Fierce Botanics - Apothecary Tonic No. 1

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How wonderful is it to find new ways to turn classic drinks into something unique? The Amazing Blog found just the tonic to give our favourite drinks, gin & tonic and rum & soda, a new kick. Fierce Botanics being the flavoursome brainchild of A.S Apothecary.

Amanda Saurin is the founder of A.S. Apothecary, a traditional apothecary with over thirty years of experience in the UK and the Levant. She leads a team of ten women and a couple of chaps, who produce a small-batch natural skincare brand that uses ingredients local to the UK. Together, they decided to branch out from the world of botanical skincare, to tonic, with the launch of Fierce Botanics. Their goal is to be transparent, honest, respectful, and environmentally-conscious. They also thrive on collaborations with other green brands, traditional crafters and drinks makers, who share their passion. All of which is highly commendable!

We had the chance to taste Fierce Botanics’ Apothecary Tonic No. 1. This botanical hit immediately had us hooked, with its best quality organic ingredients (like their skincare) used in small batches and ‘done by hand’. Sipping this tonic was a delight! It was a surprise to enjoy such an unusual tonic, with complex flowers and herbs, combined with a subtle citrus tang of bright and bitter notes. Cleverly it allows for a light balance, as none of the ingredients overpower, and it’s easily quaffable with the lightly aerated bubbles. It is a luxurious tonic made from fir and spruce trees, citrus peel, juniper, East Sussex roses, organic cane sugar, and cinchona bark from Ecuador.  What we particularly like is that instead of using a nasty preservative, Fierce Botanics have opted for just a touch of citric acid. It took Fierce Botanics two years of experimenting to perfect this tonic, and we can see why!

Fierce Botanics recommends that their Apothecary Tonic No. 1 be enjoyed as a mixer with spirits such as rum, gin or vodka. Although actually, we have to confess we liked it best by itself, so we could savour the flavours of this sophisticated alcohol-free bevvy. You can purchase the Apothecary Tonic No. 1 250ml here for £3.50 per bottle.

Benecos for Men Only - Bodywash and Deo Spray


Could it be possible to squeeze the efficiency of German engineering into a tube we asked around The Amazing Blog’s water cooler this week? Some argued they had managed it with a rather infamous beer, so why not a range of skincare? Well, fellow enthusiasts, we can report they have come incredibly close with the new organically certified and vegan approved range from Benecos. It has to be said those clever Germans have created something rather wonderful. Sometimes with products which claim to offer the utopian world of skin nourishment to us, they can turn out to be a little on the watery side, or perhaps the fragrance reminds you of a wet weekend in Skegness. Fortunately, here we have something to truly buck that trend, with products free from parabens, paraffins, silicones, synthetic colours and artificial fragrances.

Benecos For Men Only: Body Wash 3-in-1 has got to be tried if only for the fragrance alone - a multitasker with the added benefit of suiting the face and hair too. It's fragrance is very fresh and with a bit of a zing, to provide the boost that some of us are in of to wake up in the shower first thing. The Deodorant Spray is a non-aerosol concept free-from aluminium salts and with an organic mix of 7 precious extract. Again giving the clean scent of freshness which comes from their cocktail of marigold, rosehip, burdock, nettle, st.johns wort, and black elderberry. We reckon it is the small-leaved lime blossom which adds the power-shot of energy.

Unlikely as it is, that we shall ever know the definitive recipe of this delicious concoction; fortunately, all we have to do is bathe and luxuriate in the stuff, before taking on the world in the morning. Benecos For Men Only don’t make any exorbitant claims with their new product, but we should point out that going for a spin under their influence, brought some admiring glances to our polished hubcaps as we purred through town, and our leather upholstery was brushed up against more than once.

All available online, you will also be pleased to hear all this magic is affordable too, at only £5.95 for Men Body Wash 3-in-1 in 200ml. Or the For Men Deo Spray at 75ml at only £6.95.


The Return of Brick Lane’s Oldest Market, Cheshire Street, London

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Sundays are for strolling. After an exciting Friday and jam-packed Saturday, we at The Amazing Blog like to have a bit of a change of pace... The Cheshire Street Market is new to the market scene and strives to support local traders, crafters, and artists who work with recyclable materials, fair trade products, homemade and locally sourced crafts and fashions. Located on Brick Lane, the Cheshire Street Market has an enjoyable, family-friendly environment that we have the pleasure of checking out!

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Revived by the East End Traders Guild, the Cheshire Street Market has a showcase for independent designers to present their polished work to the public. As you may know, The Amazing Blog team are huge fans of art and artisan products, like homewares, art, crafts, jewellery, vintage fashions, and clothing. No worries, Cheshire Street Market has it all! It’s powerful to see in person the hands that made the items we take home. If you’re more of a foodie than you are artsy, not a problem! There are plenty of products tailored uniquely to you such as sauces, spices, and chilli plants.

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We love how the products are handmade, sustainable, and locally produced—far more meaningful than being mass-produced. We are definitely going to get creative in at least one of their offered workshops to hone new skills! Pop by from any Sunday in September 10.00-16.00 to enjoy the lingering summer heat and discover new artisan products! Also to quickly add, many thanks to Cutlass Comms for sending us information and images which were kindly donated by Phil Maxwell and assorted photographs by Jeremy Freedman and Rossana Leal.

