27 Jul

Join Dora and Friends for a Sing-a-Long Summer

H grew up with Dora the Explorer, and now enjoys watching Dora and Friends on Nick Jr. Read on to find out about some exciting things happening this summer!

Dora and Friends have a new range of toys available now at Smyths Toy Superstores. We were sent a selection of Dora and Friends toys, and H is getting a lot of play from them. The Dora Smartphone (rrp £9.99) looks just like Dora’s from the tv show. You can press the screen and receive calls and voicemails from Dora and Friends, as well as pretending to take photos of friends, and use the Map App!

Dora Smartphone from the Dora and Friends Range

We received two kinds of charm bracelets – the Dora Magic Adventure Charm (rrp £7.99) and Magic Charms Bracelet (rrp £9.99), both of which have easily removable Dora-related charms (backpack, Perrito, a camera).  You also get a small Dora figure in the Adventure Charms pack. The Magic Charms Bracelet has Dora and Friends (Alana, Kate, Emma and Naiya) on there, with extra sections where charms can be added. You also get two additional bracelets to add charms.

Dora and Friends Charm Bracelets

But how to collect the extra charms? We received a Dora and Kate doll (rrp £10.99 each), and both come with a mysterious charm which can be added to the bracelets. Both dolls are dressed in an outfit inspired by Dora and Friends, and has soft hair and poseable arms and legs.

Dora and Kate dolls

Sing-A-Long Dora Tour

Across several Smyths Toys stores in the UK there’s going to be a Dora Sing-a-Long tour – which will feature a booth, where you can sing to your favourite Dora song. Look out for some booths in shopping centres too – you can also have the chance to meet the character in some stores and have your photo taken – please see the dates below.

Smyths Toys

  • Waterfields Retail Park, Watford (Dora Costume Character)  – 27th July
  • Westwood Cross Shopping Park, Thanet  – 28th July
  • St. David’s Retail Park, Swansea – 29th July
  • Crown retail park, Leeds (Dora Costume Character) – 31st July
  • Clifton Moor Retail Park, York (Costume Character) – 3rd August
  • Ravenhead Retail park, St.Helens  – 5th August
  • Halls Mill Retail Park, Bury – 6th August
  • Middle Engine Lane, Wallsend – 10th August
  • Glasgow fort shopping park, Glasgow (Costume Character) – 12th August
  • Beach Boulevard, Aberdeen (Costume Character) – 14th August

Sky stands

  • Centre MK, Milton Keynes – 25th– 26th July
  • White Rose, Leeds  – 1st– 2ndAugust
  • Intu Eldon Square, Newcastle  – 8th– 9th August
  • Bon Accord, Aberdeen – 15th– 16th August

Tune in to Nick Jr’s Sing-A-Long Summer every day from 10am-1pm to sing the songs from the shows, which feature words along the bottom of the screen. I may have caught H singing along to Wallykazam on more than one occasion…!

Competition

If you can’t make it to any of these appearances, never fear. There’s a competition online where you can submit your own song which runs from July 27th to August 16th. All you have to do is upload your child singing a Dora song, over at Nick Jr or at their Facebook page.

We have been sent a box of Dora toys for the purpose of this campaign.

26 Jul

Inside Out – Movie Review

We bought tickets today for Inside Out, the new Disney-Pixar film which was released in the UK this Friday just gone.

Inside Out is about the emotions inside 11 year old Riley’s head – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger who live in Headquarters. Riley’s parents move from their happy home in Minnesota to San Francisco. Where she once thought positive things, the more negative emotions take over – and when sadness keeps touching happy memories, Joy becomes concerned, which leads to both Joy and Sadness being sucked out of Headquarters and into Riley’s long-term memories.

They need to make their way back to Headquarters, but it isn’t straightforward. In the meantime, Fear, Anger and Disgust control Riley which doesn’t go so well either.

Are there any scary bits?

While this is graded U there are parts which could be classed as mild peril – a giant clown appears (worth mentioning as some kids have a fear of clowns), but overall it isn’t scary. If you have a fear of broccoli, however…

Are there any sad bits?

Yes! I sat there with tears streaming down my face, though for H she seemed more accepting of it. It’s along the lines of a character who sacrifices themself.

Are there any funny bits?

Loads. Plenty for adults too – and for fans of The U.S. Office you’ve got Phyllis voicing Sadness (so perfect), Mindy Kaling (Kelly) voicing Disgust, and Rashida Jones makes an appearance as the Cool Girl’s emotions. It works on both levels so well, heartwarming, funny and sad.

