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I was bought this tiny umbrella as a present and I am delighted with it. I have the one with a white background and red and pink cherries all over it. These umbrellas come in many different designs and colours, I've seen a Union Jack one, spots, dark flowers and pastel flowers. They all have a definite Cath Kidson feel.
The umbrella is very small when it's folded down. It measure 18cm long and 6 cms wide when tucked back into its little carrying case. The carrying case is made of the same material as the umbrella. It is very light, therefore it fits nicely in most handbags and even in larger coat pockets. You can also just put it over your wrist if you are out walking, as the handle has a fabric strap too.
The handle on my one is wood effect, with Cath Kidson logo stamped into it. The spokes of the umbrella fit inside the handle when it is folded up.
As you open the umbrella, the central stick is telescopic, so ends up 4 times its length, and there are small catches to keep it open. The opening mechanism feels robust and a lot stronger than other tiny umbrellas I've had. It opens and closes smoothly. The spokes are sturdy and thick and feel like they will last well.
When the umbrella is up, it is smaller than the average model. The central stick is shorter too. But it does a good job at keeping the rain off your head and shoulders and stands up well to light winds. So far there aren't any rust marks like I've seen on other models.
I would recommend this product as a small, pocket umbrella. If you wanted one to walk miles with, I think a standard one would be better. It is very sweet looking and the patterns available are very jolly. Any Cath Kidson fan would love it. I've seen them priced at 12.00 to 19.00 pounds, Amazon have quite a few different designs on sale.
Jamie's Great Britain hardback book is a hefty cookery book some 400 pages long. I love this book, it is a joy to read, flip through and look at, as well as use the recipes.
There's a variety of recipes from around the UK. Most of them have a traditional feel full of hearty goodness, but with a little Jamie about them. Like the Happy Fish Pie, a simple fish pie Jamie says 'makes everyone feel happy'. It certainly made my family happy.
There are soups, salads, Sunday dinners, curry, haggis, fish dishes, sauces, cakes and puds. All proud to be British, or adopted by the British folk. A few unusual ones, like Roast Quail Skewers and Golden Glazed Partridge, but mainly all good ole British classics you didn't think you could make like Scotch Eggs and Toad in the Hole.
I have made about 6 recipes from this book and the dishes have come out well. Some of the recipes have a lot of ingredients, but equally there are plenty with just a few. Oliver likes the reader to use fresh, free range produce. The Mighty Mulligatawny was a hit with my family, very filling and yummy. The Fishcakes Wrapped in Bacon were quite easy to make and made some salmon and cod go a long way because they were added to potato and breadcrumbs. There are lots more I want to try. Like the Steak and Kidney pudding.
The book itself has some gorgeous rustic photography. The food is pictured with burnt bits, and crumbs and dishes with chipped edges which makes the recipes feel more doable. There are lots of interesting pages to read, other than the recipes, like anecdotes, stories, pictures of pigs, landscapes and interesting British people. Most of the recipes have a little introduction, a word from Jamie about the dish and its origins. As you read them you can hear Jamie's voice in the tone of the writing. These little things are what make the book dear to me. When I first got it, I sat in bed reading it rather like a magazine.
I think it is a wonderful book, just as a book. The fact there are some wonderful recipes in it too is just a bonus.
Deep Heat 8 hour patches are from the old favourite Deep Heat company, the manufacturers of that lovely ointment that warms aching muscles.
The patches come in a pack of 4 costing around 4.95. I bought mine form Asda but I think they are easy to find. They are called 8 hour patches because they remain warm for that long, although in my experience they stay warm for just a little less than this.
The patches come sealed in plastic packets with all the instructions and best before date on each one, handy if you lose the box they all come in. You mustn't open the plastic until you are ready to apply a patch. The heat is activated once exposed to the air. Once open, the patches look a bit like a big tea bag with a strong adhesive backing to one side. They measure 13cm long and 10cm wide, and are very thin, immeasurably really. To use, you must peel off the backing to reveal the sticky coating, and stick it firmly to clean skin. If you are putting it on your back, or neck, it is easier if you can get someone else to apply it for you. I have found it a bit difficult to put it on the back of my neck, whilst trying to get my hair out of the way, and getting it not stuck on anything else. If you have sensitive skin, or an injury, you can stick it to clothing and place the clothing over the area you want it.
