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So far I have been very pleased with what I've tried from the Sainsburys basics range, so I didn't think twice about putting a tin of basics sweetcorn in my trolley. The product comes in an orange and white tin with the Sainsburys basics logo on. Like all Sainsbury's basics products, it doesn't come in the most attractive packaging, however this probably partially explains why the range is so cheap. The sweetcorn costs just 26p for a tin of 198g, which I find is around 2 servings.
On opening the tin, the sweetcorn looks just like any other sweetcorn, maybe a wee bit smaller but a healthy, non- artificial looking yellow colour all the same. The tin informs informs you of cooking times for both on the hob and in the microwave. I found that after after cooking it for the required time in the microwave the sweetcorn was well heated up.
On trying the sweetcorn I was rather disappointed. Obviously I wasn't expecting it to be as good as more expensive products but it really didn't taste anywhere near as good as the sweetcorn I've had before. I couldn't even finish the sweetcorn on my plate due to its bad taste, and I threw what was left in the can away.
On the plus side, this sweetcorn seems to be very healthy. The ingredients are simply sweetcorn, water, sugar and salt and half a tin contains only 0.9g of fat.
However, overall, I really wouldn't recommend this sweetcorn- it just doesn't taste nice. Even on my budget I'm going back to Green giant.
I first made my own salsa to go with fajitas. I originally intended to buy some from my local Sainsburys but they only had some rather expensive branded salsas, so I decided to make my own with ingredients I already had. I had a quick look on the internet for salsa recipes and there were various ones. I didn't have all of the ingredients for a lot of them but there were a few ingredients which popped up in several of the recipes which I did have. I improvised a little with quantities but after a couple of attempts I produced a very tasty salsa, using products which most people will have in at all times.
400g chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
Half an onion
A sprinkling of mixed herbs
A pinch of salt
A sprinkling of black pepper
Simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. If you happen to own a blender this could be useful. Refrigerate, preferably for 3-4 hours for the flavours to combine properly. However, if you don't have this much time, an hour will suffice.
The final product is a tasty, very mild and tomato-y salsa. For a more spicy alternative, try adding a small chilli or jalapeños.
As a student, I can's afford the best quality food. And with a Sainsburys just round the corner, I've been trying a lot of products from the basics range. However, I was a little wary about trying Sainsburys basics meat and only tries these sausages after they were recommended by a friend.
The sausages cost just 65p for 8 sausages- much cheaper than branded sausages. They come in a very plain and simple orange and white Sainsburys basics packet- not the most attractive packaging but it's what's on the inside that counts. It states on the packet that the sausages can be frozen which is a plus.
The sausages cook as quickly and as easily as other sausages. Once cooked, the finished product is a lot better than you'd expect for such a cheap product. The sausages are think and the meat inside is very smooth. Overall, I would say that the sausages taste nice and have a nice texture too. One disadvantage is that they taste a bit plain compared to most more expensive sausages but they're still nice and especially when they're in, for example, a casserole, you can't tell that they're plain.
The sausages have a slightly higher fat content than you're average sausage, at 9g per sausage and 149 calories. So maybe not great for dieters.
Overall, these sausages don't contain as much flavour as a lot of more expensive sausages do. However, for the price they're fantastic, so I'd really recommend them to anyone who is on a tight budget.
I've tried a few fake tans in my time. Up until recently I was using Rimmel Sunshimmer instant tan, which worked well but I started to find it a bit annoying that it's a wash off tan- as soon as you shower, all tan is gone. I wanted a fake tan which was instant, you could see it as you're applying it (making it much easier to apply), but which didn't wash off as easily. I was under the impression that any fake tand fitting this description would be out of my price range, until a friend recommended St. Moriz.
I bought a bottle from Bodycare for just £2.99, however it is available from several other retailers too. It comes as a self tanning mousse or a self tanning mist, so I opted for the mousse. It comes in a white bottle with brown writing- not the most attractive packaging in my opinion, but it's what's on the inside that counts, right?
