Welcome! Log in or Register

privatedanceruk

privatedanceruk
  • 0
  • 39
  • 14
  • 3
  • 2
  • 257
  • Crowns
  • Premium reviews
  • Express reviews
  • Comments
  • Reviews rated
  • Ratings received

Member since: 18.09.2009

People I trust

User that trust you
  • Sort by:
    • My Blue Nose Friends / Soft Toy / 13 Readings / 13 Ratings
      More +
      10.08.2010 12:40
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      3 Comments

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Wide range of great little characters to add to any collection

      The character range of "My Blue Nose Friends" was launched early last year by Carte Blanche Greetings as a pocket money alternative to the ever growing range of Me to You Bears.

      There are now over 50 of the little friends in this range, who all stand at around 5 inches tall and cost just £5.00 to purchase. The little critters are really become so sought after that as soon as they hit the stand in Clintons they are gone, so grab them whilst you can!

      The characters are every animal you could think of, from Patch the dog, and Shelly the turtle to Coco the monkey and Rocky the lion. They are really cute with their fat little bellys and blue button noses, and make a great addition to any collection.

      They are made of soft fabric, and really good quality which is what you expect from the Me To You range. Each character has the distinctive blue nose and black beedy eyes.

      At only £5.00 they are a reasonable price, however as there are so many being released the costs can add up. There is also a larger blue nose friend which costs normally £15 each, however at the moment in alot of stores are reduced to £10. As with the Me to you range, there are also other additions including keyrings and ceramic figurines, and also a range of tatty bears holding their blue nose friend.

      There is also a large boxed limited edition Tatty bear in his pjs, surrounded by the blue noses. This retails for around £40.00

      Since their launch the Blue Nose Friends have made quite an impact to the world of Me to You collectors and one particular 'friend' - Breeze the Butterfly is perhaps the most important one of them all. Although it is number 27 in the series (there are over 50 at the moment with plenty more still to come), however it so sought after and was launched as a Special Edition and would have a limited release date. Breeze originally cost only £5.00 to purchase just like the rest of the range, however it is now that popular that ebay prices easily reach over £100.00 for a 5 inch bear!

      Since the overwhelming popularity of Breeze other special editions friends have also been released, with new introductions to the range including Ruby the penguin, Echo the bat, Legend the unicorn and now Stilts the flamingo (which at the moment is going pretty cheap on ebay so get it whilst you can!). If you own any of these dont cut the tags off, keep them wrapped in cotton wool and locked in a safe!

      Link to the Blue Nose Friends website where all the characters in the range can be viewed: http://carteblanchegreetings.com/mybluenosefriends/

      I would advise that if you are just starting to collect the figures like I am then to purchase them from ebay, as there are some real bargains to be had. I tend to seach for bears under £3 only so that I know I am saving on their original price. Obviously for the older more wanted bears expect to pay a little extra. You can purchase the bears directly from Clintons or other retail stores which sell the range. Every one of mine I have bought so far is off ebay, and usually I can get the brand new ones for around £1.50.

      The blue nose friends are a great collectable, and a lovely addition to anybodys collection. One piece of advice is if you are buying these for your kids, dont let them get their grubby little paws on them as one day I think they may be worth quite a bit!!!!

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        03.08.2010 13:32
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Obviously not as good as Madame Tussauds but a great day out overall

        On Blackpool's promenade opposite the central pier stands one of the oldest attractions in Blackpool namely Louis Tussauds waxworks

        Louis Tussaud was the great-grandson of madame Marie Tussaud. He created a waxwork museum (similar to that of Madame Tussaud's) in Blackpool. Recently Louis Tussauds, Blackpool, was bought out by Blackpool Council. The attraction will close its door's in November as it passes to the management of the Merlin Entertainment Group, and will re-open as Madame Tussaud's in March 2011.

        Ticket prices at the moment (August 2010) are:
        TICKET PRICE ON THE DOOR
        Adult £10.95
        Senior £9.95
        Child £8.95
        (Age 4 and under FREE)

        However if you book online you receive a significant discount, and it is also worth taking a look at the group prices that are available.

        The waxworks is split into many parts including, celeb city, rock factory, the chamber of horrors and many more. My personal favourite is the chamber of horrors although it has diminished over the years, where once stood actual rein-actions of famous murder scenes and scenes from horror movies now stands only models of the murderers themselves but it is still very creepy to find yourself staring into the eyes of dr Harold shipman and Fred and rose west. There are still some scenes in the chamber of horrors such as a man being sent to his death in the electric chair and a horrible road accident. If you have a weak stomach best to be careful in this part of the waxworks, children are allowed in to the chamber of horrors but probably better not to take kids of an impressionable age into this bit.

        The rock factory part of the waxworks is also pretty impressive where else could you find Michael Jackson, Buddy Holly and Freddie Mercury all in one room! I did find that some of the models were not as life like as in other parts. In this part you can also dress up and get on stage and form your own rock band posing with the mic, guitar or drums and wearing a variety of funky rock wigs!

