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JezWalker84

JezWalker84
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Member since: 06.08.2010

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      31.03.2012 20:45
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      Salzburg Fortress

      I visited Austria in January 2007 and while I was there, I visited the Salzburg Fortress.
      Location.
      The Hohensalzburg Fortress is situated on Mountain of Hohensalzburg and the fortress looms over the City and you can really see how prominent it is if you sit in the Cathedral Square below and look up at it. It can literally be seen from most parts of the town.

      The fortress can be accessed by the cable car system. However, on the day we visited the fortress, the cable car was not in operation. This posed no problems for myself or my girlfriend but I have to admit that it was a fair trek up some steep hills and stairs to reach the entrance of the fortress. I am not sure if the cable car works on a seasonal basis (season being May - October) so any disabled or elderly people would have problems negotiating the route. Saying that, even if the cable car were in action, there are still some extremely steep hills to climb up once inside the fortress which was tiring out even the fittest people.

      History of the Castle
      The first record of this fortress being erected dates back to the Roman times. By its location this would make very good sense as you can see the whole area around Salzburg and the Salzach River very well so any invaders would be spotted quickly.
      The first documented Castle to be built on the Mountain was between the years of 1060 and 1088 but this was little more than a Bailey with a wooden wall.
      The main four towers were added between the years 1461 and 1466 and also the outer wall as it can be seen today.
      Continuous building additions were carried out over the following centuries, but the castle took its shape as we see it today during the years of 1495 to 1519 as the Prince of the time wanted it to be more of a Castle of representation of his rule and not for the military purpose it had served in previous centuries.

      Prices
      We had the pleasure of our hotel notifying us of the 'Salzburg card' which we purchased for a fee of 36 euros (this covered a 72 hour period). This card enables you to gain entry to the Fortress for free (and also use of the cable cars when in operation), The Salzburg card also allows you to use the very efficient tram system Salzburg has in place, free of charge so if your staying away from the main city, this card can also be used for free transfers to the main town where the Fortress is located.
      The cost without the Salzburg card is 10 euros for adults and 5.70 euros for children, so I would recommend getting the Salzburg card as this can be used at many other attractions throughout the City. The cable car prices are between 3.60 euros and 5 euros should it be in operation.

      Opening Hours
      Between October and April the Fortress is open between 9.30am - 17.00. In May, June and September it opens between 9.00am and 18.00. Then in July and August the opening hours are 09.00am - 19.00. Last entrance for the inside of the fortress is 30minutes before closing time.

      What To Do And See When You Get There
      When you have either made the steep climb by foot or manage (unlike us) to get the cable car to the summit, you arrive at the old drawbridge which has the ticket booth for paying.
      After paying you take a very steep hill to the courtyard area where we turned left onto a balcony section (for want of a better word) from here you can see for miles around and really enjoy the view of the City and the Mountains further out on the horizon. I would definitely recommend people to take a camera as you can get some stunning pictures. We stayed here for a little time and took some really nice photos. We then climbed another hill to the tour area. This is situated inside the building on the North side of the Castle and it is an Audio tour. We never really felt like doing this personally so I'm afraid I can't pass on a lot of information or feedback on this apart from that fact the tour takes you 30minutes and they run every 40 minutes.

      We entered the State rooms inside the main central keep and this had many rooms and a lovely ceiling with hundreds of Gold leafed bosses which indicated the stars in the night sky! There are lots of information boards throughout the fortress which explain certain aspects of the building work and why it was designed in that way. The boards covered several languages; English included which was very helpful. I found it interesting to learn about the history of the design as there were many ornamental features which without the information boards you possibly would have missed.

      There is a Marionette Museum, where you can view some very old Marionettes and you are able to read a brief history about it. For anyone who is unsure what a Marionette is, it is basically the 1st 'puppets' to be created. This consisted of a small theatre room where old 'puppets' were on show to look at and a brief history of the creator.

      All these attractions / Museums are included in the entry price and are very educational. Although we didn't visit the very top tower which houses a military museum.

      Eating
      There are 2 restaurants within the castle and although we never ate or purchased a drink they did seem reasonably priced and had an array of food from snacks to sweet items. There is also a gift shop which we looked around, this sold the usual souveneirs; trinkets, feathered pens, magnets to name a few as well as bottles of drinks and chocolate bars.

      My Opinion
      I'd highly recommend this as a must see place to visit as we spend four hours here and found it very educational. The views were outstanding; you can see the whole of the city as well as mountains in the distance. It's quite literally a 'bird's eye' view of the City. The admission fees are very reasonable even without the use of the Salzburg Card. My only annoyance was that they did not provide a better access route for those people less able bodied or families with young children.

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      • More +
        10.10.2011 19:22
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        Great centrally located hotel

        My first break away with my girlfriend was when we decided to go to London for a mid week break together. We had loads of Tesco Clubcard vouchers saved up and decided to use these to pay for our break away. This is how we came to book our stay at the Ramada Hotel at Hyde Park.
        Once I had received my hotel vouchers in exchange for the Tesco Clubcard vouchers, I sent the vouchers off to the hotel. Upon receipt of the vouchers, a member of staff phoned me to confirm our booking and also sent confirmation of our booking by email. I found booking very quick and easy, even with the added complication of wanting to pay with vouchers.

        The Ramada Hotel costs £135 per night for a double room with breakfast included and to be honest, had we not been paying with vouchers, we would not have stayed here as I do feel this is a little on the expensive side. Having said that, the hotel is located in a very convenient little spot between Notting Hill and Kensington Gardens. The tube station was a few minutes' walk up the road which was pretty perfect for us as it enabled us to visit all the attractions that we had planned to.
        Upon arrival in London we found the hotel very easily and were greeted by a friendly member of staff at reception. We handed over the relevant paperwork and he confirmed our booking with us. After filling out a registration form we were given our key and shown to our room.

