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miaredalwayswins

miaredalwayswins
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Member since: 29.07.2013

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      01.02.2014 14:30
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      Generally happy feet!

      I have very hard skin on my feet (and I mean very hard - probably a product of wearing so many heels)! I absolutely love the soap and glory range and picked this up for £5 for 125ml from Boots a few months ago. Soap and Glory are often on a 3 for 2 at Boots but I didn't buy this as part of the deal as it is one of (if not the) cheapest in the range and thus didn't seem worth it. Afterall - you only need a little bit of this so why would you want several of these at one time? Any how...

      The one I purchased looks slightly different to the dooyoo picture as it is pink (like lots of other products in the range). It has the same retro products have and funny little quirky statements plastered over it such as 'heel genius was tested on people'.

      The moisturiser comes from a squeezy tube and feels packed full of product (this has lasted me a few months now - with use around twice a week). The sqeeuzy tube is efficient and controls the amount that comes out and it has a flip top lid you can stand the product on. When getting towards the end of the tube though it does get a bit difficult to squeeze the last bits out.

      The moisturiser is thick in consistency and is also a light blue in colour. The scent is quite mild and once applied you can hardly smell it. The moisturiser has bilberry, orange and lemon fruit acid smoothers but the strongest smell is probably the menthol (with a hint of citrus). The moisturising bit is made up of allantoin, glycerine and macadamia oil.

      The instructions tell you to smoother the moisturiser on feet and put socks on, leaving to sink in overnight. I am not a big fan of wearing socks overnight (although I have tried) so I tend to go sans socks. I have never had any problems with the moisturiser making a mess of my bed covers although I would be careful (especially if you have white covers). I have also applied during the day after a shower but again need to be careful as it can make feet a bit slippy.

      In any case, application is overall easy and although packaging says to smoother a little does seem to go a long way. The product sinks in really well (and quickly) and dries very quickly on my thirsty feet. In terms of after effects I have found that the smell doesn't linger too long (which personally I like) and the skin on my feet is a little bit more supple. My skin isn't as soft as I would like it but I think that is more of a case of me needing to use scrubs to exfoliate and also perhaps use this product more often than I do. In comparison to other foot moisturisers I have used on the market I feel this does a cracking (excuse the pun) job for the price.

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        01.02.2014 14:10
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        Gentle and smelly!

        I've been going through the range of Soap and Glory body scrubs and picked this up whilst stocking up at Boots on a 3 for the price of 2. Usually this rrp at £8 for a 300ml tub which is competitively priced compared to other body scrubs including Boots Fairtrade and Sanctuary. Although a fair price, it is well worth waiting until the 3 for 2 offers come on as they do seem to come up quite often.

        My experience of these scrubs is that they last around 6-10 applications - depending on how much you use, where you use and how you use it. I have been using this scrub twice a week for a few weeks now to give an all over the body scrub.

        This scrub comes in a cute retro styled tub which we have become accustomed to now from the Soap and Glory range. In terms of scent the scrub is subtle but very 'girly' in its smell. There are 'beautiful notes of bergamont, blackcurrant, magnolia, freesia, vanilla and musk'. To me the overall top notes seems to be vanilla and bergamont giving only what I can describe as a plesant rose like smell - at the same time however it is not too over-powering.

        The appearance of the scrub matches the smell in the way that it is very pink and very girly. There are tiny pink beads. These are cute but not that effective at removing skin off the body - they are more moisturising if anything. They can also be a bit difficult to wash off - after getting out of the tub the first time I noticed a few beads on my here and there - I also noticed some left in the tub. Best left using this in the shower then. There are also slightly bigger but still quite small little clear balls of salt that are much more powerful at scrubbing than the pink beads and give the scrub a little bit more of an oomph. The scrub also has babassu, jojoba and mandarin oils which make it a more moisturising scrub.

        The after effects.....
        Whilst the scrub is effective at renewing skin cells it is quite gentle. So whilst this means it is good for sensitive skin it probably isn't that good if you want a very thorough scrub - say if you were trying to remove fake tan. I have found it provides a good enough base for me to scrub before I apply tinted moisturiser however, if you were going for a spray tan I would use one of the other soap and glory scrubs with a bit more welly behind it.
        Generally however, skin is soft and moisturised. The scent is pleasant and not too overpowering - it lingers for a few hours afterwards.
        I would definitely recommend this and would buy again but would probably alternate between a harder scrub for more effectiveness.

        The good stuff......
        Gentle scrub
        Nice smell
        Funky retro packaging
        Fair price - quite often on offer

        Downsides.....
        Leaves a messy tub
        Not easy to rinse off
        Not a heavy scrub

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      • Teapigs Peppermint Infusion / Tea / 68 Readings / 66 Ratings
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        15.12.2013 21:12
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        One happy piggy!

        *The purchase*

        I am a huge teapigs fan already and picked these up as I had tried them at my sister's house and loved them. The range seems to be growing quite quickly and I am seeing them increasingly in most major supermarkets. There are other herbal infusions in the range including; superfruit, lemon and ginger, pure lemongrass, chamomile, liquorice and mints, roobos, rooibos spiced winter red. There is also a range of normal teas available.

        I picked up a pack of these teapigs from Tescos at £4.15 for 15.....In comparison to other peppermint teabags on the market teapigs are definitely one, if not the, most expensive I have ever seen. At the current price of purchase this means each bag costs approximately 28p. In comparison...
        Twinings cost 6p per bag
        Tesco cost 4p, Tesco finest range cost 19p per bag
        We are Tea cost 27p
        In the past I have tried the Twinings, and very recently tried the Tesco finest range (in an attempt to find a cheaper teapigs alternative) so can make some comparison to these brands.
        I suppose within the issue of price this is where one of my main gripes with this product lies - at the time of writing this I have only ever seen that it is possible to buy 15 of these at a time. Surely for some of the more dierhard teapigs fans it would be profitable to come up with larger bulk buy packs enabling you to stock up whilst saving a bit of money by bulk buying? In any case I digress...

        *The product*

        The teabags are wrapped in a big plastic bag which is placed in a brown triangular package. The whole look of the product is very simplistic and in my opinion very attractive. The teabags themselves are very large (which may explain the limited 15 to a pack) and triangular in shape. The bags are very soft and silky to touch and transparent so you can see the product that you are getting. There is a little string attached to each the bags - these strings are long enough to hang comfortably out of mugs of most sizes. There is a little teapig sign on each teabag. This is where my second gripe with these teabags lies however as I have found that on a few occasions the label has stuck to the teabag and in an attempt to get the tab away from the bag I have accidentally ripped the bag.

