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since 09/07/2007


Toby's Carvery 25/10/2008

A Sunday roast every day of the week!

Toby's Carvery Toby Carvery Edinburgh Gate Harlow CM20 2LQ Tel: 01279 442 151 Carvery opening hours: 12pm -10pm Monday to Saturday 11am - 10pm Sunday Pub opening hours: 11am -11pm Monday to Saturday (some local variations until 12am) Getting to this branch of the Toby Carvery chain is quite simple. Whichever direction you are coming from, follow the signs for the A414 and the Harlow Town Train Station. The restaurant is just behing the train station car park, so also easily accessible via train or bus. If you are OK with walking, then it is about a fifteen minute walk from the town centre. The place has a large free car park, with amle disabled parking, yet, be careful not to park in the travel lodge car park (adjacent) as there are signs up threatening fines etc. Aesthetically the place in set in under average surrounding, on the corner of a main road roundabout and the train station very close by. If sitting outside, although the area is cordoned off, you still have the spectacular view of either a road or a car park! Still, it's not the view you go for is it?! In addition, the place is ideal to be next to a travel lodge, as conveient to eat at when staying in the hotel, though no discount if offered. Inside, the pub is homely with sofas as well as bar stools and tables. There are the usual few slot machines and at the far end, the doors open to an ample sized outside area. The restaurant itself is large, but crammed with tables. I usually find that ...

Prezzo Italian Restaurants 23/10/2008

The food here is equisite!

Prezzo Italian Restaurants The restaurant I am reviewing is that of Prezzo's Italian restaurant in Epping. Full address is 236 HIGH STREET, EPPING, ESSEX, CM16 4AP. Phone 01992 570 056. On this occasion I went with a friend and as we were planning to go on a Friday evening, I felt it best to book. My phonecall was answered promptly and courteously and allowed me to request a table for two for 7.45 on that coming Friday (I gave them about 5 days notice. My friend and I know the area well and thought the parking would be a doddle so didn't leave much time to get parked. Essentially the journey there was very easy. We came from the M11 roundabout and simply followed the signs to Epping. Then kept on the straight and didn't turn off anywhere until we saw the high street. The restaurant is visible from the road (coming from the M11 direction, it is on the left. Parking wise the place is a bit of a joke. Well, there is quite a lot of places to park but some of them worry me as it is double yellow lines and some say 'taxi's only'. I am usually inclined to believe that traffic wardens do not work at that time of evening, but I suppose you never know. In the end we pulled up outside the restaurant and waited for someone to leave so we could get a space near to the restaurant. We could have parked further up a bit more easily but the night was cold and we didn't fancy the walk. Outside the restaurant does not look very stylish and almost looks quite pokey and small with just one or two ...

Swallow Churchgate Hotel, Harlow 29/04/2008

Not a place for a hen night!

Swallow Churchgate Hotel, Harlow FIrstly, I have not stayed here, but been here as party of a hen night. The hotel is easy to get to, both by car and taxi, it does not appear to be easy to get to by bus or train (but then I have not tried). I was welcomed by the Reception staff upon entering the building and it was very warm and comfortable. After meeting friends, we went into the main hall (for want of a better word!). We had a table set aside for the hen party, but I felt very squashed. There must have been at least twenty table in this room, all rather close together. The drinks at the bar, were rather reasonably priced, much like in a pub and what a bonus - no queue! At the table, no drinks were provided and we had to keep going up to the bar to buy our own which was disappointing - not even a waiter to take our drinks order. The food which we had pre ordered from a short menu weeks before, came out slowly. I had the breaded mushrooms to start and they were simply delicious - can't fault them at all! I then had the roast chicken, which I ate only becuase I was still hungry. The chicken was dry and I suspect pre cooked earlier and then just warmed up. The vegetables tasted like they were frozen and not fresh and the potatoes bland. I did not enjoy it at all. Lastly, the desert I chose was a cheesecake and that was delicious. We then had a short cabaret which was a Robbie Williams impersonator and he was good, though poorly dressed and did not look like Robbie! Lastly to end the ...

Cineworld Cinemas 29/04/2008

You still have time to grab a coke!

