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Northumberlandia is a public park which is comprised of a sculpted landform which makes the shape of a giant woman. It is claimed by the owners of the estate that this is the largest land sculpture of a human form in the country. I actually live about a five minute drive from Northumberlandia and can see her whenever I drive around or walk my dogs in the area. At a distance she looks like a woman lying on her back and you can clearly see the shape of her face as well as the curves of her breasts and belly. It is quite a thing to behold! She is also very noticeable from the A1068 road as you drive by since a giant grass and stone face suddenly appears as you are driving by.
The park allows visitors to walk around the lady since there are pathways which twist around her form. You can climb onto her breasts and all the way to her face, which is the highest point of the sculpture. At each apex there are weird little stone markers with abstract messages and factual details.
To access the area there is a car-park on Blagdon Lane. Visitors should use the official car park and not that of the nearby pub/restaurant The Snowy Owl. The car park is of a small size but I found it easy to get a space. A new visitor centre and café has recently been constructed in the area so that walkers can enjoy a sit down before or after their visit to the lady.
My opinions about Northumberlandia is that first of all it's quite difficult to climb the steeper paths. The paths are comprised of large gravel stones like garden gravel and it's difficult to walk on. I am quite used to hiking and walking but even I found it difficult to get to the very top of the sculpture. Secondly I feel the area is lacking in something. There is a lovely water pool but there is no life on it. There are also no plants or trees to give a sense of relief from what feels like an arid environment. There are also not enough seats for resting. I do think it's fun to explore the various paths though and to finally get to the peaks of each path. Children especially seem to enjoy it although I would advise against taking dogs due to the narrowness of the paths.
Active visitors to the area will enjoy seeing Northumberlandia although it's not a place I think people will want to spend too much of their time. There are some great souvenirs on sale locally, at places like the Azure Garden Centre, featuring the Northumberlandia logo. I would recommend it as an attraction but I think visitors will get more out of seeing the visual artwork than they will spending time in the park.
You might think all brands of cotton buds are the same but after using other brands I have discovered that Johnsons Cotton Buds are the best out there. I like to have these in the household at all times as I use them for a variety of things. Although it is often advised against I do use them for cleaning out my ears as well as drying the outer edges of my ears after a hair wash. I also use them for handy things like removing nail varnish spills from the edges of my newly painted nails. They also come in handy in hard to reach places that need cleaning such as the filters of items like fridges and washing machines. I have also recently found them helpful in applying antiseptic cream to sore areas that are best not touched by fingers. Using a bud allows for a more delicate application.
The Johnsons product contains 200 cotton buds and they come in a little cardboard tub with a plastic top. The fact that there are so many buds in a pack means they tend to last an awfully long time. They are a good size for easy storage and I find that it's very easy to remove the lid and to replace it securely after use.
Some product information is found on the edge of the tub. The brand state that the buds are made from "100% natural cotton" which is "naturally absorbent and gentle". They are also recommended for use with babies to clean their outer ears, nose and between digits.
The buds are comprised of a blue plastic stick with both ends being rounded with a soft, shaped cotton. The cotton in these buds tends not to fray and thread away as with some other brands. The sticks measure just over 3 inches long so are easy to hold in the hand and to grip whilst using.
The cotton is well molded over the edge of the stick and you can't feel the sharp edge of the end of the plastic stick due to the thickness of the cotton. The amount of cotton seems generous compared to other brands.
These cotton buds are not really environmentally friendly and it is advised that you need to put your buds in the waste bin and not flush them down the toilet. Despite this I find that they are a household essential and I use them frequently where other products either do not exist or simply can not help me. Therefore I will continue to purchase these. I will also be sticking with the Johnsons brand as I feel that with they are the best cotton buds available.
This is a recipe for a vegan 'flapjack' or brownie bite. It ends up being quite sticky and moist but requires very little effort and cooking time.
Half a tin of coconut milk using only the thickest creamy top
Drop of vanilla essence
5 generous tablespoons of icing sugar
50g of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of smooth or crunchy peanut butter
Heat all ingredients in a pan and mix until melted. Pour into a baking tray lined with foil. Cover and freeze until set. Slice into bite sized pieces. Enjoy!
