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since 14/10/2005


Villas Plat, Plat 26/06/2017

Holidaying in croatia

Villas Plat, Plat When I was booking to go to Croatia with my daughter we had a few criteria which decided on the place we would stay. We definitely knew we would like a swimming pool, be close to the sea and also be close to Dubrovnik, and with all of this in mind, this was a reasonably priced and decent looking prospect. WHERE IS IT?... The hotel is situated in a small town, Plat, right on the beach and about 20 minutes south of Dubrovnik if travelling by taxi. It is also not a long transfer time from the airport, about 20 minutes or so, so not a great deal of travelling time, which I like. The hotel is in a small residential town with a couple of restaurants and although we spent two weeks here, we didn't find a supermarket although there must be one. CHECKING IN... We arrived at possibly the hottest time of the day, which was hot, and having past a gate, used to stop too many people parking in the hotel grounds, we were left at reception. The reception area is large with a bar area at one side and the desk at the other complete with tables and sofas. The staff at the desk were really helpful and the check in process was painless and after giving us our key, a young man offered to help us with our bags. Usually I would decline the offer but it was hot and the complex looked very hilly! THE ROOM... The complex is indeed built up a hill and there were lots of steps up to the room since we were at the apartments right at the top. When we got there, the building consisted of about 10 ...

Vaseline Intensive Care Healthy Hand & Nail Lotion 20/06/2017

Decent hand cream

Vaseline Intensive Care Healthy Hand & Nail Lotion I always like to have hand cream in my bag as I find that my hands can dry out quite quickly.i have no loyalty to any one particular brand but tend to buy a well known brand and something which promises intensive moisturising. WHAT IS THIS AND WHAT DOES IT DO?... This contains keratin and micro droplets of Vaseline jelly, which promises to deeply moisturise and help heal very dry hands. It also apparently strengthens nails making them less likely to ship and break, and states that within two weeks nails will be ten times stronger. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... This comes in a pink 75ml tube with the information and instructions written all around the tube. It has a flip up and flip back down lid and the hand cream is dispensed through a hole at the top of the tube. The hand cream itself is white I. Colour and has a nice creamy consistency and a ain't sweet smelling scent. When I massage some into my hands it doesn't feel greasy and is quickly absorbed, leaving my hands non sticky but with a nice lingeringbut not cloying floral smell. USING THE PRODUCT... I find that if my hands are really dry, this is absorbed really quickly and so depending on the dryness of my hands, I need to use different amounts of the hand cream. I tend to have this near the sink and use it whenever I have wet and dried my hands, which seems to keep any dryness at bay. It sits on its lid and the only trouble I find when applying the product is that when I lift up the lid, the hand cream comes out ...

Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm 12/06/2017

Nourishing but pricey

Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm I do like the Elemis products and whilst they are expensive, I find that they do deliver and do as they promise. WHAT IS THIS AND WHAT DOES IT DO?... This is sold as a super cleansing treatment balm which deep cleanses, softens and nourishes the skin. It apparently dissolves make-up, daily grime and pollutants leaving skin renewed and giving a glowing complexion. It is suitable for all skin types. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... This comes in a 105g plastic pot, very simple packaging with the name of the product on the front and instructions and information on a peel off strip on the bottom. I get to the product by unscrewing the silver lid. It is yellowish in colour and has a faint citrus/marine spa type scent. It's not floral and neither masculine or feminine but more something I would find in a spa. It looks quite waxy and has a sheen to it, and when I touch it, it feels solid to the touch. It can melt when it is in a warm environment but it does reset and I don't think this change of state affects performance. USING THE PRODUCT... A 10p piece sized amount is sufficient, and this should be warmed in the palms of hands. When I do this, what is solid turns oily and with a more distinct smell. Once it is more of a liquid constistency, it should be massaged into the face and neck and removed with a damp cleansing cloth (provided in box). I have also used this as a more nourishing and moisturising treatment by applying the product and leaving it for ten minutes before wiping ...

