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Food, Reviews

A truly sweet delivery of nostalgia from ‘The Bonbon Boys’

The Bonbon Boys Pick 'n' Mix

After a dreary, rainy Monday the doorbell rang at 6pm and I was greeted with a delightful box of Pick ‘n’ Mix from the ‘The Bonbon Boys’ – turning a sour start to the day into a truly sweet evening!

Opening the box I actually let out an ‘oooooo’ as the colourful selection of sweets teased me from the blue tissue paper. And what a selection it was! I don’t even know where to begin, so I will start with a few of my favourites to get your tastebuds tingling. Fizzy Bubblegum Bottles,  Rainbow Pencils and Watermelon Slices bursting with flavour. Classics, including Fried Eggs, Giant Strawberries and Super Shrimps. And my absolute favourites, Mega Jazzies, Pink & White Mice and Black & Raspberry Jellies.

It was such a shame my husband and toddler were present when the delivery arrived as it meant I had to, dare I say it, share! My little boy let out a squeal of delight when I let him try the Bumper Bananas and my husband said the Cookies & Cream fudge was ‘amazing.’ I then had to hide the box from their sticky fingers, as it was addressed to me after all!

These delicious sweets hit me with a wave of nostalgia. I remember the walk home from school with my mum, when she would give me 50p (£1 on special occasions), to spend at the local newsagents for a bag of Pick ‘n’ Mix. I used to literally run in there and smile from ear to ear as I carefully selected my bag of goodies to take home. Although, I had normally eaten them before I made it through the front door. The same can be said for ‘The Bonbon Boys‘, as on arrival I couldn’t help but try a few, even though dinner was only an hour away. The smell of these sweets alone is enough to tease anyone into tearing open the paper. With them open in the room, I felt like I was in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – they are absolutely delicious!

The B onbon Boys Pick N Mix Sweets Snake

So who are ‘The Bonbon Boys‘? Kalem and Joe launched in June during lockdown, after the sale of traditional pick ‘n’ mix sweets were restricted, or suspended entirely by many shops due to the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, the boys have a sweet tooth and fondness for confectionary, so what better business to start, than one you love.

The sweets make a fantastic gift for special occasions, or if you fancy a truly epic feast for your weekend movie night. I will most definitely be ordering boxes for friends, family and myself, because let’s face it, everyone needs some sweetness in their life!

I received a box of ‘The Bonbon Boys Classics’ (priced at £10.95), but there is also a ‘Vegan’ and ‘Retro’ box to choose from. The boys are based locally in Bournemouth and delivery is free to most BH postcodes, but they also offer shipping all over the UK, with delivery starting from £3. Check out their website for details. 

The Bonbon Boys Pick N Mix Sweets based in Bournemouth, Dorset

Food, Lifestyle, Reviews

Chewton Glen Hotel Afternoon Tea & Spa Treatment – Review

A delicious afternoon tea and luxurious spa treatment in a 5* luxury country house hotel

Traditional Afternoon Tea Chewton Glen

I was lucky enough to be treated by my husband to afternoon tea and a 60 minute spa treatment at Chewton Glen to celebrate my first Mother’s Day, and what a treat it was!

The country house hotel is set in the New Forest and boasts luxurious spa facilities and award-winning dining. My first tip would be to give yourself enough time to discover and enjoy this beautiful hotel. Take a moment to explore the inside dining areas and wander round the stunning, manicured gardens. Don’t miss The Kitchen Garden either. Giant pumpkins, grape vines, kale, tomatoes and herbs are just a few of the many things you’ll find, along with gorgeous flowers.

My first trip was to the spa and I couldn’t wait! I hadn’t had a massage since I was pregnant and so it was certainly needed. I enjoyed a 60 minute warm oil massage and it was truly divine. My therapist tailored the experience to focus on my trouble areas and it felt amazing. The massage focused on my whole body and my favourite part was the hand and feet. I also got to enjoy a face mask during the front massage and I could literally feel my aches and worries leaving my body. After the massage I was left to let the oils soak into my body while enjoying a delicious passion fruit sorbet – a wonderful end to 60 minutes of pure bliss! At £105 per person for an hour massage it isn’t cheap, but for a one-off, or special occasion it really is fantastic.

Next it was afternoon tea in The Dining Room. The room itself is beautiful. Bright and airy, with stunning decor it really does make for a special occasion. We were lucky enough to enjoy a window seat, which overlooked the beautiful gardens and outdoor pool.

