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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 ...

Pani's, Newcastle 17/04/2017

Featuring good food and an extensive menu

Pani's, Newcastle Situated in the centre of Newcastle and close to the metro, shops, and the theatre, this open end in 1995 and because it is so close to the theatre, is always busy pre show. It is a family run restaurant, and always has a good buzz about it, with everyone being friendly and bothered about the service, and the food. One of the reasons I like this place is that because it's also a cafe, you can pop in and have a coffee and it does feel like the cafe style bars in Italy. LOCATION... Situated on High Bridge Street, a side road off Grey Street, this is well served by the Metro and buses. There is also on street parking at a cost close by and further down the road, on Dean Street, a large multi storey car park. THE RESTAURANT... Not the best entrance I have ever encountered, it just looks a bit plain and uninspiring and because two doors are close together, it's not really clear which door leads to the restaurant. Once inside, there is a smallish entrance area where bookings are made and checked, and whilst there is a little seated area here, it doesn't beckon you to stay. The main restaurant is a large room, separated by pillars, all very plain with lots of tables and chairs dotted almost regimentally around the room. There isn't a lot in the way of decor, with the walls being whitewashed and the whole place does give off the feeling of a restaurant on the continent which isn't trying too hard, relying instead on the atmosphere and the food. MENU... The restaurant prides ...

Madame Tussauds, London 15/04/2017

Long standing attraction

Madame Tussauds, London We recently visited London and one of the attractions on the to do list was Madame Tussaud's. FINDING THE PLACE AND LOCATION... The attraction is easy to get to and is about a two minute walk from Baker Street underground station. Once out of the tube station, the building is easily spotted as the red quite ornatebuilding with lots of people queuing outside. There are also staff manning the outside area holding up placards so that visitors can find the right queue. QUEUING... I had forgotten to pre book but this wasn't a real problem as the pre booked queues weren't too short. The queue is nice and orderly and after less than an hour we were inside but the wait wasn't over... queuing up the stairs. I think the lesson here is that for almost everyone, queuing is inevitable. INSIDE THE ATTRACTION... I liked the entrance with the black sparkly paint and once we had paid and been given our wrist bands we were in. THE ROOMS... The attraction boasts several themed rooms, which can be viewed on the website for information about favourite celebrities. The first room was the stars of the silver screen, and I was pleasantly surprised that I recognised most of them. Lots of people were waiting to have photos on the sofa with George Clooney! It is all set out so that photos can be easily taken and so visitors can move around their favourite stars for a picture. Lots of selfies were also going on with the Kardashians. As well as the Hollywood and Bollywood stars there were plenty ...

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser 13/04/2017

Creamy and effective cleanser

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser Ever a sucker for something new, I am always on the lookout for something which will clean my face perfectly, and this caught my eye because of the positive reviews. WHAT IS THIS AND WHAT DOES IT PROMISE?... This is described an intelligent, aromatic, creamy infusion which glides on to the skin and lifts off all impurities and make-up. I like the sound of it lifting all of the grime rather than me rubbing the grime into my skin. It promise more though, as it says it will buff away all of those dead skin cells and stimulate the skins natural renewal process, leaving a fresher younger looking skin. It is suitable for all skin types as well as sensitive skin and is dermatologically tested. HOW DOES IT DO THIS?... It apparently fuses probiotic and peptide technologies with BioOrganic plant and flower essences which will hydrate and soothe dull and dehydrated skin and promote a radiant glow as well as helping to prevent skin ageing. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... The box is rather nice with the name of the product on the front and all vintage looking. Inside the box is an information leaflet and the 120ml tub of the cleanser. Again the tub is quite vintage looking given that it is brown and the label advertising the product looks rather like light brown wrapping paper. There is also a small soft muslin cloth which claims to be antibacterial and which is used for the cleansing process. When I unscrew the lid, the cleanser is as expected white in colour and it does have a spa kind ...

