Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Love Corn - Crunchy Snacks Review

(AD) We were gifted a LOVE CORN care package for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As a family of five it is fair to say that we go through a fair amount of snacks on a daily basis. This has been especially highlighted during the recent period of home schooling, where it has become apparent that my children have felt the need to have a snack break every hour. However, on a positive note, this has encouraged us to try some new food products and discover some snacks that are different to the usual contents of our weekly shop. 

One of the new tasty treats that we have recently tried is LOVE CORN, which are crunchy corn kernel snacks that are packed full of flavour and available in a range of different varieties to suit all tastes and appetites. We were sent a Love Corn care package to review the product and we were very excited to try them out and learn a little bit more about the brand.

The four fabulous flavours are Sea Salt. Salt & Vinegar, Smoked BBQ and Habanero Chilli and there are a choice of portion sizes which are a 20g snack pack, a 45g portion size and a 115g packet that is perfect for sharing. They are ideal for families to enjoy at home, great for on the go, enjoying with a picnic or packed lunch, or even as a meal topper such as on soup or salads.

Love Corn snacks are plant based, vegan, gluten free, verified Kosher and Non GMO. The ingredients are super simple, just corn that's been roasted then seasoned. For example, on looking at the ingredients for the Smoked BBQ flavour, these are listed as Corn, Paprika, Onion, Garlic, Sea Salt and Sunflower Oil. So simple, yet so tasty!

Each of my children were keen to try specific flavours that suited their individual preferences, whilst I was looking forward to trying out the Habanero Chilli. My youngest son opted for the salt and vinegar flavour and the first thing that he mentioned was that the smell was not too overpowering. This can put him off foods quite quickly, so it tends to be the first thing that he notices. I emptied a 45g packet into a bowl for him and he was able to help himself throughout the day. He really enjoyed them and was very complimentary about the taste and how crunchy they were. He has already asked me to put some in a small container in his lunch box each day when he returns to school next week. The salt and vinegar was also my eldest son's favourite, who enjoyed them in moderation.

My daughter usually dislikes Salt & Vinegar flavouring, but she also helped herself to a few in the bowl and was pleasantly surprised. However, her personal favourite was the Sea Salt. She found she didn't want to eat a full packet at a time, but enjoyed getting a handful every now and again when feeling hungry. She therefore made good use of the fact that the packs are resealable and she enjoyed a packet over 2-3 days.

Both my husband and I enjoyed the Smoked BBQ and the Habanero Chilli flavours and these went down a treat with a glass of wine and a pint of lager in the evening. My husband usually enjoys a snack of ready salted peanuts with a beer, so this was a great alternative that also provided much more flavour.

Overall we really enjoyed Love Corn and we each had our own preference to our favourite flavours. We found them to be really crunchy and delicious and a great alternative to a packet of crisps. I will personally continue to use these as evening nibbles and my children have said that they would be happy to eat them as a regular snack, especially in their packed lunches. We all agreed that they were tasty and enjoyed trying something new and different from our usual choices. 

If you would like to try Love Corn snacks for yourself, then I have a 20% discount code available to my readers. Simply visit the Love Corn Website and enter the code "CRUNCH20" at the check out. Alternatively, if you would like to try before you buy or you're not quite sure which flavour to purchase, then why not request a free sample pack (Postage additional at £1.99).

*Disclaimer - We were gifted a LOVE CORN care package for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 8 January 2021

10 Great Reasons As To Why I Love Amazon Prime Now!

* This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

We have regularly relied on home shopping deliveries in the past for a variety of different reasons. Work schedules, having to take 3 children around the supermarket who really don't want to be there and the simple factor of convenience, have all been elements that have persuaded us to make use of home deliveries for quite some time. However, when the first lockdown began, the home delivery slots quickly disappeared and those that were left were only available at an excessive price. We also realised that even if we could get a slot, there was likely someone much more in need of it than we were and so for a period of time we no longer used this facility.

This was ok for a while, until the need came for us to self isolate. Again we couldn't find any delivery slots and we were in a bit of a panic as to how we were going to get our weekly big shop done. Our neighbours were great offering to get us bits and bobs but I certainly wouldn't have felt comfortable asking them to do a huge shop for us, so I began to look for an alternative and came across Amazon Prime Now whilst exploring our Amazon Prime membership benefits.

