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since 20/09/2003


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 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...

The George, Eartham 01/04/2014

By George they've got it!

Pure Digital Contour 19/03/2014

Pure (and simple)

Prezzo, Arundel 05/03/2014

Pull your finger out Prezzo!

Crouchers Restaurant and Bar, Birdham 20/02/2014

The low down

Woodies Bar and Brasserie, Chichester 07/02/2014

Wonderful Woodies

Woodies Bar and Brasserie, Chichester Woodies featured in a “Half Price Dining” deal which was advertised on my local radio station, Spirit FM, just before Christmas. The deal was for a £30 voucher to spend on both food and drink for the paltry sum of £15. As Woodies is a bit of an institution in Chichester, not surprisingly the deal was snapped up very quickly and sold out within days. Woodies have been trading in Chichester since 1972 and it’s the sort of place everyone knows. Woodies used to be known as “Woodies Wine Bar”, but I noticed that the name has now been changed to “Woodies Bar and Brasserie” to make it more new millennium I guess. Wine Bars (and Bistros) give off a 70’s and 80’s vibe whereas Brasserie is a shade more continental and à la mode :o) Evidently Woodies was closed due to a fire in the kitchen last summer and it only reopened its doors in early December last year. The last time I ate there was back in 1998 so I was keen to make a return visit to a previously favoured haunt. ~*~ WEIGHING IN ON WOODIES ~*~ Woodies is slap bang on the side of one of busiest main roads leading out of Chichester. It’s on St Pancras so it’s very near to the bottom of East Street and Eastgate Square where you can find both Brasserie Blanc and Carluccios. There is no parking to be had outside Woodies so diners need to leave their vehicles in a nearby pay and display car park, either the big Cattle Market one in Market Avenue or the smaller one at New Park Road (lunchers will have to pay, but ...

Morphy Richards Accents Jug Kettle 21/01/2014

Just add water….

Morphy Richards Accents Jug Kettle For the last couple of years my partner and I had been “making do” with a kettle he’d purchased in Tesco for £2. A bargain, I hear you cry…and it certainly was in the beginning. Several years use had seen the white plastic of the kettle turn an unattractive yellowy colour and it also leaked like a sieve every time it boiled. It was time for a replacement before one or other of us managed to scald ourselves. I decided I wanted a black and chrome kettle to match all the other gadgets in our kitchen, and so the search commenced. I dislike metal kettles as they tend to take ages to break-in and not make one’s tea taste “funny”. When I say “funny” I mean they give the boiled water a sort of TCP taste, which just doesn’t sit well with a freshly brewed PG Tip. Therefore my new kettle had to be made of plastic, as I know from experience I can rid a new plastic appliance of its revolting medicinal tasting boiled water very quickly. My partner spotted a very nice looking plastic kettle in Homebase and came home and told me to look on their website under the Russell Hobbs range. Several minutes of searching revealed several likely suspects, but not the actual kettle he was banging on about. He then changed his mind and decided that the kettle he had seen was actually from the Morphy Richards range. Once he’d finally decided on the correct brand it was much easier to find it on the Homebase website. On the plus side it was a very nice looking kettle and I was sold. However, the ...

Tefal Avanti Classic 4 Slice Toaster 532718 07/01/2014

Teething troubles test Tefal toaster 21/12/2013

Jump to it Having enjoyed a warmer and sunnier summer than usual this year, we spent most of it in our garden at home. However, towards the end of August we’d become a bit bored of lounging around at home and decided that a change would be as good as a rest. We therefore decided to rent a cottage in the south-west of England for a week in early September and duly set about looking at the various options. Our criteria were that the accommodation had to be in Devon or Cornwall, ideally on the coast. Our perfect holiday home also had to accept a dog as we planned to take our Golden Retriever with us. We also wanted the place to have broadband and some kind of parking as well. To make things a little more complicated we were limited to one specific week only at the beginning of September due to pre-planned work commitments. And so our search began…. We trawled through all the usual self catering holiday cottage websites such as Hoseasons and Cottages4You, and although we managed to ear mark quite a few possibles, none of them were all that thrilling or they didn’t quite tick all the boxes. We literally spent hours and hours online checking and discarding what seemed like hundreds of different Cornish cottages or Devonshire dwellings. We were definitely going around in circles - emailing each other links to possible homes often only to discover it was somewhere we’d discounted already on day one. Eventually we stumbled across a website called and immediately ...
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