Just in time for summer, travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has revealed its ‘Best in Europe’ list for 2019. The list, which determines the destinations that ought to be on travellers' radars, includes remote coastlines, vibrant cities and off-the-beaten-track regions. High Tatras in Slovakia was named Europe’s number one destination for summer 2019 for its rugged, ethereal landscapes and distinct wild life – this is one of the only parts in Europe where you can see brown bears in the wild.
A Japanese toaster that costs £215 and makes just one slice at a time has divided opinion online.The gadget, which is otherwise known as a “Bread Oven”, was designed by Mitsubishi Electric Corp and launched in Japan just last month.The toaster retails for around 29,000 to 30,000 yen (£215) and, while that might sound expensive, its creators insist that the technology behind the oven makes it well worth every penny.“We wanted to focus on the single slice, and treat it with respect,” Akihiro Iwahara, who is in charge of technical development at Mitsubishi Electric's home-appliances division told Bloomberg.“Our technology and know-how from rice cookers helped us come up with a way to trap and seal moisture.”So, how does it work?Unlike most conventional toasters, Mitsubishi’s version seals a single slice of bread inside a metal box and transfers heat through two metal plates that reach temperatures as high as 260C.What’s more, it can also be used to make an array of variations on traditional toast, such a French toast, croque madame and cheese toasties. “Given Japanese tastes, there are a lot of people looking for a refined and delicate experience,” explained Hiroaki Higuchi, general manager for marketing at Mitsubishi Electric’s home-appliance unit. “We're not asking customers to get rid of their toasters, but to enjoy this as an entirely different category.”The high-tech toaster has divided opinion on Twitter with some saying they would love to own one.“To be fair this s*** look good. Like hella soft but crispy at the same time [sic],” one person wrote.Another person added: “Meh. I'm definitely not feeling the $270 price tag BUT I bet it could make one kickass delicious Grilled Cheese sandwich though.”While a third commented: “This would make some divine French Toast.”However, not everyone has been convinced, with some people saying the gadget seems like a waste of money.“No one’s interested at this price,” one person commented.> I need this in my life> > — Mohammed Fahad Kamal (@mfk600) > > May 17, 2019Another added: “This is made for single people or childless couples only. Imagine trying to toast one piece of bread at a time with a bunch of kids yelling for their breakfast.”A third person wrote: “Oh hell no I wouldn’t pay that much for perfect toast!!”> This is the kind of dystopian technology I need on my counter. Not just a toaster, an ADVANCED TOASTER, HELL YEAH.> > — BLHU Publishing (@BLHUPublishing) > > May 17, 2019Others suggested that people could get similar results if they used a frying pan, negating the need to spend so much money on the Bread Oven. “1. Heat pan (butter if desired) 2. Place bread on pan 3. Cover bread with pot lid. Boom. Moisture sealed toast,” one person wrote on Twitter.> For that price it better bake me a piece of bread each time I want toast!> > — ASeattleStoner (@ASeattleStoner) > > May 17, 2019“As you see fit, feel free to forward any portion of your $270 savings my way. Thanks in advance.”Another person agreed, adding: “Butter the bread. Place in any hot skillet with a medium flame. Enjoy golden brown toast like 7 minutes thereafter without said gadget."
If you are a ‘90s kid, spending a night on the Union Jack-covered bus from the iconic 1997 film Spice World is a bucket list item you never thought possible – until now. To celebrate the Spice Girls reunion, Airbnb host Suzanne Godley has listed the recently renovated bus on Airbnb and is offering six lucky fans a night’s stay during two of the Spice Girls’ three-night sell-out Wembley residency next month. The bus, which will be situated in the heart of Wembley Park, will be available to stay overnight on June 14 and 15 - and will cost £99 per night for a maximum of three guests.
Britons could be tucking into battered banana blossom and jellyfish instead of cod and chips by 2050, a new study has predicted. According to the Future of Food report, eating trends will increasingly shift towards insects and other nutritionally-rich “last-resort” food sources. The research, commissioned by Sainsbury’s supermarket in collaboration with plant scientists and futurologists, considers the nation’s possible eating habits and means of food production in 2025, 2050 and 2169.
