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since 23/02/2003

217

Roses Lemon and Lime Marmalade 17/04/2013

Heaven on Toast

Roses Lemon and Lime Marmalade It is fair to say that I have never been a huge fan of orange marmalade, but I have been very partial to Rose's Lemon and Lime Marmalade since I was young. When I look back, it was probably the unique, characterful-shaped jar which first grabbed my attention. It looks quite different to other jars of jam or marmalade and is very traditional in appearance, quintessentially English you might say. With petals etched into the glass, it almost looks like a work of art in itself! The 454g jar is emblazoned with a simple label displaying the Rose's name and trademark and an enticing image showing lemons and limes. L. Rose & Co. Ltd. first started making marmalade in 1865, but it is now made under the Rose's name by Chivers Hartley Ltd. You can clearly see the lime-green marmalade within and its delicate strips of peel. But before I get too carried away in the description, let me tell you more about the product. As you remove the lid, a potent, yet refreshing smell of limes greets you. I can't smell the lemons quite as well, but these are more noticeable in the taste. I personally prefer to eat Rose's marmalade either on toast or crackers but bread would do just as well. In the jar, the marmalade is quite firm in texture, almost jelly-like, but once you spread it, it becomes a lot more pliable, with the syrupy juices evident. The taste is truly wonderful. As you might expect from a marmalade, it is zingy and refreshing, without the usual bitterness associated with orange ...

Cadbury Dairy Milk Tasters 03/02/2013

An Accolade to the Cadbury Taster

Cadbury Dairy Milk Tasters I haven't written a review on Ciao for several years now so thought I'd make a comeback and write a review on one of my favourite chocolate lines to date. It was on a recent trip to the cinema that I caught sight of packets of Cadbury Tasters, whilst queueing to buy my ticket. They were nestled among the standard bags of Cadbury chocolates, like Twirl and Crunchie pieces, and immediately caught my attention because they are so rare these days. In fact, I haven't seen Tasters for years, especially not in supermarkets. Excited by my discovery, I picked a bag off the shelf. Let me tell you a bit about Cadbury Tasters for those not familiar with them. Well to be honest, there is not much to tell. Made by Cadbury, they are simply balls of dairy milk chocolate approximately 1cm in diameter. Nothing more. As you open the packet, an aromatic smell of chocolate greets you. However, whilst enticing, it is the creamy, velvety taste of the milk chocolate which makes Tasters both moreish and very satisfying. You simply pop them in your mouth and let them melt away into a chocolate goo. Equally, you can bite into the hard chocolate ball and munch away if you prefer. Either way, the delicious flavour of smooth Cadbury dairy milk chocolate is what makes these so special. You don't have to eat a whole packet to enjoy these: one or two at a time will satisfy most chocoholics, although it doesn't take me long personally to devour a whole bag! Now onto the nutrition information...My 160g ...

Ritter Sport Chocolate 11/04/2008

Qualität im Quadrat

Ritter Sport Chocolate Ritter Sport is not a chocolate I am overly familiar with, but when I saw it on sale in a local supermarket, I was keen to give it a try. Ritter Sport is a German brand of chocolate, and a quality one at that. In fact, the Germans are renowned throughout the world for producing high quality chocolates. Named after the German, Alfred Ritter, the Ritter brand was launched in the early 1930s. There are many varieties to choose from, although probably not all these are available in the UK. From the traditional 'Vollmilch' (Milk Chocolate) to the more unusual 'Joghurt' (Yogurt) and 'Marzipan' (Marzipan!) varieties, there is something for all tastes. I bought the Cappuccino variety from a local Budgens supermarket for a pretty reasonable 79p and it is this particular variety I shall review today. As chocolate bars go, Ritter Sport is fairly unique - in the UK at least. Known by the slogan 'Qualität im Quadrat' ('Quality in a Square'), it comes in the form of a square chocolate block (100g), measuring approximately 8cm by 8cm, and is split into smaller bite-size chunks. Per packet, there are 16 individual chocolate pieces. The concept behind Ritter Sport Cappuccino is very simple: a Cappuccino base filling covered in a layer of delicious milk chocolate. But not just any milk chocolate... It actually contains fine cocoas from Africa and Papua New Guinea, which help give it the edge. With any chocolate product, it is undoubtedly the taste which matters. However, before I ...

