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since 27/03/2011


Jaipur Spice, York 20/04/2011

Let's Spice Things Up

Jaipur Spice, York Given that Jaipur Spice is my boyfriend’s local curry house and we go at least once a month because we love it so much, I thought it was well deserving of a review. First Impressions From the outside, it is a large, pale green building, as you can see from the photo I’ve included. It doesn’t look particularly fancy but wait until you get inside! As you walk in, there’s a small bar area to the left, a seating area to the right and straight ahead is a small pond with some fish in and a little bridge over it to get to the restaurant (you can walk round though). The restaurant looks pretty big with plenty of tables well spaced out. You’ll be greeted promptly on your arrival and either shown to a table or asked to take a seat for a few minutes whilst they arrange a table for you. Along the sides of the room there are tables for smaller groups, separated by partitions, which makes the dining experience much more private. In the middle they tend to seat larger parties. The Menu I find that this is a good menu- it's got a great selection of curries without making you trawl through page after page. If you've got an idea of what sort of curry you want, you should be able to pick out several to choose from. Starters We’ve never bothered with starters as we just go for poppadums, but there is a good range of starters, with your usual samosas, bhajis and then a variety of dishes, one based on crab, some other meats, and some vegetarian starters. They all cost around £3.50. Set ...

Forum Cafe, London 13/04/2011

Poor Service With a Side of Bleurgh Please

Forum Cafe, London On a recent trip to London with my mum, we went to visit the British Museum. Having located it, we decided to have lunch first. Not wanting to venture too far, we saw a cafe opposite the museum- the Forum Cafe. We couldn’t really see much else to choose from so we ended up here. First Impression From the outside, it looks like your average little cafe. There are a few tables outside on the pavement and a blackboard advertising jacket potatoes, sandwiches, salads etc. As we walked in there’s a glass counter with food on display to the right. A waitress led us to a table towards the back. As we sat down I noted that the roof is glass, making it light and sunny. It had a nice feel to it- as the name may suggest, it’s a Greco-Roman style cafe. Unobtrusive Italian-style music was being played and the tables aren’t crammed together. Everything seemed clean too. The Menu The main courses consist of pizzas, pastas, risottos- as you may expect in an Italian style cafe. They also serve large cooked breakfasts. As we were visiting for lunch, we paid more attention to the lighter meals. There’s a selection of sandwiches- mainly turkey and chicken and a few fish options (so basically if you’re a vegetarian you can’t have a sandwich as they don’t even do cheese). Some of them sounded quite nice, they had some thoughtful combinations. They also do jacket potatoes with a range of fillings and a few burgers. I fancied a chicken burger and my mum being vegetarian went for the veggie ...

Ibis London Euston, London 12/04/2011

Ibis Euston: Clean and Functional

Ibis London Euston, London I recently had a one night stay in the Ibis Euston on a trip to London with my mum. After having a good look around online for a hotel and coming to the conclusion that anything ‘nice’ was likely to be way out of my budget, I also realised that we were in London to see London, not to spend our time in the hotel, so surely it didn’t matter that much. A few details and clicks later and we were booked into the Ibis Euston for our one night jam packed stay. Location As the name suggests, the hotel is located very close to Euston station (which is an overground and tube station). It is also less than a mile walk from King’s Cross. To find on foot it is fairly easy, if you’re walking down Euston Road, it’s down a side street called Melton Street. You can just about see the Ibis sign from the main road. If you’re travelling by car, there is a car park at the hotel with 100 spaces. The immediate surroundings of the hotel aren’t anything special. If you come out of the hotel and turn right down Drummond Street there is a convenience store and quite a lot of Indian restaurants. From the hotel, you can easily walk to places such as the British Museum, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. This is one thing that swung it for me as my mum isn’t keen on the tube, so we wanted to be close to Kings Cross (we got the train down) and the aforementioned museum and galleries. It’s also a short walk to get yourself on a tour bus. First ...

Tollgate Farm Caravan & Camping Park, Cornwall 06/04/2011

Happy Campers

Tollgate Farm Caravan & Camping Park, Cornwall Towards the end of my degree in 2009, the boyfriend and I decided that a holiday was definitely needed. Both on a budget and both loving Cornwall, we agreed that a camping trip there sounded perfect. After fairly thorough research (I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to going away on holiday) I suggested Tollgate Farm Caravan and Camping Park and he agreed because he knows I’m always right! One phone call and a cheque in the post later and we were booked in with the deposit sent. Location Tollgate Farm is in Perranporth, on the north coast of Cornwall, less than a ten mile drive from Newquay. The campsite is located about a mile from the beach; there are several walks that you can take into the town and to the beach, including a path suitable for pushchairs and small children. This means that if you’re not using Perranporth as a base to explore Cornwall and just want to stay in the town, you probably won’t need to use your car at all. Travelling by car, it is quite easy to find- from the A30, turn onto the B3285 and about a mile along there’s a right turn into the farm. I think we may have missed it originally but as soon as we had gone past we realised and turned around. A quick bit about Perranporth Although I’m reviewing the campsite I’ll throw in a quick bit about the town. It’s not very big but probably has everything you might need. There’s a co-op, a butchers, a pharmacy, a selection of pubs and restaurants and a variety of surfing shops where you can book ...

