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Member since: 04.02.2011

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    • More +
      09.02.2012 10:40
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      A bit of something to suit everyone's tastes

      Red Hot World Buffet is a growing chain of all-you-can-eat style buffet restaurants boasting dishes from all over the world. There are currently branches in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Nottingham and Cardiff.
      here is their website address: http://www.redhot-worldbuffet.com/

      I have been to Red Hot several times. When I first discovered it I was overjoyed and felt I had to spread the love and introduce all my family and friends to it. However, the more I go the more the novelty wears off unfortunately.

      <b>The building:</b>
      Address: The Light, 44-48 The Headrow, Leeds LS1 8TL Tel: 0113 2440400.
      The restaurant is situated in a very central location in Leeds as part of The Light complex, so if like me you don't live in Leeds its easy to walk to from the train station (about 10 mins for me with little legs!)
      Opening times are as follows:
      Mon - Thurs 12:00 - 16:00 for lunch and 16:00 - 22:30 for dinner
      Fri & Sat - 12:00 - 16:00 lunch and 16:00 - 23:00 dinner
      Sun - 12:00 - 16:00 and 16:00 - 22:30

      It costs £8.49 per person for lunch during the week and £9.99 for lunch at weekends.
      It is more expensive for dinner because they have more food available - £12.99 Sunday through to Thursday and £14.99 Fridays and Saturdays.

      When you first walk in you find yourself in a bar which is modern looking, with deep coloured walls and benches all around. Walking past the reception however you find yourself walking down some stairs and through a mock aeroplane complete with aircraft windows!
      When you reach the dining area it is absolutely huge! It has been divided into different sections, each with decor from a different part of the world. If a little tacky, I do actually quite like it!!
      The room where you get your food is organised so that you can walk around either from left to right or from right to left and go past everything on offer. There are plates stacked up at the entrance for you to take.

      <b>The Food</b>
      You will be able to look on the website for an exact list of the foods on their menu but I will tell you what I have seen.
      When you first walk in if you turn to the left you go past a whole host of starter type dishes including various salads, canapes, breads and olives. Then you get to a selection of Indian dishes with all different curries and side dishes. After that there is a pizzeria with 3 or 4 different freshly baked pizzas, followed by a live pasta station where you can ask for a chef to cook you a pasta dish and you can choose from a range of pastas and a range of sauces, which you get in a little portion, so don't worry that it will fill you up and prevent you from trying all the other wonderful things on offer!
      Next there is a Tex-Mex style section with chicken wings, burgers and corn on the cob being cooked and constantly replenished. Around the edge of the counter there are all sorts of dips and sauces too. A bit further on are the Teppanyaki and Chinese stir fry live cooking stations, and then the last stretch of the circle is dedicated to Chinese dishes. Now that is not all!! In the middle of all this is a potato counter doing all kinds of potato's and fillings for Jacket potatoes and there is also an ice cream station and a huge display of miniature desserts. Somewhere in among all that they have also got huge containers with shepherds pie and broccoli and cheese for those that prefer 'English food'!

      I am a bit of a food snob to be honest, and before I went I had low expectations because I have been to so many all you can eat buffets where the quality of the food has been lacking. However I was very pleasantly surprised. Everything is so fresh and the flavours are awesome. If they run out of something you don't have to wait long before it gets replenished. I was also impressed with their idea of putting some things in small portions so that you can try lots of different things. If you like something a lot you just get more than one! The one criticism I have is that the food there does make me quite bloated but maybe that's because I end up eating more than usual when I am there!!

