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After five years away, I've started with a very small review, I'll see how I get on!

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since 06/12/2002


Premier Inn Aberdeen Airport Hotel, Aberdeen 03/03/2015

The Premier of Premier Inns

Premier Inn Aberdeen Airport Hotel, Aberdeen Premier Inn Aberdeen Airport (Dyce) Hotel. Aberdeen Airport, Main Terminal, Argyll Way, Dyce AB21 0BN T: 0871 527 9460 Check in times is after 2pm and checkout is by Midday. We were going to Aberdeen in February 2015 to look for a new car so we just needed a basic room to sleep in. We booked the Premier Inn at the airport as we knew it would be easy to find off the A96 from Inverness. The cost for the hotel for the night (a lovely big family room) was £44.00. I could not believe the cost as it is right next to Aberdeen Airport (five minutes walking distance) Amazing! Be aware though that rates vary according to dates and if you would like a premier saver which is pre-pay and no amends or refunds it is generally around £5 - £8 more to pay for a Premier flexible where you can amend your booking up until 1pm on the date of your stay. The hotel has its own car park which is extra at a cost of £5.00 for 24hours. We have stayed in a lot of Premier Inns but this one surpasses anyone that we have stayed at anywhere in the UK. It is a lovely building with a beautiful lobby and state of the art checking in desks with self check-in screens a facility we did not have to use as there was a lovely lady on reception to greet us. The keys for the rooms are swipe keys and you need to swipe your key to get through the door to the lifts; very good for security. The bedrooms here are the Premier Inns New Generation Bedrooms and very nice they are too. The room was very large, very ...

Appia Hotel, Paris 22/02/2015

I was Happy enough to stay here.

Appia Hotel, Paris The Hotel Appia La Fayette, Paris. 13 rue des Deux Gares | 10th Arr., 75010 Paris, France We decided to go to Paris for Valentines weekend 2015 and knowing that hotels in Paris were very expensive weren’t expecting much. A wee note here about travel: don’t go booking a taxi to Paris for E50.00 get on the RER B for E9.00 each way and book yourself an RER travel pass for the days that you are there, you can travel all over depending on which zones you choose. We choose zones 1-3 and travelled all over the place and back and round again without having to pay anymore than the travel pass cost. The location was a huge factor in choosing this hotel as we flew into Charles de Gaulle Airport and I knew that the hotel was situated between Gare du Nord and Gare de L’est train stations. The train was easy to find at it took 25 minutes to reach Paris. We got the train to Gare du Nord and be careful here as we got out at the wrong exit, we got out at La Chapelle which made it a bit more difficult to find the hotel (La Chapelle by the way is only two metro stops from the Moulin Rouge). If you actually get out at Gare du Nord the Hotel Appia is about three minutes walk away. Gare du Nord Metro Station is just across the road from the train station on the corner. It is fantastically sited for travel in and out of Paris – 25 minutes to the Eiffel Tower on the metro! The Area is okay but not upmarket and you should be careful on the streets as thieves operate all over Paris. The area ...

Bella Vista Hotel, Malta 26/10/2014

Malta is Wonderful - The Bella Vista Hotel is not!

Bella Vista Hotel, Malta The Bella Vista Hotel, St Paul’s Bay, Malta. We stayed here from the 11th to the 18th of October 2014. I was not expecting much; I know that four stars normally equate to about two stars in the UK, but I did not expect it to be quite so dreadful. I’m not too fussy, a clean bathroom and a clean bed are my main priorities on a cheap holiday and I can forgive tired old hotels as long as they are clean and use-able. The Bella Vista is not one of these places; we arrived very late at night to be met by the night desk clerk who was actually the friendliest desk staff member that we met in the whole week. We were given the card key to our Superior room and told that as we were on a half board basis food would be given to us at the bar. We collected a hard sandwich, an apple and a bottle of water, not edible, but we were not complaining as we did not expect any food at all and the wee bottle of water was most welcome. The Bella Vista is described on the internet as below: The Bella Vista is a wonderful 4-star hotel situated in the stunning St. Paul’s Bay region, in the northwest part of the paradise island of Malta. With its breath taking views, fabulous facilities and warm island hospitality, the Bella Vista promises an unforgettable stay in the heart of this Maltese paradise. It is not a Wonderful 4 star hotel – after checking out what the star ratings for Malta are: Four star– fully air-conditioned accommodation; all rooms must have a private bath or shower, an ‘internal ...