Once applied, it heats up slowly, taking about 5 to 10 minutes to get to its optimum. I found the patch didn't get burning hot, just pleasantly warm which feels soothing and relaxes the aching muscle. My problem area is my neck, from time to time I sleep heavily and find myself with a really stiff neck which in turn gives me thumping headaches. Applying these patches all day relaxes my neck which usually stops the head pain.
The patch stays in place all day, but movement can cause the edges of it to peel back a bit and I find bits of hair then stick to it. This is probably not the same for all areas of application.
The description says they are odourless, but that's not quite true. They do have a deep heat smell, but it is very mild.
The pack doesn't seem to have the ingredients on it, but it does say not to use on infants or irritated skin. It says it can cause sensitivity and even blisters. Don't try and reheat the patches once they've cooled.
I would really recommend them for occasional aches and strains. They are not too expensive and work well. The cream, Deep Heat, delivers a lot stronger punch of heat than these patches, but the cream doesn't last as long.
'Kalms relieve periods of worry, irritability, stresses and strains' - so it says on the bottle. I took these originally to calm myself on long haul flights. I'm not afraid of flying, I just got anxious and claustrophobic the longer I was confined in the tiny seating spaces in economy. So I would take them at 4 hourly intervals and noticed they really worked well. They made me feel quiet, to describe it - it's like when you wake up very early and all you've managed is to walk to the sofa and sit back down again. You're sort of awake but not fully functioning.
I was so happy with this that I now also take them before visiting the dentist too, I did check this with him and he said it was fine to do. Again, the slightly numb, not quite with it, feeling helps get me into the chair every six months.
Knowing how I am, I benefit from taking them the night before I have something important coming up. You know, the times when you need a really good night's sleep, but wake up at 3 am with your mind whirring. Like when you have an important interview, or when you have a big presentation, and wake up suddenly thinking you've slept through the alarm, or dreamt you can't find your shoes? Taking them at 10.00ish means I sleep through, and wake up refreshed. I don't thing they work as a full on sleeping pill, but they help you sleep better than you would have. I've never had any bad effects, I don't wake up groggy, and I've never overslept.
The text says Kalms are a traditional herbal remedy that can relieve stress, irritability, promote natural sleep and bring relief to the symptoms of the menopause including wakefulness, cold sweats and flushing. The label also says to take 2 tablets 3 times a day, not recommended for under 18's. The active ingredients are Valerian Extract, Hops and Gentian.
I often recommend them. They have pleasant affect on me, without too much affect. I wouldn't take them if you need to drive anywhere, but I think you could drive well if you had to.
£7.00 for a bottle of 200. This will last even me ages, I and use them quite frequently.
This Cranberry Joy lip balm is a Body Shop product. I really like most things from Body Shop, either for myself or to give as guests. Most of the time they seem to have some kind of special offer on, which makes treating myself even better. This tin came in a pack of 3 different flavours which cost 6.00, making it 2.00 a tin. This flavour is my favourite one in the pack.
Body Shop have quite a few variations of lip balm. This one comes in a small tin, with 15ml of balm, and it is a jolly red colour which still looks neat and smart even though its been in and out of my handbag for months. I love lip balm that comes in these tins, I'm not really sure why but there is something appealing about twisting them open and dipping my finger in the sticky balm. It's even better if they have a lovely smell, as this one does. It smells fruity; cherry like more than cranberry, but it is a subtle fragrance.
The balm is slightly red in colour, when applied to the lips it does give them a slight colouring, along with the dull shine of lip gloss. Your lips do feel moisturised and protected, and they look pretty. Unfortunately the affect does seem to wear off quite quickly, so I find myself reapplying it regularly. Having said this, the little tin has lasted a couple of months, with still some left in it. I would recommend this balm, even though you have to reapply a lot because it feels so smooth and soft and protects well.
