Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Cornflake tart

I had a trip down memory lane when I visited My Lahore in Birmingham. My Lahore's dessert menu featured old school puddings, puddings if you are in your late 20's early 30s would be served to you in school. Puddings such as jam roly polly, apple crumble and an absolute blast from the past cornflake tart. I haven't sampled corn flake tart for years but when I saw the huge cornflake tart squares in the restaurant I knew I had to recreate this at home. This pudding gave me strong feelings of nostalgia and in my opinion, the golden era of school puddings. I don't think children these days would be served this with the pastry, jam, cornflakes and honey,  as it's far from healthy eating. But it is in fact a comforting pudding. I found a recipe online from Baking Mad for this recipe and the only thing which I changed was that I brought ready made pastry.





The recipe can be found here


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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Tiramisu Veloce, Quick Tiramisu

I love an Italian classic dish. When I go to an Italian restaurant I usually order a dessert. Sometimes I'll order a tiramisu or a lovely sharp tart. The best tiramisu I ordered was in Milan, it had the perfect combination of alcohol, sponge fingers, mascarpone cheese and chocolate. As much as I love tiramisu, I've never actually made it at home. Until now, that was in part due to WH Smith selling a number of cookery books, including Jamie's Italian for £3. Flicking through the cookery book I was inspired by a number of desserts but I was eager to try this quick tiramisu. I fancied a quick dessert with minimal effort and this recipe certainly does the trick. The flavour of the coffee and orange zest was strong, but me being a lover of a strong hit, I added a couple of tablespoons of rum which I felt enhanced the flavour. 



Ingredients
15 sponge fingers
285ml pint good strong coffee, freshly brewed
4 tablespoons caster sugar
500g mascarpone
2 vanilla pods
140ml pint vin santo or sweet cherry
zest and juice of 1 orange
100g best-quality dark chocolate

Method
Get yourself a medium deep bowl or dish about 20 to 25 cm/ 8 to 10 inches in diameter and arrange your sponge fingers snugly in layers on top of each other. Sweeten your coffee with 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Pour the coffee over the sponge fingers, making sure the top later is completely covered - you'll see the coffee being sucked  up the sponge. Wile that's soaking, put your mascarpone into a bowl and whisk it up with the rest of the sugar.

Score the vanilla pods length ways and scrape the seeds out into the bowl of mascarpone keeping the pods for making vanilla sugar if you want to. Continue whisking and as you do so, drizzle in the vin santo or sherry. You want to get it to a loose, shiny consistency. If it's still too thick you can use a little of the orange juice to loosen it before you squeeze the rest of the juice over the sponge fingers. Smear the vanilla mascarpone over the sponges and either grate over all the chocolate or make shavings using a knife or a peeler. Sprinkle lightly with a little finely grated orange zest and keep in the fridge until you're ready to serve, as it's best serve chilled.

xxx
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Saturday, 11 November 2017

Brownie Pudding

I'm a sucker for any pudding which contains chocolate. Smooth, rich and gooey, this brownie pudding is perfect for tantalising your taste buds. I found this incredibly easy to make and even easier to eat. This brownie pudding is more gooey that a normal chocolate brownie and would go well with custard, for those crisp winter nights. 

Brownie Pudding

Brownie Pudding

Recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery, Life is Sweet.

Makes 23x32cm (9x13in) tin, to scoop or serve as desired.

For the pudding
245g plain flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
295g caster sugar
30g cocoa powder
250ml evaporated milk
2tsp vanilla extract
50g butter
200g chopped pecans

For the topping
275g soft light brown sugar
60g cocoa powder
750ml hot water (boil then let cool slightly)

Method
Preheat the oven to 175C (350f), Gas mark 4. Grease the tin with butter. To make the pudding, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cocoa in a bowl.
Using a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand held electric whisk, beat the evaporated milk, vanilla and melted butter into the dry ingredients until smooth. Fold in the pecans by hand and spread the mixture evenly in the tin.
To make the topping, mix the brown sugar and cocoa together and sprinkle over the mixture in the tin. Pour the hot water over the entire pudding.
Bake for 40-45 minutes before serving.

xxx
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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble

Nothing quite says Spring than a the bright pink, long stalks of the vegetable yet eaten as a fruit, rhubarb. I've always seen think pink hued beauties at my local supermarkets and often passed them to  fruits which I am more familiar with. I really want to cook more with seasonal British fruit and vegetables this year. Fruit and vegetables always taste better when in season and so hopefully I'll be hearing more and more recipes using seasonal ingredients.

