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nigelcross

nigelcross

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since 15/03/2009

16

The A Radisson Edwardian Hotel Mayfair, London 13/02/2010

Lovely hotel and stay!

The A Radisson Edwardian Hotel Mayfair, London When you enter the Mayfair the 5 star hits you in the face. Fendi sofas and italian marble everywhere. Unfortunately none of the staff on reception speak English particularly well, this was a problem for me as I needed a hairdresser and they couldn't recommend anyone or anywhere. Only a minor issue though. Our room was nice but the view of the air conditioning units was terrible. I also couldn't get the TV to change channel - this didnt matter too much though as we only used the room to change and sleep. The bed was one of the most comfortable beds I have ever had in a hotel and there was very little noise during the night. The facilities in the hotel are excellent. Lovely spa area and conference room. We made good use of the casino after a night out and even ended up winning a little. The staff in the casino were excellent, very friendly and fun. You cannot beat the location of this hotel. 2 minutes to the tube and within walking distance of many London attractions. Around the hotel there are also some good shops and bars/restaurants -just turn left from hotel door. Breakfast was lovely - plenty of food and all good quality although some items such as toast and tea were slow to be replenished. Overall we had a great time and can't wait to return. It is worth its 5 star rating but just a few creases to iron out. Next time we hope to sample the restaurant for an evening meal - hopefully by then I will be able to change my rating to Excellent.

Profit from Property - Sarah Beeny 04/08/2009

Property Ladder - The Beany Bible!

Profit from Property - Sarah Beeny Property Ladder is a TV programme focusing on budding property developers who buy property to do up and make a profit. This, however, is not always the end result. Sarah Beeny has brought out a book to go with the series. Sarah Beeny is inspirational and it is great to see a woman in primarily a mans industry. She really knows what shes talking about and it is so funny to see her giving advice and then the people completely ignoring her! (To their detriment) The book is her advise about how to develop a property sucessfully. Property Ladder has been going for a number of years now. It is on at 8pm on a Tuesday night and has gone through all the changes in the property market - from a boom situation to a bust. As such the new series is called Property Snakes and Ladders showing that its not easy to make a quick buck from property any more. I think this was a much better idea than scrapping the programme for a while until the market picks up. I love this programme and the book, I look forward to the next series. You can get some fab ideas of what to do and what not to do in your own home. Bring on the Beeny for another series!

Bathstore.com 03/08/2009

The different way to do bathrooms!

Bathstore.com The Bathstore.com is a relatively new company selling bathroom suites, cloakroom sets, individual baths, taps and accessories. They are reasonably priced and have well set out, allbeit small stores. Stores are located all over the UK but mainly in out of town areas with plenty of parking. This makes it much easier to get to and carry items you may buy. Delivery is possible to any UK address for a fee. Bathstore.com have a great website with all the products arranged accordiing to type. It is easy to navigate and find what youre looking for. The website also has special offers on and is updated regularly. When you go into Bathstore.com you can see all the products neatly laid out with suggested items to compliment each other. The staff are really helpful but not over baring and will try to help if you want a different combination to what is suggested. Overall I like this shop and think it offers something different to the likes of B&Q etc. The products certainly seem quality and look like they will last. I hope to buy again from them soon when I do up my downstairs cloakroom.

Monsoon (Shop) 03/08/2009

Mostly overpriced Monsoon!

Monsoon (Shop) Monsoon is a womens clothes shop which has stores in most uk towns and cities. They are part of the Accessorise group and shops are usually interconnected and next to each other. I like to buy presents for my girlfriend from this shop because I know she likes it but Im not that keen. The clothes are really good quality but they are very expensive in comparison with the likes of Topshop and Warehouse. They are also a little more oldfashioned. I think the best time to visit Monsoon is at sale time, in particular when they have 75% off. Another thing to look out for is the Monsoon outlet stores, these are much better value than the regular stores but are few and far between. Luckally we have one reasonably near to us. Returns are pretty good as long as you have your receipt but changing rooms are a bit of a let down with nowhere for me to sit! Overall this is a good but overpriced clothing store. Great for special occasion wear but not much else. Childrens clothes prices are insane!

Périgord - Dordogne (France) 02/08/2009

The Delightful Dordogne!

Périgord - Dordogne (France) The Dordogne is a picturesque region of France located in the south-west of the country. It is particularly famous for its foir-gras and duck. It is not one of the better wine growing regions. The easiest way to get to the Dordogne is via Bergerac airport. This is a very small airport serviced by the low cost airlines only. If you drive it will take approx 9 hours from Calais. I really enjoyed my stay in the Dordogne and would definately return. The region is lush and green with the meandering river never too far away for a quick swim. There are a range of safe swimming points along the river (some have lifeguards but most dont). Beware of the current on the river it is very strong in places. My favourite Points of interest: Limeuil - Lovely village where the Dordogne and Vezere rivers meet. Good restarant overlooking the river. La Bugue - Slightly larger village. Market on Tuesday is great but can get very busy. La Roque Garene - Great view, chocolate box village - hire a canoe from here - you wont be disappointed. Beynac - Fortified village, chateau at the top. Lots of lovely restaurants and small hotels. Beware - parking isn't free! Overall the Dordogne has something for everyone. If you havent visited you really should give it a go.

