An Alcohol Free Alternative For Fizz Fans | Just Add Ginger

Tesco Finest Alcohol Free Pinotage review- Just Add Ginger

It's really no secret that I am a girl who loves her fizz. A discovery I made in my later twenties, I am a true appreciator of a fine prosecco or bottle glass of champagne. That was until I found myself with a growing child in my belly and unable to pop the cork on a cracking set of bubbles on a Friday night. And whereas I could treat myself on the very rare occasion, with Christmas and my 30th birthday approaching in the next few months, I want to save the two drinks I'm allowing myself for then.

I didn't even realise Tesco stocked alcohol-free offerings until last week, when MG called to let us know that she had found some alcohol free fizz during the weekly shop that she would save until we came down. Sufficiently intrigued, I awaited Saturday evening to roll round so that I could see just if this discovery would live up to the real thing.

Image: c/o Tesco

Having picked up both the Pinotage Blush and the Chenin Blanc from the Tesco Finest range, MG let me decide which to sample first as we sat down around the dining table that evening. Opting for the blush (the colour looked too tempting) and glass in  hand, as soon as the bubbles started to pop, I started to wonder just if this would fool me and be an apt substitute for what had been one of my guiltiest pleasures. I've tried alcohol free variations before and nothing has blown me away, so you can imagine how dubious I was stepping in to this experiment. 

When it comes to rosé I am normally a fan of the sweeter varieties, and the pinotage blush definitely hits you from the get go with a fruity fragrance, Not just tasting of grape, there is something behind it that rang slightly of a Brown Brothers Moscato Rosa that I adore but they unfortunately no longer seem to stock anywhere. This made my taste-buds very happy, although, after a few sips, I was still unable to quite place what it was I was tasting. Irregardless of this, it was really rather like drinking fruit juice. Glass after glass went down so well that if this had have been alcoholic, I would have been pickled very quickly. There was no snap and bite that I find with "normal" prosecco or champagne, which I must say I did miss a touch. When it came to the flavour, there was just a little something missing. 

However, there were bubbles by the dozen. Had I been at a party or get-together where I didn't want to feel left out, this definitely would have delivered. On the outset you couldn't tell this was alcohol free. It still looked like a little glass of luxury. And from an aesthetic perspective, the bottle looked really fancy too - sleek and chic, with the recognisable Tesco Finest typography and a cork to pop for an extra touch of extravagance. 

Although I wasn't 100% blown away by the pinotage blush, it served as an enjoyable alternative, and would be perfect for anybody (pregnant or otherwise) who does not or cannot drink. We've saved the chenin blanc for Christmas, and I am really intrigued to see if the white variation brings out that crispness that always takes my breath away with prosecco or champagne. Because that is something -especially after a testing day - that I do still miss. 

Both drinks are currently listed as unavailable on the Tesco website, but keep your eye out online or in-store for them if you'd like to give them a try too! 


A Festive Evening At Lush | Just Add Ginger

Lush Spa Liverpool

Ever since the Lush spa in Liverpool first opened, I hoped, dreamed and prayed that they would host blogger events. Having been a die-hard Lush fan for years, this was definitely something that was on my inner blogger checklist. 

My prayers were answered last month, when Lush invited a bunch of us bloggers down for a skincare event, but it was their most recent event that just really cemented my love and true appreciation for Lush as a brand, and the store in Liverpool as just one of my favourite shopping haunts.

After the doors opened at 7pm welcoming us in out of the cold, we were checked in and immediately divided up into groups. Following the warm greetings from the Lush staff, and saying our hellos to familiar faces and introducing ourselves, Megan - the event coordinator - explained what the event would entail. With stations positioned around the room ready to introduce us to how Lush get ready for the Christmas season, and the gentle tinkling of the ivories in the background from the live pianist (what a treat), the festive atmosphere was inescapable, and extremely welcome. 

Lush Ltd Lipsticks

At twenty minute intervals, the groups rotated to each different station, where we learned all about knot wraps, the Lush Christmas lines, had a makeup masterclass, and a tour of the Lush spa. All the while, staff floated around the floor, treating us to mince pies, mulled wine and juice, and demonstrating some of the gorgeous festive goodies that were on sale in the store. Whilst the pianist took breaks, Christmas tunes blasted out the speakers, filling our ears and ramping up the Christmas spirit to the max. Unable to contain my joy, I happily joined in a little sing-song with Holly (it was pretty apt that I was in the 'Inhibited' group really). 

Lush Spa Liverpool

Lush Spa Liverpool

Our group headed up for our spa tour last, and it was just like being welcomed into a cosy country kitchen, with rooms set up to depict treatments, and mood lighting setting the atmosphere in the waiting area. The Lush soundtrack tickled our ears, and I realised just how much I longed myself back for a treatment. (Top tip: If you're a fellow mamma-to-be, there are treatments suitable for us!) 

I really credit an enjoyable event to the organisation, and Lush blew it out the water with this one. We were well and truly spoilt for food, drink, and attention from the staff, and it was so nice to be able to peruse the products at ease without the oppressing Christmas crowds that seem to flock to Liverpool as soon as it hits December. 