Boots Dual Action Ear Wax Remover 09/06/2017

Helping me to hear

Boots Dual Action Ear Wax Remover For no apparent reason and quite suddenly, my right ear completely blocked up, causing real discomfort. A visit to the pharmacist assured me that it was wax but when I phoned the doctor, they told me I had to have applied drops for three weeks before they could syringe my ear. Three weeks of muffled sounds headaches and feeling at odds with myself! WHAT IS THIS AND WHAT DOES IT DO?... This is basically an ear wax remover which apparently softens and removes hardened ear wax and reduces the need for stringing, they do this by gently releasing oxygen to help disperse the wax. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... The product comes in a box clearly stating the type of product and with the instructions and information written around the sides. Inside the box is a small instruction leaflet and the small 10ml bottle of the product. The bottle unscrews and reveals a dropper type dispenser. USING THE PRODUCT... Tilt head to the side and release five drops into the ear. This in itself is quite tricky because I can't see how many drops are going in and can just feel the liquid. When the oily feeling liquid is in the ear, keep head tilted to the side for it to work it's magic and then wipe the excess oil away. When I apply it, it does feel very oily and there is a faint bubbling sensation which is apparently quite normal. I assume this is the oxygen breaking up the wax so I feel heartened by this. The thing to remember is not to give in to temptation and press the dropper right into the ear, ...

Max Factor Translucent Loose Powder 24/05/2017

Very loose powder

Max Factor Translucent Loose Powder I prefer loose powder and whilst I don't use it very often always like to have some in the house. WHAT IS THIS AND WHAT DOES IT DO?... This is an ultra fine translucent loose powder which suits all skin tones, blends with any foundation and which helps keep make up in place all day. It is dermatologically tested and apparently won't feel dry on the face. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... The powder comes in a black plastic tub and when I lift up the lid, inside there is a powder puff which I don't use as I always apply with a brush. As advertised, the powder has a mesh sieve which is supposed to dispense the perfect amount of powder. This is not the case. The sieve is not attached to anything and so doesn't contain the powder. This means that when the lid is opened, the powder spills out of the sides, on top of the mesh, everywhere except under the sieve for easy dispensing. The powder itself is fine and being translucent is great for applying over foundation. USING THE POWDER... The powder should be applied after foundation concealer and blusher to set your look. In theory the application of powder is very simple, just tip up the tub, and let a small amount come out of the mesh, put the brush in the powder, apply loose powder to the back of the hand, tap off the excess and dust over the face. Not so with this powder. I lift up the lid and there is powder on the edges, in the lid, and in fact everywhere close by. I find myself having to open the pot over the sink to minimise ...

HG Stove Glass Cleaner Spray 19/05/2017

Keeping stoves clean

HG Stove Glass Cleaner Spray We have a stove in one of the rooms and tend to have it going quite often in the winter months. Whilst it's lovely at the time, the amount of soot and dirty residue leaves the glass on the door absolutely filthy and if left I cleaned I find myself looking at a black window rather than a roaring fire. WHAT IS THIS AND WHAT DOES IT DO?... This product is specifically a stove glass cleaner and it promises to remove soot grease and tar from glass windows. I haven't tried it on any other glass because they're not dirty enough. However, it does state that it is mild enough to remove minor soot deposits from bricks and mantelpieces. Handy because when using, this does drip into the hearth. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... The 500ml bottle has a trigger spray mechanism and there is a picture of a stove on the front so clearly tells me what it is for. When I spray the product onto the glass, it does have quite an unpleasant smell, definitely not fumes I would want to be inhaling in a very confined space. It does spray easily and as soon as it hits the glass surface foams up slightly. USING THE PRODUCCT... Firstly, the temperature of the glass needs to be cool so no cleaning immediately after a roaring fire, and I would also recommend rubber gloves. Simply spray over the surface to be cleaned. It does foam a bit and there is some of the liquid which runs down the glass onto the hearth but I simply use it to clean the hearth. Once the product has been sprayed, it should be left for ...

