How To Spend It Well At Christmas with Phillip Schofield 2020 – Episode 2, Gifts and Gadgets

So Phillip was back last night with the second episode in this year’s series, looking at Gifts and Gadgets that you can buy for your loved ones this Christmas. Having dealt with toys last week, he was again joined by some famous faces and members of the public to see what companies have brought out this year.

Decorations

First up we headed off to Cardiff to meet 3 neighbouring families to check out different ranges of Christmas decorations were on offer to light up your house and garden. Each family was given the same decorations – a polar bear, 5 sets of string lights, 2 stars, icicle lights, a wreath and some cluster lights.

Each family was given a set from one of the following – The Range (total price £191.89), John Lewis (total price £360) and Cox and Cox (total price £600). With over 3,000 lights for each house, it was definitely going to be a bright street!

First of all they looked at wreaths. The Range wreath, priced at £13.99, had pine cones and berries; the John Lewis wreath (£35) had mixed branches and the most lights; whilst the Cox and Cox wreath (£60) came with 30 larger bulbs.

Each family was also given 2 conifer trees in post to decorate with string lights. The Range string lights (£14.99) came with 600 lights each, whilst the John Lewis string lights (£28) only had 480 lights, although the strings were longer and so would cover a wider space. However the Cox and Cox lights (£55) had the most of all – 750 lights per string.

The stars varied immensely in price from The Range at £3.99, John Lewis at £30, and Cox and Cox at £35. In fact the John Lewis star was that family’s favourite item and certainly the bet of the three. The polar bears also varied – The Range at £39.99 (the family’s favourite item), john Lewis not much more at £50, and Cox and Cox at £75 – although that was somewhat disappointing!

Once each house was finished, all the neighbours from the road came out to view the lighting, and to choose the best decorations. And they voted for the budget decorations from The Range as their favourite overall.

Home Fitness

We’ve all spent much more time at home this year, and our exercise has been limited to working out at home and walking, running or cycling in your neighbourhood for a large part of it. You can’t escape from hearing about people like Joe Wicks, who ran online PE classes for children (and adults!) every day for months.

So Phillip decided to enlist the help of 3 couple to test some space saving home gym equipment – ex-footballer and TV personality Chris Kamara with his son Jack; Team GB Olympic gymnasts Becky and Ellie Downie; and pub landlord Graham and musician Sharon. These were all very small so wouldn’t take up much room at home – I mean, how many of us has room for big exercise machines at home?

They were each sent 4 home workout gadgets for different types of exercises to test and evaluate, then rate them from best to worst.

Core exercises – Mirafit Core Exercise Sliders

The Mirafit Core Exercise Sliders (RRP £7.95) are a very simple design of 4 discs, designed to improve balance and the core of your body. The idea is you do a range of exercises whilst standing and leaning on the discs with your hands. They work on a variety of surfaces, so should be ok for almost everyone.

Each pair really found these good, and were very impressed with the simple design.

Strength exercises – Jaxjox Kettlebellconnect 2.0

The Jaxjox Kettlebellconnect 2.0 (RRP £229) is one kettlebell that is designed to replace having to store sets of kettlebells. It changes to 6 different weights electronically!

Obviously it’s pricey, but just a little more than the cost of 6 different kettlebells, and in a fraction of the space – perfect for working out from home. It connects to an app to count your reps too.

Co-ordination exercises – Beast Gear Premium Boxing Reflex Ball

The funniest and weirdest looking section was the co-ordination exercises with the Beast Gear Premium Boxing Reflex Ball (RRP £17.97). It’s a headband with a ball attached to a string, which you are designed to punch to improve your hand/eye coordination. Thank goodness it comes with safety glasses! Chris Kamara was not impressed but the other 2 couple liked it.

Warm down and stretch – The Morph Collapsible Foam Roller from Brazen Life

After every workout you should warm down and stretch, so Phillip included the Morph Collapsible Foam Roller from Brazen Life (RRP £59).Whilst you can get foam rollers for just a quarter of the price, this one collapses down in size and as such is much easier to store in a smaller space.

