Christmas Gift Idea:Hofmeister Is Back!

It was one of the most iconic bear brands of the 1980s, with an instantly recognisable advert and slogan, and now it is back, and not just back, but back and winning awards. I am talking about Hofmeister, the lager that encouraged us all to ‘Follow the Bear’ the bear in question being the cool and loveable Bavarian ‘George The Bear’.

Hofmeister first became an iconic brand when it  first hit the UK back in the 80’s. It was then a 3.2% ABV pale lager produced by Scottish Courage. But the beer was axed as a brand in 2003 by then owners Heineken. But now it is back and better than ever. It has has been made over into a 5% ABV Helles lager, slow-brewed in Germany by a fourth generation family-owned brewery located on the edge of Ebersberger Forest in Bavaria.It is already an award winner, it was the first 5 star winner of the Best Lager award in the 2017/8 IWSC awards.

Hofmeister is a genuine craft beer, made to strict German purity standards using just three ingredients, mineral water, hops and barley. It tastes great, with a lovely subtle hoppy taste and would be a great Christmas present for a lager lover or lovely of craft beers, or would be perfect to have at home for when you have visitors over the Christmas period, or even if you decide to host a Christmas, or New Year’s party – although you may not be happy to give it away!

How to Pour for Perfection

You can currently buy Hofmeister online at Amazon, with a case of 12 330ml bottles for £19.99 or a case of 24 for £39.99. For a limited time, they can also get free delivery if they enter the code FTBHOF17 at checkout (while stocks last). You can find the two packages here.

I know at least two members of my family who would love to receive this as a gift, it is delicious and gives a quirky nod back to the growing Nostalgia for the 1980s, although it tastes even better now than it did then.

The Night Before Christmas at John Lewis Birmingham

“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house”, well, all through John Lewis in Grand Central Birmingham actually, but you get the general picture. Christmas arrived in Birmingham last week, as a group of very lucky bloggers (myself included – yay!) were invited to a Christmas launch event after hours in the flagship Grand Central store. There was fizz, there was delicious looking food, and there was everything that says ‘Christmas’, It was amazing.

The night was all about getting a taste of John Lewis Christmas, before the much anticipated advert is released. There was an opportunity to look at specific promotions, including a set of very special Christmas tree lights that work by App. These lights have all sorts of combinations when it comes to colour and shine, and can even be set to come on, or to go off after you’ve gone to bed.

Twinkly 175 LED Christmas Lights Extra Large Set, Multi L20.5m £85 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis is always the place to go for new Christmas decorations. It gives you ideas and themes for how to dress your tree, putting together colour schemes that you may not have thought of as strictly Christmasssy – pinks and oranges are not associated with Christmas, but they make a wonderful colour combination on a ‘Tales of the Maharaja’ styled tree. Folklore, Russian influenced Winter Palace and Highland Myths are amongst the other, wonderful themes in store this year.

Winter Palace

John Lewis Winter Palace Bauble £12 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Winter Palace Babushka Bauble £6 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Olivia Tree Topper, Silver Blue £12 Click to visit John Lewis

Tales of the Maharaja

John Lewis Tales of the Maharaja Lion Head Bauble Click here John Lewis Tales of the Maharaja Leopard Head Bauble £8 Click here

John Lewis Lima Llama Flamingo Clip On Tree Decoration £8 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Lima Llama Flamingo Snow Globe £18 Click to visit John Lewis

Lima Lama As well as the best decorated trees around, John Lewis also had a brilliant range of decorations for the mantlepiece, tables and shelves, as well as a wonderful array of indoor and outdoor lighting solutions.

Coppenrath Victorian Christmas Houses Advent Boxes, Pack of 24 £15 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Highland Myths Festive Owl Decoration, Small £18 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Winter Palace Artificial White Twig Tree £15 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis LED Christmas TV Scene £25 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Highland Myths Festive Deer Room Decoration £18 Click to visit John Lewis

One of the new products for 2017 that elicited lots of excitement was the Scentsicles, scented twig like sticks that you can hang from your Christmas tree and leave the whole room smelling of Christmas. These are just £6 and are frankly amazing, a new Christmas must have.

Scentsicles £6 Click to visit John Lewis

There were food treats to sample too, with an advent calendar full of pork scratchings proving to be a surprise hit. My personal favourites were Prestat popping pink prosecco mini truffles which had a lovely Prosecco flavour combined with the hint of popping candy – a blast from childhood combined with bubbles has to be a good thing.

John Lewis truly is a Winter wonderland during the run up to Christmas, and in terms of decoration, they are hard to beat.

*With thanks to Shani from John Lewis and the Brum Bloggers Group for the invitation.

 

 

Reviewed: bakerdays Cakes And A Giveaway

Choosing a gift for a loved one or a friend can sometimes be frustrating. You try to choose something they would like and enjoy, and love presenting it to them and seeing their expression as they open it. But there are occasions when, due to living in different places, you have to send a present across the miles, and then it becomes a little more difficult. This is where bakerdays cakes come in.

Bakerdays create beautiful cakes for any occasion, and these can also be personalised with both words or a photograph. Whether it be for a birthday, an anniversary, Halloween, Christmas or starting a new school or a new Job, bakerdays cakes can be matched to your occasion. The cakes are all designed, baked and created by the bakerdays team, but the thing I love the most about them is that the designs are especially made to fit through a letterbox, meaning that even if you are sending it to someone who is not at home in the day, the cake can still be delivered on time, giving your loved one a lovely surprise when they see a treat waiting for them on their doormat.

I chose a bakerdays cake for my son Joe, to celebrate going back to school, starting a new term and a new school year. The cake was sent in a gift tin that keeps it in perfect condition, it will stay fresh for up to 14 days upon arrival. The tin also contained balloons, candles and a gift card.

We opted for a vanilla buttercream cake, but there are many different choices including gluten free, dairy free and wheat free, as well as fruit cake and chocolate cake – something for every taste in actual fact. The cake was in perfect condition in the tin and tasted absolutely delicious, and, as promised, remained fresh – we had the last slice tonight, almost a week since it was first delivered.

With both Halloween and Christmas on their way, a bakerdays Cake is a fantastic gift idea to make a note of. But one lucky winner could win a Letterbox Gift cake in the recipe and personalised design of their choice, by entering the competition below.