Boots Electronic Head lice Comb 15/05/2017

Zap the lice

Boots Electronic Head lice Comb I am always prepared with head lice equipment and tend to check my hair every so often for the blighters. Given that I'm not great at actually being able to see the creatures, the idea of something which will do it for me does appeal. WHAT DOES IT DO? This chemical free comb promises to detect and kill head lice. HOW DOES IT DO THIS? The comb uses a small electrical charge which is harmless to the user but which will kill all head lice which come into contact with the teeth of the comb. WHO IS IT SUITABLE FOR? This is suitable for all adults and children over the age of three years old. Probably a good age as this is the time children are usually in some kind of nursery setting and therefore potentially have more change of catching head lice. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... The comb comes packaged ina box and inside the box is the comb and a small instruction leaflet. The comb itself is white in colour with a bit of a blue design and has an easy grip slightly shaped handle. The metal comb part has quite short teeth placed close together. One thing I liked about this is that unlike the more traditional plastic combs, these teeth are obviously much more sturdy and unlikely to break when tackling thick hair. On the end of every other tooth is a metal bead which I assume helps the comb go through hair more easily; these beads should always be checked before use. USING THE COMB... The comb should always be used in dry hair. Turn on the comb by sliding the little switch and the ...

Lenor Summer Breeze Irresistible Softness 06/05/2017

Not especially long lasting scent

Lenor Summer Breeze Irresistible Softness I tend to have little loyalty as regards fabric softeners and usually buy whatever is on offer. WHAT IS THIS?... This fabric softener promises to soften clothes with four times longer freshness and leave them with a soft and relaxing fragrance reminiscent of a summer day. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... The product comes in various sizes, but I bought the large 1.9litre bottle, sufficient it states for 76 washes. This is a large plastic rectangular shaped bottle with the label being suitably sunny and stating the name of the product with some warnings on the side. The instructions are shown as a series of illustrations merely stating the amount of liquid required for various size washes. As expected, being a summery kind of product, the liquid is yellow in colour and when I open the lid, it does have a strong smell, of what I'm not sure but it's not unpleasant although it does smell a bit synthetic and not like an outdoor summers day. USING THE PRODUCT... The large blue lid is actually the measuring lid and the instructions state whether this should be filled to the middle for a standard 4-5kg wash, or for added freshness, a bit higher. I don't tend to use the measure and pour it randomly into the appropriate compartment which works fine. When I first take my washing out of the machine, there is quite a strong smell, and it's a very nice smell, very fresh and clean smelling. Unfortunately, this doesn't last, and once the washing is dry, the smell disappears, so there is no ...

Bomb Cosmetics Jelly & Custard Bath Blaster 04/05/2017

Sweet smelling and glittery

Bomb Cosmetics Jelly & Custard Bath Blaster I sometimes buy bath products from this company mainly because when I am passing the shop, it all looks bright and appealing. WHAT IS THIS?... This is one of the products in the bath bomb range, most of which do kind of look like their name. It is described as having a party in the bath, with the nostalgic scents of jelly and custard and a hint of glitter to add some magic! It contains pure clary sage and cedarwood essential oils to help you relax, which to me all sounds good apart from the glitter! PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... The bath bomb comes wrapped in plastic and other than that there is no other fancy packaging. It is a spherical bath both, flat on the bottom and comes in the pink or green model. Mine is pink with the main body being pink with a topping of white froth and small bits of red which are presumably the jelly but which look like little flowers. Sprinkled all over the top is a good spray of gold glitter There's not much of a smell so I'm assuming the smell kicks in when in water. USING THE PRODUCT... As with most bath bombs, this should be dropped into running water and stirred around until it dissolves. Because they're big I always use half by holding it under the water and letting half dissolve and keeping the other half for next time. When the bomb is put under water, it does start to fizz and the sweet smell is finally released. It does smell of sweets which is quite pleasant. When I am in the bath the water feels soft and this is apparently because ...