For the western palate, sake’s unique mix of sweet and fruity, floral flavours with savoury hints of soy can be a challenging experience, but get to know this highly-prized, rice-based booze and you’ll discover a drink spanning a huge flavour spectrum, and one that is almost unrivalled in its food pairing abilities. Before we plunge headlong into the wonderful world of sake though, it’s worth getting to grips with the basics.Sake is made in a similar way to beer – polished rice is washed, steamed and cooled before the addition of koji, a mould culture that breaks down the enzyme-rich rice into fermentable sugars.It also drives that all important umami flavour. The quality of sake is determined by the polishing ratio of the rice used. The polishing (or milling) process removes the husk and outer portion of the rice kernel – part of the grain that can produce undesirable flavours in the finished brew. Generally speaking, a sake made from a highly polished grain will be of a higher quality, and subsequently sold for a higher premium.Sake styles manifest in many forms, and bottle labels can be confusing for the aspiring koji connoisseur. Here’s what to look for...Daiginjo: A super-premium sake with minimum 50 per cent polishing ratio. This style is often bolstered by the addition of a small amount of distilled alcohol to enhance the floral, fruity flavours. Best served chilled.Ginjo: A premium fragrant sake with minimum 40 per cent polishing ratio. Best served chilled.Honjozo: A light, mildly fragrant premium sake polished to a minimum of 70 per cent with a small amount of distilled alcohol added to extract aroma and flavour. Can be served chilled or warm. (Heat gently to 45-50C)Junmai: Sake made without additions and with no minimum polishing ratio. Can be served chilled or warm, (heat gently to 45-50C). A Junmai followed with either daiginjo and ginjo means that no alcohol has been added.There’s a sake out there for all tastes – here’s ten of the best. Akashi-Tai shiraume ginjo umeshu, 14%, 500ml: £17.48, AmazonBreathe in the sherry-like aroma of this super sake and you’ll immediately get an inkling of its dessert wine qualities. The initial honey hit is balanced by the gentle acidity from the plum and finishes with subtle notes of soy. Serve it as an accompaniment to rich toffee puddings and fruit cake. Its cocktail game is pretty strong too – try using it as a vermouth replacement and mix with a Japanese blended whisky for a mighty fine Manhattan.Buy now Yauemon Snow Blossom daiginjo muroka nama genshu, 16%, 720ml: £32, Tengu SakeThis premium daiginjo is a namazake, a sake left in its natural state, unsullied by the potential flavour-inhibiting preservation process of pasteurisation. Yauemon Snow Blossom is a vibrant and lively drink, with a distinct robust sharpness enhancing the flavours of melon, apple and pineapple. Just remember that an unpasteurised brew such as this has limited shelf life, so keep it in the fridge and drink it quick.Buy now Akashi-Tai ginjo yuzushu, 10%, 500ml: £20.83, AmazonThis citrus, fruit forward sake has been infused with macerated yuzu, bringing with it maximum mouth-puckering tartness and a cloudy lemon hue. Serve it neat – straight from the fridge – or mix it with soda water for a thirst quenching, low ABV super summer spritzer.Buy now Kanpai Fizu sparkling sake, 11.5%, 380ml: £14.95, Master of MaltThere are currently two sake breweries in the UK, each operating at polar ends of the sake market. Fordham Abbey, Cambridgeshire is home to the Dojima brewery who produce cellar-aged, wallet-worrying sake for £1000 a bottle. Kanpai – a small-batch brewery operating out of a warehouse in Peckham – produce sakes that are touch more affordable but no less authentic. Seek out their small batch Fizu, a sake with craft beer credentials having been infused with mosaic hops. It’s a satisfying, moreish sake with a bright, clean citrus finish.Buy now Gekkeikan nouvelle junmai ginjo, 15-16%, 720ml: £31.80, The Japan CentreThis accessible, well-balanced sake hails from Japan’s hugely popular Gekkeikan brewery. It’s light, bright and flinty with a rice-forward flavour and gentle acidity, perfect for food pairing. The quality of this sake is no surprise – Gekkeikan have been brewing sake since 1637; they’ve had a long time to perfect their technique.Buy now Dassai 50 junmai daiginjo, 16%, 300ml: £20.25, AmazonThe family owned Dassai brewery regularly scoop up prizes for