        The teabags themselves like the packaging is very attractive. What is so different about these teabags when compared to some of the cheaper brands like Twinings is that inside the teabags are fresh whole leaves (and not ground down leaves). When looking through the transparent bag you can see how fresh the leaves are and how vibrant in colour they are which I truly fantastic.

        *The taste*

        Brewing a cup is very simple. Just place teabag in a cup and pour over boiling water and leave to infuse for a few minutes. I find that overall the teabags give a quite a mild (but not weak) brew - so I like to leave my teabag in whilst drinking (as I do like a strong taste to my tea). Some people may only like to leave it for a few minutes however.

        Brewing the tea is easy - and I find that this is where teapigs really do earn their money. As the bags are so big, spacious and domed shaped (3 dimensional) the water really has a chance to capture all of the flavour from the teabag. Most teabags are flat and thus just sit in the mug.

        The taste is just the best thing about this product! The taste is very refreshing with a hint of mint, and afterwards your palette feels very clean and refreshed (so great for an after dinner drink). You can sweeten this but I really don't feel the need and I think it is sweet enough already. I have recently tried the Tesco's finest peppermint leaves, which in comparison are very bitter and don't give the fresh and light taste that these do (definitely not a re-purchase there)!

        *The benefits of peppermint tea*

        There are various different benefits. Apart from liking the taste the reasons it is one of my regular tea tipples is....
        Aids digestion. Sometimes after a heavy meal I find a cup of this really helps soothe my tummy.
        Helps bad breath. Although I don't specifically suffer from bad breath (or at least I hope I don't) this does help somewhat freshen your breath as you get a nice minty aftertaste (as opposed to coffee or tea breath)!

        *Others*

        I find that I can use the bag around 2/3 times before the taste is lost.

        These are made in a factory where there are nuts.

        The pack is recyclable and teabags are biodegradable.

        These teabags are caffeine free.


        *Recommended?*

        Overall I would definitely recommend - these teabags really are the cream of the crop. They do lose a star in my opinion however due to the difficulties with the label. I also find it difficult to part with so much money for them - however justify this as in comparison to coffee shop herbal teas this is still much cheaper and far more superior!

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          12.12.2013 12:22
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          My very own jewellery box!

          This is a review of the stackers collection. My sister bought me a few from the range a couple of years ago for my birthday and since then I have built upon them to make my very own jewellery box.

          *Purchasing the boxes*

          The boxes appears widely available from jewellers like HM Samuels, department stores like John Lewis and online retailers such as Amazon. I have also seen stackers in independent department stores local to me. The prices of the boxes vary, depending on which one you are purchasing. The lid (or top layer - number 1 below) which is pretty much essential (as it has the lid on it) - is the most expensive at around £20. The cheapest layer then appears to be what I would consider one of the bottom layers (or number 5) at £10. This is by far the simplest of layers which is why I guess it is priced so. You can also get a separate storage caddy which seems to market around the £25 mark - a storage unit to itself, but I will discuss that more as the review goes on (please not all prices discussed relate to the medium range).

          *So what are stackers?*

          Stackers are basically a collection of leather effect (not leather) jewellery boxes/cases that you can stack upon each other to make your own jewellery box or you can lay flat alone in a draw or on a dressing table. As well as collecting several to stack into your own jewellery box (which could be never ending, depending on how much jeweller you have)! There are a variety of different layers in the collection and they all seem to have different functions in mind (see later on in review).

          There are three different sizes in the range and it is important when purchasing extras/add ons you check the size first as the wrong sizes obviously won't fit together.
          Mini - 18cmx12.5cm
          Small - 15cmx15cmx3cm
          Medium - 25cm x 18cm
          The depths of the layers then varies slightly, according to the intended function of the layer.

          There are a series of different colours including; powder blue (this is the one I have), purple, grey, purple, cream, glass glitter, pink. They also now hold brown and black cases, although these look similar to the stackers they are outside of the normal design as for one price you can now buy a whole stackers jeweller box (no layers - one compartment). These seem to be marketed around the £18-£25 mark and are aimed primarily at men.

          Depending on the colour of the compartments - the design inside is also different - some are plain but some have a pattern. My baby blue compartments have a cute pink polka dot design (which to be honest I want to leave open so everyone can see)!

          *How the trays work*

          There seem to be 5 main trays and then the separate storage caddy.

          1. The lid (the compartment in the dooyoo picture above) - this is as I said pretty much essential in the collection unless you want an open box. The lid is the shallowest of all of the compartments so you cannot actually fit that much in it. It is split into 3 different sections - there is a section in the middle for rings. This has 8 rungs or rows so at an approximate guess - depending on how big your rings are I would say you could fit around 8 big rings and 6 small rings. The ring section is padded so when you put your rings in they are not touching each other or rubbing up against each other. The two other sections then are empty so you can put pretty much anything in them - although due to the shallowness of the compartment I have found putting small bracelets in there has been the best use of space. The lid then also has a silver catch and pink ribbon on the top in order to open and shut the lid. The ribbon prevents the lid from going backwards/falling off.

          2. This is a 3 section deep tray. It is a few cms deeper than the lid and the compartments are free spaces so you can put in here pretty much what you like. I have found this tray really useful for big pieces of jewellery such as big chunky bangles and big chunky necklaces. This is where I keep most of my plastic costume jewellery that I cannot fit on my jewellery stand.

          3. 4 section tray. This is a similar depth to the tray above (maybe a little less deep). There are 2 sections at the back which are square like in design and are free spaces - although they are quite small free spaces - I use them for ankle bracelets and other such small items. At the front there are then 2 long sections which take up the width of the tray and are ideal for fitting necklaces in. One of these sections has a roller section (similar to the ring compartment but length ways). Due to the size of these compartments I use them for fine, thin necklaces - the roller section has the added bonus of separating the necklaces so they don't brush together or get tangled - which necklaces of this nature can easily do.

          4. 25 section tray. This is the most fun! This tray is as deep as number 2 but is made up of 25 very small sections. This is great for fitting in rings, charms and beads - especially good if you are into (small scale) jewellery making with beads I guess! It is also ideal for fitting pairs of earrings in (which aren't hoops)!