It goes without saying there’ll be merch opportunities everywhere for these characters, which are in the Disney Store right now. The end leaves it open for Inside Out 2, though nothing has been confirmed (to be fair, it has only just come out and it sounds like Pixar aren’t in a hurry). I recommend going to see it – some younger kids may need parts explaining to them, but overall we found it easy to follow, H was laughing out loud so many times, and I had a good old weep at least three or four times (I’m a softy).

Watch one of the trailers here

25 Jul

Project 365 – Week 30

Sunday 19th July. Today I messed up. I want to take H to a game of football before we go to Wembley, so decided on a friendly that Crystal Palace ladies were playing. We turned up at Bromley’s ground, only to find we were two hours too late – it was a 1pm kick off. So we kept on driving, making the most of our English Heritage membership, driving to Eltham Palace instead. The day was saved, but no football.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Monday 20th July. H’s last day of school for the year. One of my late days at work, though I realised I was on holiday club hours, so made it to the childminders’ place for 3pm, a bit earlier than we expected. So good for it all to be over, even if H has several weeks of holiday club for the holidays. School’s out!

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Tuesday 21st July. H’s birthday present sorted. Ordered from Sports Direct on Sunday, arrived Tuesday. Now hidden away for another month.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Wednesday 22nd July. Did our second video for the Collins Picture Atlas review. It went much more smoothly, as in, H spoke well whereas I waffled on and made myself sound foolish. But I think a bit of perspective is in order. It was only a few years ago we all realised Mexico was part of North America. I’ve said that at work we need an atlas with each continent and country correctly defined. So this atlas would be pretty handy in that respect. But I didn’t want to actually *say* that. So I just said something else badly. Here’s H reading it.

h reading Thursday 23rd July. We went to the pub after work to hand over the cushion we’d crocheted. I can’t crochet so didn’t join in, but was there in spirit. I think the pub loved it – it was our little tribute to Andy, the bar manager who died recently from Sepsis. He was so supportive of our little group – even if he kept forgetting to book our meetings in the diary :-) I’ll miss having my indie music chats with him. H and J from next door walked back home nicely together afterwards. h walking

Friday 24th July. Wet. Not helped by standing on a wobbly paving stone at Sutton Station and this happening. 

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Saturday 25th July. A busy day. We started with H’s football class, my eye test and new glasses, going lavender picking at the local harvest, then back to Carshalton Athletic to watch a friendly. We FINALLY got to a game. Attendance 102 and H loved it – and was focused on the game for quite a bit of the time which was great and sets my mind at ease for next weekend at Wembley. Phew.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

24 Jul

Nothing But, lots of low calorie snacks!

Nothing But are a new range of snacks, with freeze-dried fruit and vegetables. We were sent a selection to try.

Nothing But are a new range of snacks to me but sound ideal (and very low calorie). Being someone who often sits at my desk wanting to eat (rather than needing to eat), reviewing these sounded a good plan. So I enthusiastically accepted their very kind offer!

nothing but snacks

A day later my samples arrived – packets of Pea & Sweetcorn, Mange Tout & Red Pepper, Strawberry and Banana and Apple & Fig. They didn’t have stock of the Pineapple & Grape but I’m on the lookout for a packet.

So what exactly are Nothing But snacks? They’re freeze-dried fruits and vegetables with nothing added, just the water taken away. They’re very low-calorie – and they’re healthy – counting towards your five a day (at just one portion). They’re small enough to fit in your bag, but the biggie for me, how do they taste?

I’m a vegetable kind of girl, so started with Mange Tout & Red Pepper (26 calories per pack). They’re interesting – the mange tout had a strange texture having been freeze-dried, of the two I definitely preferred the red pepper. They were kind of crunchy, without leaving crumbs – tasty too!

Nothing But Mange Tout and Red Pepper

Apple & Fig (45 calories per pack) were my second choice – as I do like a lot of dried fruit, so would freeze-dried work too? Actually, these were delicious! I wanted more in the pack, and was scrabbling for crumbs when they finished – really tasty and the two flavours work well together. I have bought freeze-dried apple in the past, and this was exactly as you’d expect – there isn’t much that changes!

Nothing But Apple and Fig

Strawberry & Banana (34 calories per pack) were next. I’ll often buy dried banana in snacks, and have tried dried strawberries too, so I thought I knew what to expect, but again, delicious! The freeze drying made the fruit feel a little more crumbly – definitely one I’d buy again, and possibly even as an alternative to dried bananas.