Vauxhall Corsa D 30/03/2008

Of Corsa it has to be a Vauxhall!

Vauxhall Corsa D We bought a new Vauxhall Corsa CDTi last September. Having looked at several different types of Corsa, we eventually opted for the 5 door CDTi Design (diesel). Looks and Interior Since its original launch in 1992, Vauxhall Corsa has evolved quite considerably. The latest models look sporty, stylish and nippy, with upmarket interiors and intelligent key features. There are quite a few colours to choose from in the new Design range. These are as diverse as 'Flame Red' and 'Sunny Melon' to the simple 'Glacier White'. We chose a more neutral colour with the 'Metro Blue' variety, but there is certainly something for every taste. Our car comes with 16 inch alloy wheels as standard and benefits from smart leather trim seating inside and leather-trim steering wheel. Vauxhall have put a lot of thought into making interiors both stylish and functional and, aesthetically, you can't fault the attention to detail. The dash board is very roomy and houses a CD player and Digital radio. Leg room is also excellent, especially for the front seat passenger. Initially, the only disadvantage seems to be the lack of boot space. However, the removable boot base and adjustable back seats allow for more space if needed. Driving Experience As with any new car, speed and acceleration are often important factors. The speed on this car is very impressive, especially in the higher gears. It is not as nippy as some cars in the low gears, but has a sudden burst of power in ...

Green's Double Choc Chip Muffin Mix 19/03/2008

The Perfect Muffins... Homemade!

Green's Double Choc Chip Muffin Mix People who know me will tell you how much I like cakes, especially jam sponges with cream in or chocolate muffins - in fact, pretty much any cake you can imagine! Whilst homemade cakes are infinitely better than mass-produced varieties found in shops, sometimes it's just more convenient to buy them from the supermarket rather than make them yourself. If, like me, however, you prefer the taste of homemade cakes but do not have the time or the inclination to bake your own from scratch, look no further than Green's cake mixtures. Green's is a well-known brand which dates back to 1907. They have been specialising in cake mixes for many years and have something to suit all ages and tastes, from kids cake mixtures like Thomas the Tank Engine and Barbie varieties to more adult tastes, like Victoria Sponge cakes and Lemon Madeira cakes. I recently bought a box of Green's Double Choc Chip Muffin mixture from Morrisons, and this is the variety I will be reviewing today. The great thing about Greens' cake mixtures is that they are so easy to prepare, which means that even kids can do it. The chocolate muffin variety is no different in this respect. Inside the box you get a packet of the muffin mixture, a smaller packet of chocolate chips and 6 muffin cases. All you have to do is add 5 fluid ounces of cold water and one egg to the muffin mixture and mix the whole lot together. It literally takes minutes! Once completed, simply divide the mixture between the 6 muffin cases and pop ...

Paco Rabanne Black XS Pour Elle Eau de Toilette 26/09/2007

An 'XS' of Seduction

Paco Rabanne Black XS Pour Elle Eau de Toilette I have just come back from a few days away in Jersey. While I was there, I thought I'd take a look at the duty free fragrances at a perfumerie shop in St. Helier. Initially, the choice seemed truly mind-boggling and I didn't know where to start, but with the help of a kind shop assistant, I eventually found some fragrances I liked. One of these was Black XS Eau de Toilette by Paco Rabanne. It came in a box also containing a tube of Black XS shower gel and was very modestly priced at just £21.00 (UK price approx. £38.00). This seemed like an absolute bargain and although I am not a regular buyer of such products, I was very keen to try the fragrances for myself. Today I shall be reviewing Black XS Eau de Toilette spray (shown above), which, incidentally, is available in for women as well as men. You can buy it in two sizes - 50ml or 100ml - although mine was the smaller 50ml container. THE CONTAINER In terms of looks, the container is quite stark, with a black background and gothic-like white script for the name. I can't say Black XS appeals to me hugely in terms of appearance, but then as the saying goes, you can't tell a book by its cover. The bottle is, however, chicly designed and incorporates a clever flip lid which opens to reveal the trigger spray within... Okay, so it's hardly a feat of ergonomics, but it's a good design all the same! THE FRAGRANCE The fragrance is what attracted me to Black XS in the first place. It is a sweet, sensual scent with ...

