Tuesday 20 December 2016

My 6 Favourite Festive Food Items


As it is the week before Christmas, I thought that it would be the prime time to talk about my favourite festive food. Festive food only becomes socially acceptable once a year so shout about it whilst you can!

A stock image of a close up of some festive fairy lights, Image was provided free by Pexels. 


I love stuffing for many reasons but I love it as it can be served as a side dish or it can be served on its own really if you serve it with some sauce. Anything can be added to it and it makes it more flavourful. This can include anything from herbs and veg to things like meat. Stuffing is just so versatile and very tasty!

Pigs In Blankets.

There's just something about meat upon meat that screams decadence that can only be accepted at Christmas time. I just love how although these two components are from the same animal they offer something different to the palate that I cant really explain. The words that I'd use to describe pigs in blankets is mini magical presents.


I know that it sounds weird that I'm saying Oranges are a festive food but in my opinion they are. You stereotypically get Oranges in your stockings. I just think that the citrus hit in your Christmas food elevates it to another level whether thats savoury food or sweet food like chocolate.

Cinnamon Buns.

Cinnamon Buns might not be completely 'festive' but when I eat them I instantly think that I am warm and snug in a baggy jumper so I'm classing it as a festive food staple. I just love the smell of the sweet velvety vanilla pastry and the scent of Cinnamon wafting through the house as its so comforting. I love the creamy filling and the thick white icing against the pastry but I definitely think that these are only a festove treat and can only be eaten when I'm feeling cold yet cosy in the winter period.

Candy Canes (Anything That Has Peppermint In).

I used to have a bit of a candy cane addiction so to this day whenever I enjoy anything that is Peppermint based I instantly think back to those candy cane days. I love the Mint Hot Chocolate from Costa at the minute as its so minty and comes with an adorable little candy cane. I know that some despise Mint and Chocolate together but I love it!


Cranberry sauce is an essential part of Christmas Dinner but I also love Cranberry juice and Cranberries in general. They add such a piquancy to whatever dish you're adding them to and they're great fresh, frozen or dried. I just love that sweet yet tart combination and the glistening red colour of them makes them irrestible to not devour!

What are your favourite foods to eat during this festive period? Let me know in the comments box below!

I hope that you are having a great festive period and if you aren't celebrating Christmas then I still hope that you have an amazing time from the 24th to the 26th of December. I hope that you come back soon to read another blog post.

Thanks for reading!
Jamie x

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Shopping Has Come In Peace | Christmas Gift Guide For Men 2016