Nothing But banana and strawberry

Finally, I saved what I thought would be the best until last; Pea & Sweetcorn (76 calories per pack). It did not disappoint. Dried peas and dried sweetcorn – and of the four varieties I tried, you get the most in these packs. OH they were good. The sweetcorn wasn’t too dry either, as I wasn’t sure whether they might end up that way – so was pleased with that. The peas were as you’d expect, and having peas and sweetcorn together is the kind of thing you’d never go wrong with.

Nothing But Pea and Sweetcorn

So my overall view? I would definitely buy these Nothing But snacks again. Pea & Sweetcorn for the quantity you get, and Strawberry & Banana as a healthier alternative to what’s on offer in other places.

With my current trying-to-be-healthy regime, the Nothing But snacks fit in perfectly – with each bag being low-calorie.

Their website is over here. You can find the snacks for sale at Holland & Barrett, and their website has more information – http://www.nothingbutsnack.com/ – as well as a handy snack finder to see if you have a local stockist.

I was sent a selection of the Nothing But snacks for the purpose of review, all opinions are my own. 

 

22 Jul

Collins Big Cat Reading Lions Books

Recently we were sent a selection of Collins Big Cat Reading Lions books. I requested Stage 5, which is aimed at 7-8 year olds. This is the independent reading at home level, which H has been for a long time. She’s also a free reader at school, and I know this is a suitable reading level for her.

Collins Big Cat readers Stage 5

The biggest issue for me was making sure the books aren’t too grown up – she is still only five. Luckily our school has a mixture of books, from Rigby Star, Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat – so we were already familiar with the range, and they were ones I preferred of the three, especially for facts. As it is, the books are absolutely perfect for H, and she read them all in an evening – and answered questions about them all when asked too.

I like that it includes Great Expectations. I can’t help wishing some of the books I had to read when I was older had been put into simpler forms then to read the fuller versions later on may have helped my understanding a little better – so was really encouraged to see this included, as I know it will help H.

We’ve done a video review. Sorry about the shade covering half of her face!

 

Collins Picture AtlasWe were also sent the Collins Picture Atlas, which is lovely, bright and colourful and breaks down each continent onto several pages, with facts and pictures. With H being half Australian learning about the world is something she’s really interested in. Oh, and she hasn’t really seen millions of kangaroo’s (maybe hundreds?) here’s our video review!

The Collins Big Cat Level 5 books are targeted at Year 4 (age 7-8) and are a six book set, with three fiction books and three factual ones. There is more information on their website over here.  They have a rrp of £24.00

The Collins Picture Atlas (affiliate link) is available to buy now – and hopefully you can see a few of the pages on our video, and how lovely and colourful it is.  It currently retails at Amazon for £8.99.

In summary, I found both books to be ideal for H. She might only be five, but has the reading ability for the Big Cat books. The Atlas is definitely right for her age range, and had plenty on it which she enjoyed learning about. I highly recommend both!

We were sent all the books for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own.

19 Jul

Eltham Palace

We lived in New Cross for years, and travelled through Eltham many times, but never went to Eltham Palace. Shaun has English Heritage membership for the family via his work, so we got to visit today – and what a glorious day!

Eltham Palace

Eltham Palace sounds very out of place. Eltham isn’t the kind of place you’d imagine a palace (sorry Eltham residents, I can only go on the few times I’ve been there) but it’s hidden away and has an interesting quirkiness to it. The house has been restored back to the 1930’s, when the Courthald’s lived there- Stephen and Ginny. You can wander around several rooms and get a feel of the place – and indeed, one room, the map room has recently restored maps which would have been used by them to plot their travels.

Eltham Palace indoors

Eltham Palace has a much longer older history which is touched upon, but most of what’s on offer dates back to the 1930s, and two parts which H loved the most. Both involve dressing up – of course.

Eltham Palace dress up

The main hall has the more regal costumes (and the court jester hat) – H enjoyed trying them on, though some people laughed at how cute she looked which made her feel a bit conscious of herself. Although on saying that, once she wore her princess gear she happily paraded around!

Eltham Palace dress up

In the basement there’s much more dedicated to the war – as this was the area the family would shelter, as Eltham suffered badly when London was bombed. Down there are many uniforms and hats to try, as well as the original billiards table you could probably have a go on – it’s all set up!