The last few weeks was the first time I've ever cooked with rhubarb. The first thing I made was rhubarb crumble, it reminded me school puddings -such fond memories. I noticed, though that when the rhubarb is baked, some of the vibrant pink hue was lost, so when I remade this, I added an early seasonal bunch of strawberries to add further sweetness. The end result is a rich, fruity and comforting crumble which will keep you satisfied from Spring to Summer.





Ingredients
4 x rhubarb, cut into 2cm thick
75g demeara sugar
150g plain flour
50g oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
25g margarine (e.g stork)
250g strawberries, hulls removed and cut in half.


Method 
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5. Place the rhubarb in a pie or oven dish, sprinkle the brown sugar over the rhubarb and roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, add the flour, oats, cinnamon and margarine. Using your fingers mix together - the idea is to have finer pieces of crumble, alongside some large clumps.
Remove the rhubarb from the oven, add the strawberries and gently mix with the rhubarb. Place the crumble on top and bake in the oven on the top shelf for between 35-40 minutes.

xxx
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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Peanut Butter Squares

I fancied a sweet treat and with a jar of peanut butter needing to be used, I drew up several ideas for sweet treats. Peanut butter cake, peanut butter blondies, peanut butter and jelly, peanut and banana sandwich; the list was endless. But, I decided that it was recipe that I bookmarked in Lorraine Pascale's Fast, Fresh and Easy for Peanut Butter Squares. It sounded so moreish, peanut butter and 
chocolate, with digestive biscuits and sugar. Nom, nom, nom. 
This dish is simple to make and I made sure it was even easier as I microwaved the chocolates in 30 second blasts, as I did with the butter. The rest, the food processor done for me. The taste is highly addictive, I couldn't stop at 2 or 3 squares, it didn't last a full 24 hours in my home. 

Here are my Peanut Butter Squares turned out:




  • Ingredients
  • 150g/5½oz butter
  • 200g/7oz dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids) or milk chocolate (or a mixture of both)
  • 250g/9oz digestive biscuits
  • 200g/7oz soft light brown sugar
  • 300g/10½oz crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
xxx
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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Pineapple and Passion Fruit Fool

I wasn't sure whether to call this dessert a fool or a mess , as it contains meringue which is a nod to the classic Eton Mess but then as I wanted to scale down the creamy "fool" dessert, I opted on naming this dessert a fool. I love Summer, all those colourful and accessible exotic fruits which instantly takes away my craving for cake. When the nights are long and bright, I like to treat myself after work to a refreshing dessert. This is relatively healthy for me, but incredibly sublime. If possible, use fresh pineapples, they are ridiculously cheap this time of the year.



Makes 4, (you will need a food processor and four dessert bowls).

Ingredients
200ml Greek yogurt
500g fresh pineapple, skin removed and sliced.
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 shop brought meringues
2 passion fruits

Method
Add the Greek yogurt, pineapple and caster sugar in a food processor and blitz until the pineapple pieces are almost smooth but there are still some chunky pieces in there. Now it's time to layer up. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the yogurt-pineapple mixture in the dessert bowl, followed by 1/2 meringue (crushed in your hand then topped onto the yogurt) per dessert bowl and a further 2-3 tablespoon of the yogurt-pineapple mixture. Top each dessert bowl with 1 1/2 of the passion fruit.

xxx
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Pirlos Dessert Lounge Review

Restaurants specialising in desserts seem to be popping everywhere at the moment, they seem to be the latest trends in the food world. Believe it or not, I have not visited a dessert restaurant before and a few years ago, this notion of a restaurant dedicated to solely desserts, puddings and naughty treats would be unthinkable. There's quite a few dessert places around at the moment and a recent addition to Birmingham city is Pirlo's in Digbeth. My cousin and I visited on a Saturday lunchtime to replace the usual sandwich with a waffle, ice-cream or brownies. The restaurant is relatively large with a combination of sofa style seating area. There is a large counter with ice-creams and desserts on offer. We were seated and quickly presented the menu. 