their superior range of sakes. Dassai 50 is our pick of the crop – it’s a fruity, easy drinking number, perfect for sake novices who want to dip a tentative toe into the world of rice-based booze. You can gently warm this brew for supping on cooler evenings, but to fully appreciate the nuanced flavours of red berries and anise, it’s a drink best served cold.Buy now Sohomare junmai ginjo, 15%, 720ml: £35.95, The Whisky ExchangeSohomare’s junami ginjo is a premium, grain-forward sake, made using the “kimoto method”. The sake and koji (rice mould) are stirred with long poles to encourage lactic acid to form naturally – a process that almost doubles the brewing time. The fruits of this labour intensive process is an extremely mellow, smooth sipping brew with gentle floral notes and moreish minerality.Buy now Hanatomoe sugi barrel,15%, 720ml: £42, Japan GourmetThe Hanatomoe brewery are known for their modern, complex sakes made with traditional brewing methods. Hanatomoe sugi (or “cedar”) is made by using the yamahai method – a part wild ferment sped up by the early introduction of lactic acid. The sake is then left to mature in cedar barrels, imparting spicy hints of sandalwood and green tea to the smooth, characterful brew.Buy now Shichiken sparkling dry, 11%, 720ml: £46, Japan GourmetFancy some fizz but bored of brut? This dry, sparkling treat is made using the traditional method, where live yeast is left in the bottle to give the sake secondary ferment. The result is a light, peachy sake with a beautifully soft mouthfeel and delicate bready finish. Just be aware that when you pop the cap, your previously clear, bottle-bourne booze will turn cloudy when the bubbles are released and hit the yeast.Buy now Tamagawa Time Machine, 14%, 360ml: £23.45, The Whisky ExchangeMade from a 300 year old recipe (hence the time machine tag) this thick, viscous sake delivers umami by the bucket-load. Big mouthfuls of savoury soy meld with sweet rich molasses and tropical fruits. It’s not to everyone’s palate but is the closest you probably get to experiencing the true taste of an ancient Japanese brew.Buy now The verdict: SakesThere’s a sake for everyone. Fruit-forward fans, reach for the Akashi-Tai shiraume ginjo umeshu. Fearless sake warriors who want to challenge their taste buds should pour themselves a Tamagawa time machine and prepare to ride sweet waves of soy.
When we think of old world wine, France, Italy and Spain probably spring to mind long before Greece does. However, this is a country that has been producing outstanding wine for centuries. Yet with its hard to pronounce grape varieties and sometimes limited availability (in contrast to say, New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc), Greek wine can often be overlooked. That’s something that is slowly starting to change, especially with such outstanding crisp, bone-dry white wines coming from the volcanic soil of Santorini.Red wine doesn’t disappoint either with everything from refreshing, easy drinking reds to the dark and brooding types.The savoury notes so often found in wines from this part of the world make them an absolute belter when it comes to matching with food. In short, both mainland Greece and its islands are a treasure trove of wines offering something exciting for every occasion. Santo Wines, Santorini PDO, Nykteri 13.9%: £17.90, Maltby&GreekAs the quality of wine from Santorini becomes more well-known, prices have been increasing year on year, with some comparing it to white burgundy. Wine is selling faster than it can be aged so a great value Santorini may soon be a thing of the past. However, we think we’ve found one that ticks all the boxes while coming in at under £20. Opening up with a fragrant floral nose, the palate is crisp, dry and refreshing, balanced with just a touch of oak which gives way to an impressive long finish.Buy now Oenops Wines Apla white 2017 13%: £22, Roberson WineCombining the thirst quenching minerality found in Santorini’s assyrtiko with the perfumed, stone fruit more familiar in the malagouzia grape, is this fantastically refreshing white wine from northern Greece. Again, there’s a whiff of herbs here which lends a savoury edge, making it bold enough to drink by itself or pair with everything from salty cheese, grilled prawns or spicy curries.Buy now Domaine Lyrarakis, Dafni Psarades vineyard 2017 12.5%: £13.25, Berry BrosIt’s a bit of a gamble including this in a roundup of the