H finds information about the war interesting, and indeed has decided history is her favourite subject at school so this appealed a lot. We probably spent the longest in the basement, though a lot could be to do with dressing up!

Eltham Palace has a little map for over 3’s, where you spot things in each room (usually an animal) and get a stamp, with a letter on each stamp, to work out a clue. H cracked the code pretty easily and got two chocolate gold coins and a sticker which pleased her a lot! It’s free, and definitely worth doing to keep your child interested.

Eltham Palace outdoors

The gardens are good for a wander around and sit down too – on a Sunday at the moment there’s jazz on until 4pm too – so it was quite busy as we got there, but glorious weather.

As well as Eltham Palace and Gardens, the area you park your car, where the shops and cafe are, also has a fabulous play area. H spent a lot of time there trying to master the climbing rails there – and coming out with blisters. Whoops! The nice lady in the restaurant gave us a couple of plasters as she was quite upset. But she had a brilliant time – I think she was so fixated on being able to do it she worked through the pain until it blistered! At least it shows she’s determined!

Eltham Palace play areaWhat I liked the best about Eltham Palace, is that it stays open until 6pm on a Sunday. Proper non-Sunday-like opening hours – and on a day like today it was just right – wandering around and having a fun time. I’d highly recommend a visit to Eltham Palace if you’re in the area anyway.

The English Heritage site is here. Eltham Palace reopened in April 2015 with five new rooms to explore. We had a brilliant time!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

19 Jul

Project 365 – Week 29

Sunday 12th July. We went to Shrek’s Adventure on the South Bank, which was fun – though we were shattered so made the most of our Merlin passes and sat on the London Eye for 30 minutes afterwards. You can guarantee you’ll get a seat there, you see. We’re over half way through having our passes and I’m wondering if we’ll renew next year – we’ve definitely got our money’s worth.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Monday 13th July. The last Rainbows of term, I get my Mondays back! H made a medal, and got ANOTHER badge which has been sewn onto her uniform so I don’t lose it between now and September. Phew!

H rainbows badges

Tuesday 15th July. And a swimming badge too – her 15m! We thought she’d got her Stage 3, but her teacher says they’re not quite there yet, so I guess that might come around Christmas time if she keeps up the hard work. I’m hoping for a break with all this sewing…

H 15 M

Wednesday 16th July. Received a big box of Dora and Friends goodies – more to blog about and very soon. You might spot the little pictures over on my sidebar. I had to carry it home on the train and fortunately didn’t drop anything. The box is also large enough to hold all H’s schoolwork from the last two years! (which we received on Friday)

dora and friends

Thursday 17th July. Knitting! My feeble attempts at crochet have created this. While I’m just not good enough to join in the squares we’re doing for the cushion for our local pub, for the former bar manager who died recently, I’m good enough to make a hat for a half of Guinness. Fine by me.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Friday 18th July. So I won a £20 Nickelodeon Store voucher, went to buy myself something nice (like say, an early Rugrats DVD as the first few series were awesome), and ended up buying H some Spongebob pyjamas instead. Can’t complain, as she does love the great spongey one, and it looks much better on her than me too! Anyway, the original pyjamas were too small, so Shaun swapped them for these today and advises the Nickelodeon Store on Leicester Square is much nicer to visit (read: quieter) on a weekday.

spongebob pyjamas

Saturday 19th July. Football again, H has decided which name she wants on her birthday England shirt – she wants 15 – Stoney. So I’ve ordered from Sports Direct who have England shirts for £22 at the moment, with additional letters. Sorted. Phew. Anyway, my favourite bit of football is the fact H runs, runs, runs and walks just a little bit. It has to be the most exercise she gets every week (about an hour and a half of doing stuff) and she doesn’t complain. Well, she does complain about stuff, but not about running around for that long. I love that she gets to play with Shaun at the very start too, having a little kickaround before it all starts. I watch from the side and occasionally scare the girls when I decide to join in (well, it makes them scream anyway). We’re thinking about going to watch Crystal Palace Ladies play this Sunday.

saturday football

16 Jul

Topsy and Tim are Back!!

There is one happy little five year old tonight that I know of – she’s upstairs right now, excited. For a lot of the time she was in Reception she was obsessed every night, tuning in religiously to Cbeebies to watch Topsy and Tim – and they released the news today that Topsy and Tim are back!!