          5. Depp section - this section seems a bit deeper than all above. It is definitely the most flexible of spaces and perhaps a good place to start. If you are purchasing for a gift and unsure on which layers to get I would definitely go for the top lid and the deep section as you cannot really go wrong, especially if you don't know what type of jewellery the person receiving the gift likes/uses most. This is a completely free space with no sections at all and is ideal for costume jewellery (but not for small, fine jewellery for the reasons stated above).

          More recently the range has now also included a storage caddy which is a very deep and large caddy that can sit alone comfortably on your dressing table (most likely too big for a drawer, although depends on how big your drawers are I suppose)! This is ideal for jewellery or storing hair and make up - you could even use as a stylish stationary holder. I haven't purchased this one however so cannot comment much further on it's usability!

          *The good stuff*

          Easy to keep clean with a slightly damp cloth. They don't seem to attract dust too much which is a bonus! The leather effect looks delicate but is also robust and doesn't seem to mark or tear easily (I got biro on it and it washed off)!

          The compartments in my opinion are very pretty, and although I chose to stay with one colour you can always mix and match if you want something a bit funkier and more unique.

          *The not so good stuff*

          Obviously if you have some really valuable jewellery which you would like to lock up this is no good as there is no capacity to bung a lock on it and it doesn't come with it's own lock like some other jeweller boxes/cases do.

          Also, whilst it is fun collecting the piece you could easily run away with this and end up spending far too much. Although the compartments are very reasonably priced alone, when you start totting up you are soon spending a lot e.g. three layers could take you up to almost £60!

          Could be a perfect Christmas gift? Highly recommended, although for the reasons above; price, unable to lock I have to remove a star.

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          11.12.2013 20:09
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          Good service but does need to try a bit harder in my opinion

          I have been a customer of Tesco Opticians for around 2/3 years now. I visit to get my sight test and contact lens check/aftercare appointments. This is a review of the opticians in Risca, South Wales.

          *The store*

          In this particular store the opticians is based at the back. On walking in to the store, I was unable to see signs showing where the opticians were and it is a big store so if you don't know where you are going it could be a slight problem. There always seem to plenty of staff around though so you can always ask. As I have been coming to the same store for a few years ago I knew where they were located.

          *The opticians section*

          It is an open section so if you want privacy this is difficult. There is of course a separate room where you have your check up, which is the main thing. I personally don't mind it being an open section, but it could bother some people especially if you are giving out personal information.

          There is a small privacy screen at the front and mounted on this is a large selection of the glasses that they store. They seem to have one optician on a day and a few assistants who help with payment, purchasing and after care. The name of the day's opticians is on the wall for everyone to see. There is also very bright lighting in the section, which can be a bit hard on the eye but I guess is also necessary as it makes it easier to try on glasses and see what they look like in true daylight.

          There are lots of different glasses and several mirrors which you can look in when trying on. I personally use contact lenses most days of the week so rarely use glasses. I have found that in terms of price Tesco's is also quite expensive so I always get my prescription and buy cheaper glasses online.

          *Customer service - before*

          I had ordered contact lenses via the Tesco's internet site - using clubcard boost vouchers as part payment. One day in work last week I had an answerphone message on my mobile telling me that as my prescription was out of date I had to come back in and thus my order was cancelled. This was a bit frustrating that they couldn't simply put the order on hold - however I suppose I understand that if your prescription changes you would need to do a new order anyway. In any case my order has been refunded (although I am still waiting for the refund) - I have also had to make contact with a few departments as I haven't had my points back yet.
          In any case I digress...

          I made the appointment online. The manager than contacted me a few days before to make sure I was aware that I would need a contact lens check up and an eye prescription check up. He then told me to bring my glasses and ensure I had contact lenses in. I raised the issue with him at the time that I was not aware that my prescription was out of date - to which he replied that I had been contacted by phone. He then went on to tell me that Tesco store and opticians are different departments and they have different systems so they don't share information.

          *Customer service - during/after*

          On the day of my appointment I was contacted a few hours before to make sure I was attending. I arrived a few minutes early for my appointment and greeted very warmly by the assistant and she seated me in the waiting area. She informed me that I shouldn't have been told to put my lenses in first - this meant there was a delay to my appointment as I had to wait for the optician to do my eyesight test first.

          The optician came out to greet me after 25 minutes of waiting (she was 5 minutes back from lunch). The assistants were very apologetic however and explained that they had their Christmas lunch so I didn't mind too much waiting.

          *The appointment*

          This took around 30 minutes for the check up and after care. The optician was very polite, thorough and friendly. The room was very hygienic and clean, and the optician practiced good hygiene by washing her hands and seemed very clean and presented (important for a job which demands close up interaction). She was also very calming and reassuring and when I asked (lots) of questions she answered them in a way I could understand. She reassured me that I needed -
          an eyesight test every 2 years
          a contact lens check every 1 year
          And I was also told that now they have my email address they can let me know when I am due next.

          *Bonus*

          You can use your clubcard to collect points. Also, currently there is a clubcard boost offer on - so you can exchange your points for double their value! Appointments in this store are available 9am-7pm.

          *Recommended?*

          If it wasn't for the great customer service, I may have considered going elsewhere due to the niggles with Tesco's ordering system. Whilst I am a bit stuck on the fence about recommending this service to others I am also mindful of the positive - flexible opening hours, free parking (as opposed to some city centre located opticians), online booking and you also get those clubcard points. I do need to denote two stars for the time I had to spend waiting though which just wasn't acceptable (and I did state unhappiness about this at the time - the assistant I spoke with 3was incredibly nice and apologetic though).

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        • Pukka Triple Ginger / Tea / 45 Readings / 45 Ratings
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          08.12.2013 23:06
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          There's a fire in my belly!

          *The purchase*

          I have really enjoyed several of the other Pukka teas in the range. I picked this up from Morrison's a few months ago for £2.39 and have seen the range increasingly in some of the major supermarkets. In terms of price/tea bag ratio you get 20 tea bags - which puts these within the mid price range (Teapigs are around £5.00 for 15 and Clipper Green Tea will set you back around £6.00 for 80 tea bags).

