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"In all pride of security, stands Elizabeth Castle, a fortress mounting nearly one hundred pieces of canon..." J Stead, 1809.
During a recent trip to Jersey I was really looking forward to visiting Elizabeth Castle named not for Queen Elizabeth 1 but for Elizabeth the wife of Sir Walter Raleigh who for a while was stationed here.
Where is it and How do I Get There?
Elizabeth Castle is in Jersey it is built on a rocky islet in St Aubins Bay. The Address is:
St Aubins bay
At low tide you can walk up to the Castle and although we had Jersey passes which allowed us free ferry and admission we decided to walk across the bay to the Castle. It is a nice walk and takes about twenty minutes. The pathway up to the castle is easy to follow and well defined.
If its high tide or you don't want to walk there are regular Castle ferries to and from the Castle.
Opening Times and Admissions
Elizabeth Castle is open from 1st April 10am-6pm daily. Closed from 1st November until 2nd April.
Castle and ferry:
The Jersey pass is accepted at Elizabeth Castle. Elizabeth Castle is not suitable for people with mobility impairment.
Refreshments are available from the Cafe or the Souveneir shop.
The Castle is really impressive and from a distance it looks just like a real sandcastle by that I mean like the pictures of sandcastles you see in childrens fairytale books which are made out of sand and perfectly formed.....A Fairytale Fortress.
The Castle is divided into three areas:
1. This is the oldest and the highest part and it is called The Mount or The Upper Ward.
2. The Lower Ward.
3. The Outer Ward.
There are also three small integral museum around the parade ground:
Granite and Gunpowder
Shows you the development of the canon.
Jersey Militia Story
The story of the Jersey Militia.
War and Peace
Tells the story of the garrison over 450 years.
Highlights of the Castle For Me
This is my favourite part of Elizabeth Castle and whilst hubby joined the Castle tour ( I have itchy feet and can't stand still for long periods) I headed up to the top of the tower. I was really excited as I love heights and the amazing views you get from being up there.
From the tower I could see all along the south east coast of the island. The views are stunning and did not disappoint me and I spent a good thirty minutes here taking photos and admiring the views.
Georgian Soldier Re-enactors
Through out the day we saw various displays on the parade ground and around the Castle. Canons where fired and guns where shot to give you a feel of what it would have been like when it was a working military fort.
The re-enactors where dressed like Georgian soldiers and looked realistic and in the case of the Seargant at arms sounded realistic as he got his audience to drill and parade and shouted out orders at them he also talked to us about what it was like to be a soldier then.
I really enjoyed the displays and feel it gives you more of a realistic image that stays with you.
In the upper ward is the Queen Elizabeth gate. It still has the portcullis slots in the side of the arch and it is easy to imagine an archer above drawing his bow in challenge....."Who goes there?" "its me and I'm off!".
The gate was built in the 1590's and is the original entrance to the Castle. Beneath a large Tudor rose are the arms of Elizabeth 1.
This is seperate from the Castle and reachable by a causeway within the Castle grounds. Primitive stone steps lead up to the hermitage. St Helier lived here but you can't imagine him living in comfort as it's little more than a cave.
Worth a Visit?
In my opinion if you are in Jersey it is well worth a visit. I really enjoyed the displays with the Georgian soldier re-enactors which gave you a real feel of what it was like. I also really enjoyed climbing up to the top of the tower the views are stunning from there.
About the Hotel
The Pomme d'or is a four star hotel with 143 bedrooms which are all air conditioned and all have lift access.
All rooms have free Wi-Fi and broadband access for laptop computers in addittion there is a computer next to the lifts in reception and two in the cafe bar these are free to use you just need your ID NO from reception.
The Pomme d'or was the German command centre during the occupation in the Second World War it also features in the occupation tapestries on display in the Maritime Museum.
Pomme d'or is famous amongst the locals for the excellent seafood buffet which is served in the harbour room every Friday with the freshest of seafood such as; Gravadlax, gambas, langoustines, mixed shells, mussels, crab claws, oysters, smoked fish platters, whole dressed salmon, and much more.
There are five different room types:
Harbour view rooms
All rooms have access to 24 hour room service.
Reception/Checking In/Room Prices
You enter the reception area through glass doors at the front of the hotel, as you enter the reception desk is on the right. We had pre-booked a premier room through Thomas Cook and paid in advance so check in was really easy. The price we paid for a premier room with breakfast was £100 a night. Price correct at time of booking August 2010. We were asked for credit card details for any drinks/food ordered to our room, giving your card details is optional you can settle the bill on check out if preferred.
Reception staff are very smartly dressed and we found all the reception staff friendly and polite and eager to help. The reception area is very smart with a tiled floor it also has various seating areas around it with comfy chairs and settees. You can sit in this area and have a drink and snack (Lobby Bar).
At check in we where given a card key for our room and asked if we had visited Jersey before as we had not we where given various maps and books on places of interest/things to do. A porter carried our cases and showed us to our room.
Location and Parking
The Pomme d'or overlooks Liberation Square and St. Helier marina. The Pomme d'or is close to the bus station and is in the centre of St. Helier. The Pomme d'or is also within walking distance (five to ten Minutes) of the Maritime Museum, Ariadne Steam Clock and the beach which has platform seating sun bathing areas and from the beach you looked out towards Elizabeth Castle and can see the Castle ferries going to and from the Castle.
I didn't see any parking for the Pomme d'or hotel and parking is not advertised on the website. However the hotel is close to the bus station or about twenty muinutes from the airport by taxi costing £10 to £15.
Our Room And Bathroom
We choose a Premier double room which was lovely it was a large room and had a large double bed with a white linen duvet, four plush pillows at either side, two small black and coffee pillows and a matching black and coffee bed runner. Bedside cabinets to each side of the bed with cream lamps on there was also two little flexible l.e.d reading lights attached to the headboard, a reading writing desk which when lifted up and it turned into a vanity unit with mirror and a hairdryer in the lift up compartment, a comfy desk chair which tilted back and swung round, a comfy chair, a large mirrored wardrobe with plenty of storage room which contained iron, ironing board and shoe cleaning stuff. At the side of the entrance door was a Corby trouser press. The curtains in the room matched the small cushions and bed runner they where lined and black and coffee in colour.