To kick things off, we ordered a milkshake, mine was an oreo and my cousins was a strawberry milkshake. I was pleasantly surprised that my oreo milkshake (£3.95) contained large chunks of oreo, lashings of creamy and ice-cream and chocolate. Wonderful. My cousins strawberry milkshake (£3.95) was rich and creamy and had a burst of strawberries. 


For the main event, my cousin and I ordered waffles. I chose the Pirlo's Super Special, containing Ferreo Rocher, Strawberries, Bananas and two scoops of ice-cream, I chose vanilla and chocolate (£6.95). My cousin ordered the Create Your Own (£8.95) choosing Strawberries, Banana, Nutella Sauce and Strawberry ice-cream. I thought the waffles would be similar to how I make waffles at home using my waffle maker, how wrong was I. The Waffles were huge, something out of Man vs Food. Presented beautifully, the waffles was decorated with the topping and large scoops of ice cream. I dived straight in. Light fluffy, crispy and chewy waffles with a selection of sweet toppings. I think if I were to visit again, I would share one waffle between two people as I ended up taking half back with me (but I suppose that's not a bad thing as you have dessert for the following day). 


I visited in the early afternoon and we were initially the only customers there, I would have like more of an atmosphere. My cousin assured me though that most people visit dessert lounges in the even. If that's the case I now know where I will be heading for dessert after a meal out.



Positives: Delicious desserts, great location and large portion sizes 
Negatives: As stated, I would have liked more of an atmosphere.

Disclaimer: I attended Pirlos as a guest, as always all opinions are my own. 
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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Blue Mountain Coffee Tart.

The beautiful, picture perfect and naturally breathtaking Blue Mountain which borders Portland St Thomas, St Mary and St Andrew parishes in Jamaica is something that I have heard about, on numerous occasions  as a child. The Blue Mountains and the natural stunning beauty which attracts visitors every year, was not discussed in depth, i.e the mountain range, activities that can be done there etc, my nan spoke of the coffee. As I became older and enjoyed and then became addicted to coffee (Carte Noire is my favourite), my nan reminisced how her grandfather (my maternal great grandfather) would spend his mornings sitting on the veranda drinking a hot steaming mug of Blue Mountain Coffee and alternating sips with eating juicy plump mangoes. I was fascinated.

I have been meaning to try one of the most famous exports which hails from Jamaica, but having trailed through some well-known online stores and the cheapest jar being £25, it would be a very expensive cup of coffee. As much as I love indulging in nice food items, I preferred to wait until my next trip to Jamaica and stock up the famous coffee, to be enjoyed at my home in the West Midlands. Before I purchased the beans and instant Blue Mountain Coffee, I was excited to see the Blue Mountains, on not one but two occasions. The view when I saw this first, from Beverley Hills Kingston was simply breathtaking. The mountains took over the landscape and it was a beauty to withhold. The second time I saw the Blue Mountains is when I went to Portland, the tops of the mountains had a hazy slightly grey cloud above it. I really wish I was able to see the Blue Mountains on a clear day so that I could see the tops of the mountain "blue" hence the name. I was more eager than ever to purchase the famous coffee. I purchased some coffee beans and instant coffee, for a barginous £15. Having drank a couple of hot mugs, the taste is intense and yet delicate, the flavour is not overbearing and there is a warmthness to every sip. I fancied making something different using this coffee and an inventive idea that I came up with (first thing in the morning, when hungry and craving coffee) was a Blue Mountain Coffee Tart. I love a tart, that's no secret, but as the dark nights are drawing in, I wanted to make something homely and this was the perfect hit. A light and decadent  dessert.
Blue Mountain Coffee Tart

Blue Mountain Coffee Tart


Creme Fraice and Sugar

Nutmeg added

Eggs added

Pre-bake

Baked tart.