          I really like the smell and taste of ginger. I often use ginger root in some of the chutneys and savoury jams I make, as an alternative to chilli, but where I still want to get a bit of a kick.

          *The product*

          All 20 of your teabags are individually sealed in a little paper packet. Whilst this is nice as it keeps the flavour in (and looks quite funky) I do feel it is a bit of a waste of paper. The teabags then come in a cardboard box which is prettily designed and very colourful.

          Although the product is called three ginger tea, there are not three types of ginger in this per se; rather the main ingredients are all in the ginger root family. Whilst ginger is the main ingredient (51%), galangal is the next (28%) and turmeric root (4%) - there is also liquorice root and natural ginger extract although the amounts are not revealed on the box.

          *Use*

          The manufacturers recommend that you steep a tea bag in boiling water for 5 minutes (at least). Whilst I really like ginger I have found that steeping for five minutes is way too long and I prefer to steep for around The yellow tea - which looks a lot like camomile tea. Disappointingly there isn't much of a smell of ginger - although I guess this makes sense as there would have to be A LOT of ginger in there to have any sort of pungent smell come across.

          *Taste/results*

          In terms of taste, I did really enjoy this tea. The taste of ginger does really come across, but is not too overpowering - in terms of after tastes there is a little bit of fire but this isn't too strong at all.

          -It is uplifting and warms your spirit. I am not sure how much a tea can really warm your spirit but it definitely slid down my throat and into my tummy making it feel all warm.
          -The taste is rich and spicy. I would say that the taste is more mellow in flavour - although you get the kick of the ginger there are also mild undertones in this which seem to 'calm' it down.
          -Stimulates and settles digestion. I cannot say that I have seen a difference in my digestive habits but I don't suffer any problems in this area.

          *Recommended?*

          If you like ginger and want to try something different I would definitely recommend. It is a good price and tasty enough. Just doesn't really hold the wow factor for me which is why I would drink again but probably wouldn't make it one of my regular teas.

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          • Nandos / Restaurant / Cafe National / 16 Readings / 16 Ratings
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            08.12.2013 22:26
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            Like the Jack Whitehall joke goes...have you been to Nandos before?!

            This is a review of Nandos. Even though Nandos have been around since 1992 I only started to become aware around two years ago. A quick bit of research tells you that there are over 280 Nando's Restaurants in the UK now - over 100 of these are in London! I have been to Nandos branches in Cardiff, Bristol and Merthyr, however my review is of the Bristol (Cribbs Causeway) branch as I went here a couple of weeks ago with my sister during a shopping trip.

            On arrival, like a lot of restaurants you have to wait to be seated. We went on a Monday lunch time around 2.30 for lunch. It was therefore not too busy, although as the centre was busy there were still a few diners there. There were several servers around and we got seated fairly quickly (within three minutes). We were given the option of having a table near the kitchen or near the balcony so we went for the balcony. I get the feeling that if there are more of you, you are more likely to get one of the more comfy booths.

            On arrival the server had asked the question they always ask 'have you been to Nando's before'. 'Of course!' I said. If I hadn't though I don't know if I would really like to admit for fear of looking silly. The server then asked if she could get any drinks for us (which we declined). She then instructed us to order when we were ready, but to help ourselves to the free water and ice if we wanted. Although you have to get up to get this yourself, I quite like the fact that water and ice are freely available - instead of you having to wait for the server to bring refills.

            The menu at Nandos is very straightforward. Although most of the foods are based on chicken there are also veggie options and a range of sides (in regular or large) and salads. Prices are reasonable and even more so if you choose one of the chicken platters (there are a choice of four for anywhere between 2-6 people). On ordering you also have to decide if you want your food spiced as ...
            extra hot
            hot
            medium
            mild (lemon and herb or mango and lime)
            There is also a children's menu for the nandinos, which like most places is basically a menu made up of the same as an adult menu but smaller portions.

            My sister and I opted for the Wing Platter. She had to go up to the bar to orderso had to go and get your own plates and cutlery), which can be a pain but at the same time you can take your time deciding and not feel under pressure to have to wait for a server. For me if this means getting food quicker and more efficiently (and keeps costs down) then I'm all up for it. After all this is the way they do it in Weatherspoons!

            My sister really likes it hot - so she had it hot whereas I have milder taste so went for medium. On ordering the person at the desk was more than happy to accommodate for this even though we ordered a sharing platter. When the food arrived, then wings were clearly marked as to which was hot and which was medium. From the time we ordered it took around 15 minutes for food to be served - which I think is reasonable - but also shows that food was cooked fresh!

            The menu states that the platter serves 2-3 people, which I think is a bit ambitious. Neither myself nor my sister are big eaters but we gobbled this up and I can't imagine another person being there to share the food (there would have been some food fights)!

            Generally the food was scrummy. The chicken was hot, the spices were spot on. We had four sides - the peas and mint were lovely, the salad was not that inspiring - a few lettuce leaves, come cucumber and tomato (and a bit mean in portion), the coleslaw was lovely however and the chips were nothing great but cooked well (they could have been oven chips)? In this particular restaurant you can see the kitchen which is always nice and reassuring as you can see the chefs at work.

            The restaurant was clean enough and the servers seemed very quick to clear any tables as people left to make the atmosphere nice for everyone else. There was the usual hustle and bustle of the restaurant and people chatting (the tables are a bit close together but not majorly so). It would have been nice to have some music playing perhaps however. The toilets were also maintained to a good standard.

            The server came and checked if we needed anything 10 minutes into our meal. She also came to say goodbye as we were leaving which I thought was really nice.

            So it's not Michelin Star food or anything but I would definitely recommend. Although I am not a huge fan of chain restaurants, from my experiences I have found the restaurants in this chain always to be clean, tidy, the food is scrummy, service is ok and you know what you're getting. Above all, the prices are very reasonable! I would only remove a star for the meany portions!

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            • More +
              08.12.2013 19:07
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              Sweet style, sweet smell, sweet scrub!

              *The purchase*

              After a disappointing experience with a Boots sugar scrub, I decided to give one of the Soap and Glory's scrubs a go. After seeing many recommendations on dooyoo for the Soap and Glory range I picked up this Sugar Crush Scrub from Boots around 6 weeks ago on a 3 for 2. This is the first one I have tried and tests (2 others to go)! This is a review of the 300ml tub and not the pump dispenser as above and cost me £8. I think £8 is average in comparison to other products similar to this. After using this twice a week for 6 weeks I am coming to the end of the pot - but think this is good value for money still.