      <b>The atmosphere</b>
      Red Hot gets VERY busy. I think this is what has started to put me off going in a way because it sometimes feels like you are being pushed and shoved from the moment you walk in. Despite booking a table once I was told I had to queue up in this massive line up of people who had walked in way after me. Then another time I found out I could by-pass the queue because I had booked!! I think they seriously need to improve their entry system.
      Also when you are eating you feel like you need to hurry in order to free up the table. They do tell you when you sit down what time you can have the table until, and in my experience it is usually 2 hours. However the whole atmosphere tends to make you feel rushed. Plus when you are walking around the food area you are constantly aware that someone wants to get to the food you are at so it can be quite off-putting. At times there have been big queues for certain things that I have given up waiting. The other point I have to make is that if you have been shopping in Leeds and you have bags with you, you tend to have to leave someone to guard the table while you go up for your food! This means that within a group everyone is eating at different times and you can't really enjoy each others company. Maybe they should get some lockers!!

      <b>The Staff</b>
      The bar staff can be hit and miss. I have had a bad experience where I was ignored for ages and another where the barman didn't know how to make a Margarita on the rocks and made me feel like a fool! However that situation was resolved and I did receive an apology and a decent drink in the end!
      The reception staff need to be more clear about the rules on entering as it can get quite hectic with people pushing all over the place to enter the restaurant. The restaurant staff are brilliant. They are prompt with drinks requests and there are lots of them about. They are also very polite. I once took my mother in-law and she kept leaving loads on her plate and going up for more and I thought we might get told off but they simply took the plate away and didn't make us feel bad at all.

      Anyway that is quite enough of that. Thanks for reading and I would definitely recommend going even if just once!

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    • HTC Wildfire S / Smartphone / 16 Readings / 14 Ratings
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      08.02.2012 15:20
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      I personally think it is one of the best phones on the market

      The Wildfire or Wildfire S is a mobile phone made by HTC. It is a "smart" phone because it is built on a mobile computing platform i.e: it has lots of computing functions including internet and email. The Wildfire is an Android phone, which I have had before and really like because you can get lots of applications for free from the Android market.

      I got my handset free as part of my contract but I believe they sell for about £120 (according to Google's shopping search engine!)
      I chose it because it seemed to me to be as close as I could get to an I-phone without costing as much!

      Ease of use:
      The phone operates with a touch screen which to be honest doesn't always work. It can be really annoying when I can't answer the phone when someone is ringing me. Sometimes I have to take the battery out to reboot it in order to resolve the problem. Generally speaking as well I find texting using a touch screen quite laborious as it is easy to touch the wrong letter by mistake.

      When you slide your finger left you get a "friend" screen which shows you updates from your facebook or Twitter if you have linked it. ( When you first get the phone there are prompts to help you set this up).
      Scroll left again and you get the last text you received. You can slide your finger up and it will scroll through all the texts. If you want to go into it just tap it.
      If you scroll right from the home screen you get the "people" screen which is your contacts, and scroll right again to get to the MP3 player. You can also get to these by touching the square shaped button next to the phone button to get to all apps, so all in all very easy to navigate around.
      As with most smart phones you can also put shortcuts to any of the applications you have downloaded on your home screen for ease of access.

      Features:
      It has a 5 mega pixel camera with flash that is actually really good.
      Having a decent MP3 player on the phone is a real bonus for me. It comes with head phones which you can listen to the radio on as well.
      Another really good thing about it is the portable Wi-Fi hotspot facility. This allows you to use your phone's mobile network to get onto the internet on your PC. I sometimes use it when I am a passenger in the car. My partner has that on his phone but it is not nearly as fast as my phone's connection.
      You can set the phone up so that during a call if you flip the phone over it goes onto loud speaker which is pretty handy.
      There is also a setting whereby when your phone is ringing, it gets quieter once you lift it in your hand.

      Battery Life:
      The battery life varies according to what apps you are using. On a typical day I only have Wi-Fi activated and my phone then only needs charging every couple of days. However if I switch blue tooth on or connect to the mobile internet it needs charging every day.

      Memory:
      There is apparently 512MB memory capacity, but I once got alerted that my memory was full when I hardly had anything on it. I saw on some forums that this is a common problem. My way round it was to restore the factory settings and start again which did the trick.