The Shard, London 02/05/2017

I can see for miles

The Shard, London When we knew we were visiting friends in London, we knew that one of the attractions we wanted to visit was The Shard. This therefore is a review not of the whole Shard and the offices and events within the building, but specifically the attraction which is The View from The Shard. WHAT IS THIS BUILDING.... Opened in 2012, The Shard was originally designed to be a vertical city Incorporating retail, offices, a hotel, apartments and a public viewing gallery, and it certainly seems to have achieved this. The design of The Shard was based on church spires and mastsof ships, and it was designed and built so that it looked like a spire like building rising from the River Thames. At the bottom of the building is a transport systems and the first 28 floors or so are offices with restaurants and bars above these and the hotel taking up the centre of the building. The apartments on the higher levels all have views out to London and the viewing galleries are at the top. GETTING TO THE SHARD... We got the tube to London Bridge and then it was a short walk to the Shard. It is signposted but in reality, and not surprisingly you can see it and so head in the right direction. Obviously we were tourists for the day and when we got to the Shard it was surprising seeing people going about their daily activities and not taking any notice of the building. As newbies, to us, it was huge, and hard not to look at. It's all glass and the light bounce s off it so standing at the bottom and ...

Lush The Comforter Bubble Bar 28/04/2017

Lots of bubbles

Lush The Comforter Bubble Bar I don't use a lot of The Lush products but do like it when I am given them as gifts. WHAT IS THIS?... I was keen to try this one because it's not the regular bath bomb but is a bubble bar. I was ready to like this because the very description implies that it will produce plenty of bubbles as I always find bath bombs to be a bit bubble free. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... This comes loosely packed in one of the Lush recyclable bags which is fine by me as I don't like lots of packaging to try to get into. It is bigger than the bath bombs, about 3cm high and is easily bigger than the palm of my hand. Definitely bigger than a bath bomb and I believe this is the biggest bar Lush do. In colour it is dark pink and white swirls and because they are hand made, the ratio between pink and white varies from bar to bar. It has a fruity smell sort of like summer fruits, and looks and smells like more of a summer than a winter product. USING THE PRODUCT... The instructions tell me to crumble the product under running water but I find that if I do this then I am left with pink all over the bath when I leave the remaining product ready for next use. So, using something flat and sharpish each time I have wanted to use the product I have sliced a bit off and then left the remaining part of the bar in the ice dry bag. As soon as the bubble bar is mixed with water, I get bubbles. I have managed to get four baths from this and given the amount of bubbles could have used a smaller amount of the ...

Holiday Inn High Wycombe M40, High Wycombe 25/04/2017

Functional hotel

Holiday Inn High Wycombe M40, High Wycombe We were recently visiting family in marlow bottom and for ease of travel decided to stay in this hotel. LOCATION... I'm not very au fait with this area but coming from Newcastle, it seemed a pretty straight forward drive down to the south. It is actually straight off the M40 and is 20 minutes from Heathrow airport so fairly handy for anyone flying. CHECKING IN... Once we had parked in the large car park it was time to check in. We arrived at about 9 pm so it was all fairly quiet but check in seemed to take some time. We had booked two rooms and the staff didn't seem to like that the online booking had been made in two names; not our fault , that was how the online booking went. It all turned out ok and check in was done, we were given the cards for the doors and we were on our way BEDROOMS... We had two rooms on the ground floor and each room was similar. The bathroom was large and designed for disabled access with a very low bath, lots of emergency cords and very few toiletries. It was however, very clean with gleaming white tiles and a nice clean bath although what I didn't like was the fact that the bath is very shallow. Inside the bedroom was the bed and fairly basic amenities including two tea bags and two coffee sachets as well as sugar. There is adequate hanging space for a short stay as well as bedside cabinets and a set of drawers Although everything was pretty basic, everything was very clean and included an ironing board, iron and tv. The bed is ...

