10:29 PM

How to Create an Instagram-worthy Cheeseboard

Adam Woolven, Head Chef at Island Grill on how to Create an Instagram-worthy Cheeseboard. There’s no doubt about it, Britain is a nation of cheese lovers. A cheeseboard never disappoints us Brits, but it’s even ‘feta’ when this party favourite looks ‘gouda’ enough for Instagram.

Adam Woolven, Head Chef at the eco-friendly Island Grill, created the 40-Mile Cheeseboard with four cheeses all sourced from within forty miles of the restaurant. Here Adam lends his tips on how to fashion a cheeseboard that looks as good as it tastes. 

Mix It Up
Ensure your cheeseboard has a mixture of textures (soft, hard, and crumbly), strengths and sources, such as cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s cheese. Include at least one soft cheese and one blue cheese, but cheddar, stilton and brie are the go-to cheeses for a board. 80g per person should be enough for an after-dinner board and your cheeseboard should always be served at room temperature!

Get Fruity
If you are looking to make your cheeseboard appealing to the eye, consider filling the board with a range of colours and shapes. Adding fresh and dried fruit to a cheeseboard is effortless but looks impressive, as well as adding a vibrant touch. In the spring and summer it is best to add cherries and berries; where in the winter you should go for dried apricots, fresh grapes and apples. Cooked apples pair particularly well with cheddar, brie and sheep’s milk cheese!

Savoury Touches
A solid cheeseboard should include a variety of savoury and salty items such as balsamic onions, olives and roasted nuts - walnuts paired with stilton makes for a classic combination. Other savoury accompaniments could be celery (a great palate cleanser between cheeses!), and of course some crackers, bread and breadsticks. 

Matching Condiments
It goes without saying that condiments should complement the cheese. While a drizzle of honey tends to go well over blue cheeses or goat’s cheese, for something a bit different, pair a strawberry black pepper jam with brie, which is less sweet than a traditional jam. Chutney tastes best with aged cheddar and quince paste can be spread onto crackers and eaten with Manchego cheese. Make sure you don’t forget the butter!

Make it Insta-Friendly
Sprinkle some edible flowers, dried vine leaves or herb sprigs on the cheeseboard. As well as adding a rather elegant touch, they will create a fragrant aroma to the board when you serve it to your guests. 
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10:17 PM


Flower essences work in the same way that crystals do, their unique vibrational energies work with our own to bring about balance & harmony. Traditionally essences are made by immersing flowers in spring water & leaving them in direct sunlight for up to a day, when mixed with equal parts of brandy it creates an infusion called the “mother tincture.”

SARA DOONE from THE INTUITIVE PATHFINDER tells us about 5 flower essences that she has benefitted from & you may too.

1. FINDHORN – GRASS OF PARNASSUS – If you have been hurt in the past & find it difficult to trust yourself & others with your emotions then this is the essence for you. Encouraging you to give LOVE one more chance, supporting you in those vulnerable moments, encouraging you to live life with an open heart. HOW IT HELPS – to have the COURAGE to express how you really feel.

2. LIVING TREE ORCHID ESSENCES – GENTLE GEISHA – as the name suggests, this essence is soothing & nurturing, helping to calm an over active mind – excellent to use after a busy day. HOW IT HELPS – set aside your worries & responsibilities while you rest.

3. AUSTRALIAN BUSH FLOWER REMEDIES – ADOL ESSENCE – If your teenager is having a “Kevin” moment & all you hear is “ITS NOT FAIR” then you may want to buy this essence. It helps teens to communicate better with you, builds self-esteem, helps them to deal with peer pressure & encourages consideration of others. HOW IT HELPS – helps teenagers to find their place in the world.

4. BACH FLOWER REMEDIES – RED CHESTNUT – if you find yourself constantly worrying about your loved ones, thinking something awful may happen to them then this is the remedy for you. It ease’s those fears, helping you to believe that everything will be ok. HOW IT HELPS – relieves the desire to be over protective.

5. BACH FLOWER REMEDIES – RESCUE REMEDY – probably the best known of all flower remedies, this is a combination of five individual flower essences, used when we find ourselves in an emergency or stressful situation. A few drops work quickly to relieve anxiety, fear & feelings of discomfort, can also be used with children.

HOW IT HELPS – it is calming & helps to restore your equilibrium
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2:30 AM

Quinoa, Fennel & Sweet Potato Salad

Today we are sharing Quinoa, Fennel & Sweet Potato Sala from Executive Head Chef at Sopwell House, Gopi Chandran
With spring in sight, Executive Head Chef at Sopwell House, Gopi Chandran reveals his recipe for a delicious and nutritious salad that will get you starting the season right.