        Our room was clean and tidy but I couldn't help thinking that for £135 a night, it was a touch on the basic side. It was of a decent size but I certainly would not have called it large. The decor could have done with a little updating but again, it was decorated tastefully and was still very pleasant. It was furnished nicely with a double bed and a desk on which stood the TV and internet point. There was also a large double wardrobe which could easily fit all our bits in.
        The bathroom was clean and spacious with a full size bath and over the bath shower. There was a vanity unit complete with complimentary toiletries and a mirror.

        Breakfast was included in the price we paid for our room and this was served between 6-10am. We expected quite a basic breakfast and were pleasantly surprised when we found that it was a full English which was done in a buffet style so we could help ourselves to as much as we wanted. The restaurant was located at the front of the hotel on the ground floor and included an outdoor seating area too. I really liked where the restaurant was situated as you could sit and enjoy your breakfast while watching the busy streets of London outside. Breakfast items on offer included baked beans, tomatoes, sausage, fried eggs, bacon, black pudding, fried egg and toast. You could also have cereals, fruit and pastries. There were plenty of staff in the restaurant and one of the waiting staff served you tea and coffee.

        Overall my impression of staying at the Ramada Hotel was a very pleasant one. I personally would not pay the prices they charge as I am tight and love to find a bargain but as we paid for vouchers, I couldn't really complain. If I had of paid with real money I can't help feeling that I would have been slightly disappointed with the room, just purely because I would have expected something quite grand for that sort of price. The hotel was in an exceptional location which made it so easy for us to visit all the attractions round London that we wished to. The room was clean and comfortable and the breakfast was superb. A thoroughly pleasant experience indeed.

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      • Malaysia Airlines / Airline / 27 Readings / 26 Ratings
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        19.09.2011 01:13
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        Great airline

        I travelled with Malaysia airlines in 2008 when I went on the trip of a life time to Borneo. We booked a package holiday which involved several internal flights once we arrived in Borneo so in total we had the flight to and from Borneo and 6 internal flights which were all with Malaysia airlines.

        Malaysia airlines have been running since 1947 but when they first started business they only offered a fairly restricted service. Nowadays they are considered one of the 'higher class' airlines and fly to over 100 destinations across six continents.

        The check in desks for Malaysia airlines open about three hours before your departure. We were advised to check in at least 2 hours before our flight and I always worry about traffic on the way to the airport so we always try and get to the airport with time to spare. The fact that the check in desk opened so early was a real bonus for us as it meant that we were able to offload our luggage and then browse the various shops on offer at the airport. Once we arrived at the airport, we followed the directions to the relevant check in desk and were pleased to see that there was a very small queue at the Malaysia airlines check in desk. The check in staff all wear beautiful uniforms which are traditional to Malaysia which again, I thought was a nice touch. We were checked in quickly and efficiently with all the relevant security questions asked and the weight of our baggage checked.

        Boarding for Malaysia airlines was also quick and efficient. We boarded about 15 minutes before we were due to fly which initially had me thinking that our flight time might be delayed. However, in hindsight, I really liked the fact that we boarded only 15 minutes before our flight took off as it limited the amount of time we were stuck on the plane. When you on a 16 hour flight, every second counts!
        Once on board, I was pleased to see that free newspapers were available and these came in English and Malaysian. Most of all though, I was over the moon to see just how much leg room we had. I am 6ft 2 and always struggle on planes where they just seem to cram you in. With Malaysia airlines you get extra leg room as standard which is a massive bonus for me. Once we were sat down, I had about 4 inches between my knees and the seat in front which has never been the case on other flights.

        The entertainment on the plane was also another high point for me. You had your own little screen to view which was placed in the back of the seat in front of you. I really enjoyed the fact that you had your own personal screen as it meant that you were able to watch whatever entertainment you liked and didn't have to just watch whatever they decided to show. There was plenty of entertainment to choose from as well. There were about six different films to pick between which were all recent releases at the cinema. On top of this you also had all time classic films such as Forest Gump to watch. As well as the film channels, there was a channel which showed episode of show such as Only Fools and Horses, Catherine Tate and Friends. If you didn't fancy watching a film and just wanted to listen to music then you also had that option as there were around 6 different radio stations. Finally there was a games channel where you could choose between about 20 games including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire which was probably my personal favourite.

        The staff on board Malaysia airlines dress in traditional Malaysia uniforms and were very friendly and helpful.

        The food and drink on Malaysia airlines was incredible. All our drinks were free and this also included all alcoholic drinks. You could literally call a member of staff over and order a drink which would then be brought to you very soon after. I couldn't believe it when we found out that all the drink were complimentary. As well as the free drinks, we were also allowed to have sandwiches, crisps and biscuits which again were all complimentary. When it came to the main meals that are bought round to you, you are even given a choice of what you like. For example, my choice was between fish, chicken or beef. My meal was steaming hot and exceptionally tasty. It was a decent size and came with a pudding and a fruit juice.

        As you have probably guessed by now, I would highly recommend travelling with Malaysia airlines. There was literally nothing I could fault about our flight. The airplane was clean, the extra leg room was a very nice touch and the food was second to none. To top it all off, every single flight took off on time which is also a massive positive.

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        08.09.2011 01:19
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        A great little attraction

        I moved to Dover in 2007 for work purposes and have been settled here ever since. However, it has only been since I met my partner two years ago that I have actually started visiting the local attraction in Dover. One attraction that is often overlooked is the Crabble Corn Mill.

        Location
        Crabble Corn Mill is located on the outskirts of Dover in a small village called River. Admittedly, it is rather tucked away and by6 no means on a main road so I can see how encouraging tourists to this attraction must be difficult.

        Cost
        The admission costs for Crabble Corn Mill are more than reasonable with adults being charged £4 and children and OAP's being charged £3. A family ticket costs £13. This price will get you admission to the mill and you are free to walk around at your leisure. If you wish you have a guided tour of the mill then you are required to pay an additional £1 on entry.

        Opening Times
        Crabble Corn Mill is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11am until 5pm from Easter to September. From October to Christmas and March to Easter, the mill is open on weekends only from 11am until 5pm.

