Luxury PR

Holly Golightly Cider from Celtic Marches

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Today we unashamedly revisit our friends over in Herefordshire at Celtic Marches in fact The Amazing Blog previously featured their delicious Thundering Molly Cider way back in 2014! Today they have now come up with another hugely tempting bottle, only this time with one of the most iconic images of cinematic history: Holly Golightly

Any fans of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, brace yourselves for something very special indeed, today we are focusing on the heroine of that movie herself - the fabulously complicated and utterly beguiling Holly Golightly. The image is unmistakeable - perfect undo coiffed to perfection, the long black gloves, little black dress and the Audrey Hepburn pout jumps out at you from the label, making a beeline for our shopping basket. 

Standing alongside such diverse characters as Loubi Lou, and Nell Gwynne, Holly Golightly is no doubt going to make her mark in the drinks cabinet, just as she did on screen, but at just 0.5%ABV, her low alcohol content comes out as far more virtuous! Having said that, this is no wishy-washy concoction, but rather a full-flavoured medium cider, as you would expect from 100% pressed cider applessuitable for vegans and no gluten makes this a sure fire winner across the board. Available in bottles, and cans, cases of 12 can be purchased for just £22.99 here, where the complete range and all the other characters that Celtic Marches have created, are just waiting to be discovered. Now all we need is our wrought iron fire escape, ‘Cat’ to brush past us and ‘Moon River’ playing in the background, and we can have ourselves an evening of unadulterated movie nostalgia … relax and enjoy!

Friday Favourites - Summer Cookbooks

 

Today The Amazing Blog wants to share with you some of our #amazingfinds with four new cookbooks that have encouraged us to create some fantastic international dishes for our friends. Our gastronomic journey starts with India moves onto to Morocco and then the Philippines and returns back to the UK just in time to put the BBQ on!

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Let’s kicked off by something of a whirlwind of inspiration in the culinary prowess of Asma Khan, who moved to the UK in 1991 from Calcutta without any knowledge of how to cook, but a firm belief in the power of food to bring people together, and the opportunities created through this to forge new friendships, learning of different cultures and traditions along the way. Although it was British constitutional law which focused her attentions to begin with, having finished her doctorate in 2012, she turned her entrepreneurial talents towards the kitchen, and has been gaining awards and garnering attention ever since. As a descendant of the ancient Rajput Suryavanshi Bargujar clan on her paternal side, and pioneering tea planters in Darjeeling from her maternal ancestry, Asma’s heritage is undisputed, and her book ‘Asma’s Indian Kitchen’ is a delicious romp through India’s rich history, and culinary voyage. “Your food should feel like an embrace” she tells us, and such warmth emanates from the pages. Beautifully photographed and with anecdotes peppered throughout, her book really is a delight to enjoy in and out of the kitchen! Her Shahi Kofta - or lamb meatballs in a rich gravy - are a sensation, as are her stuffed bell peppers - or Bharwa Simla Mirch to use the correct terminology … useful to know, especially if you fancy trying out her award-winning restaurant Darjeeling Express in Soho. Published by Pavilion Books for £14.99  and available here .

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If Morocco is more your thing, then Nargisse Benkabbou is offering up “Casablanca - My Moroccan Food” to encourage us to whip out that tagine, and start making magic with the amazing flavours of her culture, but often with a mix of Western dishes too. Again, here we don’t just have a culinary manual to enjoy, but rather more an introduction to how these foods fit within the gloriously colourful culture and traditions. Nargisse began sharing her feasting knowledge originally through a highly successful blog, ‘My Moroccan Food’, and this book is the natural result of those posts. If you are partial to a spot of marinating - and who of us aren’t - then try the Sweet Chermoula Seared Beef, which promises a ‘flavour bomb’, and we love the idea of a dish taking us to far-flung places with the aromas of Casablanca which are promised in the Amlou Rolls.So many temptations to try, and written with a warmth and friendliness utterly reminiscent of Morocco herself. Octopus Books have brought us this one, priced at £20 and available here 

 

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Perhaps the Philippines as a gastronomic destination gets your taste buds going? The New Filipino Kitchen is another huge spectrum of different tastes and flavours from the myriad of islands with so much to explore, and brought to us digitally thanks to Jacqueline Chio-Lauri who has edited a collection of fascinating stories, giving extra meaning to each recipe from a wide ranging assortment of cuisine masters - and all for us to try from the comfort of our laptop. Describing the chapters under the heading of simply ‘seafood’, ‘meat’ or ‘desserts’ feels a little like short-changing this extensive jaunt around those 7000 or so islands which make up such a vibrant nation. However, the ‘New Filipino Kitchen’ is a serious contender for our attention if culinary escapism is your thing. Quite unique with the information it relays, this book could send us into a frenzy - imagine if you will ‘Stuffed Fish Grilled in Banana Leaves and Eggplant Salad with Toasted Pancetta’, or to translate that properly and pay due homage, ‘Inihaw Na Isda At Ensaladang Talong’ … Well Imagine it no longer, simply turn to page 36, and enter Tasting Heaven! Both digital and hard copies are available on Amazon here from £15.18