The afternoon tea did not disappoint. Using local, fresh ingredients we tucked into a selection of finger sandwiches (smoked salmon with dill, brie with pear chutney, beef and horseradish and egg and cress). My favourite was the egg and cress and so when our waitress asked if we wanted anything else, I asked for some more – it was a special occasion after all and I was very hungry after my massage! The plain and fruit scones were delicious and I particularly enjoyed the homemade strawberry jam. We were also treated to an array of cakes and pastries including lemon drizzle, fruit tart, cupcake and passion fruit profiterole, and all this was washed down nicely with a lovely cappuccino. There was not a crumb left in sight on either of our plates – it really was delicious. Chewton Glen’s traditional afternoon tea is £29.50 per person and so isn’t the cheapest in the area, but if you’re looking to book somewhere for a real treat, I’d definitely recommend it.

P.S. If you have time, follow the signs from the grounds to the beach. It’s a lovely woodland walk past the hotel’s nine-hole golf course, that only takes 15 minutes, and you won’t be disappointed when you get there as you’ll get to witness gorgeous views of the the Needles rising from the sea in the distance.

I hope to visit again some day…My rating… 4 out of 5

Food, Reviews

Afternoon Tea at Limewood Hotel & Spa – Review

Set in the heart of the stunning New Forest National Park, Lime Wood Hotel & Spa offers a truly scrumptious afternoon tea in beautiful surroundings.

Full Afternoon Tea, Limewood Hotel & Spa in the New Forest
Afternoon Tea at Limewood

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Lime Wood Hotel & Spa twice for afternoon tea. Once when I was pregnant with Jack and then again after he was born, and both visits were simply wonderful.

Lime Wood is located in the heart of the stunning New Forest National Park in Lyndhurst and so the hotel’s surroundings are just beautiful. On the drive to the hotel you will encounter lots of New Forest ponies and open moors. I highly recommend stopping to take some pictures!

What I love about Afternoon Tea at Limewood is that the whole experience is so special from the moment you enter the hotel and the staff make you feel special too.

On both occasions when I visited the hotel I enjoyed their Full Afternoon Tea and I wasn’t disappointed. We dined in the conservatory, which was just beautiful. With its glass roof the sunshine streams through and the bright and colourful setting makes for a lovely atmosphere.

My sister-in-law and I enjoying our special Afternoon Tea at Limewood.
Celebrating my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday at Limewood. It was a very sunny day, hence the sunglasses!

Limewood have an extensive tea list to choose from and their coffees are delicious. On the first visit, being pregnant, I ordered decaf coffee, which was the perfect accompaniment to the selection of finger sandwiches, sticky eclairs, delicious cakes and warm, homemade scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. I have always had a sweet tooth, even more so during pregnancy and the cakes were just delicious! My favourite was the chocolate and fennel flower pot! What I also liked is that they replenish the sandwiches if you would like more of a certain type. When I was pregnant with Jack I loved egg and cress sandwiches and so when they offered to bring more, of course I couldn’t deny my cravings – it would have been rude not to! The staff were also very attentive and brought more clotted cream and jam without any trouble when I asked for a little bit more…I do love clotted cream!

When I visited Limewood with my husband it was our anniversary and we were presented with two lovely cupcakes with ‘Happy Anniversary’ written on the plate in chocolate, which was a lovely touch, and they did the same again when I visited with my sister-in-law for her birthday. It’s these little extra touches that make Limewood stand out for me.

On our first visit to Limewood we were presented with these yummy cupcakes to celebrate my husband and I’s first anniversary.

If you can’t manage all of your afternoon tea (I’m not going to lie, I demolished it all on both occasions), they will happily box it up for you and what’s more, they also offer you extra cake to take home from their daily specials. I was lucky enough to take with me a homemade lemon drizzle and carrot cake, which were super moist and delicious when I ate them the following day. I even let my husband have a taste!

If you are looking for a real treat for a special occasion, I would definitely recommend Limewood Hotel & Spa. Afternoon Tea is served every day from 3pm-5pm and at £32 per person, it isn’t the cheapest, but you get what you pay for and Limewood really does boast a lovely afternoon tea in a beautiful setting. An easy 5 out of 5 from me and I hope to return again soon! If you haven’t visited Limewood Hotel & Spa, add it to your list – you certainly won’t be disappointed.

For more information here is Limewood’s Afternoon Tea menu.

Me and my baby bump on our first visit to Limewood in September 2018