      Phone safety:
      I have a phone lock set up with a pin code. You can choose not to have one or you can choose to draw a shape or write a word instead. You can also set it to activate after 5 mins of inactivity or however long you choose.
      I recommend getting virus protection if you are going to use the internet. There are free apps available to download.

      Personalizing your phone:
      You can tailor the phone's appearance and themes very easily which I love. On the home screen there is an icon of an artists's easel and paintbrush, and if you tap it it brings up the Personalize" menu, and from there you can choose a scene and a widget from a small range. I have a lovely purple hearts theme and a large clock and weather widget which updates with the weather regularly when my phone is connected to the internet.
      The phone comes with a selection of ringtones but I like to download new ones. You can also assign different ringtones to each of your contacts if you want to be able to distinguish between your callers.

      Marks out of 10 as follows:
      Phone's appearance: 8/10
      Ease of use: 9/10
      Battery Life: 8/10
      Reliability: 7/10
      fun factor: 10/10

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      • Aqueous Cream / Skin Care / 13 Readings / 13 Ratings
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        08.02.2012 13:34
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        I love it!

        If you are in a hurry, scroll down for a summary in bullet points. If you want to know my opinion on Aqueous cream, read on...

        I have extremely dry skin and what's worse is that I am sensitive to perfumed products.
        I spent years going through all the typical creams one can find in supermarkets and chemists, and found that they either irritated my skin, didn't sink in properly or sank in too quickly and felt like I hadn't even used anything.
        I was working in a chemist when I discovered Aqueous cream. The only reason I found it existed is because someone asked for it directly and a colleague got some out of a hidden drawer!!
        This stuff is very rarely on the shelves for you to see, which is why I feel it is important to promote it in this review.

        A large 500ml tub of aqueous cream is about £4 - £5 on average and can be obtained from most chemists in England. You can also get smaller amounts in tubes in some places.
        I think you will agree that is very cheap.

        It is quite a thick white cream and smells very faintly of paraffin, which is one of its ingredients. Other than that it doesn't have any perfume in it.

        You can apply the cream directly to the skin like a moisturizer or you can use it instead of soap when washing yourself.

        I like to use it on my hands only, which are very dry and cracked. I find it works best if I put absolutely loads on and let it sink in for a few mins. This seems to keep my hands soft for a few hours even if I wash them. It leaves a very slight amount of greasiness on the skin but not as much as lots of other creams do. It also doesn't sting when it goes into a cut like some other creams do.
        The 500ml tub usually lasts me about a year!!

        In summary:
        - Very cheap to buy
        - Unperfumed
        - Available in most chemists
        - very effective for treating dry skin / contact dermatitis / eczema
        - Only leaves a very slight greasy residue on the skin
        - Can be used instead of soap
        - keeps skin moist for hours

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      • More +
        07.02.2011 16:05
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        An enjoyable stay at amazing value

        Botley Park is part of the Macdonald Hotel group and is located about 20 minutes drive away from Southampton.
        We booked last minute as my partner found a good deal on the Superbreak website for 2 nights bed and breakfast with evening meal on the first night - all for just under £100.

        This was my first experience of a Macdonald Hotel.
        I was slightly annoyed when we received a call from Superbreak whilst in the car on the way to say that the double room we had booked was not available and we had to have a twin instead. Something to do with the computer system apparently. We rang Botley Park but they really did only have twin room left so we were stuck with that.

        First impressions of the hotel from the outside were quite positive. It is located off a main road which is not too busy and as you drive in it looks quite pleasant with a few trees and some grass. Being a golf club means there is plenty of greenery in general.
        There was not a huge amount of parking spaces but we did manage to get parked so not a problem.

        The reception area was very nice and had a view of the indoor swimming pool.
        Check-in was handled efficiently by a very polite gentleman.

        There was no porter service to help with our cases, but personally that is not hugely important, particularly for the price we paid.