They all like it but Chris Kamara was particularly impressed – it’s good for us oldies, he said.

The Verdict

So which of these came out top in their votes? In 3rd place was the Beast Gear Premium Boxing Reflex Ball; joint 2nd was the Mirafit Core Sliders and the Jaxjox Kettlebell, and the Morph Collapsible Foam Roller came out on top.

Dog Toys

Phillip asked animal behaviourist Ali Taylor from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, along with her colleague Jane Warden, to test out dog toys designed to launch for games of fetch. With almost 30 years experience, Ali certainly qualifies as something of an expert in the field.

Man’s Best Friend Ball Launcher

First up was the Man’s Best Friend Ball Launcher (RRP £19.99). The pair were quite disappointed with the distance it sent the balls, although they felt it was a good design and strong – in fact a bit too strong to pull back the trigger. But the balls that it came with were destroyed by the dogs chewing very quickly and they felt this could be dangerous.

Nerf Dog Stomper

Nerf is a well known name in toy guns and launching, so it’s no surprise they have come up with a toy for dogs either. The Nerf Dog Stomper (RRP £14.99) claims you can launch the balls up to 75 feet, but the ladies were very disappointed as at first they just popped out a few feet away.

Eventually with a great deal of effort Jane managed to get it going about 30 feet. Again, the balls started to come apart fairly quickly, although not as bad as the Man’s Best Friend Ball Launcher.

Ruffwear Hovercraft

Next up was a frisbee type toy, with a moulded foam material which is designed to be soft on dog’s teeth. The Ruffwear Hovercraft (RRP £25.95) is the most expensive of the fetch toys that were tested, but it also floats in water, and with many dogs loving to jump in rivers and lakes that’s a great feature.

The ladies thought it was a great design and safe to the dogs, but far too pricey.

Kong Wavz Bunji Ball Medium

The cheapest came last – advertised as a long distance fetch toy the Kong Wavz Bunji Ball (Medium) is priced at just £5.99. It’s basically a ball on a string with a handle – so you need to do the hard work of launching it yourself. The one downside they had with this was if the dog is one that will fetch but doesn’t like to give their toy up – the handle part may hurt when wrestling it away. This was the only toy that they guessed the price too high, so were very pleased with it’s affordability.

So which dog fetch toy was best?

Ali and Jane marked each toy based on price, the dogs’ reaction, and their own enjoyment. They put the Man’s Best Friend Ball Launcher in 4th place, with The Nerf Dog Stomper in 3rd, and The Ruffwear Hovercraft in 2nd. They awarded first place to the Kong.

Dog Beds

After a hard time playing fetch, they headed home to test out the latest dog beds. Dogs can spend up to 14 hours a day sleeping (why am I jealous?), so a dog bed that is comfortable can be a great buy, and save your sofa for the 2 legged members of your family!

There were 3 beds on offer to the dogs to test out. First of all the ladies had a good look and whilst they didn’t know the prices, they felt the mid-range bed was the best. They then let the dogs in 2 at a time to see which they preferred, before letting in all 8 dogs at the same time.

Amazonbasics Pet Sofa Lounger Bed (L)

The Amazonbasics Pet Sofa Lounger Bed priced at £81.79 has polyesters sides to create a wall round 3 sides. It has a water resistant liner, and you can unzip the cushion so that it is washable – always handy to help remove dog odours.

Bedsure Orthopedic Dog Mattress (XL)

The Bedsure Orthopedic Dog Mattress (size XL) (£33.99) is a flat dog bed, made of orthopedic egg crate foam. They felt it was warm and snug, and were impressed that it too unzipped for washing.

Ralph & Co Balmoral Nest Dog Bed – Herringbone (XL)

The luxury option was the Ralph & Co Balmoral Nest Dog Bed in Herringbone, priced at £129.99. It is made of recycled polyester fibre, and although it has walls too the cushion does not unzip, so if you want to wash it you would need to put the whole cushion in.

Which dog bed will the dogs choose?

