Raw chocolate giveaway for National Chocolate Week


National Chocolate Week is almost upon us. From 12 to 18 October 2015 people across the land will be celebrating and indulging in the joys of chocolate in all its forms (from three-course chocolate ‘experiences’ and chocolate cocktails to chocolate and meat pairing and even chocolate massage!) and you can fully expect your social media timelines to be chock-full of choccy-related banter and images. The excitement is already building – check out #nationalchocolateweek to see what I mean.

To get in on the chocolate action, I’ve teamed up with Elements for Life, the makers of incredible raw chocolate products and based just over the border from me in Wiltshire, to bring you this awesome chocolate giveaway – make your way down to the bottom of this post for the full lowdown on the delicious prizes up for grabs and how to enter. Continue reading

Homemade soda bread and butter inspired by a trip to River Cottage

homemade soda bread and butter

River Cottage. What a wonderful place. I could make myself at home there quite happily. I’d wash the dishes and clean the loos in return for bed and board and perhaps the odd cookery lesson. Although I’m not sure my family would be too happy about me deserting them. Unless there was room for them too of course. And the two cats. Yes, dream on Vanesther…

River Cottage Collage

I was recently the guest of River Cottage, along with a host (a herd, a pride, a smorgasbord… collective noun anyone?) of other food bloggers for a very special day of cooking, feasting, photography and foodie conversation. For once I wasn’t the only one rearranging the table and photographing my meal before the first bite. Continue reading

#ThriftyOrganic three-course family meal

Organic September Collage

If you are a bit of a foodie and/or follow any social media here in the UK, you’re probably more than aware that this month has been dubbed #OrganicSeptember. Everyone’s being encouraged to celebrate all things organic. The message is that by making a small change to your everyday shopping, we can make a big difference: swapping to organic food has huge benefits for people, animal welfare and the environment.


While most of us will agree that organic produce is better for our environment, better for animal welfare and, well, just a more natural approach, isn’t it hideously expensive to shop organic? I try to buy organic wherever I can, particularly fruit and vegetables. For instance I have a weekly organic veg box delivered by Riverford – although I tend to do this less during late summer and early autumn when we tend to have a glut of veggies in our own garden. But I doubt I could afford to go totally organic.

Or could I? Continue reading

Chocolate cheesecake with blackberry cream

Chocolate Cheesecake Collage

I feel obliged to issue a public health warning before I go any further with this post. This dessert is not for the faint-hearted and certainly not for anyone on a calorie-controlled diet. It’s extremely rich and something of a colossal beast, easily serving 12 to 14 people, so only make this if you’ve got the man, woman and child-power to tackle it, and be sure not to feed them too much beforehand. Continue reading