very best Greek wines because it’s certainly unusual. However, it’s the unique savoury notes that made this stick in our mind long after we’d finished the bottle. Aptly named after the native “laurel” tree – the plant which produces bay leaves often used to flavour cooking in this part of the world – this is a complex wine with herbaceous notes, a full well-rounded creamy mouthfeel and bright, fresh acidity. Versatile enough to match with a variety of food, but exciting enough to be enjoyed as a standalone glass of wine. Buy now Atlantis Santorini 13%: £72 (case of six), Marks & SpencerSantorini is an exceptional island for wine production, thanks to its arid volcanic ash-rich soil, hot days and cooler nights. This is a wonderful example which showcases the infamous minerality you’d expect, along with tingling-acidity and just a touch of honeyed fruit which ensures a fine balance. Made predominantly with the indigenous old-vine assyrtiko grapes, this refreshing white wine is great at cutting through salty food – try it with a halloumi souvlaki.Buy now Lyrarakis 'voila' assyrtiko 2018 13.5%: £9.99, MajesticEven wine giants Majestic don’t stock a huge amount of Greek wine, but this multi-award-winning bottle managed to earn its place on the line-up. Bone-dry and perfectly refreshing, this is best drunk nice and cold on a hot summer’s day. The family-run winery discovered that the assyrtiko grape is very happy growing in east Crete, and we think this represents great value with its infamous minerality, crunchy apple notes and thirst-quenching acidity.Buy now Ktima Vourvoukelis limnio 2016 13%: £22.75, Harvey NicholsLimnio is an ancient grape, produced on the coast of Thrace in northern Greece for this rich luxurious organic red. Available in limited quantities, expect savoury herbaceous notes – particularly rosemary – fresh, young red fruit and a touch of black pepper on the finish. It works well with slow-cooked stews, barbequed steak and hard cheeses. Buy now Kokotos Three Hills agiorgitiko-cabernet sauvignon 2017 12%: £12, Pull the CorkA lot of the red wines found across Greece are rich and decadently heavy, but this light, refreshing style shows they are more than a one trick pony. Made predominantly with the agiorgitiko grape from the Nemea region, it has spent six months in French oak but retains fresh floral notes and good acidity. We’ll be enjoying this with barbequed food this summer.Buy now Domaine Skouras Saint George, aghiorghitiko, 2014 13.5%: £15.95, JeroboamsThis cherry-hued red is bursting with ripe juicy fruit – think blackberries, mulberries, raspberries and strawberries – with the added complexity of spices such as aniseed, cinnamon and black pepper. Medium-bodied with a nice long finish and just a touch of sweet vanilla on the palate, we’ll be pairing this with lamb every which way – grilled cutlets, kebabs or in slow-cooked stews would all work a treat.Buy now Vassaltis Santorini assyrtiko 2017 14%: £30, Virgin WinesThis fragrant white may look pricy but on the recommendation of many in the wine business we gave it a go and found it to be worth every penny. Wonderfully complex with notes of sun-baked dried fruit, alongside fresh minerality and vibrant citrus, this would be a treat with lobster or crab in creamy sauces. Another winner from Santorini-grown assyrtiko grapes.Buy now T-OINOS Clos Stegasta assyrtiko 2017 14%: £44.95, Master of MaltT-OINOS are the first wines in 3000 years to be produced from the volcanic soil of Tinos, a World Heritage-listed island of the Cyclades. Expressing the character of the T-OINOS vines, as well as the soil in which they grow and the climate they are immersed in, this is well worth splashing out for on special occasions. Expect lemon zest, fabulous minerality and a slightly creamy note which gives each sip a wonderful richness. Created with organic assyrtiko grapes, this elegant white works well with spicier dishes (thanks to the salinity) and of course, a variety of seafood.Buy now Domaine Zafeirakis limniona red 2015 13%: £27, Roberson WinePinot-noir fans, listen up! We think you’ll love this easy-drinking red from the foothills of Mount Olympus in Thessaly, central Greece. Well rounded and silky smooth, the savoury notes make this particularly moreish and one that will only get better with age. There is already oak present however and that’s balanced with fresh red berries and the subtlest notes of rose petals. Slow-cooked beef