Energy bill price cap could jump to £2,800 in October warns Ofgem chief

Credit: Getty Images

Families are already feeling the strain of rising living costs, with the Ofgem chief predicting that the energy bill price cap will rise to £2,800 this autumn. 

Energy costs are at an all-time high, and the recent increase in National Insurance is putting even more strain on household budgets.

The escalating expenses don’t appear to be slowing down, as Jonathan Brearley told the Commons Business Committee that due to the volatile gas market in October, the price cap will increase by about £1,000.

The announcement comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak considered charging a windfall tax on energy providers and oil and gas companies in an effort to support struggling households.

Credit: Getty Images

Gas prices have already increased by approximately fourfold since 2020. Due to a variety of global factors, including increased demand during the lockdown and export difficulties.

Boris Johnson warned last week that he can’t “magic away” all the rising food and energy costs as he faced mounting pressure to address the crisis.

“We need the government to step in… broadly, this is only something the government can address,” Mr Brearley told MPs.

Mr Brearley noted that families are in for more daunting news, adding, “I do need to be clear with this committee, with customers and with the government about the likely price implications for October.

“Therefore later today I will be writing to the Chancellor to give him our latest estimates of the price cap uplift.”

Credit: Getty Images

Although the exact amount of the increase is unclear, families should expect a price cap of around £2,800 in October.

Until September 31, the current ceiling of £1,971 applies. It was an increase of £693 above the previous cap, which had been in place for six months.

Thousands more Brits are expected to get into debt in October, with at least four out of ten people facing fuel poverty.

According to Samuel Kasumu, a former advisor to the Prime Minister, ethnic minority Brits would be the most hit, with just 30% having a month’s worth of money to see them through the crisis.

Even after individuals were smacked with “record” increases in energy bills on April 1, Simone Rossi, chief executive of EDF energy, warned last month that “the worst is yet to come.”

Mr Sunak has reportedly directed Treasury staff to work on preparations on possible tax on more than £10 billion in excess profits made by power generators, including windfarm operators.

Despite rising costs, energy companies have been making record profits. The war in Ukraine is driving up global wholesale costs. However, Treasury sources claim that no decision on a windfall tax scheme has yet been taken.

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Is Sally Nugent married and what is her salary? All you need to know about the BBC Breakfast host

Credit: Future/Getty

Since taking over as a full-time presenter in autumn 2021, viewers of BBC Breakfast have been wondering if Sally Nugent is married and what she gets up to outside the studio. 

It was welcome news for fans of the BBC’s flagship morning show when Sally Nugent was announced as Louise Minchin’s replacement on BBC Breakfast last October. The smiley and stylish presenter was no stranger to viewers, having reported the daily sports news to viewers for the last 10 years. And so seemed the perfect fit to join her fellow Breakfast team on the red sofa.

In early 2022 viewers were left wondering where is Sally Nugent? after she was unexpectedly missing from screens. However, her absence was thankfully short as she returned to co-host just days later. Most recently she spilled Carol Kirkwood’s engagement news live on air and said a sad goodbye to colleague Dan Walker who quit the show after six years. He is expected to start work at Channel 5 news shortly – though we’re still waiting for news of his replacement.

Is Sally Nugent married?

Yes, BBC Breakfast presenter Sally Nugent is married with one child. The 50-year-old likes to keep her personal life private, so her husband’s name is not known – but she married her long-term boyfriend and the couple have a son together.

Her son’s age and name have not been revealed, however Sally is understood to have given birth back in 2008 and returned to work following her maternity leave on 8th January 2009.

And in 2016 Sally unexpectedly stood in as the birthing partner for a colleague Victoria Fritz when she gave birth at Manchester’s St Mary’s as her husband was stuck in traffic on the motorway.

The family also has a pet dog – a Cavalier King Charles and a Toy Poodle mix called Sadie.

Sally is a very private person, but you can see a glimpse of her on her wedding day on her Instagram as on the staircase there is a photo of what appears to be Sally and her husband as bride and groom in the top right hand side of the photo below.

The star likes cycling and walking her dog. She has been known to practice yoga and try out different health juices.

Where is Sally Nugent from?

Sally was born in Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula and went to Upton Hall School FCJ. She went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts and French from the University of Huddersfield. She landed her first BBC media job at BBC Radio Merseyside, before joining BBC North West Tonight to cover the sports news.

Her big break came in 2003 when she became a sports reporter for BBC News and appeared on national bulletins for the first time and went on to BBC News 24 to cover the 2006 World Cup in Germany and anchored Sportsday.

Following this, Sally became a news correspondent on TV and radio and a relief presenter on the BBC News Channel covering for presenters on holiday or unplanned absences.

When did Sally Nugent become a full-time BBC Breakfast host?

In October 2021, Sally was confirmed as a new full-time BBC Breakfast presenter, replacing Louise Minchin on the show. She joined the team which includes Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty. Sally is known to co-host the show with Dan Walker, but since he left the show has been doing the job alongside Jon Kay.

Sally seemed to be the natural fit to take over following the departure of Louise Minchin, having already earned fans as the show’s sports presenter for the past decade.

I am so happy for @sallynugent. She is a brilliant presenter, massively popular with the team, an excellent journalist and a great friend.

Hopefully we’ll have many happy years on the #BBCBreakfast sofa together.

Oh… and she’s coming to #Strictly this weekend https://t.co/K9eBFI9bM6

— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) October 27, 2021

She first started freelancing on BBC Breakfast in 2011 and has worked her way through the ranks since. As sports presenter, she picked up a the Scoop of the Year award at the 2021 Royal Television Society Journalism Awards. This was for her chat with Marcus Rashford on his efforts to end child poverty.

What is Sally Nugent’s salary?

The Sun have estimated Sally Nugent’ salary to be around £250,000 a year. This is most likely an estimate based on her fellow female colleague Naga Munchetty earning’s which for the 2020/2021 financial year, the BBC shared was £255,000.

It’s thought that Sally’s BBC income has increased since becoming a regular host in October 2021.

The mum-of-one has never publicly confirmed her net worth or salary. However in 2020, the Breakfast star responded to a Twitter user who suggested her shoes on the show were by luxury designer Christian Louboutin and so must be earning more than the Chancellor:

“My shoes are from marks and Spencer and I guarantee the Chancellor earns more than me #Just Saying,” she replied. Britain’s current Chanceller of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak earns £79,000 as his base salary, plus another £71,000 for his role as Chancellor.

Video of the Week:

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Best travel cots 2022 tried and tested by parents

Credit: Joie

The best travel cots tick three boxes; they’re light and compact for easy packing, simple to assemble quickly when you reach your destination, and they offer a safe and secure place for your baby to sleep in comfort away from home overnight.

Unlike a baby’s everyday cot, a travel cot is lightweight and portable so that you can take it with you on holiday or away overnight with your baby. The best travel cots are also easy to assemble quickly – ideally with one hand since you might have a restless baby who’s tired from a long journey. Travel cots are also simple to disassemble – especially if you’re rushing to catch a flight – and pack down neatly into their own storage bag so they can be stored as luggage or even carried.

If you’re planning a holiday with a baby, you might also be interested in our guide to the best lightweight travel strollers. But if you prefer to leave the buggy at home and travel light, our baby carriers buying guide might be a helpful read. 

Best travel cots at a glance

Best travel cot overall: Joie Kubbie Sleep Travel Cot – John Lewis | £105
Best travel cot (premium buy): Baby Bjorn Travel Cot Light – Baby Bjorn| £247.00
Best travel cot (budget buy): The Red Kite Sleep Tight Travel Cot – Amazon | £34.99
Best travel cot for camping and festivals: Little Life Arc 2 Travel Cot – Little Life | £149.99
B
est travel cot for a luxurious mattress: Nuna Sena Aire Travel Cot – John Lewis | £230.00
Best travel cot for vibration and musical features:
Graco Contour Electra Travel Cot – Amazon £119.99
Best travel cot for cosleeping: Micralite Sleep & Go Travel Cot – Amazon | £195.00

Based on our in-depth parent reviews, the Joie Kubbie Sleep Travel Cot is our pick of the best travel cot you can buy. ‘It has every feature you’ll find on a top-of-the-range travel cot but without the premium price tag,’ explains our Consumer Editor, Heidi Scrimgeour. ‘What makes this the best travel cot of all those we tested is the newborn insert – brilliant for supporting your back whilst bringing your baby up from ground level to bed height – and the fact that the sides drop down so that you can use the travel cot as a co-sleeper too. We love that it’s also safe for use as a playpen. That’s such a useful feature when you’re away from home and adds even more value to this versatile and affordable travel cot.’