We’ve already seen that Ali and Jane liked the Amazonbasics Pet Sofa Lounger Bed , but which would the dogs like? As they were let in 2 at a time, Ali and Jane watched on from another room using the hidden cameras. Each pair of dogs settled on the Ralph & Co Balmoral Nest Dog Bed – the most expensive of the 3.

But then the ladies let all 8 dogs in at once. They all seemed happy to try all of the beds, so it was quite clear that each of the dog beds was good enough.

Gifts for food lovers

With the amount of time that we’ve all had to stay at home in 2020, it’s no surprise that cooking has become a favourite past-time for many. So Phillip sent 3 food making kits to author, broadcaster and restaurant critic Grace Dent to test with her friend Tom.

Honeywell Biscuit Co Rosemary and Cranberry Bread Wreath

First up was the Rosemary and Cranberry Bread Wreath kit from the Honeywell Biscuit Company. Priced at £15.00. you’ll need 3 hours to make this. It comes with the dry ingredients packed in brown paper to make the dough, but not the oil.

First of all the dough is made and then left for an hour to prove. The cranberries are then added and mixed in, before it’s divided up into 18 even pieces which are made into balls. The kits suggest buying a camambert cheese and using the cardboard base to shape the pieces into a wreath.It needs 30 minutes for it to rise, before being baked for 15 minutes.

After this brush with butter, and add the camambert in the middle before going back into the over for it’s final bake. Once out the tasting began and they loved it, especially with the gooey camambert. They were a bit shocked that it cost so much for what is basically bread, but felt it was delicious.

The Ultimate Cheese Making Kit

The most expensive gift was The Ultimate Cheese Making Kit, price ad £36.50, although you can make 40 batches of cheese, with 10 different types. They made the ricotta which takes around 1 hour. It comes with all the herbs required and a thermometer – the only thing not provided is the milk.

Stir (in an up and down motion) and when the milk reaches 85 degrees the curds begin to separate from the whey. Then cover it and leave to call for 20 minutes. After this separate the curds from the whey by using the muslin provided. Then the cheese is put into the basket moulds and left to set.

They loved tasting the cheese and Grace felt that you could use it for a dinner party without people realising it was homemade. They felt it was loads of fun and with 10 different cheeses good value for money.

Fudge Kitchen Fudge Making Kit

The final kit that Grace and Tom tested out was the Fudge Kitchen Fudge Making Kit, priced at £30 and taking around 30 minutes to make. This offers 3 different flavours -toffee, chocolate and plain.

Pour the ingredients into a saucepan and heat. Using the sugar thermometer that comes with the kit make sure it doesn’t rise above 235 degrees (not over 250 like Grace).

Pour out the hot liquid onto a chopping board and fold over using the paddles provided. After a few minutes of working it soon looks like fudge. When tasting they enjoyed it, but felt it was very sweet. They weren’t sure though of the price, although with 3 different flavours then it was judged to slightly give value for money.

But which did they choose as the best? Not surprisingly they both plumped for The Ultimate Cheese Making Kit .

Kitchen Gadgets

Phillip was joined by chef Matt Tebbutt again this year to test out 3 kitchen gadgets that are all under £10 and designed to save time in the kitchen. Normally matt is highly unimpressed but will that change this year? First, he has to guess the use of each item just be seeing it.

NamePriceUseDid Matt guess?
ChefN StemGem£7.49Strawberry stem removerYes, eventually
Culinare Magipull£4.49Ringpull OpenerNo
Dexam Orange Peeler£1.00Orange peelerNearly – he guessed lemon peeler

Matt was not impressed with the ChefN StemGem strawberry huller, especially the price, and felt that using a knife would have been easier. The Culinare Magipull Ringpull Opener was given a better reception, it would be good for people who struggle with ringpulls on tins.

But the Dexam Orange Peeler actually got a thumbs up. It has 2 parts, you slice the peel all the way round with one end, and then with the other you separate the peel from the orange and it should slide off in two halves. Saves getting orange peel under your nails!

Portable Coffee Makers

In the UK we drink 95 million cups of coffee a day apparently. Manufacturers have targeted the growing market for making coffee in all scenarios, and so have designed something to give us our brews anywhere.

