Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Back in October the lovely people from Costa invited me to celebrate their Christmas range with them. I've been bursting to share our wonderful day with you for ages but I thought I couldn't post a Christmas themed post any earlier than November, or I know you guys would just be eye-rolling away at my crazy Christmas ways. But finally I can spill the coffee beans. See what I did there...?
We gathered together for breakfast and I (a little bleary-eyed from my 5.30am start!) reached for a croissant and was sent over a Cortado. That's the little coffee below on the right. Packing a caffeine punch but still smooth and creamy enough for non-espresso drinkers like myself. I perked up pretty quick and we got down to business.
Fair warning, this is jam-packed post. Costa had so many Christmas surprises up their sleeves!
Christmas drink number one was the Gingerbread Latte. A firm favourite and back for another year - my boyfriend will be very pleased.
Happily, this year Costa are adding in your own personal gingerbread man for cream-scooping and coffee-dunking. Thumbs up from the collection of bloggers and journalists alike.
Then we were Christmas-fied.
Cheesy jumpers and accessories galore - check!
Christmas card making and adorable themed cups - check!
Everyone got into the Christmas spirit and dressed up.
Ho ho holy crap isn't that festive!
Simon, head of drinks, became Costa's Father Christmas.
Dressing up done, we settled down to taste another festive drink. The Honeycomb Hot Chocolate. It was one of my favourites. Not too sweet but still absolutely delightful. The perfect winter warmer.
I happily slurped away whilst making my own Costa Christmas card.
I'm shamelessly proud of it.
One more drink before we headed out for our festive adventures in London. This is the White Hot Chocolate and Dark Cherry drink. The dark cherry cuts through the sweetness of the white chocolate, but the honeycomb still had it for me.
Ready to face London - mid October.
We hopped in cars and headed over to Divertimenti for a special cookery class.
As you can imagine, I was overly excited.
We even got our own chef hats (!!!).
The wonderful and talented Jane Montgomery walked us through making our own salted caramel, honeycomb, blondies and roulade amongst other delights!
Then we were let loose to make our own goodies.
I was so excited my arm actually got a life of its own. I don't know what's going on here.
Everyone rolled up their sleeves and got baking.
Photo opportunity every other second.
Some ingredients may not have made it to the final product...
Lots of mid-bake snacking.
Caught red handed!
And a there was a little kitchen bullying too.
But mainly, lots of laughter.
And finally some finished goods!
With our bakes in the oven we went off for lunch and Divertimenti promised to send over what we'd made later. Train home snacks sorted.
Christmas lunch at Gauthier, another foodie haven.
Of course, there was a festive theme.
I had the Roasted Scottish Scallops, Celeriac Cream & Crunchy Pear with Coral Jus to start.
The Slow Roasted Guinea Fowl Braised Leg, Chestnut & Stuffed Cabbage with Classic Jus & Jellies for my main course. It was delectable. Delectable!
And a selection of french cheeses to finish.
Guess what - there is still more food to come. I couldn't believe it either!
I rolled out of Gauthier and we made our way to a near by Costa for dessert.
At this point, I was glad I was wearing my forgiving Christmas jumper. I was ready to burst.
But I couldn't say no to these Christmas themed darlings.
The gingerbread muffin is particularly good.
Salted Caramel latte - another firm favourite for Christmas coffee lovers.
Food delirium began to creep in and no matter how much coffee we drank, there was no sobering up from this food coma. Good job, Costa!
We had a little taste of the Black Forest Hot Chocolate before nipping off for another Christmas treat over in Covent Garden.
Having our hair done at Trevor Sorbie.
I couldn't quite believe it either, so had to take this goofy mirror picture for evidence.
Luxurious Christmas hair all done we headed off for our final treat of the day. And what a day it had been!
A cocktail class. Costa got the joys of Christmas down didn't they? Baking, food, pampering, alcohol...
Why is it that we don't do this all year round?
Waiting for us was Simon with our last drink of the day.
My favourite drink, Hot Spiced Apple. Complete with star anise and cinnamon stick. It is so warming and I would be tempted to smuggle it home and add a shot of whiskey. But is also lovely on its own. Makes a wonderful change from the milk and cream.
Now to drink some cocktails.
It's a hard life.
We all tried our hand at a cocktail or two.
Some fiery tricks of the trade...
We were then split into teams and went head to head in a cocktail making competition. I'd let it slip that I had a food blog so I was nominated cocktail maker for my team.
I whipped up a raspberry mojito and believe me, I shook it like a Polaroid picture.
Amazingly, I won! Was obviously too ecstatic to keep my eyes open. Tsk.
My prize of Prosseco went down a treat.
We all enjoyed a glass (or two...) and we finally sat down and talked about our crazy Christmas day.
All the drinks I've mentioned will be available on the 7th November (that's tomorrow, hurrah!) and I would definitely recommend you going to grab one and welcome in the festive season.
I've been ready for it since October!
Now off to sing Jingle Bells. Tra lalalala lalalalaaa!