How we chose and tested the best travel cots

Our Consumer Editor looked at the latest pram offering from the market-leading brands across a range of price points and put together this shortlist based on her product knowledge and industry research. (As a mum of three and parenting journalist for 15 years, what she doesn’t know about baby gear isn’t worth knowing.)  
Then we called on our pool of parent testers and assigned them each a pram to review. They rigorously tested the product with a baby of the relevant age for at least ten days, in a variety of weather conditions and on different types of terrain to give an all-around picture of what it’s like to use in real life. Our testers gave each product a rating out of five for overall performance and also provided comprehensive feedback on key factors including design appeal, manoeuvrability, functionality, portability and value for money.
To determine the best travel cots we looked at:
Designtravel cots come in a wide variety of styles but the key feature is how compactly they pack away since you’ll probably want yours to fit in your car boot along with other luggage. We also took into account design features like the quality of the fabrics and materials used (including the thickness of the mattress), whether it can double as a playpen, and how stylish it looks.
Ease of use—is assembling and dismantling this travel cot intuitive, or do you need to read the instructions to work out what to do? Could you put it up in the dark with a tired baby in your arms, and pack it away in a hurry?
Special featuresis there an insert for younger babies to bring them from floor level up to bed height? Are there any music, light or sound features? Or any other extra functionality that adds value for money?
Priceis the travel cot expensive or affordable? We looked at whether it’s worth the money or if you could spend less but get the same functionality from a different brand.
Real mum reviewsin addition to our Consumer Editor’s expert insights, we assembled a panel of parent testers (and their babies) to put each travel cot to the test.

When picking the best travel cot for your needs, consider where and how frequently you’re likely to use it. If you frequently travel with your baby, the weight and portability of the travel cot are the main priorities. But if you just need it for occasional overnight use, then a comfortable mattress and sturdy construction are more important than its dimensions. Alternatively, if you’ll be using a travel cot for a newborn, it’s well worth choosing one with a newborn insert and an integrated changing station to help make nights away from home a little easier.

The best travel cots as reviewed by our parent testers

1. Joie Kubbie Sleep Travel Cot

Best travel cot overall – a multi-functional, well-priced option

Credit: Joie

 

 

 

 

 


Star rating:
| Weighs: 8.79kg | Age: Birth to 15kg

Pros
Cons

Affordable
Easy to assemble
Thick mattress included
Multi-functional use as a playpen 
On the heavy side

VIEW AT JOHN LEWIS | £105

The Joie Kubbie Sleep Travel Cot is a clever piece of baby kit. It comes with a newborn insert that zips into place so that you don’t have to bend down to lift your baby out. ‘Having a tiny baby up so high feels much safer, plus, it’s much easier on mums like me who’ve had a C-section,’ says our tester Charlotte. In co-sleeping mode, the cot sides drop down with a few simple clicks and the cot can be attached to a bed with straps which are provided.

The innovation doesn’t stop there; the Kubbie Sleep also converts into a playpen with a zippable entrance so toddlers can roam freely in and out. However you’re using this cot, it’s easy to assemble. ‘I like that this has been designed with common sense in mind,’ adds Charlotte. ‘There’s nothing too complicated or hi-tech – perfect for sleep-deprived parents!’ Her daughter seemed to agree and had a good night’s sleep.

2. BabyBjörn Travel Cot Light

Best premium travel cot – a cinch to assemble and cleverly designed to double as a playpen

Credit: BabyBjörn

 

 


Star rating:
| Weighs: 6kg (including bag) | Age: From birth to 3 years

Pros
Cons

High quality
Compact and lightweight
Easy to use and assemble
No newborn insert
Pricey but an investment buy
 

VIEW AT BABY BJORN | £247.00

BabyBjörn’s take on a travel cot is an easy-to-assemble design with mesh sides and a surprisingly soft and thick mattress. Our tester Hollie was able to put up the cot one-handed while holding a baby and without reading any of the instructions – a pretty impressive feat. Her 10-month-old slept well in the cot and had ‘enough space to move around in her sleep,’ but Hollie didn’t think it would be big enough for her to sleep in aged three. She also had some reservations as she found the base very low to the ground. ‘I wouldn’t want to have the cot positioned anywhere that was draughty or cold as I felt that Margot was a little vulnerable so low down.’ However, the low base does mean that the cot is multi-functional and can be used as a playpen at home or on holiday.

When the holiday is over, everything can then be folded up and put into the handy bag that’s included. ‘When packed up the bag definitely feels sturdy enough to withstand any rough handling in transit,’ adds Hollie. ‘It’ll make my holiday less stressful too because it’s so easy to assemble. And I can use it as Margot’s playpen to keep her safe if we’re near a swimming pool.’

3. Red Kite Sleep Tight Travel Cot

Best budget travel cot – fuss-free and basic but perfectly adequate

Credit: Red Kite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star rating: | Weighs: 7.1kg | Age: From birth to 15kg

Pros
Cons

Affordable
Easy to assemble
Compact, no-nonsense design 
On the small side
Basic design with no extras 

VIEW AT AMAZON | £34.99

The Red Kite Sleep Tight Travel Cot is a classic, stylish design with supporting legs that are easy to assemble. Its mesh sides allow babies to look out if they are sitting up and everything is fully padded to avoid injury. This is a relatively lightweight travel cot, weighing just over 7kg, so it’s a good flexible option for those wanting something portable but also sturdy enough for older babies to sleep in.

It comes with a bag that it folds into for easy storage. Our tester Darryl couldn’t get over how easy this travel cot was to put together. In the past, she has struggled with travel cots borrowed from friends. ‘Kneeling on them, pushing them and mostly pleading with them to just PLEASE fold down,’ she says. But there were no such dramas with this. ‘The knack for putting up and down a travel cot can be tricky, but not with this,’ she says. In terms of comfort, Darryl’s daughter Cole slept well, waking up just once and settling easily after a feed.

4. Little Life Arc 2 Travel Cot

Best travel cot for camping 

Credit: Little Life

 

 

 

 

 


Star rating:
| Weighs: 2.5kg | Age: From birth to 3 years

Pros
Cons

Lightweight
Anti-insect mesh
Comfortable mattress
Niche product
Tricky to assemble at first
 

VIEW AT LITTLE LIFE | £149.99

The Little Life Arc 2 is not your average travel cot. It’s one of the lightest in our buying guide, coming in at 2.5kg, and is perfect for thrill-seeking parents who want to take their babies on adventures. ‘It comes in a neat, portable rucksack which it is easy to pack in and out of,’ says our tester Charlotte. The Little Life is more tent than travel cot and is put together with poles and a single specially designed sheet. Once the poles and sheet have been bent into position, you insert a surprisingly thick, waterproof mattress into the cot via Velcro strips. ‘It wasn’t the easiest cot to assemble but I think you’d get quicker with practice,’ adds Charlotte. Her daughter tested the cot during one of her naps and after initially finding the mesh sides fun to pull and push, she settled down on the mattress and snoozed for a decent period of time.

This isn’t really a travel cot for a weekend away – its features include a ventilated, anti-insect mesh, ground pegs for outdoor use and zip-down panels. ‘This would be perfect for travelling in a hot country, a summer festival or a UK camping trip,’ said our tester. ‘For indoor use, you need to attach it to a suitable piece of furniture, which was a bit difficult to find.’ It’s good value for such a niche item but you’d probably still need a standard travel cot for shorter, local trips.

5. Nuna Sena Aire Travel Cot

Best travel cot for a plush mattress

Credit: Nuna Sena

 

 

 

 

 

Star rating: | Weighs: 10kg  | Age Range: From birth to 3 years

Pros
Cons

Comfortable
Clever design
Newborn insert
Quite heavy
Pricey but an investment buy 

VIEW AT JOHN LEWIS | £230.00

The Nuna Sena Aire Travel Cot has a unique assembly system which our tester Darryl found a cinch to use. ‘I’ve read up on it and it’s to do with a zig-zag leg design, which means it pretty much just pushes into place and can be folded away with one hand,’ she says. Once you’ve got the cot up, you’ll see why it justifies its £200-plus price tag. Firstly, it comes with a newborn insert that sits up high and saves your back from extra bending – especially good if you’ve had a C-section. When your baby has outgrown this stage, the insert is removed and they sleep on a luxuriously thick, padded mattress over a cushioned bed. There are lots of other nice, stand-out features too such as skid-proof feet, an organic cotton sheet to pop over the mattress, and soft, padded edges.

