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My partner and myself travelled to this hotel from Birmingham airport with Thomas Cook in August last year, we were looking forward to a relaxed break and that is definitely what we got.
The transfer to the hotel is only about twenty minutes from Hurghada airport, which is long enough in the scorching heat, it was 41 degrees one day while we were there. As you pull up on the coach you drive through Hurghada itself, it looks very run down and dilapidated, we began to panic about what the hotel would be like, but we needn't have worried. We pulled up through this dramatic archway, which pulled into a large courtyard at the front of the hotel, it looked very big but very beautiful.
The inside of the hotel was even grander, the whole reception area/ bar area was huge, lots of seating to enjoy a drink in the evening. The reception staff were very quick, helpful and professional on checking in, there are even bus boys who carry your baggage to your room for you, that's if you can find your room that late at night.
We were not in the main hotel complex itself we were in one of the smaller apartment complexes further down towards the beach, we weren't complaining however as the view was beautiful, the walk to the main hotel complex however was very far and in the heat it was tiring. One problem with Egypt however is that the workers expect to be tipped for everything, bringing your towels to your room, showing you your room, cleaning your room, which the latter I do understand.
The hotel itself is all inclusive and you get a wrist band to show the staff whether you are entitled to the specific service you require. The hotel had many bar areas serving all sorts of drinks, beers, spirits and soft drinks, free of charge, although sometimes it was too hot to drink alcohol. They also had two main dining rooms which used to get very full and busy in the morning and evening, and throughout the day they had various food outlets close to the pool and beach which served the usual food such as burgers and hot dogs, salads and ice creams. At different times of the day they also served snacks such as pancakes, these stands were always very busy and usually the queue stretched for 50m or more. One of the bars near the main hotel also served shisha, with various different flavours, all of which tasted very good.
The pool area was always very busy, it was hard to get a sunbed, so myself and my partner decided to go to the beach everyday, this was so much better, so much easier to get a sunbed, a lot quieter and a lot more beautiful, the view was fantastic, it was also a private beach so outsiders could not come across. However one downside to the beach is that staff who work in the hotels shops do pester you to buy things, such as hair braids, boat trips, spa treatments and meals in the private restaurants. One night we did go to one of these restaurants and the food was beautiful. The restaurant was called the Sea Star, it was a seafood night and offered, prawns, lobster, crab and it was all cooked well. It was served on a pier over the sea and it was very picturesque.
The food at the main hotel however was not catered towards British tourists, a lot more German. It was very continental, a lot different to what we are used too. They had potatoes for breakfast which I found very unusual, however there was a great selection of breads, which all tasted very nice, the evening meals also had a good selection of food which is important, it had tasty fish, lamb, beef and chicken dishes and a various array of different puddings. This is very important to me as I feel this is a huge factor as well as the drink that you pay for within the all inclusive price tag.
The hotel also had a few shops on site, which were also very expensive, this is because they know that tourists would rather stay on site and buy gifts, snacks and drinks rather than travel outside the walls of the hotel. The only time we ventured outside of the hotel was to get some money out of a cashpoint, which was ideal as it had an option which showed you your amount in GBP which was brilliant to keep track of your money. You could also get camel rides from just across the road from the hotel, the camels were large and very well looked after.
I don't tend to purchase these pizzas for myself, I buy them for my partner as he loves pizza, it is something quick and easy for him to throw in the oven when I am at work. I buy them at my local ASDA for two for £4 for the medium pizzas and individually £2.60, or if I am going to have a treat as well I will buy a big pizza for £3.50.
One downside to the create your own pizza counter is that it always has a very large queue, especially on weekend nights, Friday and Saturday. If you are in a rush you can grab one of the ready made pizzas in the front of the counter, this is for quickness, but this is only good if you require the flavours of pizza that are already made. They tend to be the basic flavours such as Hawaiian, pepperoni and margherita pizza.
At the create your own pizza counter you can choose between four bases, stonebaked, thin and crispy, deep pan and stuffed crust, which is excluded from the two for £4 deal. You can also choose between two sizes which are 10 inches and 14 inches, the 10 inch pizzas are the ones included in the two for £4 deal.
ASDA have also recently brought in a limited edition Garlic chicken pizza, which does not have the traditional tomato base, it has garlic sauce instead. ASDA are becoming more adventurous with their flavours of pizza, they have brought in American Sizzler, BBQ Steak, Chic-O-Rizo (chicken and chorizo) and chicken fajita. You can also choose to have your pizza half and half, which is limited to the large pizzas, this is a good idea so you do not have to buy two large pizzas.
Various toppings for the pizzas include, pepperoni, ham, ground beef, chicken, red onion, mushrooms, steak, jalepenos, peppers, tomatoes, sweetcorn, bacon, and of course cheese and pineapples.
You can choose any four of these toppings to go on your medium pizzas, which is included in the deal mentioned earlier. ASDA has also brought in the double decker pizzas, these were £5. They are one pizza on top, and one on the bottom separated by a layer of cheese, they were very good value for £5 although I never tried one, they looked huge.
Overall if I was looking for a tasty treat for a Friday night I would go to ASDA and buy a pizza, you get all the good quality food without the price of a premium pizza takeaway.
Okay, so I only really buy these little packets when I am on a diet and do not want to be too naughty. I buy them for 4 for a £1 from ASDA, you can buy them from all the other big supermarkets also, as well as being able to purchase big tubs of this hot chocolate. I personally don't drink enough of it to buy the big pot. You can find these little sachets down the same aisle in ASDA as tea and coffee.
These hot chocolate sachets are good when you are on a diet, this is because they do not contain a lot of fat or sugar, they are 0.9g fat in each sachet, very good on saturates. Recently I noticed that they had brought out some new flavours, sweet popcorn flavour and salted caramel flavour, the second of which I had tonight and really enjoyed it, it was really sweet and tasted just like caramel, without the calories! Other flavours are Belgian chocolate, chocolate praline, ginger, orange, mint, white chocolate and coconut. I have tried all but the ginger, as I do not like ginger at all, I would not enjoy the flavour, and coconut, although I do have one in the cupboard.
