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Food & Drink

Drinking hot chocolate can make you smarter, study finds 

Best stock up then.

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rudyirudyk & brunovdkraan /Unsplash

A new study has found that drinking hot chocolate can temporarily increase a person’s intelligence.

The University of Birmingham has found that when given cocoa to drink participants in the research performed cognitive tasks better than those who hadn’t been given cocoa. 

It’s worth noting though, only 18 people participated in the study and they were all men. 

But – cocoa did improve the cognitive thinking of the men! And it’s all down to the ‘flavanol’. 

Anuja Mary /Unsplash

‘Flavanols’ naturally occur in fruit and vegetables as well as cocoa beans and are already known for their benefits to the cardiovascular system. 

The cocoa beans in the experiment contained high levels of flavanols. The study suggests that drinking this flavanol enriched cocoa temporarily increased the blood oxygen saturation levels. And more oxygen enables a person to think more clearly! 

The research was done to help empower people to make better choices when it comes to food and drink.

Researcher, Dr Rendeiro, said: “Our results showed a clear benefit for the participants taking the flavanol-enriched drink – but only when the task became sufficiently complicated.

Jonny Caspari/Unsplash

“We can link this with our results on improved blood oxygenation – if you’re being challenged more, your brain needs improved blood oxygen levels to manage that challenge.

“It also further suggests that flavanols might be particularly beneficial during cognitively demanding tasks.”

So while it doesn’t necessarily mean we should start chugging hot chocolate 24 hours a day, it does point out how vital vitamins and minerals are in our health and well being. 

If you do want to go all out and make the ultimate festive hot chocolate inspired charcuterie board, check out these here.

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Food & Drink

The full list of Wetherspoons pubs reopening on April 12th

Is your local Spoons on the list?

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JD Wetherspoon

Wetherspoons has confirmed that it will be reopening hundreds of pubs next month.

The pub chain announced that 394 venues would open their doors on April 12th, after the government’s roadmap out of lockdown was revealed.

Stage two of this roadmap will see pubs and restaurants open for outdoor service, although customers will still have to follow the rules around mixing households.

Wetherspoon

Spoons is only opening a limited number of its 875 UK pubs, as not all of them are equipped for outdoor drinking and eating.

This includes plenty across Greater Manchester and the North West, like the Castle in the Air at Trafford Park, the Bishop Blaize in Stretford, the Gateway in Didsbury, and Chorlton’s Sedge Lynn.

Spoons owner Tim Martin confirmed the news today, Thursday March 4th, releasing a statement.

The full list of Wetherspoons pubs reopening on April 12th:

  • Tollemache Inn, Grantham
  • Ritz, Lincoln
  • Sugar Loaf, Market Harborough
  • Samuel Lloyd, Corby
  • Kettleby Cross, Melton Mowbray
  • Saxon Crown, Corby
  • Stamford Post, Stamford
  • Captain Noel Newton, Oakham
  • Temeraire, Saffron Walden
  • Standing Order, Stevenage
  • Six Templars, Hertford
  • Battesford Court, Witham
  • William Aylmer, Harlow
  • Harpsfield Hall, Hatfield
  • Port Jackson, Bishops Stortford
  • Angel Vaults, Hitchin
  • Manor House, Royston
  • Bottle Kiln, Harwich
  • Wouldhave, Southshields
  • Sir William De Wessyngton, Washington
  • Ward Jackson, Hartlepool
  • Bishop’s Mill, Durham (Lloyds)
  • Wicket Gate, Chester Le Street (Lloyds)
  • Harry Clasper, Whickham
  • Last Post, Beeston
  • Red Lion, Ripley
  • Waggon and Horses, Alfreton
  • Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren, Nottingham
  • William Peverel, Bulwell
  • Woodthorpe Top, Nottingham
  • Free Man, Nottingham
  • Six Chimneys, Wakefield
  • Richard Oastler, Brighouse
  • Obediah Brooke, Cleckheaton
  • Union Rooms, Batley
  • Horse Shoe, Wombwell
  • Turls Green, Bradford
  • Joseph Bramah, Barnsley (Lloyds)
  • Picture House, Morley
  • Crossed Shuttle, Pudsey
  • Commercial Inn, Sowerby Bridge
  • Winter Gardens, Harrogate
  • Devonshire Inn, Skipton
  • Postern Gate, York
  • Livery Rooms, Keighley
  • Bowling Green, Otley
  • Plimsoll Line, Redcar
  • Ralph Fitz Randal, Richmond
  • Stanley Jefferson, Bishop Auckland
  • Grand Electric Hall, Spennymoor
  • Angel Hotel, Whitby
  • Swatter’s Carr, Middlesbrough
  • Half Moon Inn, Billingham
  • Ironstone Miner, Guisborough
  • Three Hulats, Chaple Allerton
  • Glass Blower, Castleford
  • Winter Seam, Castleford
  • Cuthbert Brodrick, Leeds
  • Blue Bell, Pontefract
  • Old Unicorn, Bramley
  • Briggate, Leeds
  • Benjamin Huntsman, Sheffield
  • Church House, Wath Upon Dearne
  • Blue Coat, Rotherham
  • Sheffield Waterworks Company, Sheffield (Lloyds)
  • Rawson Spring, Hillsborough
  • Sheaf Island, Sheffield
  • Francis Newton, Sheffield
  • Queens Hotel, Maltby
  • Wagon and Horses, Sheffield
  • Steel Foundry, Sheffield
  • Standing Order, Derby
  • Portland Hotel, Chesterfield
  • Red Lion, Doncaster
  • Dominie Cross, Retford
  • Pillar of Rock, Bolsover
  • Company Row, Consett
  • Rohan Kanhai, Ashington
  • Fire Station, Whitley Bay
  • Quayside, Newcastle
  • Mile Castle, Newcastle Upon Tyne (Lloyds)
  • Five Swans, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Red Lion, Bedlington
  • Ritz, Wallsend
  • Bell Hotel, Norwich
  • Troll Cart, Great Yarmouth
  • Cricketers, Ipswich
  • Glass House, Norwich
  • Whiffler, Norwich
  • Queen of Iceni, Norwich (Lloyds)
  • Grover & Allen, Sudbury
  • Willow Tree, Stowmarket
  • Romany Rye, East Dereham
  • Joseph Conrad, Lowestoft
  • Kings Head Hotel, Beccles
  • Limes, Fakenham
  • William Adams, Gorleston
  • Yarborough Hotel, Grimsby
  • Sweyn Forkbeard, Gainsborough
  • Blue Bell Inn, Scunthorpe
  • Prior John, Bridlington
  • Three John Scotts, Kingston Upon Hull
  • Admiral Of the Humbar, Kingston Upon Hull
  • City and County, Goole
  • Joseph Morton, Louth
  • White Horse, Brigg
  • Cross Keys, Beverley
  • Giant Bellflower, Selby
  • Coliseum Picture Theatre, Cleethorpes
  • High Cross, Leicester
  • Moon and Bell, Loughborough
  • White House, Leicester
  • Gooseberry Bush, Nottingham
  • College Arms, Peterborough (Lloyds)
  • Regal, Cambridge (Lloyds)
  • Golden Lion, Newmarket
  • Globe Hotel, Kings Lynn
  • Draper’s Arms, Peterborough
  • Sandford House, Huntingdon
  • George Hotel, Whittlesey
  • Hippodrome, March
  • Whalebone, Downham Market
  • Regal Moon, Rochdale
  • Ash Tree, Ashton-Under Lyne
  • Calverts Court, Stockport
  • Society Rooms, Macclesfield