        The Mill
        Crabble Corn Mill is operated by the Crabble Corn Mill Trust. It was opened to the public in 1990 after being saved from demolition. The building which visitors can see today was built in 1812. It was built next to an existing mill which was later demolished.

        The Mill is a working museum and shows a mixture of Georgian and Victorian engineering excellence at work using water. In total there are six floors where visitors can see various exhibits and milling machinery. You can also read about the entire process of turning wheat into flour.

        Today, Crabble Corn Mill is one of the most complete and working examples of a Georgian watermill in Europe. In 1999 the Mill won the prestigious Presidents Award from the Association for Industrial Archaeology.

        There are tea rooms at Crabble Corn Mill which are located on the ground floor serve a variety of snacks and meals. It also has a fully licensed bar serving a variety of beers, cider, wines and spirits. There is no admission charge to the café and it is not essential to complete a tour of the Mill if you would just like a drink or snack.

        Finally there is a small farm shop at the mill. This is run completely by volunteers and is open from 9am until 5pm every week day except for Mondays. They sell local produce here, as well as the flour which they make at the mill. Also available are plants, wood and wood chippings.

        Summary
        I would highly recommend a trip to Crabble Corn Mill. Although a trip will probably only take you a maximum of 2 hours so this certainly isn't an all day attraction. I like the Mill as an attraction because as well as being enjoyable and interesting, it is also educational. Living in the local area for this attraction, I would also like to point out that this is an attraction that is always under threat of being closed down because it does not make enough money and I think it would be really sad to have such a beautiful and interesting attraction closed down.

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        • Splendips Thai Sweet Chilli / Snacks / 26 Readings / 25 Ratings
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          26.08.2011 13:11
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          Spendid snack

          I am a shift worker and am always on the look out for snack type food items for taking into work to keep me ticking over. One of my favourite snacks is the Splendips Philadelphia Thai Sweet Chilli pots.

          Being a fan of hot food anyway, it would make sense out of the various flavours on offer that I would opt for the Thai Sweet Chilli variety. Having said that, it's not anything like hot once you tuck into it. There is an underlying twang but mostly the sweet chilli dip is exactly that - sweet.

          If for whatever reason, you have never come across Splendips then I will let you know that they are a snack container which includes a cracker of some variety, a section that contains Philadelphia cream cheese and another section which contains the dip. There are several varieties on offer. The variety I am reviewing contains rice crackers, light cream cheese and a sweet chilli dip.

          I thought that there was a decent amount of crackers within the snack pot. I often find with items like this that there aren't enough of the item to be dipped as there is dip so you often run out but this certainly isn't the case with Splendips. The crackers are of the rice variety and are small circles. Once you grab a cracker, you scrape some cheese onto the cracker and then dip it into the sweet chilli sauce and you're ready to eat.

          I think these three ingredients really compliment each other. The hard crunchy cracker, along with the softness and creaminess of the cheese which is then set of nicely but the sweet and sharp taste of the sweet chilli dip. A perfect combination.

          I think that Splendips offer pretty good value for money as they are a tasty little snack and cost about 90p a packet. If you shop at Tesco's, then they can quite often be found on special offer here where you can purchase two for £1.50.

          Overall, I would certainly recommend this as a snack. It doesn't exactly fill you up but it does tide you over which is exactly what a snack is meant to do. Although this is not a snack you would chose if you are trying to watch your weight, it does make me feel slightly less guilty eating an item such as this rather than a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar.

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            17.08.2011 22:12
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            A great all round aftershave offering excellent value for money

            I was bought Diesel Zero Plus Masculine for Christmas last year as a present from my mother in law.

            The Price
            Although this was bought for me, for the purpose of this review, I have had a quick look around and have found out that a 75ml bottle, it will set you back roughly £10 which is extremely reasonable considering most aftershaves are around £30.

            The Packaging
            Diesel Zero Plus Masculine comes with really unique, eye catching packaging. It has a Perspex dome which sits on the base. The base then has two raised plastic sections, which allows the bottle to the wedged in place. There is a clamp on the spray section at the top to stop the bottle being sprayed accidentally which is quite useful to save any wastage. The bottle itself is a bright red colour, with a silver top. Diesel is written in big silver letters on the front of the bottle along with the usual info such as size etc.

            The Smell
            This aftershave is quite a delicate smell for a male's fragrance. According the diesel, the ingredients include amber, bitter orange, black pepper, cassis, cedar wood, cherry, cinnamon, coconut milk, muguet, nutmeg, pineapple, pitosforum, plum, orchid, orris, red apples, rose, sandalwood, strawberry and vanilla notes. To be honest, I think this aftershave smells very similar to cola bottles which may sound a bit odd but it's actually a very refreshing aftershave. This aftershave is subtle and not too overpowering. It is noticeable without choking everyone in the room.

            Does The Smell Last?
            As I said, I think this aftershave is designed to be subtle but the smell definitely lasts. It is stronger at first but then fades throughout the day but I still notice it on my clothes and skin at the end of the day.

            Summary
            This aftershave is very cheap compared to others on the market so I believe it is very good value for money. The scent is different from most other aftershaves as it is more feminine than others I have smelt (without smelling too girly) The bottle itself is well presented. A great aftershave to wear for any occasion.

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            • Chickens / Pet / Animal / 34 Readings / 34 Ratings
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              24.04.2011 11:52
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              A brilliant pet

              Myself and my partner are avid animal lovers and currently have dogs, reptiles, birds, fish and ferrets. The newest addition to our household is chickens. We live in a terraced town house and our garden is not particularly huge but we felt it was big enough the house a smallish hen house and four chickens.

              Obtaining Chickens
              We looked around before purchasing our chickens and found that there were many places to get them from. The website www.preloved.co.uk seemed to be quite a good website and it was while we were browsing on there that we came across an advert offering bantam chickens and with it being only a 20 minute drive away, we headed over to have a look and 40 minutes later, left with our first two chickens.
              Another place to get chickens is from a battery farm. Battery farms only keep chickens for two years as this is when they believe the hens lay the most eggs. After the two years, they either give them away or sell them for a small fee and sadly, any that do not find new homes are destroyed. We quite often find adverts in our local paper advertising them so this is certainly something to look out for when looking for chickens.