        In one section of the building you can take a walk down Coronation Street to the rovers return and sit on the bench outside with Vera and Jack Duckworth as well as see the displays of many of the other famous people to have been in the show.

        The regal room is where you can find the royal family not just the present royal family but all the royals down the years including royals from other countries and even great rulers and dictators stand side by side in here. This part of the waxworks also includes politicians and the popes from down the years as well as stories of the 1st and 2nd world wars. In this room you are able to sit in the Queen's throne and dress up as a queen!!

        The place is in need of a bit of modernisation, and it is a guessing game with some of the characters as to who they actually should be! Overall though it is a good day out, especially if the weather isn't to good outside. Maybe the new revamp will bring some life to some of the old haggering faces!

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        03.08.2010 13:07
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Good for families, but if you are young keep away

        I never actually stayed in this hotel however did visit it (no more details are required!!!), and although I can not fully comment on the full scale of the hotel, I am able to provide a basic review on my few hours in the hotel!

        Norbeck Castle is located on the Queens promenade Blackpool, and is located quite a distance from the town. The Hotel overlooks the seafront on the North Shore, and is close to Blackpools' major attractions and entertainment.

        The hotel has 480 bedrooms, many with sea views. All rooms are described on the website as being "tastefully decorated", rooms are en-suite and offer TV, Telephone, Hairdryer and Tea & Coffee making facilities. I found that the decor of the rooms is a little outdated, and not very modern.

        The Boston restaurant is spacious and open to the public while the Castles restaurant is perfect for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and serves set menu meals. Norbreck Castle also has a Conservatory bar. Copper Face Jack's Bar is the busy bar with large sports screens. This hotel even has a 36 seater Cinema and Arcade room.

        Spindles Health and Leisure Club has a great range of facilities including swimming pool, state of the art gym, sauna and spa. Children's facilities include a Splash Pool. The Norbreck Castle Hotel features live entertainment every evening. The Cabaret shows offer fully costumed, professional shows that provide great entertainment for both Adults and Children. The Hotel has 22 Conference, Meeting and Banqueting rooms. This includes Blackpool's famous Noralympia Conference Centre, the largest conference venue in Blackpool, capable of holding more than 3000 people. WIFI is available throughout all public areas of the hotel.

        I found the rooms to be very old fashioned and out dated, and in desperate need of modernisation. The bathroom was awful, with no window or extraction. The walls in the room are really thin and you can hear everything, so just think what your neighbours can hear from your room! The bed was very uncomfortable and the linen looked like it had been used a million and one times.

        The reception staff were quite friendly considering it was around 5am, and very happy to ring a taxi and be of assistance...maybe they were just trying to get rid of me!

        The hotel itself is huge, and you could quite easily get lost here. From Blackpool you dont really expect a lot from a hotel, however as this is not a budget hotel you do have some expecations which this did not meet. I would not recommend staying this hotel if you are planning on going out clubbing as it is quite a distance and a good 10minutes in a taxi ride away, not good when you are drunk, and definatly not good queuing for a taxi. This hotel may be more suitable for families, as it is out of the hustle and bustle of the town centre. However for the price, you probably can find better elsewhere.

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        03.08.2010 12:19
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Does what it says on the label

        Valhalla is probably one of the best water rides this country has to offer. It's a water ride, so getting very wet is the aim, and it certainly fulfils that. The slogan on at the entrance is, "You Will get wet, you may get soaking wet", anyone who doesn't want to get wet should NOT go on it, as i think the word wet is a little tame for this ride, infact you will get drenched!!

        It was so much more than I expected and easily the best dark ride I've ever seen, I don't know how people can fault it. What more do u want? I was totally amazed by the big, scary, dark plunge you take into those fires, the whole place just bursts into flames and doesn't let up, with more big huge fireball explosions as u leave the wall of flames. Included are the senses of cold in the frozen room and the fire that erupts around you near the end.

        I came off it soaked through to the skin which I didn't like, but i was so amazed by Valhalla that I had to go on it again. The effects on this ride are superb. People who fault this ride can't be pleased.

        In regards to the special effects, people should remember that Valhalla is a good few years old now and is not quite state of the art. The music is loud and clear, the drama of the ride is immense and although it may not be as technically advanced as its counterparts in other parts of the world, it provides great entertainment for all those in the pleasure beach. It has attracted people in their thousands each year and it was the second biggest attracted in the pleasure beach after the Pepsi Max until Infusion opened.

        There are a few things that need to be tweaked to improve the ride for example the waterfall that switches off just in time at start of ride should be a surprise for 1st time riders, at the moment is isn't because it's visible from all around. The guys at loading/unloading should be taught how to use the hoover better so you're not up to your ankles in water before you even start. I have no problem with getting soaked but don't want the sensation to start until the ride does.