        Our room was a basic room, nicely decorated and in good condition, although the bed spreads were faded and did not match on the two single beds which I thought was a bit poor.
        There was a table with two chairs.
        We had a lovely view out of our window, looking out onto the golf course quite close to the sports bar. Although there were a few people outside, the windows were pretty sound proof when closed.
        There was a basic TV and the usual tea/coffee/hot chocolate/small packet of biscuits.

        The best part for me was the service in the restaurant and the food. We were told at the time of checking in that we were allowed up to £30 each from the menu as part of our "free" dinner. We were both really impressed with that.
        The waiter staff were superb. A young man told us what the menu was without needing to read it, and there was quite a lot of very sophisticated things on offer.
        I had smoked haddock risotto to start which was delicious. We were also offered freshly made bread rolls which were seriously wonderful!
        We both had rib eye steak for main and it was cooked exactly as ordered with a good range of accompaniments. I wanted a desert but managed to refrain for dietary reasons!! I made up in calories by drinking quite a lot of red wine, which was the cheapest full-bodied red they had (Shiraz) but it was very good.

        The breakfast was also one of the best I have ever had, and I think I am pretty well experienced at eating hotel breakfasts!!
        There was everything you could want in terms of traditional cooked English breakfast. The selection of fruit was very good, as well as juices and cereals and even meats, cheeses and pastries.

        The only negative thing I have to say is that the restaurant seemed very dark and a bit closed in.

        On the second night we ate a picnic from the nearby Marks and Spencer!! We also went and sat outside the sports bar at the tables overlooking the golf course, which was really relaxing.

        The swimming pool was nice and clean and a decent size for a hotel pool. The sauna and steam room were ok too.

        We visited Portsmouth while we were there (it was about 45 minutes in the car) and I only wish it had been closer as we would have liked to have had a drink, but you can't have everything!

        I would go there again, no question, and I would recommend it to those looking for a good value relaxing short break with good food.

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      • More +
        07.02.2011 13:48
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        if you can find the features of this phone in a more reliable handset you will be onto a winner!

        I am writing this review from a "non-techy" perspective!

        It is very easy to go to a search engine in order to gain access to the full specifications of this product, so I would advise you to do that if that's the kind of information you are after.
        My review is about what the phone is like to own and use from a qualitative perspective, and I will try to give as balanced a view as possible.
        If you don't have time to read the full content of this review I have summarised they key pro's and con's at the bottom.

        - What made me choose this phone?
        I am a 3 customer and wanted a free upgrade whilst remaining on the same price plan, therefore my search was limited to a few products, this being one of them.
        Out of the products available to me I was looking for as close to an i-phone as I could get, and this seemed to be it. (It was April 2010 at the time).
        I did look at comparisons against other phones in terms of battery life, camera quality and reliability, but to be honest being the girl that I am it was the phone's appearance that won me over!! I chose the white version and I really like the look of it! I also wanted a decent MP3 facility as I do not own a separate MP3 player.

        -How I got on with the handset:
        I read all the booklets provided as soon as I got the phone, and although I recommend doing this, they do not tell you everything you need to know. I find that I am still finding things out purely through trial and error.
        I was particularly frustrated by the fact that I didn't know how to check the report status of messages I had sent. I have since learned that a whole menu pops up if you press and hold on the text you want to view!! This menu gives you the option to "lock message", "forward", "copy message text", "view message details", "delete message", "view report".
        In terms of typing words with it, I also find that my fingers are seemingly too fat for the individual tiles and I accidentally select the letter next to the one I actually want quite often. I do use the predictive text facility and I personally find this helps with this problem in most cases though not all.
        Navigating around the phone is quite easy with the help of key icons. there is a switchers icon that allows you to turn GPS / WIFI / Bluetooth / Auto sync on and off very quickly and easily, which is brill given that you don't always want to be connected to the internet plus these features drain the phone's battery much quicker.
        In relation to the battery, I find it lasts a good amount of time in-between charges (approx 2-3 days of having the phone switched on all the time, except when it crashes of course!)
        Beware though that when it gets down to the last bit of green it is only about half an hour away from going red and switching off!!

