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kirlykird

kirlykird

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Reviews written

since 09/01/2009

22

Fire & Stone, Oxford 24/11/2010

Pizzas from another world.

Fire & Stone, Oxford Fire and Stone Oxford is a restaurant which is becoming increasingly popular within our little family. Myself and my husband first visited last December when we merrily stumbled in as it was the restaurant with the shortest waiting time along the George street restaurant mile. We were plesantly surprised by the decor, comfort and ambience of the establishment and this was before we even opened the menu. The menu itself takes you around the world with a choice of 27 inventive pizzas from different cities such as the London which offers you a sausage, egg and bacon on a pizza. My husband chose the cape town which comprises of Mozzarella, tomato sauce, spicy pepperoni, ground spicy beef topped with fresh green chilli, basil and oregano and I chose the Acapulco which was made up of Mozzarella, tomato sauce, slow cooked groundchilli beef, jalapenos, sliced red onions, topped with sour cream and guacamole. We ordered our drinks which were delivered quickly and the food was delivered within a time expected of freshly prepared good food in a well run establishment. When our food arrived, wow! We were amazed by the taste sensation that we were experiencing. I can honestly say that it was the best pizza that I had ever eaten and my husband was also very impressed with his choice. We knew right then that we would be back. Price wise, I would classify the restaurant as middle of the road. £9.50 for a pizza around Oxford in a decent establishment is around the norm. The drinks menu and ...

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Infini Curl 24/11/2010

Luxury let down from Yves Saint Laurent.

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Infini Curl That time arrived again when the eye circles were deepening and darkening with lots of night shifts. Perks of the job. Ho hum. There is always an element of slight panic when I reach the end of my touch eclat and realise that there is no way of hiding these circles which make me look like I could do with being a patient rather than nursing them. Therefore, off to the Yves Saint Laurent counter went I. If you have read any of my previous reviews, you shall be well aware of my loyalty to Chanel products but in this instance nothing quite matches the power of touche eclat. By now I imagine that you are thinking that I have made a mistake and that my review is about the wrong item. If so, you are wrong. The touche eclat is just the beginning of the story to how I made one of my worst cosmetic purchases. To carry on the story, when arriving at the Yves Saint Laurent counter I sought out my necessary buy and was eager to pay and go home and fix my face. The Yves Saint Laurent sales person however had other ideas. She very cleverly took advantage of my hot sweats and need to purchase this product by engaging me in conversation and stalling at the checkout by offering me other items that in the end I agreed hastily to purchase the special deal of a double pack which included the coveted touche eclat and mascara. As ever, on the purchase of new cosmetics I was off home to try out my new goodies. On application of the mascara I was quite pleased with what I saw. The mascara tube ...

Chanel Precision Hydramax Serum 23/11/2010

A smooth and silky serum

Chanel Precision Hydramax Serum As I began to get nearer to my thirties I decided that it was a good time to finally begin a good skin care regime. My favourite make up brand by far is Chanel so despite the price tag on this item I decided that I should give it a try as up to this date I have never actually came across a Chanel product that has dissapointed me. On initial inspection, the bottle was pleasing to the eye. It has the typical branded black lid with the interlocked C's but the bottle itself almost looks frosted with a beautiful aqua colour. As I picked up the bottle I found it to feel very soft and almost leathery and smooth. Ok, so I'm not going to wear the bottle but still first impressions and all that. The next test was to try a little on the back of my hand. The pump applicator was easy to use and gives out a small gentle amount. I liked this as I was in control of the pump and there was not an option to pump out too much which cause wastage and wastage is not required with a bottle of serum of this price! The serum was a beautiful turquoise colour which had a very fragrant but subtle smell to it. It was a fresh smell with the sophisticated scent that could arise from being associated with the Chanel cosmetic brand. When I ran it accross my hand, it was absorbed quickly by my skin, it felt soft, smooth and silky with no oily residue and no shine afterwards. That was it. I had fallen in love with this product. I happily handed over my cash which I do believe to have been around £28 back ...

Chanel Foundations - Vitalumiere Satin Smoothing Fluid Make Up SPF 15 22/11/2010

A flawless and sophisticated finish

Chanel Foundations - Vitalumiere Satin Smoothing Fluid Make Up SPF 15 I first tried this product six years ago after a make over at a Chanel make up counter. Chanel is by far my favourite brand of cosmetics and this product did not let me down and has subsequently been an essential part of my make up box ever since I first tried it. *The product* The product comes in a 30ml glass bottle with an easy pump applicator at the top. There are eight different shades to choose from and something for every complexion. The fluid is said to revive tired and dull complexions and soften the skin due to the added moisturiser which impregnates the upper layers of the epidermis *My thoughts on the product* I think that this product is great. The pump action bottle is easy to use and provides as much or as little of the liquid as required. There is no mess, no gloopy hardened liquid around the pump area and it is so easy and pleasant to use. The liquid is relatively thin and I find that only a small amount is required. I use it as advised by dabbing it on the areas that I would like coverage on rather than rubbing it in and this subsequently creates a good subtle coverage and the liquid does actually go a long way. The liquid leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth, it spreads and blends very easily for a very natural and flawless satin finish whilst giving out a subtle glow to which the light reflects and as specified in its advertisement. It most certainly radiates light and makes the skin appear revived and fresh. The finish is very natural looking, no ...

