Beer52

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

One of the many areas in which Bristol excels, alongside balloon fiestas, harbour festivals and street art, is craft beer. New establishments are popping up everywhere, showcasing the weirdest, wackiest and, most importantly, tastiest brews from near and far. Some have been critical of this upswing, but it is 100% fine by me. You can be a fan of traditional pubs and these new fangled craft beer hang outs. I know this, because I am one, and many others are too! Furthermore, as a budding connoisseur of all things hop, and a keen fan of having all my food and drink arrive on my doormat, when I saw that Beer52 were looking for people to review their beer delivery service, I was more than happy to volunteer. The opportunity to have 8 different craft beers delivered to my front door was too good to pass up, and having previously given a beer subscription as a Christmas present (Beer52 offer this service here) I was really keen to try it out for myself!

I was flipping excited when they arrived, so much so that I spent several hours days researching and meticulously planning and pairing the beers with the perfect food accompaniments to really make the most of the review experience. I roped my OH in to help with the cooking by promising to share of all the beers, and having prepped a little 4 course menu to spread over the day, here is how we got on.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

After some extensive background work looking through all the beers, researching the styles and earnestly discussing food pairings, we chose the beer with a pig on the label. Because, pig. Setting aside the excellent, porcine themed label design, this is “Cerdos Voladores” from the Barcelona Craft Beer brewery, a zesty, fruity IPA of a style very much at the vanguard of the craft beer movement. As a fan of the city, I was keen to keep in the spirit of our Catalan chums and pair this with something typically Spanish. Hence, gambas et ajillo! That’s garlic prawns to me and Google Translate. From my admittedly limited knowledge of beer and food pairings, I know that your typical IPA is said to best be accompanied by a spicy dish, and so we went for this chilli infused creation. I can confirm that the taste makers don’t lie – the punchy, lemon-y flavours of the beer took the edge off the heat, whilst enhancing the sweetness of the dish. A light and refreshing lunch, especially when paired with a simple salad.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

From such big flavours, there was really only one direction to go; bigger. The second beer we chose (and not just for the equally excellent label art) was “Ascendancy” from the Panda Frog Project, an experimental offshoot brewery of North Tyneside’s Mordue. As a girl normally into her chocolate stouts, and one known to get a bit giddy at just the thought of a second round, I was a bit nervous about this higher ABV beast of a beer! Especially one described as a “Belgian Double IPA Weizen Hybrid”, I had no idea what to expect! After being assured by the OH that it would be a good ‘un, we dove on in, pairing this big flavoured brew with an equally big flavoured Teriyaki Chicken stir fry (with home made teriyaki sauce and garlic paste of course). I can confirm that the floral, tropical kick of the DIPA side of the beer was present and correct, a lovely thirst quencher after the spicy, marinaded chicken, and an appealing accompaniment to fresh crunchy peppers, bean sprouts, pak choi and red peppers. The “weizen” element (a traditionally German style of hazy wheat beer, brew fans) gave the beer more body than I was expecting, and helped to soften the impact of that big tropical tartness. Unusual, but highly recommended.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

And now we’re back in my comfort zone. For afters, we naturally opted for my go to sweet food of choice, the prince of puddings, the don of desserts, the sultan of sweets, the chocolate brownie. Paired, most appropriately, with the delicious coffee-infused Toasted Porter from Iceland’s Einstok brewery, a brewery from which I’ve tried and enjoyed beer from before when visiting Iceland. It was a satisfying and waist expandingly indulgent way to end a satisfying and waist expandingly indulgent day. As keen coffee fans (who, us?), we even added a little local flavour to the brownie, sticking some of Extract Coffee RoastersKiangoi in the batter. The porter was smooth and rich, and unlike a lot of similar beers, neither too heavy nor overpowering. As we head into winter, I can imagine settling down in front of a Christmas box set or two with a bottle of this, idly sipping over the course of a few hours.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

Oh sorry, you didn’t think we were done did you? All that eating really made us work up an appetite, so a little more research later, and we found that you simply can’t enjoy an Oatmeal Stout without a good chunk of aged cheddar. So naturally, we followed this advice and opted for a simple, paired down snack of cheese and beer, using the Belhaven Brewery’s Scottish Oat Stout. The oatcakes, crackers, apple, pickles and chutneys just forced themselves on us, ok? Again, the tastemakers are on it with this – the velvet-y, silky texture of the stout was a nice base for the strong cheese. As a person not normally into such cheese, I was surprised and impressed! This was another delicious beer from the darker end of the scale, perfect for warming one’s cockles by the fire candle on a cold night.