The Aire doubles up as a playpen, which is always handy, but our tester did find it quite bulky – something that you’d need to think about if you plan to regularly move it around. ‘The only downside is how big it is. If space isn’t a problem in the car, then this can’t be faulted,’ she adds. At 10kg, this isn’t a light travel cot but the design is more focused on the baby’s comfort than on portability.

6. Graco Contour Electra Travel Cot

Best travel cot for music and vibration features

Credit: Graco

Star rating: | Weighs: 12.95kg  | Age: From birth to 15kg

Pros
Cons

Nightlight, music and vibration features
Easy to assemble
Doubles as a playpen 
Heavy to lift
Bulky

VIEW AT AMAZON | £119.99

This travel cot isn’t especially portable as it’s large and robust but that does allow your baby lots of space to move around and it doubles as a playpen. ‘Other than it being heavy and a bit bulky to store and travel with, I think the Graco Contour Electra is an excellent travel cot that has some fabulous features,’ says our tester Hollie. ‘It folds out really easily into a full-size cot.’ It comes with a newborn insert, changing mat, nightlight with music and vibrating sounds and a toy bar so there’s lots to keep your little one entertained – and to help send them off to sleep. Hollie found it a doddle to assemble and didn’t even have to read the instructions. ‘I love that two of the legs are on wheels so, although it was big, I could easily move it around the room to put it in the place I wanted without having to pick it up.’

The Graco Contour Electra is a mid-priced travel cot, well suited for trips around the UK, rather than holidays abroad as it’s difficult to carry it on and off a plane. ‘I wouldn’t want to carry this far or have to pick it up off the airport conveyor belt by myself,’ adds Hollie. ‘People with small cars might want to consider a travel cot that is more compact.’

7. Micralite Sleep & Go Travel Cot

Best travel cot for co-sleeping

Credit: Micralite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star rating: | Weighs: 7kg | Age: From birth to 3 years

Pros
Cons

Multi-functional
Easy to assemble
Premium quality
Pricey but an investment buy
A little bulky

VIEW AT AMAZON | £195.00

This is a multifunctional travel cot that can also be used as a playpen and co-sleeper (the latter when the newborn insert is added). It’s extremely easy to put up (and down) with a couple of clicks and zips. Our tester Amelia, who’s expecting her second baby, described this as absolutely game-changing. ‘This is a very good-looking travel cot with hardy, dark-coloured fabric that looks stylish and neutral and shouldn’t show wear and tear readily,’ she says. ‘It’s easy on the eye, the back – even when you’re pregnant – and on the pocket since you are able to use its three functions from birth to three years.’

One obvious plus point is that it includes a high-quality, ‘very firm’ and wipe-clean mattress, which, when disassembled, folds neatly inside the bag alongside the frame. It only weighs 7kg but Amelia found it a bit bulky, mostly because it contains a good-quality mattress. In terms of value for money, Amelia would recommend spending the extra £25 for the newborn insert as it transforms this product, giving you more functionality and sleeping options.

How to choose the best travel cot

Travel cots come in lots of different styles and designs so give some consideration to these factors before you buy:

AgeMost travel cots can be used from birth, and many come with an in-built bassinet to make things a little cosier for very small ones. Travel cots can usually be used up till the age of three or until the child is able to climb out – at which point it’s no longer safe for use.

PortabilityA travel cot should be easy to carry and compact enough to stow in small places. Some cots are small enough to fit in an aircraft’s overhead locker or in a small car boot.

WeightWhile lighter than a traditional cot, travel cots vary in weight. The lightest come in at around 3kg, while the heaviest weighs as much as 11kg. These extremes offer different benefits depending on how you’re planning to use your cot. A lighter cot is more practical for travelling with, but a heavier model will likely be sturdier and longer-lasting.

AssemblyPutting a travel cot together and taking it down should take a matter of seconds. If it’s taking longer or isn’t staying up, make sure you re-read the instructions before putting your baby to sleep in it to make sure you’ve done everything correctly.

Mattress comfortDon’t be surprised at the thickness of a travel cot mattress – they’re much thinner and less plush than your one at home to aid with weight and portability. Just because the mattress is harder, doesn’t mean that they won’t have a good night’s sleep. Baby mattresses are meant to be firm and younger babies, especially, benefit from a harder surface. ‘To comply with safety regulations you should avoid switching the mattress to ensure that the size is exact and there are no gaps around the edges,’ says Baby Sleep Trainer Vickie Bowles of The Baby Academy.

Extra featuresMany travel cots have additional extras such as a changing station for easy nappy changes and a playpen mode for daytime use. They might also have soothing sound functionality or a newborn insert to boost comfort for younger babies. Consider which of these features are worth paying extra for, and which ones you can do without. Bonus if you can get the extra functionality you want without paying more.

Are travel cots good for babies?

All travel cots must adhere to British safety standard BS EN 716. The Lullaby Trust advises that parents use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress that is in good condition and a baby’s sleeping space should be kept clear, with no loose bedding. As with a normal cot, babies should be placed in the ‘feet-to-foot’ position so they can’t wriggle down under any blankets. For young babies under one, avoid placing all duvets, soft toys and pillows inside the cot. When deciding where to put your travel cot, don’t put it near to a radiator, draughty window or blinds with cords that might pose a strangulation risk. If your cot comes with wheels, make sure they are locked in place before putting your little one down. Travel cots are extremely safe for babies for short periods, but Vickie Bowles flags that they should not be used for longer: ‘It is always good to remember that travel cots do not offer the same amount of support and comfort for your baby and therefore are not designed for regular sleep over an extended period.’

At what age can babies sleep in travel cots?

Babies can sleep in most travel cots from birth. Many brands provide a newborn insert that allows babies to sleep in a smaller space, and one which is elevated to save parents’ backs, as you don’t have to bend down to floor level to reach your child. ‘If you have a young baby, I highly recommend using a travel cot with a newborn insert which makes life much easier to settle your baby while travelling,’ says Vickie Bowles. A sturdy travel cot will suit an active toddler and most can be used up until the age of three but check the manufacturer’s instructions for upper age or weight restrictions.

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26 classic British bakes and cakes that are easy to make

A selection of the best British bakes including sweet and savoury

From Battenberg to Victoria sponge, from Cornish pasties to steak and ale pie, here are the best British bakes for any occasion from birthdays to street parties.

Britain has a beautiful long history of traditional baking. Different areas of the country are famous for their own quintessential cakes and pies, and ways of serving them. This collection brings together some of our best-loved classic British bakes, both sweet and savoury, from all over the country. Whether you’re baking a birthday cake, looking for patriotic Jubliee cakes, or you just fancy testing out your skills, there’s something for everyone. 

“I love making classic cakes,” says award-winning baker, Sophia Butler, whose mobile tea room, The Sugar Tea Room, brings afternoon tea directly to you. “They’re simple, but always popular. You can make them look amazing with quite easy cake decorating ideas, like adding seasonal fruit like strawberries or raspberries on top.”

Sophia continues; “For a first bake, I always recommend a Victoria sponge. You can make it in almost any tin you have at home, and the ingredients are simple. In fact, you’ve most likely already got them in your kitchen. Use an electric whisk if you have one, or not if you don’t, and it’s easy for kids to join in with the mixing. It’s a big winner for a street party too – you just need napkins for handing out slices. Alternatively, cupcakes are great because they’re easy to pass out to neighbors. I love making Victoria sponge, lemon drizzle, and carrot cake cupcakes for my street.”

Best British bakes

Bakewell tarts with sweet cherry jam inside

1. Bakewell tarts

Makes: 16 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 1hr 35  

One of the most popular traditional British bakes, gracing afternoon tea menus up and down the country and a staple of any bakery’s cake aisle. Bakewell tarts might originate from Bakewell in Derbyshire, but the town is actually much more associated with Bakewell puddings – a baked cousin of the tart: un-iced and served hot. In fact, they rather shun the tarts in Bakewell. But we absolutely love them.

These mini versions are so delicious and a beautiful British bake. A perfect mouthful to accompany an afternoon cuppa, or to serve up with sandwiches as a full high tea. They are easy to make and you can speed things up by using readymade shortcrust pastry if you prefer.