and tomato based dishes will make this shine.Buy now Domaine Kalathas 'Sainte-Obeissance' Aspro Potamisi-Rozaki, 2016 14%: £32, Maltby&GreekPurveyors of the very finest Greek produce, it’s really no surprise we found so many gems from Maltby&Greek. This exciting biodynamic wine encapsulates the sun and sea of the Aegean islands. Despite its appearance, this isn’t classed as an orange wine, but rather is a natural style, made with minimal intervention and no added sulphur. The salinity found on the finish of this wine means it can take a little spice so don’t be afraid of pairing with Asian cuisine.Buy now Thymiopoulos Atma xinomavro 13%: £11.99, WaitroseDespite the fact that xinomavro translates as acid black this is surprisingly approachable. Ruby red and super smooth, this is far from aggressive or astringent. In fact the winning combination of young red fruit, floral notes, coffee and spice mean that this is the sort of bottle to savour alongside a long, lazy, mezze.Buy now Adnams ‘Anthemis’ Vin de Liqueur 15%: £11.99, AdnamsSo you’ve had white wine with your seafood starter and red with your meaty main, but there’s no need to abandon Greece when it comes to dessert. Adnams have sourced this rich, smooth as honey dessert wine from the island of Samos which has been aged in oak for an impressive five years. Treacle, toffee and raisin notes are crying out to be paired with an exciting cheese board.Buy now The verdict: Greek winesFor us, the perfect example of Greek wine encapsulates the minerality found in Santorini’s assyrtiko grapes along with an underlying savoury note – all wrapped up in bone-dry, lip-smacking acidity. With that in mind, we think Maltby&Greek’s Santo Wines manages to deliver all of that for a very reasonable price.
The 'Quarantuno Formaggi' features cheese from each of the 41 nations participating in this year's Eurovision Song Contest.
While it seems every country needs something greasy and stodgy, what constitutes as drunk food differs a lot from nation to nation.
Sparkling wines sales in Britain are on the up, with UK producers proving that they can compete with the best in the world when it comes to a great glass of bubbly. International prizes are being awarded and winners at sporting events such as the Grand National and the Boat Race are now officially toasting their success with a glass of English sparkling wine rather than champagne.With summer on its way we look at the English fizz that will help you to celebrate any occasion, large or small. Leckford Estate brut 2014, 75cl, 12%: £19.99, WaitroseA traditional blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes grown on Waitrose’s own vineyard on the Leckford Estate in Hampshire and crafted at the Ridgeview wine estate in the South Downs. Beautifully toasty with a hint of hazelnuts to begin with, it settles down to and orchard and soft fruit flavours with a long and layered finish and a wonderful mousse.Buy now Nyetimber rosé NV, 75cl, 12%: £29.99, OcadoWest Chiltington is mentioned in the Domesday Book, but it is the more recent history of this West Sussex vineyard that has excited sparkling wine enthusiasts. Using the holy trinity of sparkling wine grapes – chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier – the estate has produced some outstanding wines including this rose that’s bursting with raspberry and red fruit flavours. A blend of pinot noir (52 per cent) and chardonnay (48 per cent) you can find the key dates in each individual bottle’s production by entering the code number on the back label on the Nyetimber website.Buy now Ridgeview cuvée merret bloomsbury, 75cl, 12%: £28.99, OcadoFrom the winners of the coveted Winemaker of the Year title in 2018’s International Wine & Spirit Competition comes a beautifully balanced but vibrant blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. There are oodles of soft fruit and honey flavours here, finessed by notes of citrus and melon. It’s an ideal accompaniment to fresh seafood or a celebratory wine to enjoy by itself now, or in a few years when the chardonnay matures even more.Buy now Jenkyn Place rosé brut 2014, 75cl, 12%: £31, Hawkins BrosFrom Jenkyn Place, the family-run Hampshire winery founded in 2004, comes one of their very desirable vintage rosés – they’re only produced when it’s been a good year and the pinot noir grapes which make up 52 per cent of it are really ripe. Clean, bright and delicate with notes of red berries