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since 10/01/2008


Wing Wah 29/03/2010

Fine authentic dining, suitable for all

Wing Wah We are frequent attenders of the Wing Wah restaurant in Burton on Trent. Having attended roughly 12 times in the past 4 years I am pleased to say the positive experiences far outweigh the negative. The restaurant is easy to find, with parking (in ASDAs for £1) to the rear a short walk around the corner or "on street" if it's after 7pm and you're fortunate. Booking is advised, as the venue is immensely popular (we travel 20 miles round trip to visit) but well worth the travel and cost in every aspect. The Win Wah offers authentic oriental cooking presented in a buffet self service style which is a superb concept for those not sure about such cuisine and for children who "want to try" new things. The restaurant is a huge open plan affair, with all the food located centrally in hot trays. There is also a "Tepenyaki" section where chefs will expertly cook your own selection of stir fry ingredients on request. During busy periods, there can be long waits particularly if you get stuck queuing behind people who aren't sure what to try, or kids, but you can generally see when there is and isn't a queue and chose to go up for your food at a time to suit. In some areas of the restaurant there does sometimes appear to be a sense of claustrophobia as the tables are very close together and all you need is 2 or 3 large groups and the noise levels increase. If you're looking for an intimate or cosy meal out - this isn't for you. If you're looking for a very social dining ...

Concorde Tour Manchester Airport 01/11/2009

No longer in the skies, but still high up in my estimation

Concorde Tour Manchester Airport I visited this attraction for an arranged Birthday present on the 31st October, 6 years to the day this aircraft flew into Manchester for the final time to be housed here for good. I think that Concorde captures the imagination of most people as a majestic spectical and patriotic symbol. And if this isn't the case - this tour would probably change people's minds. The area has recently been upgraded to protect Concorde from the elements, which also enhances the visitor experience in a comfortable secure environment. You arrive at the attraction via the "Concorde Departure lounge" and are seated for a short introductory film of around 6 minutes and a short briefing on the do's and dont's whilst on board. We had been treated to the "General Tour", which is one option compared to the more in depth "Technical Tour". The main difference being an extended view of the flight deck and more engineering-minded data and presentation. On viewing the video you are lead straight to the aircraft, and up the steps to the flight deck. On this occasion, the party consisted of myself and my wife and no one else, usual group size is around 12-15 persons so on the General tour the view would be limited. The tour guide hands over to a former pilot who is obviously very knowledgeable as are the other tour guides some of whom have been lucky enough to fly on the aircraft when it was in service. The tour is aimed at all ages, and this is reflected in it's delivery. No technical Jargon, ...

Karims Oriental Restaurant, Manchester 01/10/2009

All you can eat - if they've cooked anything

Karims Oriental Restaurant, Manchester Karims is located on Heywood Old road, not far from Middleton and the M62. It is a well established restaurant specialising in Indian Cuisine in a buffet style. Open 7 days a week until 10:30pm and suitable for families, as well as being easily accessible. The restaurant has pleasant décor on entering with an authentic "guard" dressed in Indian dress uniform to greet you at the doors. You are shown to a table, which is laid out with its companions in such a way that you do not feel claustrophobic or self concious about the people eating around you. First time eaters are taken through the procedure whilst drinks are ordered. With some buffets there is a danger of treating diners like cattle waiting to be fed - but this isn't the case. The friendly staff will sort out drinks for the table - there is a strict "No Alcohol" policy which only adds weight to the perception that this is a wholesome family dining experience. The range of dishes can be limited, but the set up is ideal for anyone wanting to "branch out" into dishes they may not have otherwise tried. One major stumbling block, which I have experience to varying degrees in my dozen of visits I have made appears to be the lack of control and monitoring of available foods. During busy times, and sometimes quiet times, the turnover of replacing used up dishes is very slow and customers are often left waiting whilst their preferred dishes are restocked. There is a limited choice of deserts too, with only one cake on ...

