Manchester · Music

Live: Liam Gallagher @ The O2 Ritz, Manchester 2017

“This is another new one, sorry about that” Liam Gallagher, Ex-Beady Eye frontman and Ex-Oasis star sniggers to the crowd of the O2 Ritz in Manchester.  He shrugs his shoulders in his Pretty Green mac, wipes the sweat from his forehead and launches into a solo song of his.  The crowd do not appreciate Gallagher’s new music as much as the old, but if you bought a ticket to hear ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Champagne Supernova’ then you should’ve done yourself a favour and quit while you were ahead.  He isn’t resurrecting Oasis; he’s paving the way on his own.

Gallagher’s first solo-outing showcased his voice in its prime.  Gone is the wheezing, the rasping and general flat tone.  Replacing poor is flawless.  Chugging water on stage, you can see the concentration spread across Gallagher’s face and hear the rejuvenated voice echoing from his lungs.  Heavy, rich and blossoming – this is the second coming, as The Stone Roses said.

Opening with Oasis classics ‘Rock N Roll Star’ followed by ‘Morning Glory’, Gallagher gently slides into his comfort zone, before blasting out his first ever solo single – ‘Wall Of Glass’. “I don’t mean to be unkind/but I’ll see what’s in your mind” Gallagher sings perfectly in tune.  With no fault, LG looks at ease on stage as he peers out into the crowd.

Whoops, and hollers followed by nodding heads and raised arms greet ‘Wall Of Glass’.  Ties are cut from both of Gallagher’s former bands as the song nears its death-defying end and we begin to doubt ourselves and our idea of Oasis.  Because really, hasn’t Liam Gallagher always been a solo artist in his own right?  He’s always been the star of the show; we just haven’t needed to notice until now.

His new songs pack punches and show that he’s working with a top production and songwriting teams.  It doesn’t matter that LG might not be writing the tunes, his direction, his voice and his stage presence is what matter.

Ending on a high, Gallagher brings out Bonehead from the guestlist balcony area to play the guitar for him like the old days.  The lights go dim and the crowd hound for more.  Gallagher knows how to play the crowd, feed them what they want and then leave them hanging on for more.  He swaggers back on stage with pure courage and commitment before launching into an acoustic version of ‘Live Forever’.  Acoustic because, apart from a shaker, the only sound resonating from the stage is Gallagher’s voice.  It is simply breathtaking: a moving spectacle.

Although a girl shouts “play ‘Wonderwall’”, but honestly, we don’t want him to.  As a collective crowd, we’ve realised that Liam Gallagher will always be Oasis and will always play Oasis – but he’s Liam Gallagher, solo artist.  Tonight has cemented the future.

Ella Scott
@ellalascott

Lifestyle · Travel

A stylish stay with Ibis: Liverpool

If you know me then you know I’m all about last minute plans, usually because I always leave things to the very possible last second to organise. So, on Sunday morning when I realised I needed somewhere to live temporarily post-Liverpool Sound City, I quickly jumped on the internet and luckily discovered a twin room in the beautiful Ibis Styles Hotel on Dale Street, Liverpool.  If like me, you’re one for simple quirkiness and aren’t afraid of swapping a traditional English breakfast for granola, brie and more croissants than you could shake a stick at – then look no further!


The Ibis Styles Hotel is located in the commercial district of Liverpool, near the courts and roughly a ten-minute walk to infamous Albert Dock and Beatles Story.  Branded as ‘the hotel that sings’, every room is ‘musically themed’, meaning it has the essence of The Beatles plastered all over it.  Whether it’s from the subtle psychedelic carpets, spiralling song lyrics or simply a pop of colour splattered across the room – the music of the legendary band is seriously alive in this hotel.

Walking into the hotel is different.  You are greeted by a colourful chill-out area and a bar.  It is 2 pm and there is no bartender… Where is the front desk?  The Styles hotel has decided to drop the formalities, the pay-at-the-desk and the awkward reception check-out conversation.  This is the internet era and when booking your hotel, an automatic check-in is applied (if you want of course.)  You just need to find a lovely staff member who swipes your paying card for security reasons, gives you your room key and sends you on your way.