Woburn Safari Park, Bedfordshire 22/11/2010

A truly wondeful safari experience

Woburn Safari Park, Bedfordshire We decided as a family that we fancied a family day out with a difference. We researched what was available in geographical proximity and decided to go on Safari! The chosen park for this was Woburn safari park which is situated in the idyllic surroundings of Woburn which is a picturesque village near to Milton Keynes. We were very pleased to see that given that it was now November that the park was still open as a few safari parks and other attractions closed for the winter season at the end of October. We had a look at their website which is very informative and packed full of information with opening times, prices, maps for the road safari and foot safari, details on eating venues, animal talks and feeding times along with local amenities, and directions. I do believe that every source of information required was on the website and this made our planning very easy. For the winter months, the price of a family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children is £34.95 if booked online. It is worth noting that outside of the winter period the ticket prices are slightly higher. We were very lucky to find that the weekend that we were to be visiting that Woburn were holding their annual craft show at the safari park, therefore family tickets were priced at just over £25 for the whole day which included entrance to the craft fair along with full use of the safari park. The younger visitors under the age of three are admitted for free. On the Saturday morning we set off packed with a picnic ...

Pampers Sensitive Wipes 10/03/2009

As soft as a baby's bottom

Pampers Sensitive Wipes After reviewing a lesser brand of wipes a few days back, I thought that it would be appropriate to write a review on the product that I was comparing to. The product that I will be reviewing are the sensitive the baby wipes. *The product* The product description specifies that the wipes are comfort soft and perfume free. It is also specified that Pampers Sensitive Wipes are designed with a touch of lotion and milk essentials and help restore the natural balance of your baby's skin. They come in packs of sixty three wipes and for an average price of around £2.39 (as of February 2009). *My verdict* These wipes do exactly as described. A thorough wipe can be made with one wipe due to their generous size and moistness. When using these, I can feel the softness on my hands which reflects the claim of 'a touch of lotion'. Each wipe is soft but strong and has a pleasant and clean smell to it. The packet feels soft and squishy to touch which shows the softness and the moistness inside. Although the packet has no fancy resealable lid on it, the adhesive opening lasts long enough to open and reseal for the life of the packet of wipes. Although my son has sensitive skin, these wipes are soft and gentle on his face and bottom. They leave no red marks and only a wipe is needed, not a scrub as it feels with some wipes. I find these wipes very versatile and I also use them for myself as a good make up remover. I too have sensitive skin and find that they are soft, ...

The Body Shop Tinted Moisturiser 24/02/2009

A good moisturising glow

The Body Shop Tinted Moisturiser I first came across this tinted moisturiser during a body shop party last spring. I find that during the summer months that I'm not so keen on using a full foundation on a day to day basis as I feel it melts into my skin too much and makes me look too oily. Therefore, the tinted moisturiser is ideal to keep the skin moist and soft whilst still adding a subtle hint of colour. I sampled this moisturiser on my skin and decided to buy a tube. *The product itself* The moisturizer comes in a pink 50ml tube and costs £9 as of January 2009. According to the Body shop website, this product adds a touch of colour and helps to even out skin tones. They also claim hat the product protects the future of your skin and can also be a great as a base for make-up. The moisturiser contains vitamin E which is a good natural anti oxidant which helps, repair and protect the skin, wheat germ oil which moisturises and also protects and shea butter which adds even more moisture and keeps the skin soft and silky. *What do I think of the product?* To begin with, the tube is lightweight and easy to store. The problem I find with squeezable tubing is that you don't really have complete control on how much of the product comes out. However, this product has a wide opening in which the product easily sucks back in if too much is squeezed out. The downside to this container is that the liquid easily clogs around the opening area and I find that I have to clean it up quite frequently to ...