Each package has a colour scheme, they try to alternate the colours to match which ingredients are in the sachet, for instance the caramel one I had a was a gold colour and the coconut sachet has white flakes on the front. I enjoy the packaging for this product as they are bright blue and catch the eye, and they then have a brown layer which represents the chocolate and then the brighter colours represent the specific flavour of the sachet. The writing is a gold colour, which to me suggests sophistication and the point the product is trying to get across, a quality product with half the additives.
I like the fact that the packaging tells you how many calories are in the chocolate, this is good for people like me who are on a diet who want a quick tasty treat but do not want to do the number crunching on the back. You cannot really tell you are drinking a low fat product as the sweetness is there and it feels naughty, making you feel like you are not missing out. I would suggest the only way you can tell that Options is a low fat product is that once mixed with hot water the consistency of the hot chocolate is a bit watery and runny. Before my diet I tended to mix hot chocolate with milk, this would make the hot chocolate more creamy but for people on diets like myself water will have to do, however I do feel that this is the only downside of the product.
Overall I would definitely buy this product if you are calorie counting like myself, it is a little tasty treat to have every so often. You feel like you are having something naughty so it is perfect to have so you do not feel like you are missing out at all.
I bought the Jawbone up2 to help me to reach my diet and fitness goals. I am getting married next August and have 11 months to lose weight and look good in my dress. I got my product from Argos and it was £70. I do believe there are newer products like this out there but for me this was the most affordable.The packaging of the product is very stylish, it comes in a clear white box and you can see the product inside. You can get it in many colours but I chose black due to wearing it at work,on the packaging it says that one size fits all, I would think that this isn't the case as I have small wrists and there is only a small amount of the band left. The band has to fit snuggly around your wrist, so it can monitor you. To charge the device all you need is a USB port, plug the charger in and it should connect easily to the band as it is magnetic,line the strip on the charger up with the strip on the band and it should clip into place. The lights on the band light up one by one whilst charging and this process is repeated throughout charging until the device is fully charged. You can then connect the device to your wrist and that is ready to go. Next however you have to download the application onto your smartphone, I have the iPhone 6 and it downloaded easily, and the application is free to download. Once you have done this you need to pair up the band with your device, this is done by holding them close to each other and letting them synchronize, this takes less than a minute. Once this is done you have some questions to answer and goals to set, you need to write in your weight, height, set your sleep goal (how many hours per night), weight goal (how much you want to lose) and your step goal (how many steps you want to do each day), the device recommends 10,000 steps per day. When I am at work this is easily achievable as I am a care assistant and constantly on my feet. When I am off I find myself becoming obsessed and going for walks and doing extra trips upstairs just to get my steps up. I have achieved 10,000 for the past five days. The band also monitors your sleep, how long it takes you to fall asleep, whether you are having light or sound sleep and how many times you wake up. For example last night I was in bed for 10 hours 36 minutes, I had 4 hours 57 minutes of sound sleep, 4 hours 22 minutes of light sleep, I fell asleep after 20 minutes and woke up 3 times.The band also requires you to enter your food intake, you can scan the barcodes of some products and find they are already entered if not you can enter the nutritional information and it will be available for next time. According to the nutritional information the application will give you a score out of ten. You can enter all food and fluid intake, the score goes up the more hydrated you are as well. One downside to the application is that a lot of the food on it are American. The application monitors your calorie intake, burn and you can enter your weight loss progress along the way. The food app breaks each ingredient down to carbs, fat, salt, cholesterol, protein and fibre. It tells you what to eat and what to avoid. There is also a stop watch function to time your runs, this can be turned on by both the application and the band. Overall this has been a great buy for me, it has encouraged me to eat better, get moving and sleep better at night. I would recommend this product to anyone as it is a great motivator and the battery last at least a week when fully charged. Go buy a jawbone up2 it will make you want to succeed and change your whole lifestyle, I know I have done.
I bet you have never heard of Belford this is a small, quiet and picturesque village, it happens to be where I grew up and lived until I left for university 5 years ago, to be honest I miss the tranquillity and the quiet lifestyle that comes with living in a village. In all honesty Belford is a small village where tourists have their accommodation and then travel off on their adventures. It consists of three B&B's, one Hotel, some holiday cottages, barns and two caravan sites.
This village tends to be the centre point of all the small villages of North Northumberland. It is approximately 50 miles north of Newcastle Upon Tyne, 15 miles south of Berwick Upon Tweed and 16 miles north of Alnwick, where Alnwick castle is home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and the setting for Robin Hood Prince of theives and the great ballroom is used in Harry Potter as the setting for Hogwarts.
The village itself is a great exploring point and has many of the necessities you need for a great holiday, the local shops are a newsagents open from 6am until 4.30pm, it has recently gone under new management, I know this as I follow the owner on facebook, the wonders of social media. There is also a local Co-Op, where I used to work, this is open 7am until 10pm every day, you can get all your necessities, morning newspapers, as well as freshly baked bread and cakes every morning.
There is also a chip shop in my old little village called The Belford Chippie formerly The John Dory, the prices are reasonable considering it is in a tourist part of the world, last time I was visiting it was around £2.80 for a sausage and chips, you can also try the Scottish delicacy of haggis in batter at this chip shop, this is a must. It is run by a fun jolly man called George, he will welcome you with a smile and a joke, and his odd spellings of the food on offer on the menu board. The local post office is also open between the hours of 8am and 3.30pm, offering all the usual services, with a post box outside to send your postcards to loved ones.
There are also 5 watering holes in this small village, I know a lot for somewhere which only has around 2000 permanent residents, there is the Black Swan where I also used to work, offering a range of bar meals, spirits and local ales. The Salmon Inn, offering bar meals, ales and they also have a small Indian takeaway during high season, this however I have never tried. The Blue Bell Hotel offers rooms, meals of a more posh nature than that of the pubs, they do regular fund raisers, but you can also go here if you just fancy a quiet drink. The golf club in the village, as you can imagine is a golf course pavilion, bar and restaurant open all year round and open to non members, the course itself is a 9 hole golf course, overlooked by Belford Hall, now made into flats for tenants.