Ikea 02/08/2009

Ikea - The MDF house of plenty!

Ikea Ikea is a Swedish discount furniture company offering a range of furniture and homewares. Stores are large and usually out of town with lots of parking. They are open 7 days a week and have late night opening which is really convenient for people who work. The range is good with kitchens, sofas, dining sets etc. Prices are generally a little cheaper than most high street stores which is why the shop is so popular. The Ikea book is great to take away and get ideas. It also gives you a better idea of what you want to pick up instore. It can be daunting going into the shop not knowing what you want as it's so vast. Ikea stores have restaurants but the food isnt particularly good. Choices are very limited and the dining area resembles a school hall. Its not somewhere I would eat again. After you have paid for your goods there is a fast food place on the way out selling hotdogs, ice cream and other snack items. These are very cheap but again not great quality. Overall Ikea is a good shop and very cheap but the quality is a little dubious. If you want something thats going to stand the test of time I wouldn't shop here.

Astrabound, Doncaster, Yorkshire 02/08/2009

Astrabound - Burns aplenty but great fun!

Astrabound, Doncaster, Yorkshire Astrabound is a great idea and one I think will be repeated all over the country. It is a huge soft play centre in Doncaster, just off Wheatley Hall Rd. Astrabound caters for all ages of children up to around 13. It is also a great place for adults with a coffee shop and snack shop. There are plenty of tables where adults can sit and there are free newspapers to read. I like the fact that adults can go into the soft play area with the children and it really is great fun! There is a most terrifying slide which is pretty much a vertical drop, you must be 7 to go on it but even I am too scared to have a go. If you are going to Astrabound I would advise wearing long sleeves and trousers as the slides can burn you quite bad. You also have to wear socks and wont be allowed in without them. Birthday parties look fun at Astrabound and a big bear comes out to meet the birthday girl or boy. Food is pretty standard but there are a few healthy options. Prices - not cheap, £5 per child. Parties are more expensive but you can negotiate a deal more often than not.

Bensons Bed Shop 01/08/2009

Bensons - Not too sure of these yet!

Bensons Bed Shop Bensons for Beds calls themselves Britains Biggest bed specialist. Im not sure if this is true or not as the stores, although large, don't tend to have masses of beds on offer. From 'Britains Bed Specialist' I would expect to see at least 100 beds from around 20 different brands. In reality you're lucky if you see 40 beds from 4 different manufacturers. Stores are usually out of the town centre with plenty of free parking. They are usually open 7 days a week. When you walk into a show room the predators are lurking, ready for you to sit on or express any interest in a bed. When they do come over I've found that they don't really have too much information about the beds and what they're made of. (I can read the information sheet myself y'know!) We have found a mattress we like at Bensons but we're still not sure whether we will order from them or try to find it direct on the internet. I guess it will depend on whether we can find it cheaper. Delivery costs £35 which is good but sometimes there can be a huge wait. This, and other peoples poor experiences puts me off.

Too Much, Too Young: My Story of Love, Survival and Celebrity - Kerry Katona 01/08/2009

No holding back for Kerry Katonas Autobiography

Too Much, Too Young: My Story of Love, Survival and Celebrity - Kerry Katona Kerry Katona was one third of Atomic Kitten. This book tells the story of her life, from her disfunctional childhood with quite frankly disgraceful excuse for a mother to her failed marriage to Westlife's Bryan McFadden. The book is a hugely moving tale and explains why Kerry has so many problems in her life now. I bought this book from a charity shop for £1 and will return it asap. I always buy a couple of books in this way before my holidays as it's like giving to charity twice. This was definately a good autobiography to buy and I couldn't put it down I think anyone with an interest in Kerry will enjoy reading it. I don't want to give too much away by telling you all the stories she tells but they are good and she doesn't really call too many people off unlike some other celebrities do in their books. I particularly liked the parts about when she was on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. I would recommend this book, especially if you can pick it up in a charity shop. I look forward to reading the next installment... watch this space.

Canoes Loisirs Dordogne France 01/08/2009

Canoe the Dordogne

Canoes Loisirs Dordogne France Hiring a canoe from one of the various points on the Dordogne river is a great way of seeing this picturesque region. There are numerous points along the river from which you can hire a 1,2 or 3 person canoe. Prices vary depending upon how long you want to canoe for or how far you want to go. The good thing about these tours is that you ALWAYS travel downstream meaning you can't get too tired or bored. If your arms are tired you can stop and let the current take you down the river. You rent the canoe from a certain point and then a bus picks you up from your predetermined end point down the river. There is often a little cafe where you can get a drink from before the bus comes to pick you up. Downsides: the river is not fast in all parts. Slack water means you may have to paddle harder than you want too. The bus also only comes every hour which means your stuck if you arrive just after one has left. Expensive due to the exchange rate - around £20 for 9km per person. Good points: Great scenary, good excercise, great fun.

