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Carnivore Club Champions Scottish Charcuterie 


If you’ve been reading for a while then you’ll know that I love meat, I love local and I love trying new things. So when I was emailed by a company that send you boxes of Artisan British charcuterie it immediately piqued my interest. Each month uses a different charcuterie company and this months box contained meat from a Highland business called Great Glen Charcuterie. 



Great Glen Charcuterie are based in Roybridge, which is down Spean Bridge/ Fortwilliam way. I’d heard of them and been wanting to try their meat so this was a great taster box. They specialise in charcuterie using wild Scottish venison that they make by hand and air dry. 


The Carnivore Club is essentially an online company that send you meat. They use different British charcuterie companies every month so that you can try meat from smaller companies that you might not have heard of. Good for small businesses to get the word out. You can order a box as a one-off for a gift or start a monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly subscription. 
Perfect timing as it’s much easier for us to have a nice dinner in than out right now with a little baby. 

It arrived by courier and the meat was encased in a sturdy gift box. Inside there was a leaflet with information about the box and serving suggestions and five different products to try: two salamis, two chorizos and a venison bresaola. The aforementioned were venison pork salami, green peppercorn salami, chili venison chorizo & venison and pork chorizo. 

The first meat that we tried was the pork & venison chorizo. We used it in place of bacon on treat night in a creamy seafood pasta… delicious! We then used the venison and pork chorizo in place of our regular chorizo in our affectionately named ‘sexy pasta’ that uses roasted Mediterranean veg and herbs. Again, it was lovely. We liked both of the products and the only thing we found was that the chorizos weren’t as oily or paprika-y as normal chorizo so adjust recipes accordingly. 

The salamis are rich and tasty, a fantastic addition to an antipasti board alongside cheese, olives and proscuitto. 
The bresaola is being kept until date night because it is the one we are looking forward to the most. I’ll be doing it the traditional way with rocket and shaved Parmesan on top of the slices then drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over it. 

I thought that the box was good value. It’s £29 if you subscribe and £32 for a one-off and if my maths were right the box had £27.41 worth of products (not to mention the nice gift box) plus Great Glen charge £4.95 delivery so you’re making a saving. Since getting the box I’ve spotted Great Glen charcuterie at The Storehouse & Corner on the Square and they are (obviously) a little more expensive than buying direct so The Carnivore Club are competitive price wise. 

To get it every month you’d have to be a true carnivore, I would say that I am more on the bi-monthly part of the scale. The boxes are compiled using British companies & I hope to see and try more Scottish charcuterie in the future as I like to support local. 
We have friends scattered all over the UK and I’m constantly wracking my brain over what to buy them as gifts that are easy to send but still special so this will really help me out. It’s also a nice idea for new parents who might not go out for a while so that they can treat themselves at home.
I can be somewhat sceptical about these subscription services that send you things because I don’t always feel that they are good value for money but I can honestly say that the box I was sent by the Carnivore Club felt like it was. I’ve seen photos online of another box and it also looked like you got your money’s worth. A nice way to spend some disposable income on or to gift someone. Just not to a vegetarian! 

 

N.B The Carnivore Club kindly sent me a box to try. There was no pressure to be nice about it so I just gave my honest opinion. Im very selective about what I write about so research anyone who contacts me first. I’m actually about to order another box! 
This content has also been posted on my sister blog Highland Foodie 

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Make Up The Glasgow Way

I don’t do product reviews on here very often because it is not on brief of why I started Girl Around Glasgow – to share all the little restaurants & places in the city that deserve a mention, to keep them alive. I break my rule occasionally for something really special and this is one of those times. A Glaswegian make-up artist got in touch recently as she has just launched her first make-up line. So instead of helping the local restaurants & bars, today is about supporting local brands – c’mon Glasgow! I decided that I’d try a couple of products and only write about it if they were good enough so I’ve spent the last month with Sara Hill blusher on, red lips when appropriate and testing longevity of statement eyeshadow. 

First of all, a little background would be appropriate. Her website describes

‘Make-up artist/Art Director turned Magazine Editor Sara Hill is a free thinking creative, born in Scotland. With over 17 years’ in the industry, Sara had worked internationally on many fashion & advertising campaigns. Represented by London agency S: Management. Sara has worked with Kanye West, Marina and the diamonds Rae Morris, Indiana, Melanie C, Emile Sande, Jack O’Connell, Grace Jones, Rosie Huntington-Whitley and is the editor of Hope St mag’.

It all sounds rather impressive, but doesn’t necessarily mean that she can make-up (da-dum) a good product.