The flat screen television was attached to the wall and below this was a cabinet with a keyboard(for internet access via T.V or games we did not use this as we don't bother on holiday we would sooner be out and about) on top and tea/coffee making facilities with plenty of supplies:
Selection of herbal teas
Selection of coffees including decafeinated
Milk in small cartons
Two packets of biscuits
1 bottle mineral water
Our room was cleaned daily and any items biscuits, tea etc which had been used were replenished daily. Our room and bathroom were spotlessly clean.
The room was really quiet at night time and the bed was very comfortable and we both slept well during our stay.
The bathroom was a good size and comprised WC, sink and bath with shower over. It was fully tiled and terracotta, cream and beige in colour. On the sink vanity unit was a range of complimentary toiletries soap, bubble bath, shampoo and then body wash which was fitted to the wall at the side of the shower. There where lots of white fluffy towels.
Speakers were fitted under the sink so you could listen to music or T.V in the bathroom.
Eating at the Pomme d'or
Breakfast is served in the harbour room which overlooks the harbour and liberation square. Breakfast is served from 7am-10am. You are shown to your table by a waiter/waitress and asked if you want coffee/tea and white/brown toast.
Breakfast is buffet style and is very impressive. You can have a full English breakfast, continental or a mix of both.
Full English Breakfast choose from:
Eggs scrambled or fried
Fresh fruit juice
Continental choose from:
Various sorts of ham
Cold mackerel or salmon
Croissants (fruit, plain, chocolate, custard or raisin)
Jersey full cream yogurts
Fresh Fruit (pineapple, melon, green figs, mandarins, strawberries and grapes)
Selection of jams
You are shown to a different table every morning and we were very lucky and got a harbour view each day. Hubby had the continental breakfast every morning as he's not keen on a full cooked breakfast so this was great for him. I had the cooked breakfast a couple of mornings and it was very good and on the other mornings I had the continental which was equally as nice. We could not fault the breakfast there was so much choice and everything was nicely presented and well cooked.
The harbour room changes to a carvery at night and a seafood buffet every Friday night. You need to book this as it gets very busy.
You enter the cafe Bar from the road or through the reception area. The Cafe bar had a really cosy atmosphere and we felt really comfortable in here. It had large glass windows to the side overlooking the harbour and Liberation square. The Cafe Bar is open early morning to late evening.
We really liked the Cafe Bar and popped in every evening either on our way out or in and just sat unwinding after a busy day sightseeing with a nice glass of chilled wine.
We also ate in the Cafe Bar one night I had crab cakes and hubby had the Thai vegetable cakes. Then we both had fillet steak with cafe butter served with a choice of potatoes and seasonal vegetables. The food was well presented and nicely cooked.
The prices in the Cafe Bar were very good wine was £3-£5 a glass and £15-£25 a bottle. Food was also well priced and we paid £48 for two starters, two mains, a bottle of red wine and two coffees.
In the hotel There was also The Petit Pomme (posh a la carte restaurant which was fully booked during our stay, cocktail bar which was next to the harbour room, Wharf Bar and the Lobby Bar.
We really liked this hotel because of its location a few minutes walk form the bus station making it very easy to travel round Jersey from here. All the staff are well dressed friendly and made you feel at home. Our rooms were well presented, very clean and had everything you could wish for. The only disadvantages to this hotel would be not having a swimming pool although they do offer this at their sister hotel and also they don't have any parking facilities although you are very close to the bus station and buses which take you all over Jersey and go to all the main tourist attractions.
In my opinion this is the best hotel in St.Helier and I highly recommend this hotel
I really enjoy my snacks but I am cutting down at the moment to lose a few pounds so when I spotted these Weight Watchers cheesy puffs on special offer in Tesco I pounced. Also I like Wotsits and these looked very similar
These come in a large white plastic bag similar in shape and size to all multipack packaging. To the front of the pack they have the blue Weight Watchers logo and it also tells us they are Cheese Flavour Puffs. There is a picture of the cheese puffs on it, and it also gives us some information about this snack:
1 Weight Watchers points per bag.
0.3g Saturated fat.
Deliciously cheesy melt-in-the-mouth maize snack.
Baked Not Fried.
Suitable for Vegetarians.
On the back of the pack it gives us the ingredients, nutritional information, GDA (daily guidance) table and allergy advice ( contains milk and is manufactured in a factory that handles gluten, Soya and mustard).
You get six 18 gramme packs in each multipack.
Cheesy puffs are very similar in appearance to Wotsits but not quite as orangey. They are puffed up and made out of maize and are light orange in colour.
==Taste and Texture==
These do taste cheesy but the flavour is quite light and bland. They melt in your mouth and are very light. The outside texture is rough and bumpy and inside you can see they are puffed up with little pockets of air in them. Milder in taste than Wotsits.
Store in a cool dry place and I have found if you don't finish a bag (unlikely) if you fold the top of the packet over and then clip them with a peg it keeps them fresh.
I do like these but I can't say they are my favourite snack because they are quite bland in taste although I do like the lightness and texture of them. They are expensive at £1.99 for a multipack of six which works out at about 33p per packet.
I would still buy these again especially if I could get them on offer as they are handy to have in when you have a snack attack. They are only 75Kcal and 1 point per bag so great if you are following a Weight Watchers diet.
When you are eating wotsits you are usually left with orangey hands off the coating it doesn't happen with these WW cheesy puffs.
I would recommend these if you are on a WW diet as they do stop you from reaching for that naughty chocolate bar or cake. You also get quite a few in a packet so you do feel like you have eaten something.
==Price and Availability==
These are available from most major supermarkets I bought mine from Tesco and they cost £1.98 per multipack. When I bought these (August 2010) there was a special offer on if you bought two of the WW multipack range it cost £3.00. I bought one multipack of these and one of the lightly salted Mini hoops.
