Start-up drinks brand Bemuse is shortlisted in the Brand Launch of the Year category in the Food and Drink Federation Awards 2022. Having just celebrated its first anniversary, the brand is vying for the ultimate crown against food and drink sector big-hitters including Mars Food, Princes and Walkers.
Nature inspired Bemuse supports the UK’s dwindling bee population by reimagining ancient honey drink mead for a modern audience. My interest piqued, the company kindly sent me some drinks to try. I can say that they went down very well indeed especially on these, the hottest days of the year! Besides the fact Bemuse is deliciously tasty, the drinks are low in sugar, alcohol and calories, all natural and gluten free to boot. Can't be bad, can it?
Let me tell you about the flavours available. Light and fruity Hops Infused Sparkling Low Alcohol Mead is described as 'curiously crisp and hoppy.' Brewed with wildflower honey, the flavour may change slightly depending on the flowers the bees go to. Pair this one with fish or barbecued meats.
Raspberry Sparkling Low Alcohol Mead is described as 'curiously fresh and aromatic'.
Light and refreshing, this contains orange blossom honey and raspberries. The scent is light, citrusy, with a super-refreshing taste which has the merest hint of sweetness. Pair with tart dressings and sauces or enjoy with cheese, salad or dessert.
Ginger & Cardamom Sparkling Low Alcohol Mead is described as 'curiously zesty and fragrant'.
Brewed with apple blossom honey, it has a pleasant, fresh scent and added zing due to the addition of aromatic ginger and cardamom. Pair with spicy, highly seasoned foods or something with a sweet glaze or sauce.
Tarragon, Basil & Hops Sparkling Low Alcohol Mead is described as 'curiously tangy, smoky and refreshing'. The honey is from ling heather blossoms found on Scottish moors with the addition of tarragon, basil and hops. Delicately refreshing, it is slightly tangy with a mild sweetness and hint of smokiness. Pair with light seafood or herby dishes .
Co-founder Anna Chalov explained, 'From the beginning, we had a very clear vision for Bemuse and wanted to create a non-alcoholic drink that was refreshing. tasty, low in calories but which also supported the natural world. In Bemuse, we have created a unique drinks category as the only range of non-alcoholic craft meads and which are produced by natural fermentation of honey, water and yeast, infused with natural ingredients to create four distinctive flavours. '
FDF award winners will be revealed at a ceremony hosted by Jay Rayner on 15 September.
Bemuse sparkling low-alcohol meads are 0.5% ABV and available in 330ml fully recycled cans. https://www.bemusedrinks.com
images (c) Bemuse & Mike Pickup
Stockists include WiseBartender - Cake Room - The Laboratory
Bemuse has achieved wide distribution through online and specialist UK drinks retailers and the lightly sparkling, low-alcohol meads are a refreshing alternative for hot summer days. Bemuse has recently expanded distribution into the Netherlands, with discussions ongoing for distribution in other overseas markets and will shortly launch a crowdfunding campaign to expand and secure additional listings.
Seaweed has been used for wellbeing and in skin and hair care for thousands of years, but why is it special? What are the potential benefits of adding it to your skincare routine? Read on to find out ...
The skincare experts at ARRAN Sense of Scotland share their knowledge on the beauty benefits of seaweed, as well as picking the best seaweed products from their range.
One of the best sellers from its apothecary range, ARRAN Sense of Scotland’s Seaweed and Sage collection is available across a range of hair and skincare products. Sage and Seaweed soap, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion are formulated with purifying and mineral-rich seaweed extract as well as sweet-smelling lemon, geranium, and orange for a revitalising start to your day. Seaweed extract is an excellent skin and body care ingredient, it cleanses and detoxifies while also increasing moisture and reducing pigmentation.
Cleansing and detoxing
One benefit of seaweed is that it cleanses and detoxifies naturally. In some forms it can be used as an exfoliant to brighten skin clearing build-up of dirt and bacteria to uncover radiant looking freshness.
The Apothecary Seaweed and Sage Bath and Shower Gel is available at £14.00.
Do you suffer from redness and irritated skin? Opt for skincare products containing seaweed which contains natural anti-inflammatories and is rich in vitamin B to soothe and calm skin.
The Apothecary Seaweed and Sage Hand Wash and Hand Cream is available at £14.00 online: https://arran.com/collections/seaweed-and-sage
Helping balance oil production
Seaweed is thought to cut down the oil film on skin, helping it to naturally balance the production of oil, making it great for acne prone, oily or combination skin types.
The Seaweed and Sage Body Lotion is available online at £14.00.
Fight free radical damage
Seaweed aims to deliver antioxidants to protect against external damage caused in our everyday exposure to external factors such as UV rays and pollution.