Saffron Indian Restaurant, Inverness 09/10/2014

An Excellent family run new small Indian Restaurant in Inverness!

Saffron Indian Restaurant, Inverness A family run, new small Indian Restaurant for Inverness. Saffron Indian Restaurant opened its doors today for the first time and we had the pleasure of being their first sit in customers, and it won't be the last time we visit. The restaurant is small seating approximately 20 customers and has a take-away menu. The take-away section is separated from the main dining area leading straight from the front door to the counter. The restaurant itself is small but beautifully designed with ambient lighting, ornate hanging light fittings and comfortable tables and chairs. We were greeted and served by extremely friendly staff that could not have been more polite and helpful. We had a poppadoms and pickle tray to start and I can honestly say it was the best tasting pickle choice that I have ever had in an Indian restaurant, Although there was actually a little too much supplied for just the two of us. We were also given a garlic dish to try and it was amazing; my husband ate the whole dish! Our starters were Onion Bhajis and Garlic Mushrooms, the Bhajis were crisp and very tasty and the Garlic Mushrooms fresh and light with finely cut coriander on the top; both were served with a salad and a slice of lemon with a nifty little lemon squeezer. For our main we had lamb Jalfrezi and Chicken Chilli Garlic (with extra Chilli and Garlic) both main dishes were cooked to perfection and full of flavour. We had Garlic Nan bread which was fluffy, light and crispy. We chose a lemon rice ...

Rahans Lake Lodge, Carrickmacross 20/10/2009

A Peaceful Retreat in Ireland.

Rahans Lake Lodge, Carrickmacross Rahans Lake Lodge can be found on a number of websites for accommodation in Ireland; it is a lovely cabin located in a tranquil location by Rahans Lake, near Carickmacross in County Monaghan in Southern Ireland. The cabin is very clean and has everything you need for a self catering holiday. The photos on the websites accurately dictate all aspects of the cabin. We stayed there for a week from the 20th to the 28th of July 2009 and found everything to be in good order. We were advised by the owner to call him when we were in nearby Carrickmacross and he would guide us to the Lodge, however, we decided to try and find it ourselves, coming from the Highlands of Scotland rural locations are the norm for us. We almost made it and then the owner phoned us and he came out in his car to meet us, turned out we were only a mile away from the Lodge so we did pretty well. We were given a lovely welcome from the Owner Jim McMahon, who showed us round the cabin and told us about the area and what there was to see and do. On first inspection, Rahans Lake Lodge is a fairly new building and is extremely well looked after. We entered through the front door which leads straight into the kitchen/living room, which is well laid out with a lovely high ceiling. The first thing that struck me was the fresh smell of natural wood. There are two large windows in this room and the double doors, both at the front and rear, have a window each as well. So plenty of light. The kitchen had all ...

Harbourside Hotel B&B, Irvine 22/09/2009

Better than Expected

Harbourside Hotel B&B, Irvine On a recent family trip to Irvine, money was a big issue so finding a decent hotel at the minimum cost was a priority. We booked a family room at the Harbourside Hotel and to be honest didn't expect much more from a 2 star rating than a place to sleep. We got much more than expected, the room was large and very clean, there were three of us and we had booked a family room with a double bed and two single beds. There was a double wardrobe with a chest of drawers and two extra quilted bedcovers should they be required. The room had a television and a video player and the hotel has a small complimentary video borrowing library next to the dining room (very helpful for rainy days and bored children). The bed linen was freshly laundered and the room boasted a microwave with two hob rings, a full size kitchen sink, a full size fridge, kettle, crockery cutlery, glasses, mugs, hairdryer, iron and the cleanest glass on a hotel shower I've seen for a long time. A perfect self contained, self catering room for a family on a tight budget. We arrived late at night and had been given a code to enter the hotel as the desk isn't manned at night, this proved no problem and we walked through the hotel to an exit door at the back, when we went out it was into a tiny courtyard with two external rooms, our room was here and this was perfect for me as I'm a smoker and it meant I didn't have to go all the way through the hotel and to the front door, I just left my room ...