Phillip set off in a cute blue coffee van to meet up with 3 sets of campers to test out portable coffee makers. Each family was given 3 machines to test, and the same ground coffee beans.

Hario V60 Dripper

The cheapest one was the Hario V60 Dripper, priced at just £6. The ground coffee beans are placed in the teacup looking top in a filter – note the filters are not provided and cost a further £6 for 100 filters. Pour the hot water on top and after 3 minutes it has brewed.

All the campers liked it – it is simple to use, doesn’t take up much space, easy to wash up, and makes a nice cup of coffee.

Barista & Co Brew It Stick

Next up was the Barista & Co Brew It Stick at £11.99. They all laughed at it’s appearance, reminding them of a toilet brush! To use fill the basket two-thirds with coffee and place in the mug, pour the water over it slowly, and brew for 4 minutes.

The coffee was nice, but not all enjoyed it. They felt the price was just about right.

Aeropress Go

The Aeropress Go was the most expensive tested, at £31.99. It comes in several parts which slot together inside the cup. It took quite a while for each of the families to work out how to construct it. The filters attach to the chamber, then add coffee grounds and hot water before stirring.

You can plunge immediately, there’s no need to wait for it to brew, which is one advantage. The campers liked the coffee, but felt it was far too complicated and expensive.

Which is the best portable coffee maker?

The campers voted the Hario V60 Dripper as the best – cheap, simple design, and made good coffee. In second place came the Barista & Co Brew It Stick and in third place the Aeropress Go.

Technology Gadgets

Technology always plays a big part at Christmas, and so Phillip was joined by technology journalist Georgie Barret to bring her best buys on offer this year.

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 Camera

Her first choice was the Instax Square SQ1 camera, made by Fujifilm. It’s a retro camera like an old polaroid. It is pretty basic but with immediate photos could be great fun. It doesn’t have a zoom feature but does have a selfie mode – turn the camera to face you and look in the small silver mirror on the front to line up the shot. I was a bit shocked at the price of £120 though, although it could be fun at a party.

Simplehuman Sensor Mirror Hi-Fi

The Simplehuman Sensor Mirror Hi-Fi is a mirror perfect for doing make up. It gives 5 times magnifcation, and has a light surrounding the mirror that replicates daylight. You can adjust this light with touch controls on the side to maybe soften down to candlelight. So this would be great for make-up artists – priced at £350 it is quite an investment. It also comes with a built-in speaker and Alexa.

Oculus Quest 2 VR

Phillip has the first Oculus Quest already, but this is quite a step up with 50% more pixels. cameras on the outside of the headset communicate with the 2 hand controllers. This version does not rely on being connected to your laptop or computer, which can be a real pain. With top of the range VR headsets going up to £1000, the Oculus Quest 2 is a great entry level VR headset at just £299.

This was Phillips favourite of the 3 technology gifts whilst Georgie opted for the Instax Square SQ1 camera .

Gifts you can post

The final section introduced Holly Tucker, founder of Not On The High Street and a big supporter of small businesses. With 2020 being such a difficult year, small businesses have really had to get creative, and being small they are more often able to adapt a lot quicker than their bigger rivals.

Many of the gifts that you can find on Not On The High Street are highly personal and you can get wording made just for the intended recipient. Some of the gifts that they detailed are below:

The Drifting Bear Co – Personalised Signpost Couple Ceramic Tile – £32.00

Parkin & Lewis – Personalised Leather Couple Bottle Tag – £7.75

Clouds and Currents – Personalised Special Memories Photo Keepsake Box – £40.00

Bread & Jam – A Little Pocketful Of Comfort Reassuring Messages – £14.95

So that was the end of the show. Hopefully you found plenty of gift ideas to check out. What was my favourite? Well, this year I am seriously tempted to gift the Cheese Making Kit. How about you?

Don’t forget to check out the Toys episode here.

Gifts For Coffee Lovers

1 cup coffee plungerFor Father’s Day back in June, my gorgeous girls bought me a 1 cup coffee plunger. Quite a simple present, and certainly not the most expensive, but it has been one of the best presents I have received in years.

