Our week that was: Fizz, flowers and a haircut!

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This week is the first time this year when it has felt like summer has finally arrived. We’ve been out in T-shirts and the sky is still bright on our evening dog walks.

Bottle of Castillo De Sierra Rosado rosé cava


With the onset of long, warm, sunny days, we’ve started eating our evening meals al fresco. Outdoor This week, we discovered a delicious pink fizz; Castillo De Sierra Rosado Cava from Morrisons. It’s really dry with hints of strawberry and cherry… and best of all, it’s really affordable at just £5.99 per bottle. In fact, we like it so much, we’ve just returned to buy six more bottles – and we saved 25% for buying it in bulk, making it £4.49 each!

Welsh poppies in our garden Lilac shrub in our garden
Red campion in our garden 'Korresia' rose in our garden
clockwise from top left: Welsh poppies, lilac, rose Korresia, red campion


Again, because of the warm weather (and preceding weeks of rainfall) our garden is suddenly blooming this week. The first of our roses, Korresia, is coming into flower.

My 3rd haircut


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A post shared by RICHARD ✂️ WELSH CURL SPECIALIST (@cyrl_cymru)

My 1st haircut


For over 30 years, I didn’t go to the hairdresser… without having my hair cut. When we moved to Wales, I noticed that there’s a curly hair specialist in Aberystwyth town centre. After the end of lockdown, I contacted Richard – aka Cyrl Cymru – to make an appointment. He told me that his book was full and that he wouldn’t be taking any new clients for the rest of the year… that was more than 6 months away!

Anyway, he eventually contacted me to see if I was still interested in having my hair cut… I was! I’ve now been to him 3 times in the last 5 months, the condition of my hair gets better and better with each visit.

Auction alert: Special sale of alcohol

Boxed Dimple de luxe Scotch whisky

Often, in this Auction Alert series, we’ve featured bar accessories, bar carts and drink cabinets. This week, we’re highlighting a two day auction of Collectables, Antiques, Jewellery, Furniture, Vintage Items, Tools etc. as it includes a special sale of alcohol.

Many of these lots would look fantastic displayed on your vintage bar set up. Included in the sale is the iconic Dimple whisky bottle, Dubonnet (allegedly the Queen’s favourite tipple) a fantastic wicker-wrapped bottle of rare port and something we’d never come across before – Boomsma Beerenburg, a herbal liqueur from the Netherlands.

The auction is being held by Ashley Waller Ltd who are based in Lower Withington, Cheshire and takes place on Wednesday 6th July 2022 from 10am.

The catalogue isn’t available on the auctioneer’s own website, but it can be viewed on EasyLiveAuction. Ashley Waller Ltd levy a commission of 20% (16.66% plus VAT) on each hammer price.

Live bidding is offered via EasyLiveAuction where their 3% or £3.00 flat fee will be added to all won lots. Alternatively, you are able to bid via The Saleroom, I Bidder and Bid Spotter.


A 1967 Real Vinicola vintage port

Lot 351: A 1967 Real Vinicola vintage port bottled in 1973
75cl 20% volume in an unrelated wooden box
Estimate: £40 – £60

bottle of Boomsma Oud Friesche Beerenburger

Lot 352: A 1 litre bottle of Boomsma Oud Friesche Beerenburger
Estimate: £20 – £40

1970s bottling of Dubonnet Rouge

Lot 355: A 1970s bottling of Dubonnet Rouge
Estimate: £40 – £60

Boxed Dimple de luxe Scotch whisky

Lot 357: A boxed Dimple de luxe Scotch whisky
70 proof 26 2/3 fl.ozs. proceeds to be donated to East Cheshire Hospice
Estimate: £150 – £250

Bottle of 2007 Barros port

Lot 362: A 75 cl bottle of 2007 Barros port
(considered to be the best year of the decade)
Estimate: £20 – £50

Bottle of Cockburn's port fine old ruby

Lot 372: A 70cl bottle of Cockburn’s port Fine Old Ruby
Estimate: £100 – £200

Bottle of Hooper's specially selected Rare Port

Lot 376: A 75cl bottle of Hooper’s specially selected Rare Port
Produced in Portugal
Estimate: £15 – £30

The basics of pairing wine with food to make you a better cook

The basics of pairing wine with food to make you a better cook

Many people are confused and intimidated when it comes to wine. Unfortunately, wine experts have taken a lot of the fun out of enjoying wine and have created this atmosphere. The reality is that wine isn’t just for the upper crust to enjoy, anybody can and should be able to get wine they like and enjoy without the pretension surrounding it.

