All posts tagged occasion

I love a bit of retailer innovation.  So imagine my delight when I nipped into town for a few (boring) essentials this morning, and found myself face-to-face (or should that be face-to-bonnet?) with the fabulous Bessie the Bus. For those of you unfamiliar with Bessie, she is Oasis’ new mobile shop. You can check out her story here.

Bessie is an old mobile library, refitted in a fab #fashpack style is currently on tour.  Her schedule is chocca – she’s visiting regional events, retail parks, and high streets where Oasis does not currently have a retail presence. What a brilliant concept – the store that comes to customers rather than waiting for customers to come to them.

bessie_the_bus_int2bessie_the_bus_int

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What makes Bessie even better is that fact that she’s not simply an Oasis groupie…or worse, a jumped-up-market-stall. She’s had a modern-retro makeover that accentuates her fun, quirky side. Her  bespoke interior includes a kitchen hob holding key accessories, a breakfast bar that doubles as a hanging display unit and a jewellery box that opens to print customer receipts She also has a fitting room and the best sales staff EVER (how much do they love their jobs?!).

Bessie has more than 250 stops planned in her 2015 tour…so it shouldn’t be long before she’s at a venue near you. You can even petition for her to visit your town via Twitter using #bessiethebus. Go Bessie!

cyber_monday_santa

If, like me, you decided to give Black Friday a wide berth, then Cyber Monday is probably much more your cup of tea.  Loads of bargains, but without being barged / rugby tackled / swore at. The civilised way to sort your Christmas shopping. And from the comfort of your own home – what’s not to love about that?

As someone who would rather stick pins in my eyeballs than wrestle fellow shoppers in a claustrophobically crowded retail destination, Cyber Monday is extremely appealing. I just don’t have the patience for shopping in the real world. All that hustle and bustle just makes me stressed.  I do seem to vaguely recall a time when shopping was a fun pastime, but those days are long gone.  Nowadays If there’s more than two people in front of me at the checkout, I start to get a bit fretful and am prone to abandoning my goods and steaming straight out of the shop in a huff. In fact, just thinking about trying to navigate a town centre on a weekend in December is making my chest tight.

So hurray for Cyber Monday…and working from home!  The perfect way to get Christmas sorted without losing your mind.  All the usual suspects are taking part: Amazon, Argos, Tesco, ASOS, The Disney Store…in fact it’s probably quicker to list those that aren’t participating.  To make things even simpler this year, lots of sites have compiled a round-up of the best offers available.  Check them out for inspiration:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/cyber-monday-2014-live-deals-4725177

http://www.hotukdeals.com/cyber-monday

http://money.aol.co.uk/2014/11/29/revealed-the-best-cyber-monday-deals/

And while you’re at it, pay with Paypal for your chance to win up to £1000.  With 5 winners a week it makes you feel like you might even have a slim chance:

https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/winchristmas

And don’t panic if you don’t get all your festive shopping sorted in one fell swoop.  I’m sure Terrific Tuesday (I’m working on the name!) will bring its own tempting treats.  Happy shopping

black-friday_1

We Brits are suckers for an American trend. Halloween, tooth whitening, childhood obesity – where America treads, the UK is usually not too far behind…forming an orderly queue of course.

Black Friday is yet another US-lead initiative that has wormed its way into our national consciousness. Given its intrinsic link to Thanksgiving, you’d think this would be one Americanism we’d be happy to ignore, but it would appear we are (once again) powerless to resist.

Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November. The following day has become designated Black Friday. With a moniker originally coined by the Philadelphia police department in the 1950s, Black Friday was so called because of the chaos that engulfed the city as shoppers, fuelled by surfeits of turkey and cranberry sauce, flocked to the high street sales to commence Christmas shopping.

Over the years, the meaning of Black Friday has changed, with it now being heralded as the first day of the year that retailers start making money, therefore propelling them from the red to the black.