              Living Conditions
              As I mentioned earlier, we only have a small garden so we had to be careful when picking a hen house. We were very lucky as my partner's brother was upgrading his hen house as he wanted a bigger one, so we took the smaller one off his hands.

              Obviously the size of the hen house depends on the size of your garden and the amount of hens you intend to keep in it. Another thing to consider is that your chicken will need a 'run'. They simply love to scratch around and dig at the mud so as well as having an enclosed hutch to sleep in; they will need an area to roam.
              Our chicken hutch and run are together and in total the enclosed house is about 3 feet wide and 3 feet high. The run which is attached to the house is about 4 feet long and this is sufficient enough for the four hens we keep. I would like to point out that our hens are also allowed out of their run on a daily basis and are free to roam the rest of the garden. The run is simply there to provide them with an outside area in which they will be protected from cats and foxes while we are not at home. If you have the room, you can have an enclosure big enough so that the hens would not need to come out of their run.

              There is a ramp which leads from the house into the run so the chickens are free to choose whether they want to stay in the hen house or venture into their outdoor area and peck around.
              As for the interior of the house, there are a few things I would recommend having. Our hens love to roost and in order to do this; they will need a perch in the house. Another thing that is a necessity in a hen house is of course nesting boxes which will need to be filled with hay. In our run we have a perch which runs the length of the inside and two large nesting boxes at one end.

              Another thing to consider when purchasing you chicken coop is to make sure that it is waterproof. Not only will this keep the hens from getting wet, it will also ensure that cleaning them out is easier for you.
              Our hutch is a purpose built run with lots of little extra which I like. For example, there is a door above the nesting boxes which makes is much easier when checking for eggs as you simply just need to open this door, rather than open the entire hutch. Another addition I like is that the main part of the run has a drawer that pulls out which makes cleaning them out much easier as you can pull the drawer away from the house and empty the contents meaning you don't have the added hassle of having to dig around inside the coop.

              What Do Chickens Need?
              Aside from the above, chickens are pretty self sufficient. Of course they will need food and water and oyster grit is great for them as it helps them to produce the shell around the eggs. We have a feeder which sits in their pen which means that they always have food and water available.

              Chickens will literally eat anything! Having said that, they will of course need a food specifically for chickens and this comes in the form of layer pellets and corn. We buy a 15k bag of layer pellets from a local farmer for £7 and bag and then buy the corn separately from our local pet shop where it is 99p a kilo. As well as having this food, they also eat pretty much everything else, any food that is just going off, any leftovers and anything else that is offered. They also love grass and happily roam our garden keeping the grass nice and trim.
              Oyster grit is fairly cheap; we pay £1 a kilo from our local pet shop and it lasts ages.

              Cleaning Out
              Again this depends on how many chickens you intend of keeping. We only have four so they don't actually make that much mess, especially as they are allowed out to roam for most of the day. Their coop gets cleaned out about every three weeks which literally consists of us changing the newspaper in the main house and replacing the hay in the nesting boxes. I do occasionally pick the chicken poo out the nest boxes and stick it in with the compost as it's a great fertiliser and also helps to keep them clean.

              Exercise
              As I mentioned earlier, out hens are allowed out of the coop on a daily basis and are free to roam the garden. They really seem to enjoy coming out of their pen as the garden is full of flower beds and grass which they love to roam around in. Again, how much exercise they need is dependent on how much room they have in their run. My partner's parents have a massive chicken house and run and don't really need to come out at all as they have plenty of room although they are still let out and enjoy a good root around. Another reason I like the hens to come out, is so they are able to flap their wings. The moment we open the door to the run, our hens come running out and proceed to run across the garden flapping their wings. They really seem to enjoy the freedom.

              Eggs
              A real bonus of keeping chickens is the fresh eggs. Our hens are only just starting to lay so it's a bit hit and miss as to how many eggs we get a day. The in-laws have around 12 chickens and they get on average above 8 eggs a day. We have noticed that the hens seem to lay more in the summer than they do in the winter. The difference in the eggs from shop bought ones is astounding. The yolks are literally a bright orange colour compared to the dull watery yellow ones that you buy in shops. This is down to the fact that they are fed a good diet and live a free range lifestyle.

              Keeping Chickens Together
              As long as there is enough space, you can keep as many hens together as you like. With cockerels, you have to be more careful as any more than one and they will fight. I do know people that keep more than one together but this is rare and the in-laws had two and had to re-home the other one as they literally fought all day. As you introduce new hens there will be a certain amount of bickering until they sort of the pecking order (excuse the pun). Also, if a hen has a cut, the other hens will peck at the blood and keep on doing so, so I find that its best to remove the injured hen until the cut is healed. Aside from that, keeping many hens together causes no problems.

              Summary
              I thoroughly enjoy keeping hens and would highly recommend it to anyone else who is interested. Watching the hens pecking around in the garden provides hours of fun and you get the added bonus of being able to collect your own fresh eggs every morning, knowing that they came from a happy chicken. You may not think they are a great family pet and although you can't walk them like you can a pet dog, they are actually highly sociable creatures and enjoy being stroked and petted. They even sit down on the grass as you walk over to them, expecting you to rub their backs.
              The only downside is that chickens do create a lot of mess and expect their run to be messy at all times. They also poo more than any other animal I have ever kept but there is a bonus to this...it makes great fertiliser for the rest of the garden.

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              • More +
                17.04.2011 22:15
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                A great product as a treat or to encourage fussy eaters

                Although my family have always kept dogs, it wasn't until I moved in with my partner that I was introduced to Kongs. For those of you who don't know what a kong is, it is basically a hollow rubber shaped item which is normally cone shaped or round. At one end there is a hole, which allows you to stuff it full of various edible items so you dog is then able to roll the kong around and get the food items to fall out so they can eat them.