The mousse is issued using a pump dispenser which is very easy to use. I found that the tan was very easy to apply and you can see it as you apply it so it's easier to make sure that it's even. The directions on the bottle inform you to exfoliate and moisturise before applying, then apply gently to the skin and leave for at least four hours before showering. I found that the tan went on smoothly and easily. I applied it using a self tanning mitt, which I would recommend using to avoid getting orange palms. The tan has a slight scent when you apply it but I think it's quite a pleasant, soapy smell. I found that it was quite messy to apply but this isn't really a problem as long as you're not sat on your favourite bed sheets or cream carpet when you apply it! I also found that a little mousse goes a long way, meaning that the bottle is really good value for money as it will last ages.
The tan absorbs into the skin very quickly then deepens for the next few hours after application. My friend who recommended it said that she applies it before a night out, then washes the next day and it fades a lot. However, I prefer to apply it the day before a night out and then shower the next morning so the colour fades from a deep brown to a more natural looking colour. Showering also makes it look more even and less streaky if you haven't applied it that well. I was also pleased to see that leaving it overnight before showering didn't leave any marks on the bedsheets.
The tan lasts well and needs re applying once every 5-7 days to maintain a natural looking tan.
Overall, I was really pleased with this product: It was easy to use and gave a great colour which lasts well. I really don't think i'd find a better fake tan for the price.
Well, being a student means that money is tight and we have to save money wherever we can. There is a Sainsburys about 2 minutes away from where I live so In the last couple of months I have sampled many different Sainsburys basics products. I also have a rather excessive chocolate addiction which can become expensive. So about a week into my university life I sample Sainsburys basics chocolate. This can be purchased for just 30p for a 100g bar from most Sainsburys stores. It comes in three varieties: milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate.
The chocolate comes in very simple packaging- white with orange writing. The packaging isn't all that attractive or appealing but it's easily recognisable as Sainsburys basics packaging because of the colour scheme. On the packaging it says: 'No fancy packaging, just a good bar of chocolate' which explains why the chocolate is cheap (because the simple packaging is cheap to produce), and pretty much sums up Sainsburys basics chocolate in my opinion.
The bar of chocolate is in squares and has a smooth texture. I think it tastes really nice and flavoursome. I have tried all three varieties and I like all of them, although I have to admit that it's not as good as some more expensive brand of chocolate.
In each bar of chocolate, there are 506kcal and 25.8g of fat. This seems a lot, but any chocolate is high in calories and fat.
Overall, it's not amazing chocolate but it's really good for the price, and great for anyone on a budget.
I started at University in September and moving out of my parents home meant that I had to start learning to cook. Living off a measly student loan also meant that I have to budget. This recipe is easy and best of all it's very cheap. The quantities given are for one serving but it can be easily adapted to feed more people.
200g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 clove of garlic
1 bag of crisps
Chop the garlic into small pieces
Cook the sausages in a pan, whilst simultaneously cooking the pasta in a separate pan
Once cooked, chop the sausages and transfer to a casserole dish
Add the pasta
Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and garlic
Grate some cheese over the top
Break up the crisps and sprinkle over the cheese
Bake on gas mark 5 for 15 minutes
The final product is a delicious meal which can be enjoyed by everybody, and goes especially well with garlic bread. For a vegetarian version just use vegetarian sausages instead of meat ones.
I bought one of these a few weeks ago because I couldn't find the colour I wanted in any other make. The colour I wanted was a medium brown, which is so on trend for this summer. It cost me £1.75 for a 5ml bottle of nail varnish, which although it's small I think is still a really good price. I also noticed today that these nail varnishes are on sale for £1 until July 18th. There is a good range of colours from dark blues and purples to bright pinks and oranges. The range also includes some more unusual colours such as green and yellow as well as the more common pinks and blacks. Some colours have a nice shimmer to them whereas some are vert matt. Personally, I wanted to buy nearly every one of them as they are such lovely colours.
To be honest I wasn't expecting much from a George nail varnish that costs just £1.75. The screw lid is very easy to remove and secure back on. The nail polish is very easy to apply with the brush, so no complaints there. I found that after one coat the colour was better than I was expecting but I decided to give it two coats anyway. It would have been fine with one but two coats just made the colour stand out a bit more. The first coat was touch dry, ready for its second coat within a minute so they really weren't lying when they said 'quick dry'! The end colour was lovely, exactly how it looked in the bottle.