The lifts are card-automated – so if you’re not staying at the hotel you’re not using the lift to get up to the rooms.  This idea allows you to feel fully secured and extremely safe, especially when you are staying at the hotel alone like I was.


I was designated Room 501, and it was so refreshingly lovely!  The room in all consisted of two extremely soft twin beds, with unbleached sheets; a desk area for working if you are on business or have some rambling thoughts you need to write down; a wall mounted TV; a wardrobe filled with complimentary coffee, tea and a hairdryer; a gorgeously clean bathroom fitted with two towels and shampoo/body wash and two MASSIVE mirrors, perfect for selfies.


Adorning the bathroom door was a swirl of the word ‘road’ in various different languages such as Spanish and German, as well as along the back wall next to the beds in a wavy fashion.  See pictures for a clearer understanding.

The room was immaculately clean, safe, tidy and friendly.  The greyscale theme with a pop of pink and blue carpeting was seriously inviting as well as extremely calming.  There were no garish colours nor was there anything causing an eye-sore.  I loved the room so much that I rank it highly as one of the best rooms I’ve stayed in for a   l o n g time.


On my way into the hotel after the festival, I was kindly reminded that breakfast was being served from six am until half 11, due to it being a bank holiday weekend. HELLO LIE IN.  At about half nine I made my way downstairs to the bar area, where a continental feast was put on.


In kooky glass, jugs were every juice option under the sun: apple, pineapple, orange and cranberry just to name a few, shots of what looked like tomato juice? (I was far too scared to try) and alongside these the largest bowl of bananas I’ve ever seen.  Moving across there was rows of soft granola and natural greek yoghurt in v. cute jars, a selection of vegetables (cucumbers and tomatoes sliced two ways), ham and pastrami and the largest cheeseboard in the world.


I am trying slowly and surely to be dairy free, but in situations like this, where there are thirty slices of soft, creamy brie piled high on a wooden board – it would be rude to say no, right?  I died and went to cheese heaven.  Future Ella, please don’t be disappointed in me.

A selection of slices of bread and a basket of croissants was also on offer.  I lost count of how many croissants I managed to dunk into my three (!!) lattes and scoff into my mouth.  As the saying goes, when in Liverpool…Right?


After I had doubled my weight in the food I edged my way back up to my hotel room, packed up my belongings and headed downstairs for check out.  Simple and effective, I again found one of the staff members and handed her my room key.  A couple hours later I received a confirmation text saying I had been successfully checked out. I liked this very much as it felt as if I was personally being thanked by the company for staying.  So here I am, returning that thanks.

Fast service, friendly and affordable for a hotel of such fantastic description – if you ever need somewhere to stay in Liverpool I would highly recommend the Ibis Styles Hotel on Dale Street.  I’m now itching to get travelling and find out what the rest of the Ibis Styles Hotels are like across Europe?  Please give me recommendations for any that you’ve stayed in!

See you soon, world,

Ella Scott
@ellalascott

Music

Liverpool Sound City 2017

In brutal honesty, before now, there has not been anything about a festival that isn’t set in a field that would appeal to me.  Why would I want to sit and eat cheesy chips and gravy on hard gravel?  Why would I want to be able to walk from a centre of town to a festival in ten minutes flat? Isn’t that the point of a live music celebration – emerging yourself into the unknown whirlwind and trap yourself in a bubble of euphoria, nowhere near civilisation? Think again, Liverpool Sound City is going to rejuvenate and regenerate your festival ideas.

What I’ve learnt from my time at Sound City is that you don’t need the grass, you don’t need the ‘traditional festival atmosphere’ (IE. The mud dripping from your face or the guy next to your tent having a wee on your said tent… Fun, right?) and you especially don’t need something as dull as a mainstream chart-topper headlining the main stage (Indie 2012 will do instead).  Give me culture. Give me something that is going to go down in the history of my mind.  Sound City, you’re seriously my saving grace.