First of all, I really liked the packaging. It is sleek and classy, and felt like an expensive product. This matched their target market, with their pricing ranging from £17 a lipstick, £16 an eyeshadow and £19 a blush. In terms of pricing, it is in line with brands such as Mac and Benefit so I was expecting big things.

I started with the lipstick because us Scots ladies love a good lippy. I’d been sent a vibrant orange-red called Sadie Doll so I kept its first appearance for a night out at North Hop. It’s preservative free and contains ingredients such as Shea Butter, Jojoba, avocado and vitamins A, C & E to condition and moisturise the lips. But it also claimed to be long-lasting and high impact – things I don’t generally find in a moisturising lipstick. I know that some won’t approve but I never use lip brushes, too much faff, so I applied this straight from the stick then blotted and reapplied. Wearing it to an event that I was going to be drinking at all night was really putting it to the test but it held up well. The colour was vibrant as promised and it was still on at the end of the night with a few top ups during the night to help. It was certainly an encouraging start and I was more than happy with its performance.

The colour of the lipstick was very in your face so not one that I’d choose for every day use but they do have more neutral shades, such as Carmen & I-AM. I’d love to see more neutrals in the range to increase time when I would wear the shades. Orchid’s purpley hues also look like a great party lip colour if you aren’t a red lip fan.

The second product that I have been trying is the baked mineral blush that claims to be instant radiance for your cheeks in shade Honey bell. This was my favourite product out of the three. It is neutral enough for everyday use, I like the clean packaging and it gave me a healthy glow when my skin wasn’t playing ball. I usually use Chanel blush and nothing else so it had quite a challenge but I was impressed with the results. When put to the test, it stays on even on 14 hour shifts, very impressive.

The last product that I tried was an eyeshadow in pure sable- a rich brown. I admit that this is the one that has been given the least testing because it’s quite a dark shade for my complexion and I haven’t been brave enough to wear it much. I have never found a powder eyeshadow to match up to a long shift and I especially wasn’t trying it with my body temperature higher than normal courtesy of the current hot water bottle living in my tummy. So I have worn it on non-work days instead. I prefer to use a light layer, sometimes mixed with a gold shade but next time I think I will try deep plum or French grey for all round usage.

This photo was taken after a couple of layers on the hand just to illustrate the colour with its irredescent shimmer. Gorgeous rich shade but just not for my complexion. 

The make-up that I tried was impressive – Sara’s background has served her well when making the products. I’ve also spotted glitter pots on her Twitter feed that look perfect for big festive nights out that have made it straight on my want list. 
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You can find the range at http://sarahill.com/
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Disclaimer: I was sent Sara Hill products but was upfront about my policy of honest reviewing. If I had not have liked them then I would have written as such or they would not have made it on to the blog. 

I have continued to use the products because I actually like them & will be buying more of this brand. 

  

Argento

I may not be a beauty blogger, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not passionate about all things girly. Those savvy folk from Argento jewellers sent me a Valentine’s surprise box and I definitely got all girly opening it!

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Argento’s roots go back to Belfast in 1997, when Pete Boyle decided to create a welcoming, casual jewellers. Now he tends to focus on quality fashion jewellery and is best known for taking Pandora to the UK. I used to shop at Argento in Glasgow’s West End but I have also been to the Belfast store. Inverness has a Pandora shop in the Eastgate Centre or I can buy other jewellery online – or make an excuse for a Glasgow trip!

The August Woods trio flower pendant necklace that they sent me retails for £25. A bit more bling than my usual style, I think this would be suited to wearing with a plain top or dress to show it off.

IMG_0094 (How it looks on the website)

Since I was on the website, I started browsing and found a gorgeous August Wood dress bib necklace that would look great for cocktails with the girls.

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I also like the chunky style to this ring…

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They sent me a selfie stick to celebrate that they are giving away selfie sticks on orders over £50 whilst stocks last – I’m a novice so excuse the photography.
Argento have offered to give my readers 20% off their next order* – handy if you are buying a Valentine’s gift this year. Just enter LOVE20 in the promo bit at the checkout.

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Along with my Argento goodies, I was sent some Vita Liberata self tan mousse in medium shade. It was excellent to get self tan that didn’t leave me smelling like biscuits and the mitt made it easy to apply. I found that it went on quite light in colour but you can layer it up for a darker result, although this could work out an expensive option. It is organic and definitely a luxury item with it retailing around £20 but it claims to last 2-3 weeks. I’ll update the post when I get to that stage. It would suit people with lighter skin and you don’t need to moisturise before putting it on.