Shea butter is one of the main ingredients, and all Body Shop products are Fair Trade sourced and no products are tested on animals. The company has very high ethical standards, lovely products and very helpful staff. What's not to love?
Moroccanoil is the first product I have bought in the hairdresser's chair. Usually the high prices put me off, but this has already been recommended to me. My stylist used some before he blow dried my new haircut and I could see a difference straight away. My hair looked healthy, shiny and smooth.
The tiny bottle I purchased cost a whopping 12 pounds and I nearly broke out in a cold sweat, but I held my nerve and handed over the cash. This trial size is only25ml, not even an ounce, but I have to say it lasted ages. And I have since bought the full size bottle.
While your hair is still wet, you work a tiny amount, about the size of a 5p, into your hair. You have to keep working it for a few minutes to get it all through especially to the ends. It is actual oil, but some how its not oily when applied to your hair. And it smells clean and slightly flowery, and I find the smell lasts 2 days which is lovely. Your hair feels so soft to the touch too.
When you blow dry your hair, it is very silky and detangles very easily. Running the brush through is a dream. You can style it in the usual way. If you decide to straighten your hair, this is when the shines really comes through. My hair goes smooth and glossy with this product, but more so than other things I have used. This is the reason I am happy to pay the higher price for it. I also think my hair became more hydrated over time, the more I used the oil, the healthier it became.
Don't be tempted to apply a lot to your hair though. I put way too much on it one time, and it does make your hair greasy looking.
I really love this hair product and would recommend it to anyone.
Le Creuset Grill pan is a wonderful, quality product which I think will last me the rest of my cooking life. It is made of cast iron, and measures 26cm by 26 cm which is large for a pan. This makes for a very heavy product, and even though I expected this, I was still surprised by just how heavy it is. Most of the time I have to use 2 hands to move it around the kitchen, there is a large lip on the opposite side to the handle which makes it easy to use 2 hands. I am more than happy with this drawback, it makes the pan feel so well made.
The pan takes a little while to heat up, which it should do before you put the food in. The iron handle also gets hot, so I purchased a Le Creuset handle cosy, which fits perfectly on the handles of all their products and prevents burning my hand. You can also put the pan in the oven, to either keep the food warm or to melt cheese on the top of maybe some vegetables, for example. You must not put the heated pan on a laminated kitchen top, it will scorch it. The pan retains the heat for a long while after you have turned off the gas.
The pan has a black, satin interior with raised ridges. The food cooks on top of these ridges, allowing the fat to run off and not stay in the food, rather like a Foreman grill. The food also gets stripes marked into it from these ridges. You can cook meat, poultry, fish and vegetables on this pan, all with truly wonderful results. The chicken breasts and pork chops I prepare most often are cooked with no fat added at all, and with a large helping of black pepper sprinkled on top, they taste juicy and full of flavour. I fitted 5 boneless chops in there the other day for dinner perfectly.
The clean up is straight forward, I just use hot water and a sponge scourer. Sometimes a little extra elbow grease is needed, especially between the ridges, but I have managed to get it clean very easily each time. I have the orange enamelled version, and the orange is still like new,it comes clean every time so far. I have a few stoneware items, and a frying pan made by Le Creuset, and I have to say I am very happy with all of them and I plan to add to my collection as I see things on special offer. This pan is on sale for around 75.00 in John Lewis, but I paid 60.00 for it in Debenhams.
I Would recommend this grill pan for people who enjoy making food from scratch, but who are able to lift the substantial weight of it.
Homedics 3D back massager review - I bought this for my husband because he often has a sore back caused by over exercise.
This back massager fits onto a chair with a strap and Velcro to keep the back in place. You need an upright chair to have the massager in the correct position. We have comfortable dining chairs which this fits well on. The seat part of this is just fabric and doesn't do any of the massaging action it just keeps the whole thing in place. The massager is covered in a plush, nylon material which is black and grey, and clean and smart looking.