The Golf Club also does Karaoke, Pub Quizzes and has live football at the weekend. The main watering hole for most villagers is called The Belford Club, this establishment is run by my next door neighbour Jane, a funny and lively Scottish woman who will get you with her cheeky banter, she always does. This offers a downstairs lounge to drink and play darts or pool, or the upstairs dancefloor, which she regularly holds dances and discos, the last one I attended was at New Year 2 years ago, she keeps the place open till about 2am, it is a great party and the discos are done by the local man of many talents George the man from the chippy.
There is also a farm shop in Belford called SunnyHills, where you can get any range of free range goods, such as cheese, meat, eggs etc. There is also a childrens playground here as well as a café serving home made food, this is run by local farmer Robert Jackson. This is on the south entrance into Belford off the A1, a prime location for passing trade. There are also a couple of local shops which are of a particular interest, one with paitings and ornaments, clothes as well as a charity shop all going to the Belford trust. There is also a small museum giving people the history of Belford, I am afraid due to this just recently being opened I have not been due to attending University.
Okay so as I mentioned most tourists use Belford as a base and travel outwards, the closest most interesting small villages are those of Wooler, Bamburgh, Seahouses and Chillingham.
Okay so where to begin:
This is a small fishing village on the North Coast about 12 miles from Belford, this is your typical seaside village, you can go on small fishing boat tours to the Farne islands, a small range of islands starting about a mile from the coast, with two lighthouses, a small hut where St Cuthbert is said to have lived as a hermit, and you can find his beads up and down Northumberlands beautiful coast. However the most famous person to come from the Farne Islands is that of Grace Darling who set out on a rowing boat in treacherous seas to rescue seamen who had hit rocks and come intro trouble, she set out with her father to save the fishermen, you learn all of this on the trip, just be careful on the main island lighthouse as the terns like to remind you where you are and take a swerve at your heads especially if you have food, there are also puffins on the island.
Seahouses also has typical amusements, where you can spend your pennies and play various arcade games, this village is a lot more tourist centered, there is also a harbour you can walk along and watch the fishing boats come in. There are four chip shops in seahouses, two indian restaurants and one Chinese takeaway, the best chip shop I would recommend is Lewis's on main street, the best Indian is The Spice House and The Chinese Takeaway is beautiful and food is cooked really well. There is also a Co-Op if you require any drinks or snacks during your day out.
This small picturesque little village is located 7 miles from Belford and 3 miles from Seahouses, the focal point and feature of this village rising above everything else is the castle. It is rather prominent based at the foot of the village you can see it as you drive down the steep hill into bamburgh, built high up on a hill as defence from the Vikings it really is something very spectacular. It is open from 10am till 5pm between the 16th Feb to the 3rd Nov and weekends only 11am until 4.30pm 4th Nov until the 7th Feb. Admission is £9.75 for an adult and £4.25 for a child, which I think is extremely good value for such a historic place to visit.
There is parking at the castle which is limited but not to worry just at the bottom of the castle embankment is another car park, of which you have to pay, in summer the rates are very steep, if you are lucky you will get a car parking space on the main street of the village for free. It is said that the castle is haunted and I have heard many tales on especially of the pink lady, floating between the ceiling panels, and if you drive past at night it is said you can see knights standing upon the battlements keeping watch forever.
The beach is also easily accessible along a road half way down the main street of the village called The Wynding, this also leads to the Bamburgh Golf Club with its holes which span along the coastline, with its impeccable views. There are also many parking inlets along this road where if you are lucky you will get a space for the beach, if not you park along the road but be sure to turn your wing mirrors in because of how busy this little stretch of road gets. The lady I mentioned before Grace Darling her museum is also in Bamburgh, it has personal belongings and the actual famous boat which Grace rowed to rescue the seamen on the night I spoke about earlier, although very small it is always busy. It is open 10am - 4pm between 1st October and Easter Sunday, and between Easter Sunday and 30th September 10am - 5pm. Admission to this museum is free as it is run by the RNLI. Her tomb is also in the churchyard which is opposite this museum in the picturesque churchyard, you can visit the tomb which is like a large four poster bed. As you can see Bamburgh is definitely a small village steeped in history.
Now if you wish to stay here there are many caravan parks nearby, a hotel called The Queen Victoria, open all day for drinks, coffee and food. There is also a small tearoom in Bamburgh where I worked for 4 years, serving sandwiches, snacks, scones, cakes, cream teas, juices, and a famous seafood platter consisted of the famous crab caught in craster, about ten miles along the coast road. There are three small shops in bamburgh, a greengrocers selling mostly vegetables, known locally as Clarkys, a small village shop but as you can imagine it is very over priced and a small confectionary shop selling fudge, as well as a butchers, if you go in there try the sausage rolls, they are to die for, honestly.
Now Wooler is known as the gateway to the cheviots, a large hill range going through Northumberland offering walking holidays with plenty of paths the views are extraordinary. There is a specialist walk that you can go on in Wooler which centres at the base of the hills around a small duck pond, you have to be careful however as people walk their dogs and don't always tend to pick it up so watch you don't step into something nasty. There is one main pub in Wooler called The Wheatsheaf which is on the main street offering bar meals, ales from the county which always taste great. There is a great chip shop and Chinese takeaway, but by far the best food in Wooler is at a small restaurant situated behind The Black Bull Hotel, you go through an arch to the left of the hotel. The restaurant is called Milan, serving the finest Italian food, I have been on many occasions and I am never disappointed with the food or the service, have a visit here you will not be disappointed. For your groceries, as with most Northumberland villages there is a small Co-Op, open till 10pm for all your needs whilst on holiday.