What surprised me most about this nail varnish was that it lasted better than most, despite being the cheapest make I have come across. It wasn't until the third day of wearing it that one or two chips appeared, and even then they weren't really noticable. I kept the nail varnish on for a week altogether. I then found that it is very easy to remove with nail varnish remover, just the same as any other nail varnish. I have used the nail varnish again a couple of times since then with consistently good results.
Overall, I cannot find fault with this product. It is cheap, there is a lovely range of colours, it is easy to apply and remove, it looks great and it lasts! This is my new favourite make of nail varnishes and I would recommend it to all of you. Five stars from me!
Some of you may have read about my recent experiences with fake tan in previous reviews. For those of you who haven't, i'll just say this: Me and fake tan don't work well together. It always either comes out patchy or orange or doesn't work at all. So after my fake tan fiasco in the spring, I was thinking i'd have to be deathly pale all summer, which I really don't want. Then I remembered about this product: Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. I used it a year or two ago, but not as a fake tan. Last time I bought it in a shade similar to my own skin and used it to cover up thread veins, and this worked kind of like a foundation to cover up imperfections. The difference being, of course, that this is for your body not your face. However, I decided to buy it in a darker shade and use it instead of fake tan.
It costs £10.20 from Boots or Superdrug, however Superdrug currently have it on offer for £7.70. It comes in four shades: light glow, medium glow, tan glow and deep glow. I went for the 'tan glow' because I wanted to look tanned but not too much as i'm very pale naturally and didn't want it to look fake.
One thing I like about this much more than fake tan is that you can see it as you apply it, so you know where you may have missed a bit. Therefore it is very easy to get even coverage all over. It is easy to apply; simply spray it onto your body and rub it in. I should mention that whilst it is called airbrush legs, I have used it all over my body. It's sort of a cross between foundation for your body, and fake tan. You only have to allow 60 seconds for it to dry before dressing, which is another definite plus over fake tan. However, it can sometimes wipe onto clothing if you're not careful.
I am very happy with the overall effect of it as it gives a lovely, natural looking colour. It has a bit of a shimmer to it which is great for a night out but during the day i'd rather not have sparkling skin, so for me this is a disadvantage. It lasts a day or two, or until you wash it off. It comes off very easily in the shower simply by washing as normal.
Another disadvantage is that a little bit of it doesn't go very far, so you don't get a lot for your money. If you use it every day, £10.20 will seem a lot for what you get. However if you only use it once in a while it will obviously last longer and won't seem so expensive.
Overall, I think this is a great product which I will continue to buy. It can be used either to cover imperfections or as a fake tan. There are a few disadvantages to it, as mentioned earlier in the review but for it's worth it and I would definitely recommend it. Four stars from me.
I read about this in a magazine a couple of months ago and my first thoughts were that no hair product will make your hair grow faster. However, I trust Lee Stafford as a brand and if a product COULD aid hair growth I would love to use it. My hair is about chest length but it seems to pretty much stop growing once it gets to this length and i'd really like it to be longer. So I read up on the product online and found that it doesn't actually promise to make your hair grow. What it does is creates the right conditions for hair growth. This sounded slightly more believable. The product also promises to improve strength, texture, volume and feel of hair.
I bought this product for £7.99 for a 200ml tub from Boots. This is quite expensive because it doesn't go very far, but more on that later. It comes in a bright pink tub which is very feminine and to be honest I really like it.
The very same day I tried out the product for the first time. You use it in between shampoo and conditioner when washing your hair and leave it on for five minutes. The first thing I noticed when I used it was the scent. It smells lovely; a bit like other Lee Stafford products but maybe even better. I wish I could describe the scent but as hard as i'm trying I can't quite say what it smells like. It is very easy to apply and you simply massage it into the hair from root to tip. I was surprised by how much I needed to use to cover my hair, and a little disappointed as I realised that the tub wouldn't last long. I probably didn't leave it in for the full five minutes but I left it in for at least three or four minutes before washing out. The product washes out pretty easily. When I dried my hair, I noticed that even after that one use my hair looked and felt really nice, really soft.