The massager is quite heavy as the motor and massager are robust, but it isn't too heavy to easily manoeuvre. The massager comes in a light bag/cover which protects it and keeps the whole thing compact and easy to slide under a bed, or beside the wardrobe while not in use. All the wires, plug and the controller fits neatly inside.
Once set up on a chair, there is a hand controller, which looks a bit like a small TV remote control, attached by a length of wire. There are different functions, one of which is a vibration. This is a strong vibration which really shakes the body and loosens the muscles. There is a simple rolling massage, which moves the 'balls' smoothly up and down the back relaxing as it goes. It also feels like it is aligning your back, putting you body in an straight, upright position. The feature my husband like the best is the Shiatsu massage where the 'balls' rotate in a small circle, making a kneading action as they travel up and down the length of the back. You can also add heat to this action which quickly heats up to a nice hot temperature which you can feel through clothing, but it's not burning hot.
The Shiatsu massage is very strong and really works hard into the muscles either side of the backbone. You can also stop the massager travelling up and down at any spot up the track so it concentrates on one area, which is particularly nice if you have a sore knot which needs undoing. There is a warning telling you not to leave the massager in one spot than more than 3 minutes at a time. When I have used this, I find the area between my shoulder blades really benefits from a spot massage if I've been working on the computer for a long period of time. My husband feels the benefit on his lower back when has aches and pains due to running. You really feel like it is working hard, and you feel the benefit of the massage. It's not as good as the real thing, of course, but it does feel very good.
I paid £129 for this after reading good reviews from other people. I think this price might have come down now. I would recommend this, it has had quite a lot of use from all the family without any problems. It can't really massage the neck so if this is your problem area this isn't the massager you'll need.
Review of my Bosch hand blender:
I bought this for myself to help in my food preparation and baking. I was looking for a gadget I would actually use, and not one which would get put in a cupboard and never see the light of day.
I thought that a hand blender, with easily cleanable attachments, would do just the job, and I am delighted to say it does.
It has a powerful motor of 600w with a variable speed dial located on the top of the handle. Most of the time the lowest speed is more than fast enough for everyday jobs. I rarely use the highest setting. It is quiet when it's running and very easy to use.
The metal blades and metal whisk are well made and feel like they will last a long time. They are easily removed and swapped , just press 2 buttons at the same time and the attachments pop off. This means you can put the attachments in a dishwasher, or submerge them fully in water because the electric part is separated from the 'messy' parts. Being able to put these parts in the dishwasher means they get a good clean each time. This is perhaps the best feature of this model, washing up is a dream and takes just seconds. This model is heavy enough to make it feel like a quality product, but not so heavy it makes using it cumbersome. My daughter, who is a tiny little teenager, handles it with ease and enjoys using it, even the clearing up part.
The blades can be used to blend and they work best with the beaker provided because it is narrow and deep and prevent bits of food flying out. The beaker has measuring marks on the side so you can measure and blend all in one container. You can use it to blend fruit for smoothies, blend veg for soups, or make your own cooked baby food. The beaker has a lid which clips on it so you can pop it in the fridge and keep the content fresh. No need to decant the contents. The blade part also fits with the mini chopper, this attachment is good for making salsa, hummus and dips. The mini chopper also has a lid and it has little suction pads on the bottom of it to keep it steady while you're using it.
The whisker is robust and makes light work of baking type jobs, egg whisking, batter making and cake stirring for some examples. I use mine every Sunday to make my Yorkshire puds. The variable speed comes in handy here. You can use the whisk in the beaker provided, or in a bowl or jug of any description.
There is also a wall fixture in the pack so you can hang the handle and blade wand up, but I have never used this. It is quite small when separated and it fits nicely in a drawer so I don't need to hang it up.
I have really used this gadget a lot, and I think it will last for some years. Bosch is a brand known for its reliability and it is really living up to its reputation with this product. Its currently about 45.00 pounds to buy and well worth this money. I would highly recommend this, especially to those who want to make healthy food for their babies and children.
I needed to book a hotel in New York for me and my family of 3 teenage kids and a husband. We went over the New Year for 5 nights. As always, I have a budget to consider, but I also like my creature comforts too so I spent many hours researching and looking at the comments made by other reviewers.