Although I like to make most of the food and snacks for the children in my care I do have to buy quite a lot of treats and foods for outings and trips. I do try and buy healthy foods and snacks for the babies and children I look after and I usually buy the baby/toddler food from Boots. Having bought products from the Organix range before I decided to try more of the range and bought a packet of the organic raspberry and blueberry rice cakes. The ORGANIX range has a no junk promise and has won several Mother & Baby Awards which originally gave me the confidence to buy this range.
These are attractively packaged and come in a foil bag which is coloured purple, green and blue. There are pictures of the rice cakes on the front of the bag as well as blueberries and raspberries and a baby girl in her highchair eating one of the rice cakes. The pack weighs 50g e and there are about 30 rice cakes in each pack.
On the front of the pack is the ORGANIX logo with the no junk promise.
==The Rice Cakes==
The rice cakes are small circles of wholegrain rice coated with apple, raspberry, vanilla extract and one side of them is a deep purple colour this must be the fruit juices as they do not contain any colourings. They are about the size of a small cookie and easy for small hands to grasp and hold.
==Taste And Texture==
These are crunchy yet light and bumpy and a bit rough in texture. They taste sweet and fruity you can really taste the raspberry and blueberry in them.
I don't always add ingredients/nutritional Information to my reviews but I think it is important where babies/toddlers are concerned. These rice cakes are suitable for vegetarians and are gluten and wheat free.
Organic Wholegrain Rice 78%
Organic Apple Juice Concentrate 14%
Organic Raspberry juice concentrate 4%
Organic Blueberry juice concentrate 3%
Organic Vanilla extract less than 1%
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) less than 1%
Thiamin is an essential nutrient for growing children it does not have an organic certification.
==No Junk Promise==
No added sugar
No added salt
==Nutritional Information Per 6g 3 cakes==
of which sugars 0.9g
Of which saturates trace
Contains only naturally occuring sugars
These are not suitable for children under 7 months.
==Price and Availability==
The Organix range are available in most supermarkets and are priced around £1.00 - £1.50. I paid £1.10 from Boots for mine. Boots stock nearly all the Goodies Organix range and you can sometimes get them on offer.
Store in a cool dry place. After opening I store these in an airtight container to prevent them from going soggy or just clip the top of the bag with a peg.
I would highly recommend these they are delicious and you know you are giving your baby wholesome natural foods. I like the fact they encourage your baby to eat by themselves and are good for developing babies eye and hand coordination. They are easy for baby to grasp and hold yet the puffed rice is gentle on their gums. They also introduce baby to different textures and tastes and babies seem to love the fact they can hold them by themselves although it is important your baby is sitting whilst eating and you never leave your baby alone to reduce the risks of them choking.
We also like them because they are not messy which makes them ideal for trips and outings.
Babies and toddlers seem to really like them and as soon as the 20 month old little boy I look after sees the packet he shouts "cakes cakes Josh". I have found some of the Organix range a little bland for my tastes (younger babies seem to like the blander tastes) but these are really nice and we often share a packet.
==Other Products In The Organix Goodies Range==
Raspberry fruit wobblers
Fruit cereal bars
Cocoa and raisin bars
Cheese and herb curly puffs
To find out more about the organix range and their no junk promise go to :
BH1 336 Christchurch,Dorset BH23 2ZZ
UK Freephone 0800 39 35 11
On a recent trip to Geneva friends had recommended we visit here. The Cafe de Paris is on the Rue de Mont-Blanc and is fairly central and close to the railway station.
After Checking in at our hotel we went for a stroll to see if we could locate this place for our evening meal. It was easy to find and only about ten minutes away from our hotel (EastWest Hotel on the Rue Des Paquis).
==Booking a Table==
It is best to book a table here because it gets really busy and people que outside for a table. We booked a table for 8.30.
==Decor and Ambiance==
As you walk through the door you step back in time. The decor is 1920's-1930's with wood panelling and large mirrors on the walls. The tables are very close together and covered with white paper table cloths. There is a steady background hum of conversation which sort of reminds you of a college canteen atmosphere. It is really buzzing with waiters/waitresses dashing back and forth taking orders and bringing out food and hotplates.
The waiters/waitresses are very smartly dressed with crisp white shirts.
The menu consists of a green salad starter followed by just one main dish entrecote steak served with a famous secret sauce (so famous it even has its own wikipedia page) with crispy thin french fries.
Your biggest choice is if you want your steak saignant (rare) apoint (medium rare) or bien cuit (well done). We found that however you order your steak it comes to your table rare to medium rare it is very unlikely you will get your steak well done in the Cafe de Paris and rightly so in my opinion. The meal is a fixed price 41CHF (£30) for starter and steak. There is a wine list and a choice of desserts.
We were seated at a table for two next to a group of six people. The waitress came over and wrote down on the paper table cloth how we wanted our steak we also ordered a bottle of house red.
The salad arrived nicely presented, chopped up assorted lettuce leaves with a herb oil dressing. By the time I had finished my salad I was really ready for my steak.
The waitress arrived with a hotplate and a plate with lots of thin fries on, she then brought the steak which was served in thick strips and swimming in a hot buttery sauce. She placed this on the hotplate and the sauce bubbled away throughout the meal. By this time my mouth was watering I placed a couple of the steak strips on my plate and spooned some sauce on top. It was delicious the steak was melt in the mouth tender and the sauce to die for. I have no idea what is in the sauce and it probably is not good for you but who cares its lovely. It was so good I kept dipping my fries in it. I easily finished off my steak and all the sauce and the waitress kept topping us up with more fries throughout the meal.
The sauce was the consistency of hollandaise sauce it was the colour of best butter but with a greenish tinge to it. The fries were very thin, soft in the middle and crispy on the outside. The steak was pink in the middle and one of the juiciest steaks I have ever eaten.
The house wine was full bodied, fruity and went really well with the steak.
For dessert we had homemade apple pie which was served on its own. I did think this might have been nicer with cream or ice cream but it was very good how it came. Thick slices of apple in a light syrup which tasted of cinnamon and slightly spicy it was encased in buttery shortcrust pastry. We both enjoyed the apple pie.
To be honest before our visit I had read both good and bad reviews, for us though it was a positive experience. We really enjoyed it so much so that we will visit again next time we are in Geneva.