        However despite the negatives the ride is definatly worth going on, as it is action packed and a good old laugh. You will not be disapointed with this ride, it does what it says on the label.

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        03.08.2010 11:56
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Thrill seekers will love it

        Infusion is Blackpool's newest attraction which cost £8 million to construct. The ride replaced the Pleasure Beach's popular Log Flume which retired after almost 40 years.

        The 200ft brightly coloured beast of a ride features death-defying loops on twisted tracks and also incorporates water effects! Infusion consists of five incredible loops plus a double line twist. It is classed as a suspended looping coaster.

        General Information

        Height restriction for Infusion is: 52"/132cm
        Number of tickets required:8
        Speed: 49.7 mph
        Duration: 1:23
        Trains: 2 trains with 8 cars per train

        Expect to queue for quite a while if the park is busy, as this is the newest ride there and therefore really popular, I would either save this till last or first, as the queue can get pretty long.

        Infusion really does take your breath away, im not scared of big rides infact im quite a thrill seekers, but oh my after coming off this ride me and my friend must of stood for 15minutes looking at the screen to see our pictures, and neither of us could recognise ourselves, we looked petrified! It is quite a bumpy ride and definalty not for the faint hearted, you do get thrown around quite a bit in your seat and your head gets bashed around. Definatly dont go on this if you have any back problems or anything like that! You will scream your head off from the second the ride takes off till the time it stops. Its a breath taking experience and not in the good sense!

        Infusion is one of the best rides at the pleasure beach and you have got to experience it at least once if even to say you will never go on it again!

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        03.08.2010 11:35
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Not the costas but still guaranteed to give you a good time!

        Well what can be said about Blackpool...forget the dirty beach, the tacky lights, greasy kebab wrappers thrown across the street and the kiss me quick hats...I LOVEEEEE Blackpool! Blackpool is great fun no matter what your age, or the weather and there is always something for everyone to do.

        Blackpool is a seaside town in Lancashire, England. Situated along the coast of the Irish Sea, it has a population of around 143,000, making it the fourth-largest settlement in North West England behind Manchester, Liverpool and Warrington. It is situated 40 miles north-west of the city of Manchester, and less than 30 miles north of Liverpool City centre. Blackpool is the fourth most densely populated local authority district of England & Wales outside Greater London.

        Blackpool is heavily dependent on tourism. During its "heyday"(1900-1950), Blackpool thrived as the factory workers of northern England took their annual holidays there. Any photograph from that era shows crowds of tourists on the beach and promenade. Blackpool was also a preferred destination of visitors from Glasgow and remains so to this day.

        Today Blackpool remains the most popular seaside resort in the UK, however the town has suffered a serious drop in numbers of visitors which has fallen from 17 million in 1992 to 10 million today.

        Similarly Pleasure Beach Blackpool was the country's most popular free attraction with 6 million visitors a year but has lost over a million visitors since 1998 after introducing entrance fees.

        Whether you are going for a day, a weekend, or a week there is always something to do and something to see in Blackpool. No it's not Spain or Cyprus, or even Devon but its something different which can be enjoyed by everybody even those on a tight budget.

        There are so many hotels and B&B's to chose from to suit everybodys needs and budget. I would advise to research your accommodation before hand online, as many of the B&Bs in Blackpool have shared bathrooms, and personally I would rather pay that little bit extra and have a bathroom in my room. Prices start at around £15.00 per person per night. Be aware when booking online which end of the Promenade you are, as you can be quite a distant out of the town, however this does make it easier and cheaper to park your car.

        There are many attractions to visit including Sea Life Centre, Pleasure Beach, the Pier, Louis Tussauds and numerous arcades. Louis Tussauds is a great day out and really good fun, there are some wicked photo opportunities available and you can even sit and pose as the queen! Whilst in Blackpool why not visit a local Tarrot reader and Clairvoyant and get your "fortune" told, however be careful cause alot of them get you inside and just try to haggle as much money as possible off you!

        Blackpool is also a fantastic night out, as there are so many bars and pubs and clubs to chose from. Sanuk is one of the best clubs in Blackpool, with wicked music and such a friendly atmosphere it really is a great night out. I love going to Blackpool for a weekend with my girlie pals its such a laugh and you are guaranteed to have an unforgetable weekend!

        So forget all the bad negative things you hear about Blackpool...no you are not going to a beautiful beach resort and no you are going to be staying in the Ritz....but come on its Blackpool...let your hair down and have some fun!

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        03.08.2010 11:07
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Action packed day out where you are 5 or 65

        Alton Towers is a theme park and resort located in Staffordshire, England. It attracts around 2.8 million visitors per year making it the second most visited theme park in the United Kingdom. Alton Towers is also the 11th most visited theme park in Europe. It is based north of the village of Alton in Staffordshire (approximately 16 miles from Stoke-on-Trent). Alton Towers is based in the grounds of a semi-ruined gothic revival country house, which is obviously called Alton Towers, and was once home to the former Earls of Shrewsbury.

