A gin paradise

In the immortal words of Debbie Harry, picture this, a day in December…the 1st of December in fact, and I am at the end of a week long retreat of writing, long walks and endless cafe visits in Whitby. But all is not lost. Before my return I have one last duty to perform – the tasting of four different brands of gin kindly provided by Rebekah at Liquid Indulgence.

Regular readers will know that my knowledge lies more with food than drink, but I am partial to a drop of the old Mother’s Ruin and gin suits my taste buds perfectly. All of the samples described were accompanied by the excellent Fevertree tonic and stored at room temperature before serving. So let us begin…

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Liquid Indulgence and Undurraga Wine Tasting

One of the joys of regular networking is the opportunity to meet local food and drink businesses who might not otherwise drop onto my radar. The perfect example of this comes in the energetic and knowledgable form of Alan Terry and Rebekah Hilton at Liquid Indulgence: a Wheldrake based company who trade carefully sourced wine and spirits largely – though not exclusively – in the wholesale sector.

At a recent encounter myself and Rebekah began chatting about our regular blogging practice (check out the Liquid Indulgence blog for regular updates on events and special offers) and how, when I can, I like to drop in the odd product review for independent food businesses. This discussion led to an opportunity to try one of their favourite wine choices in exchange for an honest and open review on the blog. How could I refuse?

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Three places every foodie should try when visiting Newcastle

I have been making regular trips to Newcastle city centre for around five years now, all part of my post transplant management at the wonderful Freeman Hospital.  After an early start in clinic I’m usually done by lunchtime and have the luxury of an afternoon to trip round my regular haunts before jumping on the train home.

After much research and deliberation (my life is so hard sometimes, not) I thought it was time I put together a blog post sharing some of the venues that have made a visiting Yorkshire gal so welcome. Here are my three ‘must visit’ food and drink venues in the economic centre of the north east of England.

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Product review – A cleaner, better world?

Please note: I never accept payment for reviews given on The Greedy Wordsmith blog, allowing me to provide you with an honest and unbiased opinion.

wpid-imag1009.jpgOccasionally I receive an invitation to carry out a review on behalf of a local business. These are usually for cafes or festivals and I always insist they be done without financial incentive so that I can maintain the integrity of any given opinion. Last week I was approached by Gideon Innovations to write a review of their latest cleaning product, bravely named One Off. Armed with the knowledge that I can’t be paid for a positive critique they handed me a bottle and instructed me to do my worst.

Now, as a food writer my kitchen requires regular cleaning. I often wing my way through an emerging recipe with feverish passion and little practical thought; leaving a chaotic scene behind me. Once the creative moment has passed reality sets in and I am left with the grinding task of tidying up. On top of this I have a real bee in my hair net about the ridiculous marketing tactics used by many companies in this field. I hate the way we are made to feel that our houses and, in fact we, are dirty and dangerous without the latest bacteria killing formula.

There are no such claims on the bottle of One Off – in my opinion – a good start. One Off is normally provided in concentrated form, allowing the user to dilute according to the task in hand. The website advises that I can use it on everything from carpets to the car bonnet with kitchen surfaces and the bathroom suite in between. My sample comes in ready diluted form, to what strength I am unsure.

I choose to begin in the bathroom. Most bathroom cleaners offer a comforting foamy consistency and a bright, ‘cleaning product’ scent. The One Off is clear in colour with no lather which is initially disconcerting. This lack of body is not representative of its abilities however and I quickly run through the usual tasks of bath, sink and floor. I also noted that it seemed particularly effective on the taps and shower head.

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Rosehips ready for boiling, straining and mixing with honey. A typically messy job.

With no emergency stains on the carpet to attack, I move to the kitchen hob and recently stained sink. After a weekend of jam and chutney making the area is definitely in need of a good scrub. I spray the hob top in anticipation of a mammoth task before turning my attention to the fruit stained sink. It quickly removed the stains and once again I am impressed with the shine on the taps. One Off also makes short work of the baked on detritus on the hob top with only a little scrubbing, leaving a kitchen friendly scent that is not overpowering.

So how does all of this help you save the world? The development of One Off is motivated by more than simply introducing yet another cleaning product onto the market. Gideon Innovations hope to persuade you that this is the only product you require. By designing a solution that comes in concentrated form – to be diluted according to requirements – they aim to prevent the number of plastic bottles in circulation and change the way we think about cleaning our homes. The website claims that using One Off will “help the end user to retrain or reset the concept of domestic chemical use” in its multi purpose application.

In summary, this is a product that I would recommend, not only because of its performance but because of the care and consideration demonstrated in the company message.

Rating out of ****

  • Value for money ***
  • Performance ****
  • Smell/Appearance ****
  • Overall****