In our area Amazon Prime Now has partnered with our local Morrisons store. Although this wasn't our usual supermarket, they all generally sell the same things and so we decided to give it a try. We have been prime members for years now so there was also no additional cost for us to use this service if we spent over £40. The difference with Prime Now is that you cannot see a whole host of delivery slots ahead of time or before you start adding things to your basket, so I was understandably a little bit wary at first that I may spend an hour adding items, to then find that there was no slot available for delivery.

However, because these slots can't be booked up way in advance or prior to checking out, I am pleased to say that we have so far managed to get same day delivery on every single order that we have placed, though this may possibly change as the service becomes more popular. I have also noticed recently that they have started placing a guide at the top of the main page which tells you whether there are still delivery slots available that day or for the following day which definitely helps.

We now use Amazon Prime Now regularly and absolutely love the service. I have therefore compiled my top ten reasons as to why I Love Amazon Prime Now.

1) Ease of Use - The app is so easy to use. You simply download it to your phone and off you go. It is easy to search for items in the search bar, or alternatively you can have a look through the special deals that feature on the main page. Once you have started placing orders you can also access your previous items so that you can purchase these again and add them to your basket at super quick speed. The site is also available on your web browser too, so if you would rather use your laptop to place an order then that is still an option.

2) Fast Delivery - The delivery service is fantastic and on some occasions we have received all our shopping in less than 2 hours after placing our order. You receive a notification when the delivery driver is on their way and you can even track their journey to your home. Amazing!

3) Very Reasonable Delivery Fees - When you spend over £40 there is no extra delivery charge for Prime Members if you choose a 2 hour delivery slot. If you have 1 hour delivery slots available in your area then delivery costs £3.99 for orders over £40. Orders under £40 carry a £3.99 delivery charge if you choose a 2 hour slot and £6.99 for a 1 hour slot. There is a minimum spend on any order of at least £15. As we use this service for our main shop we use the 2 hour slots which means our shopping is delivered free as part of our prime benefits.

4) Paper Bags - Shopping is delivered in paper bags meaning they can be put straight into the recycling once you have unpacked your goods.

5) Real Time Product Replacements - In the event that your chosen product is out of stock you will receive a message whilst your order is being picked that offers a replacement suggestion. You can then choose to accept or decline that replacement.

6) Covid-Safe Delivery - All of our delivery drivers have been excellent at maintaining distance as well as wearing masks, which offers reassurance whilst having your goods delivered to your home.

7) Excellent Customer Service - There is no live chat facility on Amazon Prime Now in the event of any issue, but there is an email and call option. I was therefore  a little sceptical at first as to how quick they would respond to any problems. However, I recently received the wrong product to what I had ordered so sent them an email. I received a response in less than an hour, along with a no quibble refund of the product I had ordered which was returned to my bank account the following day. 

8) Great Communication - You are regularly kept up to date with your order and receive several notifications during the ordering, picking and delivery process. You receive a notification during the following stages:

  • When your order has been received
  • When your shopper starts working on your order
  • If your shopper needs to confirm any replacement requests
  • Once your shopper has finished working on your order
  • Once your order has been dispatched and is on its way
  • Once your order is within close distance
  • Once your order has been delivered
9) I.D for Alcohol Sales - This may be an unpopular opinion, but I think it is great that they will always ask to see your I.D if purchasing alcohol. They will do this regardless of how old you look and my husband and I have always had to show our I.D from a safe distance, despite clearly looking older than the legal age. Whilst this may annoy some, I think it is great that they are being compliant with the relevant laws.

10) 30 Day Free Trial - If you have not been a member of Amazon Prime before, then you may be eligible to sign up to a free 30 day trial of the Amazon Prime service, which will then give you access to Amazon Prime Now. If you enjoy the service then you can continue to pay the monthly or annual subscription charge, if not then you can simply cancel before your 30 day trial expires. You can find out more over on the Amazon website simply by clicking the banner below. (Affiliate link).