 

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Now, it would seem churlish not to include a cookbook with origins a little closer to home, and of course there is an enormous library of titles to choose from, but one which stands out with an irresistible edge is the “Fresh Veggie BBQ” by David & Charlotte Bailey,encouraging us to embrace the outdoor option of serving up a meal from a vegetarian friendly barbecue menu. Completely eschewing any notion that vegetarian food has to be less colourful or indeed tasty, David and Charlotte give us 60 recipe options like ‘Caramelized Bananas with Vanilla Ice Cream’, ‘Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips’ or - and this one is seriously tempting ‘Wild Mushroom & Artichoke One-Pot Pie’ to dispel those myths completely. However, this time of course our kitchen is found in the great outdoors through the tradition that is ‘barbecue’ which of course is a culture within itself. With advice on the different options open to us, from using dutch ovens to the very impressive discipline of burying our ingredients in hot ash and embers - otherwise known as ‘rescoldo’, we have an encyclopaedia of vegetarian goodies to try out -and with the weather back here at home offering us it’s most favourable conditions (Ok well that was in July perhaps not August!) We can’t be the only ones twitching to get those charcoals burning! Published by Pavilion Books with an RRP of £14.99 here the ‘Fresh Veggie BBQ’ is a must.

…And with all these delicious ideas, we’re preparing to cook up a storm this Bank Holiday weekend!

War Paint Makeup For Men - Concealer/ Tinted Moisturiser

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Stand by your beds troops, we are about to be brought to attention - or is that ‘TEN-SHUN’? Well, whichever is besides the point, just so long as our skin is primed and ready for action… if not, the very exciting range from Warpaint Makeup For Men that has been lined up with military precision on this desk at The Amazing Blog is just what you need. Brace yourselves boys, we have got to pull our socks up and focus on bringing our grooming regime up to scratch, or accept defeat in the face of … well the face really!

Warpaint Makeup For Men, was launch by Daniel Gray who shares with us his struggle with body dysmorphic disorder, which propelled him on his journey starting the brand and helping other, he tells us: “I still struggle every single day with how I look but every day I’m learning how to handle it and I wouldn’t have progressed and come as far as I have if it hadn’t of been for makeup”. He also went on to say, “I’m in no way saying that makeup is a cure for bullies, or a miracle serum for low self-esteem and lack of confidence. But using makeup has really helped me manage my BDD and by creating War Paint, I hope it opens a door for men to also get the support they need from makeup.” The brand has broken the stigma that makeup is just for women by creating this masculine looking range of vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics. Apparently, there is a difference between men and women’s skin, men’s skin ranges from nearly 25% thicker due to the testosterone production which in turn creates more sebum and increases the oil produced.

Taking care of our skin is nothing new, in fact unless we have been cowering under a stone for the past 20 years, then each of us will have to some extent a daily routine of keeping our skin in as perky a condition as possible - the fact we are here tapping away merrily on the laptop at all is evidence of that. However, the inevitable has become mainstream, and now simply maintaining what Mother Nature gave us, is not enough - now we have to be making the very best of what we have with the help of Warpaint- great name to help recruitment, and great product for those of us who have already signed up and are now committed to showing ourselves at our best on the frontline!

The Tinted Moisturiser  is three products in one - a foundation, moisturiser and concealerLight and easily absorbed, the tint just gives an extra depth to your skin tone, and if you need help choosing what skin type you are, then head over to here to see all the options to discover. For heavier blemishes or scars, we have the Warpaint Concealer in our arsenal to help cover those up, containing tea tree oil to boost the epidermis whilst in action. As a tip, we found using the handy shaped Face Sponge to apply the concealer which is available as part of the full range, made life a lot easier, but both products can be applied with the fingers if unarmed combat is more your thing. Costing £22 for 30ml of the Tinted Moisturiser here and £18 for a 5g pot of Concealer here, funding this weaponry for the daily battle ahead isn’t going to break the bank. All products are available through their website  here. BTW with every one their Concealers that you buy, War Paint will donate 50p from each concealer sale to CALM Campaign Against Living Miserably. This charity promotes the freedom of talking about the burdens that men face and the positive affect that a simple chat can have, when you’re just not feeling quite yourself. So remember troops - YOUR skin needs YOU!

Woodsetton Art Pottery's Workshop

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After a long week, there's nothing better than doing relaxing and creative activity. We think that pottery achieves just that, allowing us to take the time-out immersing ourselves in something that doesn't involve work, emails or social media. Something we actively try and encourage at The Amazing Blog, so we were excited to learn more about the Woodsetton Art Pottery's classes.