Now, I am no coffee snob, but I do like coffee. However I would never bother to go to the effort of all those different machines – I am quite happy with a bit of (quality) instant. I know, I know… But having my new present has pushed me to us it, and I now look forward to a better quality coffee every morning. Continue reading

Couch Coaster – as seen on TV

I do love to see small business programmes on TV – Dragons Den is probably the most famous. But tonight I have just seen another episode of Give It A Year, hosted by Karen Brady.

In this ITV programme Karen Brady meets new entrepreneurs who have an idea for a business, and have started on their journey to hopefully becoming a success. They discuss where they are, and what they want to achieve over the next 12 months, before she returns a year later to see how they progressed.

It’s fast action, as with 2 companies in a 30 minute show, it lacks the advice and in depth details that I feel it could give. But it does show what small companies need to go through, so you may find it interesting.

In tonight’s episode Karen met with Barry Freeder, a young man who had invented the Couch Coaster. He came up with the idea whilst watching Match of the Day with a beer in his hand. With his coffee table over the other side of the room, he felt there must have been a way to hold his beer bottle and so invented Couch Coaster (with a prototype starting from a pizza box!).

As you can see, the Couch Coaster is a long silicon product that drapes over the arm of your sofa. In the middle of the product is a holder for your cup, can or bottle, either hot or cold.

By choosing this holder you don’t need to position a coffee table nearby, or leave your drink on the floor where it is likely to be knocked over by pets, children, swinging doors or a forgetful yourself!

 

Available in 5 colours – brown, cream, grey (pictured), red and black – all designed to complement your sofa of choice. It has a slot for cup handles when drinking tea or coffee, but also comes with an adapter which you can insert to keep cans and bottle snug and spill free.

The buyers on Amazon that left reviews are very complimentary about the product – so many people giving it 5 stars. One person was even close to buying their 7th CouchCoaster – but only because their dog kept chewing them up! But seriously, I have rarely seen a product with almost all positive comments.

If your husband has a horrible knack of keep spilling their drinks, why not copy one of the buyers who bought one for their husband as a joke. He loved it! And has been spill free ever since.

If you have been looking for something to stop drinks spilling, this could be just what you need.

 

 

 

 

Buy The Best Barbecue Gifts For Your Loved One

You love barbecues. Eating outside in the sunshine, with a glass of your favourite drink, and tasting food perfectly cooked with that special barbecue taste. But what is even better? When your loved one is the person who likes to do the cooking.

So what can you do to make him or her say to you when you get home after a hard day’s work, “Hey, why don’t I barbecue for us tonight?” No wondering what to prepare for yet another night at home, your partner has got it covered. All you have to do is get into some casual clothes and relax. How can you make that happen? Buy some gifts that will encourage them!! Continue reading

Top 10 Barbecues 2018

We are well into summer now, and the weather forecasters are predicting a heatwave over the next few weeks. Which means that it is officially barbecue weather! The smell of meat cooking will be filling back gardens throughout the land. And so, we bring you the best in barbecues, starting with our selection of gas barbecues.

Click on the images to read more from Amazon, or scroll down for our own summary of each one.

Name

RRP

Star Rating

CosmoGrill 6+1 Deluxe Gas Burner £350 4.5 / 5
Outback Omega 250 Gas Babecue £130 4.5 / 5
Marco Phillippe Gas Barbecue £270 4.5 / 5
FirePlus 4+1 Gas Burner £250 4.5 / 5
Fire Mountain Everest 3 Burner £190 4 / 5

Of course, not everyone wants to be cooking on gas, some would prefer the more traditional charcoal barbecue for a more authentic flavour.

Name

RRP

Rating

Weber Compact 47cm £115 4.5 / 5
Landmann Stainless Steel Pedestal £40 4.5 / 5
Azuma Black Steel Barrel BBQ £120 4.5 / 5
tepro Toronto Grill Barbecue £150 4.5 / 5
Fire Mountain Deluxe Trolley Barbecue £80 4.5 / 5

Which should I choose – gas or charcoal barbecue?