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Thanks Beer52 for expanding my beery horizons and for giving me a good excuse to get creative in the kitchen! If you fancy having a little tasting session yourself and want a cheeky discount code, just pop SHEANDHEM10 into the ‘got a special code’ box on the Beer52 website for £10 off of your order. Also, if you would like any of the recipes for the food items in this post, please get in touch!

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Champagne Super Nola

She and Hem | Nola Vodka Spritz | Lifestyle She and Hem | Nola Vodka Spritz | Lifestyle

As we are both lightweights very responsible drinkers, sometimes we know that gin is not the answer to every boozy question. Although we got the moves like Jäger at the weekend, if we fancy a weeknight drink, it needs to be lighter, so we were pretty excited when the postman delivered this huge box of delights from Nola. We saw this magical delivery as a fine excuse to invite our favourite ladies over for a good old catch up and to sample some sweet sweet spritz.

She and Hem | Nola Vodka Spritz | Lifestyle She and Hem | Nola Vodka Spritz | Lifestyle She and Hem | Nola Vodka Spritz | Lifestyle

Hidden inside the Nola box was a cocktail of delicious accompaniments to enjoy with the drinks, including delicious mini meringues from Meringue Girls and tip top popcorn from Propercorn. Nothing corny about that! Many laughs were had dancing around the dinner table, sipping from teacups and discussing our plans for Halloween. We wore our fun Emily and Fin dresses and thankfully felt more pickled than plastered at the end of our girly powwow.

She and Hem | Nola Vodka Spritz | Lifestyle She and Hem | Nola Vodka Spritz | Lifestyle She and Hem | Nola Vodka Spritz | Lifestyle She and Hem | Nola Vodka Spritz | Lifestyle

Have a great week Hemsters!

V&J

Couscous me if you can

Cous me if you can | She and Hem | Food and Drink

Let’s raise a slice of toast as we are happy to announce that we are having a baby now part of the Sainsbury’s Food Blogger Community. As food fanatics and big baking buffs (See Sushi! Cakes! Cheese!), we are pretty excited by this! To celebrate, we thought we would share our perfect lunch with you. Warning, this post will make you ravenous for giant couscous.

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This is the usually the part where you would find a detailed recipe and step by step instructions of how to create the masterpiece you see below, but that’s not really how we work here at She and Hem (but please do contact us if you would like tips!). We favour the ‘throw everything you like to eat into the trolley, twice if it’s on offer’ kind of cuisine. So instead of working from a list, we grabbed the ingredients that we thought would taste delicious with the couscous, such as halloumi, pomegranate seeds, avocado and some awesome little salad sprinkles and headed to the kitchen.
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The results were scrumptious. So much so that we took the leftovers to enjoy at a picnic the next day, and they tasted just as good! We have definitely caught the foodie bug and can’t wait for one of our favourite dates in any star bakers calender, next month’s Stir-Up Sunday.

Cous me if you can | She and Hem | Food and DrinkCous me if you can | She and Hem | Food and Drink

Pasta la vista Hemsters!

V&J

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol

Are those chopsticks in your pocket or are you just happy sashimi?

Last month we managed to snap up the last two tickets to an awesome event run by one of our favourite places in Bristol, The Watershed. There are always good vibes and interesting, fun activities going on there, but their ‘Studio Ghibli Forever’ season was particularly eye catching, a month long celebration of the legendary Japanese animation studio, featuring screenings, workshops and all manner of unique events inspired by Mr Miyazaki’s colourful, captivating back catalogue. It was the ‘Build Your Own Bento Box’ that was most alluring to us, as huge fans of both the Studio’s beautiful films and all Japanese food ever. Although neither of us have a natural flair for hands-on practical activities, we enjoyed learning about the culture of Japanese food and the history behind the Bento Box whilst sipping on some green tea. We certainly excelled at tasting all of the ingredients. Just look how pleased we were with our finished tasty boxes!

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol
Photo by Clare Leczycki

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol

After some excellent instruction from special guest chef Kiyoko from Your Sushi, we reached the point of nori-turn and it was our time to make some delicious edible art. It was roe much fun! We were pleasantly surprised with our creations and as we got to keep the bento boxes, we’ll definitely be trying to recreate the fun at home. Fish us luck!

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol
Victoria wears floral dress from Primark and glasses from Glasses Direct | Jo wears Stop Thief dress from Cath Kidston | Photo by Clare Leczycki

Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol Studio Ghibli Forever: Build A Bento Box | She and Hem | Bristol

Thank you Watershed for treating the good people of Bristol to Studio Ghibli Forever, and thanks also to Clare from Watershed for the action shots of us.

Time to gyoza!

