Niederegger marzipan festive treats | The LDN Gal

Why marzipan makes the perfect festive treat

When you think of Christmas food, a lot of items may come to your mind. Turkey, nut roast, potatoes, mulled wine, perhaps even the dreaded brussel sprout?

How about marzipan? The sweet and nutty treat is a firm Christmas favourite for many worldwide.

When it comes to marzipan finesse, family-run Niederegger marzipan has it down to a tee. Most likely due to the fact that the business has been creating the sweet treat since 1806.

Their festive collection boasts a variety of milk and dark chocolate covered confectionery, encasing a variety of scented marizipan.

Niederegger marzipan festive treats close up | The LDN Gal

So, what did I think of Niederegger marzipan?

These include flavours of almond, pistachio, rum, orange, chocolate, espresso and apple strudel, to name a few

Niederegger marzipan¬†offer seasonal gift packs and shaped products. As well as chocolate encased bars and standard ‘loaves’. Therefore, there’s plenty of items to choose from!

What I love about Niederegger is that all their marzipan is firm and paired with a thin layer of chocolate. My personal favourite? It would certainly have to be the apple studel loaf.

Have you ever tried Niederegger marzipan? What is your favourrite Chrstmas treat? 

Stephanie xox

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This post is in collaboration with Niederegger 

Dirty Bones Oxford review - cocktails | The LDN Gal

Dirty Bones Oxford review

If you are looking for some American-inspired food with a New York City twist, Dirty Bones Oxford is the place to be.

Walk inside and you are welcomed to a sleek interior, with moody low-lit lighting, plush seating and quiet corners aplenty. The perfect venue for an intimate evening with your other half or friends.

Grab a drink from the gorgeous cocktail bar and sit down to a menu embellished with traditional and exotic pairings ‚Äď with many a twist to be discovered.

The menu offers quite the variety, with a fantastic selection of vegetarian choices and a vegan option to boot. As a fussy eater (and a vegetarian), I am always delighted when I have a few options to choose from!

To start, we sampled the mac and cheese balls and gyoza dumplings filled with mince and cheese. Who doesn’t love a starter oozing with cheese?

Dirty Bones Oxford review - interior | The LDN GalDirty Bones Oxford review - cocktail bar | The LDN GalDirty Bones Oxford review - interior dining area | The LDN Gal

So, what did I think of my dinner at Dirty Bones Oxford?

For my main, the vegan mac daddy burger, lovingly loaded with espresso-spiked BBQ sauce and vegan mac and cheese. I removed the ‘smoky mushroom short rib‚Äô due to personal preference. Regardless, this main was a dream, held together in a soft bun and messy as they come.

My other half opted for the 12 hour braised beef short rib. These were anything but ‘short’, the monumental short rib is garnished with¬†espresso-spiked BBQ sauce, crispy shallots and spring onions. They must have been pretty moreish, as the plate was left bone dry.

Alongside our mains, we sampled the cheesy truffle and crispy lamb topped fries. The cheesy fries garnished with aged cheddar, Parmesan cheese sauce and white truffle oil. The lamb fries, loaded with succulent crispy lamb, sweet miso, red chilli and jalape√Īo.

Dirty Bones Oxford review - starters | The LDN GalDirty Bones Oxford review - mains | The LDN GalDirty Bones Oxford review - desserts | The LDN Gal

To finish, we indulged with the peanut butter cookie cup and the stickiest toffee pudding. I have to admit, the pudding did not quite reach the bar compared to the rest of the meal. Of course, it was delicious, but seemed to just miss the sparkle that the starters, mains and sides had offered.

Overall, would I return to Dirty Bones Oxford? You bet! However, next time, I might have to skip lunch and breakfast that day…

You can book your next brunch, lunch or dinner date at Dirty Bones here.

Have you been to Dirty Bones before? What would be your go to main?