There are both positives and negatives to both types of barbecues, so when choosing which to buy, a lot comes down to personal preferences.

Positives and negatives of gas barbecues

  • Tend to be pricier than charcoal barbecues, although you can get some cheaper models that compare
  • Easier to clean – a big positive
  • Can get smoky flavour with the use of wood chips in a smoker box
  •  More parts that could break

Positives and negatives of charcoal barbecues

  • Generally cheaper than gas barbecues, although top of the range models can be expensive
  • Longer to light and get to cooking heat
  • More difficult to clean – and who likes that job?
  • Always a smoky flavour
  • You get to be manly and play with fire, although tougher to control temperature and can get very hot!

What to do before cooking

First of all, light your barbecues. gas barbecues need at least 10 minutes to heat up before cooking; charcoal barbecues need at least 20 minutes (and often much more!). After this time ensure that your grill plate is clean (you did clean it after the last use, didn’t you?). Brush it with a wire brush or use aluminium foil scrunched into a ball. The heat will have loosened any leftover grease but be careful and don’t burn yourself before you have even started cooking.

Once your gas barbecue is hot enough, or your charcoal has turned to white ash, then you can start to think about cooking.

What to cook on your barbecue

Sausages and burgers are the most obvious item with children around. Chicken drumsticks, lamb chops and steak are all popular with most people. But you can be creative and cook vegetables too – corn on the cob, vegetable kebabs, and jacket potatoes are all possible. And of course, don;t forget a nice salmon steak for those that like their fish.

Try not to turn your food too often. It’s tempting also to push down on the meat to help it get closer to the heat – all you will be doing will be squeezing the juices onto the flames below, and that juiciness can never be recovered.

If you want the aroma and taste of herbs, throw a few onto your charcoal or if using gas soak some in water and cook your meat directly on top.

Here’s Jamie Oliver with a masterclass on vegetable cooking on barbecues:

Gas Barbecues

Here are our 5 selected gas barbecues from Amazon

FirePlus CosmoGrill 6 +1 Deluxe Gas Burner Barbecue

The CosmoGrill from FirePlus has 6 stainless steel burners that can be individually ignited. If you are hosting a large party this will give you the capacity to cope with demand, however if it is just a romantic meal for 2 then you don;t need to use all the burners.

It has a side burner to keep food warm, as it’s not always possible to cook all you need at once.

It’s thermometer will help keep the heat at a temperature that’s right for what you are cooking, giving you more control and less chance of burning your food. It has a double layered hood to keep heat in, and 4 castor wheels for easy manouverability.

Most people found this easy to put together but suggest better with 2 of you. They also suggest that if moving to be careful and again. maybe 2 people would be a wise option.

Outback Omega 250 Gas Barbecue

A smaller gas barbecue, the Outback Omega 250 has a 50cm cooking area. This compact barbecue has a folding side table and dual control burner, with side burner.

It has a chrome grill section and plastic drip tray. It comes with a bag of lava rocks to improve the flavour.

Perfect for small parties, although one reviewer hosted 20 people at his party and it managed well.

Marco Phillippe Gas Barbecue

If you are looking for a stylish modern barbecue, then the Marco Phillippe Gas Barbecue may be the one for you.

Made with high quality stainless steel, it has 4 burners for good temperature control, a side burner, and even a rear burner for it’s electric powered rotisserie.

Relatively easy to build, but don’t forget to take off the plastic film – you don’t your first barbecue filling the garden with the smell of burning plastic.

FirePlus 4+1 Gas Burner Barbecue

This smart looking black barbecue comes with 4 gas burners. There’s a warming shelf above the grilling plate to keep food warm once cooked.

Once built this is a very sturdy barbecue, with the main downside being that only two of the wheels having locks.

Plenty of storage in the cupboards underneath.

 

Fire Mountain Everest Gas Barbecue

Although having only 3 burners compared to some of the others with more, they are high quality, made from cast iron. 

It has shelves on both sides, which proves handy whilst cooking. The stainless steel hood has warming rack and a temperature guage.