I've been using this product about twice a week for about a month now. My hair always feels lush after using it and it always has a nice volume to it. It's difficult to say that it has caused my hair to grow but my hair definitely hadn't grown for a few weeks before I used this and since using it my hair has grown probably around an inch. It's not a lot of growth and most people won't notice it but to me it's noticable and i'm pretty impressed with it.
Unfortunately, the tub is now nearly empty. For me, I've probably had about eight uses out of the tub which is disappointing for £7.99. This product is excellent but I can't afford to keep buying it so often. I will buy it again though, just occassionally, and I would definitely buy it if it's ever on offer. I would recommend trying it if you can afford it. It does everything it promises to and for me the only downfall is that for the price you pay it doesn't last very long.
You may have read my previous reviews on Maybelline mascaras, and if you have you have you'll know that in my opinion Maybelline is the best make of mascaras. I have tried a lot of mascaras over the last few years but since the first time I used a Maybelline mascara I have never used any other brand. I have, however, tried several Maybelline mascaras and have been happy with the results of all of them. My previous mascara was running out a couple of weeks ago so I went to Boots and bought the cheapest Maybelline mascara there, which happened to be this one. It cost me £6.19 for a 10ml tube and is the same price from Superdrug. It's not as cheap as some mascaras but it doesn't break the bank either. I haven't found any other mascara that cheap, that isn't Maybelline, that works nearly as well as Maybelline mascaras do.
This mascara comes in a black tube with shimmery pink writing. it is quite a plain tube and to be honest I really like it. It's simple but elegant, feminine and sexy. When my old mascara ran out I was looking forward to trying this one. I fount the first time that I used it that my eyelashes stuck together a bit and I didn't really like it. However, I was in a rush that day so didn't get time to try to sort it out. The next time I used it my eyelashes stuck together a little again but I managed to sort it out. I've been using it for a few weeks now and don't have the problem with my eyelashes sticking together anymore, so maybe it just took a couple of days for me to get used to the shape of the brush or something. I would say that now i'm used to it, the mascara is very easy to apply. It lasts all day without fail, doesn't smudge and is very easy to remove at the end of the day with just a little bit of eye make up remover.I would say it's no better or no worse than other Maybelline mascaras in general.
I've only been using this mascara for a few weeks but based on how long other Maybelline mascaras have lasted, It will probably last me 4-5 months. I use quite a lot every single day so I think this is a long time and therefore good value for money.
Overall, I really like this mascara and don't have any complaints about it at all. It does what it's supposed to, and is easy to apply and remove. Furthermore, it comes in a pretty tube. What more could you want from a mascara? I would definitely buy this again and I would recommend it to any female. It gets five stars from me.
I decided to try this product because i'm really pale and don't tan very much. I have tried fake tan products in the past but end up either orange, streaky or exactly the same colour as before I used the fake tan. I have also used wash off tans because they are often visible as you put them on so you can check if it's even. However, this year I didn't want one that will wash off. I planned to research fake tan products properly, read reviews, and spend a little more than I have done in the past in the hope that it would be worth it. So after finding, examining, and reading reviews on many fake tan products I decided on Ambre solaire. I bought the dry face mist as well as the dry body mist. I also have a review on the dry face mist if you are interested.
I bought this from Superdrug for £7.72 for a 150ml can, however this is a reduced price; it is usually £11.22. They do one for fair skin and one for medium skin, so even though i'm very pale skinned, I went for the medium one because I wanted to see a good effect.
The first time I tried this, I tried it just on my arms, shoulders, neck and upper chest, as it wasn't quite warm enough to be showing my legs. I found that it was very easy to apply, you just spray it and it requires no rubbing in, however it comes out clear so you can't really tell if you've missed patches. It feels a little like it is dripping down after you apply it but you have to resist the urge to touch it to stop it dripping. I liked the smell as I was applying it as it was nicer than a lot of self tan products I have used in the past. It smelt light and fruity to me. It says on the can 'dries instantly', however it does not dry instantly. For a while I felt like little bits of it were dripping down me and I felt like it was still too wet to touch for a while after. I allowed two hours for the fake tan to dry before going to bed. It still didn't feel dry then but I was shattered and needed my sleep. The tan is supposed to develop in three hours. I had no tan after two hours but as I went to bed then I don't know how long it took.