Hey! It's time for my last gift guide of the year. I know that I left these until the last minute this year but I hope that you have enjoyed reading them. This last gift guide is all about what to buy the men within your life for Christmas. I am going to start off with a couple of pairs of shoes from Schuh, Guys including myself always need more shoes. I always think no matter male, female or anything inbetween, you can always do with more shoes! The first pair are from the Vans x Toy Story range so these trainers instantly make a wonderful gift for anyone who loves Disney or Toy Story. These trainers have pictures of the aliens on which I find so cute. Ooooooooooh click here to find out more about the trainers.
The second pair from Schuh are Dr Martens 14 Tie Z Boot Boots. I love them due to tallness of the boot. They're definitely a great gift for anyone who loves Dr Martens or for anyone who loves a good boot. They're quite expensive but worth it. Click here to find out more about them.
This one is from Debenhams. It's slightly boozy but I think that it is a great gift. It is a Jim Beam gift set which contains a 5cl bottle of Jim Beam Bourbon and a petrol bottle shaped hip flask which I think is an amazing gift for anyone who loves their Bourbon or are an avid petrol head. Come and find out more about this gift set here.
The next couple of items that I am going to talk about are from the brand Vercity who have a store within Queens Arcade in Leeds. The first item from them that I am going to suggest is the blue canvas backpack. I love anything that is blue. It's sturdy and can hold a lot of items within it so its a great bag for things such as work, events, travelling to various places or anything of that sort. Click here to find out more about it.
I am also going to feature the Charcoal Grey Vintage Weekend Bag as I love the colour of it, I love how big it looks and honestly I would buy it as I know whoever got this would use it as much as they can. Click here to find out more about it.
Second to last brand! Avaj who specialise in underwear, beauty and much more. They also have a store in Headingley! I had a good gander on the website and loved the colour Wicked Green so both of the products in this gift guide are in Wicked Green but do have a look on their website for everything that they sell. Product number one is a Jockstrap in Wicked Green for anyone who loves them. I just think that they give great support and make anyone feel confident. Click here to find out more.
There is also the green beauties that are the boxer briefs which might suit the men who don't want to show their butt off. I still think that they support quite well and make a difference from the general black/white ones that they have. (There is only the small left of these sadly.) Time for the last brand! Lord Byron Shoes are a brand that are based within Manchester who create bespoke shoes. I've featured this and Schuh as I think that they are both on the opposite sides of the shoe spectrum. The first pair are a pair of tan brogue boots. I love brogue boots as they are a slightly more sartorial version of the normal boot and I think that they are best for this time of year really. Click here to find out more.
On Wednesdays, we only wear Pink! Pink is for everyone and looks amazing via these wholecut oxford brogues which will add a bright splash to any outfit. Click here to find out more.
Final item in the gift guide! These tan and blue brogues add a slight splash without being as bright as the shoes above therefore these are perfect for someone who's a bit hesitant on being bright. These will go well with whatever you pair them with. Click here to find out more.

Have you or are you interested in purchasing any of the above as gifts for others or for yourself? Let me know down below!

That's the last of my gift guides for 2016. I hope that you don't leave any of your present purchasing until the 24th. I hope that you come back for another blog post. 

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x

Some of the images above have been provided by the PR, All views and opinions are my own. 

Monday 12 December 2016

Smoking It Up | Dobell Charcoal Suit Mini Review


Christmas is only a couple of weeks away and I know that the festive party season is in full swing so I thought that today I would talk to you guys about a brand that do some great outfits that would be amazing for the party season!

Launched in 2003, Dobell is the leading online formal wear store for men and boys. Known for their amazing quality, great prices and amazing customer service, Dobell sell some amazing suits! Dobell is known for offering suits up to 50% cheaper than the leading high street retailers and offering suits from brands such as Tomny Hilfiger, Noose & Monkey and many more, Dobell is worth having a look at! 
Dobell offer some great suits in every colour possible. They offer elegant suits for Christmas, classic suits made for interviews and quirky suits meant for that event where you need to stand out from the crowd. I love the amount of personality that you can exude. They even stock suits with patterns of holly/snowmen over which I think is made for the office christmas party!

Dobell got in touch with me a while ago and asked if I wanted to review one of their suits and I happily said yes as you never know when you need suit and after some uhming and ahhing I chose the Charcoal Suit. 

This suit came as a 2 piece and I absolutely loved the colour of it. It was dark but not too dark so it could be worn smart or a bit more casually. I love the little detailing that is on the suit as well. 

I decided to wear a pink shirt against as I was going to a bloggers event so I didn't want to look too smart. The pink went with the charcoal really well and I just loved the whole outfit as a whole. The only thing that I wasn't keen on was the stitching in the pockets as it meant that I couldn't really use the pockets but I definitely will be wearing this for things such as university interviews and so on. 

Have you bought anything from Dobell? Do you have a signature suit for anything special? Let me know down below!

I hope that you come back and read my next post! 

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x

This review was in collaboration with Dobell. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday 10 December 2016

Mince Pies Before Guys | Gift Guide For Her 2016


Welcome to the second installment of my gift guide posts. Today is all about what to buy for all the women that are in your life! .

The first thing that I would like to suggest is shoes because most women love a good pair of shoes. The two that I have decided to talk are quite casual shoes from Schuh mainly because they're two pairs that I adore the look of from their website.