It is very cosy and you are seated very close to other diners. It is also noisy but interesting as you can hear lots of different languages being spoken.
The steak and sauce served here is, in my opinion worth the visit to Geneva alone, and is the best entrecote I have ever tasted.
The waiters/waitresses were very friendly, polite and super efficient.
Toilets are clean and well maintained.
Our bill came to 136CHF we left 150CHF including tip. when we visited the conversion rate was 1.40CHF to the £1 so the total bill is about £100 in English money. I think this is really good for a decent meal in Geneva. Geneva is a fairly expensive place to eat out and alcohol is expensive. The bottle of house wine was about £40 in English money.
The Eastwest hotel is a trendy four star hotel and has thirty seven guestrooms, two junior suites and two suites which open onto an open air patio. All the rooms are really modern and decorated to a very high standard in purple and red tones with dark wood and wooden parquet flooring.
You enter the hotel through glass doors and reception is on your right. The entrance and reception area is well maintained and spotlessly clean. Checking in is straight forward enough you just need to give in your passport upon arrival and fill in a details card with name address etc. Reception staff are multilingual. Once we had checked in we were shown to our room and our bags where carried to our room for us. when we were checking in we were also given a free transport pass.
Access to your room is by key, if you are going out hand your key in at reception and collect it on your return, this is in case of any fire or emergency.
Our room was fairly large and decorated in dark wood tones with purples and reds. with a really large comfortable double bed, really good quality bedding, table and two comfortable chairs, bedside tables, bedside lamps with dimmer switch, Espresso machine (drinks machine which you place foil cartridges in and it makes you tea, coffee, herbal teas and hot chocolate) and a large flat screen television on the wall. All rooms have free Wi Fi Internet access and 24 hour room service.
The room was luxurious and spotlessly clean. Each evening a member of staff delivered a card to our room with the following days weather forecast upon it which we found was considerate and a credit to the hotel. Turn down service is also provided with chocolate or handmade cookies placed on your pillow and sleep-well spritz.
In our room there was also a Minibar fridge this contained:
Water still and sparkling 8CHF,
Wine 15CHF for a small 2 glass bottle,
Kronenburg Lager 33cl 9.50CHF
Coca Cola 7.50CHF
Tonic Water 7.50CHF
Half bottle of champagne 40CHF
Whisky,Gin, Vodka and Bacardi 16-20CHF
Chocolate bars 6CHF
Nuts and sweets in glass Jars 9CHF
Currency in Geneva is Swiss francs 1.40CHF is £1 one English pound at the time of our visit.
Through a separate door to the side of the room is a good sized bathroom with a bath with shower over, toilet, large mirror with a light above and hand wash basin, soap, shampoo, Conditioner, shower gel ( all the toiletries where Ann Semon) and towels are supplied and replenished daily. There was also an Ann Semon oil diffuser in the bathroom which smelt really nice and two white fluffy bathrobes, two pairs of slippers and a hairdryer.
There was a small balcony to the front of our room with double glass doors which opened onto the front of the hotel and looked out onto the busy Rue des Paquis street. The rooms are sound proofed though so it was very quiet at nighttime.
Buffet breakfast is served between 7a.m and 10a.m this can be served in your room if you prefer. Buffet breakfast is 30CHF per breakfast (about £20).
Choice of breads, butter and jams.
Tea/Various herbal teas
==A La Carte Breakfast==
Fresh fruit salad 8CHF
Variety of cold meats 12CHF
Variety of cheese 8CHF
Smoked salmon 15CHF
Boiled egg 6 CHF
Omelet light (egg white) 12 CHF
Omelet light (egg white) with fine herbs 12CHF
Omelet with ham and/or cheese 14CHF
We had the buffet breakfast on our first morning and really enjoyed it but found a bakery across the road from the hotel that did coffee and croissants for 4CHF, the bakery also had the most amazing cakes 3-5CHF so we went there a couple of times as well, as we like to get out and explore the surroundings.
==Sens Restaurant and Bar in the Eastwest==
Michelin starred chefs Jacques and Laurent Pourcel run this and serve fresh seasonal cuisine with Mediterranean flavours.
==Eastwest Lounge Bar==
This is more casual and serves a selection of Tapas and drinks all day.
The Eastwest has an interior courtyard with a wall of water formed by plants, this is lit up at night time. There are lots of cosy candle lit seating areas in the courtyard where you can sit and relax and enjoy a glass of wine.
The fitness are is equipped with up to date gym machines and a sauna.
==Location and Places To Visit Near the Eastwest Hotel==
The Eastwest hotel is situated in the centre of Geneva on the Rue Des Paquis. It is an ideal place to stay whilst exploring Geneva. The East west is a two minute walk away from Lake Geneva. The old town and the shopping streets are about 15 minutes walk away.
The following attractions are all a short walk from the Eastwest hotel:
Take a cruise on Lake Geneva. Various cruises are available which vary in length.
==Le Jet d' Eau==
The worlds tallest water fountain it is 140 metres high and is on Lake Geneva and is spectacular by day and night.
==St Peters Cathedral==
In the cobbled streets of the old town you will find St Peters Cathedral. Climb the tower for amazing views of Geneva or go down in the basement to see the Archaeological site.
==English Garden L'Horlodge Fleurie==
The famous flower clock in the garden decorated by more than six thousand plants which are changed several times a year. There is also a carved totem pole in the English Garden.
==Little Lighthouse and Swimming in Lake Geneva==
A cute little lighthouse on Lake Geneva which you can walk up to. There is also a bathing platform and various points where you can jump in and have a swim.
Little yellow boats that take you across Lake Geneva to the old town. These are free with your travel pass.
==Walk across the Pont Du Mont Blanc==
It is a lovely walk across the bridge to the old town.
==Price and Checking Out==
I paid £450 for 3 nights which did not include breakfast. On checking out you pay your mini bar and room service bill to this city tax is added which was about 2CHF per day, never had to pay this before so not sure what it is. On checking out we were given a bottle of Evian water for our journey home which I thought was a nice touch.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Eastwest hotel and would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Geneva because of its perfect location and very pleasant and helpful staff and we will definitely be staying here again.