The next morning I was hoping to see non- streaky lightly tanned arms. However, I was very disappointed to see that instead I had patches of tan over my arms and chest, but also patches of my normal skin colour. It looked horrific. Moreover, it took days to wash off however much I scrubbed at it. So I had to keep my arms covered for about a week. Fortunately, my chest and neck weren't quite as patchy so it wasn't too noticable when I wore a high necklined top and something to cover my arms.
A couple of weeks later I was feeling ready to give this product another chance. I read up on the internet for tips for applying self tan. I read that you should apply it in circular motions, so that's what I did. I only applied it to my legs this time because I knew it would be easier to keep my legs covered. I applied it four hours before I went to bed this time, and was really careful not to let anything at all touch my legs before then. It hadn't developed by the time I went to sleep, but it had by the next morning. I was, again, very disappointed to see that my tan was once again very patchy. The one good thing about this product is that where you do tan, it is a lovely colour and looks natural ant not OTT. So if it is just me being bad at applying it then it may be lovely on someone else.
The bottle feels like it is already about half empty from just one use so I don't think you would get that many uses from it. Therefore it isn't really worth the money I paid for it.
Overall, the only good things about this are that it is easy to apply and it does come out a nice colour. However it is patchy and nothing makes up for that. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone and I definitely won't be using it again.
'The loved ones' is an Australian horror/ thriller film written and directed by Sean Byrne. I'm not really into horror films but one night I was babysitting and there was nothing on TV. I noticed this was on and, knowing nothing at all about it I thought it sounded like quite a nice film. Well... it turned out I was completely wrong.
Brent Mitchell is a teenager who is dealing with the death of his father, who he killed in a car accident. When his classmate Lola, a seemingly innocent girl, asks him to the end of school dance, he turns her down as he is going with his good looking girlfriend, Holly. Lola clearly doesn't like rejection as she decides to get revenge by having her "daddy" kidnap Brent abruptly. Brent is taken to Lola's house and dressed up in a tuxedo, then tied to a chair. Lola changes into a prom dress and her and her father can torture him in all sorts of ways to the theme of a high school dance. The torture is gory and at times I found it difficult to watch. However, I don't think the torture methods are as imaginative or unique as those used in many other horror films. The film also has incestrial undertones as it seems that Lola and her daddy have a crush on one another. Just another disgusting element to the film. I'll also mention here that the title of my review, for those of you who haven't seen the film, comes from a scene in the film during which Lola force feeds Brent chicken and forces him to answer the question: "Is it finger- licking good?".
There is also a side story involving Brent's best friend Jamie, who goes to the dance with a goth girl called Mia. This story line annoyed me for a lot of the film because it seemed completely unrelated, however you see how it links up at the end.
The star is Robin Mcleavy, who plays Lola. At the start of the film, she seems sweet and innocent and you almost feel sorry for her when Brent turns her down. But the further into the film you get, the more you realise that Lola is actually a ruthless psychotic. Robin Mcleavy's acting is really something as she plays the part very convincingly. Brent is played by Xavier Samuel who portrays the detached teenager well. John Brumpton plays Lola's father well, showing the different emotions he is feeling: at times he seems to really want to hurt Brent but at times you can see that he is thinking this is wrong. Overall, the acting is great in this film, really convincing. Anne Scott-Pendlebury plays an unusual and sort of unexplained character called Bright eyes. She doesn't do a lot but her presence just adds to the creepy atmosphere of Lola's house, as she sits lifeless in a chair.
The songs in this film are not ones I have heard before, but I did enjoy the soundtrack which consisted mainly of australian rock music. "Not pretty enough" by Kasey Chambers is the song played most often as it seems to be a favourite of Lola's. It is a nice song but I will now always relate it to the torturing occurring in this film.