Recipe for Blue Mountain Coffee Tart
You will need a flan/tart tin and a saucepan.
Ingredients
1 packet Jus Rol shortcrust pastry
300ml creme fraiche
80g caster sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1 1/2 instant Blue Mountain coffee dissolved in 4 tbsp hot water

Method 
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Lay the pastry in the tart tin, cover with baking parchment paper and blind bake on the top shelf of the oven for 15 minutes. Whilst the pastry is blind baking, heat the saucepan on a low heat, pour the creme fraiche, caster sugar and nutmeg until the sugar is dissolved - this should take around 5 minutes. Crack the eggs in the saucepan and heat gently.
 In a mug dissolve 1 1/2 tbsp Blue Mountain Coffee in 4 tbsp hot water, pour this to the sauce pan. The pastry should be ready, remove from the oven and pour the coffee mixture in the tin. Bake for around 35 minutes, or until there is a slight wobble in the centre.
Serve with ice-cream or custard.
Enjoy

I am sharing this to a couple of blog challenges. First up is Inheritance recipes, hosted by Pebble Soup. and Coffee and Vanilla.  This month's theme is Comfort Food. My coffee tart is comfort food and something that I would love to share with my future children.



xxx
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Sunday, 2 August 2015

August Credit Crunch Munch - Last Days Of Summer

I'm super excited to be hosting Credit Crunch Munch this month. Credit Crunch Munch is a monthly blog hop and the dream child of Camilla from Fab Food 4 All and Helen from Fuss Free Flavours. The aim of this blogging challenge is to share recipes that are delicious but are in fact (relatively frugal) and do not cost the earth. This month I would like to see seasonal recipes showcasing the last days of Summer such as Summer Berries, Courgettes, Apples, Marrow, Mullet, Cherry and the like. Of course, you still can submit a recipe if it does not include a Summer fruit and vegetables and is in line with the blogging ethos.


For example:

  • Dishes using cheaper ingredients - cheaper cuts of meats of vegetarian dishes.
  • Meals using leftovers.
  • Meals using up the end of packets
  • Substitutions of cheaper ingredients
  • Packed Lunches
  • Meals that use less energy to cook.
  • Pressure Cooking
  • Slow Cooking
  • Faster Cooking - less oven time for example
  • Batch cooking for the freezer
  • Sustainable foods
  • Foods you have grown yourself
  • Meals from reduced food in the supermarket.
I've decided to kick of this month's theme with a Double Coconut Cheesecake Topped with Summer Berries. In my local market, I often by bowls of fruit and vegetables for £1 and these Summer berries were two packets for £1, perfect in line with this blogging challenge.

To take part, simply blog about any money saving idea that is vaguely food related.  We do a full round up so I will be mentioning all the recipes that are submitted.
There are a few rules
  • Please link to the Credit Crunch Munch pages on Fuss Free Flavours (http://fussfreeflavours.com/credit-crunch-munch/ ) and Fab Food 4 All (http://www.fabfood4all.co.uk/credit-crunch-munch/ )
  • Please link to the current host (that's me then!)
  • Please use the Credit Crunch Munch Badge
  • Tweet using #creditcrunchmunch
  • Closing date 31st August 2015.
  • You are welcome to link up one or two old posts, but please republish them
  • By entering you are agreeing to let us use an image from your entry on this site, and to pin to Pinterest
  • If blogging a recipe from elsewhere on the internet or a book please be mindful of copyright
But feel free to
  • Send to as many other events as you like, let’s help everyone save money!
My entry for the last days of Summer is my entry of Double Coconut Cheesecake with Summer Berries as featured in The Guardian.