Remember to enter LOVE20 at the online checkout* if you’re buying anything from Argento to get your discount.

*not valid on Pandora or Nomination

The BBC Good Food Show In Glasgow

In October we went along to The Good Food Show at the SECC to find some new loves. Camera issues delayed this post but better late than never! In 2015 it will be running from the 6th to 8th of November so ask it off work now just to be sure.

The queen of baking, Mary Berry, was there doing cooking demos so the first thing I did was stand transfixed watching her make something lovely. Paul Hollywood didn’t even get a look-in with me… There’s definitely something about Mary.

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I managed to catch blogger Emma from Food & Drink Glasgow on the interview stage before more gin samples. I felt a little bit proud to see my local, Drygate, (all the way from Dennistoun) at the show and couldn’t turn down an Outaspace Apple ale sample.

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They had some non stick pans that actually looked amazing, and if we weren’t about to just move house, we would have bought a set. My in-laws bought some at the show last year and they actually do what they say. We settled on some saucisson instead…

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The sheer volume of produce that I wanted was just too much. I can’t wait to go next year (not in the middle of a house move) and buy bags of lovely things and boozy Christmas presents.

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At the back of the theatre there was the BBC Good Food kitchen, where you could pick up freshly cooked lunch to really make a day of it.

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Mr Hollywood was signing copies of his book. There was a long queue of ladies as you can imagine.

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C’mon the Highlands!

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Venison is a lean meat that is fairly healthy – need I say any more?

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Some of the stall holders had used interesting decoration to draw people in – this veggie sausage stall was one of my favourites.

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The boss of the meat world was there with a selection of black pudding, bacon, sausages and white pudding.

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All in all, we spent the best part of a day here. You could easily go for breakfast and stay for lunch or do all-day grazing. I admit that I thought most of the producers wouldn’t be local but I was wrong & found several local producers that I’d never heard of.
If you get your tickets early then they include a ticket for the super theatre to see the celebrity chefs. See you there in November.

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Glasgow You’re Slipping Out Of My Reach

I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve felt terrible not saying anything on here about it but this morning I decided that the time has come… I’m leaving Glasgow!
By the end of the year I will no longer live in this amazing city and I’m feeling sad about it this morning. Being away from my friends & family up north finally pulled me back to Inverness when a job offer up there came about.

So that’s why things on here have been so quiet recently. Between painting and decluttering the flat, sorting out getting the flat on the market, working full-time & spending as much time with friends down here as possible, it’s been a busy month.
I have a bit of a backlog so I’ve still got some lovely meals to tell you about and the BBC Good Food Show Glasgow. To be honest I’m not sure how I’m going to live without Celino’s, La Lanterna and Tempo Tea (among others) so I’ll be up and down the road regularly for the first year at least to wean myself off these delicious addictions.

I intend to still blog on here whenever I’m down visiting folk so make sure you’re signed up for e-mail notifications. It will just mean relentless eating and drinking in a small space of time- I think I’ll manage!

Until then, keep reading what I’ve been up to recently and follow my second blog, Highland Foodie, as I begin this new journey.

I’m going to miss you more than words can say Glasgow.

Also follow Highland Foodie on
Twitter: @highlandfoodie
Instagram: highland foodie
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/highlandfoodie
E-mail me at thehighlandfoodie@gmail.com

Competition Time: Win Tickets For Edinburgh foodie Festival!

As I mentioned in my blog’s first birthday post, Girl Around Glasgow is running its first competition!

Foodies Festival is back in Edinburgh’s Inverleith Park on Friday the 8th, Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th of August. It is the biggest celebration of food and drink in the UK and I can’t wait to go as one of their official bloggers (and write about it afterwards). Inverleith Park is half an hour walk from Waverley station or a short taxi journey if it rains.

 

I won’t be taking part in the chilli eating contest but I will check out the (mild section of the) chilli food market and you’ll find me boogie-ing it on down at the vintage tea tent dances. Then I definitely won’t miss the real ale & cider farm. The feasting tent and BBQ area will be where I spend most of my time, no surprise there. Finally, street food avenue with its foods from around the world sounds fantastic.

 

Running for its eighth year, chefs will include MasterChef the Professionals runners-up Adam Handling and Scott Davies, Great British Menu’s Jacqueline O’Donnell of The Sisters, Mark Greenaway of Bistro Moderne, TV Chef Tony Singh, The Pompadour by Galvin Head Chef Craig Sandle, Café St Honore’s Neil Forbes and Glasgow’s The Three Sisters bakers Gillan, Nichola and Linsey. Catch them all at the chefs theatre cooking up their favourite dishes.