Loaded Antiperspirant 02/09/2007

Get Added Pulling Power!

Loaded Antiperspirant I only discovered 'Loaded Antiperspirant' a few weeks ago and that was by chance. A work colleague left a can lying around in the staff locker room and I could not resist trying it for myself. I was very impressed, so thought I'd look out for it in the shops. After a bit of searching, I finally found cans of 'Loaded' at my local branch of Tesco and, as luck would have it, they were on a 'buy one, get one free' offer! So, of course, I chucked two into the trolley. Each 150ml can costs £1.79, which is comparable in price to brands like Lynx. THE BRAND To be honest, 'Loaded' is not the most well-known brand, but there are two main varieties available in Tesco: a blue and a yellow. Apart from the fragrance, I'm not sure what the difference is between them. According to the can, though, both claim to have 'added pulling power'! THE CAN Loaded Antiperspirant comes in a tall, thin aerosol can, with a nifty trigger, disguised as a lid. There is a convenient lock, which can be activated by simply twisting the lid. Before using the spray, it is recommended that you shake the can well first. MY EXPERIENCE 'Loaded Anti-perspirant' has a distinctive, fresh fragrance, which appeals to me a lot. It is a masculine smell and captures some great summery aromas, with sweet, citrus overtones. The staying power is also good. After use, I was left feeling fresh for quite some time, but was not totally convinced about the spray's anti-perspirant properties, as I did ...

Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts 27/08/2007

The F-word stands for 'first-class'

Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts Those who know me know just how much I like chocolates, and trying new brands is something that excites me. Whilst doing the shopping the other day, I came across boxes of Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts Chocolates at Tesco. Priced at a whopping £5.68, I initially disregarded them, but then I remembered I had some money off coupons which I could use. So I thought I'd treat myself. The box describes the chocolates as 'chocolates of unique character' and they are just that. Each individual chocolate is inspired by recipes in Gordon Ramsay's book, 'Just Desserts', which makes for an interesting selection white, milk and dark chocolate truffles, all made from the finest Belgian chocolates. The 215g box contains 16 chocolate truffles and there are two of each variety. The box looks classy from the outside and does not disappoint once you open it up. The chocolates sit in a silver plastic tray and are covered by a silky paper wrapper, which has Gordon Ramsay's stylish autograph embossed across it. A rich profusion of chocolatey aromas greets you and entices you to give the chocolates a try. So let's not waste any more time. I shall start with my favourite truffle, 'Salted Fudge and Honeycomb'.... SALTED FUDGE & HONEYCOMB This is a rich butter fudge truffle, covered in a dark Belgian chocolate which contains honeycomb chips. I find this chocolate quite unusual because the saltiness of the fudge actually accentuates its overall sweetness. The dark chocolate, with its ...

Pentax Optio E30 05/08/2007

A Great OPTIOn

Pentax Optio E30 I have always been keen on photography and quite proud of the photos that I've managed to take. However, using a standard automatic camera has its limitations and so I finally thought it was time to invest in a decent digital camera. Price was a big factor in deciding which make to buy. Although I didn't want a really cheap digital camera, I didn't want to pay the earth for one either! Searching the Internet, I came across the Pentax Optio E30. It seemed to fit the bill well in terms of price (just under £100) and had many of the features that I was looking for, such as video recording with sound. I ordered the camera through Tesco Direct because I had a £5 money off coupon to use, and received the camera in the post a couple of days later. THE CAMERA The Pentax Optio E30 offers a 2.4 inch LCD and 7.1 megapixels, providing high resolution photography. It also offers 11MB of built-in memory and a 3 x optical zoom, allowing you to zoom in on the detail you want. WHAT YOU GET The Pentax Optio E30 camera comes in a box with two AA batteries, a USB/AV Cable, dock insert and a convenient camera strap. You also get a basic User Manual and two CDs - one for installing software and the other, an Operating Manual. You will, however, need to buy a SD Memory Card separately, as this is not included with the camera. SD (Secure Digital) cards are sophisticated memory cards which link a whole range of digital equipment and allow you to send photos to a PC or direct to a ...