V&Jx

Nurture Juices Cleanse and Detox Review

And now for something slightly different! Regular readers will know I have a keen appreciation for the sweeter things in life, but while even a fleeting glance at this here blog may suggest otherwise, I do eat things other than cake. In fact, I actually do like to try and eat healthily. That said, I could definitely do with some help and guidance from a professional, and so jumped (off the sofa) at the chance to sample one of Nuture’s delicious sounding “10 of your 5 a day” detox programmes. The programme provides a veritable buffet of tasty treats, designed to form the basis of a wholesome, nutritious diet, or to complement a healthy, active lifestyle. I was pleasantly surprised when this colourful bunch arrived.

Nurture Juices Review | Cleanse Detox | She and Hem

18 bottles of juice, 7 probiotic mixes and 5 servings of raspberry protein! Not being particularly (or at all) familiar with such a diet, I was a bit overwhelmed initially. Fortunately, Nurture provide some helpful guidance on their website on how best to integrate all of this into your lifestyle, whatever you are trying to achieve. For me, I felt options 3 and 4 were the most appropriate. Not, as you might have guessed, because of my “athletic training” regime, but because as I often find myself in need of a pick me up when at work and with little time (or willpower) to choose the healthy option! As Nurture say, the juices are a great grab and go solution, nutrient rich, filling yet low calorie. Sounds perfect!  

In the spirit of the Nurture way, I sampled all of the juices as part of a relatively active daily lifestyle, and some after a spot of light exercise. Without further ado, let me take you on a raw, unpasteurised tour of the juices…

Nurture Juices Review | Cleanse Detox | She and Hem

First up, Re-energise. This had what I would call a typically juice-y, sweet smell. The texture was smooth, with passion fruit the dominant flavour, and a slight tartness that lingered after I’d finished. Not bad at all.  

Nurture Juices Review | Cleanse Detox | She and Hem

Rehydrate certainly felt healthier than the first! The (so hip right now) coconut water and grapefruit was fresh, pleasingly bitter and decidedly un-sugary. This one is packed with electrolytes, ideal for replenishing the body after a run. I won’t claim I was out running marathons when I drank this, but after a day on my feet, this was a welcome refreshment. Very nice indeed, but then…

Nurture Juices Review | Cleanse Detox | She and Hem

That colour can only mean one thing – my friend and yours, the beetroot, champion of anti-oxidants. Revive was my favourite so far, the earthy beetroot flavour most prominent on the nose and tongue, with the blueberry and pear coming through after. Rather delicious, and with a more robust texture than the previous two. Given my love of beetroot, I expected no other juice to hold a candle to this. However…

Nurture Juices Review | Cleanse Detox | She and Hem

The best of the bunch! With the body provided by the kiwi puree and watercress, this certainly felt the most substantial and filling of the juices. The apple provided a delicate sweetness, while the mint and cucumber was fresh and distinctive. And I don’t even like mint! The only downside was that the ginger wasn’t as prominent as I would have liked. A bit more of that, and this would have been even better! If you’re into your anti-ageing B-complex vitamins (and who isn’t?), Refresh is the one for you.

Nurture Juices Review | Cleanse Detox | She and Hem

The last of the juices I tried, and I was already pining for Refresh. I needn’t have worried though, as Replenish more than made up for the end of programme blues. Similarly substantial, with the spinach, celery and cucumber doing the nutritional legwork and the apple and orange doing the rest. Tasty stuff, and apparently a wonder for skin.

If you’d like a whopping half price discount on the Nurture Juices, just enter the code ‘sheandhem’!

Victoria

Thumbs Up For a TGI Friday’s Giveaway

She and Hem | TGI Friday's

To celebrate the three day weekend, we took some of our best chums along to TGI Friday’s in Bristol’s Cabot Circus to try out their new burger menu and sample all of the cocktails. Thumbs up to that! Although they have over 500 unique cocktails, surprise surprise, we were both drawn to those containing gin. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to try them all but we gave it a good crack!

She and Hem | TGI Friday's

She and Hem | TGI Friday's She and Hem | TGI Friday's

She and Hem | TGI FRIDAY'S

She and Hem | TGI Friday's She and Hem | TGI Friday's

If you would like to have your own TGI Friday’s feast, you should totally enter our giveaway to win £50 in vouchers to spend at a TGI Friday’s of your choice. To enter simply fill in the rafflecopter below. There are lots of different ways to win! Good Luck!

V&J

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Whisky Business: Tunis Cake and Christmas Cake Pops

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Every year during the weekend before Christmas day, myself and Jo and our BFF’s like to get together for a 24 hour food marathon. It revolves around a huge Christmas dinner with all of the trimmings and our annual viewings of Elf, Home Alone and The Muppets Christmas Carol. Each year we alternate who provides each course of our Christmas feast. This year, Jo treated us to a titillating turkey and it was my turn to don my apron and get baking some festive puddings. I’ve always wanted to attempt Cake Pops, so when I saw this recipe, I thought it was the perfect time to give them a go!