*Disclaimer - This post is written based on my own opinion and experience of the Amazon Prime Now service. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing but are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting Amazon's own website in order to obtain the most up to date information. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Creating Gummy Sweets with Bandai Foodie Surprise! - Review

Foodie Surprise is a brand new craft toy collectible from Bandai, that combines the fun of getting crafty and creative with a collectible treat. It is the world's first sweet making collectible and the DIY sweet making kits come with everything you need to get started in making your very own gummy sweets.

There are currently four main Foodie Surprise Food Carts to collect which are the Ice Cream Cart, the Pizza Cart, the Sushi Cart and the Bubble Tea Cart.  Each of these come complete with a mould for creating your sweets, along with a sweetie storage collectible containing at least 10 surprises inside. As well as the Food Carts, you can also purchase Mini Collectible Take Out Sets, which are smaller than the main Food Carts, but still contain all you need to get started.

Riley was sent several products from the range to review and he couldn't wait to get started making his very own sweets. We began with the Foodie Surprise Food Cart, as this was the first item that caught Riley's attention and we opened the box to find out what was inside. We had received an Ice Cream Cart and enclosed within the box was:

  • 1 Food Cart
  • 1 Candy Storage Container
  • Numerous packs of Candy Powder
  • 1 Collector's Poster
  • 1 Eye Dropper
  • 1 Mixing Tool
  • 1 Mixing/Measuring Cup
  • Vac Form Mould Trays
  • 1 Ball Chain
  • A set of instructions

We began by having a look through the instructions to get a good idea of what we needed to do, before beginning to create the first part of our Foodie Surprise sweets. The first item we created were the waffle bowls and we filled the measuring jug with water up to the recommended fill line in the guide.

We then added the peach coloured powder and mixed the solution together. We then poured this into the moulds and allowed them to set. Next up was the cherries, so I gave the tools a quick wash and then followed the same process of filling the measuring cup to the guide line and adding the red powder to create our gummy cherries. It was then the same process for the gummy bananas so we were starting to get the hang of things.

The ice cream scoops were slightly different as this involved rolling the mixture into a ball using your hands, much to Riley's delight. We did this for both the Vanilla ice cream scoops and the Strawberry scoops.

With our sweet treats now starting to take shape we commenced the final part of the process to create the drizzle topping, which was really easy to do and Riley was really pleased with his finished Foodie Surprise Gummy Sweets. These could be placed into the food cart, which involved a minimal amount of self assembly and our set was then complete. Our first attempt turned out well with a jelly like texture, so our attention then turned to the Takeouts Box.

Our smaller Foodie Surprise Takeouts Box contained a Foodie Surprise Donut Takeout Set, Confectionary Powder, Moulds, an Eye Dropper, Measuring Cup and a Mixing Tool. The instructions were simple enough, however they are visual with images as opposed to text and personally I prefer written instructions to ensure that we are following the process accurately.

Our Donut set involved three different elements that we needed to make, starting with the donut dough base and then followed by the green and white icing. Riley really enjoyed it and he loved the fact that he was making his own sweets which made our efforts completely worth while. The process is a little time consuming and our donut dough gummy seemed to have a different consistency to the gummy sweets we had created previously, so I was a little unsure as to whether we had done this one correctly and without a written guide to refer to, it was hard to tell.

Overall Riley enjoyed attempting to make some gummy sweets that we could eat and it was fun to try a completely different kind of creative activity. There are 4 food carts to collect in Series One which come in two different colour ways for each theme and I like the fact that the food carts can also be used as storage for the sweets or moulds once you have finished your sweetie-making craft. Riley really enjoyed creating gummy sweets himself and then displaying them in his food cart. He would then pretend that he was running a sweet shop and would invite his brother and sister to come and sample his food. We found the Foodie Surprise Food Cart sweets turned out much better for us than the Takeouts Box, but Riley enjoyed using both items. The products are recommended for children aged 6+ and I think that this is accurate with parental help and supervision. 

The Foodie Surprise Food Cart has an RRP of £15.00, whilst the Foodie Surprise Takeouts Box has an RRP of £8.00. Both of these items are available for sale from toy retailers including The Entertainer, Smyths Toys and Amazon.