It's best to keep this in the fridge or else it gets very sticky.
I recommend crunchy peanut butter to add texture.
Eat on their own or as a desert.
This is a recipe for a quick and easy vegan 'burger' which I made by just throwing together a lot of spare ingredients but which really works!
3 tablespoons of cous-cous made up with boiled water and a pinch of salt
Half a courgette, grated
1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon crunchy peanut or cashew butter
Half a tin or small tin of chick peas, mashed.
1 tablespoon oil
(optional) Half a tomato, chopped into fine pieces
(optional) When making cous-cous vegetable stock can be added for more flavour
(optional) You can also pretty much add any kind of leftover vegetables to this mix so I have added a few peas and carrots on occasion!
1) Blend all of the ingredients together and shape into a burger shaped patty or patties.
2)Heat a frying pan with oil and place patties into the pan. Cook until golden brown. If the patties disintegrate which they can sometimes do if not properly gelled together then the 'burger' simply becomes a 'crumble', hey presto!
Great served with tomato ketchup and a brown bun!
Cous-cous can burn easily in frying pan and often becomes a little dry if overcooked.
Sesame seeds can spit out of the frying pan so be careful to blend these well.
Chick peas can be replaced by cannellini beans.
Peanut/cashew butter and moist grated courgette don't easily blend together, so add peanut butter to cous-cous first.
This is an unusual brownie recipe which I found online when researching vegan recipes but then I tweaked a bit to make it my own. You can make it vegan or non-vegan by simply switching one ingredient and it tastes great whichever way you choose!
3 Tablespoons boiled water
2 tablespoons ground golden linseed
6 tablespoons of plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons pure cocoa powder
75g of milk or vegan chocolate chopped into squares
1 teaspoon of instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon salt
Boiling Water enough to make a paste
5 tablespoons of sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons of dairy free margarine
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 tablespoon of almond milk or coconut milk
The ingredients are grouped together in the way they are mixed.
1) Place oven on at 200 degrees. Line a baking tray with foil or baking paper. Mix linseed and water in a bowl and set aside for later.
2) Blend flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
3) Mix cocoa powder, chocolate, coffee and salt. Add boiling water and mix until melted and gooey like a paste. Add sugar, margarine, vanilla, almond milk and linseed mixture. Blend together well.
4) Transfer to baing tray and bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how moist you like your brownies. Inserting a skewer helps to determine this.
5)Allow brownies to cool and then cut into squares.
Tips: I made this brownie recipe originally following a measurement for cups rather than tablespoons. I have no idea what a cup measurement is so I just tweaked it to tablespoon measurements and it works for me. However, the original cup quantities were 1 1/3 cups plain flour and 1 1/2 cups sugar as well as 1/4 cup of boiling water for the main mix.
The brownies can be iced with a wonderful blend of non dairy margarine, cocoa powder and icing sugar.
Linseed as a brownie ingredient may seem weird but it creates a fabulous texture.
In the UK I buy may linseed at Aldi. I also use Nescafe Azeera coffee in this recipe.
I have stayed in this hotel, the Ibis on Lillie Road, several times because I regularly attend geeky sci-fi conventions at the Earls Court exhibition centre and this is one of the best quality hotels nearby. It's literally a few minutes walk away from the Earls Court building so if you are attending an even there it's ideally situated. There is another hotel called The Lilly located slightly closer to the Earls Court building but I have stayed there and would NOT recommend it to anyone, even to those on a budget. There are also other hotels and B&Bs in the area but out of everywhere else I've stayed I still much prefer this hotel to any other.
The Ibis is a large sized hotel (504 rooms) which overlooks the exhibition centre. It has a grand, spacious lobby area where there are areas for recreation and for meeting other guests or friends. Staff at reception and throughout the hotel are pleasant, well mannered and competent.
The rooms are not overly large but they are clean and have basic essentials such as towels, tea and coffee facilities, televisions, bathroom extras, hairdryer etc. I believe all of the rooms are either double or twin rooms only and I have always stayed in the twin rooms which are very comfortable and enough for my needs. Although this is classified as a budget hotel it's actually a very good hotel with modern decor and bedding, windows (something you have to pay extra for at other budget hotels!) and free extra facilities like towels, soap and shampoo. There is also WI-fi enabled throughout the rooms and the rest of the hotel.