Champneys Relaxing Dream Bath 07/04/2017

Lavender bath

Champneys Relaxing Dream Bath I like bathing lotions and potions and am often given them as gifts or will just randomly buy something that catches my eye. I believe this was a gift, and came as part of a gift set. WHAT IS THIS AND WHAT DOES IT PROMISE?... This is basically a bubble bath. It is described as an "aromatic dream bath" and is infused with essential oils to help relaxation and help soothe tensions away. As well as lavender and patchouli, the product contains cleansing agents to leave skin clean. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... This comes in a 300ml plastic bottle with a gold screw on/ off lid and all of the information on the back of the bottle. It's quite plain packaging but does look a bit luxurious with the gold writing. The product itself is clear and when I open the bottle does have a distinctive lavender scent. It is adequately thick to make me think that when added to running water, this will produce a satisfying amount of bubbles. USING THE PRODUCT... Use as any other bathing product by pouring a small amount under running water. Fortunately, because it's not very watery it comes out slowly and as soon as it is mixed with the water, the lavender smell becomes more apparent, and does a good job of scenting the bathroom. There are a satisfying amount of bubbles but maybe not as bubbly as I had expected given the type of product. PRIVE AND AVAILABILITY... The product is widely available although I'm not sure if the precise price since this was a gift and part if a set. It is however ...

Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion Normal to Dark Skin 05/04/2017

Summer glow in spring

Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion Normal to Dark Skin When the warmer weather starts to be more than a promise, I often like to apply some tanning lotion so I don't look as white. I find that some of the products give too much of a tan and wanted something which would give more of a glow than a tan. WHAT IS THIS?... This is a subtle gradual self-tanner which nourishes your skin whilst gradually enhancing your natural skin colour, promising beautiful summer glow all year round.The dermatologically tested lotion apparently contains the unique DeepCare Complex which includes natural skin nutrients and rich essential oil to help gradually improve skin starting deep down. I assume this means that it will leave my skin feeling soft and smooth and looking as though I have been on holiday so it's good stuff for me PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... The tanner comes in a large brown bottle with the instructions on the back. The tanner itself is white in colour with a creamy texture and there is a definite smell. Not as bad as some self tanners but to me it does smell like a self tanning lotion. USING THE PRODUCT... Because I hate the thought of orange palms, I always make sure I have one of those self tanning mitts. It's best to exfoliate beforehand and remove all jewellery. Then it's simply a case of massaging the product into any skin which needs a bit of help with a tan. The product is absorbed easily into my skin but does take a few minutes to dry completely. It's best to make sure that it is completely dry before putting on clothes ...

Lola Jeans, Newcastle upon Tyne 27/03/2017

Post theatre eats

Lola Jeans, Newcastle upon Tyne having already tried out Lola Jeans in Tynemouth, after a recent theatre trip we dicided to give the one in Newcastle a go. LOCATION... The restaurant is situated in the centre of Newcastle and close to metro stations and with good bus links. FIRST IMPRESSIONS... The restaurant is situated on one of the side roads in the centre of Newcastle and unless you know where it is, could be easy to miss. We were there early evening in the winter but when we got there and looked through the large windows, it did look very cosy and appealing. On first entering, what we saw first was a selection of small tables and chairs as well as sofas and low tables. The bar is opposite these and it's just right for pre or post theatre or shopping drinks. The restaurant area is set out with a selection of scrubbed wooden tables and an eclectic selection of chairs and decorative items. All very quirky. There are some great floor to ceiling murals, areas of exposed brick, as well as parquet flooring and chandeliers. The lighting is great making it just right for dining or drinking. THE MENU... The menu serves a selection of quite simple and what I would describe as fast/ party food. The appetisers start at £5.95 for the chilli and buffalo wings and include dishes such as king prawns. My daughter who doesn't have a hearty appetite opted for the chilli which comes in a decent sized bowl, topped with cheese and jalapeños and served with tortillas. A very decent sized portion, this was sufficient ...

Clinique Deep Comfort Body Moisture 24/03/2017

Comforting body lotion

Clinique Deep Comfort Body Moisture I tend to have no loyalty to lotions and potions and find that most brands are at least ok for me. One of the brands I have liked for a while though is Clinique, and never having tried this lotion, decided to give it a go. WHATIS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO?... This is described as an intensely rich and creamy body moisturiser that provides even the driest skin with relief and moisturisation. It contains Vitamin E to protect skin from environmental irritants and leaves skin smooth and soft. The product is not intended for use on the face. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... This comes in a 200ml tube with the name of the product on the front with information and instructions on the back. The packaging, as with the other Clinique products, isn't fancy, and just tends to state what's necessary. The tube has a Flip up/ press down lid and the product is dispensed by squeezing the tube. The lotion itself is white in colour with a creamy texture and a smell which is spa like, nice and clean and fresh smelling without being over powering. USING THE PRODUCT... The lotion should be applied liberally to skin. A little of the product goes a long way and I find that the best method of application is to start with less than I will need, rub it into the palms of my hands and then apply. It is absorbed nice and easily and doesn't leave a sticky residue, making it a good choice even for hands. PRICE AND AVAILABILITY... This costs £20.00 for 200ml and is available in large department stores and ...