Get the recipe: Bakewell tarts

Perfect snacks for taking on summer picnics

2. Pork pies

Makes: 6 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1hr 25  

Pork pies are a British classic, with the revered Melton Mowbray variety being so famous and traditional that they’ve been awarded protected origin status. What makes these pies so unique is the amazing hot water crust pastry – golden, crumbly, and delicious. It’s not quite as simple as shortcrust pastry to make, but our recipe takes you through it step by step. 

Once you’ve mastered the crust, we’ve got a step-by-step guide to making your own pork pies by Dickinson & Morris, Melton Mowbray’s famous pie-makers, too.

Get the recipe: Pork pies

Serve with cream and jam, or jam and cream – it’s up to you

3. Scones

Makes 9 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 32 mins

Scones have been dividing Britons and bringing them back together for centuries. Do you pronounce them like ‘gone’ or like ‘bone’? Is it cream first or jam? With raisins? Without? Pretty much the only thing we can all agree on is that we like eating them for afternoon tea with lashings of cream, fruity jam, and a cuppa.

“People often think scones are hard to make but they are actually very quick and simple,” says Sophia. “The trick is not to over-handle the dough and to keep it slightly sticky. A hot oven is a must too to get a lovely colour on top.”

Get the recipe: Scones

A cake fit for a queen

4. Victoria sponge

Serves: 8 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 30 mins

Possibly the most classic British bake. Named after Queen Victoria, who used to eat it at teatime. In fact, the whole practice of afternoon tea was created by the Duchess of Bedford, who invited the Queen to join – and the trend was started. This cake is simple and perfect, it’s still the most popular choice at National Trust properties across the country today.

Sophia says, “You just can’t go wrong with this classic. This was the first cake I made with my mum and I still make it weekly for my customers. You can make a large version, or split it between 8 individual cake moulds to make mini versions. A dollop of strawberry jam in the middle, buttercream and half a strawberry on top for decoration.”

Get the recipe: Victoria sponge recipe

One of our prettiest traditional British bakes

5. Butterfly cakes

Makes: 10 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 35 mins

Cupcakes might have stolen the limelight with their acres of sugary buttercream, but butterflies are the traditional British version. And we think they’re far superior. Traditionally the tops are sliced off these mini sponge cakes to make space for a jam and cream filling. Then the top is cut in half and stuck back on to form butterfly wings. 

These cakes are so lovely and easy to make, they make a great project to do with the kids. This recipe even takes you through with a step-by-step video.

Get the recipe: Butterfly cakes

Mouthwatering date-dotted sponge with an unctuous toffee sauce

6. Sticky toffee pudding

Serves: 6 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hour  

Sponge puddings served with custard have a long history but Sticky Toffee Pudding is actually a relative newcomer. It was invented around the late 1960s but pretty much became an instant classic and has graced pretty much every pub menu ever since. 

This version, replete with the essential dated, is by This Morning chef Phil Vickery. The caramel sauce is from a tin, which makes it quick and easy to do and the results are delicious.

Get the recipe: Sticky toffee pudding

A slice of the nation’s favourite bake

7. Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle cake

Serves: 8 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 1 hour  

Lemon drizzle cake is a simple sponge topped with a lemon and sugar syrup that sinks into the crumb. This version by Mary Berry is absolutely traditional and impossible to beat. The crunch of the hardened, lemony sugar against the soft moist sponge is exactly what you want from this epic British bake.

And if you’ve never made your own it’s easier than you think. It only takes an hour and the smell while it’s cooking is amazing.

Get the recipe: Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle cake

This delicious hearty pudding is easy to adapt to the seasons

8. Apple crumble

Serves: 6-8 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 40 mins  

Crumbles are traditionally made with fruits that are in season, when they’re cheapest and at their most delicious. In early summer that means rhubarb crumble. By mid-summer and early autumn, we’re onto the king of crumbles: apple. 

This simple bake is made by topping the apple pieces and sugar with flour, butter, and sugar topping. This easy-peasy version also has oats for extra texture, or you can add in chopped pecans for crunch or ground almonds for sweetness.

Get the recipe: Apple crumble

A great British meat pie with a good glossy gravy

9. Hairy Bikers’ steak and ale pie

Serves: 4-6 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hr 40  

The urge to wrap chunks of steaky meat and gravy in a pastry shell is as old as cooking and in Britain, we do it with aplomb. A hearty steak and ale pie are as British as they come. Made with stewing steak and ale, and topped with a thick pastry crust, it’s an all-occasions feast. Enjoy it as a special weeknight dinner with chips or mash, or even as a great alternative to a roast for Sunday lunch.

This version by pie connoisseurs, The Hairy Bikers is packed with juicy meat, mushrooms, and veg and topped with golden flakey puff pastry. It’s hard to beat.

Get the recipe: Steak and ale pie

A classic white cob loaf makes the best sandwiches

10. White loaf

Makes: 1 loaf – about 15 slices | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 1 hour 10 plus proving time  

We owe the French for baguettes and croissants, but us Brits are no slouches in the bread baking stakes either. Master the art with this classic white loaf by Paul Hollywood. 

Baking your own bread might sound like a challenge but it’s actually pretty easy, and this loaf is a great place to start. It’s simple but special enough to be worth the effort. It makes great sandwiches or an accompaniment to summer salads or charcuterie boards.

Get the recipe: Paul Hollywood’s white loaf

A great cake for birthdays and celebrations

11. Mary Berry’s chocolate cake

Serves: 6 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 50 mins  

Chocolate cake always makes a brilliant birthday or special occasion bake – it’s so decadent and delicious. For almost as long as chocolate has been around, we’ve been putting it in cakes. It’s one of the nation’s favourite treats.

“A firm favourite with kids and adults alike,” says Sophia. “Take the decoration to the next level by piling chocolates and sweets on top. Or fruit – my kids love making a chocolate cake with me and adding strawberries on top.”

Get the recipe: Mary Berry’s chocolate cake recipe

A classic dessert that all the family will love

12. Swiss roll

Serves: 8-10 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 32  

Contrary to what the name suggests, this roll of cake, jam, and buttercream does not actually originate from Switzerland. Truth be told, it doesn’t originate in the UK either, but we have adopted it and taken it to our hearts. 

This cake is fun to make and learning to roll it is a great skill to master. This recipe takes you through the process with a how-to video and the results are really impressive.

Get the recipe: Swiss roll

Crumbly biscuit with a lovely crunch of sugar on top

13. Scottish shortbread

Serves: 24 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hour  

Buttery, crumbly shortbread is a classic dish that hails from Scotland – some stories say the recipe was perfected by Mary Queen of Scots. It was traditionally eaten at weddings, Christmas, and other celebrations, but we’d happily have a piece with a cup of tea any day of the week. 

‘Short’ refers to shortening – butter – which gives the shortbread its fantastic crumbly texture. This recipe is beautifully buttery and delicious, for a really traditional result.

Get the recipe: Scottish shortbread

Pretty little cakes for bake sales or street parties

14. Mary Berry’s iced fairy cakes

Serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 30 mins  

Perfectly proportioned little sponge cakes made even better with a sweet icing topping. Fairy cakes are one of our favourite bakes because they’re so easy to do. Perfect for making with the kids, who can help with the icing and decorating too. 

This gorgeous recipe is from the British queen of baking, Mary Berry, and it’s pretty fool-proof. 

Get the recipe: Mary Berry’s iced fairy cakes

This affordable meal makes sausages extra special

15. Toad in the hole

Serves: 3-4 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hour 5  

This bizarrely named dish has, thankfully, never had anything to do with toads. It was originally a way to make cheap cuts of meat go further – by submerging them in Yorkshire pudding batter. Sausages are the number one choice now, and it’s still a great way to make an affordable but really filling meal. 

This recipe includes gravy – a pretty essential extra. Serve with mashed potatoes and peas for a brilliant Saturday night supper.

Get the recipe: Toad in the hole

Possibly the best of the British meat pasties

16. Cornish pasty

Serves: 6 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hour 10  

Meat and vegetable pasties were popular with manual labourers up and down the British Isles: a portable meal that needed no cutlery. But probably the most famous of all is the Cornish pasty, made famous by Cornish miners since the 17th Century. 

It’s said a good pasty could survive being dropped down a mine shaft. We’ve not tried that with this one, but we can report it tastes deliciously meaty and the pastry is flakey, crisp, and on point.

Get the recipe: Hairy Bikers’ Cornish pasty

A chocolatey twist on the classic Chelsea bun

17. Chelsea buns

Serves: 12 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 55 minutes

Chelsea buns were the Instagram trending bun of the 18th Century – hundreds of years before Instagram was invented. They were first created in a bun house on the edge of Chelsea in London, and legend has it that once 50,000 people queued for them on a single day. 