* I have been told from one on my raters that wooler does have a museum in the cheviot centre...thanks :)
Finally a short paragraph about a small village located just about 5 miles from Wooler, the main attraction in this village is the castle, well it is the only attraction as well as the chillingham cattle. This castle is famous for its ghost hunts and ghost walks, mostly on Halloween. It is said to be one of the most haunted castles in England and it also featured on hit American TV series Ghost Hunters International. You are also able to stay here in specialist self catering apartments, would you be able to spend the night here? About two miles down the road is a small village called Chatton, where there is a great little pub offering all the finest foods, the sunday lunch is definitely the best here by far.
I hope I have given you a small insight into the world where I used to live, the small picturesque and historically interesting villages of North Northumberland, these are just a few to name but there are definitely more which are worth a look, you never know I might update this in the near future with more places to visit in the interesting county of Northumberland.
Myself and my partner went here last year on a last minute budget holiday from Cosmos/Monarch. We flew from Birmingham and from the moment we landed we just loved Greece. The twisty and turny roads from the airport to Sidari however made my partner feel a little sick as he suffers from travel sickness and the heat did not make it much better. I however was feeling great and was looking forward to my holiday.
I will say however do not travel with Cosmos, their service and organisation skills are lacking and the bus driver did not have a clue where the hotel was, we had to get the manager of another Cosmos hotel drive us to our accommodation, luckily he knew where this was. However after this farce and walking around for half an hour looking we decided we would not let the incapable travel company ruin our first holiday away together. As soon as we got there we couldn't wait to dump our bags and we headed out to have a drink and the first place we came across was a restaurant/bar with a beautiful sea view, what a way to start our holiday.
We stayed in the quieter Canal D'Amour area and hardly ventured into the main Sidari strip as we knew it would be too busy for our liking. We ventured into the chaos one night for a meal at a Mexican restaurant located on a roof top above the busy main strip, on our way there we were constantly badgered to come into other restaurants for food or just a quick drink, we declined and carried on to our destination, the meal was fantastic and after we decided to head back to Canal D' Amour, once again being asked in to various establishments to eat or drink, this is the only downside I felt to the main strip although my boyfriend did not like it at all as it was too busy for his liking.
Canal D' Amour however was busy but had a more quiet and relaxed feel to it, rather than the main strip, we had two particular favourite venues that we attended regularly if not every day of our weeks holiday, they were Smugglers Inn, a family run business by a family from London, and Vinnies, another family run business by Vinnie a Greek man and his English wife, as well as their son who was Greek but had a cockney accent due to spending time in London, he had the best English I had every heard. We went to Vinnies mostly for cocktails as they had a wide range and we spent mostly every night in there as it was August 2012 and the Olympics were on, this was where we watched Usain Bolt with the 100m.
One night we decided we would have a walk down to Canal D' Amour, we went a different way to most people, over a very dense vegetated hill, branches were overgrowing over the well used footpath, I was disappointed there were disused condoms and rubbish littered everywhere, definitely not the way to the Canal of Love I was expecting, I guessed this was not the usual way that the tourists walked to get there, more the locals.
Once we had reached the clearing and walked down the steeply slated rock we emerged just above Canal D' Amour, where it is said if you jump off the rocks into the water you are said to find your true love, after making me trek up the hill I only wanted to throw my partner in, I wasn't thinking about love. The water however was very choppy and it looked unsafe to even attempt to go into the water, we followed the Canal round to a small beach with only room for about ten to fifteen sunloungers, it was beautiful looking out from this beach watching the sun set over ' Albania' or so we were told that's what it was.
All the hotels are located on the quiet road down through Canal D' Amour or off even quieter side streets, Canal D' Amour only really consists of two main roads and one small one which leads over a small bridge, the only downfall to this is the strong smell when you are walking over the bridge, it is hard to distinguish between sewage or sea weed, just don't breath for 5 seconds as you walk across and you will be okay, this is the only part of the resort where you are able to smell this.
Next door to our apartments was a small supermarket, they however sold everything you needed for a self catering holiday, we did not spend a lot as we ate out every lunchtime and evening, so we only really bought breakfast stuff and snacks. Oh and ofcourse the daily newspaper, which I feel are always over priced in foreign countries and this was no exception.
Across the road was a small taverna which was open till around half ten a night selling home cooked food and a spit with lamb on it, it sold traditional greek food which is a nice change from other bars which do traditional English food. We had a weak moment on the sunday of our holiday and decided we would have a traditional sunday roast, and it was beautiful, we had this at the family run English business Smugglers Inn, so I had no doubt it would be perfect. This bar also sold traditional greek snacks such as Gyros, a pitta with kebab meat, chips and salad all stuffed inside, and it was yummy.
On the beach there is always the option to rent a pedalo or a jet ski, or for the more adventurous a speed boat, we went for the pedalo, we rented this for 1 hour at the rate of 20 euros for the hour, we only lasted 20 mins as my partner cant swim and didn't feel safe as the waves turned a bit choppy, he said we should have rented the speed boat, but he would have been even more scared on there I bet.
Down the main strip of Sidari is where you will find the main chunk of souvenir shops, Canal D' Amour only has a couple, and they are reasonably priced, they sell the usual nick nacks, some are tacky but some are pretty, as usual with foreign resorts there are the usual knock down priced shoes, handbags and clothes. My partner however spotted a little cigarette shop where he bought his goods for going home, which were also reasonably priced and a lot better than the duty free prices at the airport.
Overall I would say that this was our perfect first holiday together and we enjoyed every minute, due to the holiday provider let down we knew we had to make the holiday what we wanted it to be and we definitely did that, we loved the resort, the people, the bars and the beaches. We loved it so much we are getting married in Sidari, Canal D'Amour in 2016, but we will definitely be travelling with Thomas Cook or Thomson for this special occasion.