Topsy & Tim on Cbeebies

The new adventures will place them in Year 1, and tackle things which six year olds are likely to come up against – Tim needing glasses, going camping – oh it’s quite exciting really!

Here’s the info from the Cbeebies website

CBeebies original drama Topsy And Tim is to return to the channel for ten brand new episodes this autumn. The new series has been commissioned by Controller of CBeebies, Kay Benbow, and is made by award-winning production company Darrall Macqueen.

Topsy And Tim draws on the legacy of the books by Jean and Gareth Adamson, with a focus on big drama inspired by the small stuff in little people’s lives, and was the most successful series on CBeebies in 2014/2015.

The series returns with the same core cast, Jocelyn Macnab as Topsy, Joshua Lester as Tim, Anna Acton as Mummy and Chris Hannon as Dad – and with some bold and exciting adventures for the twins. All ten episodes are 15 minutes in length and are filmed from the point of view of the six year-old twins who are taking the next steps towards independence. The series aims to encourage children’s personal, social and emotional development as they identify with and learn from the twins’ experiences.

Topsy And Tim are now in Year 1 at Hatcham Primary School. The series follows their adventures inside and outside school as they face new, bigger challenges: a camping adventure with their great friend, Kerry, and her family ends up becoming a dramatic emergency. In another episode, Tim realises he might need to wear glasses. Across all ten episodes the twins encounter unexpected difficulties that they overcome together, making their family unit even stronger.

Topsy and Tim

We got to visit the Topsy and Tim set and watch them film the episode where they’re nervous about starting school almost a year and a half ago (which feels like yesterday). H swears by Topsy and Tim – it’s a soap opera for five year olds – normal stuff happening to normal kids. It doesn’t matter what I think, as for each fifteen minute episode she is giggling along with the twins’ stories – and she has grown up with the books. We’re delighted that Topsy and Tim are back, and we’re really looking forward to it starting! Roll on September….!

14 Jul

Shrek’s Adventure

Shrek’s Adventure opened recently at the South Bank in London, and as we’re Merlin Premium passholders we got a chance to go and visit. Read on to find out what we thought.

Shrek's Adventure waiting room

Shrek’s Adventure is the newest Merlin attraction at London’s South Bank. It seemed an odd choice for Merlin – what exactly would it involve? Information is scarce, though there are trailers up on the official site. Being Premium Merlin passholders we got a special green ticket invite to book tickets and try it out, and despite the site crashing, we managed to get tickets for last Sunday.

We had no idea what to expect. Information is scarce on the Shrek’s Adventure website other than mentioning a 4D bus ride – it seemed like there was quite the surprise element to it all.

TOP TIP. Watch Shrek at least a week before you plan to go. We didn’t, so forgot a few of the references. We also forgot H wouldn’t remember ‘I’m A Believer’ which does feature – oops.

Your timeslot is carefully monitored by someone at the door dressed in a pilot’s uniform (think Scooch at Eurovision), and when it’s your turn you’ll head into the building, past a security check (where we were also handed three limited edition Puss in Boots pop badges) and an x-ray which showed up funny things, the obligatory photos in various poses, then onwards to the main area – but you’re not there just yet. After walking down a corridor you’ll enter an area where you’re asked to wait to take a lift down to the next floor.

The timeslot before us were just heading into the lifts, so we knew there would be a bit of a wait, and once we were downstairs we could hear them shouting out something. Soon enough it was our turn – where we were greeted by another actor in a pilot’s uniform, but this time a bit of audience participation – and our turn to do the aforementioned shouting. You’re probably a good 20 minutes in by this point – so be prepared for the queuing.

TOP TIP. The staff made sure to mention the toilets are at the entrance – so make sure you go before you start rather than relying on finding somewhere once you’re in there.

shrek's adventure far far away

Were we excited – YES! So we made it known, and once the group before us had moved on, we entered the main room, a large room where Princess Fiona greeted us, had us doing a singalong of ‘I’m a Believer’ and directing us to the bus for Far Far Away.

Much has been said about the bus ride – and it is really impressive. You’re given an amazing 4D experience riding in the bus and meeting a few Dreamworks characters along the way (you can see parts of it on the YouTube video below).  H’s face was a picture! Shaun and I both got splashed and H thought it was magical – not being able to work out how they did it – she was convinced we had definitely driven somewhere. I wish it had been longer – definitely the highlight!