  • Society Rooms, Stalybridge
  • Wilfred Wood, Stockport
  • White Hart, Todmorden
  • Kingfisher, Poynton
  • Sir Henry Segrave, Southport
  • Willow Grove, Southport
  • Leyland Lion, Leyland
  • Court Leet, Ormskirk
  • Commercial Hotel, Accrington
  • Old Chapel, Darwen
  • Twelve Tellers, Preston (Lloyds)
  • Lifeboat, Formby
  • Woodrow Wilson, Carlisle
  • Furness Railway, Barrow
  • Trawl Boat Inn, Lytham St. Annes
  • Miles Thompson, Kendal
  • William Rufus, Carlisle (Lloyds)
  • Layton Rakes, Blackpool (Lloyds)
  • Jolly Tars, Cleveleys
  • Railway Hotel, Lytham
  • Dog Beck, Penrith
  • Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Keswick
  • Poulton Elk, Poulton le Fylde
  • Velvet Coaster, Blackpool
  • Picture House, Stafford
  • Lord Burton, Burton On Trent
  • Plaza, Rugeley
  • Wye Bridge House, Buxton
  • Bradley Green, Biddulph
  • Arnold Machin, Newcastle under Lyme
  • Hippodrome, Market Drayton
  • Wheatsheaf, Cheadle
  • Buttler’s Bell, Stafford
  • Shoulder of Mutton, Ashby De La Zouch
  • Green Dragon, Leek
  • Eccles Cross, Eccles
  • Sedge Lynn, Chorlton
  • Tim Bobbin, Urmston
  • Bishop Blaize, Stretford
  • Robert Shaw, Westhoughton
  • Wallace Hartley, Colne
  • Boot Inn, Burnley
  • Bull’s Head, Walkden
  • Sir Thomas Gerard, Ashton
  • Premier, Widnes
  • Brocket Arms, Wigan
  • Ferry Boat, Runcorn
  • Looking Glass, Warrington
  • Nine Arches, Newton le Willows
  • Raven, Liverpool
  • Navigator, Liverpool
  • Childwall Fiveways Hotel, Liverpool
  • Barkers Brewery, Huyton
  • Captain Alexander, Liverpool
  • Frank Hornby, Maghull
  • Penny Black, Northwich
  • Counting House, Congleton
  • Brass Balance, Birkenhead
  • Dee Hotel, West Kirkby
  • Wheatsheaf, Ellesmere Port
  • Queens Arms, Winsford
  • Master Mariner, New Brighton (Lloyds)
  • Bull and Stirrup Hotel, Chester
  • Castle in the Air, Manchester
  • Gateway, East Didsbury
  • Moon and Stars, Romford
  • Elms, Leigh on Sea
  • Blue Boar, Billericay
  • Parsons Barn, Shoeburyness
  • Cornfield Garage, Eastbourne
  • Oxted Inn, West Oxted
  • Lynd Cross, Horsham
  • Jack Fairman, Horley
  • George Hotel, Hailsham
  • Crowborough Cross, Crowborough
  • Standing Order, Southampton
  • Giddy Bridge, Southampton
  • Lord Arthur Lee, Fareham
  • Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis, Southampton
  • Wagon Works, Eastleigh
  • Crown Inn, Fareham
  • Six Bells, Lymington
  • Red Lion, Southampton
  • Railway Bell, New Barnet
  • Moon and Sixpence, Hatch End
  • Admiral Byng, Potters Bar
  • Ice Wharf, Camden (Lloyds)
  • Mossy Well, Muswell Hill
  • MUW, Watford
  • Catherine Wheel, Henley on Thames
  • King and Castle, Windsor (Lloyds)
  • Bear, Maidenhead
  • Red Lion and Pineapple, Acton
  • Moon on the Hill, Sutton
  • George, Staines
  • William Morris, Hammersmith
  • Botwell Inn, Hayes
  • Rocket, Putney
  • Tollgate, Haringey
  • MUW, Enfield
  • Spouters Corner, Wood Green
  • Moon and Cross, Waltham Cross
  • Waterend Barn, St Albans
  • Star, Hoddesdon
  • Leading Light, Faversham
  • County Hotel, Ashford
  • Golden Lion, Rochester
  • Saxon Shore, Herne Bay
  • Royal Victoria Pavilion, Ramsgate
  • Peter Cushing, Whitstable
  • Sir Norman Wisdom, Deal
  • Thomas Waghorn, Chatham
  • Belle and Lion, Sheerness
  • Golden Hope, Sittingbourne
  • Old Manor, Bracknell
  • Back of Beyond, Reading
  • John Russell Fox, Andover
  • Angel, Basingstoke (Lloyds)
  • Dockle Farmhouse, Swindon (Lloyds)
  • Sir Daniel Arms, Swindon (Lloyds)
  • Ivy House, Alton
  • Bridgehouse, Chippenham
  • Hatchet Inn, Newbury
  • Bell, Amesbury
  • J J Moons, Wembley
  • J J Moons, Ruislip Manor
  • Village Inn, Pinner
  • Greenwood Hotel, Northolt
  • Crown, Berkhamsted
  • Penny Black, Bicester