 Stephanie xox

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This dining experience was exchanged for an honest review 

Prestige Hampers luxury Christmas Hamper interior | The LDN Gal

Here’s why you need to add a prestige hampers luxury christmas hamper to your gift list

What do you get the person who seemingly has everything? A Prestige Hampers luxury Christmas hamper! Nothing puts a smile on someone’s face like a festive gift. Above all, one brimming with snacks, confectionery, condiments and wine.

This hamper offers the perfect combination of savoury and sweet. First of all, open up your large handmade wicker basket and inside discover an oh so delicious selection.

Enjoy Christmas breakfast with festive preserve or marmalade. Scrumptious toppings embellished with mulled wine and orange and cranberry. Sample these with a mug of indulgent double chocolate coffee or another cup of English tea.

Prestige Hampers luxury Christmas Hamper wicker basket | The LDN GalPrestige Hampers luxury Christmas Hamper interior | The LDN Gal

So, what did I think of the Prestige Hampers luxury Christmas hamper?

As the smell of Christmas dinner wafts, you can devour an array of treats. These include chocolate coated peanut brittle, cranberry and pumpkin bites and chocolate covered raisins, caramelised and salted nuts.

Afterwards, compliment an impeccable Christmas dinner with a moreish Christmas pudding.

Finally, pair the Queen’s speech with a glass or Chardonnay or Merlot. With the inclusion of two bottles, you are guaranteed a very merry Christmas. Especially while sampling a mini box of indulgent chocolates.

Prestige Hampers luxury Christmas Hamper interior | The LDN GalPrestige Hampers luxury Christmas Hamper interior | The LDN Gal Prestige Hampers luxury Christmas Hamper interior | The LDN Gal

Although, there’s plenty more to sink your teeth into. Snacks include cinnamon and demerara shortbread, Yorkshire cured ham and pickle crisps, cocoa crisp popcorn and delectable sticky toffee pudding biscuits.

Of course, if you can not manage the entire hamper on Christmas day, there is always Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve to indulge!

It’s simple, a Prestige Hampers luxury Christmas hamper will not fail to impress this festive season. Utterly decadent and beautifully presented, you can purchase an Elegant Christmas hamper here.

You can follow Prestige Hampers on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

What would be your first pick in this luxury Christmas hamper? Have you ever received a Christmas hamper before?

Stephanie xox

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Shoryu Ramen Oxford Exterior - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu review

When Shoryu Ramen announced a Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu, it was safe to say, I was pretty excited over it. I love Gudetama. Gudetama is probably the best thing to happen to Sanrio after Hello Kitty herself.

The new Gudetama themed Autumn set menu offers a delicious three course meal, drink and a limited edition Gudetama coaster to take home with you. There is vegetarian, meat and even a vegan main option.

Your drink arrives in a Gudetama cup with a choice between Mango Iced Tea and Calpico. Calpico is a milk based beverage with a sweet taste – which reminded me of Yakult in a lot of ways.

Gudetama menu exterior - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Shoryu Ramen Oxford Sake Decor - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Gudetama tote bag - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

 

So, what did I think of the Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu?

To start, you will devour steamed buns with a choice between BBQ Pork and Pumpkin Croquette. These are plentiful, embellished with lettuce and cucumber, finished with a dash of Japanese mayonnaise and hirata sauce.

I found the pumpkin croquette to be utterly sublime, something I would buy again and again, be it as a lunch or delicious snack. I have to say, I preferred it to my main. The hirata sauce really brought the bun to life, alongside the crispy coating on the pumpkin croquette with its deliciously soft and fragrant interior.

Ramen came along next for the mains, naturally. You could choose between the famed Shoryu Gatsu Tonkotsu with pork or the vegan White Natural (it can be requested with an egg on the side, if desired).

The White Natural broth is made from a combination of soy milk, miso, konbu and shiitake mushrooms. It is then decorated with ramen noodles, atsuage tofu, spring onions, menma bamboo shoots, nori seaweed and kikurage mushrooms.