              The Soap and Glory range cover products for the body, bath, scents, face, lips and eyes (pretty much the whole shebang then)! However they seem to be more well known for their quite extensive ranges of exfoliators/scrubs. Other scrubs in the range include: flake away, scrub em and leave em, pulp friction, breakfast scrub, scrub actually, the scrub of your life, some like is hot. In terms of the sugar crush product Soap and Glory also do a wash and a buttercream.

              I chose this product as it was a sugar scrub and I wanted a very good and robust scrub to get rid of dead skin cells and leave smooth skin, ready for spray tanning (alas the sun has long gone)!

              *The product*

              The Soap and Glory range is well known for it's retro styling and quirky titles. This scrub comes in a plastic pot with a pink lid and is very feminine in it's appeal I would say. You can see the product inside the tub so it's easy to know when you're running out.

              The scrub itself is very thick in texture, with lots of brown sugar grains (thus the very brown colour) and the (more visible) macadamia grains. Unlike the Boots scrub I recently tried however it is not so thick that water bounces off it and there is almond oil in it which makes the texture feel a little bit more moisturising.

              On opening the pot the smell instantly hits you - it is sweet and citrusy (sweet lime). The smell is very pungent and some people may find this a bit overpowering and sickly. I am not a big fan of sweet smells but I didn't find it too bad as once you've taken in the initial smell it tends to fade a bit, it is actually very pleasant.

              *Use*

              The scrub is fairly easy to use. I use around a 50p pence piece blob for each of my legs, then each of my arms and then another blob for my body. For each section of my body I tend to scrub in circular motions for anywhere between 30-60 seconds, depending on the intensity I want. I use it with my hands but you could use a mitt or exfoliator glove for extra intensity. The scrub is recommended for use a few times a week and I tend to use twice a week prior to having a spray tan which seems to work well for me.

              After scrubbing over my body I then rinse off. Sometimes with sugar scrubs this can take a long time but I found that this scrub washed off in under two minutes, which is ideal especially if using in the morning before work. Another bonus is that it doesn't leave a nasty filmy residue on the shower - whilst I clean my shower on a regular basis I don't think I could clean it twice a week! The particles also don't seem to block the drain from my experience so far.

              A note from the manufacturers also warns you not to use this scrub straight after shaving your legs - as the scrub could sting! Ouch!

              *Results*

              I do tend to get the odd spot here or there - especially on my back. I have found that using this the skin on my back is less congested. I have also found that my skin is smooth, yet not overdry (although obviously I still moisturise after use). Straight after I use this I find that my skin has a healthy glow although doesn't look too scrubbed (ie red).

              *Are there any downsides?*

              Not really. The colour is a bit murky and not that appealing, although if you are a fan of oatmeal you may like it (it looks a bit like oatmeal)! Also some people may not like the smell as it is very sweet and pungent, although it doesn't linger on the skin and as you only need a bit of this it isn't too overpowering. Also - I don't know much about nut allergies but if I was allergic to nuts would avoid this due to the obvious presence of nuts in the product.

              *Recommended?*

              Most definitely will be buying this again. Also cannot wait to delve into my two other pots (watch this space for further reviews)!

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                08.12.2013 00:30
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                Paving the way for a masterchef!

                *The purchase*

                I bought this from Tesco around a year ago for the price of around £25 - I see that the same product is still available, although now for a few pounds less which is to be expected I suppose! At the time I felt this was bargain!

                This is a 3 litre Morphy Richards slow cooker - although I see that there are varying different sizes available. In my experience this one is probably just a little bit too small for a family of four (the 3.5 litre is possibly a little better in size for families) - but perfect for a couple or a single person.

                *The product*

                There are 3 compartments to this slow cooker.....
                The glass lid (so you can peek in whilst your food is cooking)
                The base
                The ceramic pot (which is removable from the base)
                Assemble is very easy and you just put the ceramic pot on the base - it slots in very easily and easy to also remove for washing. After putting your food in the pot you just then and switch on your chosen speed of cooking (after plugging in of course)!

                *The use*

                There are handles on the side which are non-heat conducting which means that you don't have to wear oven gloves when handling the cooker. You do need to be careful if you do move the cooker during use however as it does get hot around the sides, and also the ceramic pot inside does tend to weigh the cooker down and makes it heavier than it looks!

                I have only used my slow cooker for making stews and curries, although you can (if you're brave enough) use it for making cakes. In my experience of cooking stews and curries I have found that in terms of the cooking speeds I have found that cooking on high speed takes around 6 hours, cooking on medium speed takes approximately 8 hours and cooking on low takes around 10 hours.

                The results too have been fantastic. I really am not much of a cook but have found that by just chucking some vegetables and meat in the pot with some salt, pepper and spice (and sometimes some wine) gives great results. I tend to use the slow cook option more - and will leave it on overnight or when in work (obviously I would be careful if leaving this unattended just in case there is an electric fault - although I have never experienced this). Meat is tender, vegetables are soft (but not overcooked) and flavour is great! Yum!

                *Negatives?*

                Whilst the pot is really easy to clean, it is not dishwasher safe which is a shame (you can't have everything though eh)!

                Also I have found that the cable is very short, which is annoying in my kitchen as I don't have many plug sockets. This can be easily resolved with the use of an extension cable though.

                Although this slow cooker is available in a variety of different colours the one I have is in stainless steel and thus gets very dirty very easily, especially when I put my grubby mitts on it.

                *Recommended*

                Absolutely! Why? Because its...
                Easy to assemble
                Easy to use
                Easy to clean

                Couldn't ask for more (apart from a longer lead perhaps)!

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                • More +
                  07.12.2013 15:26
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                  Works on the right type of spot! Bye bye spots!

                  *The purchase*

                  I have used this product on an as and when need basis for the past few years. I thought it had been discontinued as I couldn't find it anywhere for a few months, however it has since reappeared in Boots and even better has been on offer on a third off so it is now more reasonably priced at £5.33.

                  You can also purchase tinted versions of this product, as a way of covering up spots as well as treating them. Not to be confused with the Garnier under eye tinted roll on however (they look exactly the same)!

