classic Pink Gin (which fuses the subtle flavours of pomegranate and chinchona bark to create a wonderful smooth taste designed to appeal to all palates). They also have a fabulous Cucumber Gin but if like me you struggle to find a favourite then why not order this gift pack for the gin lover in your life at just £18.00 they or you can try all three. 

Having a hectic lifestyle can be really draining on your skin and I hate to admit it but as I am getting older I need to consider looking after my skin more and also find ways to unwind and relax from the pressures of work and parenthood. A good quality pamper gift set is always a winner and this Moroccan Hammam Spa gift pack from Vie Naturals is just perfect.

Each set consists of Beldi Black Soap with Eucalyptus (200g), Rhassoul Clay (200g) from the Atlas Mountains and Argan Oil (50ml), all sourced from Morocco for an authentic Hammam experience, one of the oldest cleansing traditions in the world.
Start your wellness ceremony with Moroccan Beldi Black Soap. A cleansing gel enriched with eucalyptus oil to revitalise the senses, it works to cleanse and soften the outer layers of your skin in preparation for exfoliation.
The Rhassoul Clay, extracted from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, is among the finest in the world and is renowned for its high mineral content. Rich in silica and magnesium, the clay absorbs toxins and impurities whilst moisturising skin. It can be used as a facial mask, cleanser and shampoo.
Finally, conclude your ritual with Menara Argan Oil. Rich in vitamin E, this nourishing body oil is used to soften, hydrate and moisturise nails, hair and skin.
The Spa Kit includes an exfoliating kessa glove to help remove dead skin cells, toxins and impurities, and an ethically sourced coconut spoon made from the palm of coconut trees (a metallic spoon should not be used with the clay due to its reactive properties).
Suitable for all skin types, the Vie Naturals Moroccan Hammam Spa Ritual costs £18.95 from amazon

Staying with the beauty theme how about this make up brush cleanser from StylPro, now if like me you are a daily make up wearer then this is going to be a god send to keeping brushes clean and bacteria free

When did you last clean your makeup brushes? To avoid build-up of germs, professionals recommend cleaning your makeup brushes once a week. The revolutionary StylPro device invented by BBC's The Apprentice Winner Tom Pellereau uses centrifugal spin technology and is proven to clean and dry makeup brushes in less than 30 seconds. This stunning new Glitter StylPro gift set complete with glossy black StylPro makeup brushes and a 150ml bottle of our incredible cleanser is everything any makeup lover needs for amazingly clean and dry brushes. Also available in rose gold and pearlescent and at £49.99 it will make the perfect gift.

Produced in Kent is a trade organisation for promoting, food, drink, products and services in Kent, keeping trade local to them and promoting local businesses and services, Produced in Kent has just launched Kent Food Trails which are bespoke tailored food and drinks trails in Kent, to make your own train head to
 As I am a real foodie and like a drink or two I love going to local food shows/ markets when we are on our travels, the idea of promoting and buying local to wherever you are really appeals so I bring you a few ideas of what you can find locally produced in Kent all of whom are members of Produced in Kent, and I am sure if you go looking you will find plenty of products and services local to you that could help keep the high St alive with local traders. 

Coffee lovers will love these coffee beans from Real Deal Roasters, they come in a gift pack of 4 for £12, or 8 for £20, they can be found at local markets and various outlets throughout Kent as well as online.

For the gin lovers then you must try this Anno Cranberry and Gin, Kent dry gin infused with tart cranberries for many months before adding cloves, cassia and sweet orange to create this limited edition drink. 

For the ale lover then how about - Shepherd Neame’s Christmas Ale, £2.49 for 500ml bottle
Christmas Ale is brewed using 100% natural ingredients, drawing chalk-filtered mineral water from the artesian well deep below Shepherd Neame in Faversham, along with the finest malting barley and Kentish hops, including Target and Challenger for bitterness, and Goldings for aroma.

Now I know I would be happy to find these gifts under the tree and hope it has given you some inspiration for gift ideas.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

#YourLiverpoolONE Making the Xmas shop a little easier

We all know how stressful this time of year can get and the thought of hours of Christmas shopping and travel are not appealing at all, this is why I try to make the effort to book time away and really make a weekend of it and one my most favourite places is Liverpool.

Whether it's a romantic break, a hen do, a family break or just simply a get away from the rat race kind of weekend then Liverpool has it all for any occasion, there is culture, sports arenas, shops galore, museums, attractions or trips to the theatre, so no excuse for not having a good time.
From experience we have had an absolute blast on hen do weekends in Liverpool, the food places and bars are endless and full of character, it can be quirky and never a dull moment is to be had. You can find plenty of different group booking experiences to fill the days, and visit the famous haunts like the cavern club during the evening, a real weekend to remember. 

One thing I love about Liverpool is the fact that whatever it is you want to do, or whatever your reason for visiting you can find all your eating, drinking and shopping needs met in one place at Liverpool ONE as well as an Odeon Cinema. Liverpool ONE offers restaurants to meet everyone's tastes including your favourite names- Five Guys, Jamie's, Pizza Express, TGI Fridays and many more, there are a variety bars offering plentiful entertainment, my favourite being Bierkeller for the experience and entertainment and who doesn't love dancing on the benches with a stein glass in hand? and not forgetting the shops, all your high st stores and more ensures you will always find the perfect gift, outfit or latest trend on the school yard for the kids! Perfect for a weekend of Xmas shopping, shop a bit, drink a bit, a bite to eat and shop some more, ideal for everyone! And not only that there are always events running at locations through Liverpool ONE throughout the year! 

So there is absolutely no excuse to dread the Christmas shop this year, book a hotel, relax, and take full advantage of all Liverpool ONE and the City has to offer.