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I am a mystery shopper, so reviewing is my thing. I now have a few weeks off work, so I am busy doing my mystery shopping and writing up my experiences, so expect to find lots more reviews coming in the next few days.

Reviews written

since 28/12/2006


Campanile Bradford, Bradford 07/04/2010

Campanile Hotel, Bradford - Don't judge a book by its cover!

Campanile Bradford, Bradford Well.. As you will see from my other reviews, I like to review budget hotels. In the next few days I will be adding many more of my reviews that I have not had time to write. But, atlast I now have some time off work and time to add everything. To start from the beginning, When I was driving there I did have a slight problem in finding the hotel, even though my satnav maps are up to date for some reason it said I had arrived when I had not. But anyway, there were some signs, but they were slightly vague. But I found it in the end. Something that is worth noting is that when I arrived, it was during that awfully icy and snowy time in January and the hotel is at the top of a very steep slope, and I found it very difficult to get up there - Even though I have a fairly hefty Audi Q7. Someone with a small car would have no chance of getting up there. Once again, the car park was large with plenty of spaces and I had no problem finding a space to park. Like most or even all of the Campanile Hotels it was free to park for the duration of your stay. When you arrive, you see the building and you wonder what the heck you have let yourself in for. Its grey and old looking, and the outer structure of the building is very square looking and made entirely of concrete sheets or blocks. Basically its very ugly and looks like something from a communist country in the 1980s. But like I said in the heading, do not judge a a book, or indeed a hotel by its cover. But, once you step inside you ...

Campanile Swindon, Swindon 06/04/2010

Campanile Hotel, Swindon - Great Value, Great Stay.

Campanile Swindon, Swindon Now for all of you who do not know, I like to stay in different hotels, mostly budget hotels to be precise. In the following paragraphs you will not only find factual information, but my own honest humble opinion. When I arrived for my 2 night stay, I arrived into the car park, expecting to have trouble finding a space, but I was surprised at the large car park that I found. This meant that I had no problem finding a space, which was also free for the duration of my stay, might I add. On arriving into the reception area I was greeted by two lovely staff members, one male and one female, who explained everything that I needed to know, breakfast times, checkout times etc etc. After confirming my booking, I was given my room key and clear instructions on where my room was within the building. It was easy to find my room as all floors and corridors are clearly marked and there are plenty of sings to show you which way your room is. Location The hotel is situated really near to the M4 which makes it really easy to get there by car, it is all clearly signposted and I feel that if I did not have my trusty satnav then I would have no trouble finding it. I had also noted that it seems to be on a bus route, which I think is served frequently by buses which connect it with the towns main train station which is also Swindon The hotel is situated right in the heart of one of Swindons largest industrial estates, so is perfect for business use, but also for a base for leisure use ...

Sennheiser CX 500 Headphones 29/05/2008

UPDATED 29/05/08...Your Own Private Auditorium....

Sennheiser CX 500 Headphones UPDATE 29/05/2008 Disaster has struck!! I was on the train home from work yesterday, low and behold, my earphones are broken!! Goodness knows why, but they have. I thought I was going to die - the journey home seemed to take light years. On the flip side, they have lasted years of my tangling them up, they have given me my value for money, so I suppose they are definitely worth buying. I know what brand of earphones I will be buying... I love Sennheiser, and won't be buying anything else. EVER I bought these earphones about a year ago, I must use them almost everyday. If I remember rightly they cost me about £26 (Including P&P) from Ebay. I was looking for something that blocks out background noise. Also, something that keeps your music private. For example, your on a train and you can hear what some other people are listening to. Not only can this be annoying, but it also really irritates you and seems to put you in a bad mood for the rest of the day. So I did'nt want to inflict that on anyone else who may be around me. As you may have guessed, I commute to work everyday on the train and then the underground. Its not exactly the quietest place to listen to music, thats why I needed something heavyduty to block out the noise, whilst not being too loud. When they arrived through my letterbox, I did'nt realise what they were, until I opened them. They are really neatly and compactly packaged, which can only help the environment as there is a minimum of ...

Palmolive Aroma Therapy Shower Gel Sensual 22/03/2008

Do you want dry, tight itchy skin?? Then use this.

Palmolive Aroma Therapy Shower Gel Sensual The first thing that attracted me to this shower gel was the colour... It was an accident really, I was in my local Tesco, looking for my usual shower gel, the Palmolive Honey and Milk. I decided that I would buy the Honey one, plus this "Sensual" one. I must admit, I am one of those people who usually picks things based on what they look like, but more importantly what they smell like. When I'm out doing my weekly shop, you will usually find me at my local Tesco or Waitrose flipping open caps of shower gel or bubble bath, trying to decide on which one smells best. This is how I decide what to buy. Personally I don't think I will be buying this "Sensual" shower gel as it is anything but sensual. Well, anyway, here goes, THE SMELL. The bottle says that it contains "Pure Essential Oils of Jasmine and Rose, plus Orchid Extract." Seen, as I don't really know what orchid extract smells like, I don't really know what to say about it. You can definitely smell the rose and the jasmine thought. Quite strongly in fact. As for "Exciting your senses" well, It doesnt exactly wake you up in the morning or wake up anything else for that matter. It just smells like a pleasant run-of-the-mill shower gel to me. All in all, not the greatest. THE PACKAGING. The packaging is the one thing that makes it stand out. the bottle is very unusually shaped and it also made of clear plastic. This is why I think the liquid inside is so brightly coloured. (Think Barbie pink) The ...

Vosene Medicated Shampoo 21/03/2008

In one word: Magnificent.