and toasted brioche, it’s made in the traditional champagne method with the chardonnay grapes providing a lengthy finish.Buy now Raimes English sparkling classic 2014, 75cl, 12.5%: £27.99, Fareham Wine CellarAn International Wine Challenge gold-medal winning wine from the Hampshire winery that has the same underlying layers of chalk you find in the best Champagne vineyards. That gives the wine – a blend of 51 per cent chardonnay grapes, 29 per cent pinot noir and 20 per cent pinot meunier, a zesty minerality that complements its apple, citrus and toasty flavours.Buy now Plumpton Estate brut classic NV, 75cl, 12%: £22.99, WaitroseThis wine is produced from grapes grown on the Plumpton College Estate, a Hampshire-based educational centre that offers undergraduate degrees in wine business and production. Crafted by students with professional help from viticulturalists, it’s a lovely, balanced yet exuberant wine with fresh-from-the-orchard apple flavours and a welcome toasted brioche-like finish. Only 2,123 bottles have been produced, so get it while you can.Buy now Denbies cubitt blanc de noirs 2013, 75cl, 12%: £33.50, Champagne CompanyThe first blanc de noirs from the famous Surrey vineyard is a golden taste of summer with orchard and floral notes allied to hints of baked apples, soft fruit and an underlying minerality. Made from pinot noir grapes hand-picked from at the Hillside vineyard on the Denbie estate, it’s aged on the lees for six months and then again in the bottle for a further 40 months.Buy now Simpsons Beora brut 2016, 75cl, 12%: £32.99, Naked WinesFrom the north downs of Kent comes a sparkling wine that proudly bears the name of the Saxon chief after whom the village of Barham is named. It’s there that winemakers Charles and Ruth Simpson created this special blend of chardonnay and pinot noir that beautifully reflects the forested and chalky terroir of this corner of the garden of England. Lots of citrussy flavours as you’d expect but not too much acidity and an excellent mousse.Buy now Sixteen Ridges signature cuvée sparkling white 2013, 75cl, 10.5%: £24.95, Slurp“We let the fruit do the talking”, claim Haygrove Evolution, the makers of this exuberant blend of pinot noir and seyval blanc grapes. And it’s worth taking a listen. The vineyard occupies an ancient ridge and furrow field (hence the name) in Worcestershire which, with its natural ampitheatre shape, captures lots of sunlight. Baked apple and citrus flavours combine with a long and pleasing finish. It may be low on alcohol but it’s big on flavour.Buy now Winbirri vineyards vintage reserve 2013, 75cl, 12%: £28.50, WaitroseNorfolk may have been renowned for turkeys and for the Broads but it wasn’t necessarily considered the home of great wine. But that was until winemaker Lee Dyer came along and won a clutch of prizes for wines made from grapes grown at his Surlingham vineyards. This 2013 vintage reserve, made in the traditional champagne way has a precise and direct freshness with brioche and citrus flavours and a lasting finish.Buy now Simpsons chalklands classic cuvée 2016, 75cl, 12%: £28, SimpsonsFrom the chalky terroir of the North Downs of Kent comes the second sparkling wine to be released from inaugural 2016 harvest at Simpsons’ wine estate in Elham Valley. A traditional blend of chardonnay and pinot noir it has all the balanced fruitiness and toasted notes you’d expect from a classic cuvée. The vineyards are in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, so it’s no surprise that the wine is a charmer, too.Buy now Furnace Projects wren 2013 brut 75cl, 11%: £20, WanderlustA welcome newcomer to the English sparkling wine scene, Furnace Projects is based in south Herefordshire, where Beth Derbyshire, the daughter of a local cider farmer, produces this outstanding brut from the seyval blanc grape. Appropriately enough, there’s a refreshing apple orchard flavour here with hints of citrus and floral notes. And while you sip it you can also appreciate art teacher Beth’s beautiful impression of a wren on the very attractive label.Buy now The verdict: English sparkling winesOur best buy is Waitrose's elegant and delicious Leckford Estate brut 2014\. The Ridgeview cuvée merret bloomsbury is also the perfect drink for a summer’s day – vibrant, fruity and refreshing. But if you like your sparkling with a touch of pink, then why not try the Jenkyn Place rosé brut – sunshine in a glass on even the cloudiest day.