Gudetama Steamed Buns - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Gudetama Ramen Noodle Mains - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

The ramen was nice, but without the added kikurage mushrooms (at my request РI am not a fan of mushrooms), it felt a little weak. Saying this, what I did really like, was the condiments available alongside your dishes.

These allowed you to get creative with your ramen. With a sprinkling of sesame seeds, soy and garlic, you can really customise to your taste. It proved a nice touch and made the dishes very flavoursome.

For dessert, a mini mochi icecream in a moody Gudetama paper cup. you can choose between matcha and yuki and both were lovely. Be warned, if you haven’t had mochi before, you may find the texture a little odd. It’s almost like the skin of fruit, with a vibrant ball of flavoured icecream inside.

Gudetama cups - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

So, would I recommend the Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu?

Overall, the themed menu was fabulous and oh so fun. Flavour is big at Shoryu Ramen and the selection of condiments really added to the dishes, allowing for a more personal experience. Once your food is devoured, there is even cute Gudetama merchandise to buy instore or online!

The Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu is available exclusively at Shoryu New Oxford Street, Shoryu Manchester and Shoryu Oxford from October 1 Р14, 2018. You can take a bite with Gudetama for £22.

Have you been to Shoryu Ramen before? Would you like to try the new Gudetama X Shoryu set menu?

Stephanie xox

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Cocktails, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN Gal

eXchange Food and Drink Lounge Manchester review

On a busy Saturday night in central Manchester, we headed for a bite to eat at the eXchange Food and Drink Lounge Manchester.

Leaving Chinatown nearby, we swung onto Portland Street. As we entered, we were greeted with smiles and welcomed to a large restaurant with a stunning interior and relaxed ambience.

We set ourselves down within the rustic eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, adorned with dim-lit hanging lights, well-spaced solid wood and industrial legged tables and mismatched chairs embellished with plush cushions.

The retro chic style of¬†eXchange¬†Food and Drink¬†Lounge, gives way to a charming environment with a sleek cocktail bar, sports screens aplenty and a children’s play zone to its far end.

Interior, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN GalInterior 3, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN Gal Interior 2, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN Gal

So, how did I find the food at eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester?

Cocktails in tow –¬†I personally recommend the Bramble –¬†we scanned over the varied and tasty menu. There’s¬†many a chef’s special to be seen.

To start, we delved into red velvet king prawns (the most Instagram-worthy prawn starter ever to be created) and halloumi fries with salsa, the gooey cheese with its battered crust certainly made an initial dent in our appetites.

For our mains, we welcomed the mixed grill platter for my other half and the cauliflower roulade for myself, a roasted vegetable and bean cassoulet with a flaky crust and sumptuous vegetables in a tangy sauce. It’s safe to say, Ryan devoured his platter, commenting that the meat was cooked to perfection alongside the deliciousness of what he presumed to be triple cooked chips.

Dessert was a push but we indulged ourselves further with specials including chef Chris’s chocolate brownie and Matty B’s bakewell tart.¬†These homemade desserts were spectacular. The brownie was moist and rich, accompanied by tangy raspberry sauce and a chocolate cup filled with vanilla ice cream.¬†The bakewell tart was just as delicious, with a crumbly base alongside a fruity and soft interior.

Mixed Grill and Cauliflower Roulade Mains, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN Gal Brownie and Bakewell, eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester | The LDN Gal

So, what did I think of the eXchange Food and Drink Lounge, Manchester?

Overall, I found the food, interior and staff of eXchange Food & Drink Lounge to be exceptional. I have to say, the vegetarian options were sublime, the food was delicious, well-presented and generous.

The evening was quite simply spectacular. You are welcomed to a warm and relaxing environment and the hours seemed to be lost as we chatted away.

With full and happy stomachs, we concluded the evening with a final round of cocktails and headed home for an early night ‚Ästgo wild for the night eh?

The eXchange Food & Drink Lounge is perfect for couples, friends and families, be it a place to stop for dinner, to catch the game or to have a few cocktails among peers. Take a peek at their food menu here and step away from the madness of the city for a few hours.