Eventually I decided to book the Affinia 50 as it was $150 per room per night, no breakfast included, which is mid price range with great reviews and centrally positioned. This price seems to vary quite a bit depending on when you are travelling, they sell it on Expedia but you can also book direct.
I chose this one because the family rooms were large. New York rooms tend to be small as is often the case in big cities. I wanted a large room because sharing works out a lot cheaper. 5 in a room isn't always do-able, but the option is to book 2 rooms which is more expensive. We tend to splash out on the 2 rooms for a longer holiday, but for city breaks piling in the one suits us just fine. When we arrived we were wowed by the size of it, the room was 'L' shaped with a double sofa-bed in one part, and 2 double beds in the other. There was plenty of storage space for us for the 5 nights. The bathroom was very big and there was space for all our toiletries too, it was marble, modern and spotless. There was also a decent sized kitchenette with a full size fridge, microwave, plates etc. We could have self catered well, but we were in New York - eating out is part of the experience! The beds were deep and very comfortable. The room was outstanding.
The reception area on the ground floor is very small, with smart revolving doors, a small seating area and not much else. The staff however are some of the best I've ever seen. The doorman is cheerful, full of tales and interesting facts. The receptionists help with where to go and what to see and were so friendly. They seemed to really love their jobs.
Upstairs, there is a lounge area with a huge open fire, library of books and comfy seating. There are also 2 computers, but we didn't use them. Wi-fi is available but at a charge. We used this area a lot to unwind in the evenings. They do a free wine and cheese hour up in the lounge in the evenings. They just offer a glass of the good stuff and a few chunks of cheddar along with, a bit of a chat to other guests. It was so nice, I kept waiting for a hard sell or something in return for the free wine, but it never came. It was just a really nice touch.
The hotel is next door to the Waldorf Astoira, on East 50th Street. Well placed it is just a walk to 5th Avenue, the Rockafella Centre and Broadway. There are bars and restaurants at every turn. The most handy place to eat is a café right next door which serves the best American Breakfasts ever, huge cheap and a buzzing place to eat. There are also really cheap eateries like sandwich shops and Dunkin Donuts around the corner heading away from 5th Avenue. You can really eat to whatever budget you have set yourself.
There is a Metro stop one block away so everything else if easily travelled to. I would highly recommend the Subway, but don't expect too much help from the staff - they really aren't interested, and you need small notes and change. The hotel staff will do a better job at helping you, so ask them before you set off.
Overall, we were all really pleased with this hotel and would recommend it, especially for those looking for a family room.
This Kenwood Smoothie 2GO does a good job at doing exactly what it says on the tin. No more, no less.
I bought this for my son for Christmas because he goes to the gym every day and drinks protein shakes, which are quite hard to mix up manually. This blender was 30.00 at Sainsburys but I think you can buy it at many places easily enough.
The 'engine' part of this blender is very compact and simple in shape, silver in colour it fits neatly in the corner of a work top and takes up very little space. This part is very easy to wipe clean, without any crevices or corners for grime to build up in. It looks quite smart in our kitchen.
With the blender you get 2 clear plastic mugs which screw onto the blades of the machine, and 2 lids. The lids have hinged stoppers on them, like on a sports bottle, so you can use the mugs as a takeaway cup - hence the 2GO part of the product.
The fact that the mugs screw directly onto the blades makes this unit simple and quick to use. You fill the mug with the fruit, protein powder, ice cream, milk or water you want to blend, then pop on the blade, turn it upside down and attach to the engine. The motor won't turn on until the blades are fixed on properly as a safety feature. The blending then begins, there are 2 speeds - low and fast. It is quite noisy but you don't need to run it for long to blend the smoothie. You then remove the mug, turn it up the right way and unscrew the blade. You can drink from the mug with or without the travel lid fitted.
Once you have finished, washing up the blade and the mugs is quick and easy. The pieces can go in the dishwasher too. The fact that there are 2 mugs and lids is very handy, you can obviously make one for you and one for a friend, and they don't have to be same flavour.