Cineworld Cinemas Cineworld cinemas now where do I begin. As an avid cinema goer, I am usually quite up to date with films. I usually only go to the Enfield, Harlow or Bishops Stortford branches (Bishops Stortford now and Empire cinema thought). For me, comfort is a must. Fistly, looking at Harlow, this small cinema only has about ten screens, I believe. There is ample parking outside and behind the venue. It's a small cinema, with only three ticket desks so in peak periods gets very busy and you can find yourself queuing for ages. The snack area is quite big, but again, gets very busy as I never usually see the area fully staffed. I don't normally buy from there though as the prices are very very overinflated and I would go as far as saying a big rip off. I'm a bit of a sucker for popcorn though and that I don't mind paying those prices for. Upstairs is a small bar area, and again, in peak periods, you struggle to find a table. Drinks are reasonably priced though, much I would compare to pub prices. Downstairs the sweets area isn't that bit and has a lot of wrapped sweets, where I would much prefer the 'gummy' sweets - much like Harribo's. The screens I usually find freezing, even on a hot summers day I find myself bringing a sweater or coat as the air conditioning is usually too cold. The seats are worn and some even thread bare, and you have to be creaful not to sit in chewing gum! There are cup holders for your drinks and the seats are raised only slightly by a sloping floor. Here, I ...

Holes (DVD) 29/04/2008

But why dig holes?

Holes (DVD) Faced with the prospect of another Sunday afternoon bored, I flicked aimlessly through the channels, hoping for something to catch my eye. The Eastenders Omnibus had just finished and I looked up and down he TV guide on Sky. Finally, I accepted that nothing had taken my fancy and press 'back up' to return to the channel I was watching previously. That's when I got engrossed in the film Holes. A real feel good Sunday afternoon movie on BBC1. I missed the first five minutes of the film, so did not know what it was about, although was slightly jubious as to whether I would stick with watching it as it had a slight 'old' look to it, which was obviously the set, surroundings and particular mood that the Film crew wanted to create. It wasn't until I actually looked in the paper tv guide, I found out that the film only dates back to 5 years, so I think the crew have done well in creating a disctinct image and settying for this film. Anyhow, the bit of the film that I started watching was quite near the start and focusses on one of its main characters, Stanley Yelnats (surname is Stanley spelt backwards. Now Stanley gets hit with a pair of trainers and is subsequently arrested for apparently stealing these. Stanley is sent to a detention camp (is choice instead of going to jail), where at first he struggles to fit in. The camp reminds me of like a German camp back in the Holocaust. The camp is in the middle of the desert, with water, showers and clothing changes restricted. ...

Water Margin, Harlow 23/04/2008

Chow down!

Water Margin, Harlow This relatively new chinese restaurant adds another style of dining to the town of Harlow. Situated slap bang in the middle of the relatively newish area of the "Water Gardens", this restaurant is in a prime area for profit. It's downfall is that because it is in the town centre, paying for parking is inevitable. This can be expensive depending on when you dine and for how long. There are various parking lots around so it depends how far you want to walk. Going into the restaurant, it is immediately apparent that there is air conditioning and this is at a pleasant temperature. The area is very large and spacious, though where the seat is I find it a little too crammed and compare it much to a school canteen. I have been a few times now and after my first visit, I have since asked for a table at the edge or at the front, this is for ease of access. On my first visit, I was situated in the middle of dozens of other tables and found it hard to get out to get my food. People end up nudging each other, and it would be a lot better if you had a bit more room. Once seated a waitress or waiter, of whom I have had experience have all been well spoken in the English language and friendly, will take your drinks order. The service here is usually prompt and once given your drink you are issued with a drinks card. This you must keep very safe as to quote "lost drinks cards may inccur a charge of up to £25.00 per person" can you believe! Now I have not have the unfortunate loss ...

Daddy Day Camp (DVD) 23/04/2008

Kids everywhere!