The Seaweed and Sage Soap is available at £8.00 online.
Strengthens hair from within
Take advantage of the fruits of the sea ARRAN Sense of Scotland’s seaweed infused products.
The Apothecary Sage and Seaweed Shampoo and Conditioner are available at £14.00 each at https://arran.com/collections/seaweed-and-sage
Claire Logan, of ARRAN Sense of Scotland, said: “Being an island, Arran is surrounded by the sea and it’s healing properties, not just the fruits it bears but also the benefits it has for general wellbeing. Reflecting summertime and seaside visits that often ensue, it’s a great time to take a look at the benefits of seaweed for skincare and haircare, uncovering just what’s in this special ingredient that makes it so nourishing. Thanks to its unique combination of wholesome properties - antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and fibre, seaweed is one of our favourite ingredients that goes into our naturally nourishing skin and hair care products.
I did not receive products in exchange for this write-up - I ljust like them!
The other evening, I went to the Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden to see The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical. I loved it! For one thing, it is so ridiculously and fabulously over the top - but that's to be expected since the inspiration behind the musical is Roald Dahl's book.
Let me tell you a little bit about this multi award winning musical - only a teeny tiny little bit mind, because you should really go to see it for yourself. Oh and I should say, this is a musical which appeals to adults every bit as much as it appeals to children.
In a nutshell, it is the story of an amazing little girl who loves books and stories. She has an extremely vivid imagination and razor sharp mind. However, her parents can't see the point of books or stories and are really mean to her. As if THAT'S not bad enough, Miss Trunchbull her headmistress is a bully. So, what does Matilda do? With the help of Miss Honey, her really nice class teacher, she takes a stand in order to change her own destiny.....
'‘Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.’ (Matilda)
This show has incredible energy. It is dynamic, charming and exuberant. The cast are fabulous, they obviously love what they do and it shows. As Matilda herself says,
‘Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable...’
A 'relaxed' performance will take place on Sunday 19 June 2022 at 3pm. This offers full access to the theatre for those with autism and learning disabilities and their families. This follows the sold-out success of Matilda the Musical's six previous relaxed performances. What does this mean exactly? Well, a relaxed performance provides a comfortable environment for everyone, with elements of the production adapted to reduce anxiety and stress, including adjustments to lighting and sound levels to soften their impact. The ambience of the auditorium and theatre ‘rules’ are relaxed, everyone is allowed to make noise and move around without restriction.
Designated ‘chill-out’ areas outside the auditorium provide soft seating and activities for those who need to take a break. The production will be captioned and audio-described with an accompanying touch tour. All theatre staff, crew and company members receive specialist training to anticipate a wider range of different audience needs.
Tickets for the relaxed performance are at the reduced rate of £15.00, £25.00, £35.00 and £45.00, bookable online at http://uk.matildathemusical.com/tickets/accessibility/ or by phoning 020 3925 2998. Trained staff are available to speak to bookers to ensure their specific needs are considered when allocating seats. All bookers will be sent a visual story to help familiarise themselves with the plot, characters and setting before arrival.
MATILDA THE MUSICAL Cambridge Theatre Earlham Street London WC2H 9HU
For full performance schedule and to book tickets visit: www.matildathemusical.com
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon Avon home in 2010 before transferring to the West End in October 2011.
Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards with a record-breaking seven awards and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway. It has since toured North America, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, South Africa and China and played its first non-English language production in Seoul, South Korea in 2018/19.
Adapted from the much-loved Roald Dahl book and commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Matilda The Musical has won 99 international awards including 24 for Best Musical. It has been seen by more than 10 million people across more than 90 cities worldwide. With the upcoming film adaptation from the same core creative team as the theatre production, Roald Dahl’s themes of bravery and standing up for what you believe in will continue to inspire young audiences all over the world. Sony Pictures U.K. and Tristar Pictures will release Matilda across the U.K. and Ireland exclusively in cinemas on 2nd December 2022 . Netflix will release the film in the rest of the world in December 2022.
all images (c) Manuel Harlan
Grace Foods UK, the UK's no 1 supplier of Caribbean food and drink, celebrates their 100th anniversary this year. Since it coincides with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, they have given her a box of Jamaican-style Jerk BBQ Sauce and Dunn's River Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. How better to help her add some Caribbean island ‘flava' to her Platinum Jubilee celebrations?
Parent company Grace Kennedy began its food and drink journey in 1922, four years before Her Majesty was born. Over the ensuing 100 years, the company has grown to become the world's leading supplier of Caribbean food and drink. Now, to celebrate this milestone anniversary, the company has launched special-edition gold bottles of their legendary Jamaican-style Jerk BBQ Sauce and Dunn's River Special Edition Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.
