gourmet gifts & experiences at home

Gourmet experiences to enjoy without leaving your sofa!

When it comes to gourmet experiences, we’ve got every taste and budget covered. But if you want fab food and delicious drinks without having to move off your very comfy sofa, what do you do? We’re an experience day and activity company after all, so surely you need to get out and about to enjoy the best gourmet experiences? Well, think again…

With our gourmet subscriptions, the tasty treats come to you! We’ve created a new section on our website that delivers the best in gourmet gift sets and boxes right to your door. Whether it’s a one-off gift package, or an on-going subscription, fabulous foodie feasts by post are the way to go.

Chocolatey gourmet gifts for those with a sweet tooth

Our chocolate making party kit is perfect if you have a sweet tooth. Everything you need to have lots of chocolatey fun creating and decorating handmade chocolates is inside the box. So prepare for cocoa fun. Invite your friends round to yours, roll your sleeves up and get stuck in!

brownies by post

Freshly baked chocolate brownies by post. A truly delicious gourmet experience at home!

There’s even less effort involved with our Brownies by Post delivery service. Receive the squidgiest brownies ever to pass your lips – and you only have to go as far as your doormat for them. What’s more, your brownies are freshly baked and come with a personalised message too. Yum. Similarly, joining the Hotel Chocolate tasting club means you’ll be wooed with monthly chocolates to scoff. Double yum.

Wine, cocktails and beer – gourmet drinks experiences at home

If you’re partial to a bit of a tipple after a long hard day at work, we think you’ll love our range of gourmet wine and liqueur experiences to enjoy home. Imagine getting in to find your beautifully designed cocktail club box. Inside are all the ingredients you need (from the spirits and mixers, right down to the fresh lime) to rustle up something like a refreshing gin cocktail. Lovely!

Cocktail club

Enjoy a gourmet cocktail experience when you join the cocktail club!

Maybe vino is more your thing? In that case, join the wine tasting club. Full-sized bottles of hand-selected wines from smaller, independent producers delivered to where’s convenient for you in handy carry boxes. Forget scouring the aisles of the supermarket, you won’t find these vintages there. This wine subscription is all about those vineyards producing wines in smaller quantities.

And here’s one for beer drinkers. Brew your own ale at home with these brilliant and easy-to-use home brew kits. It’s dead simple to use, as you brew the beer in its own keg. You need no specialist knowledge or equipment and within days you’ll be pouring your first home-brewed pint.

Cook up a gourmet curry with no experience needed!

You don’t need any swish skills for our spice box subscriptions either. You’ll be whipping up the best spicy dishes ever thanks to these ingenious curry gift sets. Every month you get all the spices and herbs you need to create tasty curry pastes and sauces. It’s all measured out for you and comes with recipe cards to take you step by step through the process of making gourmet curries from scratch, with no experience necessary!

Spices gourmet experiences

The best spiced up gourmet experiences in your own home with our Spice Boxes

So, whether you’re a choc fan, love your drinkies, or want to spice up your Friday night with a homemade curry, this latest range of gourmet gifts and subscriptions means you can experience all the deliciousness from the comfort of your own home. Tempted? Buy your gourmet gift online in just a few clicks. Treat yourself or buy one as a great gift for a loved one.


Different ways to serve your G&T

5 Ways to Serve Your G&T

Are you partial to a nice G&T? Here are five ways to serve your G&T that’ll turn your usual gin and tonic tipple into a right Bobby Dazzler of a drink just by changing the tonics that you use.

Gin at the ready? Here we go…

– Lemon tonic

A lemon-flavoured tonic served in your G&T gives it a really zingy zesty flavour. Any cocktail mixologist worth their salt will tell you Sicilian lemons are the best. Add lemon tonic to your favourite gin and finish off with a flourish, by adding a generous slice of lemon in the glass.

– Elderflower tonic

The distinctive floral flavour of elderflower works really well with gin and makes for a nice twist to the usual gin with Indian tonic. Add a slice of lime to balance the flora botanicals of the elderflower tonic and the juniper in the gin and you’ve got a delicious drink.

elderflower

Delightful floral flavours when you serve your gin with an elderflower tonic

– Cucumber tonic

Containing fewer calories than your usual tonic waters, cucumber flavoured tonics give a delicate and fresh flavour to your gin drink. Perfect on long, hot summer days as an aperitif in the garden whilst you’re waiting for the BBQ to heat up.