This is a sturdy machine and we particularly like the fact that it has only two wheels, which make it more stable once in position.

Charcoal Barbecues

And here are the 5 charcoal barbecues that we selected.

Weber Compact 47cm Charcoal BBQ

The Weber Compact was one of the 2 charcoal barbecues featured on Phillip Schofield’s How To Spend It Well programme. Although it wasn’t the best as rated by the reviewers on there, it is one of the most popular sold on Amazon.

It is a 47 cm kettle barbecue, which are popular amongst many people. It has a fixed grill height, and although it does not come with a cover we would recommend one if  it is going to sit outside in a typical British summer. Very sturdy and easy to assemble.

Landmann Stainless Steel Pedestal Barbecue

We love the look of this barbecue – it is modern, stylish and fits in a smaller area, perfect for a small garden.

Obviously it is not meant for big parties, but you can easily cook for up to 4 people. So it’s perfect for a small family, or even a couple to invite another couple over for a nice evening barbecue.

It has a major advantage in that the grill is height adjustable.

Azuma Black Steel Barrel Barbecue

From the smallest we travel up to what seems a huge barbecue in comparison.

The Azuma Black Steel Barbecue is a sturdy barbecue with 2 wheels and 2 legs, so easy to move but will remain in position once in place.

Adjustable grill height again, for better temperature control. As well as a preparation shelf and lid it also has a warming shelf – perfect for when plating up several types of food together.

tepro Toronto Grill

The Toronto Grill from Tepro is one of teh more expensive charcoal barbecues you can find, but it has a lot of added benefits.

Made from cast iron, it has a crank which lowers or raises the tray holding the coals so that you can get the perfect cooking temperature.

Close the lid and you will get an even temperature all round for perfect cooking. It also has a thermometer built into the lid so you can keep an eye on the temperature whilst the lid is down. The side shelf is perfect for holding sauces and marinades close by.

Fire Mountain Deluxe Charcoal Barbecue

Made from strong black powder-coated steel, the Fire Mountain Deluxe Charcoal Barbecue has 2 adjustable grills over 3 heights. It also has two side shelves and storage underneath.

The adjustable grills prove perfect for cooking different types of food at the same time, although the back grill could be used as a warming grill.

 

So there you go – 5 gas and 5 charcoal barbecues to choose from. So whichever is your favourite style of cooking on barbecues, why not take a look and choose one now. We have had a great summer so far, and it sounds like the next few weeks are going to make cooking outside even more tempting.

How To Spend It Well: House And Garden With Phillip Schofield

If you are looking for the 2019 Christmas shows, click here for the Gifts and Gadgets show, and click here for the Toys show.

You may remember back just before Christmas , Britain’s favourite presenter Phillip Schofield, gave us a three part guide to buying presents for our loved ones. Well last night he was back with another show in a similar fashion, called How To Spend It Well: House And Garden.

In the show he looked at what products we should be buying this summer with the help of his wife Steph and some more celebrity friends, as well as members of the British public. In true Phillip Schofield style it was a fun show, and gave us just the right amount of information to make the best decisions. Continue reading

10 Great Gift Ideas For Fathers Day

 

10 Great Gifts For Fathers DayIt’s just 3 weeks now to Fathers Day – for those who can’t remember it’s Sunday June 17th – and so now is the perfect time to think of what gift you are going to get for the first special man in your life.

Obviously a lot depends on what your father likes to do, what his interests are, but here’s a run down of 10 great gift ideas you can use for Fathers Day.

1 – Wet Shaver

A rotary wet shaver will get your Father looking smarter in no time at all. Fed up of his stubbly kisses? Then you will benefit without him realising – it’s a win-win situation!

So what’s the benefit of a wet shaver? Well, this can be used either wet or dry. When wet, it will glide better than a normal rotary razor, and can even be used with gel or foam for the perfect shave.

Try the IPX7 from SweetLF –  it’s rechargeable, has a pop up trimmer for sideburns and moustaches, and is a fraction of the cost of a more well known brand such as Braun. Continue reading