 

Courtesy of those generous Foodie Festival folk, I am giving away 5 pairs of day tickets. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is follow this blog by e-mail. You can do this at the right hand side of this page near the top. On a mobile device just scroll down the page and under categories it says ‘follow blog by e-mail’ and fill your e-mail in. Once you have done this, head over to your email inbox where there should be an email from WordPress waiting for you. Click on it to confirm you want blog emails. If you already follow my blog by e-mail then like this post on wordpress or comment on it to be in with a chance of winning.

 

I will announce the winner on Tuesday the 16th of July. Good luck!

If you don’t win then Foodies Festival are giving all of my readers 2 for 1 tickets if you quote FOODIES241 when you book.
I can’t wait to hear what you thought & tweet me (@girlaroundglasg) with any photos.

Guest Post: West End Festival Fun

I was in Corfu (BBQ’ing a baby pig no less) on the West End Festival Parade Day. As it is such a great event, and a huge part of Glasgow’s summer calendar, I did not want to miss out so I asked Nicola & Lindsay from Cakehounds to cover it for me. This is what they thought of this years event…

 

Glasgow’s West End Festival kicked off our unofficial start of summer with the its 19th annual Parade Day on Sunday 8th of June. Hoping for sunshine but preparing for all seasons, we packed our sunglasses and cagoules and headed off to join the fun.

We’ve been to the parade before, but this was our first in our new-found blogger capacity, so we were keen to explore and see as much of the action as we could – plus it gave us an excuse to try more of the food and drinks that were on offer. Thankfully we escaped the one huge downpour while we were en route, and the rest of the day was sunshine-filled, perfectly matching the atmosphere in the West End. Byres Road was buzzing, and filled with families, dogs, children and performers, and it seemed like the whole city had turned out to witness the parade.

After a quick drink in the Ubiquitous Chip, we made our way round Ashton Lane and up Byres Road, taking in the performers, musicians and street stalls that covered the roads. The smell of street food from the local cafes and restaurants was mouth-watering, and we knew we were going to have a tough decision later when it came to where to eat. We stopped to enjoy the table tennis at Hillhead Book Club and treated ourselves to a glass of bubbly from Booly Mardy’s pop up bar before finding a spot on Byres Road to watch the parade.

The 500-strong parade kicked off at 3pm, and it was a riot of colour and noise – we could barely take photos fast enough! Based on the theme of Identity this year, the community groups and organisations involved were dressed in everything from bellydancer costumes to rollerskates. Some of our highlights included Sambayabamba, the Glasgow Steampunk Society, cabaret dancers, aliens, giant Irn Bru cans and an amazing Chinese Dragon. The energy was fantastic and we were only sorry when it was over and continued on down Byres Road, followed by a huge crowd of spectators eager to join in.

We took the opportunity for some well-earned sustenance, and after a careful scout out of the surrounding food stalls, we decided upon Smoak in Ashton Lane. We both opted for the 12hr smoked pulled pork in a brioche bun with slaw, onion and gherkins. At £5, it was worth every single bite – we were glad we passed by the burger vans and waited for this! After that it was off to Butterfly and Pig West to end our day with a couple of cocktails – all that parade action was thirsty work, after all…

 

You can see Nicola & Lindsay’s tales on Cakehounds here. Recent posts include a visit to Three Sisters Bake (I really want to go), a Glasgow cocktail tour and a recipe for strawberry daiquiri cupcakes.

 

 

Guest Posts: Glasgow Artists

Today we have a guest post on the blog, written by Magda Bennett from Crush Digital. She got in touch after reading the blog as she deals with local artists and designers. As you will all know, I love shopping local so I’m excited to share the piece with you.

 

 

Glasgow has been known as a creative and cultural city for many years, with lots of musicians, actors and artists hailing from the city. Today, Glasgow is home to many talented designers who take inspiration from the city and the surrounding Scottish landscape; here are a few of the best Glasgow designers to look out for.

 

Jill Kirkham Textiles

 

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Specialising in bespoke screenprinted textiles for the home, Jill Kirkham’s designs are inspired by the iconic buildings, landmarks and natural environments which represent Glasgow’s industrial heritage. The prints include iconic urban and industrial symbols like the Anniesland Gasworks, the Caledonian Railway Bridge and the Gallowgate Twins tower block. The fabrics Jill Kirkham uses to create her cushions, lampshades and other designs also reflect Glasgow’s heritage; she uses functional materials with an industrial aesthetic like cotton drill, canvas and linen.