The hotel has two recreational areas. One is a pub style bar which sells drink and also food. It's a lovely place to chill out and the quality of service is excellent. I enjoyed eating there and I liked the atmosphere. The other area is a more spacious restaurant at which you can dine and drink at leisure. On my last trip there were televisions in both the bar and restaurant showing sport/music videos.
The hotel is near to a couple of tube stations, West Brompton and Earls Court and although the former station is closest I have found myself having to go to the latter station to be able to better connect to main stations more easily.
The hotel is close to the Victoria and Albert museum, Chelsea football stadium, the Earls Court Exhibition Centre and the Olympia and you are well situated to be able to access other tourist attractions in London by using public transport.
I would definitely recommend this hotel particularly to those who are attending events at Earls Court Exhibition Centre. It's comfortable, clean, close by to the tube stations and many attractions and it has always suited my needs. Prices vary but my stays have always cost around £80-90 a night.
I have used Alberto Balsam hair products since I was a teenager as they produce shampoos and conditioners that retail at a cheap price but which are of a good quality. This Sun Kissed Raspberry caught my eye in the supermarket recently and it was one of the biggest bottles available for less than one pound.
The product comes in a 400ml sized bottle which, as mentioned, cost me less than a pound. I have never seen these shampoos or conditioners priced at more than £1.20 but they are usually only £1 so they are a real bargain.
The Sun Kissed Raspberry variety is for normal/dry hair and the shampoo is recommended to be used in tandem with the conditioner of the same range, although this is not essential.
Since I last used the brand they have had a little change in the bottle design. They now have a press down top which pushes up the dispensing nozzle. You then click it back in place after use. This is a handy feature and possibly more secure than the previous flip style tops. I would definitely feel safer carrying this design in my holiday luggage than the previous bottle.
The brand state that the shampoo "cleanses" and "moisturises" and also mention that the formula is infused with pro-vitamin B5 which has strengthening qualities. On the label on the back of the bottle the brand make a big point about how their ingredients are virtually the same as much more expensive brands, and that they are just as good. I tend to agree!
The shampoo is a delicate pink colour and has the sweetest,most delicious raspberry fragrance. It's a feminine fragrance and I think it would appeal to girls, teens and ladies of all ages.
The shampoo is easy to work into the hair and I don't need to use very much to create a thick lather. I like the way it feels when I'm massaging the foam into my scalp as it feels like I'm getting a good deep clean without the shampoo being too harsh on my hair.
The shampoo rinses out easily and when all the bubbles are gone you can still smell the strong raspberry scent in your hair. This remains after you have dried your hair too. Using the conditioner in the same range makes the scent even stronger.
The shampoo cleans well, removing any hair products from the shaft of my hair, getting rid of any mild dandruff, taking away the oiliness from the roots whilst giving me moisture at the ends of my hair. My scalp and hair feel really good after using this product.
I will definitely buy this again and would recommend to others. You get a good experience and result for something that costs so little.
I stayed in this hotel when I went to visit family in the city. It was my first visit to any Tune hotel but it definitely won't be my last. I really enjoyed the stay and my experience within the hotel.
Tune is a budget hotel and I'm used to staying at budget hotels because I don't have a lot of cash to spare on what is essentially, for me, just a bed for the night. I've stayed in all of the big name budget hotels in London and they all have pros and cons. What stood out for me as a huge positive at Tune was they were clean and well organised.The room size and design was also very impressive.
I paid £50 to stay in a room which did not have a window. This may sound unpleasant but the room was so nicely lit that I didn't even notice there was no window. A quiet air system conditioning also meant I didn't feel claustrophobic or stuffy. The general atmosphere of the room was fantastic.
As mentioned the room was exceptionally clean and the decor modern and pretty. There are no extras or comforts though. You also need to pay extra for things like TV access and even basic essentials such as towels. You can add these onto the price of your bill when you book or you can arrange to pay with reception when you arrive.
The hotel had a small lobby area where you are able to convene with other guests. This is a quiet comfortable area but it does feel a bit like a student rec room! There is no bar or restaurant but vending machines are provided.