·         4 tbsp olive oil
·         1 large sweet potato, diced
·         2 medium fennel bulbs, cut lengthways into ¼ inch thick slices
·         Malden sea salt
·         Freshly ground black pepper
·         20ml fresh lemon juice
·         1½ tsp ground cumin
·         1 tsp sugar
·         200g quinoa, rinsed
·         1 lemon
·         1 red chilli, chopped and deseeded
·         10g fresh coriander, chopped
·         10g fresh mint, chopped
·         15g fresh dill, chopped
·         Seeds from ½ a small pomegranate

1.    Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the fennel and season with salt and pepper. Cook for around 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is just tender and lightly golden. Add the lemon juice, and sugar. Stir through and cook for a further minute. Season with salt and pepper and set to one side.
2.    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Drizzle the sweet potato with olive oil, sea salt and cumin. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, and then set aside.
3.    Meanwhile, bring the quinoa and 700ml water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and reduce to a low simmer for around 10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. Drain and return to the pan. Let the quinoa sit in the pan covered for 15 minutes, before fluffing with a fork and transferring to a large bowl.
4.    Remove the peel and white pith from the lemon. Cut between the membranes to release the segments. Discard the membranes and roughly chop. Add the chopped lemon with its juices to the cooked quinoa along with the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and stir. Add the fennel mixture, sweet potato, chilli, and herbs. Gently incorporate and season with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a bowl or platter and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. 
Sopwell House is a stunning 18th Century Georgian house located in the city of St. Albans deep within the Hertfordshire countryside. Located only 20 minutes from London St. Pancras, the hotel is the idyllic getaway just outside of the hustle and bustle of the capital. The hotel is the perfect place to dine boasting a 2AA Rosette restaurant, a vibrant Brasserie, an elegant cocktail lounge, and conservatory bar, all of which look out on 12-acres of beautiful gardens.
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11:16 PM


The cold weather is renowned for causing dry skin and worsening conditions such as eczema and rosacea. In the winter months, keeping your skin protected and hydrated is a challenge, as Vitamin D exposure is low. Winter is harsh on our skin, especially on our face as we can’t shield them completely from the elements.

Today DR EJIKEME - MEDICAL DIRECTOR at ADONIA MEDICAL CLINIC – shares her top tips for keeping dry skin at bay this winter.

1. HYDRATE: to keep your skin supple, it is essential to re-hydrate constantly. Drink at least 2 litres of water per day and eat water-rich foods such as cucumber and grapes. If you’re a big fan of hot drinks like tea and coffee, try and swap them for de-caffeinated alternatives – caffeine is known for causing frequent urination and eventually, dehydration.

2. MOISTURISE: showering with a cream-based wash may feel moisturising, but it can strip your skins natural oils. Showers and baths can contribute to dry skin if you’re in there for more then 5-10 minutes, so keep it short and make sure you moisturise afterwards.

3. KEEP WARM: when you’re inside, try and make sure there’s no draughts and that the heating is on. Keeping your body at the right temperature will allow your skin to retain moisture, preventing dryness. When you go out in the cold, wear gloves and a scarf – it’ll stop your skin getting cold and feeling uncomfortable.

4. TREAT YOURSELF: facials are invaluable when it comes to your skin. Combining a mixture of masks, cleansers, scrubs and moisturisers, a facial is the full works, tailored specifically to your skin type. With the cold weather wreaking havoc on sensitive skin, taking the time to be pampered makes all the difference.

5. GO NATURAL: every day household products such as washing up liquid, bleach and air freshener are full of chemicals that are harmful if they come into direct contact with the skin. To avoid dry skin and irritation, swap your usual products for natural alternatives such as lemon juice or vinegar for removing stains. Always make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands.

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9:21 PM

Taking Great Photos On Your Next City Break

So you’ve chosen the location and bagged the flights in the sale; now it’s time to prepare to capture the local culture and sights on camera. The Jesspos Academy team is here to help, so you take photos that you’ll be proud to show off when you return.
Before you arrive in the city, research the best places to visit and top tourist attractions. See how others have captured it before and think how you might like to capture it. Look at the perspectives and angles that have been used and think of those that haven’t. Take a look on Google street view at the surroundings for any potentially unexplored vantage points, roof tops and terraces nearby that you could also capture. Also consider what would be the best time of day to take this photograph. Ask yourself, is it lit beautifully by the setting or rising sun? Or maybe it would look great with the sun bright and high in the sky, casting gorgeous shadows and rays of light.
Master the Rule of Thirds
The ‘rule of thirds’ is a multi-generational tip that will pay dividends for years to come. The secret to mastering this technique is to visualise a grid of lines running horizontally and vertically, breaking the image into thirds. Using the ‘Live View’ shooting screen will allow you to display the ‘Thirds’ grid to aid in visualising and achieving this. Composing your key points of interest in the image by placing them in one of the thirds or intersecting points on the grid will instantly draw attention to them and make the photo pleasing to the eye. Take a few moments before you snap away to consider the composition, lighting and angles before hitting the shutter button
Get Stabilised
Stabilise your camera with a tripod or support. Tripods today are compact, light and agile so won’t take up precious space in your cabin bag. A tripod will minimise any camera shake which is the most common cause of blurry pictures. Don't forget a tripod’s best friend is a remote release. If you don't have one you could also use the self-timer to trigger your camera, this helps to further eliminate any vibration from pressing the camera’s shutter button.