The original Chelsea buns are flavoured with raisins and topped with an icing glaze, but we love this really decadent version with chocolate and cherries, from The Hairy Bikers. 

Get the recipe: Hairy Bikers’ chocolate and cherry buns

A sweet and nutty cake that’s perfect with an afternoon cuppa

18. Date and walnut cake

Serves: 12 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hour 30  

Date and walnut is a veteran of bake sales, coffee mornings, and school fetes. This original recipe from Woman’s Weekly magazine in 1939 is one of the oldest recorded, and it’s still an absolute classic. 

It’s topped with delicious cream cheese icing and chopped nuts and it is perfect for a slice in the afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee.

Get the recipe: Date and walnut cake

Spread a slice of this delicious Welsh tea bread with a thick layer of butter

19. Bara Brith Welsh tea bread

Serves: 10 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 1 hour 30  

This Welsh fruity tea bread is traditionally known as bara brith, which translates as ‘speckled bread’. 

In 2006 Morrisons stopped selling it due to declining sales and a survey a few years later found over a third of Welsh teenagers had never tried it. This is an absolute travesty because it’s delicious, easy to make, and even easier to scoff. Do your bit to save this piece of Welsh heritage by making this version at home. 

Get the recipe: Welsh fruited tea bread

Almost as classic as the sweet variety, and great for afternoon tea

20. Cheese scones

Makes: 8-10 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 35-40 mins  

We’ve already covered scones with cream and jam but it’s not a list of British bakes without mentioning the savoury version too. Cheese scones are so speedy to make. Once you’ve mixed and rolled out the dough and cut out the scone shapes, they take 10-15 minutes to bake – a British classic in no time. 

Serve warm with butter, or top with cream cheese and onion jam, or slices of cheddar and pickle. 

Get the recipe: Cheese scones

A sophisticated bake for afternoon tea

21. Coffee and walnut cake

Serves: 8 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 55 mins  

Another great British bake that is loved by millions. It’s a strange flavour combination, usually using instant coffee. Part of the appeal is the nostalgic nature of the taste. Celebrity chef Nigel Slater once said it would be his final meal.

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is just for coffee drinkers,” says Sophia. “The coffee taste mixed with the walnuts is a classic combination which is very moreish! I only drink tea but can’t resist this cake.”

Get the recipe: Coffee and walnut cake

The classic spiced bread for the North of England

22. Parkin

Serves: 16-20 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 1 hour 10  

Parkin is oatmeal, black treacle, and ginger cake that is baked quite hard but softens and turns sticky over time. It’s a staple in the North of England, and almost unheard of in the South. It’s traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night and through the winter, but it’s nice at any time of year. 

This recipe is really easy and makes a really lovely, sticky, traditional version. 

Get the recipe: Parkin cake 

Beautiful chessboard slices wrapped in sweet marzipan

23. Battenberg cake

Serves: 8-10 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hour

This cake sounds anything but English, but it was actually named in celebration of the marriage of one of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters. She was marrying Prince Louis of Battenberg and this cake was made to celebrate the occasion. 

A homemade Battenberg is a truly delicious bake – far superior to shop-bought. It’s a little fiddly to make because you need to create the checkerboard effect, but it’s worth the effort for the impressive results. 

Get the recipe: Battenberg cake

Cake in an easy to eat biscuit-like form

24. Welsh Cakes

Serves: 8-10 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 45 minutes

The second of our great Welsh bakes – these little biscuits size cakes make a very moreish snack. They are a bit like a very flat scone, but you eat them on their own – no need for cream and jam because they’re dusted with sugar so they’re sweet enough.

This version features a dash of Welsh whisky, to make things even more exciting.

Get the recipe: Welsh cake

Sweet little fruity pastries from the outskirts of Manchester

25. Eccles cakes

Makes: 30 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 45 minutes

Not a cake at all – Eccles cakes is actually little sweet pies of puff pastry filled with currants. They are from Eccles though. 

This version uses ready-made puff pastry. You can make your own but the results from readymade are so good and so much speedier, we think it’s a very worthy cheat.

Get the recipe: Eccles cake

A wartime classic that’s stood the test of time

26. Carrot cake

Serves: 8 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hour 10

The first recipe for a carrot cake actually involved stuffing a carrot with meat, but luckily the modern version is rather nicer. Carrots have lots of natural sweetness, so Britons used them in baking for centuries, but it was during the Second World War, when sugar was scarce, that carrot cake really became popular. 

This version is easy to make and topped with classic cream cheese frosting. “Carrot cake is a really lovely way to use up any carrots you have knocking around in the bottom of the fridge,” says Sophia. “They keep the sponge light and moist.”

Get the recipe: Carrot cake

Video of the week

The post 26 classic British bakes and cakes that are easy to make appeared first on GoodtoKnow.

The Queen’s former chef just revealed how to cook bacon to royal perfection and it’s genius

A royal chef who has cooked for the Queen has revealed how to fry bacon to royal perfection. 

Even though the Queen is accustomed to fine dining, she is also partial to less fancy delicacies like Fray Bentos pies.
Renowned royal chef Jeff Baker has now shared how to fry bacon fit for a Queen perfectly every time, to avoid it being oily and not crisp enough.
In other royal news, the Queen is being forced to rely on three key royals as she ‘could miss’ very special duty for first time in her reign.

Whether it’s a trip to the local café or a seat at the family dining table, most Brits love a hearty full English breakfast once in a while.

And Her Majesty the Queen no doubt enjoys a few rashers of tasty bacon for breakfast herself, as well as her pricey early morning sweet snack.

And, what better way to learn how to cook bacon to royal perfection than from Her Majesty’s former chef, Jeff Baker, who has revealed the best way to make sure the British favourite is not too oily and crisped precisely.

Instead of cooking the meat gradually, the first step is to make the pan really hot. This should caramelise the rashers, making them crunchy and giving them a stronger flavour, according to Jeff, who was awarded Leeds’ first Michelin star.

He told the Daily Star, “I find that the best way to cook bacon is on a medium to high heat pan with a small amount of natural fat, searing it on each side for a minute or so. If the bacon is properly dry cured and cut to a nice thickness, it should caramelise on the edges.

“The fat will then render without dissolving, resulting in delicious flavour.”

Credit: Getty Images

If you want a bacon sarnie fit for a Queen, avoid the ketchup or HP sauce, as Jeff believes you shouldn’t need to add anything extra if your rashers are properly cooked.

“In my opinion, if cooked this way the bacon won’t need any sauce to enhance the taste – it’ll be perfect as it is,”the celebrity chef explained.

The post The Queen’s former chef just revealed how to cook bacon to royal perfection and it’s genius appeared first on GoodtoKnow.

Who is Jon Kay’s wife? All you need to know about the BBC Breakfast host’s other half

BBC Breakfast has had a shake up of it’s presenters in recent months and since Dan Walker’s departure for Channel 5 last week, viewers are keen to find out more about the other male presenters’ personal lives and with many asking who is Jon Kay’s wife?

Jon Kay hosts the BBC One Breakfast show alongside Sally Nugent and while the co-stars congratulated Carol Kirkwood earlier this week when she confirmed her engagement, many are wanting to find out more about Jon and his life.

As we look at all you need to know about the TV presenter…

Who is Jon Kay’s wife?

Jon Kay is married to Francesca Kasteliz – a former journalist and BBC News correspondent. The pair met in the Bristol newsroom back in 1998 and have three children together.

Francesca now works as a performance coach for presenters, reporters, spokespeople and more. Speaking about her role on Bristol Creative Industries, she said, “Whether you’re a TV presenter, would-be TV talent, a reporter/correspondent, an expert in your field, a CEO or spokesperson for your organisation – I can help you fine-tune the skills you need to be the best you can be on-air.”

Jon has previously tweeted about his wife, one reads, “Twenty-four hours after boasting to my wife that I haven’t had a cold for two years… Guess what… cold ”

And he described his working from home life, “Filing a radio report while contending with kids shouting, wife on the phone, washing machine whirring, doorbell ringing, postman delivering, dog barking, builders banging, school playground next door #wfh #wtf.”

Filing a radio report while contending with kids shouting, wife on the phone, washing machine whirring, doorbell ringing, postman delivering, dog barking, builders banging, school playground next door #wfh #wtf pic.twitter.com/48xg7k26hv

— Jon Kay (@jonkay01) January 25, 2021

How old is Jon Kay?