On my most recent trip to Lush to buy a present for my goddaughter I spotted their latest promotion Heads, Shoulders Knees and Toes which was just £12.50 for ten products. Lush says January is upon us and we're languishing in the dead of another bitter British winter. fortunately, that means a brand new year is here, so it's time to reinvigorate and renovate ourselves from top-to-toe. Welcome to our fabulous pack of yummy things to pamper every inch of your hair, body and face..... this sounded good I could do with a good old renovation so in my basket it went. The product I am reviewing here is the Cupcake fresh face mask which I picked because it sounded good and smelled of chocolate.
~Packaging and Storage~
The Cupcake comes in a black screw top plastic pot. On the lid of the pot is the lush logo and the weight ( e75g) and the wording Fresh Handmade Cosmetics and in larger lettering Cupcake. On the bottom of the pot it tells you who made it and the use by date. On the side of the pot it tells us if we bring back five empty pots we get a fresh face mask free.
Because the face masks are made fresh you have to keep them in the fridge and use them within four weeks.
~What the Cupcake looks and smells like~
on opening the pot it smells delicious you get hit with a really gorgeous strong aroma of chocolate. Although the ingredients say it contains peppermint and spearmint I couldn't pick these up to me its a really strong dark chocolate buttery smell. It does smells good enough to eat.
It looks like a really thick chocolate paste and I would say it is similar in texture to mud.
~Directions for use~
1. Firstly cleanse and tone your face or wash it depending which you prefer.
2. Apply Cupcake to all areas of your face avoiding the eye area.
3. Leave for ten to fifteen minutes.
4. Rinse away with warm water.
If you have long hair I would advise tying it back or using an Alice band before applying this mask as this is quite messy.
~My Experience and Opinion~
Firstly I tied my hair back then after cleansing and toning my skin I applied the Cupcake to all areas of my face except the eye area. It felt quite pleasant on my skin although upon looking in the mirror I was slightly alarmed as I looked a lot like a mud monster lol.... not a good look.
I relaxed for about fifteen minutes taking care not to pass the windows or answer the door, I stayed upstairs. After about ten minutes my skin did seem to tighten slightly but not in an unpleasant way.
When the fifteen minutes where up I used cotton wool and lukewarm water to rinse off the Cupcake mask this took a bit longer than I expected about ten minutes altogether.
I patted my face with a towel and upon looking in the mirror was relieved the mud monster had disappeared.
I was pleasantly surprised by the result my skin felt rejuvenated, really soft and smooth and had a healthy glow to it. Although this is recommended for teenagers I would say its also suitable for us older ladies.
I have tried lots of other face masks but for me the best results so far go to the cupcake mask and I will be buying this regularly
I was very impressed with the results of the Cupcake mask and highly recommend it .
~Price and Availability~
This costs £4.95 for 75g from the Lush shops. You can buy this online but it is more expensive £6.45 .
Lush invent their own products and fragrances and they are all made fresh with a date on so you know when they were made.
Lush make their products from fresh organic fruit and vegetables, essential oils and safe synthetics.
Lush believes in only buying products from companies that do not conduct or commission tests on animals.
I would advise a trip to a Lush shop if you have one near by as it is great to go in a Lush shop and actually see and smell all the Lush products before you buy them online. Personally I love looking around the Lush shops they are well set out and to me its like getting access to a large sweetie shop with all the different colours products and scents you won't be able to resist popping lots of luscious items in your basket.
The Lush website is:
I got lots of lovely Lush products for Christmas and the Satsumo Santa was one of them.
Lush believe in saving the planet and recycling everything so the packaging of this Santa is nothing fancy just the standard yellow and black paper bag with the Lush logo on. Lush recommend you use the bag to scent your sock drawer or similar after using your Santa.
~What does my Sumo Santa look like?~
A bath ballistic which is shaped like a chubby little Sumo wrestler Santa. I think its supposed to be red and white like Santa but realistically its more of a peachy pink sort of colour all over his body and his face is white. Hes solid and quite rough in texture and he has a big fat tummy and little dumpy legs. Hes not the best looking Santa product I've seen but he does smell good enough to eat. The Sumo Santa is a good size and weighs 200g
~How to use your Santa~
Whilst running your bath you throw him in and he fizzes around gradually disappearing whilst changing the water colour and filling the bathroom with a really strong orange scent. The scent is lovely like when you are peeling oranges and you get that lovely orange citrus smell. The water turns a really dark peachy orange colour. Santa could be cut in half and used for two baths but feeling indulgent I threw him all in.
I really liked this bath ballistic and will buy this again next Christmas or hopefully get one as a present again if I drop enough hints. The scent is really strong but not unpleasantly so, in my opinion it smells like Christmas, like freshly peeled oranges.
I found the bath really invigorating, refreshing and relaxing at the same time. I could smell the orange oil on my skin afterwards for ages, I like fruity citrus scents so this was a positive thing for me. It didn't soften my skin but didn't leave it dry either.
This bath ballistic dissolved completely and didn't leave any annoying bits in the bottom of the bath. The bath was easy to clean after using this and although the orange colour was really dark it didn't leave any colour on the sides of the bath.
If you like Christmas scents like the smell of freshly peeled oranges then I would highly recommend you try this Lush Sumo Santa.
The ingredients to this bath ballistic are Bergamot Oil, Mandarin Oil and Orange Blossom Absolute and there is also another perfume in the ingredients which Lush are keeping secret.
~~Price and Availability~~
£2.75 from any Lush store or online in UK. About $8 in USA. The Satsumo Santa is a seasonal product which is only available at Christmas time. I would advise a trip to a Lush shop if you have one near by as it is great to go in a Lush shop and actually see and smell all the Lush products before you buy them online.
Lush believes in only buying products from companies that do not conduct or commission tests on animals.
The Lush website is:
Lush invent their own products and fragrances and they are all made fresh with a date on so you know when they were made.
On a recent trip to my local Spar I spotted these bunnies on the promotional shelf near the checkout and decided to treat myself.