        The resort also includes two hotels which are The Alton Towers Hotel and Splash Landings Hotel. Other attractions within the resort are The Alton Towers Waterpark (Cariba Creek), Extraordinary Golf, Conference Centre and The Alton Towers Spa (Located in the Alton Towers Hotel).

        Within the theme park, the major attractions at Alton Towers include; Nemesis, Europe's first inverted roller coaster, Oblivion, the world's first vertical drop roller coaster, Air, the world's first B&M flying roller coaster and Rita, a launched roller coaster which accelerates to 96 km/h (60 mph) in approximately 2.2 seconds, and the brand new Th13teen, the world's first vertical free fall drop roller coaster (which looks a bit to scary for me to even go on!!!).

        Alton Towers opened as a theme park in 1980 with the installation of The Corkscrew rollercoaster (which has only recently been removed), Pirate Ship and the Alpine Bob sled ride. A year later the Log Flume opened and in 1984 the park's second roller-coaster, The Black Hole opened. The Skyride has operated since 1987.

        The park is split into many themed areas, which are located in a horseshoe shape around The Towers ruins and 19th century gardens. Guests are able to travel to different areas of the park using the Skyride. The sections are the park are: Towers Street, Mutiny Bay, Katanga Canyon, Gloomy Wood, Forbidden Valley, Dark Forest, Cloud Cuckoo Land, X-Sector, Adventure Land, Storybook Land, and Old MacDonald's Farmyard. Each area has a great selection of rides and is obviously all themed base. For example X-Sector is a futuristic land home to the vertical drop of Oblivion, Submission a double swing invertor, and Enterprise. Each land consits of many food and drink outlets which include Mcdonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Fish and Chips, and various Bars and Grills. There are also souvenir shops in each of the sections.

        For all you thrillseekers you must go on Rita Queen of Speed, which accelerates to 100 km/h (62 mph) in approximately 2.2 seconds. This ride is one of the most nerve racking I have ever been on. You can either queue to sit on the very front row or ride in the rest of the carriage, of course if you queue for the front expect to be waiting a long time! I have been on the front row and its really something out of this world. Once seated and secured, you wait for a few seconds (which seems like hours) before you are pulled back in your seat and launched along the track. Dont try and scream, because you really cant it literally takes your breath away! The ride itself probably last around 60seconds, and it is over in no time but is a must must must do! Well worth the queuing!

        Air is another great ride located in the Forbidden Valley. Air allows guests to ride in a prone position and experience the feeling of flight by 'flying' close to the ground, under footpaths and gliding narrowly past objects such as trees and rocks. You are literally dangling from your seat! Again you can queue to sit on the front but this does take longer. A few years ago when I visited the park I was lucky enough to ride Air with boyband Blue, that was a great photo moment!

        Nemesis also located in the Forbidden Valley is another wicked ride, and Europes first inverted roller coaster. On this ride you are seated and secured as normal however your legs are left dangling throughout the ride. This is a great ride and again perfect for all you thrill seakers, definatly not for the faint hearted!

        One thing which is great about Alton Towers is there is a ride for everyone, and something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are 5 or 65 you really could enjoy yourself in the park. If the rides are not your cup of tea, then you can experience the beauty of the gardens, and even ride the Skyride to take in an areial view of the park. There is alot of walking to do around the park, and after a day there you just want to get home and put your feet up! Everything is quite spaced out which can means you really do walk some miles in a day.

        Be prepared on a busy day to walk quite a distance from the car park to the resort (ideally walk to the monorail and travel a short ride into the park). The car parks are really spaced out and can be quite a mission, and always always remember what car park you are on, there are letters on each car park so you can identify where you are parked...dont do what i do and spend 40minutes looking for my car thinking somebody had stole it!!

        Ticket prices to Alton Towers are £38.00 for an adult or £29.00 for a child if you purchase on the day at the gate. If you purchase before hand online you save roughly £8.00 on an adult ticket. There are also family tickets available. Always look out for promotional offers, which are alot of times in Newspapers, Walkers Crisps or even use your Tesco clubcard points to get a cheaper day out.

        Alton Towers is well worth the money, and really is a wicked day out for everybody to enjoy. There is plenty to do and see, and you will not be disapointed!

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        02.08.2010 17:56
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Great day out for all

        West Midlands Safari Park is situated in Bewdley, Worcstershire. Not to far from the M5. It is very easy to find and well signposted, or with the use of modern technology simply use your sat nav DY12 1LF.

        The attraction consists of both a four mile drive round safari trail and an amusement park.