*Disclaimer - We were gifted these products for the purpose of writing an honest review of the items and our experience. All opinions and photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Making Our Own Yoghurt with the EasiYo Yoghurt Maker - A Review

My children absolutely love yoghurt and you can guarantee that it will be one of the first items that they reach for in the fridge when they get home from school. With three children racing one another to their favourite flavours, it is fair to say that we do quickly run out, so when I was introduced to the EasiYo Yoghurt Maker, I was definitely keen to find out more.

I had never really considered the option of making our own yoghurt before and in all honesty I didn't even realise that this was something that was possible to do at home. However, EasiYo has created a fabulous kitchen accessory that makes the process of creating your own homemade yoghurt really simple, with minimal effort too!

Our EasiYo Yoghurt Maker arrived along with some separate flavour sachets of Greek Style Raspberry and Peach, but EasiYo currently have over 20 different flavours in their product range, so there is sure to be flavours to suit all tastes. We chose to make the Raspberry flavour first, so the children set about removing the lovely pink container from the box and passed me the instructions.

I was initially a bit sceptical about how easy the process would be, but was pleasantly surprised by how simple the three stages were to follow. To begin with we got all the equipment out ready and put the sachet to one side. We then half-filled the yoghurt container with room temperature water, opened and added the sachet mix, before securing the lid and shaking well.

After we had shaked it for a while, we removed the lid, added some more water until it was just below the top, before securing the lid and shaking well again. The instructions advise to ensure that you use room temperature water only, otherwise this could affect the consistency of the yoghurt and it may not set correctly.

Once we were happy that the powder and water had been shaken sufficiently, we checked that the plastic spacer inside the Easiyo Yoghurt Maker was placed correctly and then added boiling water to the top of the spacer insert.

As this part of the process involved boiling water, I carefully placed the yoghurt container inside the EasiYo Yoghurt Maker and placed the lid on top. We then left this on the kitchen worktop overnight to allow the yoghurt to set. The guide time for this is approximately 8-12 hours and once it has set, it can then be moved into the fridge for it to chill. It is noted in the instructions that you should not refrigerate the yoghurt before it has completely set.

The yoghurt was really creamy and delicious and as well as being enjoyed on it's own, it can also be used in some recipes too that can be found on the EasiYo website. It also offers some great nutritional benefits, such as being rich in calcium and protein, as well as having no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. EasiYo is also gluten free and vegetarian.

Another advantage of using the EasiYo Yoghurt Maker is that it helps to reduce the amount of waste of single use yoghurt pots and plastic in the home, as the Yoghurt Maker and storage pots can be easily reused and cleaned over and over again.

Overall we really liked the concept of the product and how simple it was to use. One sachet of mix makes 1kg of yoghurt, so not only is it cost effective, but it also lasts throughout the week too! My children enjoyed helping out with the process and there always seems to be more enjoyment in eating something that you have made yourself, so it was a very popular choice of snack. The yoghurt tasted fresh and delicious and my daughter also enjoyed combining some of the Raspberry Greek Yoghurt with her cereal in the morning. The EasiYo website also has a great range of recipe suggestions, so we are really looking forward to trying some of these out in the near future.

The EasiYo Yoghurt Maker has an RRP of £14.99, which I think offers great value for money and there is also a fantastic selection of flavour sachets to purchase. It is also possible to buy some additional EasiYo jars and storage pots and these can be found on the EasiYo website, Amazon, Lakeland, The Range, Morrisons and a large number of independent stores.

*Disclaimer - We were provided with a complimentary EasiYo Yoghurt Maker along with two flavour sachets, for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product and our experience. All opinions and photographs are my own. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

Monday, 21 August 2017

New Malt Loaf Bars from Soreen - The Ideal Travel Snack!

Earlier this year we were asked to share our opinion on Soreen Lunchbox Loaves, which shortly after, became a regular feature of our families lunchboxes. In keeping with busy family lifestyles, Soreen developed some individually wrapped lunchbox loaves, which are suitable for both kids & adults alike. As they are ready packaged, it makes preparing lunchboxes an easy task, as well as providing us with a great source of fibre & deliciously squidgy energy.

Since trying the lunchbox loaves a few months ago, Soreen have now introduced the Soreen Malt Loaf Bar. These are slightly larger than the lunchbox loaves, with each individual Malt Loaf Bar being 42g in size. This increase in proportion makes them great for adults, or children with a larger appetite.