                Kongs claim to be virtually indestructible so are great items to gibe to your dog if they become bored when left unattended at home. Luckily my partners dogs are really well behaved so we only use the kongs for our dogs to give them a little treat while we are out.
                Kong Stuff n Peanut Butter paste is a product that you can use in conjunction with the kong.

                Packaging
                Kong Stuff n Peanut Butter paste comes in a white bottle with a blue lid. The nozzle of the bottle is very similar to that of a squirty cream bottle so this product is very easy to put into the kong and doesn't create any mess at all. All the usual information such as directions for use and ingredients are printed on that back of the bottle.

                Price
                I buy this item online and I advise you to shop around as prices do vary. I have recently been ordering it from http://www.surreypetsupplies.co.uk/kong-stuff-n-paste-peanut-butter-226g.html where it costs £3.85 for a 226 gram bottle. You can also get this product from websites such as Amazon.

                Using The Product
                We normally put a selection of their normal dry dog biscuits into the kong and then spray some paste on top. We repeat this until the kong is full. The idea is that the smell of the peanut butter will encourage your dogs to dig around inside the kong and get the biscuits out. In fairness, our dogs don't actually need any encouragement to eat anything but we like to spoil them and this product is a favourite. The paste mixes with the biscuits and makes them stick together which makes it more taxing for your dog to pick the biscuits out - it really does provide hours of entertainment! Another thing we like to do with this product is make the kongs up (as stated above) and then stick them in the freezer for a couple of hours before giving them to the dogs. This makes the kongs last even longer.

                Range
                As well as peanut butter flavour, you can also get fresh breath flavour as well as liver flavour. They also do a special product designed for puppies.

                Summary
                I would definitely recommend this product for anyone who likes to treat their dogs. Our eldest dog used to be a fussy eater when he was younger and this product really encouraged him to enjoy his treats more although that really isn't a problem nowadays as he has turned into a bit of a pig.
                This product is really easy to use, good value for money and a great little treat for your best friend.

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                • More +
                  10.03.2011 15:10
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                  A brilliant tank

                  My Juwel Rio 240 tank and cabinet

                  When my trusty 200L tank and homemade stand decided to finally give up the ghost and die, I had to get a new tank, and fast!! After going to every pet shop and aquarists in south east England, I decided to buy a juwel rio 240 tank setup in beech. Juwel is a very well known and trusted name in the aquatics industry. They are a German company, so you know the build quality will be excellent, as with anything German!! They have been in the aquatics industry for over 30 years and have a near perfect reputation. Juwel are stocked buy almost every aquatics store in the country so picking up accessories and spares is easy.
                  What you get:

                  High-Lite T5 light unit including tubes 120cm, 2 x 54 watt
                  Bio Standard filter including pump set 1000 and filter media
                  Heater 200 Watt
                  Volume: approx. 240 Litres
                  Aquarium Measurements: 121 x 41 x 55 cm
                  Cabinet Measurements. 121 x 41 x 73cm

                  The Tank:
                  The tank is a classic shape, rectangular, but has a lovely modern beech trim. This trim matches my modern styled living room perfectly. The other colors trims available are Dark wood & Black. The tank is very sturdy and looks the part. You can see the quality of the tank for the first minute you set eyes upon it. If only they used clear sealant instead of black this tank would be a piece of art but when full of water and fish you don't really notice. The lid is a little un-stylish, it's made of black plastic, but it is very functional and can be covered but to be honest you don't really sit and look at a lid!?! The top of the tank has two cut outs (at the back) which enables you to hang the wires from your lights and heaters neatly out the back, I have also got my two ehiems running out of these with no trouble fitting all the pipe work in. This tank is well suited to tropical, marine or cold water use.

                  The Stand:
                  The stand is more like a cabinet and is a nice piece of furniture in its own right. Again this is very well made and comes in flat pack form which is simple to build. It comprises of two cupboards and centre shelving. The two cupboards are the perfect size for my Ehiem external filters and because the cupboard has no back, the pipe work is very easy to connect, thus enabling a good flow. Even with an external filter in each cupboard I can still use the cupboard shelves for storage and there is an open shelving section between the cupboards, more than enough storage for any enthusiast! My stand came in beech and is very nicely finished especially with the silver handles on the cupboards, lovely. The stand is very sturdy, which is a good job as the tank will weigh around ¼ ton when full!

                  Filter, Heating & Lighting:
                  My only gripe with the juwel setups is that 99% of the time, the internal filter is already fixed inside the tank, so if like me, you use external filters, you have to remove it. This is a very easy process, just use a Stanley blade and some patience. Having said that the filter that comes with the tank is more than adequate for the average enthusiast, but my needs are greater due to my chosen fish species. But for general community tank use it will do the job just fine, and it comes with all the filter media, which is a nice touch.

                  The heater is very reliable and 'does what is says on the tin' really, it heats the water!? Not much more I can say about it. Oh, it does have a nice long power lead which is handy!
                  The lighting is the 'Juwel in the crown', if you excuse the pun! The new T5 lighting is simply stunning! This sort of lighting quality is usually the price of the tank and stand on its own!! Mine came with two bulbs, one has a blue-ish tint and enhances plant growth whilst the other is specially designed to enhance the color of the fish. I couldn't believe my eyes, I didn't know my fish were so beautiful until I saw them under these lights! They are truly worth the money on their own!

                  Conclusion......
                  Juwel have a huge range of aquariums, stands & accessories. I am very impressed by every product that I have ever bought from these fish loving Germans. They are not the cheapest but by no means the most expensive and I believe they are very good value for money! I would certainly buy juwel aquarium equipment again. The prices vary dramatically depending on what size and style of tank you require. I would advise to shop around and don't be afraid to haggle!! I got my Rio 240 tank, stand, filter, heater, Two Juwel Lime stone 3d backgrounds (Priced at £45 each!), Silicone sealant and two red crabs for £500 cash, after haggling with the manager!! I would also advise looking on the 'net as there are some very good offers around at the moment, many with free delivery. So a great tank setup, great quality and a great price

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                    04.01.2011 15:57
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                    A great little attraction

                    I live in Dover which is about a 10 minute drive from Samphire Hoe and I have visited this attraction on many occasions, either to fish or to walk mine and my partner's dogs.