        -Reliability of phone:
        To be honest this is is not a very reliable phone. My Dad and step-mum also have the same phone and they have similar problems as me. It keeps freezing and/or shutting down randomly.
        It has a mind of its own and apparently a sleep regime of its own too!!
        It happens all to often when I am in the middle of a telephone conversation and I notice it has gone silent. I look at my phone and it appears I am still connected to the call but I can't hear them. This sometimes results in the phone shutting itself down and re-booting, but sometimes I have to take the battery out and switch it back on again. MOST ANNOYING!! - particularly if it is an important telephone call. As I don't bother using my home phone ( I don't even know the number) I rely heavily on my mobile, and I have to say this phone is not very reliable. In fact I have just looked at my phone now and it has turned itself off while I was writing this review haha!

        -entertainment value:
        The Android Market is full of downloadable app's and lots of them are free. I have a few games like Mahjongg and gem miner which come in handy when bored waiting for the train etc. Because of the Android, the phone does not come with any games installed when you first get it.
        There are lots of free backgrounds and ring tones to choose from as well which I like.
        One downside is that sometimes I can't get into the Android Market as it comes up saying "a network error occurred". I have not managed to figure out why this is yet.
        I like the MP3 player on it and the sound quality is good when listening with the earphones.
        Its also good for using social network sites when away from my laptop.
        In summary, there is so much to choose from from an entertainment perspective.

        Summary of advantages:
        - looks nice!
        - slim
        - Android Market is full of stuff plus free applications available including Google maps
        - battery life is good
        - MP3 player is very good and the phone comes with decent, comfy earphones.
        - good as an alarm clock and for reminders
        - good for watching BBC i player - the picture is really quite good
        - there is lots of space to store various numbers and addresses for each of your contacts

        Summary of disadvantages:
        - the help manual is not brilliant
        - phone freezes and crashes a lot (mostly every day at least once)
        - Despite pressing the key pad lock my face presses icons when I am talking on the phone and the person at the other end can hear me pressing buttons!!
        - I get a network error message quite often when trying to access the Android Market.
        - Calendar function is not particularly great
        - camera does have an inbuilt flash but it is not brilliant
        - there is no facility to block specific numbers

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      • Pets at Home / Highstreet Shopping / 8 Readings / 7 Ratings
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        06.02.2011 23:35
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        I had a good experience

        This review is based on my own personal experience of buying a rabbit from a Pets at Home store in York.

        I go into the store quite regularly just to have a look at the animals.
        I had never had a pet before and I didn't know if I would want the responsibility of having one but I liked to go and look occasionally!
        One day I went in and saw the most gorgeous black fluffy faced rabbit that I had to ask the staff for more information.
        A young looking female member of staff spent a good 10-15 minutes telling me about rabbits and how to care for them. She seemed very knowledgeable about them and was able to answer all my questions.
        She told me that this particular rabbit was 8 weeks old and explained it's breed and that it was a dwarf which meant it would remain quite small even when it reached adulthood. I wanted to know if the rabbit was a he or a she and she was able to look and tell me. I asked if it was possible to keep the rabbit indoors and she told me that it was, and showed me a range of cages that would provide suitable homes.
        When I felt I had enough information and I decided that I would buy the rabbit, the assistant showed me the basic items I would need including cage / water bottle / food bowl / dry food pellets / hay / wood chippings / litter tray. There was an offer on for some of the items at a reduced rate when bought together and so I was able to take advantage of this with her help.
        I also bought a couple of non-essential toy items, but I was not placed under any pressure to buy these.
        All in all I paid approximately £100 for a pet rabbit and everything I needed to set up a lovely cosy home for it.
        I was also given a loyalty card* which you get stamped for every £10 spent, and when the card is full you get money off your next purchase.
        Because my car was full of shopping I was not in a position to take my items immediately. The assistant gained agreement from a senior colleague to place my new rabbit in the back of the shop while I went home and emptied the car. I thought this was very helpful, as otherwise someone else might have tried to buy her before I got back!