I adore coconut, long before it became fashionable by the healthy crew, I was eating coconuts (desiccated, coconut cream and drinking coconut water) in various form, by the bucket load. I am always looking at ways to in-cooperate some of my favourite ingredients into well-known dishes and this double coconut cheesecake is no exception. Alongside loving to eat coconut, I have recently become fond of cheesecakes. For years, I was a cake girl, but I realised how ridiculously quick, delicious and easy cheesecakes are to make. I have a double hit of coconut in this cheesecake from the biscuits and the filling – I was tempted to add another coconut element but stopped short on this, because English berries, which I love, are in season. My double coconut no-bake cheesecake with berries gives you a taste of the exotic with a hint of the wonderful British Summer. Absolutely delicious.



You will need a 9-inch spring form tin and a food processor
For the base
400g coconut biscuits (I use Foxes)
150g unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
600g cream cheese (full fat)
1tbsp vanilla essence
60g caster sugar
40g desiccated coconut
For the Topping
180 g raspberries
100g strawberries (sliced or whole, your choice)
Maple syrup, for drizzling.
Method
Blitz the breadcrumbs in the food processor until the biscuits resemble breadcrumbs. Once blitzed add this in a mixing bowl and pour the melted butter over the blitz biscuits. Stir the blitz biscuits and butter with a wooden spoon until everything is fully combined. Transfer the biscuit butter mixture to the spring form tin and press down. Pop this in the fridge for an hour to let the base firm up.
In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, caster sugar, vanilla essence and desiccated coconut, stir using a wooden spoon until everything is mixed together. Pour the filling onto the chilled biscuit base and spread evenly using a palette knife. Pop this into the fridge for at least 4 hours so the filling can set, ideally overnight. 
Once the filling has set, top with the berries and drizzle with maple syrup.
Enjoy.


xxx
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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Summer Berry Tart

Summer is almost here and I am so happy for that (although at the time of writing this post, the weather is glum). My local market is selling berries at a ridiculously cheap price, alongside some wonderful imported exotic fruit. This Summer Berry tart does take a little bit of time and I recommend that you allow the custard to fully cool, unlike me with my impatience and eagerness to try, hence it being slightly runny. Besides this little mishap, the taste of this Summer Berry Tart is phenomenal: crispy light pastry, vanilla custard and glorious summer fruits, different textures and flavours with every bite. Don't believe me, have a go at this for yourself. 
Summer Berry Tart

Summer Berry Tart
Recipe for Summer Berry Tart, taken from Antony Wild Afternoon Tea. 

Serves 6 - 8
For the Pastry
185g plain  flour
116 g butter, diced
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp chilled water

For the Filling
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml milk
150ml double cream
800g summer berries
4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
2 tbsp raspberry liqueur.

Method
1) To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolk with the chilled water and sprinkle over the dry ingredients. Mix to a make a firm dough.
2) Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for few seconds, until smooth. Wrap in a clear film (plastic wrap) and chill for 30 minutes.
3) Roll out the pastry and use to line a 23cm/9inch round flan tin. Wrap in clear film and chill.
4) Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6. Prick the base of the pastry, line it with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and bake on a tray for 15 minutes. Remove the baking parchment and beans and bake for 10 minutes more. Leave to cool.
5) To make the filling, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour, flour and vanilla together in a large bowl.
6) Pour the milk into a pan, and heat gently until almost boiling. Slowly pour the milk on to the egg mixture, whisking all the time.
7) Pour the custard back from the bowl into the pan and stir constantly over a low heat, until it has thickened. Work quickly or lumps will form. Return to a clean mixing bowl, cover the surface with a piece of clear film and set aside to cool.
8) Whip the cream until thick then fold into the cooled custard. Spoon the custard into the pastry (pie shell) and spread out evenly.
9) Wash and dry the fruit, then arrange it on top of the custard.
10) In a small pan, gently heat the recurrent jelly and liqueur together until melted. Allow to cool, then brush liberally over the surface of the fruit. Serve the tart within 3 hours of assembling.

I am sharing this with Dom over at Belleau Kitchen who hosts a monthly challenge Simply Eggcellent. This months theme is anything goes, which means my tart can be shared in this fab challenge.