Here are my Top 5 attributes from this year’s edition of the fest:

 

5.  T H E   T O I L E T S   H A D   T O I L E T   R O L L 

This one isn’t a joke and yeah, you did read it right – every time I had to nip to the loo (this was quite often as I was downing pints of Peroni as if it were apple juice) every toilet would be immaculate and topped up with three toilet rolls. THREE. I’m used to the portable toilets of T in The Park and seriously if you know, then you know.  In my book, it’s all part and parcel of the festival experience, but it was lush for once to not worry about getting poo smeared up my leg. Yummy.

 

4.  W A L K   T H I S   W A Y

Sounds weird doesn’t it, that being able to walk from one side of a festival in under 3 minutes has made it on my best attributes of Sound City.  But, there’s nothing worse than having to speedily hurry through a swarm of bodies, pelting themselves at you, while you attempt to fish out your favourite band in the smallest tent on site.  Inevitably, by travelling you’ve essentially missed the crucial song you wanted to hear: ultimate fail.  Give up now.

This year’s Sound City site was so compact however, that you could casually stroll from Tim Peaks’ Diner over to the main stage and loop around to the Pirate Stage in essentially five minutes flat.  There are of course serious cons to a small site though, The Golden Age TV’s set on The Cavern Club stage was totally washed out due to Generation taking over The Baltic tent, but it also has some serious time-saving-band-seeing perks, too.

3.  S T U D E N T S   T A K E   O V E R   T H E   C A V E R N   C L U B   S T A G E

Sound City (for the most part) celebrates new and diverse music coming from Liverpool and surrounding areas.  The Cavern Club stage at this year’s event had some of the freshest / youngest bands and artists who are studying towards a degree at Edge Hill University, Leeds College of Music and the British Institution of Modern Music (BIMM).  The latter, BIMM is where I studied towards a Music Journalism degree, last year.  My time at BIMM will always hold sickly sweet memories for me and I will always champion anybody who has risen from the ashes and nabbed their place in the limelight.

One of the BIMM bands I managed to catch this weekend were Crimsons.  Almost Nick Cave-esq where their dark sound is concerned and a look that was rivalled by no other – Crimsons are simply sublime and it’s refreshing that something so poignant has come from BIMM.

This should’ve just been a point dedicated to Crimsons really… Next time.

2.  P E R S E V E R A N C E   O F   S O U N D   C I T I Z E N S

Let’s not lie; on the Saturday of Liverpool Sound City 2017, the weather was atrocious.   The sky was spitting during The Kills, eventually escalating into torrential rain throughout the entirety of Metronomy’s headline set.  Fickle Friends’ performance was shrouded by a cloak of swarming gravel/sand and you couldn’t squeeze any more people into Peaches’ tent due of the brewing stormy night ahead… Also, Peaches is Peaches, so it was never going to be empty, was it?

However, it’s seriously refreshing that even at an inner-city festival, where you can hop on a free shuttle bus to take you back to your cosy hotel room, that the punters of Sound City persevered and would not let a lil’ bit of chilly rain ruin their night.  Granted, Metronomy’s crowd was partly sparse but those hundreds of people who danced in the moonlight – good on ya’, you did us all proud!

1.  M U S I C   M A K E S   T H E   P E O P L E   C O M E   T O G E T H E R

Sound City is a music festival.  There isn’t much alternative, like at Isle Of Wight of Latitude festivals, where you can wander down to a river and see a ballet, or hop into a world of queer comedy.  Sound City is purely for the music and the people of the North West who love music.  This is what makes the festival so good.  Across the weekend, some breathtaking bands played: both archaic and fresh-faced artists took to the stage to produce phenomenal performances.

Below, I’ve compiled some of the top bands I have seen personally over the weekend so you can dive into some golden oldies and maybe discover your new favourite band like I have during the span of Sound City.

 

So, that was my roundup of the 2017 edition of Liverpool Sound City.  Did you go yourself?  If so, what did you think of it?  And if you didn’t, you better be getting a ticket for next year’s events!

Ella Scott
@ellalascott

 

Food · Manchester

Fancy a Brooklyn Brewery Beer?

 

 

If somebody says to you “give up your night to drink free Brooklyn Brewery beer” you might be a bit sceptical.  You’ve had the standard Brooklyn lagar in a can or a glass bottle, and the dark larger may not have tantalised your taste buds.

I am exactly the same.