I am only mentioning two pairs but they both offer something a little bit different. The first pair that I am going to suggest as a present are the Vans x Disney Pixar Toy Story Woody and Bo trainers that come in a lovely pink colour to represent Bo Peep with little versions of Woody and Bo Peep together. These trainers would make a lovely gift for any female in your life who loves a good pair of Vans or Toy Story. I will link them here in case you want to pursue the trainers more or in case you can't resist them and end up purchasing them as a gift for someone or yourself.

The second pair of shoes that I would suggest for Christmas gifting are Dr Martens Pascal Sparkle boots which I love the look of. I love Dr Martens as they give an authentic look to any outfit that they are paired with. I adore how this particular pair of boots have a pearlescent finish to them which makes them perfect for all year round! The link is here in case you want to buy them.

I also think that most things that are stocked at Simply Be make excellent presents so I thought that I would suggest a couple of them to you in case the woman within your life loves a bit of fashion.

The first item that I think would make a perfect Christmas present is this statement jumper which says 'Mince Pies Before Guys' on the front of it. I love it straight away just because of the statement! As this design isn't too festive, it means that you can get away with wearing it after the Christmas period. I know that may sound a bit odd to do but Christmas jumpers are normally quite thick and its always a bit cold within England so thick things need to be worn now and again. Click here to have a proper gander at it.

Who doesn't need chunky knitted jumpers? Am I right or am I right? I love this chunky cable knit jumper as it instantly looks like its going to make you feel warm and comforted when you put it on. I love the deep red colour of the garment. It would definitely go well with a red lip! Come and click here to find out more about this product.

The last item from Simply Be is a Mini Sequin Shoulder Bag. It just screams fun, festive and fabulous! I adore the twist lock clasp thats on the front of it as it instantly makes me wonder what is inside the bag and I just love the sequin detailing on the front of the bag. My eyes are drawn to instantly. It would make a great bag to take to any event, party or night out. Click here to find out more.

The last place that I am going to suggest gifts from is Debenhams. I know that Debenhams might be a slightly expensive place to shop from but they sell amazing gifts so I thought that I would suggest a few gifts to purchase from there if you wanted a few good stocking fillers.

Everyone loves cocktails! This gift set contains a shaker, 4 stirrers, 5 straws, 1 of 70ml Cranberry Syrup, 1 of 70ml of Peach syrup and 1 of 70ml of Lime syrup. I think the contents of this set make an excellent starter set for anyone who loves a good cocktail! Click here to find out more!

Final stop on the gift guide! It might pick you up a bit!

Do you know anyone who loves their coffee more than anything in the world? If you do then get them this gift set which contains a Costa ceramic takeaway cup, silicone lid and a packet of stem ginger biscuits. I love the concept of having a ceramic takeaway cup as I find some regular cups to be a bit too small sometimes. I think the silicone lid is kind of cute. Click here to find out a bit more about this set.

Do you like any of the gifts mentioned above? Let me know down below!

So there you go, thats my gift guide for her done for 2016. I know that it's a little bit short but I thought that it would be best to focus on a few instead of having a post that's out of control via links etc.

I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post. Don't forget to come back next week for the final installment in my gift guide for 2016 set.

Thanks for reading!
Jamie x

This post contains images sent from PR teams. All views and opinions are my own.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Food Glorious Food | Yutaka Chicken Katsu Curry


I thought that today I would talk to you guys about making a great Chicken Katsu Curry which will come in extra handy if you need something different to make at university/for tea time,

What Will You Need To Make A Simple Katsu Curry:

  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil 
  • 800ml Water 
  • 100g Yutaka Katsu Curry 
  • Chicken Breast 
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 50g of Plain Flour
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 100g Yutaka Panko Breadcrumbs 
  • Oil for deep frying if you're deep frying the chicken