This hotel is situated in a prime location for visiting the city and for sight-seeing. It's extremely close to Paddington main train station as well as to Edgeware Road and Paddington tube stations too. There are also many attractions nearby within walking distance.
I would definitely stay here again. I felt secure and comfortable during my entire stay. I did not experience any problems and the staff at the hotel were friendly and professional, something I don't always notice about similar budget hotels. I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a very cheap stay in London.
I recently bought this Radox 'Moisture Soak' after enjoying another variety of bath soak from the same brand. I liked the look of this one because it is a pale pink colour and the bottle label shows a picture of beautiful flowers. I imagined it would be an indulgent treat especially for the ladies and I was right - this is possibly the most feminine product in the Radox bath soak range.
The product comes in a transparent, recyclable 500ml size bottle, so you get a lot for your money. The bottle has a screw off top which is easy to remove and to close again. The product has all of it's ingredients printed on the label on the back of the bottle. There is also contact information available and some detailed information about this variety of bath soak.
The brand state that the formula is a blend of "calendula and rose". They state that using the product will leave you "feeling soft" and that it is a pampering experience.
The liquid is really smooth flowing like honey and you need very, very little to enable the bath to foam up and for the water to feel soft and perfumed. The amount of bubbles created from just a small dollop is amazing and will lie on the surface of bath water up to a few inches deep. The foam feels slinky and moisturising.
The product smells absolutely amazing. It's definitely heavy on the roses but it's also very sweet like the richest nectar and possibly a hit of vanilla. The fragrance is most certainly aimed at women and is so sweet and floral that I don't think this product would be suitable for many men. The fragrance is pleasing and relaxing, making bathing a calming down experience.
The product makes my skin feel great and it definitely has some moisturising qualities. It's obviously not like a cream moisturiser but it does make my skin feel peachy, younger and less dry once I've dried following a bath. I'm pleased with the effects in this sense. I also love that the fragrance is left on the skin too.
I am very happy with my purchase, having bought this for only a couple of pounds. It is definitely worth the money and is one of the most satisfying bath foam products I have ever used. I would recommend to all ladies who enjoy the scent of roses.
Around six months ago I gave up driving and found myself having to walk or cycle everywhere. I also started long distance walking with my dogs and quickly realised I'd need some better quality walking boots, shoes and clothes and other equipment. This is when I first heard about Karrimor. I actually did an internet search looking for the most respected brands that made outdoor products and found a lot of advice from consumers stating that you couldn't beat Karrimor for comfort and quality.
I then bought a pair of boots and some trainer style walking shoes from the firm. I managed to get these quite cheaply since Karrimor is outsourced to many other outlets including Amazon and Sports Direct.com. When ordering online I was a bit tentative about the sizing of the items since many customers mention that you might need a larger size than you usually take. However, when my items arrived they were the perfect fit. The boots I bought were under £20 but are made of sturdy leather with a molded rubber protective toe cap and lace caplets. The boots are totally waterproof and extremely comfortable. They took no working in and have a soft, velvety cushioned inner sole. My walking shoes/trainers are more lightweight with a breathable mesh style, strong laces and a gripping sole. Again, they feel so comfortable to wear and have not needed any period of adjustment.
I am extremely happy with my purchases and I would go as far as to say that my walking boots in particular are the best boots I've ever had. They are also looking great after many months of use and I think they will be long lasting. They make walking easier and safer for me.
I am so impressed by the brand that I will definitely be investing in more of their products. The brand have a brilliant website where you can browse their collections of womens, mens and childrens shoes,boots and clothing. They also sell camping equipment including tents, rucksacks and accessories, all priced very reasonably.
I cannot recommend Karrimor enough, especially to people who are new to long distance walking or hiking.
I recently bought some of this hair mousse when I was away for the weekend and my hair needed a quick fix. I had previously used other items in the shockwaves range such as their hair wax so I had a good understanding of what the brand offer.
The particular mousse I am reviewing is the Shockwaves Volume Mousse which "volumizes, conditions and helps defend from styling heat". Wella mark their products with a 1-5 scale of how much hold the product has and this is marked as a 5, the maximum hold. The product comes in a tall 200ml metal canister. The can is printed with plenty of product information, usage instructions and styling tips as well as full ingredients and contact in for Wella, the company who manufacture this product.