The One Eyed Stag, Whickham 22/03/2017

Brand new micropub

The One Eyed Stag, Whickham Brand new micro brewery in whickham which is in walking distance of where I live This of course made it imperative that I go and visit. LOCATION... The bar is located in whickham, about 5 miles from the centre of Newcastle and close to the Metro Centre. It is nestled amongst a couple of other shops and next to a long established Indian restaurant. A LITTLE BIT OF INFORMATION... The pub opened just this month, and is a family run micropub and bottle shop which aims to promote traditional values and a cosy setting, and serving Real Ale and Craft Beer. FIRST IMPRESSIONS... I was keen to visit but given that it was the afternoon, didn't necessarily want to partake of the alcoholic stuff. I emailed the pub asking if teas and coffees were served and was pleased with the reply that indeed there were teas and coffees and as an added bonus, cake. The pub has a large window and inside can be clearly seen, and there is no mistaking the place as there is a large sign on the front. The pub itself is in one room with the bar at the back of the room, and tall bar tables and stools in the centre of the room with sofas and smaller tables and chairs around the sides and in the window area. As expected, the furniture is all brand new and everything does look clean, fresh and modern with a traditional feel. On the wall there is a fire which I believe to be gas, and which is covered so no chance of burns. This did however increase the cosy feel and gave a nice bit of heat on what was a ...

Barrio Comida, Newcastle upon Tyne 18/03/2017

Tacos on the quayside

Barrio Comida, Newcastle upon Tyne After a leisurely stroll along Newcastle quayside market, we decided to stop off here for something to eat. LOCATION.... Situated on the quayside, this is in a container which had previously housed an excellent fish eatery in Tynemouth. When I say container, it's actually a couple of shipping containers, so whilst not the prettiest space, it is quirky with the corrugated sides and windows along the sides. It is close to the millennium Bridge with a great view of the bridges, and set back slightly from the river, and although there was no outside seating when we were there, there is plenty of space and I can see this happening in the summer. INSIDE THE RESTAURANT... Very unfussy is how it can be described with a laid back vibe. There is a floor to ceiling menu board and as far as I can gather, when food is no longer available then it is merely rubbed off the board. There are high eating tables attached to the walls and all around the windows and guests sit on high metal stools complete with a cushion for comfort. The order and bar area is as unfussy as the rest of the place, situated opposite the door and with an Open kitchen complete with charcoal fired oven. FOOD AND DRINK... The food menu is displayed on a board and on the tables there is a drinks menu featuring alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. There is a lot of tequila on offer but also some quite fancy looking non alcoholic drinks. Cups of tea and coffee can also be purchased which is good because anyone not ...

Primark Nail Varnish 15/03/2017

Cheap and cheerful

Primark Nail Varnish PRICE AND AVAILABILITY... Primark have a large range of nail polishes, and there seems to be something for everyone- pastels, brights, neon colours as well as some nail effects polishes. This polish cost £1 and this seemed to be the theme although some were slightly more expensive although nothing excessive. The polishes are available in store but not online. PRODUCT AND PACKAGING... The nail polish comes in a fairly standard bottle, although rather than being curved in shape, this is more squared off. When I unscrew the lid, the brush is also unite bog standard, with it being average length and having what I would call the normal number of bristles to the brush.too many and the brush can get overloaded with polish, and too thin a brush and painting nails takes forever. APPLYING THE POLISH... I have a dark red/ burgundy colour and the first test for me is how much of a resemblance the colour on my nails bears to the colour I see in the bottle. The brush does come out of the bottle well loaded with polish and the first the I have to do is make sure I take off the excess polish as it's rather thin. When I apply it to my nails, it's obvious that at least two coats will be needed as it's patchy. The second coat makes it more similar to the colour and by the third coat I have the colour in the bottle. It does look even but disappointingly for me it's matte, and I like a glossy polish. However a top coat does the trick and I'm left with a decent enough nail colour. DOES IT ...
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