Daddy Day Camp (DVD) I missed this film when it came out at the cinema, so when it was released on DVD I had made my mind up to buy it. I am generally one to watch comedies and family films, so this it appeared was a dead cert I would enjoy. I bought it today from Tesco, having deliberated for a long time whether or not to buy it as I wasn't really all that keen on paying £13.00 (approximately) that it is advertised at pretty much everywhere. Anyhow, I bit the bullet and as I had a spare afternoon, it was prime time to watch it. As it was when I got to the check out, the DVD scanned at just a mere £7 so I was chuffed to bits. I don't think it is that accessible to buy though in some shops. I am a bit of a clubcard geek and so I looked in four Tesco's before finding one that sold this DVD. It is in the family DVD chart NOT the general DVD chart. The certificate is a PG and apt I think as there is no bad language, but reference to throwing a water bomb filled with urine (kid eh) and kids having playground fights with general childish rivalry makes this film rated higher than a U. It is around an hour and a half long (just under), so easy for most children to sit through. This is the sequel to Daddy Day Care in which two average Dad's decide to create a day care centre (for us in the UK, a creche etc). Well, this sequel is them creating a day camp for children in the summer holidays. This film I thoroughly enjoyed, though with most sequels in my opinion, did not live up to the ...

Oasis Hotel, Harlow 16/04/2008

Used to be good but now I go other places.

Oasis Hotel, Harlow I stumbled across this hotel by chance, as a friend recommended it for a great chinese buffet. Now I haven't stayed in the hotel, but it has a great chinese buffet and for a reasonable price. I haven't been there in a while but I believe the price the last time I went was about £12 per head all you can eat. I think. It's quite a small place, but good as I have never seen it busy so it is rather quiet if you just want a meal and a good chat with a friend. The staff are all friendly, all courteous and whilst they leave you in peace, they make themselves known so you can grab a drink or if you have a query. There are usually quite a lot of dishes to choose from, and plenty of cripsy duck and pancakes. If you want them to make you up a dish - they will. Only downside is I have been to chinese buffets charging the same sort of price, but loads more dishes to choose from. The dishes also aren't labelled so if you don't eat chinese regularly or haven't eaten a lot of chinese food, you don't know what the dishes are without asking. Also, my friend had a pink chicken ball from there before and I had a bone in my duck (which is supposed to be already off the bone), so it puts me off a little bit. ...

Palmolive Thermal Spa Massage Shower Gel 16/04/2008

Feel and smell fresh! Definetely recommend!

Palmolive Thermal Spa Massage Shower Gel I'm quite a bargain hunter and not really partial to any particular type of shower gel, so whilst in Tesco the other week, this shower gel was on offer for 2 for £2, equating to £1 each. That I thought was a good deal as usually I only buy shower gel £1 or less, and it seemed a decent brand so I thought why not. Open the lid and before you pour the shower gel it smell fresh and clean. Almost a little manly and almost a little fruity. Can't quite put my finger on it. Pour the shower gel and it is very runny. I mean not creamy or thick like other shower gels, but like a thin milkshake consistency. It has loads of little grains of "thermal minerals" which are very fine, not coarse at all, so less fine than grains of sand. These give your body a good deep clean I think, but they also claim to "massage". I don't really feel that, but I do feel invigorated and cleansed after. The smell is very strong, staying in the shower room even after showering and you can still smell it on your skin even after drying, unlike other shower gels. This shower gel comes in a 300ml bottle, but I know they do a larger size (possibly 500ml). I would definetely recommend it for price, texture, smell and ability to deep clean and exfoliate skin. It's only low is that it is not very thick and so you tend to use more and more ends up on the floor because it is so runny. ...

Hostel (Unseen Edition) (DVD) 14/04/2008

Watch if you want to vomit!

Hostel (Unseen Edition) (DVD) Sorry this is going to be a very negative review. I went to see this film with a friend, completely oblivious to the nature of its content. I am rather weak stomached, but also very political, so was very shocked / appauled / upset to sit through this film (too much pride to walk out). It is true Quentin Tarantino, but way too gruesome for me. I am rather shocked that it has been allowed to be released. One moment that I still have nightmares about is where a young man's achilles tendons (back of ankle) are slashed. Makes me want to heave. Seriously! I am seriously wondering where people get these ideas from and I know it is just a film, but with the way society is now with gun and knife crimes, I think this adds fuel to the fire. We don't need torture too. I think what's more worrying though is I heard this may even be based on a true story? I hope that's a rumour. ...

Blackout (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Britney Spears 14/04/2008

"Britney in rehab releases album!"