Jon Kay is 52 years old and is from Hull. He spent a year in a Californian High School before studying Politics at Exeter University where he graduated in 1992. He started as a trainee reporter for the BBC before joining BBC Radio Bristol as a full-time journalist.

As an English TV presenter, newsreader and journalised his is based in the West of England and is most known for his work on BBC News. Speaking about some of his memorable work, Jon said, “Some of the reporting has been tough – like the repatriations at Wootton Bassett, the murder of Jo Yeates and the Vanessa George child-abuse scandal.

“Hardly a month goes by without me being battered by gale-force winds or smothered in snow – but I also get to meet some amazing people and report on some fantastic things – like the Glastonbury Festival and an octogenarian sky-diver.”

He shot to fame during the 2015 general election campaign when he interviewed a woman called Brenda from Bristol who, when asked about the upcoming general election, exclaimed: “You’re joking – not another one!” and the clip went viral.

These days Jon is a regular on the sofa with Naga Munchetty but when he’s not hosting the breakfast show you can find him in the radio studio as host of Fairy Meadow the number 1 true-crime podcast aired on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 4.

BBC Breakfast is on BBC One weekdays from 6am-9am.

The post Who is Jon Kay’s wife? All you need to know about the BBC Breakfast host’s other half appeared first on GoodtoKnow.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle show they’re ‘thriving’ with public kiss

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle showed they’re “thriving” with a public kiss after his recent polo match and fans can’t get enough of this sweet moment. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were spotted sharing a kiss after she awarded him the trophy for his polo tournament victory.
Fans were quick to praise the couple’s relaxed approach and suggested they’re living “the way they want” now they’ve moved to LA.
This royal news comes as we revealed why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Jubilee experience is set to be even more special than most – all thanks to Lilibet!

The Royal Family is known for their love of sport and they certainly aren’t afraid to show it! From Kate Middleton sporting rugby gear after becoming Patron of the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League, to Prince William cheering from the stands at football matches, they’ve certainly got competitive spirit. But when it comes to royal sports there’s one that particularly stands out for William and Prince Harry – polo!

Both brothers have played over the years and since Harry and Meghan “stepped back” as senior members of The Firm, he’s kept up his passion close to his LA home. On May 22nd he competed in a charity polo match and he and his winning team were awarded the Lisle Nixon Memorial trophy by someone very special… 

Ugh I love them sm

Meghan wiping her lipstick off him

Harry always knows exactly how to duck in to get the angle to kiss pic.twitter.com/Uu4hufq2D7

— ♡ (@latteIicious) May 23, 2022

Radiating Hollywood glamour, the Duchess of Sussex opted for a black and white spotted blouse, tailored white shorts and a statement black hat to watch her husband’s winning performance.

Adding a touch of colour to her elegant look, Meghan went for a bold red lip and soon Prince Harry ended up wearing a bit of it too after the royals shared a fairytale-esque kiss after she presented him with his trophy.

This sweet gesture was caught on camera as Meghan wiped away some lipstick from her husband’s cheek. And it’s clear fans can’t get enough of the couple’s candid moment as they suggested it’s a sign they’re truly “thriving” in the US. 

One person expressed their delight to see the couple living their best lives as they responded, “Meghan looks amazing!!!! , I Love her outfit. Nice to see this beautiful couple happy and living their life’s the way they want.  Congratulations to Prince Harry and his team for winning.”

“How wonderful. Meghan looks stunning and Harry looks as handsome as ever. Thank you for sharing, I love seeing them happy and thriving,” someone else said, echoing this sentiment that the Duke and Duchess are loving their fresh start in California. 

“Ugh I love them sm,” a third person wrote. “Meghan wiping her lipstick off him. Harry always knows exactly how to duck in to get the angle to kiss”. 

“He’s so happy. So proud to be the husband of this gorgeous woman”, another wrote adoringly. 

The Sussexes have been regularly pictured holding hands over the years and also kissed on stage at the recent Invictus Games Opening Ceremony. This combined with their recent display of affection with Harry and Meghan’s polo kiss could be seen to suggest they’re even more comfortable being romantic in public now.

It comes a month after the Duke, who is sixth in the line of succession, admitted he now regards California as “home”. Opening up to Today’s Hoda Kotb he explained, “Home for me now is, for the time being, it’s in the states. And it feels that way as well.”

“We’ve been welcomed with open arms. And it’s got such a great community up in Santa Barbara,” Harry added.

The post Prince Harry and Meghan Markle show they’re ‘thriving’ with public kiss appeared first on GoodtoKnow.

Best beauty subscription boxes for women: Make-up, skincare, fragrance and more

Credit: Future

When compiling this list of the best beauty subscription boxes, we considered everything from price to packaging and the size of the products included. Our top fifteen range from pricier boxes filled with high-end products to some lower budget options packed with smaller samples.

Whether you’re looking to try out new brands, cult products, or simply want a little pick-me-up delivered to your door every month – there’s a beauty box to suit everyone. From facial oils and skincare saviours to hair masks, make-up and the best perfumes of all time, beauty subscription boxes today are more varied than ever. So it’s important to seek out the one that works best for you.

GoodTo’s Senior Beauty Editor Rhiannon Derbyshire says: “Beauty boxes are a great way of trialling lots of new brands all in one go. They usually contain trusted brands’ best selling products, and they come at a discounted price too. If you’re a beauty fanatic, beauty boxes are a great way of satisfying that ‘new products’ excitement without spending a fortune in Boots every month.”

What to consider with best beauty subscription boxes:

Star rating: Our in-house star-rating system is based on peer reviews. They’ve tried and tested the product and awarded stars based on factors such as product quality, ease of use, customer feedback, awards and value for money. Products that have received a 5 star status are rare and considered exceptional, going above and beyond our reviewer’s expectations.
Price: We’ve taken into consideration that everyone will have a different budget. So we’ve picked subscription boxes that reflect a variety of price points which we believe are worth their weight in gold.
Product sizes: We know that before you commit to a monthly spend, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting. We’ve made sure to include details of whether you’re getting premium brands, own brands, travel sized or full sized products and how many items will be included.
Delivery: We were keen to select a range of products that offer different delivery services. Whether you want a quarterly or monthly delivery, we’ve got you covered.
Eco-friendly: More and more beauty brands are becoming environmentally responsible and use eco-friendly packaging with minimal plastic. We’re keen to select products from brands that follow this ethos.

The best beauty subscription boxes for women:

1. GLOSSYBOX

Best for trying new brands

Credit: GLOSSYBOX

Star rating:   | Price: £13.25 | Delivery: Once a month | Product sizes: A variety of full size and travel size | Eco-friendly: Made from 100% recycled fibres

Pros
Cons

Pretty and eco-friendly packaging
Budget friendly
Range of brands
Some of the products can be on the small side
Items are sometimes repeated

If you’re not ready to commit to a huge spend every month, GLOSSYBOX is the perfect option. At just £13.25 a month, you get at least £50 worth of products from the best beauty brands. Wrapped in pretty pink packaging, these boxes are also a perfect gift option. By subscribing to GLOSSYBOX, as well as receiving your monthly beauty box, there are plenty of other perks. Collect Glossy credits to spend on future boxes, or on your favourite products at LOOKFANTASTIC. You’ll also get early access to their limited edition boxes and find exclusive rewards in the Glossy lounge.

According to our Senior Beauty Editor, Rhiannon Derbyshire, GLOSSYBOX is a well worthy monthly spend. She said: “GLOSSYBOX were one of the original big beauty box brands and they’re still one of the best options out there. Every month each box has a different theme, and in the past have included collaborations with brands like Living Proof and Elemis, as well as themes boxes for events like Christmas and Mothers’ day. You can buy specific boxes on their website, if you want to test out the experience before committing to a subscription.

“I appreciate the variety of products, with usually a mix of full-size and smaller samples,” she adds. “It’s useful to have some travel sized buys for weekends away, which is what I keep mine handy for! It’s been a great way for me to get to know newer brands and try products I wouldn’t have normally paid for. I’d recommend it for beauty obsessives who love trying new things.”