Have you eaten at the eXchange Food and Drink Lounge? Which item from the menu tempts you? 

Stephanie xox

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This dining experience was exchanged for an honest review 

Degustabox UK review - June 2018 | The LDN Gal

Degustabox UK June 2018 review

The June Degustabox certainly did not fail to impress. Themed on BBQ section, it was packed with delicious flavoursome treats and meal accompaniments just perfect for summertime and these longer evenings.

Here is what I discovered in my latest June 2018 UK Degustabox:

So, what do I think of the June 2018 UK Degustabox?

Capsicana Cook Sauces  

The Capsicana Cook Sauces certainly offer a kick to your cooking. Now, I am not a fan of spice but these sauces are simply bursting with flavour. These Mexican and Latin American inspired sauces, are packed full of authentic ingredients to help brighten up your dinners.

Peckish BBQ Rice Crackers Multi-Pack 

The¬†Peckish BBQ Rice Crackers are simply delicious, not only low in calories but they also taste great. These packs are the perfect healthy treat-meets-snack for on the go. They are baked, not fried, super crunchy and even gluten-free! Let’s face it, no guilt snacks are the best snacks.

Brioche Pasquier Pains au Lait 

These soft¬†Brioche Pasquier Pains au Lait are a must for any household. These super soft and light brioche rolls can be enjoyed round-the-clock. Use them in the morning to make French toast, for a super easy lunch roll or on the BBQ with hot dogs or sausages –¬†they are delicious whether used for sweet or savoury.¬†

Rosie’s Pig Raspberry Roller¬†

Now the Rosie’s Pig Raspberry Roller cider was certainly a treat in our current heatwave! As expected from a fruity cider, it was refreshing and sweet. What did I love about it? The combination of raspberry and cucumber is simply to die for.

Frylight Avocado Oil Cooking Spray 

I love the Frylight sprays, they are super low in calories and great to cook with. Now, this avocado oil spray is no different. I have to admit though, I could not notice the taste of the avocado when cooking.

no&more raspberry and blueberry 

I have to be honest, I really wasn’t a fan of the no&more raspberry and blueberry water. It was very weakly flavoured and I think you’d be better off just placing sliced fruit within a bottle for a fruity pick-me-up.

Mighty Fine Salted Caramel Honeycomb Bar 

If you are looking for a naughty treat, look no further than the Mighty Fine Salted Caramel Honeycomb Bar. This slightly misshapen honeycomb bar tastes like a luxury Crunchie, coated in Belgian milk chocolate.

Orangina 

Orangina reminds me of childhood. Bursting with flavour and always super fizzy. Both the normal and low sugar versions tasted delicious in their own right and it was nice to sample both. Always delicious and always refreshing.

Idahon Gratin Bake 

I am such a big fan of the Idahon range, having sampled their mashed potato packets before. This bake was delicious and simple to prepare with a dash of water and butter. It went well with vegetarian sausages and vegetables.

The Jelly Bean Factory Fairtrade Box 

I have always loved jelly beans, they are my weakness. The Jelly Bean Factory have always been my go to for their assortment of flavours. Each box is filled with 36 delicious flavours, so be sure to eat them one at a time to take advantage. These are also made using fair trade sugar.

Great British Biscotti Co  

I am never a massive fan of Italian biscotti inspired treats but this proved to be an exception. Within this crumbly Great British Biscotti Co biscuit came pistachios, cranberries and white chocolate. All in all, perfection.

I was very pleased with this box and would buy many of these items again –¬†minus the no&more water which was quite frankly a let down.¬†

I am now a big fan of the Idahon range and their products sneak into my shopping basket often. With all these items in mind, I created two wonderful dinners and had snacks for days.

Like the look of this June box? You can order the July Degustabox here.

What do you think of the June Degustabox? What item would be your first pick? 

Stephanie xox

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This Degustabox was exchanged for an honest review