The engine is only 300w so don't use it for anything very difficult to blend or you will burn it out. Soft fruit and small pieces of ice is really what it is meant for. You will need a more powerful motor for hard fruit or lumps of ice. My son uses this blender daily but tends to blend just bananas, milk and the protein powder. He is always in a rush, but he has kept this clean with ease and often takes the smoothie with him on his way out of the door.
This blender really suits what he wanted it for, highly recommend this for all you gym rats.
I am a bit of a Ray Ban snob, it has to be said. Once you wear a pair of these stylish, Italian-made glasses, anything else you put on your face instead just doesn't hit the spot. You've been warned.
My predators are my third pair of Ray Ban. They cover a fairly large area around your eyes, which is exactly what I wanted, I don't want the sun peeping over the frames, or around the side of the frames. Especially when I'm driving, I don't want to squint at all the journey and arrive with a thumping headache.
The lenses are dark, and everything has a little bit of a green tinge through them. I have the ones with Polaroid lenses, which you can spot by a little 'p' next to the Ray Ban branding. This makes looking through glass and through water more clear than those without Polaroid. You can see a marked difference when you look into a river, with the sunglasses on I can see the bottom and I can see fish and plant life. When you take them off, you tend to just see the surface of the water and none of the detail underneath. This is surely a bonus for all you fishermen and women?
These glasses are comfy on my nose, they don't leave any grooves and I think this is because the nose rests are quite wide, spreading the pressure a bit. The plastic of the frames is very sturdy and none of mine have misshapen at all. The screws holding the arms on have never come loose, but I think they are very good at replacing them for free if they ever do. My lenses are plastic, and are completely scratch free. I am careful about cleaning them with the cloth provided, and I religiously keep them in their proper case, but again I think the high quality helps.
They don't seem to go out of fashion, and there are many different frames to choose from. I strongly advise trying them on to make sure you pick the best shape for your face, but I am sure there is one style to fit everyone. No one looks uncool in a pair of Ray Bans.
Some labels cost more without giving you more for your money, but I really think you get the quality you pay for with this brand. At 100 - 150 pounds a go - choose wisely and look after your investment. You will not regret it.
This is my second Dyson vacuum cleaner and I doubt I will ever buy another brand, I am that pleased with the products. My original one is still going strong, I gave it away when I moved overseas not expecting to come back to the UK.
The Dyson ball vacuum is a curious looking object, all in yellow and grey, it looks a bit alien. The parts are all made of very sturdy plastic, most of them come apart following little diagrams located on the machine, and a lot of them you can purchase from Dyson and replace yourself.
The 'ball' has been heavily advertised and means the vacuum can be manoeuvred very easily around objects, under tables and along skirting boards. This really does work, pushing the machine around the house couldn't be easier.
The vacuum isn't too heavy, but this version is a slimmer, smaller model than my old original one. I find it no problem to carry around and up stairs.
The ball has one of 2 filters inside. Monthly you should remove these filters, wash them in water , dry them, then pop them back. This is one of the great things about Dyson, for people like me who never remember to buy new filters, washable ones are the way to go. Not to mention the environmental benefits. These filters really take a lot of dirt out of the air, they help those with allergies but as I'm not a suffer, can't really comment on this.
The suction is very powerful and picks up my dog's hairs a treat. The cylinder is transparent so you can see the dirt collected in the 'cyclone'. You can also see how quickly it fills up. Its best to empty this very frequently as the efficiency does reduce when it gets near full. This is where this slimmer model falls down a bit, I have to empty this every week which is about 4 uses. Emptying is easy though, you remove the whole cyclinder, then hold it over the bin and push the button. The lid flaps open on hinges and the contents fall out. If it's not too full, you don't have to touch the dirt, it just slips out.
You can turn off the brushes so the vacuum can be used on hard floors. I use this in my kitchen which is lino and it works just as well.