I hadn't actually tried these cakes until last Friday, me and my partner were wandering round Farmfoods, we are on a spending cut at the minute and do most of our shopping there. In my local Farmfoods they have a whole corner dedicated to cakes and chocolate. My partner went full steam ahead as we only really buy these sort of treats for his pack up at work, and he chose a 8 pack of these cakes among other things. I love lemon cakes so I thought these would be great, and I couldn't wait to sneak one when we got home.
The pack that we bought was 8 cakes for £1, which I think was good value, the cakes are about the size of your standard cupcake, they have a generous layer of thick lemon icing on top of the soft sponge cake. The two flavours compliment each other very well, and the cake is very scrumptious. Within about three days the cakes had gone, so much for putting them in the pack ups, they had gone by the weekend.
The packaging that they come in is a large rectangular purple box, the writing on the box is a pale yellow colouring, the writing is very large and eye catching. The packaging also has a small hole in the top of the box which you can see through to your cupcakes. Now inside the cupcakes are individually wrapped in clear plastic wrappers, which is good as they stay fresh until you want to eat them. As with some cakes you open the box and they are unwrapped meaning the rest of the box start to go stale as soon as the box is open.
I tend to eat this cupcakes as a treat for myself but as they are so moreish I sort of pigged out and there was none left within a couple of days. They are great with a cup of tea as the icing and sponge tend to melt in your mouth because of the heat from the liquid. This is how I eat mine. I also tried them as a pudding one night after dinner, myself and my partner made some custard and put it over the cake, either way the cake tasted great I couldn't fault the taste or the texture at all. A great buy and will be buying again this week.
They are available from Farmfoods for £1 for 8, the same price in ASDA also, they do not sell this variety at Tesco but have a pack of 6 chocolate ones for £1, I genuinely think ASDA and Farmfoods are your best bet for the best value. So if you want a tasty treat get down to ASDA now and grab yourself a sweet bargain.
So I was wandering around LIDL last week getting my final bits of shopping, loaded my items onto the checkout and staring me in the face were some praline seashells, my favourite, so I thought why not, and very cheap at under £2, how could I go wrong. The answer is...I really couldn't.
The packaging is not as appealing as you would expect, it did not catch my eye on the shelf which is why I also think they are situated at the checkout as last minute impulse buys. The packaging is mostly black and white with silver writing.
Okay so they are not your average pralines, don't get me wrong they are not as good as the more expensive seashells that you can buy in other mainstream shops but I wouldn't grumble over them as they tasted surprisingly good, a lot better than what I was expecting.
In a box you get them in rows of 6 x 4, so that is 24 praline seashells altogether, they come in different shapes and sizes, some more chunky and containing more filling than the others, these are the ones I like as they seem to melt in your mouth more.
The praline itself is well, tasty, the chocolate is smooth and they melt in your mouth, like good chocolate pralines are meant too. They are very moreish and with the help of my partner I think we polished the box off within about ten minutes. I will be honest I did feel a bit sickly afterwards, and I think this was down to my own gluttony rather than the sweets themselves.
Overall I would buy this product again as it was a very good cheaper alternative to Guylian the more expensive praline chocolate seashell make. Although the quality is maybe lacking slightly, it is not something you would complain over as they are great value for money compared to the more expensive alternative. So if you are in LIDL and fancy a cheap and cheeky treat then these seashells are for you. I think for a present I would however dig a bit deeper in my pocket and opt for something else, as you cannot please everyone! :)
I bought these this week from ASDA, I had never seen them before and thought they would be delicious as every other nesquik product is, they were on offer, as the picture shows in a 6 pack for £1, ideal for pack ups and as a treat after dinner, they are very small pots of chocolate mousse.
The pots are small and ideal for kids, but as a big kid, I couldn't resist buying them for myself. The pot is the standard nesquik yellow with the nestle and nesquik branding on the sides. There is a picture of the mousse inside and the nesquik bunny is on the side of the pot smiling. This to me is to attract the children who go shopping with their parents to nag them to buy the treat.
The chocolate inside is very strong, it is not runny but not too thick it is just right, it is a consistent milk chocolate colouring and tastes the same which is good as I do not like dark chocolate. The chocolate looks smooth but when you have it in your mouth it feels slightly grainy to taste, but you cannot see anything in the chocolate whilst looking. This however does not derive from the taste of the mousse it still tastes chocolately which is ideal for kids as a sweet treat instead of a chocolate bar or a biscuit.
One negative for me is that the pots are very small, I wish they had a lot more mousse in them, this is because it tastes nice and is very moreish. You end up wanting more once you have ate the pot which you only get about 5 teaspoons out of, as I have just tested whilst writing this review.
Each pot also has the nutritional information on the side which I think is good as it shows you exactly what you are eating individually and how many calories you are indulging in, that is if you are like me and not a child enjoying it because they can.
Overall I would buy these mini treats as they are great for pack ups and for a childs treat, or great for an adult who wishes a treat which doesn't make you feel too guilty because of how small it is. They are good value whilst they are on offer at ASDA at 6 for £1, go on you know you want to try them!
These crisps have by far been my favourite for years, so when I saw them on offer in Asda recently as a multipack, 16 packets for £2, I thought why not. I usually do not buy as I think that crisps have become really expensive for multipacks and I refuse to buy them unless they are on offer, Discos are normally £1.70 odd for a pack of 6 which I think is outrageous.
Discos multipack now have three flavours, salt and vinegar, cheese and onion and prawn cocktail, they have replaced bacon with the prawn cocktail. I was a bit disappointed as I thought that the bacon flavour was really tasty and a lot better than Walkers standard Smoky Bacon. The prawn cocktail however surprised me, it was a lot stronger that say skips for instance, and it tasted really good.
Discos are renowned for their "Big Hittin Flava" or so the multipack states and this is very true, the salt and vinegar makes your tongue tingle as it is so strong, if you eat them like I do you will experience this, I lick the crisp first before eating. The cheese and onion Is also very strong, you can taste both the cheese and the onion, neither is over powering, they blend together to make the perfect tasting crisp.