                  *The product*

                  As with a lot of the Garnier products in their spot-fighting range this contains salicylic acid which is chosen for it's purifying power and specifically useful for clearing spots caused by blocked pores. It is applied using a roller ball application, and comes out as a very soothing clear liquid/gel.

                  The solution comes in a teal/turquoise colours small tube of 15ml. The colour is unisex so appeals to men and women (we all get spots afterall)! The only difficulty is that you cannot really see how much is left in the tube, unless you hold it up to light and look really hard!

                  Whilst a 15ml tube doesn't seem much for your money, the roller ball application means that you only use a very small amount. I have found in my experience that using this on an as and when basis (when I get spots which is usually once a month) one of these lasted me over a year and a half. Without drying out! The other bonus to the roller ball application is that you can be reassured that it is hygienic and bacteria cannot get back into the tube.

                  My experience of spots is usually on the chin area where I still have a few black and whiteheads, indicating blocked pore. I usually find I get a few or a breakout at certain points in my cycle, ie once a month. In times of stress I can also experience much larger boil type almost spots.

                  I use this product first thing in the morning after washing my face and before applying moisturiser and make up. I do sometimes use in the night before bed if I have a really bad spot but tend not to as twice a day use can tend to dry my skin.

                  *The results*

                  Based on the product's claims that this product....

                  1. Reduces appearances of spots. I have found this claim to be accurate as I have found spots reduce in size and the cooling action means they are less red in appearance.
                  2. Results from day one. Again I have found this to be quite accurate - obviously depending on the spot. Sometimes spots have disappeared from day one - sometimes it has taken up to 3/4 days for them to completely go. I have found that the product works really well at encouraging spots to come to a head much quicker and encourage healing afterwards.
                  3. Has a drying effect on spots. Most certainly this has been my experience and this seems to be the way the product works - by drying out spots in order to reduce their size and appearance.

                  *So why is this not a miracle product then?*

                  If you remember I said earlier that I am prone to two different type of spots. Whilst this product is really effective on the right type of spots (ie mild spots caused by blocked pores) it really isn't effective when it comes to the bigger spots/boils that are not caused by blocked pores and perhaps caused by stress. In these types of spots I have found a cup of camomile tea and a blob of toothpaste at night works much more effectively!

                  Another word of warning about this product is that (as stated above) it can become over-drying if you use it too often (ie more than once/twice a day) or use too much of it - so I try and make sure I apply only to the spot and not surrounding skin.

                  *Recommendation*

                  I would definitely recommend for those prone to spots caused by blocked pores. I have removed a spot purely for the danger of over drying the skin.

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                    02.12.2013 01:17
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                    Well at least the smell was nice...

                    *The purchase*

                    This is a review of Boots Fairtrade Extras Mango Sugar Scrub. I usually use exfoliators but wanted to try a sugar scrub as something new. This is (obviously) only available from Boots and is usually £8.00 a tub however I bought it on a 3 for 2 with two other products, and from checking in at Boots quite frequently it seems that this scrub is often included on the 3 for 2 offers. For the price and size of the tub (400ml) I was satisfied with value for money.

                    *The product*

                    This is part of the Boots Fairtrade range - which means that some of the ingredients (note - not all of the ingredients) are Fairtrade. The scrub comes in a very attractive organ pot with a mango on the front and ingredients are fully listed on the side. The tub is plastic and clear so you can see the product inside - which is very orange (and thus in-keeping with mango theme).

                    *Use of product*

                    On opening the tub it is blatant - yup this is mango! I wouldn't say the scent is too overpowering but it definitely reminds me of mangos. The scrub is very thick in texture - the only way I can describe it is if you imagine the kind of texture you would have if you tipped a load of sugar into a thimble full of water - and you kind of get close. I accidentally let the lid of during use and the water was literally bounces of it, it was so hard!

                    In any case, a little of this goes a long way as it is so rich. Unfortunately it is very difficult to spread so it takes quite some time to use - especially if you want to scrub your whole body (I gave up and just did my arms and legs).

                    *Results*

                    After use there is a distinct smell of mango that lingers around for a bit afterwards, which would be nice if it wasn't for the overpowering smell of petroleum (indeed third on the list of ingredients - petroleum - yuck)! This really does ruin the effect of the scrub and makes me feel actually quite sick.

                    My skin afterwards does feel very soft and looks bright and clear, but this is absolutely ruined by the filmy layer I feel - almost as if the product isn't washed off properly. Rather than this being residue of the product I think l this may be the shea butter. In their attempt to make the product a scrub and moisturising I think they have gone overboard, Boots should have either way whether they wanted this to be a moisturising exfoliator or a scrub (you can't have it both ways)!

                    *Other stuff*

                    It doesn't seem to clog my drain (like some other exfoliating products have done), but it does leave a film of orange around the shower floor which can be a bit of a pain to shift.

                    *Recommended?*

                    Unfortunately because of the problems listed above I cannot recommend this. You could probably D.I.Y. yourself something better than this....

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                    • Pukka Night Time / Tea / 33 Readings / 33 Ratings
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                      01.12.2013 22:51
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                      Good.Night.Sleep

                      *The purchase*

                      I bought a pack of this tea recently from Tescos for £2.29. The pukka range has been around for 10 plus years now and there are lots of different and interesting blends of teas popping up in the range including 3 ginger, lemon/ginger/manuka honey and 'morning time' - rooibos, honey bush and red ginseng. They also include more staple teas in the range including English breakfast, earl grey, chais, green, mont and lemon.

                      As well as teas Pukka have produced a skincare range (although sadly this will soon be discontinued) - also they do food supplements and cleaning juices.

                      I have seen the pukka range pop up more and more in some of the major supermarkets, so it is not just exclusive to health food stores like Holland and Barrett.

                      *The product*

                      For your money you get 20 sachets (all individually wrapped). The product claims to encourage sleep and is marketed on it's ability to promote 'a peaceful sleep'. The main and active ingredients in this tea are -
                      Organic oatflower - meant to calm and nourish
                      Lavender - soothes and relaxes
                      Limeflower - soothes and relaxes
                      There are other ingredients in this including chamomile (common in such teas), licorice root, valeria root and tulsi root.

                      The teabags are all rectangle in shape and look like a normal tea bag only they have a (very) long string attached with a ta your tea bag in and out easily - and also leave the tab hanging out of your cup which I like. Inside the teabag you can see the product clearly and it does look quite similar to chamomile tea as it is very yellow in colour (this may be the oatmeal).