MY THOUGHTS OVERALL
This film is disgusting, gory and disturbing. It makes you question whether the writer, Sean Byrne, has mental problems himself as it is hard to believe that someone of sane mind could come up with this. However, I found it strangely gripping and found that whilst part of me wanted to turn the TV off and forget what i'd just seen, a larger part of me was intrigued to see how it would end. The second part won. It's difficult to know how many stars to give this film because, similarly, part of me wants to give it one, and part of me wants to give it five. Again, the second part is winning so i'm going with four. If you like horror films, you would probably enjoy The loved ones. But if you are scared of gore and horror, steer clear!
It was a while ago that I first used this body spray. If I remember correctly, there were three things which attracted me to it initially. First, it was £1.99 but on a buy one get one free offer. Second, it was in a very pretty can. And third, I love musk but wanted something subtle.
So let's go back to the price for a moment. From both Superdrug and Boots, this body spray costs £1.99 for 75ml, but it is often on offer in Superdrug. I think it's good price. It is also available from a wide range of supermarkets and chemists.
Now the packaging. It comes in a cream coloured can. On the front are butterflies and hearts and flowers all making up the shape of a heart. The design is in gold. Overall, I really like the can. I would say it is classy and elegant and also very pretty and feminine.
The instructions on the can are simple: "Spray it all over your body and enjoy its captivating scent.". Well, I suppose no one really needs much instruction on how to use a body spray. It is very easy to use; you simply twist the top of the can to the right then press down on the top to spray. You then twist the top back to the left when you're done.
The can describes the scent as '"An alluring combination of lime, jasmine and woody scents." The lime and jasmine are definitely there but very subtle. The woody scent is stronger. Overall it is definitely musky but not overpoweringly so. It smells clean and feminine and really nice in my opinion. The smell is quite strong just as you spray it but it soon settles into a very subtle hint of scent which lingers all day.
You don't need to use much at a time so the can lasts a while. Therefore I think it is good value for money. I have used several other body sprays since the first time I used this but I keep going back to this one. It has become a body spray which I trust and know I can rely on. Overall, I can't really find fault with this product and would definitely recommend it to all women.
I'm very pale and don't tan very easily. I have tried fake tan products in the past but end up either orange, streaky or exactly the same colour as before I used the fake tan. I have also resorted to using wash off tans because they are often visible as you put them on so you can check if it's even. However, this year I didn't want one that will wash off. My plan was to research fake tan products properly, read reviews, and spend a little more than I have done in the past in the hope that it would be worth it. So after finding, examining, and reading reviews on many fake tan products I decided on Ambre solaire. I bought the dry face mist and also the dry body mist.
This product cost me £7.72 from Superdrug for a 75ml bottle, however I later realised that it is available from Boots for £5.78. It is available for light/medium skin or medium/dark skin. I went for light/medium because I only wanted a light tan as i'm very pale naturally with light blonde hair and blue eyes. A dark tan would look too unnatural.
When I used it, it had been sunny over the weekend, so I assumed that everybody except for me would have a natural tan. So in time for Monday I used both the face and the body fake tan. I won't speak about the body fake tan in this review, i'll just say that I wasn't happy with it. The face tan, I found was very easy to apply. You simply shake the can and spray over your face. There is no need to rub it in so you don't have to touch your face at all. It feels slightly like it's dripping down your face but don't touch your face because you might smudge it. I liked the smell as I was applying it as it was nicer than a lot of self tan products I have used in the past. It smelt light and fruity to me. It says on the can 'dries instantly', however it does not dry instantly. For a while I felt like little bits of it were dripping down my face and I felt like it was still too wet to touch for several hours after.
The tan is supposed to develop in three hours. After about two hours I had no tan and I went to bed, so I don't know when it developed.
The next morning I went to look in the mirror, hoping it had worked but also hoping it wouldn't be too dark or streaky. I was expecting a light tan, however I was horrified to see that my face was orange. It looked completely unnatural. On the bright side, it was completely streak free. Obviously I washed my face as usual but the tan didn't get any less orange. I went to college and noticed throughout the day that my tan seemed to get even more orange.