Budget Insurance Company Limited 29/05/2009

Budget for a great deal!

Budget Insurance Company Limited Budget has a range of insurance products available. I will be concentrating on Budget Car Insurance as they are the insurers I have at the minute. When I bought my new car (a Porsche Boxster) I was worried about getting insurance as the car is group 17 and Im only 25. Although as a woman I thought I would get it a bit cheaper I found this wasn't the case. I used various online search sites to find the best cover but found confused.com to be the best. After putting in all my details Budget came out second cheapest - the 1st was a name I didn't recognise so didn't go for that. After deciding on Budget I put my partner on (thinking it would sent it shooting up - man aged 27) It didn't, it brought it down by £100. I was amazed! Budget sent the documents out very quickly and when they didn't recieve my no claims proof from my previous insurer they rang them themselves and sorted it out. I thought this was excellent customerr service - instead of making me chase the compary they sorted it straight away. I really like Budget and would use them again. They answer the phones quickly and its always someone in this country!

High School Musical 2 (DVD) 22/05/2009

High School Hit with the Kids!

High School Musical 2 (DVD) This is the sequel to the 1st High School Musical film which was ridiculously popular with kids. (the merchandise that has come from this film is insane!) This film was not quite as irritating as the original but not far off the same design. The same cast of teens plays the same characters in this summer job exstravaganza. They all are working at the country club of Sharpay's insanly rich and obnoxious family. Zac Efron again plays sexy Troy who actually makes a mistake in the firm and must fight to regain his girlfriends trust. Ashley Tisdale is excellent as Sharpay and she has some quite funny one liners in the film. This does seem more of a 'made for TV movie' rather than an all time classic but fun stuff all the same. It is quite regularly on the Disney Channel and BBC now (during the school holidays) so if you want to save some money - video it or sky+ it from this. The DVD can be bought from Amazon for less than £8 now (and you can use your dooyoo vouchers - woopeee!!!) A must watch for every 8 year old in the land!

MSN - Hotmail 19/05/2009

HOT HOT Hotmail!

MSN - Hotmail I love this service. They are by far the best email providers out there. They wont sell your email address or information and there is little down time. After having a Yahoo email account for many years I decided to open a Hotmail account for work purposes. I really like the size of the mail box youre given 5gb to start. You can fit so much in before you start having to delete. When youre starting to fill up they will increase your mailbox size if you want. Hotmail is really easy to sign up for and takes less than 5 mins. The account is easy to navigate and return emails are easy to write. I really like the fact that the junk is sorted for you and they almost always get it right. Downtime is limited and therefore the website is also really reliable. You can use your mailbox as a little organiser with room for birthday reminders, calendar and contact list. This comes in really handy when youre at work or home. The mailbox will also tell you the news headlines! I really like this website and service. It has always worked well for me and I wont be switching to any other provider.

travian.com 18/05/2009

Terrific Travian!

travian.com Travian is a webbased game which involves you running a village. You must protect your village at all costs and make it grow to be strong. You start with a small village and begin growing wheat and harvesting iron, clay and wood. As your resources grow you can build more buildings and enhance your fields. Be warned - you need to start building an army as soon as you have roughly 100 population or you wont last long. The big boys group together and will take you out. Fun game though but very frustrating when you feel someone is picking on you! The layout is good and easy to navigate. This game is so easy to get into, children can do it. The idea is great and a game lasts around a year. Although in essence the game is free you can buy 'gold' which can be used to speed up your game giving you a distinct advantage over other players. The site is rarely under maintinence which is great - very reliable. There is a great forum where you can chat to other players or ask a question - it is very active. If you havent played this game before i would definately give it a go - beware of Travian addiction though!

YouTube 17/05/2009

Rude Tube - You Tube - Excellent!

YouTube How great is YouTube!? Whoever thought it up is a genius. This is definately one of the internets great sucesses - practically everyone in the world has heard of it. If, however, you are one of the two people that hasnt i will give you a short explanation... YouTube is a video sharing website where you can watch, upload or comment on videos. It is totally free and videos range from the latest boxing match to some strange fella in Equador doing a dance in his bedroom to the Cheeky Girls song. You can search the site really easily using the search bar - just type in what youre looking for. Just recently they have got into a bit of trouble for showing music videos. I think this is a shame but understand why they had to be taken off. You can now watch music from the UK but not anything by American artists. I know some people can be offended by things on YouTube but why watch it if you know its something that might offend you! I think its important that this website isnt too censored and hope it stays that way. I am definately an avid fan of YouTube and will continue to use it on a daily basis - how else can you waste a good hour looking at rubbish!?
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