Saxon 1050 Pure Apple Juice 20/07/2007

Sounds more like a Car than a Drink!

Saxon 1050 Pure Apple Juice I must admit that I had never heard of this drink before seeing it on Ciao, but thought that it might be one I would quite like to try. After all, I enjoy an occasional glass of cider, so it would make sense that I should enjoy this one too, as it is an apple drink, albeit not of the alcoholic variety! No, Saxon 1050 is, in fact, a soft apple juice drink. It is 100% natural and made wholly from class 1 English Cox's, which are lovingly hand picked and pressed. It is completely organic and does not contain additives like many other well-known apple drinks. Because the apples are left to grow and mature on the trees, you get a drink with a consistently rich, aromatic flavour which complements food in a similar way to wine. As soon as I spotted Saxon 1050 on the shelf in Waitrose, I could see that it was a classy brand because it comes in a stylish, frosted-glass bottle, which seemed more reminiscent of a posh wine than an apple juice drink! And as you therefore might expect, it doesn't come cheap. A bottle costs around the £3-4 mark, which seems rather expensive for an apple juice. The cynic in me can't help but think that you're paying just for a nice-looking bottle which ultimately you will probably throw away or recycle anyway! I wonder just how much the juice costs, relative to the overall price of the drink....Not much, I suspect. Looking at this product, it is quite clear that this is a soft drink aimed at adults. However, because of it is non-alcoholic content, ...

Sun-Pat Smooth Peanut Butter 04/07/2007

I'm Nuts about Sun-Pat!

Sun-Pat Smooth Peanut Butter Sun-Pat Peanut Butter really takes me back to my youth. As a child, I would literally beg my Mum to buy me this because it was just so delicious and moreish! Those days seem a distant memory now and I must admit that peanut butter would no longer be my number one purchase - I like to think my culinary tastes have moved on, if you like! But whenever I feel like something different or feel a bit depressed, I never hesitate in buying a jar of Sun-Pat Peanut Butter as it always cheers me up. It is the ultimate comfort food! WHAT IS PEANUT BUTTER? The name is perhaps slightly misleading, as there is no butter in peanut butter! In fact, peanut butter is actually a food paste made primarily from ground roasted peanuts, with or without added oil. It is popular in quite a few countries around the world, including the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and South Africa. HISTORY OF SUN-PAT You might be surprised to read that peanut butter (an American variety) was first sold in the UK as far back as the 1930s! It was only in the 1960s, however, that a true British make of peanut butter was available to buy, and its name was Sun-Pat. It was initially produced as a by-product of a nut-packing operation in Hadfield, Derbyshire, although nowadays, the brand is owned by Premier Foods and is made in Cambridgeshire. SUN-PAT: THE BRAND There are several varieties of Sun-Pat Peanut Butter, but the one I shall be reviewing today is the 'Sun-Pat Super ...

Comfort Inn Harrow, London 01/07/2007

Enjoy your Stay at the Comfort Hotel

Comfort Inn Harrow, London We have recently come back from a weekend away down in London. The trip was not purely a leisure break - although we did of course make the most of our time by perusing some of the sights in the capital. The main reason, however, for us going to London was so that my mum could attend a hospital appointment which was arranged for early on the Monday morning. Rather than travel down on the day and risk being late, we decided to travel down by train on the Saturday and make a long weekend of it. The hospital my mum attends is near Harrow, in Middlesex. After searching online for hotels in the local area, we came across the Comfort Inn hotel, which is located 5-10 minutes walk from Northwick Park underground station (on the Metropolitan Line). This was ideal as it was just a short walk away from the hospital, Northwick Park and St. Marks. ** THE HOTEL ** The Comfort Inn hotel in Harrow belongs to a larger chain of hotels, called 'Crimson Hotels'. Crimson Hotels also own the 'Quality hotel' group which is quite well-known in the UK. Overall, the Crimson group is a relatively small company, with hotels in Heathrow, Gatwick, Reading, Coventry and Harrow. But they also have some hotels abroad, in Portugal and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). My review will be specifically of the Comfort Inn hotel in Harrow, as this is where we stayed. As I said at the outset, this hotel is ideally situated, not only for people having to visit the nearby hospital, but also for people on ...