Sands Beach Resort, Costa Teguise 30/03/2011

A Lovely Lanzarote Holiday

Sands Beach Resort, Costa Teguise My review of Sands Beach Resort is based on a one week stay in late September 2010 with my boyfriend. The aim is to review the accommodation, facilities, staff etc at the resort rather than the area of Costa Teguise or the island of Lanzarote. We booked our holiday through a travel agent after doing research online and deciding that this was where we wanted to go based on our budget of around £800 for the two of us to cover flights and accommodation, and some good reviews that we had read about the resort. The cost was just under £800 for a 7 night stay self catering, flights and transfers both ways. The Resort Located at the end of the purpose-built area of Costa Teguise and on the beach front, the resort consists mainly of 6 U-shaped blocks of apartments and a row of beach front apartments. The beach is question is a private one with fair sized ocean filled lagoon. From the street, the front of the resort looks impressive- white building, pillars, palm trees. The front section of the resort houses the reception, supermarket, bar, gym and spa facilities. A quick walk through the reception takes you out to all of the accommodation. Each block of about 30 apartments is arranged around an open air swimming pool, each designed to look ‘natural’- they’re an aesthetically pleasing shape rather than rectangular (this is standard for Lanzarote) and have a few big rocks dotted around. The restaurant is located near the beach front apartments. A bridge takes you over the lagoon ...

Cupcakes from The Primrose Bakery - Martha Swift, Lisa Thomas 30/03/2011

Cupcake heaven

Cupcakes from The Primrose Bakery - Martha Swift, Lisa Thomas I originally purchased this book as I was doing a cake sale for charity and needed some help and proper recipes as the cupcakes I’d attempted to make previously were a bit dry and looked very boring. The book caught my attention because of the photos on the front showing delicious looking cakes and when I flicked through there seemed to be lots of ideas and advice rather than just a bunch of recipes. Sections The book is split into sections to make it easier to locate the perfect recipe for the occasion or time of year. The first section gives an introduction and background to the book. Two women, Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas, both with young children, noticed a gap in the market in 2004. They began to make cupcakes for children’s parties and became more and more popular. They started to get orders for private functions and to cut a long story short they now have their own bakery in London and wrote this book to share the art of making delicious and beautiful cupcakes. In total the book contains 24 recipes for cupcakes and 17 recipes for icings. Basic Cupcakes There is a page which gives tips towards making perfect cupcakes. These ladies believe that using good quality, fresh ingredients, always free range or organic eggs, measuring carefully and bringing ingredients to room temperature before mixing (i.e eggs, milk) ensures the best possible cakes. This section also includes the recipes for four basic cupcake flavours- vanilla, chocolate, lemon and carrot. Basic ...

The Chocolate Run - Dorothy Koomson 29/03/2011

Chocolate without the calories

The Chocolate Run - Dorothy Koomson I bought this book because I’ve read a few of Dorothy Koomson’s other books and really enjoyed them. The synopsis sounded interesting and when I read the first few pages of the book in the shop, it grabbed my attention immediately. The Plot The story is told by Amber Salpone, a woman in her early thirties with a dysfunctional family background and a passion for chocolate. She is single and celibate following the break up of a serious relationship 18 months previously. She lives in Leeds, enjoys her job working for the West Yorkshire International Film Festival (most of the time) and is very close to her best friend, Jen, who she has known since college. She prides herself on being a perceptive person and enjoys comparing people to chocolate to describe their personalities. She also uses chocolate to calm down and when really stressed, even sniffs the wrappers… The story opens the morning after Amber has spent the night with Greg, Jen’s boyfriend Matt’s best friend… who also happens to be Amber’s close friend of three years. When Amber first met him, she couldn’t stand him and made every effort to avoid him, but they gradually became very close friends and spend a lot of time together. Although Greg is incredibly good looking (and sexy, and intelligent…) and Amber’s second best friend, he’s a womaniser. In addition, Amber is incredibly scared of commitment (she can’t even commit to weekend plans before Wednesday). So when it turns out Greg didn’t see it as a one night stand ...
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