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The Granary is a small family-run Farm Tea Room serving all day breakfasts and homecooked hearty grub Tuesdays to Fridays, and Sundays, 9am to 4pm, and 8:30am to 5pm on Saturdays, closed on Mondays. The Cafe overlooks rolling (as much as they can roll in Peterborough) fields, that proudly displays a sign saying they grow wheat for Wheatabix! These are the same views that inspired John Clare's pastoral poetry, made all the better with a pot of tea and a bite to eat at Willow Brook.
All meat is supplied by the farm shop next door (which also stocks local apple ciders and fresh produce), including gorgeous home-made Willow Brook Farm Sausages, so you can pick up meat to recreate the dishes at home after your meal.
Full English Breakfasts are available all day, along with homemade lasagne (which can also be picked up from the farm shop) burgers and soups, but lighter lunchtime bites to eat like sandwiches are also on offer. I do find that although the quality of the meat is superior, the quality of the cooks are less so - the kitchen received a 5 star hygiene certificate, but sometimes the sausages come out a little blackened on one side! The staff are always smiling and welcoming, a proper tea room
In general a meal for 2 costs me around £15-£20, parking is ample and the Farm Shop can't be missed either! And if you have a dog, don't forget to pick them up a bag of dog bones for a pound at the Farm Shop or they won't forgive you!
Ferry Meadows is the family friendly heart of Nene Park, it was consturcted as part of the Peterborough having New Town status to cater for the London overspill in the 80s and is well-maintained and serves the city like never before.
The park is approximately 500 acres and contains a mixture of fields, lakes, woodlands and open grassy areas. The place is abundant with cycle paths and foothpaths along with 3 well-equipped play parks littering the site. I enjoy to just have a walk around the stunning lakes and take in the fresh air on a nice warm day.
A Nene Valley Railway Station is situated at the edge of the park, the Ferry Meadows Station, offering links to Orton Mere, Peterborough (15 minutes from City Centre), Wansford and Yarwell Junction. Special Events are held by the railway such as 1940s weekends, or their popular Thomas the Tank Engine themed events.
Situated in the park is a miniature railway (currently service is suspended as new carriage sheds are being put into place but should be up and running for October half term, along with a new train on the tracks Rio Grande!) which runs between the 2 main car parks and centres: The Visitor Centre and Gift Shop with the Green Cafe and The Watersports Centre with the Lakeside Cafe. Both sites have toilet facilities, public phones, play facilities and barbeque sites close by; whilst the Watersports Centre also has Cycle Hire and Rowing Boat Hire. When the miniature railway is running, prices at the moment are £1.50/£2.50 for an Adult (Single/Return) and £1.00/£1.50 for Children (Single/Return). I do find the Cafes to be overpriced, so it's always a great idea to bring a packed lunch/picnic.
The 2 main Car Parks near the Visitor Centre and Watersports Centre are pay-to-park on weekends and bank holidays between April and November at a cost of £3.50 a car (pretty steep if you're only planning a lunchtime outing, but season car park tickets are available for £22 if you're going to make a habit of visiting) but many people park for free in the Granary/Notcutts Car Park just off the roundabout on Ham Lane (also the location of Orton Meadows Golf Club and the 12-hole Pitch & Putt). I often use the third Ferry Meadows Car Park at the Castor entrance to the park, conveniently located just off the A47, as this is always free of charge and doesn't close. As the nights draw in the main 2 car parks close approximately an hour before sundown, but the Castor Car Park is always open; this is a good (especially for evening strolls) and a bad point as you do occasionally get late night trouble there (and rarely the odd car set on fire and abandoned by yobs...).
There's plenty to do for free round the park, and plenty to capture the attentions of the young, but the park also offers a wide range of activities for all ages including boat trips, hydrosphering, pedalo and canoe hire, sailing, horse riding, windsurfing, fishing and watersports.
Less than a 5 minute walk away is a Caravan Club Site or a Travel Lodge (and Beefeater Restaurant) if you fancy visiting Peterborough, my Grandma and her husband regularly stay of the Caravan Club Site with their motorhome when they come down from Yorkshire to visit.
Ferry Meadows is a lovely addition to Peterborough, with many families choosing to have cheap days out staying active, or even couples having quiet walks or time to themselves. Teenagers can be seen meeting here on weekends as buses on the Orton Bus Route (The Number One) provide easy access to the park from the Town Centre.