When I got home I had a shower and gave my face a really, really good scrub in the hope of getting this hideous orange tan off my face. When I came out of the shower, I had the lovely light, streak free tan on my face that I wanted. I wondered then if it was maybe too light, but then anything is better than dark orange. I was pretty happy with it now but I found that once i'd got the colour I wanted it only lasted about a day, and I haven't dared to use it again.
The bottle feels like it is already about half empty from just one use so I don't think you would get that many uses from it. Therefore it isn't really worth the money I paid for it.
Overall, there are things I liked and things I didn't like about this product. First, I loved how easy it was to apply and the fact that my tan was completely streak free. However, I hated the colour it came out and the fact that it didn't seem to wash off in the morning. I then loved the colour it was when I did manage to wash it off, but didn't like that it didn't really last. Overall, I don't think i'd recommend it unless you want to look like an oompa lumpa. Weighing everything up, I'm going to give this product three stars.
Review may also be on ciao.
Gran Canaria is a spanish- speaking island in the Atlantic ocean, around 130 miles off the coast of Africa. It is the third largest of the Canary islands. A flight to Gran Canaria takes around four and a half hours for us from Manchester airport.
I first went to Gran Canaria when I was four years old with my family. We all loved it there so much that we've been back every year since, and more than once some years. There was one year that we didn't go, because my brother was just a wee baby and it would have been too hot for him. I've lost count of the
number of times i've been now as it's sort of like a second home now, but I think i've been around 16 times.
The island has a hot sunny climate and for the most part the weather is gorgeous, only raining very, very rarely. However, we have been unforunate enough to experience two siroccos consecutive years when
we were there. This is when there is a hot, dry wind which can be very unpleasant. The best way that I can describe it is that opening the door to leave a building is like opening the door to an oven...although not quite as hot. Luckily the siroccos only last for a day or two at the most. Sirocco's seem to mainly occur in just the first two weeks of august in Gran Canaria which are the hottest of the year there, and it can get unbearably hot during those weeks. So if you don't want to be too hot it may be best to avoid going during these weeks.
Gran Canaria is split up into three main parts: Las palmas (the capital), Maspolomas and Puerto Rico. We always stay in Puerto Rico, but both Puerto Rico and Maspolomas offer a wide range of tourist activities and hotels, villas, apartments and apart- hotels to stay in. The first few years that we went, we stayed
in various apart-hotels. None of them were awful but some aren't as good as they're built up to be. After a few years, we had gained several friends in Gran Canaria one of which is a couple who rent out their appartment. So for a few years we stayed in their appartment, which was better than the apart-hotels. The
appartments are in blocks and most blocks have atleast one swimming pool and a bar/cafe/restaurant. Some also have a crazy golf course. There are also kids clubs at a lot of them, which I used to love when I was younger. Some also have children's parks which my brother enjoys. A downside to several of them,
including the one we were staying in, is that they can be quite high up the mountain. This means climbing A LOT of steps to get there. One advantage of the appartments over the apart-hotels is that they are sprayed with insect repellant so you hardly get and cockroaches. A tip for anyone going to Gran canaria: Buy some insect repellant! Especially if you are staying in an apart- hotel, the cockroaches will drive you crazy!
We now stay in a villa which is one of five known as 'Sunshine villas'. It doesn't come cheap but it is lovely and a bit nearer to the beach. Each villa has its own swimming pool but personally I like to be around other holiday makers, rather than spending the whole day closed off in our villa. Saying that, I would recommend the villas.
The two main forms of transport that you can use in Gran Canaria, excluding walking, are taxis or buses. Taxi ranks are everywhere and you usually just have to wait a few minutes at the most for a taxi. Buses are, of course, the cheaper option and not too different to our buses here. You can also hire cars there.