                    Samphire Hoe
                    When the Channel Tunnel was built, 4.9 million cubic metres of chalk marl was taken away and this is what was used to create Samphire Hoe. It is owned by Euro Tunnel and is managed in partnership with the White Cliffs project.

                    Inside Samphire Hoe you can take part in several activities such as fishing or bird watching. There are many rare flowers here which you can walk around and look at. For those of you just wishing to have a nice relaxing walk, you can follow the marked pathways and even stop off for a picnic at one of the picnic areas.

                    Car Parking
                    Inside Samphire Hoe there are two car parks which means there is always ample parking available, even during the busier summer months. The cost is fairly reasonable too with half an hour parking costing 50p.

                    Gaining To Samphire Hoe
                    Entry to Samphire Hoe is from the A20 motorway on the west bound carriage way to London. There is a well signposted slip road and when you reach this you have to stop at a set of traffic lights.
                    These are in place purely as the single tunnel which accesses the Hoe is only suitable for 1 vehicle at a time.

                    Samphire Hoe
                    Within the grounds of Samphire Hoe, there are two marked pathways which visitors can follow. The pathways are made from crushed stone and are quite compact so wheelchair users can easily make their way around this attraction. The paths take you around the various open areas as well as over bridges where you can view the man-made lakes. The whole walk takes about an hour to complete. Along the way you can walk along the main wall and meet the fisherman and see what they have caught that day which is always interesting and in my experience they have always been friendly and happy to stop for a chat.
                    From Samphire Hoe, you can get beautiful views of the famous White Cliffs of Dover and the Kent Downs which are both classed as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
                    At the far end of Samphire Hoe, there is a small beach and although it is a pebble beach, it is still a nice area to sit in and relax.

                    Facilities
                    Near the car park there is a refreshment kiosk where you can get food and drink items such as sandwiches, rolls, ice creams and snacks such as crisps and chocolate. They also serve a selection of hot and cold drinks.

                    Around the back of the cafe are the toilet facilities, male, female and also a disabled with a baby changing area.

                    Other Information
                    Volunteers are present at Samphire Hoe for visitors to ask any questions. There are free leaflets about the Hoe and the surrounding areas, an information board, and wooden panels with the latest wildlife sightings written on them which are always very interesting to view as it gives you some kind of idea of what you can see during your visit.

                    Summary
                    In summary, I would certainly recommend a visit to Samphire Hoe. The walks are very relaxing and you can see some beautiful sights of the White Cliffs. Visitors have the option of taking part in guided walks and learning a little bit about our surroundings or you can just do your own thing, at your own pace.

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                    • Pedigree Jumbone / Dog Food / 63 Readings / 62 Ratings
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                      16.12.2010 21:21
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                      A great chew

                      I recently re-homed a 6 year old collie cross, called Indie. He really enjoys his food but never seems to chew it so breakfast and dinner are gone in no time. I wanted something a little longer lasting but don't really like the idea of bones because of the way they split into sharp pieces, I always worry he will end up hurting himself.

                      Whilst out shopping at the supermarket I came across the Pedigree Jumbone, it looked very big compared to other treats on the market and good value for money so I thought I'd give it a try. The fact that they're low in fat appealed to me because when I got him he was a little too well loved. Once I gave it to him, he chewed on it for ages. I also liked the fact that the chew helps fight plaque on your dog's teeth when they chew as well, so not only is it good for him inside it also helps any breath problems they may have to.

                      Flavours
                      The Jumbone comes in two flavours, chicken and rice and beef, my dog doesn't really have a personal favourite, he likes both equally.

                      Price
                      I usually buy mine from Tesco, they're priced in there at £1.35, which may sound like a lot but they're about an inch thick and at least 7 inches long. They come in three different sizes, small dog medium dog and large dog. I get the large dog size. Prizes may vary at other stores or local pet shops but I shouldn't think it would be by much. They last my dog a lot longer than most other treats you can buy, and are also very healthy. They contain lots of minerals and vitamins that all dogs need as well.

                      My dog's opinion
                      He really enjoys these treats; as soon as he smells them he sits in front of me wagging his tail then takes it away and chews on it for at least 20 minutes. He really likes the taste of the meaty centre, and lays down with it between his front legs trying to get at it. He never leaves a trace of it anywhere. I'm sure all dogs would love these treats because they have a great mix of a harder outside and meaty centre (the meaty centre always seems to grab their attention!) It makes the dog work more for it other than just scoffing it straight down.

                      Summary
                      In my opinion the Pedigree Jumbone is a fantastic treat for any dog. The health benefits and the helping of cleaning their teeth make so much sense. I believe that they're so much safer than normal bones which as I said can tend to split; I've trod on so many bits of broken off bone to know how much it hurts. The only real downside I could possibly see to these is that once they get wet they do become a little sticky. If it should leave a mark on either their bed or the carpet it comes off easily enough with a little water. I would certainly recommend this product to anybody who is looking for an alternative treat for their dogs.

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                        13.11.2010 17:22
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                        A conveniently located hotel

                        We stayed at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel for one night in April 2008 before going on our annual holiday.

                        Location
                        I am not the best person with directions but I have to say that we actually found the Sheraton Skyline quite easy to find. From the hotel website, you are able to print off a map which is very easy to follow and takes you directly to the hotel. The hotel is on a long road which is lined with lots of hotels so it's literally just a case of keeping an eye out for the Sheraton. This hotel is located about a 10 minute drive from Heathrow airport which was perfect for us as we had an early morning flight and it saved the hassle of driving to London early in the morning from where we live in Dover.

                        About The Hotel
                        The Sheraton Skyline Hotel has 350 guest rooms which include classic, smart and executive rooms. The rooms in the hotel are advertised as being sound proofed so all guests can enjoy a decent nights sleep. Satellite channels and high speed internet access is available in the rooms, although again this is charged as extra. Car parking is charged as extra so the rate you pay for the room does not cover the car parking.