Porto Sani Village & Spa, Sani Beach 23/02/2009

Simply Sophisticated Sani

Porto Sani Village & Spa, Sani Beach Sani beach hotel is part of the Sani beach resort and is situated in Halkidiki , mainland Greece. At the point that I booked this holiday, I had visited many Greek islands but not had the pleasure of visiting mainland Greece yet. After researching the resorts available and the accommodation in these areas, we settled on the Sani resort. We were to be visiting during June and as a family of two adults and two children. We booked directly with the hotel and arranged our own flights though I am aware that this resort is also available through many package companies. We took a taxi transfer from the airport which was arranged and paid for by the hotel and we were extremely happy with this service. The nearest main airport to this resort is Thessaloniki and the journey will take roughly an hour so not too far at all. *Arrival* Following a slightly delayed flight, we arrived in Greece to a very hot and dry summer?s day. The taxi driver was waiting for us and everything was running to plan. We loaded our luggage into the taxi and off we headed towards paradise with the air conditioning whirring comfortably around us. After an hour (seemed less), we arrived at the Sani resort and headed towards the hotel. We were dropped off outside the main entrance and headed straight to reception. The reception area was large, clean, minimalist yet comfortable and decorated with shiny marble floors, wall paintings and comfortable resting chairs. We were promptly checked in by a very ...

Tootsies 22/02/2009

Tootsies is tasty!

Tootsies Our friends have recently purchased a house in Holland Park and after a day of helping them move, we decided to head off to a local pub for a few drinks. We found ourselves in the pub longer than anticipated and by the time we all realised that we were hungry, the pub had finished serving food. It was suggested by my husband that we head off to Tootsies. Tootsies Holland Park is located on Holland Park avenue and is a short hop, skip and a jump from Holland Park tube station and it is maybe worth mentioning that Holland Park was in fact the first Tootsies restaurant which of their now ever growing chain. It is located in the middle of a row of shops and appears quite small from the outside, however inside there is a decently sized seating area available. As we arrived at the restaurant at just after 10pm, it was quite quiet, therefore we were seated immediately and were able to choose our table. We chose to sit near the window and watch the world go by along the bustling road. Tootsies is a perfect location for good food in a modern yet friendly setting. The décor is basic yet comfortable and there is a very relaxed and informal feel in their restaurants which I like. *Service and food* Our waitress appeared friendly and welcoming and handed us the menus whilst informing us to give her a shout when we were ready. As we were all slightly merry, Tootsies fell into the perfect category for post pub comfort food and before I had even examined the menu, I knew ...

De Vere Royal Bath Hotel, Bournemouth 19/02/2009

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

De Vere Royal Bath Hotel, Bournemouth Bournemouth is one of my favourite destinations on the South coast. It takes me back to happy memories of summer holidays here as a child. In my younger days we would rent a house from a friend each year along with a beach chalet and we would make our way down to this seaside destination in the first two weeks of the summer holiday every year for the first thirteen years of my life. As I got a little older, I realised that in fact I had not visited this much loved child hood place for over a decade and decided that it was time to return. This time I had my own family with me and stayed in Bournemouth itself rather than its suburb of Boscombe. The final thing to decide on was of course, where to stay? As a little girl on these summer visits I have on many occasions looked on enviously at the large Grand white building which is of course The Royal Bath hotel. It stands so elegantly next to the sea and dominates the approach to the pier area from the road. The outside of the building emits and aura of grand luxury and I often dreamt of just setting foot inside. With this in mind and with my first return to this treasure trove of childhood memories this is where we would be staying. We booked a family room for two nights online for a total of £250 including breakfast and off we went with buckets and spades in tow. *Arrival & check in* We arrived at the hotel to find that we had to pay £15 per night to park our car in the hotel garage car park. Of course, this was not ...

Branca Restaurant, Oxford 12/02/2009

A stylish Italian date ...

Branca Restaurant, Oxford Branca is a stylish and sophisticated Italian restaurant situated in the Jericho area of Oxford city. Jericho is the trendy place to be and with uber cool restaurants and bars, Branca is sat in a perfect position. I first heard about Branca a few months after I moved to Oxford from a university friend of mine and I was told that it served a fabulous lunch menu. Without hesitation on our next lunch out together my husband and I headed down to Jericho for a lunch for two. *The restaurant* Situated on Walton street, with its full length windows, Branca is hard to miss. From the outside, the restaurant looks clean, fresh and inviting. When entering the restaurant, a cosmopolitan aura welcomes you. The décor is modern and contemporary whilst stylish and comfortable. With stone walls, polished dark wooden floors and gleaming chandeliers you can see that a lot of thought has gone into putting this restaurant together. We were immediately greeted by a waiter who promptly showed us to a table after checking if we were happy with it. We were given menus and given some time to peruse the menus and choose which mouth watering food option we would take. Obviously, this was lunch time and we had been recommended the lunch special so that is what we were going to have. At £6.45 (as of January 2009) for fresh bread, a drink and a main course we found this deal to be excellent value for money especially considering the are and the reputation of Branca. On offer on the lunch time menu ...