        The safari adventure consists of the following animals: Elephant; Rhino; Tiger; Wild Dog; Lion; Wallaby; Wolf; Buffalo; Zebra; Gnu; Camel and all kinds of Deer. The animal reserve is home to over 600 animals and covers a vast area of 100 acres, which is often abundant with babies. West Midlands Safari Park is also home to the beautiful White Lion, virtually extinct in the wild and the safari park is home to the only pride in the UK. It is a self-drive safari in your own vehicle and you get the chance to feed some of the animals too, with special diet animal food which can be purchased on arrival or from within the amuseument park. Alternatively, if you prefer to be driven, then you are able to book a guided minibus tour for an extra charge.

        During peak times and especially in summer months, the safari can get very busy and you are sat in bumper to bumper traffic. The park advises to revise the animal reserve from around 3pm as it is often less busy.

        I went to the safari park around 3 weeks ago and it was pretty empty considering the warm weather. The trail took around 2hours this included us stopping to take loads of photos...and my near death experience with several zebras and a giraffe. My idiot sister decided to hang out of my sunroof, and the giraffe obvsiously thought she had food and couldnt quite fit through the gap between my car and the one next to mee, and has chipped my wing mirror casing!!! We were then surrounded by around 7 zebras, and the wardens had to come to scare them off, very eventful!!!

        Once you have completed the trail, park up have a picnic and head into the park itself. The Discovery Trail is a fantastic all-weather animal attraction and is where you can find Mark O'Shea's Reptile World, SeaQuarium, Creepy Crawlies, Twilight Cave and Seal Island.

        The sea lion show is wicked, and is a seated arena where you can watch the seals perform their tricks and one member of the audience can get up on stage to participate! Also get up close and personal to the fruit bats as they free-fly in the Twilight Cave. Visit the Reptile House to see a large diverse collection of reptiles and amphibians from all over the world.

        There are plenty of food and drink outlets around the park for you to choose from. However they are pretty expensive and it may be worth taking a picnic, as there are lots of benches and grassy areas and perfect to enjoy in the sun.

        The amusement area that is situated past the Hippo Lakes beyond the Discovery Zone, and has around 30 rides and attractions. There are alot of rides available to suit all of the family. The amusement area can offer a whole variety of very popular attractions, which includes the £1m Wild River Rafting and as it's name suggests it's a great chance to test those rapids! You really do need to hold on to the sides though as its a rather bumpy ride, and you get very very wet! There is also a 'Cubs Kingdom' which is a place for little children. There are nine rides and attractions in the cub kingdom.

        One of the main things that I find it a let down at the Safari Park is the price, and the fact you have to pay to go around the animal reserve and again for a ride wristband. The admission to the reserve is 12.95GBP for adults, and it does include a return ticket for the amount of paying guests in the same car. An adult wristband is then another 11.00GBP to go on the rides. So if you are going as a family it can be a pretty expensive day out.

        The animal reserve itself is wicked, and the white lions and tigers are beautiful. I also loved the giraffes until my experience with my car!

        With regards to the rides have a wonder round first, as you may find that its just not worth buying a wrist band, it all depends on your personal preference. Last time i visited we did not buy wristbands and still spent the whole day at the park.

        I would definatly take a picnic, even to munch as you are driving around the reserve as it can be quite long if busy, and remember once you are driving you cant get out the car so go the toilet before hand!!

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        02.08.2010 16:58
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Shop your socks off and then relax in the warmth of weatherspoons!

        JD Weatherspoons is everyday becoming a name you here more and more, and is strongly making a dent in the UK pub industry.

        The Weatherspoons chain consists of the weatherspoons pub, Lloyds bar, and Weatherlodges.

        The Abraham Darby is located in the Merry Hill Shopping Centre, near to Asda, and the bus stops and taxi rank.

        The name of this Wetherspoon pub recalls the industrial pioneer, from nearby Dudley, who developed new methods of producing iron, and helped to pave the way for the Industrial Revolution.

        All of the pubs have the same menu (airport from at the airport where you have less choice), and the choice of foods is really quite impressive as is the price. Weatherspoons also provides a Beer and Burger offer, as well as Steak Night, where you can purchase from a set menu in order to get a better deal for your meal. The only downfall with weatherspoons food is that it is really really fattening, and you must avoid it if you are dieting as its definatly no good for the waist line! Recently the new additions to the menu has included a Reggae Reggae range where you can taste the wonders of the Levi Roots range in many forms including wraps and nachos. There are also many special meal offers such as Ham, egg and chips for only 2.99GBP...cheaper than a mcdonalds and you can have a pint! Like a curry? Every Thursday evening in every Wetherspoon pub there is JD's Curry Club. Each meal is served with an inclusive drink, either alcoholic or soft, all for a great price.

        The drinks are great value for money, and my personal favourite is a bottle of Blossom Hill Rose for 5.99GBP, what a bargain!

        The staff in the Abraham Darby are relatively a friendly bunch, and do their best considering they must be rushed off their feet. The staff are alot younger in the Merry Hill pub than in other pubs. They are also very stricted on ID and will challenge you if they dont think you are old enough, so be prepared not to get served if you dont have ID.