Just Car Clinic 01/10/2009

Just Car Clinic - Just poor clinic

Just Car Clinic Just Car clinic were recommended to us by our insurer following an accident which wasn't our fault. There was minor cosmetic damage on two panels on the rear of the drivers side. They came to collect the car on a Friday afternoon, telephoning before they set off. The driver walked around the car and recorded the damage inflicted by the accident, did not leave me with any form of receipt or a copy of the damage indication form he filled out to take back with him. And left. The website has it's own on-line tracking system where you can enter your car's job number and track the progress of your repairs. Unfortunately, the Just Car Clinic kept my car for nearly a week (until the following Friday) before they even looked at the damage and submitted an estimate to my insurance company, which raised problems with the courtesy car a separate company had provided for the claim. Repairs were approved, but the on-line tracking system bore little resemblance to the couple of phone calls I got that week to update me on progress. By the next Friday I was called to say that my car was ready and we arranged to collect it ourselves and leave them the courtesy car to be collected. We gave the work a check over before we drove away, and signed the form to say we were happy with the repairs. It was only when we got back we discovered the lockable fuel cap (located on the rear panel that had been repaired/replaced) no longer locked and there were scuff marks (black chips) on the rear ... 01/10/2009 - THE Ford Galaxy Owners Club The Ford Galaxy Owner's Club is an online site set up by Galaxy Owners, for Galaxy Owners. It is a friendly and easy to use site which is a hive of information and all things "Galaxy" It's FREE to register, and it is officially recognised by Ford themselves. They also welcome Sharan and Seat Alhambra owners as they share many of the same specifications as the Galaxy. The website has it's own dedicated web forum which is home to the majority of owner queries, information and advice. There is also an FGOC shop and a gallery for owners to share pictures of their prized motors. The forum itself has hundreds of active users with varying levels of expertise and experience - all equally as welcoming to new users and those with questions. The forum is extensive, with dedicated sections to all versions of the Galaxy - general sections for socialising with other users and the option of any user having their own specific photo gallery to share their photos with other users. The website/club also has regular national and regional meetings at various attractions - some auto mobile orientated and some socially orientated. These are generally "all age accessible" and vary in cost and location to ensure as many people as possible connected with the club can attend if they so wish. No one is excluded on the grounds of a "factory spec" car with no personal upgrades, for not having technical knowledge or being internet "savvy" This is literally a site/club BY users FOR users and this ...

Old Trafford 30/09/2009

Theatre of Dreams - Old Trafford

Old Trafford I have visited Old Trafford twice in 2 seasons now specifically for the United v City Derby. The ground has good transport links to Manchester via Tram, Bus, Car and "Football special" train. Initially I had some reservations about attending the ground for such a "hard fought" fixture, however the reception of fans and organisation was most excellent. I would recommend catching one of 3 special football trains from Manchester Piccadilly (on match days) to get you to the ground in around 10 minutes.... these trains are two commuter style trains that are joined together - arrive totally empty and can generally find space, with some standing, for everyone who is waiting. The train drops you off by the south Stand, which is not far from the away section, major entrances to stands and the club shop. Match days are very well policed, especially this fixture and there is no end of specific club officials in the area of the club shop with its very well organised layout. There is no shortage of United-Employed officials at every entrance, gate, walkway and stair block to assist anyone to their seats who is lost or has difficulties with mobility and so on. On both occasions I have sat in the North Stand - on one occasion climbing hundreds of steps into the uppermost tier. But again, help is on hand to anyone who may struggle. There are ample facilities both pre match and during the match for toileting (also very clean) and refreshments - although these can be expensive as you ...

Betty Crocker Chocolate Frosting 30/09/2009

Chocolate Icing - the Betty Crocker way

Betty Crocker Chocolate Frosting Absolutely divine!! Chocoholics MUST try this it is rich, creamy and finger lickingly scrumptious. It works best with other Betty Cricket branded products, such as the Devil's Food chocolate cake so that it can be evenly spread over the cake. With this in mind, it is frightfully easy to apply to the sponge... store at room temperature and use a broad spatula to apply, make sure you leave some in the bowl to lick... there is amply content to ice and fill a 22 inch cake top, sides and middle with a decent layer to boot. It is slightly more expensive when you consider other alternatives including making topping/filling yourselves - usually priced between £1.50 and £2.00 which by comparison is more expensive than the cost of the sponge mix to make the cake youj would usually top with this product. However, having used this product dozens of times, I wouldn't settle for anything less.