  • Chop the onion into small pieces. It's honestly up to you what you hack it into but I prefer a small dice. 
  • Add some oil to the pan 
  • Gently fry said onions on a low heat until lightly browned.
  • Add cold water to the pan and bring to the boil.
  • Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 7 minutes then let it cool for a couple of minutes. 
  • Add 100g of the Yutaka Curry to the water. Stir until dissolved. Simmer on low until the sauce has thickened 
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then panne the chicken which means coat in flour, egg and then the Panko. Add oil to the pan and bring the heat to 170 celsius. Deep fry for 6-8 mins and serve with rice and sauce after slicing the chicken into strips. 
  • If you're cooking it via the oven then cover the seasoned chicken in pan toasted panko, place in the oven at 200 celsius, cook for 20-30 mins and serve. 
This recipe serves five so hopefully it shall be a great meal to stock up on or for the family to enjoy. This recipe was via Yutaka's website and I have included their video on how to create the curry via Youtube below.  

Have you ever had Chicken Katsu Curry before? Do you get it from anywhere in particular or do you cook it yourself? Let me know down below! 

Thanks to Yutaka for sending me the Katsu Curry Sauce, Panko Breadcrumbs and Sushi Rice so I could cook this recipe.

I hope that you have enjoyed this foodie post. I hope that you come back next time for another post! Go and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Snpapchat via searching @thejamiesowden to keep up to date with all of my adventures. 

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x

Monday 5 December 2016

Grabbing The Roots Of Great Food | The Potting Shed Winter Menu Tasting


Christmas is all about Christmas jumpers, alcohol and food so when The Potting Shed in Bingley invited me to come and try out their new Winter menu, I shouted yes and hopped on the next train from Bradford to Bingley to visit The Potting Shed.

The Potting Shed are a restaurant that are influenced by all things garden-esque with their own gardens. It is the perfect place to be watered and fed in style especially with a homegrown menu that is made fresh on the day via local ingredients. The Potting Shed have a fabulous range of real ales, wines, cool creative cocktails and much more. The excellent establishment has two branches, One in Bingley and one in Beverley which you should go and check out if you can!

Myself and Luke entered Bingley and after some wandering, we found the lovely restaurant, We stepped inside and got to chat to the manager Benji who told us about everything and anything to do with The Potting Shed including their Winter Wonderland which is upstairs. The Winter Wonderland has been transformed into a lovely ski chalet inspired room and is the epitome of magnificent Christmas scenery. He then told us what was on the new menu. I ended up ordering six dishes but in my defense I was sharing them with Luke and I needed to order six to get a taste of what TPS have to offer!

We first ordered a Long Island Iced Tea as Luke wanted to try this cocktail for the first time ever and because LIIT contains a lot of alcohol and boy do I like some alcohol in a cocktail! This cocktail contains Vodka, Rum, Gin, Cointreau, Coke, Sugar and Lemon/ All of the alcohol together with the Coke worked really well together. I loved the mix of Lemon and Orange together. It was super refreshing.

The first starter was Ham Hock Dough Balls. (£4,95) This dish contained Ham, Stuffing and Mozzarella in well dough balls.I love me a good doughy ball. I love how the Ham and Stuffing was against the melting good Mozzarella and Dough ball. The Paprika Aioli that was served with it was amazing! Warming but not pretentious like some dips served with starters can be.

The second starter was Duck & Noodle Spring Roll. (£5.95) This contained Slow cooked Duck and Noddles in a Spring roll casing with salad and a hoi sin dip. I love Duck, I loved Spring Rolls. I liked the addition of noodles in the roll and I adore hoi sin dip! This and the dough balls were excellent starters to have with drinks to catch with some old friends or something like that.

Time for mains!

The first delicious main that we shared was Confit Of Duck. (£12.95) Slow cooked Duck with Sweet Potato Mash, Braised Leeks and a Redcurrant sauce. I loved the Duck but as it is a Confit there were a few bones which I had to awkwardly find a place to put them on the plate. I love Sweet Potatoes but I have never had them in mash form but I loved it! The leeks added a bit of texture and the redcurrant sauce gave it all a luxurious depth.