 

Gillian Kyle

 

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Gillian Kyle is a Glasgow native who, after graduating from Glasgow School of Art, took her passion for illustration and print and turned it into a business. Gillian Kyle has quickly become one of Scotland’s most popular young designers, and has gone from screenprinting on her kitchen table to selling her designs worldwide. Inspired by Scottish humour, eccentricities of national pride and popular culture, Gillian’s quirky illustrations are instantly recognisable. As well as her iconic Tunnock’s Teacakes and Caramel Wafer range, Gillian Kyle also creates mugs, tea towels, aprons, tote bags and more which celebrate Scottish childhood nostalgia and famous Scots like Charles Rennie Macintosh.

 

Nikky d’Aguilar

 

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Based just outside Glasgow at Bardowie Loch, Nikky d’Aguilar’s designs are heavily influenced by the beauty of nature in the wild garden which surrounds Nikky’s studio. Her designs are created on canvas using oil paints and brushes to create vivid colours and striking designs; these are then printed on to a range of tote bags, makeup bags, scarves and even iPad covers. The gorgeous floral prints capture the vibrancy of the Scottish landscape after a summer rain shower.

 

Katherine Agnew

 

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Glasgow jewellery designer Katherine Agnew often takes inspiration for her designs from the varied landscape of the Scottish Highlands. She gives her jewellery a modern twist with geometric shapes, 3D structures and a mixture of precious metals and gemstones. Katherine Agnew’s designs are based on the repetition of intricate patterns found in the natural environment; her Clover range takes the recognisable shape of this well-known plant and modernises it to create striking pieces of jewellery.

 

Amy McGregor

 

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All of Amy McGregor’s designs are screenprinted by hand in her studio in Bridge of Weir to create bespoke printed homeware and fashion accessories. Amy has a passion for creating unique textiles and her work focuses on distinctive textures and contemporary geometric and floral designs. With everything from prints to cushions and scarves to tote bags, Amy McGregor’s products are all handmade in Glasgow using the best quality materials sourced from throughout the UK.

 

Innovivid Art House

 

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Originally from Canada, Innovivid Art House’s founder Kimmy is a “Scotland-loving-Glasgow-living” freelance graphic designer. Her love of Scotland and digital design has come together in Innovivid’s range of bright pop art style prints. The fun prints which feature everyday objects and Scottish icons with a new twist – like neon Highland cows, stags, thistles or red squirrels! – are perfect for brightening up any home. Innovivid Art House also offer personalised prints so you can have your own photos turned into pop art prints.

 

Who are your favourite Glasgow designers?

 

Laura: My personal favourites are the stag print from Innovivid and Gillian Kyle’s ‘big fish’ range. Happy shopping!

Cosmopolitan Blog Awards

I’m not going to lie- this is a shameless attempt to get you guys to vote for Girl Around Glasgow for newcomer at the Cosmo Blog Awards. There’s stiff competition but I thought I’d give it a go.

To cast your vote from a mobile device click here or from a computer click here
and when it asks which blog you want to nominate for newcomer then I’d be chuffed to bits if you wrote

https://girlaroundglasgow.wordpress.com

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Thanks for all your help (terrible begging ends!).

I’m In A Book, Mum!

This week saw the launch of a new Cookery book called The Foodies Guide To Glasgow & The West. The book is the result of heaps of hard work by Fraser Wilson, a fellow blogger, putting the whole thing together. It is a collection of recipes submitted by Glasgow’s restaurateurs, chefs and bloggers.

 

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Recipes from some of my personal favourite, and Glasgow’s top, restaurants are included. Places like Guys, The Gannet, Rogano & La Parmigiana make the Glasgow culinary scene what it is & now I can take a hint of it to my kitchen.

 

Le Chardon D'or

Le Chardon D’or

 

Fraser has also added reviews throughout the book and there are pages focusing on how to get the best out of your local produce, such as the Butchershop’s steak guide. For the real foodies among us, some of Glasgow’s chefs leave a foreword on their recipe page.

 

The Gannet's Peter McKenna & Ivan Stein

The Gannet’s Peter McKenna & Ivan Stein

 

And of course there’s a blogger section that features my pork recipe that Mr S & I love so much. Pork is massively underrated & marred by ‘porky’ tasting supermarket meat from the 80’s. Now you can get some fantastic tasting meat – give pork a second chance!

 

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For each copy of the book sold a 50p donation goes to Mary’s Meals, a charity that sets up school feeding projects for those who can’t afford to feed themselves. The charity helps children in poverty all around the world get an education – something badly needed for the 57 million children around the world not in school.

 

The book is priced at £9 and can be bought from Amazon (here) and will soon be available from other local retailers.