        As you can imagine this pub gets rammed, and its very difficult to get a seat. It is the only pub within the Merry Hill Centre, and since opening has proved very popular amongst shoppers, and also as a general meeting place. If you are looking to eat food in here, be prepared to wait for a table. There is a nice seating area outside, which is ideal for the warmer weather. There is always a queue at the bar no matter what time you visit this pub!

        The pub can be accessed from inside the centre or from the outside. It is quite wheelchair / pushchair friendly, however during peak times is really busy to get around.

        Its a perfect location after a hetic day of shopping, or a great place to dump your fella when you have walked his feet off to stop him moaning!

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        02.08.2010 16:27
        Very helpful
        (Rating)

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Cheap drinks, great food what more do you need in the city centre?

        JD Weatherspoons is everyday becoming a name you here more and more, and is strongly making a dent in the UK pub industry.

        The Weatherspoons chain consists of the weatherspoons pub, Lloyds bar, and Weatherlodges.

        The Briar Rose is located on Bennetts Hill, Birmingham. Less than a 5 minute walk from New Street Station and around 10minute walk from Broad Street. Still based in the city centre, it is further away from the shops meaning you are more likely to get a seat during lunch time!

        Attached to the Briar Rose is a Wetherlodge, which considering is part of weatherspoons the rooms are not bad!! Considering the location within the centre of Britain's second city, the rooms are very well priced and of a decent standard. I managed to book a triple room for only £55.00, and managed to blag my way into getting a free bottle of wine :) The hotel is very clean, and quite modern, and in my personal opinion I would rate it slightly better than a travelodge. The Briar Rose has meeting facilities, so would make it a useful city centre location for business meetings.

        Throughout all of the Weatherspoons pubs, the decor reflects the history of the building. 25 Benetts Hill was once occupied by the head offices of the Midland Counties Asylum for Middleclass Idiots. Although the building was mainly used by the finance industry until brought back to life by JD Wetherspoon. There are numerous pictures around the building showing the history of the property.

        All of the pubs have the same menu (airport from at the airport where you have less choice), and the choice of foods is really quite impressive as is the price. Weatherspoons also provides a Beer and Burger offer, as well as Steak Night, where you can purchase from a set menu in order to get a better deal for your meal. The only downfall with weatherspoons food is that it is really really fattening, and you must avoid it if you are dieting as its definatly no good for the waist line! Recently the new additions to the menu has included a Reggae Reggae range where you can taste the wonders of the Levi Roots range in many forms including wraps and nachos. There are also many special meal offers such as Ham, egg and chips for only 2.99GBP...cheaper than a mcdonalds and you can have a pint! Like a curry? Every Thursday evening in every Wetherspoon pub there is JD's Curry Club. Each meal is served with an inclusive drink, either alcoholic or soft, all for a great price.

        The drinks are great value for money, and my personal favourite is a bottle of Blossom Hill Rose for 5.99GBP, what a bargain!

        The staff in the Briar Rose are relatively a friendly bunch, and do their best considering they must be rushed off their feet. Due to it's location near to many offices the pub does get quite busy especially on a Friday night after work and its pretty hard to get served, let alone get a table, but not alot can be done with regards to the pubs popuplarity as its just so appealing and popular with locals.

        Make sure you get in there early if you want a seat, however if you are ok to stand you will get great drinks for wicked prices in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        02.08.2010 15:32
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        1 Comment

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Couldnt ask for anything more from Dudley!

        Merry Hill Shopping Centre located in Brierley Hill, West Midlands, first opened its doors in 1985 and in the past 25 years has undergone major transformation over the years to what is now the fourth largest shopping centre in the United Kingdom, behind the MetroCentre, Bluewater and Westfield London, with around 310 stores.

        Useless fact: apparantly Merry Hill introduced the first drive through McDonalds...see us yam yam's are good for something!

        An elevated monorail opened at Merry Hill in June 1991, but this closed in 1996 as a result of a combination of technical problems and safety concerns. Parts of the constructions for the monorail still remain today. This is one of my oldest childhood memories, and it used to be such a high visiting Merry Hill to travel on the monorail...BRING BACK THE MONORAIL!!!

        The shopping centre consists of 2 floors, and is very disabled and wheelchair friendly, with plenty of lifts located around the centre and in many of the larger departments stores.

        The centre still provides free parking which is one of the benefits and is very appealing to many customers. There is a huge multi storey car park, as well as a couple more car parks around the back by the Debenhams area. However at Christmas and New Year Sale times you will struggle to park, and the queues are just out of this world. I would suggest leaving the car at home and getting the bus!

        HOURS/DIRECTIONS:
        The centre is open 7 days a week and opening times are 09:00am to 09:00pm Monday to Friday, 09:00am to 07:00pm Saturday and 11:00am to 5:00pm on a Sunday. Christmas opening hours vary, and for the past few years it has been open until midnight, which is great to do a bit of shopping when the centre is quieter.