Attractively packaged in the same colours as the Cadbury caramel bar which are predominately purple and yellow. The Cadbury caramel bunny is on the front along with the Cadbury logo. Also on the front of the pack it tells us this is a two pack and that each bunny is 100 calories. On the back of the pack are the ingredients and nutritional information.
These bunnies are really cute they are about two inches in height and about half an inch across. They are shaped like the Cadbury caramel bunny in the television advert (take it easy with Cadbury caramel).
Deliciously thick and creamy Cadbury chocolate on the outside and soft melt in the mouth buttery caramel in the middle Mmmmmm. They taste just like the Cadbury caramel bar only the outer chocolate is thicker.
I really enjoyed these bunnies they are really delicious. If you like soft caramel and thick creamy milk chocolate you will love these.
I would buy these again for a treat because they are cute and I really liked the chocolate and soft caramel combination.
I was shocked at the fat content though, one small bunny contains 16% of your daily saturated fat allowance and a whopping 100 calories which seems a lot for a cute little bunny.
~Price and Availability~
I think these are only available for Easter and this is the first year I have seen them.
I bought my bunnies from the local Spar they where 59p for a two pack which weighs 40g.
The wrightington hotel is a large hotel with 74 en suite bedrooms it is a four star hotel with excellent leisure facilities . It has a large complimentary car park to the front of the hotel.
As you enter the Wrightington hotel you will see a large reception area and reception desk. There are lots of cosy seating areas dotted around near reception where you can sit and chat, we where there attending a family function so found this really useful.
The hotel is located in Wrightington which is in Lancashire, UK.
Wrightington Hotel and Country Club
You pay for your room when you check in and you are given a key card and directions to your room.
Decorated in blues and greys with a double bed, two bedside tables one of which had a telephone on top of it a large dressing table with a mirror above it and a flat screen satellite television which was fixed to the wall. It was a large room and as you entered the room to the right there was a tea and coffee making area with supplies of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, milk in tiny cartons and 2 small packets of biscuits. In this area there is also a large walk in wardrobe which contained a trouser press and an iron and ironing board. Every room also had an hairdryer which was in the drawer of the dressing table. We had a lovely view of the gardens form our window.
A decent size with a large walk in shower, toilet and sink it was tiled from floor to ceiling and was brown cream, chrome and white with lots of white fluffy towels. Above the sink was a range of complimentary products soap, shampoo, shower gel and conditioner.
The leisure facilities here are really impressive and consist of :
18 metre swimming pool
Atrium cafe bar which is situated at the side of the swimming pool.
Being a Lancashire lass I had heard about the leisure facilities here before so although we where only staying for one night to attend a family function we checked in as soon as we could about 2 o clock and after dropping our luggage off at our room we headed straight for the swimming pool. The pool is a decent size and the water was a nice warm temperature. After a 30 minute swim I decided to give the Jacuzzi a try it was hot and the bubble jets where really powerful so I sat and relaxed for a good 15 minutes. Next came the steam room which was hot hot hot and really steamy obviously. We did not have time to try all the leisure facilities but got to do the things we wanted then we went to our room to shower and change for the function at night.
~Function at Night~
The function room at night was in the wrightington suite which was set up lovely and we had all pre-ordered our meals I had :
I love asparagus so went for the mushroom and asparagus risotto which was lovely with lots of nice pieces of asparagus on top and the risotto was delicious and creamy with a very slight bite risotto is hard to cook just right but this was perfect.
Pork wrapped in parma ham and served on a bed of colcannon mash this was served with roast and boiled potatoes and seasonal vegetables. This was again delicious the pork was succulent and very tender.
Home made chocolate mousse served with a dark cherry coulis and shortbread biscuits. Really rich and chocolatey I am a bit of a chocolate monster and love morello cherries so this was perfect for me.
Red or white wine was served with the meal and was regularly replenished we also had a glass of bubbly for the toast.
We finished with coffee and chocolates.
~Breakfast the following morning~
Breakfast at weekends is served from 8-10 and you help yourself. There was a choice of cereals, croissants including chocolate ones, fresh fruit and yogurts you can also get a full English breakfast from the hotplate area which I noticed was being regularly replenished this consisted of bacon, sausages, fried eggs, beans, tomatoes. A waiter took our order for tea, coffee and toast.
I had cereal then everything from the hotplate, toast and then finished off with a chocolate croissant and a cup of tea I really enjoyed my breakfast.
I really enjoyed our stay here everywhere was clean and welcoming and the leisure facilities where amazing it is well worth another visit just for that. We enjoyed all the food we had it was very well cooked of an high quality and delicious. If you have anything planned in the Lancashire area I would highly recommend this hotel.
We paid £80.00 for a double room which included breakfast this was a cheaper price because we where attending a function.
The Luz de Gas is at port Vell in Barcelona it is a tapas boat. The Address is:
Davant del Palau de Mar
Moll del diposit s/n
We spotted this Tapas restaurant whilst wondering around Port Vell. The larger boat is the kitchen area where they do all the cooking. The smaller boat has an upper and lower level and a bar and this is the seating area. Each table has a large parasol above it.
This looked like a really romantic place to eat especially at night time when all the tables are lit by candlelight. To get on the boat you go up a small gangway and you are then on the lower level which is where we sat.
We decided to sit and relax and listen to the Spanish music whilst sipping a glass of chilled champagne, the gentle rocking of the boat was very relaxing. Our waitress told us Luz De Gas means gaslight in English.
Vegetable Spring Rolls
Olives Stuffed with Anchovies
Lentils with Sausage
Chicken with Curry
Crusty Bread with Olive Oil and Crushed Tomatoes
Calamari with Young Garlic
Cubes of Cheese
Various Wines, Beers, Cocktails and Coffees.
We ordered a selection of tapas crusty bread with olive oil and crushed tomatoes, spicy sausages, ham croquettes, potato bravos, vegetable spring rolls and olives. The waitress recommended a dry white wine and a bottle was brought to our table in an ice bucket with lots of crushed ice this was followed by our tapas. The plates where a nice size for sharing and all the tapas where very well presented and tasted delicious.
I really enjoyed the potatoes bravos and the crusty bread with olive oil and crushed tomatoes. The potatoes bravos where large chunky chips topped with a lovely creamy spicy sauce.