The crisps are circular, and are very crunchy, these are different in the crisp world, and their different flavourings are why I buy them when they are on offer, they are not like standard crisps, they have a more intense flavour which has clearly not been scrimped on.
The packets are different colours for each flavour, the salt and vinegar is blue, the cheese and onion green and the prawn cocktail is pink, the bacon is brown, I am aware that this flavour is still sold in the 6 pack multipack and the prawn cocktail is sold in the larger 16 pack multipack. The 6 pack multipack is on offer at ASDA at the minute for £1, you can also get 6 pack multipack of just salt and vinegar from ASDA but they do not do these in the other flavours sadly.
The multipack packet has a large disco ball on the front of the packaging, whilst the crisps I just bought the small packets had a shape as if a bomb had gone off, like your standard explosion shape. This was different to what I remembered as when I used to eat Discos every packet included the disco ball which I felt was more relevant to the crisp brand itself.
Overall I would recommend buying this crisp as It is a tasty alternative to walkers, the flavours are different and not your standard crisp flavouring. They are good if you are looking for something different to snack on or to put in your partner or childs pack up. Go and enjoy the big hittin flava :)
I first went to TGI Fridays a year ago in April for my birthday, this one was in Edinburgh, it is located on castle street, just at the far end of princes street opposite the castle. The Edinburgh TGI Fridays has a large bar as soon as you walk in, this I feel makes the place as there is a constant team behind the bar, just there solely for drinks so your waitress isn't running around like a headless chicken. In Edinburgh because of how busy it was we were given a small device that flashes once a table has become available, we did not have to wait long at all. The waitresses were fast and friendly and got us seated promptly at a clean table, I did however feel it was very close to the surrounding people, which when I am eating, I do not like.
The décor and atmosphere is very American styled and it suits the restaurant well, they are always very clean and very well presented. The paintings on the wall are good to look at, and very interested and they are all music and film themed, American of course. This is a running theme and everything ties in very well together.
One thing I will say is that the Edinburgh restaurant does not have parking and I would recommend parking on nearby Geoge street as it is just a small walk away.
The other TGI's restaurant that I visit, this on a more frequent basis is the one opposite Meadowhall in Sheffield, Tinsley I think it is called. We love TGI's so much myself and my partner drive 40 miles, there and back from Scunthorpe to eat here on a regular basis when we can afford it. This TGI's is a lot bigger, the bar is based at the back of the restaurant with all the seating as you walk through the door, to your right there is small booths and tables for bigger parties, and to your left there are tables and another row of booths. The booths to me are the best as they give you a lot more privacy, although you can see over the glass, but not enough for your privacy to be invaded.
As soon as you walk in your a greeted by who will be your server, they then take you with a menu to your table and ask you if you would like a drink, I generally have the oreo milkshake, as oreos are my favourite biscuit, this however does not last long and I usually follow it up with a diet coke for expense sake. The drinks list is extensive with a large range of cocktails, which can include a various range of spirits such as vodka, rum etc. They also do cold non alcoholic drinks such as milkshakes, soft drinks, slushes, still fruit juices, this I feel is a good choice as not everyone wishes to have an alcoholic drink with their meal, for the men they also have a good range of lagers to choose from.
I feel that the menu has a good choice and selection, mostly as an American theme, their menu is based on wings, potato skins, calamari, the wings are the best and are in a jack daniels BBQ glaze which is just devine, this is what I usually get for my starter when we go. They also do prawn cocktail, wedge salads, three different types of wings, mozzarella dippers which are beautiful, they do a sharing platter which we have got before which includes potato skins, jack daniels wings, mozzarella dippers, celery sticks and three dips. You can also get something called a jack daniels tower which is chicken, ribs and shrimp all smothered in jack daniels glaze, they also do nachos, both chicken fajita and cheesy nachos. A couple of there starters also take on an Italian theme for instance bruschetta and a mushroom alfredo, neither of these I have tried but going by the standards I have experienced they would taste good.
Now we come to the mains, they do a various range of grill combos, steaks, ribs, chicken and seafood, these all come under a section called Fresh From The Grill!! The combos mostly contain shrimp, ribs, steak or chicken, a combo of any of the three. The steaks are what I go for, mostly a sirloin with a peppercorn and bourbon sauce, which I must say tastes beautiful. On the ribs you can choose from a beer BBQ glaze, a jack daniels glaze, hope you like alcohol!! If you don't fancy meat they also have a salmon which is marinated in the jack daniels glaze and chargrilled. With the steaks you are able to choose two steak sides and a steak sauce, included in the price, you can choose from potato skins, cheesy mash, fries, wedge salad, vegetables, Cajun spiced rice, and the sauces you can choose from peppercorn and bourbon ( my absolute favourite), jack daniels and wild mushroom. I feel this is a very good value for money option, even though the steaks are expensive, you get what you pay for.
On the menu there is also a choice of burgers, which are called juicy, the meat is lovely so I am not surprised, it is very succulent and well seasoned. You can choose from the classic American, the monster, the inferno and the jack daniels. They also do Aberdeen angus burgers called the smokehouse and the black and blue, both of which I have never tried. I have attempted the monster burger but could not do it, it was too big, it had lots of onion rings, cheese and salad, it was very hard to finish the whole burger but it was very delicious. They also do three burgers which they claim are for the adventurous, they do a French Canadian which has toppings of maple syrup and bacon; they do the Texan wild boar, which is a wild boar burger with apple wedges and a Dijon mustard, this personally does not appeal to me at all. The third adventurous burger is called the, Kickin' veggie burger, this is a mix of adzuki and kidney beans with Colby cheese and mayo in a bun. Again not for me, im a carnivore! Lol. On this page is also two ciabattas, chicken finger BLT and the Cajun Chicken, I have had the chicken finger BLT and it reminded me of a Chicken royale from burger king but of a lot better quality, definitely worth the money.