  • Golden Bee, Stratford upon Avon
  • Swan and Castle, Oxford
  • White Hart, Aylesbury (Lloyds)
  • Moon and Stars, Penge
  • Harvest Moon, Orpington
  • Sovereign of the Seas, Petts Wood
  • Surrey Docks, Rotherhithe
  • Richmal Crompton, Bromley
  • New Cross, Welling
  • Brockley Barge, Brockley
  • Furze Wren, Bexleyheath
  • Flying Boat, Dartford
  • Greyhound, Bromley
  • New Fairlop Oak, Barkingside
  • George, Wanstead
  • Great Spoon of Ilford, Ilford
  • Goldengrove, Stratford
  • Eva Hart, Chadwell Heath
  • Half Moon, Mile End
  • Hudson Bay, Forest Gate
  • Ledger Building, Docklands
  • Fox on the Hill, Denmark Hill
  • Asparagus, Battersea
  • Capitol, Forest Hill
  • MUW, Norbury
  • Assembly Rooms, Epsom
  • Sir Julian Huxley, Selsdon
  • Watchman, New Malden
  • Prince Arthur, Fleet
  • Queens Hotel, Aldershot
  • Humphrey Bean, Tonbridge
  • Society Rooms, Maidstone
  • West Quay, Brighton
  • Picture Playhouse, Bexhill on Sea
  • Hatters Inn, Bognor Regis
  • Parchment Makers, Havant
  • Star, Gosport
  • Sir Alec Rose, Port Solent
  • Man in the Moon, Newport IOW
  • Red Lion, Petersfield
  • Denmead Queen, Waterlooville
  • Lord Palmerston, Southsea (Lloyds)
  • Union Rooms, Plymouth (Lloyds)
  • Panniers, Barnstaple
  • Britannia Inn, Plymouth
  • Duke of Wellington, Minehead
  • Admiral Colingwood, Ilfracombe
  • Talk of the Town, Paignton
  • Stannary Court, Plympton
  • White Hart Hotel, Okehampton
  • Jolie Brise, Teignmouth
  • White House, Luton
  • Red Well, Wellingborough
  • Earl of Dalkeith, Kettering
  • Pilgrim’s Progress, Bedford
  • MUW, Milton Keynes
  • Saracen’s Head, Daventry
  • Gary Cooper, Dunstable
  • Swan Hotel, Leighton Buzzard
  • Cordwainer, Northampton
  • Railway Inn, Rushden
  • Crown Hotel, Biggleswade
  • Captain Ridleys Shooting Party, Bletchley
  • Rann Wartha, St.Austell
  • Green Parrot, Perranporth
  • King Doniert, Liskeard
  • Coinage Hall, Helston
  • Bottle Of Sack, Sutton Coldfield
  • Bellwether, Wednesbury
  • Bole Bridge, Tamworth
  • Mare Pool, Mere Green
  • St Matthews Hall, Walsall
  • Bloxwich Showman, Bloxwich
  • Avion, Aldridge
  • Hedgford Lodge, Hednesford
  • Perkin Warbeck, Taunton
  • Imperial, Exeter
  • Powder Monkey, Exmouth
  • George’s Meeting House, Exeter
  • Lantokay, Street
  • Cerdic, Chard
  • Carnival Inn, Bridgwater
  • White Ball Inn, Tiverton
  • Reeds Arms, Burnham on Sea
  • Sawyer’s Arms, Exeter
  • Chevalier Inn, Exeter (Lloyds)
  • Cabot Court Hotel, Weston Super Mare
  • Quarter Jack, Wells
  • Star Inn, Honiton
  • Figure of Eight, Birmingham
  • Bishop Vesey, Sutton Coldfield
  • White Swan, Solihull
  • Dragon Inn, Birmingham
  • Regal, Gloucester (Lloyds)
  • MUW, Cheltenham (Lloyds)
  • Waterfront Inn, Brierley Hill
  • Britannia, Rowley Regis
  • Crown, Worcester
  • Abraham Darby, Dudley
  • Royal Hop Pole, Tewkesbury
  • Foley Arms Hotel, Great Malvern
  • Chequers Inn, Stourbridge
  • Lord High Constable of England, Gloucester
  • Flying Standard, Coventry
  • Golden Cross Hotel, Bromsgrove
  • Old Swanne Inne, Evesham
  • City Arms, Coventry
  • Thomas Lloyd, Warwick
  • Black Horse, Birmingham
  • Spon Gate, Coventry (Lloyds)
  • Royal Enfield, Redditch (Lloyds)
  • Pump House, Shirley
  • Moon in the Square, Bournemouth
  • Lord Wimbourne, Poole
  • Royal Oak, Dorchester
  • Kings Head Inn, Salisbury
  • Quay, Poole
  • Blackwater Stream, Broadstone
  • Kingswood Collier, Bristol
  • Staple Hill Oak, Bristol
  • St George’s Hall, Redfield
  • V Shed, Bristol (Lloyds)
  • Knight’s Templar, Bristol
  • Glassmaker, Nailsea
  • Thorn’s Farm, Yate
  • Jolly Sailor, Hanham
  • Bear, Melksham
  • Palladium Electric, Midsomer Norton
  • Bath Arms, Warminster
  • Posset Cup, Portishead