Hubby really liked the vegetable spring rolls and the ham croquettes which were very nice as well. The spring rolls had bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, carrot strips and Chinese lettuce in them and where covered in filo pastry.
Toilets are at the left side of the boat on land and you have to get off the boat to them. The toilets where very clean and well maintained.
Our bill came to £60 for the tapas, two glasses of champagne and a bottle of dry white wine.
~~Our Opinion Overall~~
We loved it the setting is amazing and very romantic. We really enjoyed the tapas, wine and champagne. I would highly recommend a visit to the Luz De Gas if you are in the Port Vell area of Barcelona. We will be visiting here again on our next visit to Barcelona.
The Remington wet 2 straight slim straighteners ( from now on referred to as straighteners) come attractively packaged in a black, lilac and silver shiny box. On the box is a picture of a girl with gorgeous sleek, shiny very straight dark brown hair.
Whats in the box ?
Inside the box you will find the straighteners complete with plug attached and ready to use. I was really pleased with the way they look these straighteners are purple, black and silver they are about ten inches in length, slim and lightweight. Also in the box is a silver heat proof pouch to store them in and an instruction booklet these straighteners also come with a 5 year guarantee.
What are they ?
Straighteners heat up to a very high heat. With these straighteners 230 degrees C they smooth and straighten your hair. These straighteners can be used on wet or dry hair.
Automatic shut off after 60 minutes.
Automatic worldwide voltage 120-240V.
Wet or dry settings.
15 second heat up.
Heat up from 150-230 degrees C.
Why I bought these straighteners ?
I am a BzzAgent and was offered these to try out at less than half the retail price. I was interested in trying these because I do use straighteners but I liked the fact these could be used on wet hair. I received the straighteners in October 2009 but wanted to give them a good try out before writing a review.
What Remington Claim they do
No need to blow dry.
Listen to the ssssound that's steam hydration therapy locking moisture in for longer lasting results.
The highest grade ceramic coating lasts the lifetime of the straightener and is infused with frizz resistant micro conditioners which evenly emit through the coating.
Provide up to 8 hours anti frizz.
How to use them
After washing and towel drying or on dry hair, section your hair into small sections using clips to clip back sections. And then place each section of hair in between the hotplates gliding them down from the top of your hair to the bottom , repeat on all sections of hair. I would recommend you use a heat defence spray which will help protect your hair and also a heat mat to place them on in between sections as they do get very hot.
The first time I used them I was a bit alarmed at the loud Sssssing sound as I felt this could not be good for my hair but you get used to it after you have used them a few times and it hasn't damaged my hair. The first time I used them the results where OK but I have found the more I use them the better results I get. I would recommend you dry the roots of your hair first with a hair dryer because I noticed my roots where still wet as the straighteners don't touch or dry that part of your hair. I have also noticed you get much better results if you use smaller sections of hair instead of putting great big sections through the plates which I did originally. Like all straighteners they heat up to a very high heat so you do have to be really careful when using them.
I have found these straighteners really useful for when you are in a hurry and don't have time to dry your hair . They do heat up in the 15 seconds as stated and I have found they take half the time as opposed to drying your hair and then straightening. I have also found if I straighten my hair first thing in a morning it stays straight all day.
The automatic shut off is really useful as I am a bit dizzy sometimes and have left them on and it does shut off after the 60 minutes as stated luckily I always use a heat mat so haven't damaged anything yet.
I have tried these on dry hair a couple of times as well but truthfully did not get as good a result as I get with my other straighteners so I now use the Remington's when using on wet hair and my others on dry.
I would recommend these if you find you are often in a hurry and need to straighten your hair quickly. I have also found these good for travel as they are slim and lightweight.
I have priced these up and the cheapest I have found them for is £48.25 with free postage on Amazon.
I received this as part of a Christmas present and was really pleased as I had not tried this before and was really interested to see how it compares to my favorite Lush bubble bar the Ma Bar .
~~What Is it ?~~
Its a Ylang Ylang and Jasmine scented bubble bar made by Lush . A bubble bar is like a solid bar of bubble bath which you crumble into your bath under a running tap it softens and scents the water whilst creating lots of fluffy white bubbles.
~~ What Does It Look Like ? ~~
It's a bit bigger than a bar of soap but much more wrinkly looking and rougher in texture. Royal blue in colour with a yellow moon and a sprinkle of fairy dust glitter on top.
~~Why Is It Called Christmas Eve Bubble Bar ? ~~
Its supposed to heal relax and soothe you after all that Christmas shopping. This Christmas Eve Bubble Bar is scented with Jasmine and Ylang Ylang. Jasmine is said to heal the mind and body and Ylang Ylang is to relax and soothe you.
First I got a nice chilled glass of wine and a book then I crumbled the whole bubble bar into a running bath. I was a bit surprised at the colour it was a really intense royal blue with a slight sparkle from the glitter it looked like I had squirted royal blue paint in the bath and sprinkled a tiny amount of glitter on top. I was a little worried by the colour.....I didn't want to get out of the bath looking like a blue sea monster from the deep or Scully (the blue furry monster from Monsters Inc.) and my bath is white and I was worried it would stain the bath blue.
The scent was nice very floral and I recognised the Jasmine and Ylang Ylang scent which was quite strong whilst the bath was running yet you could hardly smell it once you got in the bath.
Whilst the bath was relaxing and soothing I can't honestly say it healed my mind and body or that my skin was much softer or Jasmine and Ylang Ylang perfumed afterwards. However it doesn't change your skin colour or leave any colour or bits in your bath (Thank Goodness).
Whilst this is an OK Lush product which I may buy again in my opinion it is no where near as good as the Ma Bar and if you have ever used a Ma Bar before you will know what I mean the Ma Bar for me is really superior to this as it really does leave your skin smooth, moisturised and fresh and has a lovely scent which lasts for ages you can still smell it the day after whilst I was struggling to smell anything half an hour later with the Christmas Eve bar.