There is a wand, which means you can pull out the handle which can be joined to the hose and vacuum the ceilings removing spider webs and dust. The power of the suction is lost a bit when you use the wand though. You can also use some hand tools which clip simply to the hose for corners of the floor, for upholstery, and for the car. The tools all have their storage place on the machine to keep them together and organised. Using the wand and the hand tools is a little tricky though if you are over enthusiastic because the vacuum body is light, it is easy to pull it over yanking the hose about.
The lead is a bit shorter than I'd like, but is plenty long enough for the average room.
The handle slides down inside itself making it short enough to fit in a small cupboard, or fit easily into the back of the car.
I am very happy with this vacuum and would recommend the Dyson brand.
I bought this Bionaire fan heater to take on a camping trip to Cambridgeshire. We have an electric hook up to our tent, usually for the kettle and laptop, but this year the weather forecast was for rain and chilly evenings and I wanted to be prepared. I was looking for something small and light so it didn't take up much room in the car, but sturdy and safe. I also didn't want to pay too much.
I found this one at Tesco for 19.99 which I thinks was a special offer at the time. It weighs about 5lbs and is 8 inches wide and 10 inches high. It is 1700 - 2000w. It has a trip on it which will turn it off if it falls over which I was pleased to see as we wanted it for inside a tent.
It is a pleasing 'egg' shape in white with grey controls on the top. It feels quite robust, and the egg swivels on its base from side to side but you can't angle it up and down at all which means if you want the air flow higher, you have to stand it on something. Standing it on a cupboard or something solid isn't really a problem, it looks nice enough to have on show. We felt safer leaving it on the floor in the tent.
It isn't too noisy but you definitely hear it all the time, maybe you would need the TV up a little louder to cover the sound, but it isnt really a major point
There are 2 controls, the air speed one has 2 levels, and the heat one has three - cold, warm and hot. On cold the air circulates well, but it isnt really as powerful as a lot of cooling fans you can buy. There is a little red light telling you it's plugged in, it only goes off if you remove the power.
It gives off very good heat, as with all fan heaters this is a very dry heat. It heated our tent up in the evening, removing the damp feeling before we climbed into our sleeping bags, it didn't take very long. I will always pack it for camping now. But we do use it at home too now, those summer evenings where it's a bit chilly last thing, but doesn't warrant the heating being switched on. It heats up our smallish living room a treat. I think it would also be good for heating up bed rooms in the evening too but I dont think I could sleep with it on all night - too dry. It doesn't have a timer on it.
A good little heater.
After purchasing a couple of Le Creuset lasagne dishes, and being delighted by the quality, I decided to replace my old frying pan with this Le Creuset pan. It was expensive at 75.00 pounds from Debenhams, but I really, really wanted it. I went for the 28 cm one.
It came in a nice box with the instructions for use and cleaning, and the do's and don'ts regarding the 10 year guarantee. You can get a free replacement for faults as long as there isn't evidence of overheating or severe scratching caused by heavy metal tools.
It is very heavy for a frying pan. This makes it feel like a real well made product. The bottom of the pan is thick and this helps the heat spread evenly. It takes a few minutes to heat the pan thoroughly, this took a few times to get used to, my old pan heated up almost immediately. The heat holds for longer too, once the pan is removed from the heat it takes a while to cool down. This is handy for keeping food warm. You can put the whole pan in the oven too. I do this when I cook frittata to make sure it is cooked all the way through, I pop it in the oven for 10 minutes after frying the mixture for a while. Le Creuset makes little 'mittens' that fit perfectly over the handle, like an oven mitt, so you can get the pan out of the oven without burning you hands.
The handle is metal too, but is a separate piece of metal riveted on with very strong rivets, which stops the heat conducting along it and burning your hand when used on the hob.
The non stick is very good and food just slides of beautifully. I wash the pan up carefully by hand and use only silicon utensils in a slightly obsessive way to try and preserve the non stick. The outside has got black food and oil burnt to it a bit which has spoiled it a tad, but I do use this pan a real lot so I suppose this is to be expected.
I plan to buy a lot more of Le Creuset products, they are cookware you could have for a lifetime. The shapes are simple and practical and stylish.