I was definitely attracted to the novelty aspect of this product, being in more of an aerosol can than a tube you can't help but notice how distinctly different this product is. It's currently on offer at Sainsbury's for £2.32, but I picked it up from Tesco for £3.00.
The packaging (which is made from recyclable aluminium) claims to be a whole mouth clean, and removes 25% more bacteria than regular toothpastes. I'd like to know if it means from your teeth or not, it can quite easily claim to remove more because I always get it everywhere - especially cleaning the back of my teeth!
The toothpaste itself comes out of the nozzle as a single colour bluey gel, not like Aquafresh's usual three stripe design and quickly reacts with the moisture in you mouth to foam up, supposedly penetrating between your teeth. I become quite irksome regarding the nozzle of this toothpaste, if you use this as a family toothpaste and don't train other users to rinse the nozzle after use you will be greeted by a gunky nozzle each time you brush your teeth, easily rinsed off with water but irritating nonetheless!
The flavour I went for was fresh mint, I wouldn't say this toothpaste was overly minty but it does leave a moderately lasting freshness to the mouth.
My teeth are left feeling fairly clean after using this alone but I much prefer to integrate it into a wider teethbrushing routine. Whereas sodium bicarbonate based toothpastes (eg Arm & Hammer) leave me with a result I'm happy with after stand-alone use I tend to brush with this, floss, then brush again (followed by a more abrasive toothpowder a couple of times a week such a Eucryl).
I have this mouse in rich red colour, in terms of size it can just be cupped in a loose palm of your hand. I bought this just over a year ago for use on my mum's larger Sony Vaio laptop, and have a HP wireless mouse for use on my netbook and they really are so much better than a big wired mouse. The cost was approximately £25 from PC World, a little expensive for what it is but you definitely pay for the super-convenience!
Firstly is how lightweight it is, a little easy to use mouse with a left and right click mouse button and also a vertical and horizontal scroll. It is powered by 2 AA baterries (so you don't have to go out of your way to find those ridiculous AAA batteries!) so we've just stuck 2 rechargeable batteries in ours. They are fit in by popping a catch on the underside of the mouse that allows the back plastic lid of the mouse to come off (where the logitech logo is on the image). This allows you to access the battery compartment but ALSO provides a handy place to store the nano receiver, allowing you to travel with this mouse and not worry about losing the means to connect the mouse to your PC.
The nano receiver is exactly that, tiny, it's not much bigger that the USB connector it need to fit into any USB or USB 2.0 port protruding only half a centimetre from the port itself, so in no was obtrusive.
The mouse has a light on its top that indicates if it is on or not, the only downside is the the on/off is a button, rather than a switch that becomes ingrained with a nailprint from turning it on and off so much.
This was the first Blackberry I owned, a free handset on a 24 month contract with O2 for £35/month. This included 1000 texts, 600 minutes and 500Mb of data, along with free wi-fi use and BBM messenger on top. I now own the Blackberry 9300 (Curve 3G) and have been altogether disappointed at the 'upgrade'.
The phone came with a small memory card as standard (2Gb) but I upgraded this easily enough by buying a cheap 8Gb memory card off Amazon for £16. Out of the box also came a mains charger and USB cable and, which I've later found to be unusual, this phone came with a Blackberry case free in the box, I still use the one I got with the BB8900 with my new BB!
I linked up 3 of my email accounts to my BB, which allowed me to always be updated no matter which account the email came in from
Unfortunately, I didn't religiously use my phonecase and early into my contract I'd left my phone in my bag behind my car seat and chucked over my shoulder a pair of boots. Needless to say I ended up with a cracked screen, BUT, there was only a large crack in the plastic screen, this broke to protect the vulnerable lcd screen underneath; the plastic screen could have been easily and cheaply replaced, but I just lived with the crack!
I did have a problem with the rollerball, it's an ingenious take on navigation and worked perfectly until the plastic surround holding it in place snapped (I had the habit of playing with the gap around the surround with my thumbnail). I carefully superglued the surround back in place and the phone worked a treat ever since.
One feature of this phone that I greatly miss is the flash! I'd often click the phone onto video camera just to use it as a torch (the flash remains constantly on when shooting video), and very much regretted it's exclusion in the BB9300 when I tried this trick when I first got it :(.