Black Friday had no relevance in the UK until 2010.  Until then, the nearest retail phenomenon we had was the good old Boxing Day sales. Multinational retailers were the first to introduce the concept on this side of the Atlantic. Most notable of these was Amazon, who introduced Black Friday discounts four years ago. Last year saw Black Friday reach critical mass in the UK, breaking the previous record for a single day’s online trade.

Initially, the UK’s adaptation of Black Friday was very much a digital event; a key impetus in the retail shift from the bricks and mortar of old to the new, infinitely more convenient digital shopping experience.

Last year, however, things started to change.  Wallmart-owned Asda ran a series of flash promotions, with ‘pinch me – I must be dreaming’ discounts that propelled frenzied customers into their stores. The result was akin to the carnage synonymous with America’s Black Friday – people queuing in the early hours and rampaging for bargains. Asda sold a month’s worth of TVs in just 45 minutes and 16k tablets in an hour.

So what does that mean for us this year then?  Well, analysts are predicting that 28th November 2014 will be the biggest online shopping day in UK history, EVER. It is also likely to be much more of a bricks and mortar event too.  Asda’s success last year made the other supermarkets sit up and take note…and want a bit of that frenetic footfall for themselves.

Am I the only one that feels a bit uneasy about this new shift in retail behaviour though?  To me, this feels like a slippery slope. Consumers become conditioned to expect heavy discounting, the level of which is only achievable by the giant monoliths of retail. It is only the supermarkets and multi-national retailers, like Amazon, that have low enough buy prices and broad enough stock ranges to accommodate this loss-leading approach. The independents, once again, are priced out of the market, knowingly undersold, in a supersized world where bigger is always best.

And what about the stalwart of UK retail heritage – the Boxing Day sale? Can it compete with the brasher, younger, all-American rival?  Only time will tell, but I’m thinking our British penchant for the under-dog will be quickly discarded in favour of an iPad for fifty quid!

This week we thought we would concentrate on sourcing some amazing recipes for the special lady in your life – your mum! It is of course Mother’s Day this Sunday, so why not celebrate by cooking up a storm in the kitchen!

Breakfast

egg-in-a-nest

Of course a great way to show mummy just how much you love her is with breakfast in bed. Our favourite is Egg in a Nest. You simply get a biscuit cutter (a heart or flower shaped one will work well for this occasion) and cut the middle out of a piece of bread. Then you melt a knob of butter into a hot frying pan and place the bread in, frying it slightly. Then crack an egg inside and fry to your mum’s liking. There you have it: Egg in a Nest. Otherwise known as Egg in a Saddle, Egyptian Egg, One Eye or Bird in a Nest!

Lunch

brandonrostsmokedsal

This classic combo of beetroot, salmon and horseradish creme fraiche makes a delicious starter, but works just as well as a Mother’s Day lunch as well. This recipe is great!

Dinner

lamb

A classic Mother’s Day dinner would have to be roast lamb. It’s perfectly spring like and such a treat. This recipe that we have found gives lots of great tips on how to cook the best roast lamb from chef Marcus Wareing.

oscar

Last night saw the 85th Academy Awards, so we thought we would take a foodie spin on the glamorous ceremony! What do you get when you mix films with food? We could discuss overpriced popcorn if you like, but we thought we would recommend a few foodie films for you to enjoy!

In no particular order:

Chocolat. It’s got Johnny Depp and a lot of chocolate… What’s not to love?!

Julie & Julia. This charming true story follows blogger Julie Powell, who decides to cook her way through chef Julia Child’s cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” The incredible Meryl Streep plays Child, with Amy Adams playing Powell. It’s a sweet tale of dreams, passion and cassoulet!

Ratatouille. This Oscar winner (best animated film) is adorable, and a great family film. It follows a chef, who just gets everything wrong, and the relationship that he forms with a rat who helps him learn to cook.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Again, depending on the version, we have Johnny Depp and chocolate again, but in my humble opinion, the original is the classic.

Let us know your foodie film favourites by tweeting us @RumbleChat!