If that is the case for you too, then do not wipe Brooklyn Brewery off of your taste pallet just yet.  Whether it is for: sitting down with your mates for a beverage or ten, having that ‘one last drink’ as you throw yourself face-first into a ham and pineapple pizza (pineapple DOES go on pizza for the record) at an after party or just need that something to help you unwind after a stressful day of doing nothing – Brooklyn Brewery has the answers.

At the end of April 2017, employees of Yard & Coop were luckily invited to an intimate tasting session with Brooklyn Brewery representative, Chris Moore.  At the meeting Moore delved into the rich history of Brooklyn Brewery, explaining that the company’s founder had escaped death several times in various countries before the venture was even a thought and that when the New York Mafia come knocking you seriously have to show them who is the boss.

Alongside swerving through the archaic foundations of Brooklyn, Moore had brought us a selection of the brewery’s finest delights to sample.

Now, imagine: a variety of bar tenders, the front of house staff and managers on their day off, swarming around a table filled with sweet treats and alcoholic elixir’s we have never tasted before.  Win, win – a recipe made in heaven.  Alcoholic beverages are one of our main passions in life.  We are not working in a Northern Quarter bar and eatery for any old reason, you know.  We like to drink.

One of the first beers Moore pulled from his box of tricks is well-known and celebrated Brooklyn Lager’.  With a surprisingly fresh bitterness hugged by a floral and dry taste, the Lager is the Brooklyn Brewery signature.  You can find it throughout bars across the country and, if you do not spot anything you know on a menu – sure enough hiding in there somewhere will always be Brooklyn Lager.  A safe bet for a craft beer.

The Brooklyn Lager won’t appeal to everybody, however.  With its distinct taste and dark colour, it carries the same motto as Marmite – you are either going to love it like the feeling of having a full fridge at Christmas or hate it like your housemate using up your milk.  So if that is the case, then Brooklyn is not for you, right?

WRONG.  Oh, so wrong.

 Moore pulled a variety of bottled beers and cans out of his bag including:

  • Brooklyn Scorcher IPA
  • Brooklyn Brown Ale (my favourite of all the beverages)
  • Brooklyn American Ale
  • Brooklyn Sorachi Ace
  • Brooklyn East India Pale Ale

If you are an avid New World Trading Co. fan (IE. The Botanist, The Oast House, MCR Smugglers Cove, LIV) then you would have seen the Brooklyn East India Pale Ale stacked high on its ventures shelves.  The only Brooklyn Brewery offerings that was brought to the event in a can, the pale ale packed a serious punch – it is unbelievably juicy, thirst-quenching and ripe, but it is not for the faint hearted!

An all-rounder which would be perfect for those after-the-night-out drinks (as I previously mentioned) is the Brooklyn American Ale.  Unlike most heavy ales which you have to nurse your body to be in the mood for, this 4.5% ale is completely different.  Light-tasting, gentle and easy-going with crisp tones: the Brooklyn American Ale is perfectly paired with any food flavour, and makes drinking to drink fun.  You do not have to get drunk to have fun drinking (I definitely need to remember this mantra…)

 

The main attraction, for me however, came surprisingly in the form of the Brooklyn Brown Ale.  Now, I am a Geordie girl.  And other than that MTV show what are Geordies famous for?  Newcastle Brown Ale.  What does not taste nice?  Newcastle Brown Ale.  What has changed my complete perspective on brown ale (maybe) forever?  Brooklyn Brown Ale.

Nicknamed ‘the roasty’, this Brooklyn offering incorporates its British heritage with an American twist.  Brown ale that boasts six malts caressing layers of sweet toasted caramel, bitter cocoa and strong coffee – all blended together to create this rich and enticing beer.  The sheer volume of substance in the ale warms the pit of your stomach, changing your idea that Brown Ale is not just something you have to snidely avoid, even if it is on offer in a night club’s fridge.  42nd Street in Manchester, I’m looking at you.

Riveting, inviting and seriously tasty: if I can urge you to do anything this month, it is try to nab yourself a taste of Brooklyn.  Do not play it safe – go big.  If the American Ale sounds your thing then take the plunge or if you want something a little bit different to nag your mates about buying, go for the East India Pale Ale.