I had no intention of changing this phone, the keypad was well spaced and roomy - nice positive feedback from keys as you typed, clear easy to read display and easy to use navigation shortcuts (I particularly like being able to hold the up volume key to skip forwards tracks, had to get used to the top-of-phone media shortcuts on the new one!). The look of the phone was also quite appealing. However, this phone inexplicably died one night - I'd had it about 26 months, instead of spending the money to get it looked at I was already due for an upgrade with O2 and had to get a new Curve instead.
I'm looking at the new Bold as my next phone, it seems so merge all the best bits of this phone with the touch screen capabilities of the Torch
With a day to go until my dad's birthday and no real plan for a present from me and the twin, I ended up heading into town an hour before my evening shift started in a last ditch attempt to find something!
Although fragrance does seem a little stereotypical as a present I headed straight to John Lewis to do a bit of side by side comparison. With a female nose I tried the Armanis and Diesels but felt they smelt far too sweet and young for a 45 year old guy! When I smelt this one I was sure he would like it too, it's definitely a modern man's scent, not a teenagers Joop spray! Although the smell is strong, I think it would be used more as an evening fragrance, or when dressing up. I bought the 50ml EDT, which came in a lovely looking glass bottle - perfect as a gift! The EDT was priced on the shelf at £41 and I'd price checked the cost on the perfumeshop website, to see how it compared, as I stood there and they had it listed as the same price. However, when I paid for it, the EDT ran through the till as £37.50. It turned out John Lewis was price matching a competitor (unbeknownst to me!), which just proved to me that John Lewis does offer quality and a good price!
This fragrance has complemented my father's other choices and adds a distinctive edge to his EDT repertoire that he uses for occasional formal wear, although it wouldn't be out of place in a swanky club either!
We replaced our old microwave to this sleek simple design as a result of Tesco Clubcard Exchange, we doubled up the family's clubcard vouchers instore to spend on this 700W microwave and a Breville kettle. This microwave is a simple dual dialled design, perfectly suited to those who, like us, don't use a microwave as a main cooking method. We use our microwave for occasional ready-meals and to reheat leftovers for a quick snack.
We were attracted to this microwave as there aren't a number of confusing digital cooking settings to choose from, although we do tend to use a separate timing method (such as counting seconds on the clock!) as we aren't convinced that the dial for timing is accurate, but microwave cooking is a very imprecise science in our house so we might just have to regard the power instructions more carefully on packaging in future! It's modern no-frills black and white design allows it to easily fit in with the rest of the kitchen, is easy to keep clean with it's removable rotating glass plate and due to it's relatively small size (17L) it doesn't take up room in the kitchen, we have ours on a butchers block which keeps it out of the way.
The MM08 microwave has 5 power settings and a defrost function (although we're guilty of always using high power and just changing the duration we leave an item in for), it is currently sold online on Tesco Direct at £26.99 and earns you double clubcard points as well. After checking availability, it is currently out of stock online - must be a popular choice!
I'm a big lover of Iron Fist Heels, I bought this pair online from Shuch for about £50 (along with another 4 pairs) as there was also free delivery included. I wear heels everyday without fail, the only flat shoes I own are a pair of trainers my brother grew out of years ago!
These heels aren't the highest, but they are a good everyday heel, approximately 4.5" heel height, but with a cleverly integrated platform making them posture your foot the same way as a 3" heel, they are very comfy to wear and the open-toed design means that your toes aren't restricted in anyway (also gets rid of the horrid hot foot syndrome I often experience with closed toe shoes)
I often wear these with black or grey tights as part of daily wear, but teamed up with bright nail varnish can make a great addition to an evening outfit.
I've had a lot of use out of these shoes! They do come with delightful patterns on the soles, but these very soon get worn down (the soles wear out to black underneath, so if you walk to the sides of your feet like me, it'll be reaallyy obvious). One thing to consider is that these are CHEAP heels (relatively), and as such you should expect to be able to wear them for 'occasional use'. Wearing them everyday the colourful pattern on the heels does eventually peel (you can still pass it off as a shabby chic snakeskin/zebracorn look), but the thing that eventually stopped me wearing these is that the the actual heels are very weak, they bend easily if you don't have a perfectly straight walk so they do emphasise this movement on my ankles and puts a lot of pressure on them (the shoes don't stand up straight on their own anymore either).
