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I started shopping at Aldi around two years ago when we needed to make some major cutbacks. I hadn't used it before as the opening hours didn't suit my work pattern and they didn't do the odd delivery I used to require. Since then, the opening hours have improved. I had always believed that you couldn't do a full shop in Aldi, but this is untrue. All the basics are available, with some unusual bits and bobs which you can't get elsewere. For example, I like the breadcrumbed fish with pesto. Many items are the same price as the value ranges in the bigger supermarkets, but are much nicer. For example, the jaffa cakes, which are just like the real thing, but the Tesco ones are like a piece of cardboard!! Two major gripes. Firstly, depending on what time you go, the shelves can be empty and secondly, the customer service is absolutely dire! Occasionally, I come home with half a shop, depending on the state of the shelves. One day, there was not one single fresh vegetable in the whole shop! Going through the checkout is my most stressful time of the week. The assistants throw the shopping off the end of the checkout, quite often items land on the floor. I make sure my trolley is lined with bags before I go through and am very fast at packing (I'm not really very careful), but still it never seems fast enough. Unfortunately, you can't do a better job if you leave it to the packing area. It is so hot, due to a radiator under the bench and very cramped. Once I took back a pot noodle which, on opening, had a great long, thick, black hair in it. I was met with, "Have you got your receipt?" Really a "Sorry" may have been more appropriate!!
When my Samsung Galaxy Ace arrived, I was thrilled. Only because of the colour....purple!! I never spend long choosing new phones (I dislike the process of swapping immensely), I always think about what I would have liked in a phone AFTER I have had a new one! I chose this one, because it seemed to be the follow on from my previous phone. It connected to the internet easily. The camera is just about adequate. It looks ace. It charges quickly. It started off being an absolute whizz, but as time goes on, I feel it is slowing down. I can see it going like my last phone, i.e. one day it will take so long to do something, it'll never actually happen! When using it in the sunshine, it is virtually impossible to see the screen. Sometimes it shows me a symbol suggesting there has been a missed call, but on checking, there is no missed call. When writing text messages, the phone automatically changes the word you have written, for a more popular word. So even when spelling correctly, you are likely to send random messages to friends, because the phone has decided, on your behalf, that that isn't what you meant! Sooooo annoying! On the whole, a functional but not amazing piece of equipment.
I stayed at this particular Premier Inn in April this year. A two night stay for my birthday. We have been to the Albert Dock many times, but almost missed the entrance to the hotel. It is fairly small and concealed. I like this though, as it doesn't detract from the wonderful building. The reception staff were friendly and efficient. The lobby is tardis like! It was such a small area, but on entry to the corridors, it is like a giant maze!! The corridors and stairwells are the original old warehouses from the building's time as a working dock. I think it is stunning. There are lots of old features to admire including huge black gloss painted metal doors. Our family room was really quite spacious and we had exposed brickwork in it. We had enough mirrors, lights etc to go around, but did have to ask for more milk, as there was only enough for one cuppa each! The view was immense, right over the dock. The facilities in the hotel were brilliant. I had never seen a phonecharger vending machine type thingy before! There were vending machines for food and drink and also a really nice bar area, where breakfast was served also. Breakfast was the usual Premier Inn buffet, which we love, but it was quite frantic and busy. We ate in the family friendly restuarant on the night we had the children with us, and it didn't come to much more than £20. Great value. We also ate overlooking the dock...again, my ideal! The night we didn't have the children, we ventured outside to a lovely Italian restaurant. Only a stones throw from the hotel entrance. A lovely stay!
I stayed here one night with a friend, due to the hotels close proximity to the LG arena. The lobby area is very grand and we were dealt with immediately by a friendly receptionist. The trip to the room was a bit of an adventure and we ended up in the pool area on more than one occasion (not planned!) It was a trek, but we were really pleased when we saw the smart, comfortable room. The bathroom, however, was a little on the shabby side, and we had bare plaster showing in parts. Also, the air conditioning was on the blink and we were really cold! Next, we walked over to the concert/airport area, which was a little way, just to see if we could make it in high heels later on in the evening!! It was a no go! Fortunately, however, the airport run their own shuttle service. Due to a concert at the LG arena that night, there were extra journeys running. The driver, who was a member of hotel staff, had found out when the concert started and finished and had organised his journey times around this. He was a great guy and chatted to us all the way over to the arena area. We happened to mention the heating system in the room and he said it would be no problem to sort it. After the concert, we returned to the hotel bar. We payed what felt like an arm and a leg for a glass of luke warm white wine, which we felt wasn't really a great way to spend our hard earned cash! The bar was still lively and had a good atmosphere. When we returned to our room, we found it cosy and warm and discovered that an electric heater had been left for us. Nothing too much trouble for that particular member of staff (sorry I can't remember his name). Great breakfast next morning too!
I have banked with HSBC for around eighteen years. For most of that time, I have had a great job which has been well payed. Nothing has been too much trouble for the bank and they have always bent over backwards to help us. However, recently, after a run of bad luck, including job changes and salary drops, we went overdrawn. There was a problem with my salary and it was paid a day later than expected. The bank instantly charged me £25, for what they termed, "charges incurred when considering the case as to whether to grant an overdarft". It bothers me, that normally, an email is an acceptable form of communication, but in this case, a letter was sent home. Maybe the HSBC thinks this justifies some of the charges?? However, apart from this incident, the HSBC have always been brilliant. When my husband and I go in, the staff recognise us. There is one member of staff, who is brilliant, who opened our joint account after we were married, and still remembers this. She is helpful and knowledgeable and she seems to understand our lack of expertise, explaining alternatives to us. Recently, I became a victim of theft when my debit card was hacked when shopping online. Within hours of it happening, the bank alerted me to it, advised me what to do next and refunded the £2000 stolen. They were so prompt and efficient. I can imagine still being with the HSBC for another eighteen years!
This has got to be the nicest instant coffee on the market! First impressions can be deceptive and it actually makes a lot more cups of coffee than you think. The small print states thirty-three cups and I think that sounds about right. The tin is smart and looks too good to be locked away in the cupboard. Use a heaped teaspoon of powder, which might seem too much, but really it isn't. Pour on boiling water and you really do feel like you're in the coffee shop! It's frothy and it even sounds good when you stir! The smell is rich and strong and for all the world like freshly ground coffee. It looks and feels like velvet and tastes divine. At the bottom of the cup is a residue of coffee grounds, which are not unpleasant in the slightest. They just make you believe you've had a cup of fresh coffee. It can be a little on the expensive side, but catch it on offer and buy two! It is so delicious, however, it is worth every penny and there is no comparison to coffee shop prices.