Quod, Oxford 10/02/2009

A stylish restaurant well worth the visit

Quod, Oxford Quod is with no question, my favourite restaurant in Oxford. It is a very chic bar & restaurant & is most certainly the place to be on a Saturday night. It is based on the historical High Street in Oxford and is found within the Old Bank hotel. According to its website it specifies that it is 'Oxfords busiest brasserie' & to be honest, this is probably true. I have not been to this restaurant at a time where it has been quiet, even midweek evenings are bustling. *Arrival and pre dinner cocktails* We tend to visit on a Saturday night. Due to its popularity, Saturday evening table booking is not allowed. On arrival at the restaurant, you place your request for a table and there is usually a wait during peak times of thirty minutes to an hour. Whilst waiting for your table to become available, you are directed towards the bar. The bar area is modern and chic. It is a square area with stools around it where you can watch the barmen making up some of the delicious alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails on the extensive menu. I usually take a mojito here as I have found it to be one of the best in Oxford though my husband prefers the cucumber martini. There is a wide and varied selection of drinks here and the bar staff will make whatever you request on the menu or not. The wine list is extensive with a good selection of wines and champagnes. The bar area nor the restaurant is the cheapest place to be, though I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for and I would ...

Le Croix du Vieux Pont, France 10/02/2009

A family friendly French holiday

Le Croix du Vieux Pont, France We booked to stay at La Croix du vieux pont as a luxury tenting holiday. I call it luxury as we booked through 'Canvas' who are one of the camping companies available. This basically means that we get to choose our campsite and on arrival the tents will be already assembled and furnished. As we were traveling with eight year old twins and a two month old baby we wanted this trip to be as easy and stress free as possible. We decided that we didn't want to drive too far so staying around the Paris area in the Ille de France region was a very good idea & this campsite looked like it was just what we needed. *Arrival & check in* We took the ferry from Calais to Dover (included in the Canvas price) & then had to drive across to Berny Riviere in which the camp site is located. We chose during our journey to avoid as many motorways and toll roads as possible and take in as much scenery and countryside as possible. It was a very pleasant drive and took us just over three hours to get there. We arrived at the centre of Vic-sur-Aisne, the nearest town to La Croix du vieux pont and thought that the small town was very pretty with its small shops, chateau & fields and the campsite itself was only a few minutes down the road by car. We found the reception area and promptly went to check in. The reception block was manned by very friendly staff who spoke a number of languages. We checked ourselves in and were given a map of the site and pointed in the direction of the canvas ...

Quebecs, Leeds 09/02/2009

A quick stay at Quebecs...

Quebecs, Leeds Quebec's hotel is a boutique townhouse hotel in Leeds. My husband and myself took our first romantic night away here. Our plan was to hit the vibrant lights of the city on the Saturday night along with enjoying the luxury of this gorgeous hotel. This plan was all to change... *Location* Quebec's hotel has brilliant positioning within the centre of Leeds. It is within easy walking distance of the shops, bars and train station. This was one of the advantage points when booking this hotel as I do not know Leeds too well, therefore, it is always nice to be close to the amenities and transport links. *First impressions & check in* When entering the hotel, the elegance and style of the hotel are immediately apparent. The staff are friendly, welcoming and very eager to help. The decor is classic and premium and the furnishings are very comfortable. The reception desk is on the ground level , next to the Oak sweeping staircase and underneath the large beautiful stained glass windows. We visited in the Winter time and to check in seated in a comfortable chair next to a blazing open fire was divine. Our first impression of this hotel was good and we were very excited to explore the rest! *Our room* We opted to book a deluxe room which we were not to be disappointed with. The room was a good size and was well designed with modern but classic looking soft furnishings and accessories. There were many added touches for our comfort such as a flat screen TV (which my ...

London Marriott Hotel County Hall, London 08/02/2009

Some of the best view in London...

London Marriott Hotel County Hall, London I visited this hotel during summer time when my grandparents were visiting London for their 80th birthdays. This was a lovely stay as my grandparents hadn't been to London in years and my grandfather was very keen to ride on the London eye whilst my grandmother was keen for me to find a hotel in which as she phrased it, 'that he will have to dig deep into his pockets for'. She was aiming for nothing less than luxury! Obviously there are a huge number of hotels available in central London but this one had to be special and my grandparents insisted that we all stayed over in a hotel together despite the fact that we were only further down the river in Putney and we therefore needed two rooms, one family room & one twin room for them. Eventually I came across a great deal from The Marriott County hall. We could have our two rooms, including breakfast and London eye tickets at a special offer of £ 280 per room per night which for this particular hotel is very good. The hotel is centrally located on London's South Bank, the luxury 5 * London Marriott Hotel, County Hall is traditionally elegant. Breathtaking views overlooking Big Ben & the River Thames await you & the hotel amenities and first-class service are the envy of many hotels in London. *Our arrival & check in* When arriving at this hotel we were amazed at the grandeur of the building and its courtyard. Just after crossing Westminster bridge, you take a left into the hotels arched entrance which takes you ...
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