                      *Making the tea*

                      Add boiling water to the tea bag and leave to steep for 3-5 minutes. You can leave for shorted or longer depending on personal taste but I find that the longer you leave it the better! On making the tea the smell is instantly noticeable - it smells of like a blend between lavender and the oatmeal, which sounds unusual (and potentially horrible) but is absolutely lovely - pungent but not overpowering. The look of the tea is like chamomile tea as in it is very yellow.

                      Because I am a bit of a scrimper I do tend to use this teabag twice and make two cups (per night) out of this. I wouldn't use it for any more after that (I have tried a third cup and the flavour does tend to go - plus a third cup would result in my going to the loo all night)!

                      *The taste*

                      The most important bit of course! I was a bit dubious about the mix of ingredients - admittedly I hadn't heard of most of them but I thought that the oatmeal and the lavender would be awful together but they actually work really well! The lavender seems to create a sweet contrast to the oatmeal with is more earthy. Whilst you could add sugar or sweeteners to this I really don't think it needs it (plus having sugar so close to bed time may defeat the point of the tea)!

                      *So, does it make you sleep?*

                      In my experiences yes - this tea helps me calm and forgot about my worries of the day. I suppose it is a case of mind of matter however and I wouldn't be prepared to claim that this has magical properties to help you sleep. I would however recommend this as part of a good robust bedtime routine.

                      I will definitely be buying this again - the only improvement I would suggest is perhaps if they could make bigger packs (20 tea bags don't seem like quite enough)!

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                    • More +
                      01.12.2013 22:10
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                      Keep one made up in the fridge for midnight munchies!

                      *Purchase*

                      This is a review of the raspberry flavour jelly crystals made by Hartley's. They come in a double sachet for which I paid 75p for. There are different flavours in the range including orange, lemon and lime, strawberry and blackcurrant.

                      You can purchase blocks and also ready made pots of jelly. Recently there has been a new quick set version of the crystals that has come out (quick setting as in they set in an hour). Whilst I like the pots - they are nice and convenient, they are a bit more costly than the sachets. I tend not to use much of the blocks as they take a longer time to set than the crystals. The blocks are really good if you use them in moulds however, as the jelly you get tends to be a thicker consistency.

                      *Making the jelly*

                      Making the jelly is really straightforward and only takes a few minutes if that (apart from the setting time of course)! The jelly crystals come in a paper sachet and each sachet is separated by a perforation. In terms of design this is a bit annoying as a few times I have tried to trip the sachets apart and accidentally ripped them open.

                      There are not many crystals in each packet and on appearance they do tend to look more like a powder than a crystal. On opening the packet there is a strong and sweet smell of raspberry.

                      I use a measuring jug and pop the crystals in this then pour over boiling water and add lukewarm/cold water as per instructions. I then transfer into a bowl and leave the bowl out for between 30 minutes to half an hour to make sure it is completely cooled. I then put the bowl in the fridge and usually it takes anywhere up to 3 hours to set.

                      I usually make the jelly plain and then make it more exciting with extras afterwards. I have sometimes added fruit, to bump in my 5 a day - such as strawberries and raspberries (unsurprisingly) also work well with this. The sachet warns that you cannot add pineapple, kiwi or papaya as they have something called bromelain in them and will prevent the jelly from setting.

                      *The taste*

                      The taste of this jelly is not as sweet as perhaps I would like. It is no added sugar so suitable for diabetics, however it does have sweeteners not think it tastes particularly of raspberry either and do struggle to find the taste difference between the different flavours. However this is a wonderful base for other deserts such as trifle, jelly and ice cream (the old school classic) and I also like to have jelly with yoghurt and fruit. If I have the time I also like to make multi-coloured jelly - although this can be a bit painstaking as you have to wait for the layers to set!

                      This jelly has been a bit of a lifesaver also during my various diets. Each sachet has four serving and each serving contains only 10 calories (yippee)! And whilst I wouldn't say the jelly by itself is filling at all, it has satisfied a midnight craving or two!

                      *Recommendation?*

                      Whilst this isn't the best tasting of jelly's, it is low in calories and a good staple to have in the larder. For the price I think this is a fair product which I will be buying again.

                      *Other stuff*

                      It contains pork gelatine so not suitable for veggies!

                      The best before life is fair enough (I bought some this week with a bb of October 2014).

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                      01.12.2013 19:13
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                      Good enough!

                      *The Purchase*

                      I have been on the hunt recently for a recent moisturiser. I had a voucher from Boots recently (spend £15 on moisturiser and get an extra 100 points), thus I bought a few moisturiser at the same time hoping to find a good one amongst there. I reached out for this - the Garnier Protect and Glow Illuminating Moisture Match. This is one of five in a fairly new range which includes -
                      Goodbye Dry (very dry skin)
                      Start a fresh (normal to dry skin)
                      Shine be gone (combination/oily skin)
                      Wake me Up (dull skin)
                      Protect and Glow (normal skin - ie THIS one!)

                      I have a mixture between normal and combination skin. My skin does not tend to get that oily however so I veered towards the Protect and Glow as I wanted a moisturiser thick enough for the winter. It also seemed to tick a few other boxes such as brightening properties (my skin has become a bit dull the past few months since the weather change).

                      This particular moisturiser has spf20 which is reassuring (although in this weather...)! It also contains vitamin B3. It has lemon extract and light reflecting pearls in it (although these pearls must be tiny as I cannot see them) - these aim to give you an illuminating and healthy glow. The moisturiser also has mannucose which is supposed to improve the texture of your skin.

                      I bought this for £3.99- although the usual rrp is £5.99. Because of the sheer size of this (it is teeny - only 50ml) I probably wouldn't have picked it up for the usual rrp as it seems a bit much to me. Although it is a bit small this is also good as you can fit it in your bag easily and if you want use throughout the day (although if I am wearing make up I wouldn't tend to do this). I have seen the price vary quite a lot and see some people have this to sell on ebay for much less (some as cheap as £2.00).

                      *Use*

                      I have been using mine more so in the morning (I have another moisturiser for the night). Thus I use it after I wash my face in the morning and before I apply my make up (which is usually foundation, bronzer and mascara).