We came across Woodsetton Art Pottery's is the brainchild of Lorraine Bates, who aims to tailor classes, ensuring everyone leaves with a newfound knowledge (whether you're brand new to pottery, or more experienced). Based in Woodsetton, West Midlands, there is a space for everyone, from beginner classes to throwing and glazing. With a maximum of seven people per workshop, the courses aim to improve everyone’s creative skills, gaining optimum knowledge and interaction with a pottery professional. The studio is also well equipped, with electric potter wheels and a range of equipment for hand builders and sculptures.

The beginner's pottery course includes hand building, extruding and sculpting. The aim is that every student will learn to throw on the wheel, giving the opportunity to let your inner child out (and to get your hands dirty in the process). If you choose only to do this course, then you can make use of Lorraine's extensive experience, paying £2 per piece for her to tidy/turn your work, with subsequent biscuit firing, glazing and glaze firing. This means that however skilled you prove to be (or not), you will leave with a professionally finished piece.

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For a more advanced course, Lorraine offers throwing courses. These are a day long, with a maximum of five students, allowing each person access to their own wheel - improving throwing and turning techniques. Alternatively, if glazing is your interest, then there is also a separate glazing workshop. Here you will learn to apply different glazes, colours and dippings, to make your pieces true works of art. The created pots can also be decorated with sponging, stencilling and brushing.

The Raku Day workshop is slightly different, allowing students to bring in their own works from home (size permitting), to decorate and glaze in the workshop. The extensive experience of Woodsetton Pottery will ensure that you leave with new glaze recipes, with the focus being to teach correct mixing techniques, including ways in which to reduce oxidisation.

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If you’re interested in enhancing your creative personality, the workshops run from 10am-4pm during both the week, and on Saturdays. There is also the possibility to arrange a group workshop for you and your friends. Up to six wonderfully decorated objects are included in the fee, which will be bisque fired and glazed, and available for collection within four weeks. Generally, day courses are £75 each (Monday to Friday) and £90 on Saturdays, You can also purchase gift vouchers as a special treat for loved ones. You might like to attend a workshop in August (subject to availability)⚱17th August - Places - £90 - Throwing on the wheel plus associated handbuilding and decorating techniques. Suitable for beginner or those honing their techniques.⚱25th August - Places - £90 - Throwing on the wheel plus associated hand-building and decorating techniques. Suitable for beginner or those honing their techniques. Otherwise from September onwards course dates will 3 months in advance. Please visit their Tumblr page here to see an extensive list of specific workshops and prices. Enjoy!

Collagem – Beauty Supplement

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While explorers never found the infamous ‘fountain of youth’, we at The Amazing Blog are ever hopeful that we’re one step closer with our latest discovery of Collagem. This beauty supplement has 12 active ingredients from collagen to vitamin C , all effective at delaying signs of ageing and improving the skin from within. They refer to it as: “ Your daily beauty dose”.

Kasia Devraj the creator of the premium Collagem supplement brand and owner of Beauty Boosters Ltd decided to create a collagen supplement after being unable to find one that would encapsulate all that she wanted, bioactive collagen peptides, low molecular weight collagen and antioxidants to help combat anti-ageing. More importantly, it had to be free of artificial preservatives and flavours, added sugars and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). She partnered with scientists and biotechnologist to launch Collagem initially into Poland and then the UK earlier this year.

Collagem is a powder supplement that comes in small packets with an orange flavour. The key ingredient is hydrolysed marine collagen. The other ingredients, bioactive collagen, beta carotene, hyaluronic acid, bamboo extract, CoQ10, and selenium all of which have properties to prevent premature signs of ageing and retain moisture. Additionally, the vitamin C helps boost the immune system while the MSM detoxifies and improves skin texture. When you pair the two together, they also help rebuild new cell tissues and r-alpha lipoic acid (R-ALA)stimulates bio-energy production in each cell. The formula not only has multiple ingredients working together to help create a more youthful looking skin, but has vitamin B complex that strengthens hair and nails as well as decreasing cellulite. We liked the taste, however, felt that we needed to take it for a longer period of time (3+ months) before we could see any real improvement in the skin or nails. Unfortunately the 14-day trial which we were sent was not long enough for us to see any visible results. What we particularly liked was that there are no added sugars, sweeteners, colours, preservatives, GMO, alcohol or caffeine.

The Collagem individual packets are a real plus, perfect for keeping in your handbag. Each box comes with 14 sachets (200-250ml)with the correct dose of powder in each. They recommend mixing one supplement package in water or juice after a meal daily for optimum results. We preferred to start our day with it at breakfast. You can buy a box here for £45.