The Super-Duper Leek!

leek

Leeks are very much in season at the moment, so we thought we would give you RumbleChatters a few interesting facts before you go off to make some leek and potato soup! (of which there is a GREAT recipe for right here)

Leeks are one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden.
They are a member of the same family that onions and garlic belong to.
They remove remnants of other food in the stomach, thereby cleansing the digestive tract and detoxifying the body.
Leeks are nature’s antiseptic agent. If you apply leek extract to a wound, it can prevent infection and also help to heal the wound faster, as they prevent blood clotting.
Leeks are rich in calcium, iron, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C and potassium.
They also help the symptoms of PMS, and help to regulate the menstrual cycle.
Leeks are known to also relieve the symptoms of epilepsy.

Overall they are a super-duper food! Hurrah for the humble leek! Tweet us with your suggestions of how to cook the delicious vegetable 🙂

pancakes

It’s that day again… for some it represents religion, for some it signals the beginning of Spring and for some it is a reminder that Easter is on its way. For us at RumbleChat HQ it gives us the opportunity to gorge ourselves on some delightful pancakes! However you enjoy them, we want to know! Tweet us today with your suggestions. Or if you need a bit of inspiration, check out these delectable recipes! #foodporn!

Pancakes with mascarpone and fruits

Duck pancakes with hoisin sauce

Crepes Suzette

and finally…

American Breakfast Pancakes

tent

Just seeing the pictures of these tents from Fieldcandy reminds me that the festival season is approaching. Which gets me so excited! Winter feels like it’s been dragging on for about 5 years, and it’s about time we had a few months of half decent warm weather.
For me, festivals mean music, flat beer, wellies, running out of loo roll, but ultimately, they mean FOOD!
Tacos, pizza, burgers, noodles: anything that will fit in a paper bowl. And there’s something about eating outside in the dying summer sun that makes your food taste all the more delightful…
If you’re planning on enjoying a few nights away in the open air, why not enjoy festival season even more with one of Fieldcandy’s glorious food tents!

Epic-cafe-facebook-campus

I’ve just been reading about Epic, which is the canteen housed within the Facebook headquarters. The food served there is complimentary to all staff… which I applaud!
It seems as though food is taken pretty seriously over at the social media giant. They offer their employees creatively themed meals of high quality, with the cooking team posting the daily menu on the in-house Facebook page.
This made me wonder. Do you think all large, successful corporate firms should offer this sort of service? Should they have an in-house cafeteria? Should they offer meals free of charge by way of rewarding staff for all of their hard work? Should they make an extra effort to offer up food of high quality as in incentive to get the creative juices flowing with their employees?
I think a food incentive is a massive plus within the workplace! Healthy, well cooked, creative cooking makes for happy workers and lots of RumbleChatting 🙂

pouring-milk-on-cereal

The time of Lent is traditionally a time of fasting and reflection. But in the 21st century it’s usually a time to abstain from a vice… Chocolate, caffeine, booze or carbs for instance. I usually attempt to give up crisps. When I say attempt, I mean ‘choose to have about 3 days off’. I have no will power.
So when I came across news that the Church of England have advised that we slow down, and live a ‘simpler life’, such as ‘to take an extended breakfast and savour things as seemingly mundane as a bowl of breakfast cereal’, it got me thinking of other food-based activities you can do to slow your life down. Here’s my top 3, let us know yours by tweeting @Rumblechat with the hashtag #foodielent

1) Make a 7-hour roast lamb. Not much work for the chef, but it will test your patience as you wait for the delicous result! http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1094/sevenhour-lamb
2) Check out some of the best restaurants with a degustation menu… and take all evening to savour every mouthful! I fancy going to Texture for their Scandinavian tasting menu… http://texture-restaurant.co.uk/pdf/19-10-12-scandi-tasting.pdf
3) Make some blue cheese! I love, love, love blue cheese, and it should take around 3 months to make, so if that doesn’t slow me down, then nothing will!