                      The moisturiser comes out of the tube easily and seems fairly runny, although when it hits the palm of your hand it feels a bit thicker. It is a light yellow lemon kind of colour which is different and nice. There is a slight citrusy smell, although this is not too over powering and my opinion quite pleasant. To cover my whole face and neck I used around a 50p piece size dollop.

                      Application is a bit mixed I feel. As the moisturiser is yellow you can clearly see where you are putting it, and it does blend into face fairly well with a 30-60 second massage. However after 10 minutes my skin still felt a bit damp and all in all it took about 15 minutes for this to completely sink into my skin. This was a bit of a difficulty for me as time is of essence in morning. A quick change to my routine however could accommodate this extra time needed.

                      *The Results*

                      Generally the results of this for me were again mixed.

                      The good
                      I have experienced a general improvement in the texture of my skin. This moisturiser feels light but is also thick enough to re-hydrate my skin in this weather - a good balance. My skin after use feels nice and smooth and this is a feeling which lasts most of the day.
                      As claimed, it sinks in to the skin fully (eventually) and doesn't leave any nasty residue which you can get with cheaper moisturisers.

                      The bad
                      This moisturiser claims that it can illuminate the skin. I don't feel there has been a significant change in the improvement of my skin, although I think that it is a steep ask of a moisturiser to do this really.

                      The ugly
                      Sorry but I need to go back to the price again! Whilst I do like this moisturiser as it ticks enough boxes for me to repurchase, I will plan on stocking a few up now as it is not worth the usual RRP. Generally thus I would recommend, but have to remove one star for the price and also for the fact that it takes a while to sink into the skin.

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                      • Hunter Original Short Gloss / Shoes / 45 Readings / 41 Ratings
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                        30.11.2013 14:03
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                        Guarantee or not guarantee that is the question!

                        *The Purchase*

                        Hunter wellies have become a bit of a brand favourite amongst the masses, thus the high prices (see below). I have been through quite a few different pairs of much cheaper wellies over the years but have had various problems with wellies not living up to expectations, splitting etc. so wanted to splash out on a decent pair that would hopefully last me.

                        I bought a pair of Unisex Hunter Wellies in Size 5 short. You can get various different versions now; tall, women, men, junior, gloss, non/gloss; various patterns and colours including - black, chocolate, red, navy green, aubergine, fuschia, graphite, violet, teal and probably more if you look in the right place! The ones I bought were dark olive which is like a darker green - I bought them to match a dark olive topshop coat I have!

                        You can get these from various outlets but I bought mine on Amazon for £55. I see that depending on the size, colour etc the price can vary greatly between £38 and almost £100, so waiting for a sale, special offers, (or using the dooyoo miles) may be a good idea here! I was careful to buy from a reputable buyer however, as with a lot of branded products there is the chance you can get counterfeit so if it looks too good to be true it may well be!

                        *The look*

                        These are in my opinion very pretty boots. I bought the matte version, as I thought the gloss version was a bit too glittzy for me. I also wanted to go for that farmer chic look! They look great on anyway and as I chose a more neutral colour they match most of my coloured jeans well.

                        They have a little buckle on the side which adds to the look, making them look very cute. They also have the embroidered hunter logo on the front which distinguishes them from other wellies. What I also think is cute is that inside you can write your name on the inside (although I haven't) - this reminds me of school days and when mum used to sew your name in your knickers!

                        *The fit*

                        I am usually a size 5 and bought these true to size after reading various reviews and size guides on them. Usually I would have bought a size larger but this was not necessary at all. Even with thick socks these fit perfectly as they are very wide and long, I think Hunter must have adapted their sizes with this in mind (I guess who doesn't wear socks with wellies eh)! If you are in doubt however they also do half sizes which I think is really useful.

                        The inside of the wellie is made out of synthetic but feels very soft on the leg - giving a comfy and snug feeling. They fit around the calves lovely and are not too tight or too lose - just right! I would say my calves are average for my height and size - although I know one of my pals who has very large (and very beautiful) calves and she tried these on and they were way too tight so I would definitely have a look at sizings or try on in a shop to see if this style of Hunter suits you first.

                        The wellies come to around 2-3 inches below my knew - despite my shortish height I do have fairly long legs so again if you want to see how they look on you I would recommend trying on first - after all we are all different!

                        *The wear*

                        The majority of the wellie is made by rubber, which you can tell instantly by the feel of it. In comparison to other cheaper wellies I have had this is really where I feel the difference. The rubber feels thick and oozes quality. The soles are also made of rubber and very thick and chunky. The grip is very good for a wellie (usually I find I wade in wellies) and I have felt absolutely safe in these trumbling up hillsides and running down hills - a freedom which I do not find with other wellies. The sole seems able to handle rough terrain too and walking over pebbles, little stones is a breeze (you really wouldn't know it)!

                        The main test of these wellies is that they keep my feet dry! I have only had them 3 months so only used them in the rain (alas no snow test yet)! However they seem to me hard wearing, sturdy and reliable. My sister has had her short red Hunters fro 3 years and she has had absolutely no problem with them at all. We both use them on average probably two/three times a week.

                        *Other stuff*

                        These boots are very easy to clean, I tend to wash off and then use a knife to scrape any mud off the bottom (although this perhaps is not recommended just in case you cut into the wellie)! I don't wash them after every use but regular cleaning is recommended.

                        One of the (very few) downsides to this wellie comes with it's particular styling. I got the short boot as I wanted something which gave me a lot of freedom to walk in (I did try on the tall ones and apart from the fact that they were too...tall, they were quite uncomfortable to walk in as they went past the knee). If you want your wellie because you are doing a lot of muck out work (say you work in a stable) or if you want to use them in the sea a lot and are going to be wading above your knees you may want to get the tall version for obvious reasons - with these I cannot go into waters past my upper calf as the water WILL seep in. I think this is a pretty obvious thing from the design however.

                        This leads me onto recommendation. Would I recommend? Most definitely yes but obviously this depends on -
                        what you want to use the wellies for (walking, gardening yes)
                        your particular sizing (short with average size calves yes)

                        I also think it is interesting that for the price these boots are they do not come with any type of guarantee - whilst I do not think I will need a guarantee this would be nice and give the buyer more confidence - also it may help alleviate counterfeits trying to make a buck.

                        I am giving these four dooyoo stars though as I do think they are expensive (though worth it) - I would like to see a few extras such as the piece of mind guarantee.

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