The NEW Soreen Malt Loaf Bars are great for when we travel, as they fit into my handbag, glove box, or even pocket with ease. We found these to be a great alternative to the expensive snacks you find onboard planes and during our recent trip to Germany, they were a popular choice with the kids. I also really liked the fact that they weren't crumbly like cake and therefore didn't leave a mess behind once consumed. We have also kept these in the glove box when travelling in the car, as they are ideal for keeping the kids happy when they get hungry on long journeys.

Each 42g bar contains less than 3% fat. They are a great source of fibre and contain juicy raisins amongst the squidgy loaf bar. The NEW Soreen Malt Loaf Bars are suitable for vegetarians and despite being packed full of goodness, they contain less than 125 calories! The packaging stands out on the shelf, with the bright red writing against the vivid yellow background. Nutritional information is provided on the front, back and side of the packaging, so you can be sure of being fully informed before eating as to what the product contains.

We were firm fans of the lunchbox loaves, but now that we have been introduced to the NEW Malt Loaf Bars, we will definitely alternate between the two. I can also see them becoming a regular addition at my lunch time too, or a handy sized snack for when I am on the go! We have also noticed that the Soreen website, also features a few tasty looking recipes, so we are definitely going to give the Chocolate Soreen Flapjack Recipe here a try in the near future.

If you would like to give the NEW Soreen Malt Loaf Bar's a try, then these are available for purchase from The Co-op and WHSmith Travel stores.

Disclaimer: We were provided with this product on a complimentary basis for the purpose of providing our honest opinion on the product. Opinions and photographs are my own, unless stated otherwise.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Soreen Lunchbox Loaves - A Review

Soreen is a product that I have often noticed in the supermarket, however my children generally like food that they are familiar with and therefore tend to stick to the same food items when it comes to their lunchbox contents.

I wouldn't say that they are fussy eaters, but instead they have their firm favourite snacks and so don't really tend to try new things unless it has been something they have seen their friends eating in school or something that they have been able to have a sample of in a supermarket whilst shopping with me.

It was therefore nice to be offered the opportunity to try the new Soreen lunchbox loaves, which come in two flavours, original and banana. Soreen is the UK's favourite malt loaf and are now available in small convenient sizes. The packs include 5 individually wrapped loaves which is the perfect number for school packed lunches. They are a great source of fibre, and contain less than 0.3g of saturated fat. The Soreen Lunchbox Loaves contain only 95 calories each and even meet the Government's Nutritional Standards for School, which are all reassuring figures for parents looking for a nutritional but tasty snack for their children (or themselves too!).

Both the original flavour and the banana flavour are suitable for vegetarians, which is great for us as several of my daughters friends are vegetarian, so it gives us a handy go to snack to have in the cupboard for when they come round to play. Although they are named Lunchbox Loaves they are also great for an after school snack, or something that can easily be carried around in your handbag for when you are out and about.

The packaging stands out on the shelf, and like I said previously, it is a brand that I have noticed numerous times in the supermarket which I believe is because of the wrapper. The bright yellow colour instantly catches your eye, and the use of red text against the yellow background also makes the brand name very obvious and easy to read.  The nutritional information is featured in the top right hand corner (as you look at it) and there is a handy checklist which provides useful information about being lunchbox friendly and the items being individually wrapped. The small clear window on the left hand side is a great idea, as this gives you a sneak peek at what the product looks like inside and allows you to see both the design and size of the lunchbox loaves, helping you to make an informed purchase.

When it came to the taste test my daughter Emma preferred the Banana flavour out of the two. Initially she wasn't sure whether she liked them, but after a couple of bites she said that they were actually really tasty, and that her initial indecisiveness was just down to the fact that it was a different texture from what she is used to. She was expecting it to be similar to a crumbly cake, so was taken by surprise by the soft and squidgy texture. As soon as she had finished her first one, she then asked for a second which is always a good sign that she enjoyed it!

Ben on the other hand preferred the original flavour, which was great for me as it meant no arguments over who had which in their lunchbox, or who would get the last one in the packet! He found the original flavour really tasty and his pack of 5 only lasted three days as opposed to the full school week as he took a couple of them to football training with him so he could have a quick snack just before he started.