Sainsbury's Basics Lemonade 30/09/2009

Sainsbury's Basics Lemonade - basic to the last drop

Sainsbury's Basics Lemonade I'm quite fond of the Sainsbury's basic range, so I jumped at the chance for 2 litres of lemonade to mix with my cordial. The slogan states "no less fizz" but unfortunately if it's open for more than a few hours the fizz is all gone - whereas some carbonated drinks seem to last a good deal longer. It's fine if your mixing it with cordial, archers or other spirits but on its own it's sadly lacking the distinct lemon flavour you may expect from lemonade. The packaging is minimalistic, you may say basic as the product is named. Unfortunately, so is everything else associated with this product. OK for kids parties, mixers and for those with stomach upsets as it lacks much fizz or taste

Travelodge Oldham, Manchester 13/12/2008

Travelodge, Broadway, Oldham

Travelodge Oldham, Manchester The place has only been open about as long as the M60 nearby (2 years) and it looks so run down. First impressions were that it wasn't really looked after. The front door was broken, the interior corridor carpets were tatty..... fire Extinguishers were not mounted in the correct place. The reception was manned 24-7 but the two people we dealt with weren't particularly friendly. In the room we stayed in, the windows were left open prior to our arrival on a cold rainy day, and when we shut and locked them...... you could push them right open again (Good job we weren't on the ground floor) The accommodation was VERY basic with only 3 pillows in a room that sleeps 3, only enough towels for 2 people, no compliamentary shower toiletries so we had to go to the local Morrisons to get what we needed. There was an iron available from reception which came in very handy but there was no hairdrier available. Breakfast was available, but only cold room service as well as the tea and coffee making facilities. There was however a pub and SUBWAY restaurant right outside, and a Macdonalds a short car journey up the road. The only positives are its location, and the fact the bed was comfy (even with only one pillow). I expected more for the £50 a night. --------------- ----- Against my better judgement, I returned to this hotel for one night stay in a family room on a Friday night. I was forced to wait for around 15 minutes at reception with my wife, 2 kids and our bags while ...

HP PhotoSmart 735 07/10/2008

The old ones are the best

HP PhotoSmart 735 I've had this camera for about 3 years now, purchasing it because of it's superior features and value for money in comparison to other models at the time. It was a little on the pricey side (£140 as I recall) but what swayed me was the video/microphone feature for not too much extra money. The Camera has 3 settings for picture size, with an SD card the standard smallest size can fit roughly 400 photos on or 4 minutes of audio/video. Quality does not diminish with the change in photo size, and the video also comes out reasonably well. I now have a mobile phone with 3.2 megapixels (same as this camera) however for the 15x optical zoom alone I would still turn to the camera for a better quality contrast and sharpness alone. The features are excellent, and the one which I personally use the most includes night mode, which automatically increases the light without a decrease in picture quality and without using the flash feature and distorting the image. The camera is more bulky and slightly heavier than newer models, and does tend to eat batteries (2xAA not included) however purchasing a good quality rechargable battery means you can take a couple of hundred photos with or without flash on one lot of batteries. Using the camera "as normal" as opposed to using the built-in colour screen will also prolong battery life as well as giving you more accurate control over what you're taking a photo of! The screen also enables you to review and delete photos you've taken ...

Brunswick Pro Bowling (Wii) 03/10/2008

Bowled over?

Brunswick Pro Bowling (Wii) Having enjoyed Wii sports bowling immensely, I decided to go "one up" and buy a specialist bowling game for my Wii. This is a typical case of "good in principle, bad in practise". They could have done so much more with this game but have sold themselves short on a greatr many levels. It does reveal certain dimensions to bowling I'd not previously thought of, everything from the curve (hook) on the ball to the oil distribution on the lane. Player fatigue, equipment and reputation all affect your ability and skill to hit the pins, which is fine, but there should be other areas this game could reward you for overcoming these obstacles. You can dive straight in on a quick play, or set up a career. The choice of "lookalikes" is very limited (nothing like the options available when creating a "mii" on other wii games) but you can still find something different. Outfits and equipment can be purchased from the "pro shop" in career mode..... but with limited money making opportunities make the most of the $600 you start off with. Apart from the actual bowling itself, the animations and enviromental graphics are pretty poor and lifeless. Hardly anyone is watching you, and aside from throwing up your hands in despair or jumping for joy there is very little animation from your character and the people around you as well. At least, from what I've seen so far. There is background music while you bowl, but this too is bland and repeatative so much so it might as well ...

LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Wii) 01/10/2008

The force is strong in this one

LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Wii) I bought this game for my Wii having had experience of Star Wars Lego (original trilogy) on PSP. It is everything that is good about both games (Original and Episode I-III) compacted into one whole saga. It is so indepth it will keep you busy for hours, at t he moment I've been playing it for about 20 hours (according to the timer in the game) and I'm not even half way through (even with completing episode (I-IV). Tons of unlockable characters, objects and special levels all unlocked by collecting "studs" in levels and buying them from the shop, not to mention collecting special items in levels to build your own mini lego kits relating to each level (usually fighters and so on). There IS a way to control a lightsaber by waving the wii remote, but its not as accurate as using A and B to block/swing at your enemies. The graphics are superb, the music adapts to your situation within a level and the co operative play is simple yet satisfying. Unfortunatley, the AI of your friends when all being computer controlled is sadly lacking and it is basically down to you to make all of the kills on a level, with your companions just there to perform dual tasks like pulling levers at the same time and droids opening locked doors. Take nothing away from it though, you can see past that and if your a star wars nut - never get bored with it. Even going back over previous levels is satisfying, because you can use characters you have unlocked to get to hard to reach or new ...

GT Pro Series (Wii) 01/10/2008

Not as pro as it looks

GT Pro Series (Wii) GT pro was bundled in with my Wii from Toys"r"us so I bought a wheel and decided to play it. It has very simplistic gameplay and basic graphics for a recent release. I would argue that it does not particularly challenge the driver, having said that on a versus race with a complete novice he found great difficulty in controlling a Subaru through the corners as a result of oversteer and poor grip out of the corners. I manage to win most races in a pink flatbed truck........ There are trophies available, which enable you to unlock modifications for certain cars (I currently have a Green Mitshubishi Evo with blue headlights for example) and work through a license system to unlock races and championship events. It's a shame really, because there is so much potential to be had from this game, without infringing on "Gran Tourisimo" versions already on the market. Still, it is a reasonably basic method of familiarising yourself with Wii driving games, and passing a couple of hours.

Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDI 21/06/2008

I LOVE this car

Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDI We purchased a 2nd hand 2005 Ford Galaxy TDI from a used car supermarket. In comparison to other models of this class, the Galaxy is head and shoulders above the rest. Why did we chose the Galaxy? Well, put simply - you get a lot more for your money. Yes the other rivals like Zafira and Sharan are also 7 seaters, a little bit cheaper and so on but in my opinion you get what you pay for - and the Galaxy is perfect proof of this. Practically speaking - there are no close rivals. The 7 seat arrangement, is not simply 'just' 7 seats. They are seats of an equal build quality to all other seats in the cabin, not glorified flatback deck chairs that leave your rearmost passengers sitting on the floor with their knees tucked up under their chin. The back is just as comfortable for adults than the front. A big factor everyone should pay attention to with regards this car is USEABILITY. There is no shortage of space, be it with the arrangement of seats or all the nooks and crannies of space for all those little things like keys, in car chargers and travel games. The front alone has a glove box, 2 top dashboard compartments, an overhead sunglasses compartment and storage (including covered storage) in the doors. If you've got kids with those electronic games that all need charging at the same time, this is possible with no less than 3 12v cigar lighter outlets available (front, middle, rear on our Version) those these may be an optional extra on some models. The seats ...

Available Car Supermarket 05/06/2008

Available Car Supermarket

Available Car Supermarket We decided to visit one Bank Holiday "for a look" having seen adverts and driven past their showroom at Castle Donington a few times. We were looking for long overdue MPV having had no joy in Autotrader and local used car dealers in Derbyshire..... and we were pleasantly surprised by what we encountered. Having had only limited experience of purchasing cars through "dealers" as such, I expected to be pounced on and hounded into looking at what THEY wanted me to look at - but nothing could be further from this. You walk in and simply get handed a booklet with all their current cars, details of them and prices etc.... and are left to browse the extensive outer displays. The MPVs which we were interested in were all grouped together, this we find to be a brilliant idea as all the cars were unlocked - we could explore and experiment with which style and model would suit us best. The ability to do this meant we were able to discount some models and settle on a Ford Galaxy. We decided to go and see if we could find someone to just run some prices past, and ended up going for the deal. We were a little miffed at only being offered a few hundred pounds part-ex for our mondeo, but we were advised if we wanted more from it - to keep it and sell it private as Available car would only really have any use for it by sending it to auction. The figures looked good, the finance was very competative and obviously the more cash you could send their way, the better the ...
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