The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter 14/02/2008

Body Butter - Body Better

The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter Body shop Satsuma Body Butter. £12.00 for 200mls. This review started life as a wee orange tub of stuff that I tried and thought it was so good I would review it. It actually turned out to be, for me, hours of poring over the internet finding out fascinating things about the main ingredient which is Shea butter and when I started researching the other ingredients I found lots of interesting facts about the moisturising qualities that most of the ingredients in this product have, some of them even say they help stretch marks, guess I'll be buying a big tub! The main ingredient comes from the Karite tree in Africa, this tree Lives to two centuries; it bears fruit after 15 years and produces a full crop after 25 years. It grows mainly in West Africa, and can reach a maximum height of 15 to 20 meters. The Karite Tree cannot be cultivated. It blooms from June to July and bears dark green fruits which fall to the ground when ripe. Each fruit contains a nut with a hard white kernel - the source of the Shea Butter. A lot goes into getting the oil from the nuts, first it's picked and then processed with water, the nuts are then spread out to dry in the sun, then they are hand pounded to crack them after that they are boiled while being constantly stirred, releasing the Shea butter from the nut. The Shea Karite tree is highly valued in Africa. West Africans call the butter Ori or Oyi and use it for a variety of topical applications to the entire body. Also know as the ...

Hurting Distance - Sophie Hannah 30/10/2007

Hurting distance - Sophie Hannah

Hurting Distance - Sophie Hannah Hurting Distance - Sophie Hannah I bought this book at my local Tesco on a buy two for £7.00 deal and it was well worth it. I'm an avid reader and have read about 12 books this month of all different types. I tend to pick books by reading the back cover and then the first page and if it grips me immediately then I can't leave it behind. The back of this book says "Three years ago, something terrible happened to Naomi Jenkins - so terrible she never told anyone" and the first page is an email she has written to a website called "Speak out and Survive"; you know then from the first page what Naomi's secret is, she's been raped. No I'm not giving the plot away, far from it, that's what I thought as well when I read it. I then though oh well; I'll give it a go anyway. The next chapter is about a man she is deeply in love with and how they met, blah de blah blah, well that was my feeling as I was reading it, I thought it was going to be a very slow book with no real story and berated myself for picking a book from an author I'd never heard of before. Before I knew it I was halfway through the book and couldn't put it down. I'm not telling you what's in it, where's the fun in that, I can only describe this author as the new Danielle Steele of Crime Thriller authors. This book is about deep psychological torture within a world where everything else seems normal. It's about a woman who is very private and thinks she is very strong, in fact her life is a lie and she ...

Interflora 09/10/2007


Interflora Interflora my experience. On the 15th of November 2006, my husband placed an order with as an extra gift for my Birthday as he wouldn't be home. The order he place was for a White Rose & Wine Basket (PL4020WH) £ 29.99, Interflora Delivery £ 4.99. Total Cost £ 34.98. The item was described online as "A smart and contemporary basket packed with scrumptious hand-made chocolates, a pretty cream Rose plant and a select bottle of Pinot Grigio wine. This basket is a perfect gift solution which is bound to impress". My Husband placed the order to be delivered on my 40th Birthday; He didn't notice that it might be possible that it would not be delivered on the day requested. As a consequence I sat alone in my house all day long on my 40th Birthday waiting for flowers that never arrived. My Husband was extremely upset about this, as he had ordered the flowers online from Angola in Africa; it was his only way of sending something to me that he thought would arrive on my Birthday. The flowers arrived the next morning (The day after my Birthday) in a huge box; I was excited about what I was getting until I opened the box and was bitterly disappointed. The flowers had indeed been put in a basket, which I note from their website" the basket is subject to change", this basket however was not a contemporary basket at all; in fact it was a huge traditional basket that dwarfed the meagre contents. The small rose plant was crushed by the box of ...

Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Glasgow 24/06/2007

The Rank Ramada

Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Glasgow Ramada, Glasgow City, 201 Ingram Street, Glasgow G1 1DQ. I'm updating this review as I received a response from Ramada. Jarvis, some of the contents of the letter I have placed at the end of this review. My sister and I stayed at this hotel on Saturday June the 9th 2007, we were in room 309. The hotel is being renovated at the moment; however, I don’t think you’ll want to stay here even after the renovation once you’ve read this review. To start with I’ll give you an overview of the hotel and Ramada Jarvis. The following information was taken from their website. ☼ ☼ ☼ “Founded in 1990 by John Jarvis and David Thomas, Jarvis Hotels plc has established itself as one of the UK's leading hotel companies with a portfolio of over 60 hotels in around 50 locations throughout Great Britain. In 1996 the company was floated on the UK Stock Exchange and in June 2001 entered into a 20 year arrangement with Marriott International Inc. to re-brand 56 of its hotels under the Ramada name in the UK. Jarvis Hotels has now joined forces with Ramada International, adding 57 Jarvis hotels across Great Britain to the Ramada portfolio and bringing international standards to a UK hotel group. From country houses to city centre hotels, Jarvis has always been associated with quality products and friendly service. The Ramada Jarvis partnership brings you the products you know, together with the service you'd expect from an International hotel brand. So, ...

Wrigleys Extra Ice 02/06/2007

Nice Ice - Flavoured Mastication

Wrigleys Extra Ice Wrigley’s have been making gum for a long time and the new Wrigley’s Extra Ice is just one new product that they have produced over the years. Before I review the gum, I’m going to tell you a little about what goes into making the Wrigley Mint taste. If added together the farmland they need to grow all the mint for their gum production would be 30,550 football fields or 53 square miles. The mint they use is all grown north of the 41st parallel, in well-drained mucklands in many states in America. It is grown in areas where they need the right amount of daylight to produce the right amount and quality of oil. Mint is planted in rows and is a perennial plant that produces no seed. Its yield is from “glands” on the underside of the leaves and a vast quantity is needed to produce the oil for production; approximately an acre of planted mint yields about 76 pounds of oil. The mint is cut down between June to September and then the leaves are distilled, refined and blended through a process called fractionation, which takes out and reduces certain components which make the oil stronger or weaker according to what the producer wants. Northwestern Flavors does the final blending process for Wrigley’s oils. So there you have it, where it comes from and how it’s harvested, now for the final product and what I thought of it: Wrigley’s Extra Ice Peppermint, is a small white tutti-frutti shape that’s been squashed in the middle somewhat resembling a 3D little bow ...

Holiday Inn Express Aberdeen City Centre, Aberdeen 20/05/2007

Express By Holiday Inn Aberdeen

Holiday Inn Express Aberdeen City Centre, Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express Aberdeen This hotel is a modern, purpose built hotel with 155 bedrooms. We Stayed at this Hotel on Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th of May 2007. We were meeting two of our Ciao friends and wanted somewhere near central Aberdeen. Location: Chapel Street, off Union Street; the main thoroughfare of Aberdeen, with The Bon Accord Shopping Centre and various pubs, eateries and lots of little side streets with exclusive shops. Cost: Four person bedroom: double bed and sofa bed: £55.00 per room, per night. The main Entrance has a Small reception area with a few comfortable sofas and a bar area to the left with further comfortable seating, coffee tables and two large screen televisions. The staff were very friendly and courteous and gave us a warm welcome. A little further along is the dining area where breakfast is served from 6.30 am to 9.30am weekdays and till 10.30 at the weekend. I found the breakfast a little lacking in variety, with only cereal, toast, butter, Croissants and some sweet pastries, along with the obligatory marmalade etc. However, right across the road from the main entrance is a lovely little shop that sells bacon rolls and lots of other things, so if you really want something more than a continental breakfast with coffee/tea and juices you can nip over to Ross’s Chapel Street Bakery. We booked a “Smoking” room, which is a bit smelly as you would expect. The Holiday Inn Express haven’t found a way to fumigate ...

Tesco Kids Butterfly Wellington Boots 08/11/2006

I got all Dirty and Wet for this.