They also do fajitas, which I have had the chicken fajitas, which come out on a wooden tray and a wrap warmer, it is very well presented and still sizzling as they reach the table, very well cooked and very tasty. They do quesadillas, which I have never had but have seen and they look nicely toasted and very tasty. They do pastas, again touching on the Italian theme, along with chicken and shrimp, as well as salads, but really who goes out for a salad, come on!!
They also do various American desserts such as a mocha mud pie, Tennessee toffee pie, cookie dough cheesecake, chocolate cake fixation and apple waffle crunch, as well as the old American classic of ice cream sundaes. I have never had a dessert at TGI's as I am always stuffed after my excellently cooked main meal. TGI's also do two midweek courses called Downtown and Uptown, which is £9.99 and £14.99 for two courses respectively, which I feel is a very good deal for the quality of food you receive, these are only available Monday to Thursday all day.
I have always received fast and excellent service at the TGI restaurants I have been too and I always leave a tip, the staff are always clean and well dressed and very polite, I am always happy to eat here and always enjoy myself, both restaurants I have mentioned here, Edinburgh and Sheffield Tinsley are great restaurants and you will receive great service, I very highly recommend them.
Great food, Great Service, Great Atmosphere.
Me and my partner recently moved into our new home, and the man that lived there before us had left us some items, including this lawn mower. Now I think It is a nifty little machine and does the job that we need, however my partner is against it and wants to replace it as soon as possible. I don't want to do this as I am a bit of a scrooge and if something is working why replace it, it makes no sense.
So the colour of this lawn mower is bright green, with a black handle, black grass box and an orange cable. One problem that I do have with this machine however is that the cable is so short, we have to use a 20m extension lead with it in order to be able to cut our back garden. Another small problem is that it takes no time at all for the bag to fill up, so I end up stopping every couple of minutes to empty my grass box. This means a lot of stopping and starting. When the box is full it will start to leave a trail on the floor as you are walking, this is because the grass also starts to become a little blocked around the blade, which is also metal so be careful when pulling the stuck grass out.
I have had no running problems with this lawn mower, and I think it runs as well as can be expected for a £35 lawn mower as I checked how much it was online once we moved into our house. When we store this lawnmower, we disconnect the handle from the base, this is quick and simple as the screws just pull straight out and clip back in, a little bit of a chore when you want a quick job but the ease with which the machine works with makes up for it. The lawn mover also has three different settings which you change by using the springs which are located near the wheels at the bottom. The mower turns on nice and simple using the big orange button located on the handle, you really cant miss it, nice and easy.
Overall I would say that this was a good find and a good present left to us by the previous owner, I am very happy with this lawn mower and I am happy with the quality of the work it provides, the strimmer from this collection however is a completely different story.
Cheap but good quality finish!!
I stayed in this Travelodge last weekend, the 27th - 28th July for my friends hen party. I walked in and I was suitably impressed, the bar in the reception was very big and had ample seating, I was happy with this as I knew it was where our ventures of the weekend would begin! The reception staff were prompt, very efficient and very friendly, I was very impressed with the service which we received. I did however feel sorry for the poor man behind the reception as he was also serving drinks behind the bar and was very rushed off his feet. However we got checked in no problem and headed up to our room.
We were in a room on the 1st floor right at the end of a very long corridor, the floor which we were on also had the breakfast room, so everyone would be coming down to the floor we were on in the morning, we were however very lucky as this was at the opposite end of the corridor to where we were staying. The room we were given was very spacious, it was a corner room overlooking the crossroads of micklegate and Great Hudson Street, it had two large windows which let lots of light in so the room did not appear merky or smell musty.
There were three of us sleeping in this room and we were given a large double bed and a small sofa bed beside the window, I was dreading the location of the sofa bed as this was where I would sleep and right next to the window I was worried I would get no sleep at all through the night. We had a large desk, which the television was mounted upon, of course very basic and very basic channels, only consisted of about nine channels. There was a kettle, and some biscuits and equipment for making your own tea and coffee. The wardrobe was very large with ample space and some coat hangers which to hang our clothes up.
The en-suite bathroom was of course very basic but very clean, the interior was good, glass shelving tinted green and mirrors surrounding, it looked very modern and very clean. The shower was a big walk in cubicle, which did not appear to drain very well as the floor was not as curved as it should have been so the shower tended to make the whole bathroom into a swimming pool. We received a sponge, conditioner, shower gel and shampoo as well a soap in the bathroom. Toilet paper was also of a good supply. My bed had already been made up for me when we arrived, it was clean tidy and well made, the bedding looked fresh.
I would however make one complaint about this, someone in our party was also sleeping on a sofa bed in another room, and their bed was not made and they did not have any extra bedding in the room. They went down to reception to ask for some extra bedding, and were basically accused of trying to sneak someone else into the room, and they were accused of lying and got told that they were running the risk of being thrown out which I do not think is fair as the staff had no proper information to base this accusation on.
So we went out and partied like there was no tomorrow, I however felt a bit tired and came home before the girls I was sharing a room with, this gave me the opportunity to look around and be a bit nosey. The room had suitable ports for electricity, four to be exact, so we all had ample opportunity to charge our phones, dry or straighten our hair at the same time, this I feel is a good advantage of the room, as some places I have stayed in a socket has been few and far between.
I shut the curtains in the room and the room was in complete darkness even though it is situated on one of the main nightlife spots in York with lights everywhere. I sat down on the edge of my bed and listened I could not hear a thing, surprised as the noise I had experienced when walking home was very loud, with a 80's bar called reflex directly across from our room I was sure I was in for a loud night, I could not hear a thing, not even any noise from the bass or speakers from the bar, happy about this I got into bed.
This however was the first real problem that I encountered, the bed was as hard as a rock, you could feel the springs through the mattress. The pillows were rock hard, I even went to check the double bed and it was just as uncomfortable as the sofa bed and the pillows were exactly the same, safe to say I slept because I was tired and this was the only reason as I woke up 4 hours later, my back sore and a cracking headache. Once I had woke up I encountered the only noise which could be heard, some builders had decided to put some scaffolding up around the bar across the street and had woken me up. Had it not been for this I would have had a very soundproof night.
