I’ve been out and about over the last few weeks trying this and that, and these are a few recent releases and new-to-me finds that have made the cut. Read on for some of my latest crushes.
Mavrik non-alcoholic cocktails | £9.75 per pack
Every now and then I like to treat myself to some nice quality non-alcoholic drinks, and I’ve recently been enjoying these lower-sugar mocktails from Mavrik. I tried their sampler pack of four, which contains Aromatic G&T (juniper and bitters), Cuban Mojito (mint, lime and rum notes), Venetian Spritz (bittersweet orange and soda, similar to an Aperol spritz), and Storm & Spice (ginger lime and dark rum notes, similar to a Dark & Stormy cocktail). They were all tasty, but my favourites were definitely the Venetian Spritz and the Storm & Spice, and they’re refreshing without being too sweet.
Gnista Floral Wormwood | £21.50 for 50cl
Still on the non-alcoholic theme, this premium botanical spirit is very different indeed. It has strongly bitter medicinal notes from the wormwood, and touches of orange, rose and herbs, and it won an IWSC Silver Medal for flavour last year. Wormwood is the base for a proper absinthe and it’s also found in most European vermouths, so you’re getting a very complex aperitif-style mixer here, albeit without huge amounts of anise or fennel. Gnista suggest serving this with tonic and a strip of orange peel, but it’s also good over lots of ice with a generous helping of soda water.
Byoma creamy jelly cleanser | RRP £9.99, now £7.99 in Boots sale
I’ve finally succumbed to buying some of this cleanser because it was on sale, and it’s been a pleasant surprise. The name confused me, it’s not at all creamy or jelly-like, it’s just a gently foaming gel cleanser that works nicely without stripping or irritating the skin (obviously everyone’s skin is different so always do a patch test first). As an added bonus it contains glycerin, licorice extract and green tea, and – best bit – no fragrance. Probably best for normal, combination or oily skin types, and a little goes a long way so a bottle should last for a while.
Dunelm x Natural History Museum personalised Waterhouse monogram mug | £5
The Natural History Museum’s collaboration with Dunelm has something for just about everyone, from the soothing botanical wallpaper and kid-friendly triceratops rugs to the steampunk-style dodo lamps and richly-coloured octopus cushions, but my absolute favourite has to be the monochrome Waterhouse sub-range which is based on the building’s iconic architecture. Just hook it to my veins and/or buy me the teapot and a few cups and saucers, and the Museum by Night candles and diffusers, thank you kindly. The fine china monogram mugs shown above make a lovely personalised gift too, and are a steal for a fiver.
Victoria’s Secret PINK cotton undies | From £5
Well this is rather unexpected. I’ve always associated Victoria’s Secret undercrackers with scratchy polyester thongs that create the cheese wire effect and bras that cantilever your shirt potatoes half to death, which in my book is about as sexy as downing a pint of bromide. Imagine my surprise when I found out their PINK range, aimed at the 15-22 age group, had some really nice stuff in it, including these soft, soft cotton undies that look great but don’t grate on sensitive winter skin.
Bras go from 30A to 40F, briefs from UK size 4 to 20, and if you like contemporary clothing then honestly who cares about their target market age? Find PINK at their UK online store, and some of their shops.
Seen anything that’s caught your eye? That’s all for this week, so enjoy your weekends and I’ll see you in a few days.
Full disclosure: First two items are PR samples, provided without obligation or payment. The rest I bought with my own money or tested at press events.