I'm also sharing my Summer Berry Tart to Perfect Patisserie Challenge hosted by The Crafty Larder and Baking Queen 74. The pastry is homemade, which is a perfect entry to this challenge.


Enjoy 
xxx
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Saturday, 9 May 2015

Olive It with Omar Allibhoy

I was lucky enough to be invited to Olive It event last month, with top Spanish chef, Omar Allibhoy. I never heard of Olive It prior to receiving the email from the PR company promoting this event, but after doing some thorough research, I was more than excited to reply yes and attend the event, hosted at Becketts Farm, Birmingham. Olive It is an EU funded project which aims at promoting and celebrating olives; their versatility and how easy it is to in-cooperate olives into every day meals.
 I have really only eaten olives in restaurants with some crusty bread and on occasion in a Greek feta salad at home, so I was excitingly looking forward to expanding my knowledge on the diversity of olives. Unfortunately, I arrived a little late to the demo (thanks to the M6 motorway) so I missed Omar showing the rest of the students how to make candied pitted olives and cherries in a sweet wine sauce. I know what you are thinking, olives in a dessert sound unusual but they were good and Omar and another chef went through the process of making this unique dessert. Once our desserts were made and carefully put in the fridge it was off for our main course: Queen olive-stuffed meatballs with tomato and olive sauce.  This dish was an eye opener for me; I'm almost an expert in making meatballs, but I loved the method of stuffing the olives inside the meatballs alongside adding the meatballs to the sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed making and eating this, whilst I nibbled on some beautiful European olives. Whilst the meatballs were resting we made the coarse pate, of mixed olives, manchego cheese, and pistachios which we served with fresh crusty bread. The food cooked was delicious and I can't wait to try out more olive based recipes like this at home. There are so many recipes to try and chose why not have a look at the menu.
Here are a few snaps from my time at the Olive It event.


Dessert in the making.


Ingredients for meatballs. 
Meatballs in the making. 

Meatballs pre-cook.

Meatballs cooking. 

Ingredients for the tapenade. 

Tapenade. 

Feasting of my labour. 


Meatballs cooking. 



As you can see from all my pictures I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Olive It event,  take a look on their website as there may be an event near you soon.

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this event (which I am incredibly grateful), as always all opinions are my own. 

xxx
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Monday, 30 March 2015

Hoar Cross Hall Luxury Spa Resort - Review

Hoar Cross Hall, Luxury Grade 2 Listed Spa Resort and Hotel, located in the heart of Staffordshire is probably the best known and most revered spa in the Midlands. I have heard friends talk about their visit to Hoar Cross Hall,  how fabulous the different steam rooms and facilities are and how relaxed they felt after visiting. I've heard all about the luxurious the treatments and how grand the rooms and the Italian gardens are, so this place has been on my "must visit place for 2015. When I saw a spa package deal on Secret Escapes earlier on this year I thought Christmas had come early. The spa package, for £200 included breakfast lunch and dinner and overnight stay for two people, which is some discount, considering the usual price for this package is  £160 per person. I booked this deal for a Monday night stay as I wanted to fully explore the spa on a relatively quiet day. 
On the day of my overnight stay, my expectations remained high and the driveway leading up to the spa was incredibly impressive. I felt I was approaching Downtown Abbey, so grand and regal was the imposing buildings and vast the land, I had a glimmer of what it would be like to be the lady of the manor.

Image courtesy of Hoar Cross Hall
There are two entrances to enter the spa, one for overnight stays and for day spas. As my nan and I were staying overnight, we enterd via the overnight stay entrance, as we entered we were greeted by beaming friendly staff, grand Italian chairs and fresh fruit. The following day, I spent time near the day entrance, which was equally grand with beaming staff, fresh fruit and Italian furniture. My only thought is that there were two separate entrances as the spa is located on lower ground level alongside the day entrance and the overnight spa entrance is nearer the bedrooms. Check in times were at 2pm and whereas in other hotels you can request to check in earlier, the sophisticated wrist band that we were given meant that the rooms could not be opened for check until 2pm. The spa access was granted from 11am and luggage could be held in storage which was handy as we arrived at 1pm. During check in, I was informed that tours of Hoar Cross Hall estate were available, but I decided to pass on this tour. 