In today’s throwaway society there aren’t many accessories that are purchases for life, but get yourself a quality hip flask and you’ll want to treasure it forever.They gently shift shape and texture through repeat usage which makes each one unique and personal, elevating it to treasured possession status.So choosing a hip flask, whether for yourself or as a gift, takes some serious thought. How will it be used? As an occasional provider of warming booze on outdoor trips during the colder months?Or perhaps for those who enjoy a cheering swig to ease a long train journey. Are they to be swigged from in secret, or will they be passed around and shown off among friends on a long hike or beside the camp fire?To help you narrow down your choice of hip flask we’ve been busy filling and swigging from the best of them, so whether you’re looking for a practical vessel that is built to last, or something with a personal touch for a treasured gift, we think there’s something in this list for everyone. English Pewter Company flask with black leather sleeve, 6oz: £64, Farrar & TannerFew retailers have such an impressive line-up of hip flasks as Farrar & Tanner, with a range that should suit most tastes and styles. Our tastes drew us to the classic curves of this 6oz flask by the English Pewter Company, housed in luxury dark leather and with a captive top to prevent you from losing it. Pewter is a material that was used for kitchenware back in the bronze age, and its relative softness is ideal for hip flasks, with those smooth curves gaining extra polish the more its used. For an extra touch of class, Farrar & Tanner also provide a pewter engraving and leather embossing service.Buy now The Gift Experience engraved stainless steel hip flask set, 4oz: £26.99, The Gift ExperienceOne of the most popular products among The Gift Experience’s range of personalised hip flasks is one that’s designed to look like a gun cartridge. For those less keen on giving out imitation weapons of war we’ve picked out a more sober gift set – a 4oz stainless steel flask with a pouring funnel and two cups that comes packaged in a smart box. The flask itself is highly polished and extremely robust so should be suitable for a lifetime of use and, despite its more compact size, there’s still plenty of room for an engraved personal message of up to 100 characters.Buy now Aspinal of London double hip flask, 6oz: £85, House of FraserAspinal of London are renowned for their luxury leather goods and this double flask set, wrapped in black leather with a cobalt suede lining, certainly has the feel of quality. The two screw-top bottles, also individually resplendent in matching leather, are kept in place with straps that hook over the tops and are fastened with poppers, so you can easily remove one at a time. It’s a smart and beautifully made set that gives you the option of carrying two different spirits for a choice of swigs, or generously handing one to your traveling companion.Buy now Bar Craft hip flask, 6oz: £7.96, Harts of SturBar Craft’s 6oz bottle may be cheap but it has everything you would look for in a hip flask. Its gently arched curve is designed so it nestles snugly against your body when tucked into a pocket; the polished stainless steel gives it shiny good looks and the ideal protection for your booze; and the screw top has lanyard attachment that prevents you from losing it during secretive sips. A tried and tested design that’s perfectly suited for your booze-on-the-go needs.Buy now Stanley pocket flask, 148ml: £16.46, AmazonStanley’s classic rectangular flasks come in two sizes, 236ml and 148ml, and while they probably had water in mind for the larger bottle we reckon the smaller option is well suited to booze. It’s made of tough stainless steel with a green hammerton finish and has a secure green lanyard attachment. The whole package is sturdy and compact, well suited to a life in a backpack pocket.Buy now Zippo leather wrapped hip flask, 6oz: £17.95, Whitby & CoFew companies have a better reputation for pocket accessories than Zippo, who have produced over 400 million lighters since starting out in the 1930s. The company also puts its skills to a few hip flask designs and this good value leather-wrapped item impressed us. It’s made of stainless steel with black leather fixed around its waist, giving its gently curved shape some extra grip. It comes with a captive top and has a solid feel to it making it a practical choice for the outdoor type.Buy now Ettinger leather bound hip flask, 6oz: £90, EttingerEttinger’s hip flasks aren’t cheap but their fancy leather wraps are designed to cut a dash in the highest of fashion circles. Their sterling collection features the archetypal stainless steel flask design (with a pouring funnel) comes in a choice of four vibrant colours: purple, red, orange and, our favourite, turquoise. They’re so colourful that you can not only feel and smell the leather luxury but also see it a mile off. Not one to hide away – this is a hip flask for the fashionably hip.Buy now Ted Baker hip flask and shot cups, 300ml: £40, John Lewis & PartnersThis Ted Baker hip flask has the cylindrical shape of the classic Thermos hot drinks flask, but its leather-wrapped, stainless steel sophisticated looks mean it’s definitely designed for booze. With a large 300ml capacity and two cups that sit neatly beneath a detachable hood, it’s an ideal choice for those who like to share their drinks. Buy now London Transport Museum hidden London hip flask, 5oz: £5, London Transport MuseumHip flasks make for excellent travel companions. They offer you regular shots of your favourite booze and don’t hog much space. For souvenir hunters we rather like this 5oz stainless steel offering from London Transport Museum. Its circular design echoes the “Hidden London” logo that you’ll see engraved on both sides, besides making it easy to shift in and out of tight pocket spaces, while a flat bottom enables it to stand upright while filling. A simple but functional gift for the city commuter. Buy now Rex London garden birds hip flask, 6oz: £8.95, Rex LondonThe classic 6oz stainless steel flask design, as featured in Bar Craft’s entry above, is well suited to decorative adornment and it’s possible to find attractive covers to suit all tastes. We’ve taken a liking to this flask decorated with illustrations of garden birds, providing you with a splash of colour while taking a swig of spirit – find a garden bench to relax and enjoy the flask’s contents and it will almost certainly bring out your hidden twitcher.Buy now The verdict: Hip flasksYou don’t need to spend much to get a quality hip flask, but if you’ve got a bit more cash for the investment then we recommend the English Pewter Company’s combination of leather and pewter.
A bag of Marks and Spencer "original gelatine" Percy Pigs has been listed on eBay for £1,000. The ebay listing labels the sweets as “super rare” due to the decision by creators Marks & Spencer to make all Percy Pigs vegetarian by removing animal products from the recipe. It came as M&S revealed plans to form a ‘Percy Pig Panel’ to decide on the future of the sweet.
Burger King has launched a new range of meals which match a customer's food selection to their temperament. Dubbed "Real Meals", the aim of the campaign is to demonstrate that "no one is happy all the time, and that's OK", the fast food chain stated on social media. The meals featured in the range include a Pissed Meal, a Blue Meal, a Salty Meal, a YAAAS Meal and a DGAF (don't give a f**k) Meal.
The team behind the world’s first 'bleeding' vegan burger are set to launch a meatless hot dog at a diner in London next month. The restaurant will also run a half-price launch offer on the dog, which will cost curious diners just £6 (usual price £12) for the first weekend. The Frankfurter-style sausage is 10 inches long, and made using sunflower seeds as its main constituent, with carrots, onion, paprika and coconut oil.