        For those with a sav nav system the postcode for Merry Hill is DY5 1QX.
        It is located close to Brierley Hill town centre in the West Midlands. It is just 5 miles off the M5 motorway and is 12 miles west of Birmingham. A new line of the Midland Metro tram system will reach the site in 2011.

        STORES:
        Stores included within this complex are New Look, Dorothy Perkins, Next, Primark, BHS, Debenhams, Marks and Spencers, Asda, Sainsburys, Body Shop, Claires Accessories, Accessorize H&M, Oasis, Boots, W H Smiths, Barratts, Jane Norman, Top Shop, Sports Soccer, JJB, Birthdays, and Clintons.

        Merry Hill has recently become home to Best Buy, a consumer electronics and entertainment business, and is the only store in the West Midlands. It is located at the top end of Merry Hill out of the centre and therefore is easier to park.

        There is also a large Toys R Us within the complex, which is in the old B&Q building.

        Merry Hill is also home to a massive PC World, Currys, Halfords, Matalan and Mothercare. All of which are located around the complex, not actually inside the mall.

        There is a wide range of food places available, as well as the opening on EAT Central recently which has provided a large seated food area in the centre of the mall. Food stalls range from Mcdonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Harpers Traditional Food, Subway, Greggs, Weatherspoons, Asda cafe, Sainsburys cafe, Pizza Express, Nandos and Spud u Like.

        Merry Hill even has its own Odeon Cinemas. It is a major cinema with 10 screens and all major films showing.

        There is a creche available for younger children which is great if you want to participate in some child free shopping.

        Asda provides a petrol station at the centre.

        Merry Hill is a great shopping centre, and is a welcoming change to the hustle and bustle of the Bull Ring Birmingham. With so many great stores to chose from there really is something for everyone. If you are on a major shopping spree, your feet will be throbbing by the end of the day, however unlike Birmingham all of the major stores are under one roof, and therefore it is alot easier to get around without getting soaked in the rain! The only major problem you may experience is the parking, but there are loads of spaces around the centre and you will get a space...just be patient!!

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
        • More +
          02.08.2010 14:50
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          3 Comments

          Advantages

          Disadvantages

          Travel the world within one meal

          Jimmy Spices is located on Regency Wharf, at the end of Broad Street, and is behind Lloyds bar. Very easy to find if you know your way around, however it is signposted from Broad Street. Opening in 2003, and undergoing a complete revamp in January 2008 it is no longer a "new" restaurant, however still attracts a large crowd and is very pouplar.

          Jimmy Spices offers a range of Indian, Thai, Italian and Chinese dishes, all freshly prepared, even infront of your eyes if you wish! There is a large selection of dishes ready cooked and waiting, or if you are feeling a little adventerous you are able to create your own meal from a selection of ingrediants, which the staff will cook infront of you to suit your exact requirements. There is a wide variety of food choices available and you are sure to find something that you like.

          My favourite has got to be the Indian selection, especially the starters, the pakoras are beautiful as is the chicken tikka and really mouth watering you just want more and more. There is a good choice of main courses however most of them are chicken (which i prefer anyway). I have never had anything cooked from fresh, so cant really comment but the noodles look fab. The deserts are not to bad, there is an ice cream machine which you serve yourself from and tastes just like from the ice cream van, and the chocolate brownies are gorgeous! Personally I would advise to walk around the food before you put anything on your plate, as its very easy to overeat just at the starters.

          The restaurant is open for afternoon lunch and evening dinner, and prices range from 6.99GBP for a midweek afternoon buffet, to 14.99GBP per person for a weekend evening dinner. Drink prices vary depending on what you are after, however as with all restaurants it is a little expensive. There is no need to queue at a bar as the waiters/waitresses are constantly walking around taking drink orders. The staff are really friendly and very happy to help if you request any food which is not on display.

          The restaurant itself has an oriental design, and there are alot of fake trees for decoration around the seating area, full of different animals. It is quite compacted, and a bit difficult to get around if the restaurant is busy. The toilets are upstairs, so becareful if you have had a few to drink as not to embarrass yourself and fall down the stairs!!

          Despite the price being a little expensive over the weekend, there is a great choice of mouth waterning food available all cooked to perfection, and the staff are more than happy to assist you. It is a great location for a meal out, and also a great place to go with a group of friends or colleagues due to its size it is easy to all be sitted together.

          I would definatly recommend Jimmy Spices, however it is more of a place to visit with a group of friends rather than as a couple, you definatly wouldnt be able to sit and have a romantic intimate date!

          Comments

          Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            02.08.2010 14:37
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Get here early to avoid standing in the toilets!

            The Jam House is a great late night club and live music venue owned by Jools Holland, which regularly plays host to some absolutely superb jazz and blues bands.

            The decor within The Jam House is splendid, giving a sense of refined style that brings to mind the American deep South, which is in keeping with the overall musical policy.