I should have expected them not to age well as I don't treat them very nice, I walk through woods ad beaches in them, drive in them, run in them. So I've only got myself to blame! These heels to not respond nicely to you treating them bad! Make sure you get them re-tipped as soon as the heels wear through to metal :)
I have a contract Blackberry 9300 3G Curve that came with Blackberry Messenger on as standard, I use this for personal use only. Blackberry Messenger is an inter-blackberry instant messaging programme that is free to use on the contract that I'm on (most Blackberrys on contract offer BBM included as part of the cost). I find the messaging system easy to use, with a similar layout to other instant messaging programmes such as MSN Messenger.
Adding contacts to BBM can be done using the other Blackberry user's name, email address or PIN number, or by scanning a PIN barcode using the camera on your Blackberry. I find by far the easiest was to add people is using their PIN number (which can be found under the settings menu in the status category), however, I've been able to successfully add contacts using the barcode in the past but had problems using their e-mail addresses. Contacts can even be categorised accordingly (Friends/Family, or even different companies or departments for business use)
Conversations are very much like exchanging text messages with a main difference that you're given an update as to the status of your sent message. Whilst the message is being sent a loading circle appears next to the message, this changes to a tick when your phone has successfully sent it. When the other Blackberry receives this a D (for delivered) appears next to the tick which then changes to an R (for received) when the other person has actually opened the message on BBM, so you can't use the "I didn't receive it" excuse anymore! BBM Conversations even appear in your message list along with your texts to make it even quicker to access. Multiperson chats can be started that many BBM users can join in on.
BBM allows you to send pictures, voice notes, files, other BBM and Phone contacts, appointments and your own contact info. It also allows you to send users locations of where you currently are (this can be slow if it takes a while to 'find' satellites, but very neat nonetheless). The file limit must be quite high as I've managed to send music files over BBM before - brilliantly easy way to send music over a longer distance than bluetooth.
Two features I don't use on BBM, but I can see has potential is firstly the ability to broadcast a message (possibly advertising an impulse party perhaps?) and Blackberry Groups, which are mini-communities you can set up (and chose whether only you, or all members can invite new members) that allow multiple chats to be set up in the group, pictures to be shared along with lists and calenders. I can see that this would be helpful for business use or to organise club activities.
When setting up Blackberry you chose your display name (other people can edit what they see your display name as - e.g. if they know you by a different name) and you can upload a profile picture, each Blackberry user gets one of these mini profiles that gives a shortcut to the user's PIN barcode or BBM PIN to share, and allows users to put up a personal message for your contacts to see (you can even set it to show what you're listening to). They also display your location and time zone (useful if you have international contacts)
I find that BBM isn't the most reliable of messaging services unless both parties are connected to a solid WIFI or 3G connection, there can be delays in the messages sending for your phone to theirs, but I use BBM primarily when I need a quick response, or to know if the other party is at their phone. I've been using BBM more since my boyfriend moved off to Uni, only half the campus gets a network signal - with the other half on SOS. Since the campus has an open wifi network my boyfriend's Blackberry is connected to this and allows his friends and family to be able to catch him on his phone - even when he's out of mobile network range.
I bought a Phillips 355 new from the Virgin shop due to a promotion whereby the phone was not only dirt cheap, but the pre-pay sim was already topped up with £20 credit. I think this phone is very charming looking with an unusual key design, I thought texting on this phone was very easy and the keys gave reassuring feedback when texting (I can't stand silent phones, I never know if I've actually hit a button!). The integrated camera was a big thing back then but, I must admit, was under-used. This was a stylish fad-phone rather than anything else - one of the hindrances was that only Virgin Mobile offered this phone, it wasn't popular enough for the majority people to want to switch their network to, nor did they particularly want the hassle of having to unlock it to use on another network. I can say that the BEST part of this phone is that, even as a young teenager, I never managed to damage this phone in any way. And even if I had, it would have been cheap enough to replace anyway! Lovely clear colour screen.
I think everyone in our household had one of these at some point! Although this isn't the most modern or up-to-date phone it is brilliantly simple and easy to use. Even new they were very cheap, I bought mine first on pay as you go and it came with a great deal of credit already on the card. Nowadays this is the perfect phone for the elderly and people who struggle to understand/grasp complex technology. A simple phone to teach an elderly relative to use in case of emergencies, and just to make sure you can reach them, with a very long battery life and clear easy to read display. For the young this is a great first phone, gives kids a little independence and you as a parent can send them out knowing they can get in touch with you if they need you (or they need to be back for tea!), also has the age-old classic mobile phone game - SNAKE! A reason all on it's own to have one of these phones!