My stepson Liam who is 17 also came and tested these for us when he stayed over this week. He has always been a fan of Soreen and so was keen to try out the lunchbox loaves and provide his opinion. He thoroughly enjoyed both of the flavours and his only slightly negative comment was that he found the smell of the banana one quite strong. He loved the taste though and took several packets of both flavours to school with him the next day.

Overall, the Soreen Lunchbox Loaves were a big hit with our family and the product is suitable for all ages not just children. They can be purchased from Asda, The Co-operative, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose and The current RRP of the product is £1.35 per pack of five, however several of the supermarkets currently have these on offer for only £1!

Disclaimer: We were provided with samples of this product on a complimentary basis for the purpose of writing an honest review of our experience with the product. All views, opinions and photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Our Weekend Break at The Shibden Mill Inn, Yorkshire

I really don't like going away without the kids, so we generally tend not to, unless it's to attend a wedding or business event, and at the most we will only have a couple of nights away a year. However, back in August 2016, I won a competition through Inn Places to win a night away in a beautiful suite, with a three course dinner and breakfast at a lovely hotel in the Shibden Valley, near Halifax. After putting off booking for several months, we finally decided that a night away might be nice for my husbands birthday and so we booked our stay for last Saturday 4th March.

A couple of nights prior to our visit, I did begin to feel anxious about our stay and even thought about cancelling, but my husband convinced me that all would be fine, and so I finally began to relax about it and started to look forward to experiencing some luxury and fine food.

The journey from North Wales to Shibden, took us just over an hour and a half, and it was an easy journey there without too much traffic, on what was a bright and sunny day. The sat nav did send us down a very bumpy cobbled lane as we approached our destination, but we remembered to avoid this when we left the following day.

The location of our weekend break was at the Shibden Mill Inn, which dates back to the 17th century and was formerly a water mill. The inn has retained a lot of its original features and character and these have been cleverly incorporated into the individually designed guest rooms. The Inn is literally a stones throw away from Halifax, taking only a few minutes to reach the city centre, however on arrival you truly feel as though you are in the heart of the countryside and away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It offers both 5 star guest accommodation and a fantastic dining experience, with excellent quality food available from a choice of several different menus dependent on the day and time of your visit.

On arrival we found a parking space and admired the pretty stream that ran alongside it. We saw lots of couples out with their dogs enjoying the sunshine and it seemed a popular place for walkers. We entered into the reception area where we received a very warm and friendly welcome and the gentleman who checked us in, guided us to our room and gave us a quick tour of the inn on the way. He showed us where we could visit the bar, and explained where we would be dining in the evening and the following morning.

As he opened the door to our room, we were extremely impressed by both the size and the decor of the room. We were staying in the Bower Suite which had been tastefully decorated, with a great combination of both traditional and modern furnishings. The bathroom was of a modern appearance with a wonderfully large walk in shower which had both a fixed and handheld shower option. In the main room was a spectacular bath, which has given me serious bath envy and is something I would love to have in my own home.

The bed was huge and looked lovely with its display of pillows and soft furnishings, and in front of this was a large sofa, which was ideal for watching television or simply having a rest. There were tea and coffee making facilities, a large widescreen television on the wall, a dvd player, and a retro look digital radio which supplied lovely background music into the room. In addition to all of these modern conveniences, there was ample storage space in the form of both a wardrobe and two chest of drawers, and the doors located to the rear of the room, opened out onto a lovely outdoor patio area.

Shibden Mill Inn has also thought about the little finishing touches to the room as well, and there were plenty of little extras available that help to make a comfortable stay, such as toiletries and an ample selection of tea, coffee and biscuits. The added addition of some magazines, and information on the Inn, finished the room off nicely, and our first impressions were that the room was both comfortable and luxurious.

We made a reservation for a table for two for 6:30pm, and headed to the bar area for a drink mid afternoon. The bar area seemed very popular and was quite busy when we visited at around 4pm. The seating areas within the bar are very charming, and the wonderful open fires ensured a nice warm atmosphere. The drinks were not overpriced, and after purchasing two drinks and some nuts, we were surprised to have a several pounds change from a ten pound note. After a drink and a chat, we returned to our room to relax for a while before returning to the bar area for dinner.