                        The hotel offers an indoor heated swimming pool as well as a gym for hotel guests.
                        The Sheraton Skyline also has a conference centre available which has 18 meeting rooms of various sizes with broadband internet access available in most of these rooms. There are also video and teleconferencing facilities available

                        Arrival
                        Upon finding the hotel, we also found it easy to find the car park. We were however rather annoyed to find that we had to pay to park the car. I would have thought that after paying to stay for a night at the hotel, the cost of the car park would be free so this is definitely something to watch out for if you are staying here. You can pay to park from anything from a few hours up to 24 hours. We paid for 24 hours which set up back a very shocking £12!

                        After getting over the shock of the cost of the car park, we were pleased to find ourselves walking into a rather large and elegant looking reception. We handed the lady behind the reception our booking confirmation print off and she confirmed out details with us. At the time of staying, I was a smoker and the lady asked if we would prefer smoking or non smoking so we requested a smoking room which wasn't a problem. She did however inform us that if we wanted a smoking room unfortunately we would only be able to have a shower as the smoking rooms did not have baths. My partner is a bath-a-holic so we opted for the non smoking room in the end so she would be able to have her bath. I felt that it would have been nice to have the option of a bath or a shower in the smoking and non smoking rooms.

                        After a fairly painless and efficient check in, we were handed our keys and shown to our room by one of the hotel porters who carried out suitcases for us.

                        The Room
                        We were shown to our room which was on the 8th floor. Sadly our view was of the car park at the side of the hotel which wasn't the most appealing but then we didn't request a room with a view so can't grumble too much. On the plus side, the room was rather large and very clean. The room came complete with a gigantic bed, 2 wardrobes, ironing board and iron and a small office area which had a small desk, a chair and an internet access point. Also in the room was a small lounge type area which had a three seater sofa and a small coffee table. Finally there is a safe in the room too.

                        The room had a fridge which came stocked with various items. There was a small area of the fridge which you could use to cool any of your own items too. The items in the fridge included various brands of alcohol, soft drinks and a selection of chocolate bars. As with most mini bars, the prices were extortionate! I felt that £6 for one shot of alcohol (bearing in mind that's before you have added the soft drink) was stupidly overpriced. Needless to say, we avoided the mini bar!

                        Having said that, we were very impressed with the bathroom which again was very large and came complete with a full size bath (bonus for me as I am tall and the half baths are pretty useless to me!), a power shower over the top of the bath and a sink area with cosmetic mirror. In this area there was a hairdryer too. Complimentary toiletries are provided in the bathroom also.

                        The Facilities
                        As I mentioned earlier, the hotel offers a medium sized gym and also an indoor heated swimming pool which is free to use for guests. Sadly, we didn't really have time to use either of these but we did go and have a look at both of them and found them to be clean and well looked after.
                        There is an American themed Sport Bar where you can watch sports on a rather large screen while enjoying a drink or something to eat. Prices are as you would expect them to be in a London hotel, overpriced!

                        The Sage restaurant is the hotel's restaurant and is much more formal than the bar mentioned above and the prices certainly reflect that! You would look to pay between £12 and £20 for a starter alone and between £30 and £40 for the main courses. Although the food looked very appetising, we were not prepared to pay these prices and decided to venture out of the hotel to have a meal. As I mentioned earlier, the hotel is situated on a road with lots of other hotels so we knew that we would need to drive to get to a place to eat. We asked at reception if we would be ok to take the car out of the car park and asked her to confirm that we would only be charged once for the parking if we were to do this. She informed us that she could validate our parking token for a grand total of 30 minutes and we would only be charged the once for parking. I personally thought this was pretty poor as half an hour would not allow us to go very far for something to eat and basically limited our option to a take away and we would not be able to manage a sit down meal in a restaurant with a measly 30 minutes. It did make me wonder if they do this on purpose to try and encourage you to eat at the expensive restaurant at the hotel.

                        After our fantastic meal of McDonalds, we arrived back at the hotel and decided to have a couple of drinks in the hotel bar before heading up to bed. We found the SkyBar which is located outside. The location of the Sky Bar was pretty impressive and it looked beautiful all lit up and complete with a thatched roof. There were plenty of tables and chairs to pick from and there was light music playing in the background. We approached the bar and browsed the drinks menu. I settled for half a pint of beer while my partner had an alcoholic cocktail. I think I actually gasped when the bar tender charged me £21 for our two drinks. Needless to say, we stopped drinking after one drink and retired to our room.

                        Cost
                        We booked our stay at the Sheraton Skyline through www.priceline.co.uk as we actually found this cheaper than booking directly with the hotel. One nights stay set us back £75 which we thought was fairly reasonable compared to some of the other quotes we had been given for other nearby hotels. The price paid for a double room and breakfast was not included.

                        Summary
                        I am very much undecided on whether or not I would recommend this hotel. The hotel itself was lovely, with large spacious rooms and nice facilities such as the bars and the swimming pool. I thought that the rate we paid offered us fairly good value for money although it would have been nice if they included breakfast in the rate that we paid.

                        Having said that, I was utterly disappointed to have to pay a further £12 for parking the car. If you add this to the rate we paid for the room then it makes the rate much less good value for money. I was also very disappointed with the overpriced facilities, the restaurant, the bar and the mini fridge all had extortionate prices. I know that many hotels bunk the prices up slightly but I felt the prices here we an absolute joke and left you very limited for food / drink options. You are even more limited when the hotel only allows you out of the car park for 30 minutes!

                        Overall, I would recommend this hotel if you want somewhere convenient to stay before taking a flight out of Heathrow but would also recommend shopping around at other nearby hotels as by the time you add the cost of parking to the hotel rate, you might actually get a better deal elsewhere.

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                          23.10.2010 19:04
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                          A decent cheap scent

                          I was bought Diesel Zero Plus Masculine for Christmas last year.

                          The Price
                          Although this was bought, I had a quick look around and have found out that a 75ml bottle, it will set you back only £10 which is extremely reasonable considering most aftershaves are around £30.