VIEW NOW – £13.25 | GLOSSYBOX

2. LOOKFANTASTIC Beauty Box

Best for themed boxes

Credit: LOOKFANTASTIC

Star rating:   | Price: £15 | Delivery: Once a month | Product sizes: A variety of full size and travel size | Eco-friendly: 100% recyclable

Pros
Cons

You know what you’re getting each month
Value for money
Boxes are usually worth over £100
Themed boxes mean lack of variety

With LOOKFANTASTIC’s monthly beauty box subscription, you get a themed box each month. A previous example is The Ingredients Edition which championed elements in formulas such as botanicals, peptides and fruity concentrates. The great thing about this box is that when you go on their website, you can see the products you’ll be getting in your box that month, plus how much it totals to. Most tend to total around the £100 mark, making it great value for money. It will also tell you what size products you’re getting, so there are never any nasty surprises. All of LOOKFANTASTIC’s boxes contain a range of their best selling brands.

One keen reviewer wrote: “Absolutely loved this months beauty box. Full of amazing skin care treats which is just what I need right now! The Elemis apricot toner smells and feels incredible and the Avant lip balm is lush. Not one product I’m not impressed with – Best box I’ve received to date.”

VIEW NOW – £15 | LOOKFANTASTIC

3. Birchbox

Best for personalised boxes

Credit: Birchbox

Star rating:   | Price: £13.95 | Delivery: Once a month | Product sizes: Mainly sample and travel size, with the occasional full size | Eco-friendly: 100% recyclable

Pros
Cons

Personalised beauty profile
You won’t get the same product twice
Range of brands
Most of the products are sample or travel sized
Website only shows what you get in the current month

The great thing about Birchbox is that your monthly box is personalised to you. After checkout, you’ll be able to complete your Beauty Profile and they use this information to tailor your future boxes. They also promise never send you the same product twice. Their website gives you a sneak peak of the products you could receive that month, meaning you can get an idea of what sort of products you might receive before buying. You can expect a range of brands in your Birchbox, from Lord & Berry to Philip Kingsley.

One Trustpilot reviewer commented: “I have been with birch box for years and it’s enough to leave a review, I have never been disappointed with their boxes and also so many products that I’m obsessed [with] just because of these boxes. It lets me try before I buy and I’m a very happy customer every month. It’s like treating myself to beautiful amazing products that I haven’t ever tried before so thank you Birchbox.”

VIEW NOW – £13.95 | BIRCHBOX

4. Beauty Pie

Best for luxury beauty

Credit: Beauty Pie

Star rating:   | Price: From £4.91 | Delivery: As often as you like | Product sizes: Full size | Eco-friendly: 100% recyclable

Pros
Cons

£3600 a year shopping limit
Discounted luxury products
Choose your own products
Not a monthly box
Only sells their own branded products

While it’s not technically a subscription box, Beauty Pie sells premium products directly to consumers without the mark-ups. Their website explains how their team of highly-experienced product developers work with and source from the world’s leading beauty and wellness labs – where most luxury beauty products also happen to be made. By signing up for just £4.91 a month (£59 for the year), you’ll have access to discounts of up to 75%. For example, the brand’s number one bestseller, the Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser is £25 for non-members, but just £7.01 for members. So it’s well worth signing up.

One happy Trustpilot reviewer wrote: “I have been a member for quite a while – every product is top notch I’ve also had a virtual appointment where I was advised what I should use this was fabulous and interesting- I’m more knowledgeable now on what my skin needs – this said I also love trying new products that would cost a lot more if I wasn’t a member- or similar in the top beauty halls.”

VIEW NOW – £59 | BEAUTY PIE

5. Roccabox

Best for trying big and small brands

Credit: Roccabox

Star rating:   | Price: £13 | Delivery: Once a month | Product sizes: Sample and full size | Eco-friendly: 100% recyclable.

Pros
Cons

Variety of products
Budget friendly
Chance to try new and less known brands
Some of the products can be on the small side
Products are sometimes repeated

Roccabox cover everything from nails, make-up, skin and body-care and even hair accessories. So if it’s variety you’re after, this is the beauty box subscription for you. The founder of Roccabox, Tia Roqaa, has made it her mission to give women the opportunity to be able to try out different products so they can find their favourites. This means every box contains a mixture of well and less known brands, so you can find ones that work for you.

One Facebook reviewer commented: “A box that thinks outside of the box. This box is seriously good. I’m a bit of a subscription box addict at the moment and the Roccabox really stands out. Every box I’ve had has had something of high value and lots of bonus extra samples to try. I love love love the variation of these boxes and really look forward to receiving it.”

VIEW NOW – £13 | ROCCABOX

6. Feel Unique

Best for choosing your own products

Credit: Feel Unique

Star rating:   | Price: From £11.95 | Delivery: Once a month | Product sizes: Sample and travel size | Eco-friendly: Made with 70% recyclable materials

Pros
Cons

Budget friendly
Build your own box
Range of high-end brands
Small product sizes
Choosing your own products means lack of surprise element

If you’re after a beauty box subscription where you can choose your own products, then Feel Unique is for you. Your first box is just £4.95, and you can choose five deluxe sample products to make up your box. Then every month after that, you continue to build your own box. You can try it as a one off, or sign up for three, six or 12 months. You can choose from brands including Benefit,  Estée Lauder and Clinique.

One online reviewer commented: “I have started a new skincare routine and I use products that are very expensive. I manage to do this by a Monthly beauty box subscription which gives me enormous value for money. I highly recommend this online store as they take excellent care of their customers and provide an affordable way of accessing expensive beauty products.”

VIEW NOW – £11.95 | FEEL UNIQUE

7. Latest in Beauty

Best for flexible subscription

Credit: Latest in Beauty

Star rating:   | Price: £12.95 | Delivery: Once a month | Product sizes: Full size | Eco-friendly: 100% recyclable

Pros
Cons

Budget friendly
Build your own box
Cancel anytime
Small product sizes
Choosing your own products means lack of surprise element

When you arrive on the Latest in Beauty website, you’re asked to create a profile and let the team know your beauty preferences for tailored recommendations. You can then choose three, six or nine products out of hundreds of options to try each month in their personalised build-your-own boxes, all with free delivery. And unlike many other boxes, there’s no minimum subscription – so you can cancel anytime.

One online reviewer raved: “I love latest in beauty its the only subscription box I’ve kept going, you can choose either a 3, 6 or 9 box and you pick the products you want. My only tip is to click on the products to check sizes as they do do some smaller sizes but most of the products I’ve gone for have been great sizes. You have so many options with LIB a one off box, subscriptions and collection boxes, I can’t rate them enough.”

VIEW NOW – £12.95 | LATEST IN BEAUTY

8. FFS Beauty

Best for sustainable shaving

Credit: FFS Beauty

Star rating: | Price: From £9 | Delivery: Flexible | Product sizes: Full size | Eco-friendly: Made from 100% recyclable materials

Pros
Cons

Choose your own flexible delivery plan
Cheaper than high street razors

Only one product a month
Have to pay for extras

Replacing razors is tedious and expensive, so this box is a great option for fuss-free shaving. Your first box contains their metal handle (which you can have engraved) in your choice of colour, alongside four week’s worth of diamond-coated, six-blade razor attachments. Each month that follows, a fresh set of blades will land on your door. You also can add on extras such as Shave Cream, Pre-Shave Scrub or Post Shave Balm for £6 each.

One Trustpilot reviewer commented: “I have tried a few razors in my time but none have given me such a long lasting and smooth shave. I suffer from eczema and shaving my legs can cause severe irritation but this is no issue when using the FFS razor. Their customer service is also outstanding.”

VIEW NOW – £9 | FFS BEAUTY

9. Liberty Beauty Drop

Best for high end products

Credit: Liberty

Star rating:   | Price: £20 (which is fully redeemable) | Delivery: Four times a year | Product sizes: Full and sample size | Eco-friendly:  100% recyclable

Pros
Cons

Pretty packaging
Luxury products
Subscription fee is redeemable
Only four boxes a year

 

Liberty’s Beauty Drop is the best way to enjoy the boujee Liberty beauty hall without the eye-watering prices. With this subscription, you get four jam-packed beauty boxes per year worth over £300. The boxes feature brands such as  Barbara Sturm, Sisley, Susanne Kaufmann and 111 Skin. And the best part? The £20 a month subscription fee is fully redeemable in Liberty credit. Spend in store or online straight away, or save it up and spend big on beauty whenever you want. This beauty box literally pays for itself! Sarah Coonan, Buying Director at Liberty, said: “By making the fee redeemable, the discovery box becomes a reward for our customers’ loyalty rather than a product to buy. This felt very important to me.”