Whatever your tipple, make it Brooklyn Brewery.

Ella Scott
@ellalascott

Lifestyle

New Year’s Resolutions: 5 Months Later

Remember those pesky New Year’s Resolutions you made on January 1 which you PROMISED you would stick to this year?  ‘This year will be different, this is the year I accomplish blankety blank blank blank’.  Remember? Me neither, however, I put mine in writing for the world to see… Bad move, Ella – now you gotta’ look at what you promised yourself and comment on your progress….

 

  • Stop being sad about losing mates

Welcome to 2017, the year I genuinely entered with friends I could count on one of my hands.  Fast forward five months and I have seriously planted some firm roots in some real good rays of sunshine.  No more negativity is coursing through my veins about not having many mates to go out and enjoy the sun with, go drinking with, cry on their shoulders when I have failed an assignment with.

I’ve grown closer (if that’s even possible) to my day-one-until-forever best friends, made some serious gal and guy pals for whom I will hold close to my heart for a considerably long time and have also rekindled friendships with some of those who fell out of my life in the last couple of years, too.  I’m still bad at keeping on top of messaging people and staying in contact but I’m working on it.

I no longer feel awful about losing my friends… Why should I when I have picked up some extraordinary faces while cleansing the air of those who I no longer fit in with?  Life is about being happy, it isn’t about getting upset over spillage.

 

  • Start going out sober

Where once I was a double gin, lime and lemonade with a side of jagerbomb girl… I’ve turned into one of those ‘prossecco girls’.  “You know the type, loud as a motorbike but wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight”…. Right, Jay-Z?

I still love a pint or seven.  I still love going out, I now love chatting nonsense to my best mates, sipping on something bubbly, and I still enjoy getting hammered and eating cheesy chips and gravy at 4am.  I’m not very good at going out sober because when the elixir of fun hits my lips it’s a WHOLE new level.  I just love it. However, if I don’t want a drink, I’m learning that I do not have to say yes to the strongest substance possible.

I went to Crazy Pedro’s in the NQ the other night and drank Hooch Hoola. Honestly, if you haven’t tried this sweet alcoholic beverage then you are missing out  B I G  style.  I was still having alcohol, I was still drinking, I was still joining in… But I wasn’t downing vodka or sloshing tequila slammers and I didn’t feel like I was drinking to get drunk.  A serious rarity.

I went to York to see my best friend in the world a couple weeks ago and essentially had a sober night out in Fibbers.  (Those of you who know the York nightlife will feel outraged that I and Kate went to Fibbers on 3 cans of beer each at 12 pm.) And earlier last week, my work do ended up with me having all the fun in the world on 2 pints of Paulaner.

None of these nights out have been 100% sober, but I’m working on it.  Every step is one in the right direction.  I still have seven months to master the idea of a ‘sober night out’.

 

  • Experience live music once a week

Fail.  Complete fail.  I haven’t seen a band or an artist live this year.  Slap on the wrist, Ella.

However, I do have real plans to attend Liverpool Sound City, report on Isle Of Wight Festival for Gigslutz and am seriously debating whether to splurge on a Reading & Leeds Festival day ticket just to see my boys, Kasabian.  Watch this space.  But for now, FAIL.

Note: I just found this song on Youtube from the My Little Pony series and my god, this is my new jam.

 

  • Gimmie a little sparkle!

You can see from my Amie Skincare post, that the first part of my ‘self-love and self-care’ 2017 New Year’s Resolution has been successful.  They say don’t fix something that isn’t broken (my skin is currently amazing) but I want to add the likes of toner, eye cream and a heavier moisturiser into my routine.  If you have ANY recommendations please, please send them my way!

I’m eating way healthier (with a lot of pizza-and-chocolate-bar shaped bumps along the way) I’ve lost weight, I’ve stopped drinking as much, I’m treating myself (TREAT YO’ SELF) to things rather than food and basically, I couldn’t be happier!

YAY ME, YAY ME, YAY ME!

  • If you want it, get it

After I wrote my A Minor Depressive Episode blog post, I went out and bought a truckload of things that I just NEEDED.  A Burts Bees conditioner, toilet wipes, coffee and hair mousse are just some of the things I went out and spent my hard-earned dolla’ on.  They’re not the most exciting things ever but I bloody needed them and I was so thankful to myself, too.  You need to love yourself.