One of the best ways to get the most out of your wine is to pair it with the right foods. This isn’t as complicated as it may seem. And always remember that the best way to pair wine with food is to simply drink the wine that you enjoy the most whether it follows pairing rules or not.

In this post, we’ll go over some of the basics to remember when it comes to pairing wine with food. However, we repeat, you should feel free to break any of these rules.

Three bottles of wine

Acid is important

The general idea is that you pair red with meat and white with fish or chicken but it does go beyond that. The real thing to consider is the acid of the wine and not so much the colour. You can enjoy a white with meat if you follow a certain guideline.

The basic gist of it is that the acid in the wine should be higher than the food. The classic steak and wine pairing, for instance, works best if you choose a wine that’s going to cut through the richness of a fatty sirloin. Instead of trying to find the biggest and boldest red to go with it, look for something whose acid is going to work well with the meat and whatever sauce you pair with it.

Pouring a glass of red wine

Contrasts work too

Wines can be fruity and sweet as well as being acidic. So, pair a sweet wine with something that’s salty, for instance. Think about what makes Thai food so interesting and you get the idea. Thai food very often uses salty, sour, and sweet in the same dish. You can achieve the same result by pairing your wines in a contrasting fashion with your food.

Let’s take a basic salad as an example. The greens may be a little sweet but the dressing is acidic and salty. Sweet wine like a Riesling is a good way to go so you aren’t overwhelmed with acidity.

Glass of white wine with bowl of mussels

Match like with like

There are times when you’ll want to match congruent factors. For instance, if you’re eating a creamy pasta dish with rich flavours you can go with a creamy wine to match. If you don’t like acidic wines, then this will still work well in your favour. For instance, a full-bodied and creamy Chardonnay will go well with a fettuccine Alfredo.

A lobster dish with a butter sauce can also handle the creaminess of a Chardonnay. It more depends on your tastes than with a hard and fast rule about using the acid in the wine to cut through the richness of a dish.


Review: Crozier Drinks

Crozier Drinks mango, lime & cayenne margarita in a glass

Crozier Drinks is a brand new company, launching only last week. They offer a home delivery service of pre-mixed, luxury cocktails using the best-quality fresh ingredients. You can make one off purchases or set up a regular subscription. It makes a lovely treat for yourself or an amazing gift for someone else.

Crozier Drinks box that came through the post

All the packaging is recyclable – we’ve kept the box to send items sold on our web shop and the inner cardboard filler has gone on to our compost heap. The very nice aluminium bottle is totally re-usable for storing & carrying other liquids – or displaying a few cut flowers, perhaps.

Inside of Crozier Drinks unboxing

We opted to try the Mango Lime & Cayenne Pepper Margarita. The beautifully labelled bottle contains gold tequila, mango juice, lime juice, sugar syrup and cayenne pepper – suitable for vegetarians and vegans. This mixture 14% ABV.

Some of the other mixes in their range include marmalade & ginger daiquiri, kiwi & lime mojito, bakewell sour and apple pie martini.

Mango, lime & cayenne margarita

The margarita is very quaffable; the delicious fruitiness of the sweet mango is balanced with a tangy sourness of lime. The cayenne pepper adds a depth of flavour & spicy warmth. Truly delicious!!

Included in the package is an info sheet containing useful garnish ideas and serving suggestions for their whole range of cocktails.

Mango, lime & cayenne margarita with salt & cayenne rim

Each Crozier Drinks bottle holds a 500ml amount of cocktail. The number of cocktails you get will depend on the size of your glass. Somewhere between two and four… or one whopping big one if you’re feeling particularly thirsty!!