        Since having the rabbit, I have read some frightening reviews about Pets at Home and how the animals are thought to be treated in terms of breeding conditions / transportation and whilst in Pets at Home stores. I also read that a lot of the rabbits have health problems that are not treated by the company and therefore people buy seemingly healthy animals only to find that they become ill or even die a few days after taking them home.
        Our rabbit did develop conjunctivitis after a week or so, but the vet said it is common in rabbits because they can get hay in their eyes or sometimes their tear ducts get blocked. She was given treatment and after a few days was well again. We have had her a good few months now and fortunately she has been healthy ever since. She is also a very happy and contented animal most of the time so I do not see any evidence of her having been mistreated.

        I realise that I have no idea exactly where in the country my pet comes from or what her parents/siblings looked like, and that is a shame. For that reason buying a rabbit from a chain store is not the best. I have also been told that you can get rabbits cheaper or even free if you know where to look. I didn't know where to look, and I have to say I think my lovely pet was worth the £28 I paid!!

        I am now preparing to purchase a friend for my rabbit and although I am exploring independent breeders, if I see a rabbit I like in Pets at Home I would buy one from them again.

        * After reading a comment about the "loyalty" card I mentioned, I thought I had better provide more details. It is a cardboard card called a "reward card" (sorry for the error before - next time I won't be so lazy and will go downstairs and get the item I am referring to).
        This reward card has 10 white circles on and each time you spend £10 or more in the store you get a paw print stamp. When you have 10 stamps you can cash the card in and get 10% off your next purchase.

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        • More +
          06.02.2011 16:23
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          Look around at other restaurants before deciding where to eat in York!

          I am a big lover of Italian food and had wanted to try Piccolino's for ages, particularly because it is situated in an ideal spot next to the Ouse Bridge in the centre of York and looks really trendy and inviting.

          Pre-visit:
          I looked on the website before booking (http://www.piccolinorestaurants.co.uk/york.html)
          and found that you can download a range of menus in PDF format eg; food/ wine / valentines...
          I did not have Adobe on my laptop but it provided a link so that I was able to install it free of charge and very quickly.
          I was really impressed with the range of foods on offer for both starter and main courses, there was lots to suit different tastes and it catered well for vegetarians.
          I liked the way all the prices were included so that I had a good idea of how much cash I needed to take with me, because I was going with friends and needed to be able to pay my share.

          There is the facility to book your table on-line, but I just used the old fashioned way and telephoned! The gentleman that answered the phone had a friendly Italian accent and was able to offer me a table for 4 at the prime time of 8pm on a Saturday evening. (I had rang on the Thursday morning before).

          At the time of visit:
          We arrived at the restaurant 10 minutes late thanks to the flood defence barrier being in place in anticipation of the river flooding, which meant we had to walk the long way around. I don't know if that caused us to lose our sitting but we had about a fifteen minute wait before our table was ready.
          The restaurant was completely full and quite noisy. The staff were literally whizzing around everywhere and when I went to the loo I nearly got knocked over by a busy waiter! (by the way the ladies toilets were nice and clean!)
          We were asked a bit too soon what we wanted to eat, so we asked for more time.
          When the waiter came back to take our order he was a little sharp with my friend because she pointed to what she wanted from the menu rather than pronouncing it. I thought that was a little rude of him but we reasoned that he was extremely busy.
          We ordered a garlic and tomato bread to share as a starter (between 3 as one person couldn't come) and were each given a small plate, and the bread was served on a neat serving rack in the middle of the table. There was a fairly good quality extra virgin Olive Oil already on the table as well as some balsamic vinegar which I thought was a nice touch.