One of the highlights of the evening has to be participating in the Mannequin challenge. It was hilarious to see the room change from chatter, smiles and singing to complete silence and stillness as we all did our best to be as mannequin-like as possible. (I had to get a cheek twitch, didn't I?) 

Lush Bath Ballistics

It took so much inner restrain to not buy all the Christmas goodies in the store. Tempting as it was to fill up a basket during the time we had to shop, I have turned in to a complete basket case and am holding out to payday and after I've bought our Tommie Tippee Prep Machine - don't judge me! 

Lush Ltd Christmas products

As we exited the store, we were all very kindly handed goodie bags containing some select Christmas products (including my favourite ever - Luxury Lush Pud) to try out at home. It was such a generous gesture, and utter treat for us all. I live and breathe for the Lush Christmas releases, and there were some products in the bags that I had been desperate to try for ages ... how did you know eh Lush?

I cannot sing the praises of Lush enough for putting on this fantastic event for us, and only hope there are more coming in the future. If you are a blogger from the North West and missed out this time, definitely keep an eye out on Lush Liverpool's social media pages to catch the call for the next one. 

Check out Lush's full Christmas range here. And for more details about the Lush Spa in Liverpool, click here


Feeling Neglected By Fashion | Just Add Ginger

Pregnancy And Fashion

Before I got pregnant, the biggest shopping woe I had was buying jeans. It was my fashion bugbear and drove me to absolute distraction. 

I didn't stop to take a moment, step back and realise how lucky I was. Walking in to shops, set out before me were always row upon row of pretty clothes, seasonal staples and party wear, all mine for the wearing. I didn't appreciate just how much choice there was...

Until I got up the duff.

Yesterday, I went on a massive Facebook rant about this because I was just at the end of my tether. Sarah, Ryan and I had spent the whole afternoon looking round shops in Liverpool One because I wanted to find a dress to add to my concise maternity wardrobe, and as we stepped in to each of those shops, my morale just slipped further and further away. Look online at any high street retailer that stocks maternity wear and the ranges are not huge, but extensive enough. H&M...New Look...Topshop...they all stock clothes that I think are almost on a par with the sort of styles I'd usually go for. Go in-store, and it's a completely different story. The sections are tiny, and the lines completely uninspiring. It's awkward enough that whilst you're pregnant, you have to contend with every part of you growing, but it makes it worse when you can't try anything on. I feel as though pregnant women have been pigeonholed and are just presented with this uniform we are expected to wear. Maternity jeans, leggings, a top, and some kind of jumper and you're done, That glitzy top or party dress you saw online, forget seeing those in store. You're stuck with having to order three different sizes to try on at home for that one! Got a last-minute snazzy party to go to? I'm sure they won't mind if you show up in a pair of jeans and a "maternity top" that you have to squeeze yourself in to, or jumper with a sickening bump related motif. 

I just don't understand it! And it's something I find incredibly frustrating. Especially at a time of year when everywhere is full of glittering dresses, sequins and hemlines that would have been suitable for your pre-pregnancy body but now would give you zero modesty. 

Seemingly, there's not much of a demand for extensive maternity lines in store. Seriously, are you bloody surprised? Heading in shop after shop, it's just the same story. It's as though the shops are saying, "oh, you're pregnant now? Here's your mumsy top and slouchy jumper - now be on your way." 

Why, just why?

Why not give us more of a choice? How difficult is it to be a bit more inclusive? Like a particular dress that has been designed for the "regular" brand? Add a bit more material and put it out across the board! Hang a few sizes in your stores and see how they do. And for God's sake stop hiding your Maternity lines at the back! We are pregnant, not pariahs of society. 

EVERYBODY should have the chance to look fierce and feel fabulous. I'm speaking as an expectant mother, but it should be the same for all, no matter what size or shape you are. It's only now that I realise just how frustrating the high street fashion world is. Not everybody can or wants top shop solely online. I know we are living in a technological age, but it goes without saying that fits of garments vary depending on the style and the shop. Yesterday, I tried on two jumpers from Topshop. One barely covered my bump, and the other looked about three sizes too big. How are you supposed to tell this from a cut out on a website? 

So this is my plea to high street retailers. Stop neglecting niches in your customer demographic. As a once loyal customer with an unhealthy habit of window shopping in your stores at the weekends I have now lost faith in you. Just because I am pregnant it doesn't mean I don't love fashion. I don't want to disregard who I was in place of a 'mummyform'. I want to celebrate my bump in style. And I want to be able to bloody try things on. Stop offering us uninspiring clothes and give us choice. It's a difficult enough journey, and some of us still actually want to look lovely whilst we battle the aches, the pains, the tiredness and the hormones. 

The time will come for pyjamas, spots of hidden spit up and moments where I just don't give a shit, but I don't think I'm quite there just yet. Restore my faith in fashion, and give us all a chance to see some different styles out there!