The idea of ‘nothing is getting half-arsed in 2017’ is a big one.  I’m still drowning at university (will I ever not be?), I’m still not reading enough and I’m still not putting 100% into everything I do.  But Jesus, I’m really trying!

Something which is a serious want of mine is a body and a bloody fantastic body at that.  At the moment I’ve got an alright body.  I have good boobs, and nice hair, and a good waist.  However, I also have chunky thighs, cellulite on the back of said-chunky thighs and hips which I frankly just hate.  SO ELLA, get yo’ ass to the gym.

There are parts that I love about myself, and parts that I despise, and ‘not half-assing anything in 2017’ applies to the idea that I have to love every part and every inch of my body.  Not just loving my boobies and then hating my bum.  All of it, you hear me?  You need to know you’re the bee’s knees, Ella, go do some squats and feel GOOD.

 

 

  • Stick in at University

Yeah… I’m just going to leave this one here.  I have exams which I am going to prepare for with the best of my ability and come September I am really going to nail the second year.

She says now….

 

So as a recap: I’m doing awful on the live music and university front but other than that, I’m working really hard to be as good as gold.  Well on my way to saying “2017? Bitch, I did that so well”.   How are your New Years Resolutions going?  We’re only five months in, a lot can happen in the rest!

 

E x

Lifestyle

A Minor Depressive Episode

I suffer from depressive episodes.  Not major episodes which last for weeks, which circle my head with the feeling of nausea-inducing emptiness or swarming guilt caused from being lethargic during the day.  Just a few hours at a time.

The phrase “you do not have it as bad as some people” annoys me.  If your depressive episode lasts for one hour or ten, twenty minutes or twenty hours, it does not make yours any less severe, or important than anybody else’s.

I usually literally feed my depressive episodes.  With my negative body image, the intake of food (which coincidently fits in with my illness) doubles.  This obviously increases the intensity of how I feel.  Today, I ate half a dark chocolate Lindt bunny which my mom bought me for Easter.  This tied with my current state, bled the feeling of betrayal into my brain.  The three emotions of disappointment are as follows:

  • I’ve been really trying to eat healthily and I’ve just gone back on my weight loss by eating half a huge chocolate rabbit.
  • Knowing I don’t really need the food intake, I’m just attempting (and undeniably failing) to make myself feel better.
  • I wanted to keep the rabbit until long after Easter. I ultimately am ashamed that I have had to open it and could not control my cravings.

But, it is just a chocolate bunny?  Why am I so upset about eating a chocolate rabbit?  I can just go buy another one.  I know this.  But I am psychologically projecting my hurt, dismay and sadness onto the idea that I am upset with myself because I have eaten some chocolate.

I cannot describe to you what having a depressive episode would be like for you, because there is not a mirror image of what mine is.  Sometimes I am capable of coping.  Other times I am not.  Sometimes I can wallow in self-pity for hours.  Other times I can snap out of it in a minute.  There is no describing to somebody who has not had a depressive episode/suffered from depression themselves, what you are feeling.  You cannot empathise with something you have never experienced, no matter how much you would love to try.

I personally understand the rough pattern that my mind takes.  I have an event which causes intense heartache and overwhelming stress.  My coping mechanisms are to eat and to cry.  Eventually after the first blow, I will cry so much that I no longer know what I am crying about.  After this, I ponder.  After thinking, I am fine.  I’m still down, grumpy and moody, but I no longer feel ‘sad’.  I then eat.  I fill the pit of my stomach with food that I don’t really want.  After I eat, his is where the emptiness kicks in.  During the emptiness, I need somebody or something (like work) to take it away through distraction.  After the distraction, I am completely fine, and it numbingly feels like it never happened. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

This is just me.  This is my skeleton of what happens during a depressive episode.  Maybe yours follows the routine but meanders off into a different direction.  Maybe it does not fit my mould.  Does that make it any less worthy? No.

Sometimes it is really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there always is one.  There is always one creeping at the back.  And when the sunshine hits and the depressive episode ebbs away, life is brilliant and my outlook regains positivity.  The problem is, the time between the darkness and the light switches every time.