          After finishing our starter we waited about 45 minutes before we asked where our main courses were. They came about 30 seconds after we asked! One person ordered the Calzone, another ordered Beef and mushroom Ragu and I ordered chargrilled chicken and vegetable pasta. We also asked for a side of salad to share.
          The Calzone was apparently quite nice if a little bit spicy, but the Ragu and my chicken pasta were not very good at all. The beef ragu had one piece of beef in it and it was basically a lump of fat. My chicken had been chargrilled to within an inch of its life and all I could taste was char!
          When the waiter came to ask if everything was ok with our meals, my friend with the Calzone pointed out that hers was ok but ours weren't. The waiter was again a little snappy when he asked what was wrong, but after we explained he did offer to take them back and make fresh, which we both accepted.
          When the new plates were brought to us I instantly saw an improvement in the colour of the chicken, and my friend was given a decent amount of leaner looking meat with his Ragu. Despite being a little agitated by the whole thing, I did actually enjoy my meal in the end! There was a decent amount of chicken with broccoli, mange-taut and carrot. Unfortunately we lost the salad that we had put on our plates before though!

          When the waiter brought the desert menus he explained we could have any desert or coffee to make up for the earlier problems.

          Overall opinion:
          I have mixed feelings about my experience at this restaurant. I was disappointed that it did not live up to expectations, however the staff did make a real effort to correct their mistakes.
          I think if I were to go back it would not be during a quieter time when the staff were not so rushed. However there are so many other restaurants in York that are far superior that I doubt I will.

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        • More +
          04.02.2011 21:06
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          good quality perfume for every day wear

          I am quite fussy about the perfume I wear during the day, as I worry it may be overpowering and get up other people's noses (pardon the pun!). This perfume has a lovely delicate scent, yet makes me feel suitably fragrant all day long.

          I recommend testing it when you have an untainted nose, meaning you have not sniffed any others immediately before, otherwise you won't appreciate the delicate infusion.
          Despite being quite a "pure" scent as the name suggests, it does have a certain depth and you can detect slightly different elements to it as the day wears on.

          I bought mine on holiday, taking advantage of the fact that it was tax free. Now I have gotten used to it, I will definitely buy more when this bottle runs out despite the price, as I absolutely love it.
          I have looked it up on the internet and you can get it in the UK for less than £30 if you use a search engine.

          I love the bottle too. It is in the shape of a tear drop and looks very classic on my dressing table.

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        • Glacéau Vitamin Water / Soft Drink / 8 Readings / 6 Ratings
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          04.02.2011 19:11

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          not nice

          I bought this when I was really thirsty from walking around the shops in town. I went into an upmarket coffee shop and thought that this looked like a nice refreshing drink with the added benefit of being healthy.
          Not so. As soon as I took a gulp it felt like my throat had seized up!!
          I bought the "Spark" flavour (tropical citrus, b + Guarana). It states it contains a blend of spring water, fructose, sugar, citric acid, vitamins (C, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, B12), flavourings (including caffeine), stabilisers (acacia gum, glycerol esters of wood rosins), guarana extract, colour (beta carotene).
          So how does it taste?
          You experience a second of orangy-peachiness, but then about 5 minutes of dry, sour discomfort to pay the price.
          I kept on going back to it, thinking that it couldn't be as bad as I'd first thought, but I am sorry to say that it was. I couldn't finish it and felt more thirsty than ever.

          It's great that you can buy vitamins in a liquid form such as this, but I think it would be more approprate to be sold in a health food shop rather than in a coffee shop for people wanting a nice refreshing drink.

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        • Breville VKJ318 Hot Cup / Kettle / 9 Readings / 6 Ratings
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          04.02.2011 18:53
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          • "Ease of use"

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          the advantages outweigh the disadvantages when compared to an ordinary kettle

          The Breville Hot Cup 2L version is a hot water dispenser with variable settings for the amount of water needed at any one time.

          Price paid: £60.00

          We bought this after trying the cheaper 1.5L version as we found that to be completely unusable due to the fact that there is only one volume setting, which was too much for a cup yet too little for a mug.
          The Hot cup 2L has an adjustable volume setting which makes it much more versatile and user-friendly.