The island has 230 kilometres of coastline and has several gorgeous beaches. Playa del ingles is probably the most popular of the beaches and it's great fun. There are always plenty of people, so it can get a little crowded. This beach offers jet-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing and several more activities. There are showers and refrechment kiosks along the beach and a promenade. There is also a nudist area on the beach and an area which is more for the gay community. Playa de San Agustín is a much quieter beach where you can get more peace and spread out more, if that's more what you're looking for.Puerto de Mogán is a picturesque beach, which is usually full of families. Mogan also has a market which is on about three days a week which I think is definitely worth a visit. The houses in Mogan are painted in pinks and yellows, helping to make it a unique and truly beautiful place.
If you are interested in boats, you can take several boat trips from Puerto Rico. For example, every year my stepdad hires out a boat privately to fish. You can also go on tourist trips on boats, in which you will share the boat with a few other tourists and you will try to catch fish. These trips vary in length but are usually 2-6 hours long. And don't worry if you're not an expert fisher- you will get shown what to do. Another boat leaving from Puerto rico is the dolphin search boat. There are two dolphin search boats, both of which are double- decker. The dolphin trips are around two hours long. You get your photo taken as you get onto the boat and have the option to purchase this as a photo or a keyring later on in the trip. The skippers of the boats radio other skippers to find out where dolphins have been seen, and do their best to find them. It's a bit disappointing if you don't find any but amazing if you do because they are truly beautiful creatures. The dolphin boats are very steady so it is unlikely that people will get seasick on them, however if you are prone to seasickness it is best to take a tablet as I have seen people get travel sick on them. There is also a pirate ship which looks a lot of fun, as well as several other fun- looking tourist boat trips.
There is a water park in Maspolomas which is meant to be a lot of fun. I have never been because we used to go to one in Puerto Rico instead, however this closed down last year. However, I am told that the Maspolomas water park (Called Aqua Land) is expensive but worth it, although it is likely that you will have to queue for slides.
One of my favourite places to visit in Gran Canaria is Palmitos park. This is a place where you can see beautiful, exotic creatures such as birds of prey, parrots and monkeys. You can go to talks on some of these animals to learn more about them. I first went here several years ago and love it then, but unfortunately it burnt down a year or two later. However, it is now up and running again and even better in my opinion, as I have also been back since. One new addition since it re opened is the dolphins. If you go to palmitos park you absolutely have to see the dolphin show as it they are gorgeous creatures and they put on an amazing show. You can also pay to have your photo taken with a dolphin.
A couple of day trips involve different and exciting ways to see the island. A couple of years ago, we decided to go on a jeep safari. This involves travelling in a jeep, driven by a professional, along with several other jeeps, through the mountains. It's a bumpy ride and you get covered in dirt but it's great fun. You get lunch at a nice restaurant and also stop off to swim in a lake, which was a great experience for me. You can also choose to go on a safari involving camel rides or one that doesn't. We went on the camel rides which was a lot of fun and also very safe. Overall, this made a great day out and the view from the mountains was spectacular; the best view i've seen of the island. You can also go pony trekking through the mountains, which i'm hoping to try but haven't yet.
There is a range of different restaurants and bars in every tourist area. The restaurants i've been to have generally had great customer service and lovely food, and are reasonably priced. The staff are always very friendly, although a lot of restaurants have members of staff stood outside persuading people to go in which can be annoying. A lot of the restaurants are steak houses and pizzerias, but there are also a lot of chinese restaurants. Most restaurants are also very family- friendly. There are some very english bars, and some that are run by canarians. The bars generally offer food for all three meals as well as drinks, and stay open very late. A lot are kareoke bars; one we go to a lot has a kareoke and quiz night three nights a week which is great fun.
Wherever you stay, there will be a Netto supermarket nearby which will have all of your essentials. There is also the odd spar dotted around. We always manage to find everything we need, anyway. Souvenir shops are everywhere. There is a big commercial centre in puerto rico with many souvenir shops which I love to visit. Yes, a lot of them are the same and sell sweets, bracelets, key rings and the other common souvenirs but you also find novelty items and it's always fun to look around even if you don't buy anything.
To conclude, I think Gran Canaria is a lovely island and I always have a great time there. It is very family- friendly and there is a lot to do. For me, the main disadvantages are the cockroaches, and the steps, as mentioned earlier.