The Sweet Beet - Gift Set

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When we get home from work, we not always in the mood to put a lot of effort into our meal prep. That can result in bland, boring dishes. The Amazing Blog lucked out with the discovery of The Sweet Beet. This company’s gourmet jams, jellies, and sauces are made in the UK. All of their five flavours are sure to give a kick to your meal. With her knowledge of the culinary industry, the founder, Lizzy Hodcroft, saw the need for a simple solution to liven up everyday meals. After she was awarded North East Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2017, Lizzie sought to inspire and assist other creative start-ups.

We tried their Gift Set, which comes with four different jars. We found that the Strawberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce (£4.50) combines the sweetness from strawberries with a spicy undertone from the chipotle. According to The Sweet Beets, this sauce is brilliant with salmon and grilled sausages. It can also be used with dessert, like berries, ice-cream, and yoghurt. Their Maple Bacon Jam (£4.95) contains smoked bacon, onions, brown sugar, maple syrup, cider vinegar, garlic, and chilli flakes. This jam is an interesting mixture of salty, sweet, and smokey. As bacon lovers, we gobbled this up! This Great Taste Award 2017 winner is recommended to be enjoyed with pork, burgers, sandwiches, or used as a marinade.

If you have more of a sweet tooth, then we suggest trying the Oak Smoked Apple Butter (£4.95). Its creamy texture makes the apple sweetness and deep smokey flavours that much more decadent. Don’t worry, the Oak Smoked Apple Butter doesn’t contain real butter. Use it over seared scallops or with soft cheeses. Finally, if you consider yourself a beer connoisseur, you’ll love the Texas Beer Jelly (£4.95). This jelly has the savoury hops of an India Pale Ale. Partner it with smoked cheeses or meats.

You can purchase The Sweet Beet Gift Set (four 175g jars) here for £16.95 or individual jars can be purchased here.

UXB - Shower Creams


After a tiring day, nothing feels more refreshing than stepping into a steamy, hot and aromatic shower. The Amazing Blog has reviewed a variety of shower products and certainly weren’t aware that hard water showers could actually strip away natural oils until UXB warned us. This company has given this matter a lot of thought and strives to combat this issue with its handmade line of nourishing Shower Creams. The steam from the shower activates the ingredients formulated in these Shower Creams, allowing the skin to become porous and absorb the rich oils and ingredients. This British brand was founded by Simon who found his inspiration on holiday in Turkey: “Cleansing is the cornerstone of skincare. Without clean skin any other actives you apply will not soak in. Also, when the skin is wet in the shower or bath it is more porous and receptive to actives...  It took a year of formulating and a lot of mistakes to come up with our first shower cream range. We’ve purposefully made a liquid cleanser for ease of use.”

Inside the creams are vitamin-rich oils, specific for each skin type that heal and trap moisture. Whether you suffer from dry, oily, mature or polluted skin, UXB has designed a shower cream targeted for you. Simon very kindly sent us all four of his shower creams to try. The first one we tried was the Frankincense & Argan Shower Cream fights dry and ashy skin. The formula uses argan, avocado and tamanu oils to soften rough areas. Combined with frankincense and black peppers, the essential oils continue to restore skin, producing a healthy glow; and also consists of glycerin that keeps moisture. This formula proved to be great hit with the boys in the office as it has quite a robust fragrance. We also like that when you breathe in the essences of frankincense, black peppers, rosemary, with a hint of the bergamot citrus, it helps to aid relaxation. All products have a pH level of 5/6, the natural acidity of the skin. Purchase a bottle here for £6.

Those of us with slightly more oily skin tried the Brown Rice Milk & Raw Honey Shower Cream. This is made from Dead Sea salt to cleanse with its antioxidant properties. The raw honey is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory that opens blocked pores. The combination of low comedogenic oils still locks in moisturise, while reducing existing sebum. It helps the skin feel less oily without drying it out or going into hyper oil production. This caramel and sage-scented product is deliciously moreish, it almost smells good enough to eat! Buy here for £6.

Next the Juniper & Açaí Berry Shower Cream, this aids polluted and sun damaged skin by strengthening it with the benefiting properties of acai, juniper and black cumin seed oil to mop up stubborn pollutants. This has some of nature’s most powerful antioxidants for this cream and it went on holiday with one of the team. It was reported back that this cream wash was so gentle that it soothed her sunburn and kept the skin flexible and moisturised allowing it to healing and recovery. This is definitely the one to pack for your sunshine holidays. What we also liked was the invigorating yet subtle zesty fragrance from tangerines and oranges. You can buy a bottle here for £6.

Finally, the fourth shower cream: Rosehip & Comfrey Shower Cream which is designed for more mature skin to hydrate, moisturise and revitaliseRose oil is both hydrating and soothing, while hints of vegetable glycerine locks in moisture and helps to plump the skin. The warmed dried comfrey (rich in Allantoin which protects and softens) and gotu kola leaves soaked in pure sunflower oil (which has been used Indian skincare for centuries for its toning properties) give this shower cream it’s richness. The rosehip oil regenerates the skin and primrose oil builds a barrier that creates plumper skin. The combination of rose, ylang ylang and lavender essential oils give the shower cream a floral fragrance and more of an aromatherapy twist than the others. This particular bottle was a great hit with girls in the office. To purchase see here for £6

All shower creams should be applied when skin is damp. Just lather a generous amount all over your body, leave for a few seconds and then wash off. They all left us feeling squeaky clean but none of these UXB Shower Creams dried out our skin, which in turn meant we economised, no need for body lotions or oils!