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Christmas is a time for overindulging, so I decided to make two puddings, with the cake pops acting as more of a cheeky snack  to nibble on throughout the night, rather than a filling dessert. This year I was inspired by the Christmas edition of The Great British Bake Off, in which Mary Berry (love her!) made an incredible looking Tunis Cake.

tunis2 Continue reading Whisky Business: Tunis Cake and Christmas Cake Pops

Festive Finds: Meaty Christmas

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As you’ve probably guessed by now, we here at She and Hem are very fond of a good Christmas jumper. We’re also pretty devoted to our annual trip to The Burger Joint in Bristol to sample their delicious Christmas Menu. It seemed fitting that we should combine our two true loves for maximum meaty joy.

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Choosing a meal at The Burger Joint is almost as much fun as eating it! Their selection is vast, allowing you to create your perfect carb-fest. With a whopping choice of locally sourced burgers, sauces, sides and salads, it has been calculated that there are a staggering 78,912,800 different combinations on offer. So, we’ve decided to make it our New Years Resolution to try them all!

BJ1 Continue reading Festive Finds: Meaty Christmas

Whisky Business: Stir-up Sunday Christmas Pudding

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Today is Stir-up Sunday, the traditional day to make your Christmas pudding! For many, this wooden spooned affair marks the beginning of the festive season and, as we sure do like an excuse to get festive, we decided we would don our Christmas jumpers and get mixing.

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Having scoured the internet for the perfect pudding recipe, we didn’t find one that exactly worked for us, despite the fact that they are all essentially the same.  Awkward, us? Eventually we decided to adapt Delia Smith’s tried and tested recipe (which can be found here). We had a lot of the ingredients, such as the flour, sugar and spices already and we substituted some of Delia’s items for things we had to hand rather than spend the extra money. A quick trip to Sainsbury’s to stock up on the extras and we were ready to go!

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Ingredients Continue reading Whisky Business: Stir-up Sunday Christmas Pudding

Hem and Away: Swinging London Town

We went on a wee jaunt to London recently to celebrate Jo’s birthday and while we were there we took the opportunity to pay a visit to some of our favourite shops, with plenty of pancake breaks along the way! On the train journey into London we were treated to a fantastic display by the Red Arrows (which I had so kindly arranged for Jo’s birthday of course….!!)

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It was a positively scorching day in London, so after a cheeky iced latte we found ourselves cooled off and ready to face the day ahead. Our first port of call was The Breakfast Club in Hoxton, where we had…er…breakfast!  Pancake stacks to be precise, with added berries for Jo and bacon for myself. As you can see below, they were towering conglomerations of awesome! We will definitely be going back next time we are in town.

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There’s only one place to go when you are full of pancakes, iced tea and good vibes and that is the marvelous Covent Garden. We had a blast checking out what Covent Garden had to offer and were notably impressed with Pop Boutique, Rokit, Cath Kidston, Tatty Devine and Cambridge Satchel Company.

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We are both big Tatty Devine fans, and I am exceptionally fond of their Eyelash Sunglasses, found here, and who can resist the burger collection, here.

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As the weather was very favorable to us I chose to wear the most lightweight dress I could find in my wardrobe, which was this super stripey number from Primark. My most comfortable shoes were in order as we have a bit of a habit of getting a little lost when we are let out of Bristol, so I wore my Clarks sandals. My Cath Kidston train print rucksack, which I blogged about in my Croatia post, came in very handy to store my sale bargains in. I also wore my name necklace from Tatty Devine and my amazing spotty manicure (as seen above) was done by the lovely ladies at WAH Nails.

Jo – Like Victoria, I also wanted something extremely lightweight so I went for a navy polkadot dress from Instant Vintage. I love anything that’s easy to wear and this dress is my go to ‘look like I’ve made an effort without having made any’ number, which is exactly what you need when the it’s super hot!  It has a lovely Peter Pan collar too, making it suitably jazzy birthday attire. Anyone who reads this blog regularly won’t need telling that my white shoes are from Topshop. I really am guilty of wearing the same shoes everyday and for that I am very sorry. I promise to try harder in the footwear department.

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After a long hard day shopping we were ready for a quick snack before heading home, so Jo introduced me to the delights of Shake Shack, which she had previously visited in New York. I had the mouthwateringly good Shack-cago Dog and was not disappointed.

Jo – It’s often said that I look like I could use a good burger so it made sense to have one on my birthday! I am a bit of a Shake Shack obsessive and I was overjoyed when they announced earlier in the year that they would be opening their first UK branch in London. This was my first chance to go and I was not disappointed. The frozen chocolate ice cream was once of the nicest things I’ve ever eaten, seriously.

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LDN DONE,

V & J x