Foreground Detail
Including something in your foreground – a statue or monument, a fountain or sun dial, even a steamy coffee while you take five minutes to relax – will add a sense of scale and context. It can also lead the eye into the picture, balance the frame and add a point of interest.
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9:25 PM

How to Make the Ultimate Pancakes

Pancake Day is crêping up on us (mark Tuesday 13 February on your calendar) and with it comes excitement as well as pressure to make those perfect pancakes - golden on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside!

Head Chef Steve Smith from Michelin Starred Bohemia has got you covered as he has shared his tips on how to make the pancakes of dreams this Shrove Tuesday.

1.       Better Batter
Ensure that you have good batter by keeping all of the ingredients at room temperature. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Incorporate the two bowls of ingredients by making a well in the dry ingredients and pouring in the wet mixture. Stir gently until all of the ingredients are combined and moist.

Don’t worry about the lumps in the batter! Once they are on the griddle they will cook out fine. If you overwork the batter the pancakes will turn out tough and chewy.

2.       Rest the Batter
It may be difficult to resist but it is crucial to allow the batter to rest for a minimum of five minutes. This will give the gluten, which you have created from mixing the batter, time to relax and for the lumps in the batter to smooth out. This will give the pancakes a thick consistency and they will turn out fluffier. The rest period will give you time to clean up and prep your pancake toppings.

3.       Add Flavour
If you are bored of your usual pancakes with lemon and sugar, add flavour into the batter instead. My favourite ingredients to add include spices, citrus zest, herbs, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, raisins, cheese or sweetcorn!

4.         Make it Fun
Make shapes with your pancakes by pouring the batter into a metal pastry cutter or mould. Alternatively you can pour the batter into a squeeze bottle and draw your design directly onto the pan.

5.       Keep Them Warm
Pancakes are best enjoyed fresh from the pan, but if you do make a whole batch at once keep them warm by arranging them in a single layer on an oiled cooking rack. Place them in a preheated oven at 80°C for a maximum of 15 minutes.
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1:35 PM

Five Simple Tips to Improve Your Sleep

Holidays are over and it's time to get back into that sleep routine. Here is five simple tips to improve your sleep routine.

Maintain a steady routine
If you are looking to make sure you sleep soundly at night, the best way to go about it is by maintaining a steady sleep routine. This means you should try and sleep and wake at about the same time daily.

This aids your body’s internal mechanism and also increases the quality of your sleep. To achieve this rhythm, try as much as possible to go to set your bedtime at a period when know the body will be tired. 

To fully enjoy the benefits of a steady sleep cycle, you should be willing to sacrifice your weekends for sleep-ins in order to conserve enough energy to move around during the week.

Takes naps when it is absolutely necessary
Making sure we sleep soundly at night means we should be willing to let go of or willing sacrifice some the things we enjoy a lot, and in some cases that’s a lovely nap. This isn’t a certainty as you might wake up feeling relaxed and well rested or you could wake up tired and unconscious of the current time. 

Irrespective of the way you feel when you get up from your nap, it can also have an adverse effect on your sleep at night, as it might delay your sleep time leaving you with an inadequate night’s rest.

Try as much as possible to avoid napping at odd times during the day, no matter how tempting it might feel, as it is in your best interest to ignore the feeling.

Keep your phone and other devices away
Surfing the net before going to bed adversely affects the way we rest at night. How do you avoid this? Simple! Keep your phone away.

For those who haven’t heard, the light from your mobile devices tend to affect the brain a lot longer than you think. Experiments have revealed that those who use their phones before bed experience irregular sleep patterns due to reduced level of the sleep hormone (melatonin) being released in the body.

Stress yourself to the limit
The best way to ensure you sleep soundly at night, is to ensure the body is physically tired and exhausted before going to bed. This is because while working your muscles are being stimulated and as such would make you sleep faster when you are relaxing. Also try as much as possible to avoid working out late at night, as this might disrupt your sleep patterns. Ensure you conclude all stressful activities at least 3 hours before your bedtime.