– Herb tonics

Buy a tonic water pre-infused with herbs, or make your own syrup by adding fresh leaves to sugared water. Rosemary is a favourite (perhaps because juniper berries used in gin also impart a slight rosemary flavour) and thyme works well too. You might not think it, but basil is also a really good accompaniment for gin.

rosemary gin

Rosemary is a just one herb that goes really well with gin.

– Spicy tonics

Something like Fever Tree’s Aromatic Tonic Water is the ideal mixer for pink gin. The tonic water contains South American Angostura bark, which gives the mixer a gentle bitterness. Add to that flavours like cardamon, pimento beans and ginger and you’ve got a racy little pink G&T!

Learn more about serving your G&Ts

Using different tonics with different gins makes for a different G&T with every combination. We’ve given you just five suggestions of ways to spice up your standard gin, but there are lots more. If you’re keen to discover more ways of serving different gins with different tonics, book in to Dr Hardwicke’s Gin Emporium in the West Midlands for a G&T workshop, with mixing and tasting galore.

Gin emporium ways to serve your G&T

Liked this blog? Learn loads more ways to serve your G&T at Dr Hardwicke’s Gin Emporium


SOE memorial London

What was the SOE? We investigate one very special spy school…

Who or what was the SOE? What was the SOE’s mission and where was the SOE based? All these and other mysteries will be solved by this blog. You’re entering a murky world of ‘ungentlemanly warfare’ and spying, so only read on if you dare…

What was the SOE?

SOE stands for Special Operations Executive. It was Winston Churchill’s ‘underground army’ created to wage a secret war against Hitler during World War Two. It was all about sabotage and subversion behind enemy lines.

When was the SOE formed?

On the 16th July 1940, Churchill gave the go-ahead for the Special Operations Executive to be formed. By November 1940, the SOE was recruiting men and women using two flats on Baker Street in London as its incongruous headquarters.

SOE women

The SOE featured as many women agents as men – and all to create chaos in occupied territories!

Who became SOE agents?

People from all walks of life were recruited to be SOE members, with equal numbers of men and women. If you were going to be carrying underhand missions behind enemy lines, you had to fit in. So, for example, those recruited to SOE (F) Section had to speak fluent French, as they’d be on missions in occupied France.

What skills did you need to have as an SOE spy?

New recruits went to SOE training centres that were set up in requisitioned properties around the country to learn the vital skills to be an efficient SOE operative. Churchill’s renegades needed to be masters of disguise, adept at sabotage and subterfuge and be skilled at manipulating propaganda too.

So what sort of things would the SOE do?

Blowing up railway bridges with pencil charges hidden in rats. Get out of handcuffs using wire and a diary pencil. Secretly deflate vehicle tyres. Kill someone with bare hands. Surreptitiously derail a train. These were all the sorts of tactics the SOE learnt to carry out Churchill’s command to ’set Europe ablaze’.

SOE kit list

What was the essential kit list for an SOE agent?

Did the SOE agents have James Bond-style secret weapons?

Yes! In fact there was a whole department dedicated to inventing and producing gadgets for SOE agents. Everything from suitcase radios, to keys with hidden compartments to put tiny microfiches in were used. No SOE agent would head out into the field without their sleeve dagger, hat pin weapon or their silent Welrod pistol.

Where was the SOE based?

In classic spy style, the SOE was everywhere and anywhere. From the Highlands to the southern coast, the SOE commandeered residences to become training centres and section headquarters for the SOE. As the war continued, operations expanded beyond occupied Europe to south east Asia.

Do we know who any of the SOE actually were?

Although at the time the general public knew very little about the SOE, we now know a lot about the 13,000 or so recruits who worked for the SOE. Stories like that of Violette Szabo who was captured and executed on her second mission and was posthumously awarded the George Cross. Or Forest Yeo-Thomas, who used his fluency in French and English to become a master of disguise and despite being captured several times, survived the war. And incidentally, Ian Fleming was fascinating by Yeo-Thomas’s exploits and it’s widely thought he was the inspiration for Fleming’s James Bond.

Life expectancy out on the field was just six weeks and many of the operatives were captured, tortured or killed during their missions. There’s a memorial to the Special Operations Executive on Albert Embankment in London to remember the courage of the SOE during WW2.

Is the SOE still going?

Churchill’s Special Operations Executive was disbanded in January 1946. However, there is a quiet corner of Swansea were the SOE is still very much alive and well…

The SOE spy school carries out re-enactments and offers SOE experiences too. Get your story straight, a new identity with some false ID and a codename and become part of this daring brigade of men and women, as you relive life as an SOE operative in occupied France in WW2.

 

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SOE spy school

Become an SOE agent in occupied France for the day when you enrol at SOE spy school in Swansea