We've had our Dyson many years now and would never even THINK of going back to a bagged vacuum! I was surprised to see that you can still buy bagged vacuums! An always reliable companion, this thing sucks as well now as the first day we bought it. We have cats in the house and are regularly complimented that we don't have 'that pet smell'. It really is great at lifting dirt and fur. The only problem that we've ever had is long hair wrapping round bristles and having to cut it out with scissors (I make sure to sweep my hands over my bedroom carpet where I tend to brush my hair before I vacuum nowadays). Also find this vacuum useful to clean out the car, I use the telescopic hose but no attachments (I find they get in the way) to quickly hoover up dirt out of my carpets and mats. I do find that this vacuum can be a little on the heavy side lugging it up and down stairs, but well worth it for it's capacity and performance.
I couldn't find the exact car to review on here, so I've decided to write about it in the general Honda Civic 19965-present category.
I have a 54 plate Honda Civic Sport (An EP2 with factory fitted Type R bodykit and twin exhaust), with a 1.6L VTEC engine. This is my first car and I've owned it since April 2009. I think this has been the best first car anyone could ask for. It has the looks to impress (being a post-facelit model), and a performance that will leave other 'first-cars' standing. Parents will be happy that their daughter/son is driving a car like this rather than a stereotypical first car due to the safety features included as standard: Anti-Lock Brakes, EPS, driver, passenger and side airbags. The car is roomy, with a large boot capacity so this has been used as our family car at Christmas etc. on trips to distant relatives. A lovely comfortable driving position (especially with the unusally dashboard-mounted gearstick) and a particularly neat point is mirror mounted indicator repeaters (rather than on the side of the car like the pre-facelift Civic).
I replaced the standard alloys on this, very easy to do at home with correct tools and I've refitted the stereo and speakers, and fit a subwoofer in the boot (still plenty of room for all the shopping I fit into it!). Easily fit tweeters into the car with some influence from the Type R model, the plastic tweeter housings can be picked up on ebay for approx. £20.
In terms of maintenance, I do find myself replacing headlight bulbs more frequently than I expect to, but easily done at home - no need to pay for fitting. A simple weather seal and a retaining clip and the bulb is out! As the engine gets older I will expect i'll have to keep an eye on my oil levels as the VTEC engines are quite oil hungry as they age. In terms of mpg, I find myself getting on average 40mpg, that's urban driving to a couple of work places and back home a day, if I've been particularly cruel to the engine I'd expect approx. 33mpg, however, on longer trips I'd expect high 40's or into the 50's.
In terms of what you'll pay for the insurance (given I live in the suburbs of an East of England town [technically a small city]). I insured this car as a 17 year old female for TPFT for £1086 in my first year, £830 for TPFT in my second year and £650 Fully Comp in my Third Year. I think this car is insurance group 6 and was one of the main influencing factors that allowed me to afford such a nice first car. In my first year I was getting MORE expensive quotes for a 1.2: Ford Ka!
This netbook was bought for me as a gift to replace an old Alienware laptop I had endless problems with, a big change from a heavy gaming laptop to such a lightweight netbook!
I've found that due to it's size I've used it even more than I would a normal laptop, it can do everything I want it to and never seems to complain! Sure, it will be slower than a big laptop, purely because it is technically limited but I find it runs well even when running a number of programmes.
I bought an external CD drive for mine so that I could install a copy of Microsoft Office Word 2007 on to it (although it came with 2010 starter editions of Word and excel preloaded) and even use it to play CDs.
I use this laptop to browse the net (copes well even with lots of tabs running), update social networking sites and even use it to Videocall on Skype. Although Skyping is data-intensive it copes really well with the demand and is really handy to use with it's built in webcam and micrphone.
I will be taking this laptop off to university with me when I leave in just over 2 weeks and look forward to carrying it to lectures, it's so small and easy to carry around! (About the third of the weight of one of my textbooks!). This laptop has definitely catered for all of my needs, the only downside is that because the operating system is Windows 7 Starter (specifically designed for netbooks) you can't change your desktop photo!