Jorvik Viking Centre, York 22/04/2017

Stepping back to Viking York

Jorvik Viking Centre, York I hadn't visited here for years and after it had been closed down, I booked to go a couple of days after it had reopened. WHERE IS IT?... I like York because it isn't a particularly big city and everything is nice and easy to find. Jorvik is situated in the centre, right next to Coppergate Shopping Centre. We had come by train and it was about a ten minute walk from the train station, all well sign posted. WAITING TO GO INTO THE ATTRACTION... There was a little bit of a queue outside of Jorvik, but because we had pre booked our tickets and stated a time slot, we went into the fast track queue. Outside, however, there was never a dull moment with plenty of people dressed in costume to entertain, and give out Jorvik flags and Viking helmets. INSIDE THE ATTRACTION... Once inside, we were quickly shown the start of the tour, which involved standing on the site which revealed some of the most famous discoveries in modern archaeology, so, the first area is an exploration of the Coppergate dig, with a fully immersive display taking us back to the 1970s. The floor was dug out Showing what was beneath and we heard the stories of the archaeologists who were involved in this excavation. There were plenty of interactive activities suitable for young and old. Once we had looked around this area, we joined the short queue to board the time capsule. This goes round on a loop and stops at the boarding area where someone helps you on. Three people fit on the front and three at the ...

Bradley Gardens, Wylam 20/04/2017

Hidden gem

Bradley Gardens, Wylam We sometimes visit for breakfast, because it is close enough to where we live for it not to be a long drive and yet far enough away from city life. It is basically a restaurant and cafe set within an 18th century walled garden which has been brought back to its former glory. VISITING BRADLEY GARDENS... Bradley Gardens is situated on the edge of the Tyne Valley, 9 miles from the Newcastle. I have only ever been by car but can't imagine that public transport links would be especially frequent although a bus could be taken into Wylam. When first visiting, what is really lovely about this place is the tranquility. Although there are usually a few cars in the car park, the whole place is really peaceful. To get to the restaurant, you walk through the walled garden which is also a small market garden with plants being selected from within the garden. It doesn't feel like a selling place with no staff standing on guard and any payment being made in a small shed. There are lots of water features grassed areas and seats in the garden so I suppose you could just come to watch the world go by. INSIDE THE RESTAURANT... Basically this is an Old stone building with a lovely conservatory which I think is old and has been conserved, and which runs the whole length of the building. On entering this large conservatory, what I notice is the lovely tiled floor and the fire at the entrance, always very welcoming, especially in the winter months. There are wooden tables and chairs in this ...

Kennedys, York 19/04/2017

Good food in the centre of York

Kennedys, York We were recently in York and looking for somewhere to eat, when I remembered having had a good meal he the previous year for a birthday party. WHERE IS IT?... Being not an especially big city, i find york nice and easy to negotiate. This is on one of the little side streets, on Stonegate, which is very centraL INSIDE THE RESTAURANT... There are two entrances to the restaurant. Once inside, the restaurant itself is on two levels with an outside area on the upper level. It is all nice and light airy and breezy with wooden tables and chairs spread over the areas. The toilets are upstairs and I didn't notice a lift so I not think disabled access would be good although there may be a lift. The whole place has a very open rustic feel with a modern twist. WHATS THE FOOD LIKE?... Breakfast is served from 8.30am to 12noon daily, and there is a breakfast club menu for adults and children serving the usual breakfast fare. As well as this, Sunday roasts are served every Sunday from midday. We close from the main menu which is Served from 12 noon to 9:00pm daily. This features sandwiches and wraps, starters and sharers with salads, burgers and large meals, all reasonably priced. We were there on a Monday and there was the added advantage of many of the dishes being half price which was a bonus. I chose the chicken burger normally costing £9.95 but on this day coming in at half that price. It was served in a large brioche bun, very fresh. Inside the bun were two nicely cooked ...
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