Blogmas | Getting Ready For Christmas with Locally Sourced Treats*


It's Day 2 of 12 Days of Blogmas today and I'm very excited because we've officially decorated our flat for Christmas and indulged in the first Christmas treats of the season. I've loved decorating the Christmas tree for as long as I can remember and now that we have our very own tree to put up I love it even more. I can be a bit of a perfectionist (my brother hated helping out when we were younger as I'd always move everything he put on!) but I'm trying to be much better. I was also very fortunate to receive a package of Locally Sourced Christmas products from the East of England Co-Op a couple of weeks ago and it has taken a lot of restraint to keep them tucked away in the cupboard until now! In our house it's customary to eat our first mince pies after we've put up all the decorations while listening to Christmas music, and a glass of tipple doesn't hurt either! You can watch my video below to see us putting all the decorations on the tree and Harry spectacularly showering our living room with sparking wine too! 




I always think one of the best things about Christmas is the food. It's the time of year when it's ok to indulge and there are so many different things to try too. Of course it should be of no surprise that when I was asked whether I'd like to review some of the Locally Sourced Christmas range my answer was a resounding 'yes please!'. You might remember that I partnered with the East of England Co-op back in the Summer to support their Locally Sourced Fortnight and I was really impressed with the choice and quality of the products available. Now that it's Christmas some delicious treats are hitting the stores and I think there is no better time of year to support your local farmers, breweries, and  bakeries either. 


I couldn't wait to try the Leggs Bakery’s Mince Pies* (£1.69 for 6). Mince pies are probably my favourite thing to eat at Christmas and seeing them pop up in shops for the last couple of months has had me craving them like mad! Harry is not usually such a huge fan, but he loved these! He described them as having lovely thick pastry with lots of filling. At first I was a bit bemused as all the pies looked a little different but as Danny Stevens (of Leggs Bakery) explains "Each and every one is handmade from scratch, using as much local produce as possible, as a result no two ever look the same, but all are equally delicious."  It's not surprising then that 120,000 of these were sold last year  so make sure to stock up early to avoid being disappointed! 

After all our hard work decorating we then relaxed on the sofa with a glass (or two) of the 2010/11 Vintage Sparkling Rose* (£18.99) from Shawsgate Vineyard and Winery which is made from the Acolon grape. I've only really started drinking wine over the last year but rosé, particularly sparkling rosé, is definitely my favourite. This wine is descried as 'off-dry', 'refreshing and uplifting' and is supposed to be great with canapés. I thought it might be too dry for me but I actually really enjoyed it, as the bubbles made it feel really festive too. How could believe such a lovely wine (whose 2010 equivalent won East Anglia's Top Sparkling Wine of the Year Award) could be made in a such a local brewery? 




A little later on we tried the Hadleigh Maid Christmas Marshmallow Whirls* (£1.69) which I think are the cutest things ever! Hadleigh Maid make such creamy and delicious chocolate (their chocolate orange bar is amazing!) and yet they are the smallest chocolate factory in the UK. These chocolate shells are filled with gooey white marshmallow which makes them really sweet but light to eat. I think they would make a great alternative treat to leave out for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve too! These are sold exclusively in East of England Co-op stores alongside a number of other chocolate treats to try.

Finally Harry spent the evening nursing this extremely festive looking Tinsel Toes* ale (£2.19) from Woodforde's Brewery. It is described as "smooth and well-balanced" and "a fusion of roast malts, spice and fruit" and while I wasn't brave enough to taste it the smell of was very similar to Christmas pudding! It's supposed to be great with beef or fine cheese but you can also enjoy it on it's own. I think you'd have a tough time finding a more festive beer than this one!



I also promised in Friday's post that I would show you my finished advent calendar! We filled each bag with chocolates, strung them up on a Christmas card holder that I'd bought last year and then attached them to the mantle using normal drawing pins. I think it looks so cute, rustic and festive! I  am definitely in the Christmas spirit now and I've even written our Christmas cards and wrapped up presents to put under the tree. I've also eaten one of the Legg's Bakery mince pies every day since Sunday, opps! Let me know how you've started getting ready for Christmas and if you'll be trying any of the treats that I've mentioned too!

* I was sent these products from the East of England Co-op to review but all opinions are my own, as always.




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