They kindly sent me samples which I was delighted about as I love Caribbean flavours. The box of goodies came with a Jamaican-style Jerk Chicken recipe but instead of using chicken thighs, I made a meat-free version, using a selection of vegetables. Non meat eaters can of course also substitute the chicken with tofu.
Vandu Patel, Marketing Manager, Grace Foods UK, says: "We are so excited to be celebrating our 100th anniversary in the same year that the Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee and we wanted to be able to give Her Majesty a special gift from us that will bring ‘flavas' of the Caribbean and the Commonwealth country of Jamaica to her celebrations. A recent survey by Mintel found that 46% of UK consumers chose Caribbean as a food they wanted to sample, so indications are that Caribbean food will be popular this year. We hope that by delivering our special-edition gold labels bottles of jerk sauces and seasonings to the royal household, the Queen will be able to enjoy some Caribbean food and Grace will get the royal seal of approval!" Vandu went on, "Here at Grace we love Her Majesty the Queen, the Queen of Jamaica since 1952. A lot may change for Jamaica in the near future as regards links with the UK royal family but the people of Jamaica will always have a special fondness for the Queen and wish her well in this, her platinum year."
more at gk-100.gracefoods.co.uk
Many of us have problems with our hair - whether it's lacklustre, skimpy, falling out or just simply doesn't have the - 'oomph!' - that we want. No need to fret though, because Hair Gain says all that could be a thing of the past .... read on for more
Backed by trichologists, Hair Gain hair care range combines the clinically-tested AnaGain™ ingredient . Derived from organic pea shoots, biotin, selenium and zinc all contribute to the maintenance of normal hair. Yes, the pea shoot is small but jolly mighty when it comes to hair loss. Its super powerful phytonutrients are clinically proven to stimulate fuller and thicker hair at the root.
Why does our hair fall out or get thinner as we age? It isn't unusual and happens to lots of people. There are many reasons. It can happen when we are stressed and of course starting to lose our hair makes us more stressed. Bad situation. When stressed, different things happen to our bodies, not just the outward signs that you might be aware of like poor sleep and the familiar frazzled-brain feeling but it can affect your appetite which often has a knock-on effect on our hair health too. Calories, ie energy, are required for new hair follicle growth and if you experience extended periods of inadequate calorie intake, this can make horrid things happen to your hair. If you find yourself eating less, your body starts to conserve calories you eat for vital bodily functions - that's the brain, heart and liver. Not hair growth, that isn't at the top of the list.
Some real life, 'before and after' stories are on site here > Hair Gain
Taking time to de-stress is important for mood, sleep and hair. Try to give yourself an hour every day to unwind and relax. This should help alleviate unnecessary adrenal strain and help keep your hormones balanced. Read a book, have a bath, practise mindfulness or yoga. Sleep can help improve hair health, too. Try to sleep in a cool, dark, well-ventilated room and add warm milk or herbal teas to your bedtime routine to help you relax.
And here's a thing. Did you know, water plays a key role in the health of your hair? Not only does water make up approximately 55% total blood volume, the key fluid for nourished hair; it is also necessary for hair follicles to grow optimally - new proteins can only occur in the presence of well-hydrated cells. Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water, experts say at least two litres daily.
Then there's tea or coffee, a different story. Try and keep a check on how much you’re drinking, because too much isn’t good. Tea and coffee act as diuretics and drinking more than three cups daily could be more dehydrating than hydrating. if it's a problem for you, swap your caffeinated cups for herbal teas and non-caffeinated brews.
Hair Gain has lots of useful information about hair health on their site, do take a look. I'm giving some of their lovely goodies a try and will report my findings in a couple of months or so.
Croft launched the first ever rose port wine in 2008. Now they have developed bold, novel Croft Pink & Tonic. Flavours combine ripe cherry and raspberry, with hints of honey and grapefruit. After chilling, serve over ice with a citrus slice or berry fruits.
Original and unique, I can say that both of these drinks are fabulous in any setting!
all images (c) Mike Pickup
The nice people at https://www.mentzendorff.co.uk sent samples in exchange for an honest review. I can say they went down very well indeed!
CROFT PINK & TONIC stockists: The Champagne Company, The Drinks Emporium, Amazon
TAYLOR’S CHIP DRY & TONIC stockists: Amazon, Harvey Nichols, EH Booth, Ocado, The Secret Bottle Shop
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist /author of 12 books. Credits incl: Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, CNN, The Scotsman, Daily Express, Country & Town House, My Weekly, Platinum, Woman, Best, cruise magazines, etc