The Yorkshire Burrito (£10.95) This isn't any ordinary burrito, this is the Yorkshire Burrito and it contained Turkey Breast, Stuffing, Cranberry wrapped in a Yorkshire Pudding with Parsnip Fries and Salad. I love Turkey, Stuffing, Cranberry and Yorkshire Puddings so merging them all together into one is an amazing idea in my opinion, It also makes it a signature dish to TPS as I have never had this at any other restaurant before. I loved the Parsnip Fries as they gave a lovely sort of Wintry twist on fries!

Now onto pizzas! Who doesn't love a perfect pizza?!

The Ham Hock Pizza (£9.95.) Slow cooked Ham Hock, Caramelised Red Onions and Goats Cheese. I loved the contrast between the slightly sweet red onions and the tart goats cheese and then with the texture of the succulent pork. Mmm, so good! I've never had Goats Cheese before trying this pizza so I wasn't sure what to expect but I quite liked it,

The Festive Pizza (£9.95.) Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Mozzarella, Brie and herbs. I love Turkey and Stuffing on a pizza, This is actually what I have on Boxing Day. Myself and Luke aren't massive fans of Brie so we asked for it without which I loved. (Sorry, Brie.)

To go along with the pizza's, I had a Honey and Mint Julep which contains Jack Daniels Honey, Mint and Sugar. I have not had Jack Daniels Honey before but I absolutely loved it. Sweet but refreshing. I could've drunk a lot more of these! Sadly. myself and Luke didn't finish our pizzas but the lovely staff member Naomi boxed them up for us which is lovely. Thank you Naomi!

So, there you go, thats most of the Winter Menu from The Potting Shed. There is a few other dishes but I was already very full from the dishes that I ordered so I don't think I would have been able to handle any more fabulous food. Do go check them out!

Do you like the sound of any of the dishes or drinks that have been mentioned above? Let me know down below!

Thanks to The Potting Shed staff for having me and Luke come and review the Bingley restaurant. Amazing staff!

I hope that you have enjoyed the content and photography within this post and I hope that you come back and read the next post.

Thanks for reading!
Jamie x

This review was paid for via the PR. All views and opinions are my own.

Thursday 1 December 2016

Giving For Christmas | Men Rocks For My Beardy Beloved Giveaway


This is going to be a short post! I hope that your first day of December is going well and that you have opened your advent calendars whether they are beautiy based, chocolate based or filled with anything else that is amazing.

Whilst I was sorting out things for all three of my gift guides which has taken a while, I was kindly sent a gift set from Men Rock. I always try to include brands that I love the sound of or already love within my blog posts so I also asked if it was possible to do a giveaway as I think that it is great if you get the chance to get something from a gift guide,

Today, I am giving away an For My Beardy Beloved Gift Set (worth £30!) This beautifully boxed beard kit contains everything a beard enthusiast needs to keep his beard in tip-top shape. The kit includes both a Men Rock Awakening Beard Soap a lovely Men Rock Awakening Beard Balm and some gorgeous Men Rock Awakening Moustache Styling Wax. It's everything you need for perfect whisker formation and comes gift boxed.

All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this page to have a chance of winning! 

The T&C's include following both my Twitter account & Men Rock's account and tweeting that you have entered the giveaway are mandatory. All other forms of entering via the Rafflecopter form are optional but they give you a better chance of winning, You also have to live within the UK. The giveaway will finish on 1st of January 2017 at 00:00. If you do not fulfill any of these T&C''s then the prize will go to someone else. As this competition prize is being sent via Men Rock's PR, it is their responsibility to send it to you and not mine. 

This gift set is an amazing gift for any guy that loves his beard this Christmas or a great gift for yourself if you want to keep your beard in beautiful shape. 

I hope that you enter this giveaway and good luck! 

Thanks for reading this little post and I hope that you come back next time for another blog post. 

Thanks for reading! 
Happy 1st of December!
Jamie x