          The machine is very simple and easy to use. It has a pop up lid where you pour in water to the maximum level. It sits on a base connected to the mains. When you push the boil button, a separate chamber fills up with the right amount of water according to your chosen setting.
          This model is useful with the addition of the cup size dial, and you quickly get used to knowing what setting it should be on for the different vessels you want to fill. If you do happen to put the setting on for more water than you actually need, there is a stop button you can press which immediately cuts off the water as it is coming out of the spout. If you are not in a position to press the stop button there is a tray to catch excess water (this will need emptying from time to time). It is exceedingly fast compared to your average ordinary kettle. It takes about 50 seconds to boil enough for a large mug.

          We use our hot cup for cooking as well as making cups of tea and coffee, so we simply place a plastic measuring jug underneath the spout and it takes about 3 goes to fill when on the highest setting, which we then pour into our pan of pasta or whatever we happen to be cooking.

          We like the design, as it is sleek and modern looking. I love the fact that it lights up blue when you turn it on to boil. It would be better if you could choose from a range of colours though!

          It is easy to refill by taking the jug and filling under the tap, although our lid mechanism stopped closing properly after only a couple of weeks. It still works ok but it has caused me to think that the product is not of the best quality.

          In terms of safety, it is an ingenious innovation.
          It would suit someone with arthritic wrists or visual impairment because the water pours straight down into the cup requiring no heavy lifting and little chance of placing the cup in the wrong position.
          Also it only boils specific amounts of water at a time so immediately after boiling the rest of the water in the bigger compartment is completely cold removing the risk of someone scolding themselves if they knock it off the side.

          Overall I think they are worth the expense, just make sure you keep the receipt in case your lid breaks!

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          • The Snowman - Jo Nesbo / Fiction Book / 12 Readings / 9 Ratings
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            04.02.2011 18:24

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            Excellent read

            I came across this book in a very unexpected place. We were on holiday in Lanzarote and after reading the first chapter of the book I had packed, I realised I had already read it!!
            I was left bereft as there is nothing I love more than reading a good book lying on the beach on a hot sunny day!
            I looked around the local gift shops but the books were all either written in Spanish or of the Mills and Boon type, and I did not have enough time to learn Spanish and romance novels are not my thing.

            I had all but given up when we went for a meal in an Irish bar, only to discover that they had a book sharing corner! At first glance, I almost reconsidered getting a Spanish tutor, but when I read the back of the most tatty, dog eared book of them all I instantly saw how "The Snowman" had something special about it.

            The story was instantly gripping, and I was surprised at how the events of the first few pages were so powerful to remain in my mind while the rest of the story took hold.
            There was a good amount of character description to feel connected to them and to feel the adrenaline rush when they were being hunted down.
            The snowman theme that ran through it was original and fresh. I found myself speed reading to find out what happened next, and staying awake well into the early hours of the morning, despite knowing that if I finished it before the end of the holiday I was not going to find much else worth reading!
            The theories I formulated about who the murderer was and how he/she was going to get caught kept on changing, and I really enjoyed the journey this book took me on.

            Check this book out as long as you can handle a bit of gore!

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          • Schweppes Lemonade / Soft Drink / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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            04.02.2011 17:52

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            Mmmmmmm

            I am a self confessed Lemonade-aholic and although I enjoy other brands, this is by far the best I have ever tried, and I have got my fiance hooked on it too!
            It has just the right amount of fizz and the lemon flavour is neither unnatural or too sweet. It is at it's best when it has been chilled, and goes well with lime cordial or orange juice.
            An added bonus is that it is almost always on a multi-buy offer in all the major supermarkets so it doesn't need to cost more money than cheaper brands if you buy in this way. ( I got 2 bottles for £2 today when it is normally approx £1.33 per bottle).
            For me, the taste is superior to the sugar-free version although I am always careful to brush my teeth afterwards! My fiance on the other hand has a bottle next to the bed and I often catch him happily swigging from it in the middle of the night!!

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