My Time Away on the Isle of Wight and Reviewing A Range of Isle of Wight Products
I recently took a short holiday to the Isle of Wight in Southern England. I have family who live permanently on the island so it’s a place filled with many fond memories for me. For such a small place, roughly 150 sq miles the island has such a lot to offer. If you haven’t been I will go into a little background for you before I continue with my review.
The Coloured Sands are probably what the island is most famous for, as well as the Yacht races and the incredible looking Needles of course. But the Isle of Wight is also home to Carisbrooke Castle, the Isle of Wight Steam Railway and of course the Roman Villa at Brading. If you’re planning on taking a trip to the island there are more than enough things to see and do, more so in the warmer months of the year. If you like animals I can recommend both the Isle of Wight Zoo and Amazon World Zoo, as well as the Monkey Haven which has primates and owls.
Now I’m going to discuss with you my thoughts on two of the islands products, both made and distributed from the Isle of Wight itself. These are, The Isle of Wight Biscuit Company and Wight Crystal.
Based on the island in the heart of the countryside, using dairy from it’s own herd, The Isle of Wight Biscuit Company pride themselves on making delicious handmade treats using local ingredients wherever possible.
Some of their range includes the original and rustic Farmhouse Cookie which is their oldest recipe, as well as a variety of melt in the mouth Shortbread’s, a Butter Crunch which comes in three varieties. And they have recently branched out into various flavours of Cookies, Shortbread Biscuits, Farmhouse Ryes and other savoury items such as Crackers, as well as novelty shaped biscuits.
And their latest creation is the Lemon Crumbles which you’ll find the review for later on in the post. Believe me it’s worth the wait! (I am salivating just recalling the experience)!
I also had the joy of sampling the water from Wight Crystal. This wonderful company was founded in 1988 when a new charity for the Island was created called Osel Enterprises. In the late 80’s there was little opportunity for anyone with a disability to find work on the island. Wight Crystal built a workforce of those who had been previously excluded from a job due to their physical or mental conditions, and set about harvesting a natural Isle of Wight resource to produce their first bottled water.
The water source is at Knighton and lies at the foot of chalk downland which is at the very heart of the Island. The Spring Water was first exploited in the 1800’s. Since Wight Crystal began it has grown to adding carbonated, flavoured and water coolers to its range.
At present Osel, via its Wayforward Programme, provides support services to more than 300 Island people living with a disability. Income from Wight Crystal sales supports The Wayforward Programme which provides 24/7 care support services for people with a learning disability across the Island. Money from every bottle of water sold helps to support and expand the care services to those in the Isle of Wight community who need help.
Isle of Wight Crystal can be found all over the island to purchase, including on the Ferries to and from the island.
So how did I come about reviewing these items, well I met all the ladies responsible for both businesses on my ferry crossing. The Wightlink Ferry St Clare was embarking on a special products testing and introduction because of their new shop opening on board. It would be stocking Isle of Wight products including a variety of companies who are established on the island. As I mingled around the deck trying a array of drink and cake and snacks, I was drawn to two tables in particular.
We got talking and I told them I was a blogger who loved to review UK based companies more than anything. Both of them were more than happy for me to review their products for them. My family were also keen to help review the biscuits (as you can probably imagine). So loaded up with a bag of ‘Made on the Isle of Wight’ items, we then set off to enjoy our holiday.
Upon returning to my part of England the following week I quickly began taking photographs of the remaining items I had left. I couldn’t possibly do a review with no pictures! I had to stop myself from eating the lot until I arrived home. My family members had began giving me and sending me their opinions on whichever Biscuit or Cookie or Rye they had tried, and so begins the review part of this experience and images of some of the tasty items too.
The Isle of Wight Crystal water is refreshing and delicious, I believe in everything that they are achieving in order to support people on the Isle of Wight living with a disability. The work they do is wonderful, and I can recommend you purchasing their products, knowing that your money will go to help someone.
The Isle of Wight Biscuit Company gave me a variety of items to try and taste to review. I did get the help of my Mother and her partner, and also my Husband, to devour and provide their opinions. I have then compiled our views to give each style of biscuit that we had an overall score.
Chocolate Chip with Dairy Cream contains Wheat Flour, Rolled Oats, Vegetable Oils (Palm and Rapeseed Oil), Brown Sugar, Golden Syrup, Chocolate Chips 5.4% (cocoa mass, soya-lecithin, sugar), Dairy Cream 3.9% (Milk), Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate
A Crumbly and Crunchy texture, but this Cookie melts in the mouth, the Chocolate Chips are sweet and it has a creamy aftertaste, it’s delicious.
Original Shortbread Ingredients 30g
Wheat Flour, Salted Butter (milk) 29.5%, Rice Flour and Caster Sugar.
Great texture, buttery and sweet with a lovely crumble to it. The delicious aftertaste of butter compliments the sweet sugar sprinkled on top. Some of the nicest shortbread I have had in a long time.
Lemon Crumbles Ingredients 30g
Vegetable Oils (Palm and Rapeseed), Sugar, Wheat Flour, Rice Flour, Lemon Juice 3.3%, Lemon Extract (Ethanol, Natural Oil of Lemon) 0.8%, Bicarbonate of Soda, Salt.
A delicious biscuit that not only crumbles but melts in the mouth, with a sweet and lemony initial kick, that has an aftertaste of biscuit perfection. You get salty crumble, sweet sugar and then sour lemon all in one mouthful sending your tongue into a taste frenzy. A unique biscuit that I thoroughly enjoyed eating, I did share it with my husband who agreed they would go beautifully with an Earl Grey Tea in an afternoon.
Poppy Seed; Delicious and Crunchy, perfect with soft cheese
Celery; An Unusual but Excellent tasting Rye,
eaten with soft cheese, there is a nice aftertaste of celery after the initial crunch.
Here are links to both the wonderful companies websites, and do search for them on social media such as Twitter to stay up to date on the latest products too! And if you visit the Isle of Wight this year don’t forget to buy your own to try!
Wight Crystal http://wightcrystal.org.uk/
Isle of Wight Biscuit Company http://www.islandbiscuits.co.uk/
Thank you for reading my review and lifestyle post today, I have thoroughly enjoyed writing and of course the tasting! I hope I will see you again soon for the next one.
Thank you for the samples from Isle of Wight Biscuit Company and from Wight Crystal.
✩ Sabrina ✩