This Travelodge also offers 41% off parking at the NCP car park just round the corner, the machine however was not working, meaning that I had to pay full price, still not bad at £17 for the full 24 hours. This was the only downfall to my stay at the Travelodge apart from the bed, if you offer something as an offer you expect this to be carried out regardless.
The Travelodge is also in a key location, surrounded by shops, bars and restaurants, with an 80's bar across the road called reflex with a revolving dancefloor, which was really busy. There was also a nightclub called salvation just along the road which also filled up and became really busy. The shops of York are just a short walk away across the bridge across the river, with cash machines and banks galore giving you access to your money.
So overall I would definitely recommend using this Travelodge because of the location, the only downfall for me to this Travelodge was the beds, they were really uncomfortable and the pillows were like rocks, it was really had to get comfortable. One plus side was that with the heat of the weekend we stayed the room had air conditioning, which had cooled the room down when I returned at night, making it slightly easier to sleep.
Epic location, friendly service ( received by some of us), great bar space, working air-con!!
So first off I bought these razors as I had forgotten to purchase my usual Venus razors with my weekly shopping, and did not have enough budget left for them. I spotted these razors as they were just over a pound and thought they would do me fine until next payday. How wrong was I?
The packaging that I bought was blue with yellow writing, of the bic standard logo, the razors themselves were pink and you can see them through a small window in the packaging which is see through, they look good value for money as you get 5 in a pack, and don't get me wrong I knew they were basic because of how small they were, but I thought they would at least have a little bit of quality.
In my opinion the only good point to this razor is that you get caps to put on the tops, so that you don't catch your fingers or if you have children running around they do not hurt themselves on the blades. The caps like the small handle of the razor is pink and body of the razor is white. The razor itself has two very small blades on the end, nothing spectacular. Another good point of this razor is that they are very cheap, however because bic is a recognised brand you would expect quality as well as value for money.
So I generally tend to razor my arm pits, my legs and my bikini line. I however decided once I had got in the bath and completed my arm pits and my legs that I was going nowhere near my bikini line with these razors. I generally do not tend to catch myself or make myself bleed when I am shaving as my skin is not very sensitive.
These razors however were awful, my skin was torn and was left with white shavings of skin coming off there the blades had pulled at my skin. The razors also did not appear to be very sharp as it took about two rounds of my whole leg to remove the hair which was not very long at all, only about 2mm I would say. After I had finished and moisturised I looked at my legs and they were red and blotchy and they were stinging a lot, which I also felt came with how poor these razors were and how close you had to shave for them to be able to cut the hair from my legs.
In my opinion I would not buy these razors again as they left my skin rough, red and blotchy, they were very poor value for money even though they were only just over a pound, next time I am going to make sure that I leave enough in my budget to be able to afford my usual razors. In my opinion I would not recommend anyone to buy these razors unless you want your skin left in a poor state, even after moisturising.
Poor product Bic!!
Reading through the other reviews of the range, it appears I am one of the very few that have had no problems with this store and have been very satisfied with the service I received and the choice of products which were on offer. I however can see why people have problems within this store as it is very full and stocks many products which can sometimes be overwhelming due to the volume on the shelves.
So the Range is located on my local retail park, it has many disabled parking spaces in front and a ramp for access so it is clearly catering for the less mobile customers who wish to attend the store. The outside of my local store which is in Scunthorpe is very clean and well presented. The front door of the store has a lot of shelves with potting plants upon them, and they have also created a display which represents a garden with a rockery, a fountain and some tables and chairs, which shows you what is achievable in your own home.
I just recently moved into my own home and I wanted to buy some accessories to brighten up my home as it is a new build and is rather bland coloured. I had no idea about what accessories I wanted to purchase so I headed to the range to have a look, to see if anything would catch my eye. As I walked in I couldn't believe how many products they had. As soon as I walked in they have a display of artificial flowers, a few of which are already bound together and many are loose so you can create your own bundle. So I bought two of these along with the vases which are also available in the range.
They also have many soft furnishings such as towels, bedding, cushions, pillows. As well as clocks, pictures, canvasses, lighting, both floor and ceiling lights. They also have a specialist homeware section with everything you would need for the cleanliness of your home. Arts and Crafts is also a bit section within the range, from painting, cross stitch, embroidery, knitting, card making and many more.
Furniture is also a huge part of the range, anything from coffee tables, bedside cabinets, beds, sofas, tv stands, the range really does have it all. They have the furniture set up in a real life scenario so you can picture how each piece of furniture would look like within your own home.
The main reason which I went to the range for my house accessories was because I was aware of all the ornaments, trinkets and little nick nacks which they sell, which would decorate my home nicely. On this occasion I bought a little wicker heart to hang on my bed frame, tied up by a ribbon, as well as a mirrored diamante candle holder and ornaments for my bedroom window. I bought these as I like these things to give my home the finishing touches that it needs, I also purchased a home sweet home canvas with three separate canvases which hang in my hall. I bought this as I think the quality was brilliant and the product was beautiful.
The range sells little accessories for every room in your house, for example the lounge, kitchen and bathroom, for example for my bathroom I bought a large wooden seagull ornament and a large wooden candle holder, both painted in white, dark and light blue and both look brilliant in my modern bathroom.
The range near myself also sells food, garden accessories, plants and garden furniture, it really does cater for every need. So overall if I need to purchase something for my house, the range would be my one stop shop as I have never had any bad experiences with this shop, by the look of it I am one of the luck ones. I would definitely recommend the range as they have something for everyone, and if they don't have the product you are after they will definitely have something very similar and if not better. I have never had any problems with the customer service either, it has always been first class.
I would however make one suggestion that they have more trolleys and supply more wheelchairs for the customers who are less mobile, this however is one negative against many positives, making me a very happy customer of the range and I will definitely be using them again when my home needs some more finishing touches!! One satisfied customer, well done the range!!