There is no wrong way to deal and there is no right way to deal, I just try to always maintain strength.

E x

 

Food · Lifestyle

A dairy-free Nutella: Sweet Freedom Choc Pot

Being dairy-free for me is bloody difficult.  Not only do I constantly crave chocolate, want Nutella on toast at all times of the day and feel the need to have the Not Chicken Nuggets from work (Yard & Coop, NQ) in and around my mouth more than would be deemed acceptable – quitting dairy is (and will probably always be) an uphill struggle.  However, to make the ban a little bit more tantalisingly sweeter I have discovered the moreish Sweet Freedom Choc Pot.

I’ve self-enrolled myself in the Sweet Freedom family for a couple months now.  See my raving post on the Choc Shot here. And obviously, I have been buzzing about the idea of a dairy-free Nutella-alternative since the brand announced earlier this year that it would be hitting ASDA shelves.  Upsettingly however, my local ASDA have JUST got the choc pot in stock extremely recently!

That’s going straight in my bahsket.

The details:

Sweet Freedom prides themselves on the ethic of ‘I do not’ and ‘no way’.  This means all of their products (including the Choc Pot) contain and are free from:

  • Chemical processing
  • Palm Oil
  • Dairy, gluten, nuts and GMOs
  • Preservatives

Their products are made naturally in the UK, and are suitable for the veggies and vegans striving among us.  Basically – its super good stuff and ANYTHING is better than a product promoting the dairy industry.

The Ingredients:

Listed on the 250g pot, the ingredients are as follows:

  • Apple extract
  • Grape and carob extract
  • Water
  • Cocoa
  • Natural Flavouring
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Sunflower lecithin

Shall we compare this to the list of ingredients on a Nutella pot?

  • Sugar
  • Palm Oil
  • Hazelnuts
  • Fat-reduced cocoa
  • Skimmed milk powder
  • Whey powder (milk)
  • Emulsifier: Lecithin and Vanillin

If you’re not sold already just on the ingredients list alone then let’s dissect the Nutritional information.  Each element listed is per 100g of substance.

Choc Pot:

Energy kJ: 1143
Energy kcal: 272
Fat: 8g
Fat of which Saturates: 3g
Carbohydrates: 43g
Carbohydrates of which Sugars: 38g
Fibre: 7g
Protein: 3g
Salt: 0g

Nutella:

Energy kJ: 2278
Energy kcal: 546
Fat: 31.6g
Fat of which Saturates: 11g
Carbohydrates: 57.6
Carbohydrates of which Sugars: 56.8
Fibre: N/A
Protein: 6g
Salt: 0.114g

Now I’m not being funny – but it doesn’t take a mathematician to put two and seven together to produce the outcome that the Choc Pot is WAY better for you than Nutella.  Obviously, both are a calorific treat but come on, if I can have chocolate spread on a crumpet for breakfast and not feel as guilty as I usually would, which one am I going to select in the supermarket?

Taste test:

For some (me 80% of the time) it’s more about the taste than anything.  Obviously, the sugary, heavenly smooth and sickly substance of Nutella is a dream.  It’s so bloody good and in reality, I am always going to be in love with that little jar of heaven.  But deep down I know the Choc Pot is the all-around winner.

While Nutella you can gulp down serving after serving, the rich combination of ingredients and smooth dark chocolate cocoa component seriously only allows you to have a teaspoon full of Choc Pot.  You don’t want any more than that.  It might not be as sickly as Nutella, but it is as satisfying.  It’s like Cadburys VS Lindt.  Both are heavenly, but one is a lot easier to swallow a bar whole than the other.

I absolutely love it.  It’s seriously changed the way I see toast in the morning (dat look of love doe) and I genuinely feel SO much better about indulging in a spoon for a little taste of something sweet.  Does it make me sad that I am enthusing about chocolate spread?  Pitting the both against each other?  Maybe but maybe not.  Seriously though, try it for yourself – you won’t be disappointed!

Get ya mitts on the Sweet Freedom Choc Pot chocolate spread now, available in selected ASDA and Boots stores.

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