            The bar is well stocked with a huge variety of spirits, and while it's certainly not the cheapest night out in town, the staff are very friendly and skilled at mixing drinks. The drink prices are pretty expensive, and it is definately not somewhere to visit if you are on a budget.

            The overall atmosphere is vibrant and at any given point during the night the dancefloor will be heaving with revellers. However it is advisable to get there very early and maintain your place on the dance floor, as it can get very busy and almost impossible to move around without knocking your drink over somebody. The majority of the people in the Jam House are over 25 and id say ranging into their mid 50's, and this is catered for depending on the band performing as they sing a variety of different songs from all decades.

            My one criticism of the place is that perhaps the upstairs bar area could have a section allowing people to stand around relaxing and enjoying conversation, as this is rather hard to do at the moment without being swept up into the busy dancefloor. Perhaps this is intentional, but all the same it would be nice to have the option to enjoy watching other people dance, without having them step all over your shoes. Also the bouncers and security who act like they are FBI - they were a very noticeable presence strutting around making their presence known.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            02.08.2010 14:24
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Little outdated but its a train sation who cares!

            Birmingham New Street is the main railway station serving the city of Birmingham, located smack bang in the city centre.

            Originally opened in the 1840's, New Street is not as modern as you would expect for a city centre train station, however it is currently undergoing a very slow refurbishment and bit by bit you can see the huge updates and modernisation which are taking place.

            The station is located underneath the Palasades shopping centre (which could do with a little revamp itself), and is accessible from the shopping centre, as well as a bank entrance just off new street, and its main entrance opposite to the Bull Ring Shopping Centre. The car park for the station is situated by the main entrance, which can be found off Holloway Circus island, however passengers can also park on the Palasades (however parking on here is pretty expensive)! The station is in walking distance from both Snow Hill and Moor Street train sations for connecting services either towards London Marylebone, Stourbridge and Kidderminster or in the opposite direction to Solihull and onwards to Warwickshire.

            Within the train station there are many food and drink shops such as M&S food, Burger King, and Pret A Manger, as well as WH Smiths, a Card Store and even a Pub! There are also vending machines along the platforms.

            The train station can be a little daunting due to its size, however it is very clearly signposted to each platform, and there are TV screens all around the station showing departures and arrivals. There are always plenty of staff around to ask for directions if you get lost!

            Tickets are checked as you go in and out of the station so make sure you do have a ticket, or you are automatically fined.

            Also something else to note you have to pay to use the toilet in the station so make sure you have a spare 20p, if you cant wait to go on the train!

            There is a taxi rank located right outside the main entrance, as well as the back entrance and there is always a taxi available. Most bus stations are also a couple of minutes walk away.

            Birmingham New Street overall serves its purpose as a major train station, a little outdated however hopefully you wont be spending that long there to care!

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            30.07.2010 18:18
            Very helpful
            (Rating)

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Modern stylish city centre hotel

            Roomzzz in Manchester is a new and up and coming hotel. Situated in both Manchester and Leeds, its a modern appartment style hotel.

            The key features in the hotels are: Apple Mac in every room, Pantry, free wi-fi broadband internet, local and national calls, 24-hour concierge, housekeeping, fully fitted kitchen, luxury pocket-sprung memory foam bed and Off-siteCar parking.

            The hotel is located in China Town, and is housed in a Grade II listed cotton warehouse. The rooms are a contemporary style and consists of 48 individual apartments to choose from - from compact studios to spacious suites. Each one is fully fitted for daily life, and each consists of a fully equiped kitchen, with everything from a microwave, cooker, fridge freezer to a dishwasher! There is a small dining table in the kitchen area. The bathroom is magnificant, and in my room I had a TV over the bath which was wonderful, along with a walk in rainfall shower.

            The bed itself was sooo comfy, with its memory foam matress and pillows. There was also a large flat screen TV with built in freeview, along with an Apple Mac hidden under the desk. There was a chanderlier in the room which was beautiful! The colours of the room were black, hot pink, and aqua and it really complemented the room and it looked beautiful. The room was very modern and funky and great value for money.

            There was a pantry in the hotel reception which provided everything from soft drinks to ready meals to pizzas and chips. For breakfast the hotel provided fresh pastries and fruit, as well as hot drinks which could be taken away or back to your room.

            My only complaint about this hotel was the noise, you could hear alot of noise from the street as the hotel is located near the main road, and also the walls are very thin. We had a very noisey couple in the room next door, and when I say you could hear everything you really could, and getting woken up at 5am to hear those noises is not very amusing!! We had to call to reception to make a complaint as the couple next door did not have any consideration for the other guests, and also played the music really loud all night.

            However as for the hotel there are really no complaints, just apart from the walls, if you get decent neighbours you will be fine! The location is really good and was about 10minute walk into the city centre.

            It is definatly worth a stay in this hotel, due to its modern and refreshing rooms and very friendly staff.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments