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I am 24, and I really enjoy anything creative, so reading and writing reviews is a great outlet for me! Some of my reviews may have appeared on Qype under the username Kaemi or Dooyoo or Amazon under the username Dinah93.

Reviews written

since 19/10/2009


Copella Apple and Mango Juice 22/11/2009

Full of natural goodness with none of the nasties

Copella Apple and Mango Juice I bought Copella Cloudy Apple and Mango after seeing it on offer in my local freezer shop. I am a big fan of the normal Copella Cloudy Apple, and I love mango juice, so thought this could only be a big hit. For the little 250ml bottles it is usually 79p in Morrisons, however the freezer shop sells them 4 for £1 quite regularly, although the flavours vary. As the fruit juice is entirely natural, with no added sweeteners or flavours, and is providing one of your 5 a day I consider this to be great value. The Cloudy Apple and Mango has a milder taste than the pure Cloudy Apple, and a less overpowering smell. The mango adds a clear cut to the otherwise fairly heavy apples, and tastes light and pure. As this is a fresh product there is a certain level of sedimentation, however it mostly mixes in if you shake well, although the last mouthful of the bottle can be a little grainy. The taste is pure and leaves a lovely aftertaste, at no point does this taste or smell artificial. Despite being very natural, a bottle bought in a standard shop tends to have a 4-6 week expiry date on it, although this is less with the cut price ones at the freezer shop. Copella comes in several other flavours, including cloudy apple, apple and elderflower, apple and raspberry, and apple and blackberry. I have to say the traditional cloudy apple is still my favourite, but the apple and mango is a close second, and gorgeous chilled on a hot day with a splash of gin in it!

Metro Centre, Newcastle 22/11/2009

One of the first out of town shopping centres and still popular

Metro Centre, Newcastle The metro centre is a very large out of town shopping centre, and was one of the first out of town shopping centres in the UK. It is all indoors, with individual shops accessed from galleried walkways. It is quite complicated to navigate due to the size, but there are maps on every corner. Since then the site has expanded and there are now many separate shops such as IKEA, ILVA, ASDA, furniture shops, Pizza Hut, etc. These are all located outside the main metro centre complex, there is a shuttle bus between the different stores, as once outside the main metro centre you are faced with a fairly baffling car-led road system. Within the metro centre there is a cinema, lots of restaurants and bars, the shops (of course!) and a big indoor theme park to keep the kids amused while you do your shopping. There is a huge variety of shops, great for doing the Christmas shopping. The shops themselves are often quite small in the original complex, there are a few large signiture shops such as M&S and House of Fraser but many shops such as Oasis, Warehouse etc are understocked compared to their counterpart in Newcastle town centre. Recently the metro centre has expanded, the new arcade is much lighter and brighter, and boasts trendier shops.

Lush (Shop) 21/11/2009

Luxury bath goodies for realistic prices

Lush (Shop) Lush are a cosmetics and bubble bath type shop, specialising in fresh, natural products in all things smelly. Almost everything is made fresh, and comes with an expiry date. This can be as little as a week away, so it is very important to check especially when purchasing for a gift. The labels are designed such that the products sound tempting to the stomach as much as the skin, a lot of natural food ingredients are used in the recipies. The labels clearly state what is in the products so you can avoid any nasties or allergens. The most famous products are the bath bombs. These are very popular as gifts, but please, if buying one think about the recipient! It's all very well having a pretty pink glittery bath, but someone has to clean all that glitter afterwards, and unclog the drains from the dried rose petals! Products change seasonally, and they do great Christmas gift bags. There is also an infamous sale, where product prices are hugely slashed by up to 80%. Lush is a great place to pick up a little 'treat' for your wife, and get in her good books for only a couple of pounds. The products seem luxurious, but inexpensive and the store is man-friendly with helpful assistants and clear descriptions of what each potion and lotion is made of, and what it does.

Schuh (Shop) 21/11/2009

Trendy shoes for the masses

Schuh (Shop) Schuh is a national chain footwear store, and caters for the younger market with Vans and Converse for the boys and metal stilettos and rocket dog pumps for the girls. The shoes are very trendy, although not necessarily very well made. I used to shop in Schuh when I was younger, however the synthetic materials have lost their allure now I'm in my 20s, and the last few times I have passed by I have thought the styles quite dated and common. Shoes in Schuh do not seem especially reasonable though, and the average pair is over £60. This seems very steep for a teenagers shoe shop, especially since they are not good enough quality to also be used as school shoes. I have noticed fewer people browsing recently, which is the same in most shops at the moment but Schuh seem to have really lost their allure. A rebranding and modernisation programme might help them to appeal to attract new customers or get old ones to return. Staff in my local Schuh have always been friendly, and will order products in if they do not have them in stock. There is a very good web ordering system and online store. Online sales are better than those in the shop, and it is easier to find the correct style and size to meet your needs. With direct competitors such as Office offering much higher quality shoes for the same price I feel Schuh either need to lower their prices or adapt to entice in people over the age of 21 who have more disposable income.

Flares, Liverpool 21/11/2009

Cheap and cheerful and wonderfully retro

Flares, Liverpool Flares is a chain of themed bars/clubs. Music comes from the 60s, 70s and 80s, with recently a little 90s starting to creep in. The concept is a cheesy, retro bar you can relax and enjoy, without banging bass lines and trendy teeny boppers. My local, Flares in Newcastle, is actually quite small in comparison to other locations, although still has the uniform corporate 'funky' décor. There is always a long queue to get in, and it tends to be quite cramped inside, I think they could really do with new premises! I have also been to the Darlington Flares which is less cramped and stread over two levels, however Flares retain a similarity regardless of location due to the corporate similarities and universal drinks propotions and music styles. Flares is very cheap and cheerful, it's a lot of fun for a night out however it isn't the sort of place you could go every night. The crowd tends to be both the more mature, and the underage. There are a lot of BOGOF drinks promotions available, or cheap shots. There are usually several hen parties in here, and it is predominantly a female crowd. Very, very few young men go here so it's great for a girly night but no good for those on the prowl!

Bottlegreen Dandelion & Burdock Cordial 20/11/2009

Serve hot for a delicious winter warmer

Bottlegreen Dandelion & Burdock Cordial BottleGreen cordials are an adult version of squash, made with natural ingredients to create a very refined, clear taste. The most popular flavour is elderflower, however recently the range has expanded, and I was tempted to try the Dandelion and Burdock when these were last on offer. Cost and Availability A bottle usually costs me £2.69 in Sainsburys, however there is often an offer on for 2 for £4 or similar, which makes this a little more reasonable. This is still however a lot more expensive than standard squash, however a bottle will last ages, and has a much more refined taste than kids squash, and is a clear, syrupy consistency and looks completely natural. These are available in most major supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. They are also available in smaller specalist stores, although are not widely available in small corner shops, or discount shops. I switched to cordial in place of Whittards fruit teas, as they are £5 a tub and last a similar ammount of time to a bottle of cordial. This is half the price, which I consider excellent value, and the ingredients are natural and have over 80% less sugar! Instructions Packaging Comes in the BottleGreen tall stemmed bottle, very elegant and instantly recognisable. Has a metal screw top and is a heavy glass bottle. The labels for all flavours are the same with only the flavour title at the base of the bottle varying, be careful to pick up the right one as they are easy to get ...

Coca-Cola Zero 20/11/2009

Not quite zero taste, and definitely not zero chemicals

Coca-Cola Zero Coca Cola Zero has been dubbed the diet coke for boys. However it is in fact lower in calories and fat than regular diet coke. However it is worryingly high in chemicals and artificial flavourings and sweeteners. Having looked a little further into these I would prefer to drink diet coke with the slightly worse nutritional value than all these cancer causing additives. One can (not bottle) of coke zero contains: Calories - 0 Fat - 0 g Sugar - 0 g Carbs - 0 g Caffeine - 22 mg Sodium - 32 mg Protein - 0 mg Potassium - 37 mg However taste wise Coke Zero is slightly better than diet coke, with a more 'real' coke taste. Despite the ingredients it tastes fuller and less artificial than diet coke. Somehow though it does seem more bubbly! This is a good product despite entering a fairly saturated market for diet fizzy drinks, especially with the market leader being cola flavoured ones. The packaging is the usual coke swoosh, however colours have been inverted to red and black, which will no doubt appeal to men, and the diet aspect has been down played in the packaging. The zero calorie aspect will appeal to many, however for me there is simply too many worrying aspects to the ingredients of this product to balance out against the zero fat aspect.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Mousse 20/11/2009

A little bit of what you fancy

Cadbury Dairy Milk Mousse I'm a big fan of all things Cadbury's, but don't tend to spoil myself with chocolate all that much. However these mousses are great, at only 81 cals per pot. The pot is the same size as any other standard size mousse, and is certainly big enough for a treat. The mouse itself is extremely rich and thick, not at all like some of the horrible graining diet or value mousses. It is quite runny in consistency, more like a chocolate fool than a chocolate mouse, which tends to be quite solid. This gives the effect of a very natural product, with a homemade consistency. While there are artificial flavourings within the mousse, it is one of the most natural I have tasted. It is very definitely a milk chocolate mousse, with a mild taste. The packaging on these mousses is a pale purple, with the 'Cadbury' wording embossed into it. There is a tin foil lid for freshness, and the nutritional information is printed on the lid alongside the Cadbury's logo. All in all it looks a high quality branded product.

Alfa Romeo 147 1.6 19/11/2009

You're not a petrolhead until you've owned an Alfa.

Alfa Romeo 147 1.6 I purchased my Alfa 147 in 2005 after falling in love with the noise she makes. Nothing has the same growl as an alfa. When I bought my 147 she was already 3 years old, and is nearly 6 now. I spend a lot of time driving each week for work, around 300 miles a week in fact, so I have experience of her on all kinds of roads and journeys. The first thing to be mentioned when I think of my car is the ride quality. I'm informed by passengers that she is very comfortable in the back, and doesn't make them feel sick. However as a driver she has nearly ruined my back. This is down to the fact that I live in a right hand drive country, and the car was designed to be left hand drive. Because of this nothing quite lines up correctly. Most importantly my seat is not straight on to the steering wheel, meaning my back is wrapped around the outer edge of the seat. Lookswise the 147 is understated, sharp, but nevertheless understated. From the rear it is fairly non-descript, but the front has a sexy, leopard-esque wink to it. When they update this to the 3 eyed bulbs as seen on the new Braera the 147 will be a real headturner. Now, everyone hears alfa and still hears alfasud, the notoriously unreliable, shoddily built alfa of yore. Build quality has improved hugely. I've even had kids inside mine and they didn't reduce it to it's bare component parts and they were in there a full 45 mins. I have had very few issues over the last 3 years, a new rear suspension bushel was needed, and I have ...

Mars Galaxy Cookie Crumble 19/11/2009

Galaxy, now with added grit

Mars Galaxy Cookie Crumble I bought galaxy cookie crumble by accident. The packet is very similar to the standard glaxy packet, but with a small graphic of cookies in the corner, which I didn't notice! Galaxy cookie crumble is in the traditional foil wrapped bar with a paper sleeve, instead of the modern plastic coated foil packet. The bar is flatter than usual galaxy, although with the usual swirl shaped lumps. The taste of cookie crumble is both familiar and unnerving. The usual galaxy smoothness is there, with the rich, creamy chocolate. However the cookie element is decidedly grainy, there are not big lumps of cookie, more a general sprinkling of grit that made me feel like my chocolate had not been refined properly. To me this gritty texture was a detriment to the product quality, and I still have most of the bar in my desk 2 months later. To put it into context chocolate usually lasts a matter of minuites around me, and many bars have come and gone since I bought this one. Nutritional Information: A 46g bar contains 252 calories, 23.9g sugars, 15.4g fat 9.2g saturates and 0.12g salt. A 119g bar contains 653 calories, 61.9g sugars, 39.9g fat, 23.8g saturates and 0.31g salt. To be fair, I don't think this is excessive for a standard chocolate bar, as it is slightly lower than a dairy milk bar, and certainly lower than something like a mars bar! However, I just couldn't enjoy eating this, and if something doesn't taste good there is no point eating it for the sake of it! Even tried using it for ...

Mercy - Jodi Picoult 19/11/2009

Everyone has their off days

Mercy - Jodi Picoult Mercy focuses on the issue of euthanasia, and the balance of love within a relationship. The storyline follows two couples, Allie and Cam McDonald, and Jamie and Maggie McDonald. Cam McDonald is the police chief of Wheelock, Massachusetts and has been married to Allie for 7 years. Allie runs the town flower shop, and spends her day thinking of ways to make her husbands life easier. Allie is completely devoted to Cam, and there is a clear imbalance within the relationship. Even the stories that are told of their early relationship increase the sense that she gave up a lot of her own personality to be the perfect wife to Cam. This made me feel quite uneasy, and loose respect for Allie. I do not believe this was intentional on the part of the author, as Allie increasingly appears to be the central character and has a strength of will towards the end that comes from nowhere and is hard to believe. Allie however seems like a good woman, trying her best and wishing her husband was as happy with his lot in life as she is. Characterisation generally is weak, Cam seems a poor role model for the citizens, constantly wishing to be elsewhere and escape his own life, which seems pretty good in reality. The character of Mia enters the town the same day as Jamie and Maggie. However the reason for her appearance in town is never explored, and neither is her apparent connection to Cam. This turns their relationship into a torrid affair which I had no interest in reading about, there is ...

Ugo's Chicken and Mozzarella Panini 18/11/2009

Convenient, warming, but tastes like the box it comes in

Ugo's Chicken and Mozzarella Panini When these were first introduced the supermarkets all seemed to run crazy offers on the prices, which prompted my ex to buy 10 of them. Each. Luckily these were split between this and the bacon one, but it's still fair to say I've tested more than my fair share. These heat quickly in the microwave, inside a little corrogated cardboard wrapped lined with metalic card (no, it doesn't make the microwave spark!). They need turning halfway through the cooking time, and promise to be melted on the inside and crispy on the outside. There is a small sacet of pesto mayo which you need to remove before cooking and spread over afterwards. The paninis have on average two pieces of chicken inside, which does not fill the panini, there is a decent sized slice of processed cheese on top. Once the pannini had been cooked I found that the roll was more than crispy, it was like very thick toast and was quite abrasive to eat. The chicken was plasticy and of low quality, I would expect better quality meat in McDonalds. The pesto mayo did slightly cut through the heavy texture of the processed cheese, however it again tasted artificial and chemically processed. Personally I feel that when it was under £1 it was a cheap alternative to a sausage roll or a shop bought sarnie, but in no way comparable to something I would make myself. However the rrp brings the price to £2.59, which I feel is very expensive for a very average product. However, I know my brother loves them, but he feels taste is a ... 18/11/2009

Like Ciao for local services Qype is an online review service, similar to Dooyoo, however Qype users review local places and attractions rather than products. Reviews should be informative, good quality, and of around 100 words or more. However there is no bonus like the crown and rating system, therefore there is little incentive for users to write exceptional reviews. Equally the community is not as developed, as there is no incentive for users to read others reviews, and many of them are of such poor quality that they stop real users finding the information they require. There are no forums for users to bond as a community, and users remain quite insular. There is a huge variety of local services and attractions on Qype, not just museums, galleries and clubs, but the less mainstream facilities such as doctors surgeries, post offices all the way through to haulage firms! Great care has been taken to add on local businesses, rather than simply adding chain firms. Qype usually offers a 'kit' for reviews, where you get a box of goodies at 250 points and 1000 points, which is around 60 reviews. The 250 kit is for 'insider' rank, and contains a 1gb memory stick, long sleeved t-shirt, sweets and a frisbee. At 1000 points you receive the coverted Qype ninja kit, containing a lovely mini bottle of bubbly, a ipod shuffle, and best of all, a cuddly ninja! Unfortunately again there is no further incentive for users to continue to review attractions once they have received the ninja kit, as there are no further ...

Theatre Royal, Newcastle 21/10/2009

Get your culture fix in one of the most stunning buildings in NCL

Theatre Royal, Newcastle Newcastle Theatre Royal is a stunning Grade 1 listed building constructed from stone in a classical style. The entrance is ornate and imposing. It sits amongst the almost entirely listed Grey Street, slightly down from Monument metro station, and is walkable from here, the main train station or the bus stops. There are many car parks in the area, and the theatre is entirely wheelchair accessable. The theatre inside is a traditional proscenium arch, with stalls and 3 tiers of galleries (don't sit in The Gods if you're short sighted or afraid of heights!). The highlight of the theatre's annual schedule for me is the RSC season which runs from September to early November every year. This has a healthy budget and creates some truly stunning effects and stage decoration. Contemporary productions are shown in the spring. There is a restaurant and half time bar, as well as a kiosk for sweets. The restaurant does a nice pre-show deal, however it remains pricey, and there are several better and more reasonable restaurants also doing theatre specials within a 100m radius.

World Headquarters, Newcastle 21/10/2009

Newcastle's hidden clubbing gem

World Headquarters, Newcastle World Headquarters (or World HQ as it is locally known) is the only club in the city which relies entirely on word of mouth to advertise. Due to this there is a edgy, underground allure to the club. The club often has long queues outside, but people are never crammed in and it is one of the more 'comfotrable' clubs to be in. It is hidden behind the old bus station, with a very reasonable, slightly trendy but very comfy pub opposite for pre-entry drinks. World HQ is effortlessly cool, there is nothing special about the interior to make it have the kind of atmosphere it eludes. There is a quieter area downstairs, with sofas, a bar, a pool table and decent lighting. There is also a cloakroom. Downstairs feels more like a lounge bar than a club, and it's easy to talk to your friends without yelling. The main stairs have an intricate mural painted up them, and there are some very large toilets at the top which have a full time attendant. There is no lift for disabled access. The upstairs room is a more traditional club area, with a few sofas around the edge, and a dark dance floor. The sofa areas are better lit, but all under air conditioning and very cold. It is also quite hard to talk in this area due to the noise of the music. Music tends to run towards House. World HQ has a lot of live acts, usually very big names in the House and trance music scene, but they do not have live music only DJs. Bigger names tend to be on a weeknight, although the club does not open ...
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