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Bollinger28

Bollinger28

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“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese" G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Reviews written

since 20/09/2003

218

Acer Aspire 7750G-2454G50Mnkk 17.3" 16/11/2014

Nifty Notebook

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London, London 01/11/2014

"Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red"

Wagamama, Chichester 19/10/2014

Yo Mama!

Ask Italian, Chichester 17/10/2014

All I Ask of you

Ask Italian, Chichester It had been nearly six years since I’d last dined at Ask. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with my meal at the time - it just didn’t impress me enough to make a return visit. I felt it was typical chain restaurant fodder and there was nothing on the menu that I couldn’t find in any or all of the other Italian themed chain restaurants you find in every town nowadays. In my opinion Zizzi, Pizza Express, Strada, Carluccio’s, Ask and Prezzo are all pretty interchangeable, as they all basically offer the same sort of dishes, ambiance, prices and service. Whilst browsing on Amazon recently looking for some inspiration for my father’s birthday present, I noticed there was a new service called Amazon Local which looked interesting. Amazon Local is basically Amazon jumping on the Groupon, Wowcher, TravelZoo, Dealmonster bandwagon whereby they offer you days out and restaurant deals in your local area. One of the deals on offer was a meal at any Ask Restaurant throughout the country for a fairly reasonable price…so I snapped one up. One thing to note though is that you have to pay by credit card for any of the Amazon Local* deals. I found this rather annoying as I have shed loads of credit on my Amazon account and wanted to use my Amazon vouchers to pay for this deal. No dice :o( Décor and Ambiance ….Be afraid to Ask Ask are a medium sized chain which offers Italian accented informal dining in just over 100 venues throughout the UK. I’m never entirely sure ...

Bill's, Chichester 16/10/2014

Not just another bill….

Hotpoint FF200EG 02/09/2014

Well chilled

Hotpoint FF200EG The workhorse in my kitchen is most definitely the fridge freezer. Having purchased it some six years ago it hasn’t given us a single problem in all that time. It’s the oldest and most reliable appliance in my kitchen and I’m hoping that by saying that out loud I’m not going to jinx its problem free life to date…otherwise I’ll be out shopping for an expensive replacement. We initially purchased the Hotpoint FF200EG in 2008 and it was to replace an old chest freezer (which we moved out into the garage) and an old second hand larder fridge which had given up the ghost after an impressive ten years or so service. Initially we found the fridge freezers in the electrical showrooms rather daunting as they were just so massively tall in comparison to our old larder fridge and chest freezer. However, we were sold on the idea of the floor space we’d be saving by having one tall appliance as opposed to two dumpy ones side by side. We wanted an appliance that was a fifty-fifty split between a fridge and a freezer. We didn’t want to lose out on fridge space by having a huge freezer, but neither did we want a massive fridge with a couple of freezer drawers tacked on as an afterthought. In the end we honed in on the Hotpoint FF200EG as it comprises the best of both worlds - a good roomy fridge section and four spacious freezer drawers underneath. We also wanted our new fridge freezer to be in silver or graphite so it would match the rest of our kitchen appliances. *** KEY ...

Marwicks Brasserie, Bosham, West Sussex 17/08/2014

Marvellous Marwicks

Marwicks Brasserie, Bosham, West Sussex Marwicks Brasserie is a relatively new addition to the eateries available in the village of Bosham (near Chichester in West Sussex). It opened its doors in 2012 and seems to have gone from strength to strength. Although it’s not that far from my house we were initially put off dining there thinking it would be expensive, snobby and starchy. Let me explain, Marwicks is owned by and tacked onto the end of an existing hotel in Bosham called the Millstream. The Millstream Hotel and Restaurant are a bit of an institution in the surrounding area as they’ve been there since the year dot. It’s a rather twee and pricey hotel with the restaurant mostly frequented by the rich or elderly, and therefore it’s a little bit staid and boring. We once ate at the Millstream Restaurant with some work colleagues and it was one of those hushed and reverent venues where you feel laughter is out of place and you need to be serious and worthy (and well heeled) to fit in. Hence we were in no great hurry to sample the delights of the new brasserie they’d tacked onto the end of their hotel thinking it would be tarred with the same brush. However, two things changed our minds. The first was that I couldn’t help but notice that Marwicks were getting rave reviews on Trip Advisor and pretty quickly creeping up the table of the top 25 best places to dine in Chichester. The second thing to tempt me was an advert in our local parish magazine entitled “Thai Tuesdays” where they were offering two curries and ...

The Berkeley Arms, Bosham 02/08/2014

Burgers and beer in beautiful Bosham

Stoves Sterling 900E Black 16/07/2014

Does a Sterling job

Stoves Sterling 900E Black When our house flooded during the summer of 2012 one of the brightest clouds on the rather gloomy horizon was the thought of getting a brand new fitted kitchen. None of our old appliances could be worked into the newly designed kitchen so our insurers agreed to pay for new integrated appliances in the form of a dishwasher, washing machine and a cooker. Cooker wise we were replacing two appliances - first off a rather ancient oil fired Aga that we’d inherited when we moved into our house some 17 years ago (and which we hadn’t used for years as the price of oil made it prohibitively expensive to run) and secondly a stand alone electric cooker. We decided on a brand new range cooker as it would fit neatly into the space where the Aga was currently residing and we could use the space being vacated by the electric oven for additional storage cupboards. My partner originally trained as chef many moons ago so cooking tends to be his department with occasional input from me. As he tends to prepare the majority of meals in our household I was more than happy for him to do all the research and decision making on which range cooker we wanted. After lots of to-ing and fro-ing he finally settled on a Stoves Sterling 900E which came in either stainless steel or in black. We decided on the black one as it simply looked smarter and we thought it would go better with our newly fitted cream kitchen units. The cooker has been installed for getting on for 18 months now which is more than enough ...

South Devon Chilli Farm 02/07/2014

Red hot stuff!

Prezzo, Chichester 17/06/2014

Prezzo proves praiseworthy

Prezzo, Chichester Having endured a rather disastrous meal at Prezzo in Arundel earlier this year, I decided to send an email to Prezzo’s head office outlining exactly where they’d gone wrong with the table we’d booked to celebrate my mother’s 75th birthday. The short version of the complaint centred around the long wait for our food, a draughty table, a rather smelly waiter and the lack of desserts available on the night. However, if you wish to read the longer version of the problems we encountered then please see my review at http://travel.ciao.co.uk/PrezzoArundelReview6113328. I sent my email off to Prezzo using their online comments form and expected to hear little to nothing in response. At best I expected a generic email along the lines of “sorry for your bad experience, but please don’t let it put you off trying us again”. I was therefore rather flabbergasted to receive a politely worded email that actually answered and addressed my concerns and complaints. The email concluded with an offer of £30 towards my next meal at Prezzo at a location and date of my choosing. Last month we finally got around to taking Prezzo up on their kind offer and sent an email asking if we could reserve a table for two at their Chichester branch. They very swiftly responded with a code that we needed to present to the staff on the night which would automatically give us £30 off our meal. We therefore pitched up at 7.30pm on a Tuesday night in May hoping that the service and food would be an improvement on ...

The George and Dragon, Chichester 01/06/2014

Dragon's Den

VAX U88-AM-P 17/05/2014

Vax on, Vax off

VAX U88-AM-P Someone once warned me that owning a Golden Retriever was not for the house proud…and they weren’t far wrong. Dogs create one hell of a mess no matter what the breed, but long haired dogs like Golden Retrievers seem to make more mess than most. For a start they shed hair all year round, and they always seem to have some kind of twig, leaf or mud attached to their fur. That means you not only constantly tidying up after them you are also endlessly vacuuming up their excess hair. We therefore need a vacuum cleaner that is well up to not just hovering up mud and twigs but more importantly picking up large swathes of dog hair from carpets, wooden floors and tiles. We also need a cleaner that is easy and quick to empty when it’s full as living with a Golden Retriever means you are likely to have to empty the chamber a minimum of five or six times if you’re cleaning the whole house from top to bottom. When our old Electrolux hoover gave up the ghost last autumn it was time to find a replacement fairly quickly. We didn’t want another Electrolux as it had only lasted two years before it died. We quite fancied a Dyson until we saw the prices. We toyed with the idea of a Vax but voted against it as we’d had one in the past and it worked wonderfully at picking up dog hair but it was so very heavy it was a nightmare to manoeuvre. However, on a visit to BHS we spotted the latest Vax models and couldn’t believe how much lighter and easier to lift they were than our previous incumbent. We ...

Côte Brasserie, Chichester 01/05/2014

Côte definitely gets my vote

The Barley Mow, Walderton 16/04/2014

One man went to mow...

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