The other day in my local gastropub, I had the audacity to ask for a cup of peppermint tea. “We don’t do fancy-pants drinks like that,” sniffed the barman, as he made my friend a mochachocacappuccinolatte  (or whatever) in his fancy pants coffee machine. I thought peppermint – in fact all herbal teas – had gone mainstream by now? Obviously not. It’s the same when buying presents – coffee still has the…

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The other day I went to an event where instead of glasses, drinks were served in jam jars with paper straws (above). It’s such a simple idea, but it looked brilliant, and I’ve started saving jars so that I can do the same the next time I have a party. Paper straws, which are so much prettier than plastic ones, are easy to come by – a pack of 25 red, blue…

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Salt and Pepper shakers fall into one of two camps. They’re either really plain grinder-style mills like the ones you get in Italian restaurants; or they’re kitsch ones in the shape of something silly. I’m definitely a fan of the latter – I love the pair of china sausage dogs  I got in Florida years ago, and the Alessi Chinamen my brother and his wife got me for Christmas. But now I…

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I don’t know why, but this year seems to be the year of the homemade ice lolly. All my friends seem to be having a go at making them – and ice lolly moulds are on sale everywhere. But none I’ve seen are as cute as the Woodland Bunnies lolly makers, £4.95, from www.dotcomgiftshop.com. Fill ’em with pure fruit juice, flavoured squash, milk (for an old skool taste) or even cold tea…

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I know it’s hard to believe, but sometimes in life you can have too much chocolate. The sickest I’ve ever been was when I ate an entire box of Black Magic (remember them?) while revising for my GCSEs  and then sat in the back of a bumpy car for three hours. But I digress. My point is that there are other options, particularly when it comes to dessert. And these little beauties,…

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