The can is fitted with a hold down button. This has a protruding nozzle which has a slatted marking through which the mousse comes through. The mousse is easy to dispense and it forms a fluffy ball in the palm of your hand. It is easy to control how much mousse to dispense as well.
The mousse has a pleasant fragrance which reminds me of apples and candies. It is a rather feminine fragrance though so this may discourage men from using the product. The scent is noticeable after use and when hair is just dry after using but the fragrance does tend to fade away gradually.
The mousse has a non-sticky texture which is excellent as it's easy to work through hair and I don't need to worry about my hands getting all glued up. The mousse sinks easily into the hair and vanishes with the hair feeling slightly wet or damp after application. To achieve ultimate volume it is advised to blow dry hair with head upside down and aiming to plump out the roots. You can also simply naturally dry hair. The mousse acts as a setting agent to control frizz, unruly hair and to create a specific style.
I'm very pleased with the performance of the product. It dries quickly and calms and sculpts my hair whilst giving volume without leaving residue or a powdery bulking agent. It does not weigh my hair down in any way and I can use it multiple days without it making my hair feel dirty. It also leaves my hair a little shinier and more healthy looking.
I would definitely buy this product again as it is very reasonably priced at around £2.75 and performs well. I would also recommend this to other ladies.
I was recently travelling and after a couple of sweaty hours stuck on a hot train I wanted to freshen up quickly so I bought this Impulse Temptation Vanilla and Peach body spray. It looked like it the fragrance would be ultra feminine as the can is printed with a picture of pretty orange flowers. It was also cheap at only £1 for a 75ml sized spray bottle.
Impulse describe this body spray as having a scent that is "earthy [and] sensual". They state it can be sprayed anywhere at any time and tease that this will "inspire" someone who smells the fragrance!
The product comes in a dainty, lightweight spray can which is easy to carry around in a handbag. This has a clever top which swivels around to reveal the spray nozzle. It can then be twisted back around to conceal the hole so you need never lose a loose plastic top! The dispenser button on top of the can is big and easy to compress although it does release a fast jet of mist which sprays at a long length. I recommend holding the can quite far away from the skin, even as far as an arm's length.
The spray feels cool and refreshing on the skin. I like to apply this everywhere on my body but especially my arms, wrists and neck. In this way it works like a perfume. I also don't mind spraying this over my clothes as it doesn't leave residue or marks.
The product has a really lovely, girly fragrance which I find very pleasant and uplifting. There is a huge dash of flirtatious, sweet vanilla blended with this carefree and cute juicy peach flavour. It's a beautiful combination and one that really works. The fragrance is not overpowering nor is it too weak. It sort of dances in the air and around your body for a long time after applying.
I am very pleased with my purchase and would recommend this to women of all ages who enjoy using body sprays like this to stay fresh and revived throughout the day. As far as body sprays go Impulse are probably the best brand out there and this is one of their nicest body spray varieties.
I have only just discovered this place after snubbing it for years, thinking it was akin to Starbucks or Costa Coffee where I was used to overpriced and uninspired food choices. In fact Pret-A-Manger trumps these places as a coffee shop and food-to-go or outlet. As a sit in café it's not quite as ambient or as relaxing as similar big chain outlets, however.
I live near Newcastle and I've visited three Prets in this area (Northumberland Street, Grainger Street and Fenwicks indoors). All of them have quite small indoor seating areas with not many tables available but in a couple of these outlets outdoor seats are available too. Where there is space inside the seats are reasonably comfy and the tables quite roomy. They also have tall stool type seats, often by the windows where it can be easier for one person parties to sit.
I was incredibly surprised the first time I visited Pret as the food selection was so much better than I thought it would be. Firstly, there is a huge range of sandwiches. The varieties are interesting and healthy with an emphasis on ethics and with admirable environmental policies. A soup range is also available. They also have a great fresh or pre-wrapped cake range. I absolutely adore their banana cake with cream cheese topping! They also have snacks of nuts, dried fruits and crisps in addition to things like healthy chocolate bars, rice cakes, fruit and nut granola bars and yoghurts. They now offer dairy free items too.