Things don’t go to plan which is where things begin – you’re set with the challenge to locate Shrek and find the magic portal to get back to London. This is where the people in charge of each room (there are ten rooms in total) must be really on the case – once one set of 30 people have vacated a room, the next lot are in. Each room has different scenarios, stories, activities, participation – this is an adventure, after all.

The most refreshing thing of all was being asked not to take any photos. The uniqueness of Shrek’s Adventure is not knowing what is coming. I loved the surprise element of it all.

My only criticism of Shrek’s Adventure is that it seems like the sort of place you’d only go to once – when you know the story, that’s it. I’m hoping they’ll change things around a bit, as what might make you jump or be unexpected won’t be a second time. How long could it stay open? Why just Shrek and not a Dreamworks Adventure? I don’t know, but I know I enjoyed it, and wondered how it would work, and now having done it, it makes sense. All the characters I remember from Shrek made an appearance, and most of all, H loved it.

Shrek at Shrek's Adventure

You get to meet the big man at the end too – and everyone gets a turn. There are also other Dreamworks characters – we got King Julien – and plenty of photo opportunities with scenes from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. Again, H was very happy – and at this point you can get your cameras and phones out again.

King Julien at Shrek's Adventure

At the end you get an opportunity to buy a book with the three photos taken at the start plus more taken on your journey – all logged via a wristband you’re given at the start. I liked the book – it’s quite nice and sturdy, and with our Merlin discounts it was £20. You can buy more photos for an additional £10, but we didn’t bother. On the way out there’s the merchandise stall, where H spent some of her pocket money (on a proper bark pencil, branded Shrek) and we treated her to a magic wand pen. There was plenty of merch for the other Dreamworks characters too and we made the most of our passholder discount again.

Shrek's Adventure Skipper K and Rico

For Shrek’s Adventure we were able to prebook for £1 on our Premium passes , though you can just turn up and get the next available slot – but as the numbers are strict you may end up waiting if it’s busy. Standard passholders can get into Shrek’s Adventures for free from January next year.

The official Shrek’s Adventure website is over here. Tickets can be bought from £23.40 which seems like a lot, but the whole experience is over an hour, and if you compare what you get price wise to the London Eye, then it’s good value. It is also available as part of a combination ticket for all the Merlin attractions around the South Bank.

13 Jul

I Heart Wines – Pinot Grigio

One day I received an email offering me the chance to review from the I Heart Wines range, and being a wine-loving kind I was not about to turn it down – so enthusiastically accepted! The only downside was finding time to drink it, but drink it we did, and here’s our thoughts.

I Heart Wines Pinot Grigio

I Heart Wines are a range of wines which are fruit-driven and great quality. We were sent the Pinot Grigio to try. I was saving it for our Wedding anniversary back in June, however on the day I had a funeral, so all celebrations were postponed. The following day I had my school reunion, so again, postponed. The following weekend we finally got to open the bottle, sit outside and relax, celebrate 12 years of marriage and chat, and it was a wonderful summer night.

I Heart Wines lid

My first thoughts, I liked the bottle and label. They get the type of wine across well, and there are suggestions of foods to eat with it which was helpful. We had already eaten so didn’t match our food, and instead just had it once H had gone to bed, I do always find it helpful with meal suggestions though as I don’t have the time to look it up. I Heart Wines have nice clear packaging, and I’m a sucker for the little details like the love heart on the cap.

The wine itself was a very light and crisp Pinot Grigio with hints of lemon, lime and peach, and suited our evening well. The label suggests seafood or chicken, but being vegetarian I settled with some plain crisps which were the perfect snack to drink alongside a glass. It dates back to 2013 and originates in Hungary, with an alcohol level of 11.5%.

I heart Wine Pinot Grigio label

I Heart Wines are available in many different varieties to suit all tastes, all packaged with their striking detail – you’d know one of their bottles when you see it. You can buy the wines in all good supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons. I’ve spotted Nisa stock them too, so I’ll be stocking up in our local store next time I’m there!

Not sure which wine to buy? Well never fear, as there are now miniature bottles available for six of the I Heart Wines summer range too – at 187ml that’s a nice size if you fancy trying a bit of each one. I’m looking out for the Zinfandel Rose myself – although I think I may just go for the bigger bottle!

As I Heart Wines say :

We love wine. We love everything about wine.
We love that there is always something new to try.
It might be a grape variety, a style, a country or even an unusual food match.
This range is a collection of some of our favourite wines.
All you have to do is follow your heart and pour yourself a glass

We were sent a bottle of I Heart Wines Pinot Grigio for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own.