Tesco Kids Butterfly Wellington Boots My Grey Dunlop Wellies died this year after a productive eleven years of hard labour, they did me a great service which is why I am mentioning them; they were used mainly for beachcombing, picking winkles (Whelks/Sea fish) and for long muddy walks with children. So now it was time to find a new pair. As my new Wellingtons will be used for much lighter work like pressure washing the patio, washing the car, and simple walks in the rain and snow. I decided I should just get a cheap pair. It didn't take long to find a suitable pair. In fact (like most things I buy) I found them along with my weekly food shop at Tesco Extra. These wellies are from the "Cherokee" range, to give them their proper title they are the "Tesco Kids Butterfly Wellington Boots". I'm lucky enough to have small enough feet to buy V.A.T free Wellies from the kiddies department! My new Wellingtons are black with a delightful little heel (perfect for Scottish Mud Dancing), a buckle detail on the side and a substantial enough (for light use) Textured sole. They have a black background with blue, purple, pink and yellow butterflies. At this point I am going to digress to a VERY short history of the Wellington Boot:- The Original Wellington Boot was reputedly made or named after Arthur Wellesley the 1st Duke of Wellington. The first Wellingtons/Gum Boots were based on Hessian boots that were worn by a northern German Tribe. The 1st Duke of Wellington had his boots made for him by a ...

Marriott Hotel, Glasgow 16/09/2006

The Meticulous Marriot.

Marriott Hotel, Glasgow The Marriot Hotel, Glasgow. ¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º °`°º¤¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ ¸,ø I booked this hotel for a two night stay starting on the 18th of August 2006. We needed somewhere to stay as we were attending the Ciao Glasgow meet, which incidentally was absolutely brilliant. As we are rather fond of our local Marriot Hotel, we decided as a late Anniversary present, to treat ourselves to a visit to the Glasgow Marriot. We weren't disappointed. We drove to Glasgow from Inverness, which took about 3 and a half hours and we had directions for the hotel from The last direction was to take the Clydebank/S.E.C.C. Exit 19 off the M8 heading Southbound, take the ramp 290 m and turn left and there we were. No driving into or through Glasgow's' main streets, I was so relieved as I don't know Glasgow at all and was dreading navigating our way to the hotel. So there you go easy as that! And on the way back out all we had to do was turn right out of the hotel and turn right back onto the M8 and Woo Hoo on the road to Home. I booked our stay online through a link from a hotels website. Please be aware that some of these websites state that the parking at the Marriot is free and when you book your reservation your confirmation states that the parking is £3.00 per 24 hours. I think this is a total rip off, if you are actually patronising the hotel, why should you have to pay to park there? The Glasgow Marriot is a four star Hotel with 13 floors, 4 suites, 13 meeting rooms and ...

Proposed Ciao Meets 16/08/2006

Glasgow Ciao Meet. Are you brave enough?

Proposed Ciao Meets Glasgow Ciao Meet Saturday 19th of August 2006 °º••º°"˜¨¨˜"°º••º°"˜¨¨˜"°º••º°"˜¨¨¨˜"°º••º°"˜¨¨¨˜"°º••º°"˜¨¨˜"°º••°º You may have noticed that it isn't a "proposed" Ciao meet this is because there are at least four of us that are definitely going, namely myself, Paul99ine, Missy0303 and Mayclair (Gina). I know that quite a few people on Ciao have talked about proposing a Scottish meet, I'm not sure who they all are but I've heard that Belfin, Mayclair and a few others had mentioned proposing a meet. This particular meeting came about after a very late night phone call to me from Paul99ine about a month ago, Paul99ine was sober during this phone call, unfortunately and much to her amusement I most certainly was not. However I do remember (most of) the content of the conversation. We were discussing meeting up in Glasgow as a follow-up to our previous meeting in Kyle near the Isle of Skye in April this year, we both felt that we hadn't had enough time to waffle properly to each other. It was mentioned that we could ask Missy0303 as she was in the vicinity and then we suggested to each other that perhaps other people might like to come along. And that was that, some feelers were put out and before I knew it lots of people sounded interested. I will add a list of yes's and possibles at the end of this review and if you would like to be added to the list please let myself, Paul99ine, Missy0303 or Belfin ...
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