One happy customer commented: “Does it get any better than this. You can spend your £20 every month, or save it up for something special. I recently received my 2nd box which I was very happy with as there were some great products from brands that I have never tried before. It’s a great way to try some of the really high end products that Liberty stocks.”

VIEW NOW – £20 | LIBERTY

10. scentaddict by The Fragrance Shop

Best for fragrances

Credit: The Fragrance Shop

Star rating:    | Price: £12 | Delivery: Once a month | Product sizes: Sample size | Eco-friendly: 100% recyclable

Pros
Cons

Monthly fee is redeemable
High-end brands
Chance to try new perfumes
Small product sizes
Only one product per box

If fragrance is your thing, then check out the scentaddict subscription box from The Fragrance Shop. For £12 a month, you can choose one from over 500 designer fragrances from brands such as Prada or Armani to be delivered to your door. While you only get an 8ml sample bottle, if you decide you love the scent, the £12 monthly fee is redeemable against the full size bottle.

One subscriber reviewed: “I have been with scentaddict for 3 years and I am so glad I discovered it. It’s great that you can try out lots of different perfumes for just £12 per month and then get the £12 off if you decide to buy that perfume. Also I have bought the handbag size gifts for others.”

VIEW NOW – £12 | SCENT ADDICT

11. The Natural Beauty Box

Best for organic products

Credit: The Natural Beauty Box

Star rating:   | Price: £23 | Delivery: Once a month | Product sizes: Full and sample size | Eco-friendly: 100% recyclable

Pros
Cons

All natural products
Boxes are worth on average over £70
Discover new brands
  Pricier than other monthly boxes

 

If you’re looking for a way to discover more natural products, Natural Beauty Box is the best beauty subscription box for you. This beauty box provides guilt-free skincare and makeup to suit the changing weather every month. Incorporating natural, vegan and cruelty-free products sourced from British artisans, you’ll receive between five and seven products each month. All products are free from harsh chemicals, known skin irritants and cheap filler ingredients.

One online reviewer commented: “This is the best subscription box I’ve ever had. Not only is it such good value for money with average contents being worth £70, but it features the most amazing range of artisan British brands, a lot of whom I haven’t heard of. There’s something new to discover every month!

VIEW NOW – £23 | NATURAL BEAUTY BOX

12. Cohorted

Best for big brand products

Credit: Cohorted

Star rating:   | Price: £39.99 | Delivery: Once a month | Product sizes: Travel size | Eco-friendly:  100% recyclable

Pros
Cons

Almost always full sized products
High end brands
Expensive

 

Each monthly Cohorted box contains a surprise of at least five products from high end brands such as Laura Mercier, Huda Beauty and NARS. Your subscription can be cancelled or paused at any time, which considering it’s on the pricier end of the scale, is a huge benefit. This is a perfect option if you’re looking for high-end products at an affordable price.

One Truspilot reviewer commented: This is a luxury beauty box. They always provide a high quality of products and they come in luxury packages. They are worth more than the monthly subscriptions and they are kind of a surprise when you open it. My so far best beauty subscription. Well worth it.”

VIEW NOW – £39.99 | COHORTED

13. Next Beauty Box

Best for gifting

Credit: Next

Star rating:   | Price: From £12 | Delivery: As and when you order | Product sizes: Full and sample sizes | Eco-friendly: 100% recyclable

Pros
Cons

Choose your own themed box
Good value for money
Variety of box options
  Not a monthly subscription

 

While it’s not a monthly subscription, Next’s Beauty Boxes are great if you want to know exactly what you’re getting in your box. Choose from a range of options, including the MAC makeup must-haves box, the Clarins Beauty Box and the SOS skincare Beauty box. With new boxes regularly added, there’s something for everyone, and the website tells you how much the products are worth, so you can instantly see how much money you’re saving.

One happy customer commented: “I literally can’t recommend the beauty boxes enough. Such great quality and brands that are top end.” While another added: “Good value for money. Good selection of products.”

VIEW NOW – from £12 | NEXT

14. Look Incredible

Best for full sized products

Credit: Look Incredible

Star rating:   | Price: £35 | Delivery: Once a month | Product sizes: Full size | Eco-friendly: 100% recyclable

Pros
Cons

Full sized products
High-end brands
Good value for money
  Expensive

 

Look Incredible’s Deluxe Beauty Box offers a selection of full sized products from a range of brands, including some high-end gems. While it’s pricer than a lot of other beauty subscription boxes, the fact that all products are full sized makes it well worth the extra spend. Every item inside is carefully selected by the Look Incredible Beauty experts who ensure that you receive the best products that include, loved classics and new launches to last you the whole month.

One satisfied customer commented: “I have switched to this box as I was tired of getting cheap items that weren’t worth my money. Although this box is slightly more expensive I feel that it is worth it for the brands inside. I am 100% happy with my decision.”

VIEW NOW – £35 | LOOK INCREDIBLE

15. Skin + Me

Best for skincare

Credit: Skin + Me

Star rating: | Price: £24.99 | Delivery: Once a month | Product sizes: Full size | Eco-friendly: Made from 100% recyclable materials

Pros
Cons

Full size products
Personalised to your skin
Cheaper than high-end skincare
Only one product a month
Lack of variety

If you’re looking for one of those best beauty subscription boxes with a personalised skincare plan, then this box is the one for you. Skin + Me offers a ‘dermatologist to your doorstep’ service to treat an array of skin concerns with its prescription-strength topical treatments. They will design a treatment plan for you with formulations that adjust each month, chosen to give you the best progress. Simply fill in the online questionnaire and upload three photos of your face to be prescribed a bespoke cream that’s personalised to you, which will be sent to you every four weeks.

One happy customer commented: “This product has literally changed my life! I’ve tried a countless amount of drug store products and even antibiotics and nothing has cleared my skin up the way Skin + Me has. I get complimented daily on how clear my skin has become and how smaller my pores look! I absolutely love it and will continue to use!”

VIEW NOW – £24.99 | SKIN + ME

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Jubilee experience set to be even more special than most – all thanks to Lilibet!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Jubilee experience is set to be even more special than most and it’s all thanks to their daughter Lilibet.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to reunite with the Royal Family in a matter of days and they’re bringing Archie and Lilibet with them.
Their Platinum Jubilee trip is likely to be all the more special thanks to their daughter.
This royal news comes as we revealed the bittersweet detail you missed in the Queen’s Chelsea Flower Show outfit.

With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday looming it won’t be long before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive in the UK after travelling over for the occasion from their LA home. The couple confirmed earlier this year they would be making the trip over to join other members of The Firm in marking this major milestone. But Harry and Meghan won’t be coming over alone as they revealed they’d be bringing their son Archie and daughter Lilibet with them. 

And it’s the decision for Lilibet to join them that could be set to make Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Jubilee experience all the more magical. 

On June 4th 2022 , the penultimate day of the Queen’s Jubilee weekend, Lilibet will turn one. And whilst it’s not known exactly who she will be celebrating her big day with, with so many royals predicted to gather over the weekend it’s of course possible she could spend time with more of her wider family.

And the special significance for Harry and Meghan doesn’t stop there! The Sussexes’ family trip to honour Her Majesty’s 70 year reign will also be Lilibet’s first visit to the UK.

Since she was born in California last year, reports have suggested that Harry and Meghan “shared” pictures of Lilibet with the Royal Family. However, it’s thought that she’s currently the only one of the Queen’s great-grandchildren who’s yet to meet the monarch in person.

Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of Lilibet Diana! The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted with the news.

Lilibet is Her Majesty’s 11th great-grandchild. pic.twitter.com/dGVeRpd3pK

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 6, 2021

This could all change over the bank holiday and if the Queen and Lilibet do finally get to spend time together, this will be an incredible moment not only for the pair but for Harry and Meghan to witness. It’s thought the Queen is “desperate” to meet Lilibet and her grandson has previously expressed his heartbreak at trying to make this happen.

Opening up during his Today interview with Hoda Kotb earlier this year, Harry said, “So this is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that I can get my kids to meet her”. 

There had previously been concerns about the Queen never meeting Lilibet due to Harry’s concern that the UK wasn’t safe for his family without hiring personal police protection. Happily for fans, the decision was later taken that Archie and Lilibet would join them for the Jubilee. 

And with Lilibet’s birthday, her first UK visit and expected first meeting with the Queen all coming together over the Jubilee weekend, this major milestone looks set to be an even more significant one than most for Prince Harry and Meghan.

The post Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Jubilee experience set to be even more special than most – all thanks to Lilibet! appeared first on GoodtoKnow.

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