We were both very much looking forward to our evening meal, and being a social media addict, I suggested that we both left our phones in the room so that we didn't get distracted. This would be the first time in a very long time, where I could enjoy my food hot, without having to help my youngest son Riley with his dinner, and so I couldn't wait for our dining experience.

On arrival in the restaurant, we confirmed our reservation details and we were seated on a table for two in the corner of the main bar area by the extensive display of awards that Shibden Mill Inn have received over the years, This was certainly a very impressive collection of trophies and plates from numerous awarding bodies and they must be very proud to be able to show off these accomplishments to their guests.  My only negative comment here, would be that it was so busy near where we were sat, that my chair got knocked into several times by passing guests, which did get a little frustrating after a while. Therefore if we were to eat here again, we would request a table away from the bar in a quieter location of the dining area.

This minor annoyance was soon forgotten however, once we viewed the menu, and saw the wonderful array of dishes that were on offer. The waiter came and took our drinks and food order promptly and politely, then he also provided me with some information on the choice of wines available. He was happy to answer any questions that we had regarding the dishes, and seemed very knowledgeable of the menu. Both our drinks and starters arrived very quickly, and we both tucked in to our starters of Chicken Liver Pate with potato bread, roasted chicken skin butter & rhubarb gel. This came beautiful presented with the bread in the form of a mini loaf that you could cut to your size requirements. The pate came in a lidded jar with the rhubarb gel set on the top. This was the perfect sized starter portion and was absolutely delicious.

Once our plates were collected there was a suitable waiting period between courses and so it was nice to be able to have a chat together over a drink whilst waiting for our mains. My husband had chosen the Waterford Farm 6oz Fillet that came accompanied by a meat and potato pie, grilled kidney, and onion gravy. He also purchased a side order of dripping fat chips. I opted for the Beer Battered Scottish Haddock, with dripping fat chips, mushy pea ketchup, tartar sauce, and lemon. I realise that this may sound like a boring option given the amazing selection of choice on offer, however I had read a review a few days prior that had recommended this dish, and being a huge fan of comfort food, I was very keen to try it out.

Neither of us were disappointed, and as our main courses arrived, both our eyes lit up with delight at both the portion quantity and the lovely display of food on offer. My husbands fillet was cooked to perfection and he stated that it was one of the nicest meals he had had in a very long time. My fish was also delicious, and the mushy pea ketchup accompaniment was a treat when combined with both the fish and the dripping fat chips.

I somehow managed to finish my huge portion, and so politely declined the option of dessert. My husband was not going to miss out on sampling what was available however and so he ordered the Sticky Toffee Pudding with stout and toffee sauce, and salted caramel ice cream. This was the perfect end to our three course meal, and we both thoroughly enjoyed the menu choices we had made. Sadly I have no pictures of the food due to not taking my phone to dinner.

The following morning, breakfast was just as delicious, with an ample selection of continental offerings, and the ability to order a cooked option too. We both opted for the full Yorkshire breakfast, which was both tasty and filling, and the sausage and bacon were cooked just how I like them. The waitress service was very friendly, and she frequently came back to the table to ask whether we would like any tea, coffee or toast.

Unfortunately, our little weekend break had to come to an end, but we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and the wonderful meal that we were provided with. As I mentioned previously this was a competition win, however had we paid for our stay it would have cost £262 (including drinks we had ordered at the bar) which I actually feel offers incredible value for money for the accommodation and standard of food we were provided with. Our accommodation was in the Bower Suite which is the most expensive of the rooms, however all the rooms are beautifully decorated and can be viewed on their website here: Shibden Mill Inn

If you are thinking of staying at The Shibden Mill Inn, then here are some tips:

* Check in is from 2pm, which is quite early compared to some other establishments. Therefore take advantage of this early check in time to make the most of your stay.
* If dining in the evening, request a table away from the main bar area.
* Check the website prior to visiting to see their latest dining offers and the menus that will be available during your stay.
* Visit the website and select "Latest Offers" to view some great deals on packaged stays, or stays for longer periods, to get the best value for money.

Overall, we had a fantastic stay, and definitely hope to return again in the future as a family.