Blackout (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Britney Spears Actually really good CD. Now I'm not usually a Britney Spears fan, what with all that's in the press about her right now, she's not exactly the best role model but I heard one of her most recent songs on this album (track four break the ice) on the radio and thought I would get it. It's a funky little album with 12 tracks, though all twelve songs are quite the same. Not slushy or lovey like some of her other songs, but more funky and upbeat. They all have quite a strong base in them. I paid £5 for this album in HMV as it was part of a 2 for £10 deal, and the cheapest place around that I know is selling this album. I think I made a good choice in buying it as I do quite like nearly all of the songs, but again, down side is they are all very similar. ... Marketplace 14/04/2008

Great for both buying and selling Marketplace Well, where do I start. I have been dealing with Amazon for about 5 years. The site is easy to naviagate with a large search bar at the top and then tabs for different categories. They sell a wide range of gifts, CDs, DVDs, Books, toys and even shoes can you believe. At first, I was rather jubious about buying from the site, as I am always careful about where I buy on the internet. These days what with technology, card cloners and computer hackers, you just can't be too careful. Anyhow, my friends and family had raved about the site and it seemed secure. I made my first purchase from direct, and it arrived quick-sharp and at a reasonable proce. My only quar is that they fix their delivery prices and so that certainly bumps up your price. For that reason I decided I would look at independant sellers on the site - the marketplace. Again, cautious as I am, I went in for the kill and found an item I wanted at a reasonable price. I'm a bit of a bookworm, so I went straight to the book section, searched for one I was after and click on "used or new". Here, for some items the list is endless. SO how do you choose who you buy it from? Well, like I said before, fix their delivery prices. It's not like eBay where the seller can decide how much they want for delivery, oh no, decide this. For example, in the UK the delivery prices are as follows... Books - £2.75 (any size, so this is a bargain for a huge, heavy book under new ...

Born on a Blue Day - Daniel Tammet 25/11/2007

Excellent read. Very inspiring

Born on a Blue Day - Daniel Tammet I bought this book for £2.00 at a bootsale, and my, my, it is money well spent. It is easily bought from places like Amazon, and I don't think it is very expensive there. I read my copy very quickly and then sold it on. This book is great for those inetrested in autism, Kim Peek, anything medical, Aspergers Syndrome, numbers or just likes a good real-life read. This book is Daniel's (the author) memoir of this 'extraordinary mind'. He takes you through his whole life and dealing with his autism / aspergers syndrome, the trouble he had getting it diagnosed and the trouble he had dealing with it. Daniel can process numbers to an enormous degree, but also very fortunate that he can comunicate, as many with these gifts, cannot. Really inspiring. ...

Peugeot 106 1.1 25/11/2007

Great for a first car

Peugeot 106 1.1 I have had this car for a while now and can't wait to get a new one. Whilst it is a reliable little runaround, it isn't great for me as I do at least 300 miles a week. I have had to hand numerous bits of work done on it, including, timing belt, cv joint, steering, brakes and other little bits done on it, and I have only had it two years. It is only an R reg. Other than that, very cosy, lots of little compartments to hide stuff. It does 300 miles to a full tank, and that usually costs me £30 so very economic. Mine isn't power steering, which is a bit of a downer. Boot space is large, enough for a medium sized suitcase, which surprised me. 5 seats and I've fitted in four grown adults and myself in it before. It's quite nippy, can pull away very quick, but doesn't gather speed that quick. Great for a first car, but only really that. ...

Samsung SGH E250 25/11/2007

Brilliant phone

Samsung SGH E250 In my opinion, excellent phone. I wanted a new phone that had bluetooth on (for ease of handsfree when in the car), but didn't want it to break the bank. I came across this one, as my sister recently got it, and she said it was so easy to use and it is. I paid £39.99 for it from and as of today (checked again today), it is still the cheapest place to buy the phone. What a bargain. VEry easy to use. I've been a Nokia buyer for almost the whole time I have had a phone and was quite reluctant to change to a samsung, but now I think I can't go back. Easy to navigate the phone. Memory isn't huge, I could only store 2 music tracks before it ran out. However, I invested in a 2GB SD memory card and that can store HEAPS! My only quarm is that the phone does not automatically save your messages. It only saves them if you click "send and save", though most of the time I forget and just click send. The battery life is ok. I have to charge it ervy 2-3 days and I regularly text and call. I'd recommend investing in a clear plastic case for it to avoid scratches, as I've also heard that the screen can break easily, but that may just be hear say. Other than that,fantastic, and I would recommend to anyone. ...
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