For obvious reasons, the UK has seen a boom in staycations over the last year, with the trend expected to stick around for quite some time - even after lockdown.  Staying at home is something we’ve all had months practicing the art of doing, so why not?  Swapping sunnier climes for unpredictable weather,  people of the UK are choosing stays at holiday homes, hotels, caravans and camping sites across the UK… and of course, home itself.

The relaxation of lockdown rules this year has thankfully brought families and friends back together again and the recent spell of Great British Summer weather has seen entertaining at home being indoors and outdoors in equal measure.  Of course, stays in the UK are not only an incredible boost to our economy, but a show a renewed sense of pride for our beautiful country!

Another boom (again, lots of time to practice) is the uptake in new hobbies – cooking being one of them and with all that lovely sunshine we’ve seen this year, nature has given us the chance to yet again, dust those cobwebs off the BBQ (thank you nature!) and showcase those culinary skills.  We are in the UK though and the weather is either “too hot” (yes, you can admit it sometimes!) or simply unpredictable.  But that shouldn’t stop us from doing what we love, should it?

So, what do we enjoy cooking?

It’s no secret that the people of Britain, over the years, have had a long-lasting love affair with curry.  Whether hot or mild, there’s something for everyone, but the level of spice can vary from place to place… and it’s not only the weather than can be “too hot” – curries can be too!  How great would it be to cook a restaurant-style curry at home, controlling your own level of spice?

For those times spent indoors, a curry gift box is the perfect gift, catering for those hard-to-by-for folks and budding chefs alike.  The Spicy Night In is the ultimate “Curry Kitchen Buddy” and even contains a (rather enjoyable) liquid refreshment - chef’s privilege, of course!

Cooking our own curries from scratch, let’s face it, gives us legitimate bragging rights.  Although they may be fun to cook, curries can, at times, demand a lot of time in the kitchen – especially when cooking those complex recipes, which use what seems like a million different spices!  The Indian Spice gift set in our gift box may be just the ticket to more time spent with family and friends… and they get to eat a delicious curry when they visit!

Sourced in the UK from an inspiring family-run business (not a million miles away from us), Spice Kitchen, we introduce you to their award-winning Indian Spice Tin, which we though would be perfect to feature in our curry gift set.  We absolutely cannot praise this enough - as far as making the perfect curry goes, you really can’t get better than this!

Presented in a fully-reusable (and very stylish) quality stainless steel spice tin with window, this set has nine separate compartments for the various hand ground curry blends included - they even included a spoon!  Their blend of Garam Masala (included) is even a Great Taste Award Winner.   This tin also has an added benefit in that it keeps spices airtight, leaving them nice and fresh for when they are ready to be used.  Each spice blend has been hand ground (which really does save a lot of time!) and is ready to be measured for the curry – the only thing left to do is just add meat and veg.

As everyone needs to start somewhere, included is a recipe guide and there are further inspiring recipes on their website too… what’s not to like?

From another place (again, not a million miles away from us - just down the road in fact), we also introduce you to Lost Days Pilsner from a hidden gem of The North, Donkeystone Brewing Co., a local brewery tried and tested (and completely adored) by many members of our team.  This is a wonderfully refreshing Pilsner, perfect to enjoy whether cooking a curry or eating it - you decide.

So you see, staying home can be fun and you don’t always have to travel far and away to find the things you enjoy.  We didn’t.

June 06, 2021 — Julie Selby