Relax before going to bed
Try as much as possible to relax before going to bed at night. It is essential you clear your mind and hit a level of relaxation before dozing off. It helps to reflect and meditate as this help to clear the head and allows one to feel relaxed before actually sleep. This ensures you sleep soundly at night.
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1:29 PM


Considering the new climate situations, we are forced to face, it is now more paramount that adopt a green lifestyle and also change to sustainability, though going green might make one think of countryside, there are actually numerous ways you can adapt easily to living in this big smoke. Here are some of our favourite tips

Given the total chance that you drink espresso then: get yourself reusable cup. Single utilize espresso containers are inconceivably inefficient: overall, 1 million expendable glasses wind up in landfill daily, which doesn't generally legitimize the time it spends in your grasp. Reusable containers are additionally super in vogue and can be found for as meager as £10 online – and they come in the cutest prints, so put your resources into a reusable water bottle you really like so much. In a similar perspective, reusable water bottles are a little however impactful approach to make yourself more earth-cherishing. Forking out some additional money and getting a reusable water bottle you will really have to admit that you will utilize it and appreciate it.

 Tupperware is an amazing delight of adulthood you can't avoid it regardless how hard you attempt. It will begin gradually, crawling into your pantries, and right away it will be there occupying particular coordinating sets on your Christmas list. Past that, they diminish squander in bundling and urge you to make utilization of remains. Essentially they are very useful for the planet.

Straws are a gigantic slap in the face to our condition; people use around 500 million plastics straws a day and the greater part of those end up in our seas or in a landfill. They are a little extravagance you won't even miss when you quit utilizing them. An extraordinary method to quit utilizing the little buggers is to switch up your vodka lime and pop to a bourbon harsh – putting somewhat of a favor cherry over sparing the earth. Even Pret agrees and won’t hold them in their shops anymore.

Developing your own particular herbs which will give you a greener thumb while sparing in the plastic bundling, you can get them at the market. Having basil on your windowsill additionally makes you noteworthy.

 A standout amongst other things is that you can improve the situation of the earth while living in a major city? Swap the auto ride for a bicycle. This little activity will spare you an avocado early lunch date in dollars every week, while giving you your day by day dosage of activity.

 A considerable measure of cleaners desecrate our water and air, discharging destructive chemicals, for example, phosphorus, nitrogen and smelling salts or having them washed into our conduit. Swapping up your household cleaners for eco marks (or even the safeguard vinegar and bicarb pop) is a basic and super successful approach to green up your residential city life.

 The fast fashion industry is an executioner for the earth; purchasing shabby things you'll just wear once is something we would all be able to do without. Rather, decide on economically made garments. They'll keep going quite a while and you'll wear them 10 times more often. This will spare gaps in your wallet over the long haul, while not adding to the regularly developing garments heaps in a landfill
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1:16 PM


You can’t cheat nature. You might have gotten to a point or yet to where boredom is the closest thing you have hanging around you, and you feel you need a change in routine without quitting your 9-5 hustle or grind. Well, look no further. We have put together five tips to help you plan your week, mix things up and help you reduce the heavy workload stress.

Prioritize your tasks

As simple as this may sound it works like magic. This has to do with attending to your most important projects of your schedule first. This method eliminates pressure and makes your work-load lighter as the week progresses because you have first worked on the most crucial and pressing projects. It also helps to bring your hard tasks to the energetic day which is your admin day.

Try to get outside

Do you always hold your meetings indoor? Try ‘walking meetings’. This means instead of always having your meeting indoor; you should get outside once in a while by either going to a coffee shop or strolling. This does not only make you change environment and give you lighter mood, it also brings exercise to your working day.
Another thing that helps creative ideas flow and also makes you have your gaze fixed on the projects you are currently working on is walking around and taking your Friday meetings outside your usual zone. Try doing this and you will see how it helps you have a different perspective of things.

  Have a balanced home and work life

Having a balanced home and work life is a matter of importance. Some organizations, businesses are trying to work with a four-day week, though this is not accepted by many. But due to the 11.3 million sick days from 2013-2014 in the UK, a lot of people have been raising the question of change.
Set your admin day

You feel refreshed and energetic on the first day of the week which is Monday; make this day your ‘admin day’. A day you should complete the entire tough and disgusting but necessary tasks scheduled for the week. Completing everything on this admin day will save time and also ensure the remaining days of the week are spent wisely and more efficiently.

Have your exploration days

All work and no play should be struck out of your To-Dos. You must understand that 100% productivity is not a do or die affair. Instead of forcing work you know you should take a break from on yourself,  try to set a day or two as ‘exploration days’ which you take off work to have fun, spend quality time with loved ones and family, think about your life, career, goals and every other thing that matters to you.

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