Bertolli Olive Oil Spread 20/06/2007

A Taste of the Med

Bertolli Olive Oil Spread Every quarter I receive coupons from Tesco for the points earned on my Clubcard. One of the ones they recently sent me was for Bertolli Olive Spread. The coupon was offering an extra 30 Clubcard points if I purchased either the 500g or 1kg sized tub, and although Bertolli isn't my usual choice of butter spread, I thought I'd give it a try. WHY IS BERTOLLI DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SPREADS? Bertolli is quite different from most other butter spreads because, unlike most, it is made using olives. From the olive comes olive oil which is an excellent source of monosaturates (healthy fats to me and you) and polythenols - chemicals with antioxidant properties. Monosaturated fats derive from vegetables, so are naturally good for you. In fact, people in the Mediterranean are thought to live longer because of the amount of monosaturates that are found in their diet. Bertolli is made from 59% vegetable fat. It also contains a significant portion of olive oil (21%) and has only 14% saturated fat (an unhealthy fat) compared to ordinary butter which has around 54%. THE BERTOLLI BRAND Bertolli is a traditional Italian brand dating back to 1865. Francesco and Caterina Bertolli started producing and selling olive oil from a trading shop underneath their family home. In the 1890s, Francesco Bertolli’s five sons travelled abroad to the USA, Australia, Brazil, Argentina and Africa, where they promoted the Bertolli name internationally. Over 100 years later, the Bertolli brand ...

Jacob's Lemon Puffs 14/06/2007

A Lemony Creation from Jacob's

Jacob's Lemon Puffs Lemon Puffs have long been one of my favourite biscuits. Jacob's is probably the brand most commonly associated with Lemon Puffs here in the UK, but you will also see them sold under the 'Bolands of Ireland' brand in some shops. As far as I am aware - and I might be wrong - Jacob's and Bolands are one of the same company, and that Bolands is solely the name under which Lemon Puffs are sold in Ireland. Let me tell you a bit more about them... WHAT ARE LEMON PUFFS? Lemon Puffs have been around for years and I'm sure most people have tried them at one time or other. As their name suggests, Lemon Puffs are sandwich-like biscuit creams, consisting of two lemon flavoured puff pastry biscuits and filled with a delicious lemon cream centre. The biscuits are covered in a sugary glaze, which gives them a wonderful golden brown appearance. TASTE & TEXTURE As you bite into the puff part of the biscuit, it is quite brittle but does not fall apart in your hand like some puff biscuits. It has a delicious buttery flavour, with a slightly sugary edge to it. As you bite further into the biscuit, you quickly reach the lemon cream centre. This is soft and buttery in texture and has a pleasant lemony flavour, which I like. That said, it is quite sweet and I would prefer a slightly more natural lemon flavour, as this would offset the sweetness from the puff biscuits. Overall, though, the flavours work well together and make Lemon Puffs incredibly moreish biscuits to eat. As ...

Carplan T-Cut Original 29/05/2007

Cuts through Grime to Restore the Shine!

Carplan T-Cut Original My Vauxhall Corsa is over 10 years old now and is slowly showing its age. One of the things which is perhaps most noticeable is the fading paintwork, especially on the roof and bonnet of the car. Being a red car, this is quite visible, but aside from respraying the entire bodywork, I didn’t think there was much that could be done. After all, you can’t make new out of old, can you? Well probably not, but there are products out there which help to restore colour. That’s where T-Cut comes in. A colleague at work recommended I try T-Cut Original Colour Restorer, so I thought I’d try it for myself. WHAT IS T-CUT? T-Cut is made by Carplan, one of the most respected brands of car care products. They do an impressive range of products, including waxes, polishes, scratch removers and, of course, colour restorants. HOW IT WORKS T-Cut is made from a unique formula which restores the original colour and lustre in seconds. It does this by removing oxidation, ingrained grime and dried insects which can all add to the spoiling of paintwork. DIRECTIONS T-Cut Original is very easy to use. First you need to wash the car and it is recommended you use Triplewax Shampoo for this. Then once the car is dry, you can then set about applying the colour restorer. It comes in liquid form, so you should shake the bottle well before use to avoid any unnecessary separation/suspension of the solution itself. Next, pour a small amount of the solution onto a damp cloth, but not ...
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