                          The Packaging
                          Diesel Zero Plus Masculine comes with really unique, eye catching packaging. It has a perspex dome which sits on the base. The base then has two raised plastic sections, which allows the bottle to the wedged in place. There is a clamp on the spray section at the top to stop the bottle being sprayed accidentally which is quite useful to save any wastage. The bottle itself is a bright red colour, with a silver top. Diesel is written in big silver letters on the front of the bottle along with the usual info such as size etc.

                          The Smell
                          This aftershave is quite a delicate smell for a male's fragrance. According the diesel, the ingredients include amber, bitter orange, black pepper, cassis, cedar wood, cherry, cinnamon, coconut milk, muguet, nutmeg, pineapple, pitosforum, plum, orchid, orris, red apples, rose, sandalwood, strawberry and vanilla notes. To be honest, I think this aftershave smells very similar to cola bottles which may sound a bit odd but it's actually a very refreshing aftershave. This aftershave is subtle and not too overpowering. It is noticeable without choking everyone in the room.

                          Does The Smell Last?
                          As I said, I think this aftershave is designed to be subtle but the smell definitely lasts. It is stronger at first but then fades throughout the day but I still notice it on my clothes and skin at the end of the day.

                          Summary
                          This aftershave is very cheap compared to others on the market so I believe it is very good value for money. The scent is different from most other aftershaves as it is more feminine than others I have smelt (without smelling too girly) The bottle itself is well presented. A great aftershave to wear for any occasion.

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                          • More +
                            08.10.2010 21:25
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                            A great aftershave

                            Another favourite aftershave of mine is Issey Miyake (come to think of it, I actually have lots of favourites!).

                            Issey Miyake
                            Issey Miyake released this fragrance in 1994 and it is intended to be fresh, modern and sophisticated.

                            Packaging
                            The box to the aftershave is light blue and silver and looks quite sophisticated. Issey Miyake is written across the front of the box and L'Eau D'Issey Pour Homme is written underneath that. On the bottom of the box is the volume information, for example, my bottle stated 100ml.
                            The bottle itself if quite original and certainly different from most aftershave bottles. The glass of the bottle is see through but it is slightly frosted which makes it looks quite appealing and also means you are still able to see how much you have left. The bottle is quite wide and tall with a flat back to it (so it can be laid down if needed) and a curved front. The lid is silver and has the same shaping as the bottle. The top is a bog standard lid which pulls off easily and has a normal spray nozzle.

                            Price
                            For 125ml of this aftershave, look to pay around £45.50, for 100ml around £32.50 and for 75ml it costs about £31.95. Always shop around as I have found this aftershave cheaper online when bought in a tester box which is ideal if you are not giving it to someone as a present.

                            Sizes
                            After doing a little bit of research, I have found that Issey Miyake is sold in bottle of 50ml, 75ml and 125ml. I can't seem to find a bottle of 30ml so I assume the smallest you can get is 50ml.

                            Smell
                            The ingredients of this aftershave include a blend spicy carnation, peony and white lily. Apparently this aftershave is meant to be floral and fruity with a blend of fresh and spicy notes. To be honest, I know this doesn't sound very masculine but I can assure you that it is, you certainly won't end up smelling like a women.

                            I would say that this fragrance is definitely fresh and light and not too overpowering. It is certainly noticeable but without making people cough with the strength of it. I assume it is designed to sort of linger in the background and not be too offensive.

                            Staying Power
                            This aftershave has excellent staying power and I can still easily smell it after 6 or so hours of wearing it. The smell does fade throughout the day but this is to be expected. I work on a building site and even after a busy day, I can still smell this fragrance when I get home.

                            In Conclusion
                            This is a nice aftershave which would be perfect for the coming summer as it is quite a light fragrance. The smell itself is quite unique and would hopefully get your noticed for the right reasons.
                            Although I said this aftershave is perfect for the summer, it would also be suitable for any other occasion such as wearing to work, or an evening out. I would certainly recommend it despite that fact that it is a little expensive.

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                              18.09.2010 23:18
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                              A must have aftershave for me

                              A friend of mine was wearing an aftershave that I liked, so after asking what the fragrance was, I promptly went out and bought my own bottle of Lacoste Red. That was quite a while ago and I am now on my third bottle of it.

                              Packaging
                              The box that this aftershave comes in is bright red with the Lacoste logo and the word Lacoste written in white across the front. The top and bottom of the box are black. The actual bottle is glass which is red at the bottom, and clear at the top. This makes the aftershave inside look like it is coloured at the bottom. The bottle is an oval type shape with a flat bottom. The Lacoste logo (a crocodile) and the word Lacoste are both printed on the front of the bottle in white. Both sides of the bottle have ridged edges. The lid is silver with a red stripe running round it.

                              Cost
                              I paid £24.99 for the bottle I have at the moment which is a 75ml bottle and I bought it from a local Supersaver Store. I have looked online and you can buy this aftershave from and the prices are; £24.99 for 50ml and £28.99 for 75ml. I have found this item cheaper online if you buy it as a tester bottle where it comes without the box.

                              The Aftershave
                              This is one of my favourite aftershaves. I would say that this aftershave is quite light and fresh but somehow quite musky at the same time. According to the website, Lacoste Red has top notes of fresh green apples and subtle floral scents. It has middle notes of jasmine, along with a blend of cedar wood. And finally, it contains base notes of precious woods and white musk. So I guess the main scents that some through are the sweetness of the green apples and the musk from the white musk. The aftershave has quite a decent staying power. I usually apply a few squirts of aftershave in the morning and I can still definitely smell it on myself still at lunchtime.

                              Conclusion
                              As I already mentioned, this aftershave is one of my favourites. I like that fact that is still smells masculine without being too overpowering. I find some of the men's aftershaves smell far too overpowering but this one isn't like that at all. Compared to some of the other named brand aftershaves available, I think that this aftershave offers quite good value for money. I think this aftershave is suitable for everyday wear as it isn't too obvious and just kind of lingers in the background. Certainly a product I would recommend.

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