However if you like floral scents like Jasmine and Ylang Ylang then I would recommend you try this bubble bar
~~Price Packaging and Availability~~
£2.50 from any Lush store or online in UK. About $8 in USA. The Christmas Eve bubble bar is a seasonal product which is only available at Christmas time. I would advise a trip to a Lush shop if you have one near by as it is great to go in a Lush shop and actually see and smell all the Lush products before you buy them online.
The Lush website is:
Lush invent their own products and fragrances and they are all made fresh with a date on so you know when they were made.
Lush believes in only buying products from companies that do not conduct or commission tests on animals. Lush believe in saving the planet and recycling everything so the packaging of this bar is nothing fancy just the standard yellow and black paper bag which they recommend you use to scent your sock drawer or similar after using your bubble bar.
The Location Of Europark Hotel
The Europark is a three star hotel in L'Eixample district on Arago. It is in a fantastic location very close to the Passeig de Gracia and a short walk to Las Ramblas and the Barri Gotic (about fifteen minutes walk). The metro and trains get you anywhere you want to go in Barcelona and its only a five minute walk to the nearest station. The metro and trains are reasonably priced.
Metro is 1 euro per ride.
Train from airport to bottom of Arago was 6.50 euros each way.
Telephone:93 457 92 05
Checking in was really smooth, I had booked online and been e-mailed an accomodation voucher which you need when checking in, you also need your passport which they give you straight back. We were given two keycards and told our room number and directed to the lifts. Reception staff are very friendly and polite and the reception area is open 24 hours.
Our room was lovely and very trendy decorated in black, white and silver with black and white striped duvet and curtains. The bed was really comfy and the biggest bed I have ever seen or slept in it was massive. There is a 32 inch flatscreen T.V on the wall, a desk and chair, hanging space for your clothes and boxed out spaces with a fridge below. The fridge contained drinks and snacks (Whisky, vodka, cava, gin, coke, bitter lemon, crisps, toblerone, chocolate milkshake, water and tonic water) a bit unusual to find crisps in the fridge but they tasted ok. There was a price list above the fridge with all the prices on. Our room was air conditioned which you could switch on/off/up/down to your liking. There are blackout curtains behind the posh ones and when these where closed the room was quiet and dark making it very easy to have a good nights sleep. Also in the room was a room service menu and hot food, snacks, wine and drinks could be ordered to your room. Free Wi-Fi access in your room and throughout the hotel with lap tops available for use in the breakfast and bar area and in reception. Lifts are behind reception.
Again very trendy in black white and chrome and including bath, shower, large mirror, hairdryer, complimentary toiletries, sink and a toilet. Our room and bathroom where cleaned daily and new towels and toiletries replenished daily.
Breakfast is served from 7.00 untill 11.00 a.m and is a help yourself hot and cold buffet consisting of:
Hot breakfast buffet
Toast, which you grilled yourself
Slices of ham, chicken and salami
Slices of cheese
Fresh fruit (this changed daily Pineapple, melon, strawberries, bananas, apples, water melon, limes)
Cereal (frosties, cornflakes and muesli)
Fresh juices (orange, nectarine and peach)
Yogurts and yogurt drinks
Cakes and pastries
Fairy Cakes(chocolate and vanilla)
Sweet Pastries of every description
Doughnuts(iced and chocolate coated)
The waitress or waiter comes to your table and you order a pot of tea or coffee and this is then brought to your table. You could eat as much as you wanted and everything was delicious and nicely set out. Food was regularly replenished and cleared away. The almond cake was to die for and I had a piece of this after breakfast nearly every day.
Pool and terrace
Pool and terrace are on the eighth floor and there are some great views of the city from here. The pool is shallow but still great for cooling off after a day sight seeing. There are various chairs and loungers and you can order drinks from up here.
I booked online and for five nights including breakfast it cost me £500 for this hotel. I booked last minute just two days before we went.
My Opinion Overall
I would highly recommend this hotel it is in a great location in a quiet area of Barcelona but not too far to walk to Las Ramblas and other places. We loved this hotel and the breakfast buffet was delicious with something to suit even the fussiest of eaters. The staff in the hotel where all very friendly and polite. We will stop here again on our next visit to Barcelona.
What is Pimm's Gin Cup No 1
Pimm's No 1 is a gin-based drink made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices, and spices. It is golden brown in colour and when Served with lemon soda or ginger ale, it becomes a Pimm's Cup.
It was created in the mid-18th century by an English oyster bar owner James Pimm.
It tastes fruity and spicy and goes especially well with strawberries, soda, fresh mint, orange slices and lots of ice. In the original recipe cucumbers are added but I prefer it without (or just a small amount, a couple of slices). The fruit seems to bring out the taste of the Pimms.
When to drink Pimms
A lovely sunny summers day or just having guests round for a drink you don't really need to make an excuse to make an ice cold pitcher of Pimm's Cup, although it does taste better on a sunny day or when shared with a friends for some reason.
How To Make Pimms Cup
Pimms cup is the traditional English cocktail of Pimm's No. 1 liquor, bitter lemon soda, strawberries, fresh mint, cucumbers and orange slices. The best part of a Pimms cup I think is eating the fruit which has soaked up all the booze it tastes delicious.
Makes one pitcher, or four large cocktails
1 clear glass pitcher and 4 tall clear glass cocktail glasses (it looks nicer in clear glass because you can see the fruit)
1 cup Pimm's No. 1
1 large bottle of bitter lemon soda
Splash of London Dry gin
1 medium cucumber.
1 large punnet of Strawberries
About ten sprigs of fresh mint
Lots of crushed ice (I bash it with a wooden rolling pin to crush it)
1. Peel wash and prepare fruit ( you can put as much or as little of of each fruit as you like I'm not keen on cucumber in this so I put less cucumber in (usually just a couple of slices) and add more strawberries).
2. Add the fruit to glass pitcher jug.
3. Add crushed ice, soda, gin, Pimm's and mint to glass pitcher.
4. Drink Pimm's Cup then eat all the fruit
Address and price of Pimms Gin Cup No 1
About £16 english pounds for a 1 litre bottle.
$24.99 for a 750ml bottle in USA-Grand Wine Cellar.
Pimm's Spirit Drinks
78 Marylebone High Street
UK Consumer Care email: email@example.com