They even have their own cold drink range which is delicious and as natural as they can make it. Flavours like Hibiscus are really unusual and tasty. The staff at Pret always make me feel welcome and they make a mean cup of coffee. I also am partial to the Pret Hot Chocolate which has a smooth foamy cream top. Delicious!
The reason I keep returning to Pret rather than to other outlets is that I find the food range far superior here than anywhere else that offers similar café meals. I find the prices to be on the expensive side although I'm happy to pay a little extra for better quality food. There is also an eat in or eat out pricing policy which you should notice marked on the price tags in store. I will definitely be returning as I enjoy the type of food available here. I would recommend Pret to people who want a healthier, more interesting option at lunch time.
I recently received this Lush Sultana of Soap as a gift. I like to shop at Lush but had never tried this soap before. When I unwrapped the soap I was quite surprised at it's appearance. It looks a lot like a cheesecake! It's a creamy, porridge coloured soap with chunks of dried fruit decorated on the top. Through the body of the soap there are misshapen pieces of oily soap globules mixed into the milkier body.
The soap actually contains 18 ingredients including rapeseed and coconut oil for softening skin, olibanum oil for "toning and relaxing" and bergamot oil for effective cleansing. The dried fruit in the soap consists of currants and cranberries.
The soap has a beautiful fragrance which is like a fruity milkshake. It has a hint of musky, sandalwood type perfume but also smells quite earthy and natural. I think the fragrance could appeal to both women and men.
Lush state this soap is particularly moisturising and I would agree with this. The soap is exceptionally creamy when added to water. It actually feels like it's comprised with a moisturiser component in a similar way to soap brands like Nivea. The soap feels like it is nourishing my skin and the driest parts of my body drink in the lather. As for the lather, it is not as frothy as other soaps I've used but it still cleans well and the smooth, silky feeling of the melting soap is wonderful.
It's difficult to use this soap with a sponge or bath flower because of the dried fruit aspect. The fruits are supposed to be an exfoliation aspect but really they just fall out of the soap as soon as the bar hits the water. It seems like a real waste to me. I also hate picking up the pieces of currant out of the bath at the end of my bathing session. They look pretty nasty!
I am enjoying the benefits of this soap as my skin feels really good after a bath due to the moisturising qualities of the product. I would therefore recommend this to anyone who has dry skin. It's available in store or online. It's priced quite dearly, however, at £3.40 per 100g of soap. It's nice as a gift or as a personal treat.
I recently bought this Radox Eastern Spirit because it jumped out at me from the supermarket shelf. The colour of the bath foam is a delicious pinky-peach and the lotus and pagoda picture on the front of the bottle is dreamy and beautiful. The product comes in a large 500ml sized recyclable transparent plastic bottle. This is fitted with a screw off top which is easy to open. The bottle has information labels on the front and back. On the front it actually says this is a Limited Edition version and describes the product as a "bath soak...with oriental lotus flower and orange blossom".
The label on the back states that the brand use nature as an inspiration to create their exotic bath soak blends. Using "natural" ingredients the brand have created a product they say will leave you "uplifted". Full ingredients and brand contact information are also printed on the label.
To use this product you must pour it under running water. I've found that the smallest dollop of this works well, creating a blanket of foam and releasing a beautiful scent. The fragrance is enchanting and contains the sharp zest of orange along with the dewy, delicate nectar of the lotus flower. It's a fragrance that makes me feel happy and relaxed. I really want to dive into the bath and close my eyes for a while! The fragrance is very powerful and yet it doesn't overwhelm the senses, it seems to seduce them!
This product creates bubbles or foam and the amount created depends on how much of the liquid you add to the water. I like just a little bit and I'm happy with the silky soft bubbles that come out of just one dollop of liquid. It makes the water feel smooth and luxurious. I haven't noticed that this product has any other benefits such as skin softening but the fragrance does stay on the skin after drying.
I would definitely buy this again as it allows me to enjoy bathing and gives me the opportunity to relax and indulge in my senses. It's such a lovely fragrance, although possibly only suited to female consumers. I would recommend to friends and family.