Spa
There are two main areas for spa use: both areas have two beautiful 26 meter pools.  The first area has a steam room and sauna, jacuzzi with an adjourning relaxing lounge are I spent time briefly in there when visiting the steam room. I observed an aqua class occurring there, which looked like a lot of fun. I spent the majority of the time in the hydrotherapy section, where there was two powerful jacuzzis which operated on a 15 minute on and off basis. In the hydrotherapy section, there were four other spa sections; a back section, a foot massage section, power jet and the cold plunge which was only for the brave. The large swimming pool also has a cave style section, which although looked interesting I did not venture in there. I spent the first and following day mainly in the jacuzzi area I found this the most relaxing and I'm in love with the jacuzzi. The photos that I have taken are quite limited due to no photographs to be taken in the spa (I do hope they forgive me!), but I have also included some from their website. 
Spa area.

Image courtesy of Hoar Cross Hall.

Image courtesy of Hoar Cross Hall.


Treatments
There is a range of treatments available from manicures, pedicures, hair treatments, to facials and full body massages. I initially planned to have a hot stone back massage, but due to a recent horse riding accident, I had to give this plan a miss. My nan had a First Element Facial, which uses natural mineral products to address your needs and concern, resulting in a revived and rebalanced complexion. My nan spoke highly of how relaxing and revitalising this facial was and stated that I must have a facial the next time I visit the spa. The treatments range from £35 - £100. 

Food
I had high expectations of the food at Hoar Cross Hall, not because I was dining in a regal stately home, but because of the rave reviews friends have spoken about the gourmet culinary experience. As we arrived at 1pm, we ordered lunch from the champagne bar a chicken club sandwich and Staffordshire beef burgers, hand cut chips.
For the evening meal, there was a 3 course set meal. We ordered a pear and walnut salad and prawn and crab ravioli for starters, I felt the prawn and crab ravioli was nice but he sauce was lacking something. For the main courses we ordered the T Bone steak for a £6 supplement with homemade chips and the leg of lamb. The steak cooked medium, a perfect pink, succulent texture and the crispiness of the chips. My nan reported that the lamb was succulent, lightly seasoned and came of the bone. For dessert, I chose the passion fruit tart with a peppered meringue (the dessert name sounds oh so Michelin) and my nan chose mandarin cheesecake which having a mouthful I found this not to sweet, perfect creamy texture. The following day was breakfast and after a hearty evening meal, I decided to go light with granola jars and watermelon juice for breakfast. My nan chose the full English, which was reportedly traditional and delicious. For lunch, there was a buffet with a variety of hot dishes such as lamb stew, jacket potatoes, mini tarts and vegetables. There was also a selection of cold dishes of roasted vegetables and hummus, and a selection of cold salads. 

Lunch in the champagne bar.

Set menu for dinner.


Dining room area.

Breakfast and lunch.

Bedrooms
The bedrooms were also a beautiful feature of the package, each room is named using a princess or countess title which added to the regal element of the spa package. The standard room features a double bed or twin bed, Italian sofa, chair, television, dressing table and stool. The bathrooms were light and simplistic. Complimentary shower gels, body lotions and shower caps.  The majority of the rooms have views of the Italian gardens. I was in love with the Italian furniture and design throughout the rooms such as the curtains and the bedding. 
Bedroom.

Staff
All the staff were incredibly helpful, from the waiter to the receptionist to the handy man. No-one walked past without saying hello, which I feel is important. I just fell in love with the grounds and the beautiful decorations.
Vase.

Overall: This is a fabulous spa break in the heart of Midlands if you desire rest and relaxation.

Disclaimer: I paid for this via Secret Escapes, I was not asked to write a review, but thought I would share how fabulous this spa is. 

xxx
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