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Food & Drink

A Greater Manchester chippy has started doing battered chip butties filled with gravy or curry sauce

I need to try one of these

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Flounders Fish & Chips Blackrod/Facebook

Flounders Fish and Chips in Blackrod has started selling a battered chip butty and customers are going mad for it!

The deep-fried treat will set you back just £2 and is served with either English curry, Chinese curry, gravy or mushy peas.

Staff say the new item is already flying out the deep fat fryer.

Owned by Victoria Flatters for the past eight years, Victoria reckons they are the only chippy in the area to sell the deep-fried treat.

The 50-year-old told the Manchester Evening News: “My daughter sent me a link about a battered and the shop was doing it down south.

“We weren’t sure about it because we thought it would be a bit of a mess.

“But they’re quite light and really nice. People have been coming back for more – one customer has been every day for two weeks!”

The barm is put in the fryer for three to four minutes before being turned over and cooked on the other side until crispy. It’s then topped with chips for a delicious treat.

Flounders Fish & Chips Blackrod/Facebook

Victoria added: “We are the only ones doing it in the area. I don’t know anyone else that’s doing it.

“We just thought we would do a bit of variety.

“With demand I have to keep up with what people like and what the changes are, it’s been a brilliant response.”

Right then – that’s tea tonight sorted!

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Food & Drink

Salford Rum launches new honeycomb, caramel and butterscotch rum to celebrate worker bees

Can’t wait to try this!

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Salford Rum/Facebook

Salford Rum Company has teamed up with Manchester-based beekeepers to create a new honeycomb flavoured rum.

The Salford Rum Company, created in 2018, is a luxury local premium rum created by rugby-league-playing high school pals James Harrison and Tommy Gaughan. 

Created to celebrate the history, heritage and people of Salford Docks throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s – which became the third-largest port in the UK – Salford rum takes inspiration from the rums of the Caribbean. 

The brand new Salford Honey Rum is distilled and bottled in the shadows of the old docks and created as a tribute to Salford’s Worker Bees.

Salford Rum/Facebook

Created in partnership with The Finest Honey, a beekeeping collective that sells surplus honey and sources honey from rescue bees.

The floral honey adds a sweetness coupled with intense golden spiced liquid rum to create a well-balanced flavour with honeycomb, caramel and butterscotch notes on the palate.

Presented in a rose gold foil print with a honeycomb motif designed by Dave Draws, the bottle also dons a worker bee on the seal and cap. 

Salford Rum co-founder James Harrison, said: “To coin a local phrase, we are absolutely ‘buzzing’ to launch the Honey Rum to our product portfolio.

“This third expression has been a long time coming and we have taken time to ensure it hits the right note with the UK’s growing number of spiced and premium rum drinkers.

Salford Rum/Facebook

“It’s great to partner with The Finest Honey, too – it’s a fantastic organisation that sells surplus honey from a range of regional producers, and the link-up is testimony to how we work in Manchester and Salford – collaboratively and for the greater good.

“Our products have developed a cult following regionally and are starting to gain a following nationally, too.

“We look forward to seeing how much our fans love the new Honey Rum, and how they use it creatively to make amazing cocktails and incredible creations at home.”

The preorder for the second batch was limited to 200 bottles, each individually numbered and they have already sold out. 

Keep an eye on their socials for the restock!

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