Vosene Medicated Shampoo This review is based on Vosene, clean and healthy - Moisturising Shampoo. (The Yellow one) I usually buy it at my local supermarket for around £1.50 a bottle. 1 bottle lasts me around 2 weeks. I was my hair every other day. I never used to buy this shampoo, until one day, when I had run out of my usual brand, I had no choice but to use a squirt of my partners shampoo. Now, I'm hooked. Ok heres my opinion, THE SMELL. Well I'm sitting here squeezing this bottle, trying to decide what it smells of. Whatever it is, its really fresh and crisp smelling, with a hint of citrus. To paint a picture of the smell, you have to imagine clean air in a meadow, on top of a mountian. The sun is shining and the sky blue, the wild flowers are blooming all around you and the gentle breeze blowing the scent all around you. Thats how it smells to me. THE PACKAGING. The packagain has been similer for years now. That distinctive pale green plastic bottle, with the rounded neck and oval bottom. The green "Droplet" which has the Vosene symbol, is recognised all around the world. Despite what language its written in. The type of Vosene is shown by the colour coded lids and bands on the sticker. Yellow being moisturising, blue being normal and so on. You get the idea. THE COLOUR/CONSISTANCY. Thia particular typeof Vosene is pale in colour, but not white and is almost like liquid pearls. Personally, I think that is is a little runny. Considering I have very long hair and we have ...

Scientists make human embryo clones. Should embryo cloning cease or continue? 14/02/2008

The way forward for the future

Scientists make human embryo clones. Should embryo cloning cease or continue? What is embryo cloning? Embryo cloning is when sperm and an egg cell are mixed together on a glass dish in a research laboratory to create a mass of cells, which is basically the first stage of creating a human life. There is a lot of controversy surrounding cloning, but what is right and what is wrong? Will scientists ever stop cloning, or carry on regardless of the unknown?? If you ask a number of different people the question, whether they think that embryo cloning should continue or not, the response will always be the same. There is no right or wrong answer.... It is all down to moral conscience. There are many reasons why embryo cloning SHOULD carry on, but also many reasons why it should stop. In my opinion, any reasons to continue cloning outweigh any reasons that call for stopping cloning in humans. Human embryo cloning may well be a vital untapped source of information, that will only help the world, but what effects may it have on the embryo?? I think that human embryo cloning should continue to take place, as this can only help the world. By creating a cloned embryo, it may be possible to help women who suffer from a miscarriage, by gaining a deeper understanding and gaining more knowledge of the undeveloped foetus. Possibly, in the future, many miscarriages may well be prevented from happening. As well as this, by understanding how a fertilised egg attaches itself to the uterus wall, new and more effective contraceptives may ...

ScotRail 07/02/2008

First Scotrail - You can do better

ScotRail Well, recently, myself and my partner Steve took a trip to Scotland, and travelled around using the trains. First Scotrail in particular. We stayed at a lovely hotel in Inverness where we stayed for a week. Our journey there was quite uneventful, we used the National Express East Coast service, which was direct from London Kings Cross to Inverness. But- enough about that, I'm reviewing First Scotrail here. Our plan was to stay in Inverness and then go out for the day using the local train services. We ended up travelling to Kyle Of Lochalsh, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aviemore and Perth. I'll tell you a bit more about this later on...... HOW EASY WAS IT TO BUY A TICKET? Most of the principle FSR stations have either a Travel Center or Ticket Office where there is a full range of tickets, railcards and rover tickets available to purchase. Where there is an unmanned station or the office is simply closed, there is more often than not a Ticket Vending Machine available for use. This is where you can buy a limited range of tickets for travel on the same day only. The FSR policy is that you must buy a ticket before you board the train, otherwise you may have to pay a penalty fare. This doesn't actually apply when you were unable to purchase a ticket before boarding the train, although FSR don't like to shout about that. If you are able to show that you couldn't buy a ticket before hand, then you can get a ticket from the Train manager on board. VALUE FOR MONEY ...

The Mile High - Series 1 (Box Set) (DVD) 11/01/2008

Living and loving the hard way..

The Mile High - Series 1 (Box Set) (DVD) This has to be my all time favourite programme that has been shown on British TV. Words just don't so this enthralling exciting alluring drama justice - All I can say is that you simply HAVE to buy the DVD box sets. These would make an excellent gift for both men and women, whether it is for Christmas, Birthdays or for an anniversary. The Thirteen part drama follows the life of a group of air stewards, who seem to party harder than they do work. This will guarantee you good old belly laugh one minute and the next you are balling yours eyes out. At times it can be an emotional rollercoaster for the viewer - I have to admit, that I sometimes get so wrapped up in the story line that I have to pinch myself to remind me that it really isn't real. At present there are two series that have been released on DVD, I couldn't choose between the two and pick a favourite, even if you paid me. All filming is done on set either in London or in Spain, the crew all work for "Fresh" airlines, that operate out of "London International Airport" As we follow the lives and stories of each of the characters, a deeper understanding and a sense of familiarity come upon you. You see the good times and the bad times - you get to know the characters as if they were your best friends - I know you will get as addicted as I am. There are around 4 main characters in the first series; this is who the whole series is based around Janis Steele - She is the senior member of staff within the crew. Jo Ann ...

First Great Western 24/12/2007

Worst Great Western? I don't think so.

First Great Western HOW EASY IS IT TO BUY A TICKET? Generally I don't think there is a problem with buying tickets. There are 3 main ways to buy a ticket. The first is in person at any uk train station where there is a ticket office. The second way to buy a ticket is on the internet. Either on the FGW site or any other site such as National Rail or The Trainline. The last way is to buy directly from the conductor on the service that you are travelling on at the time. There are many problems with buying tickets over the internet. They include the tickets not reaching you in time. For example, the tickets have been sent to you by first class post, but for some reason they dont actually get to you in time to travel. who knows why this happens, but it just does. Then you face long (and i mean long) queues at the train station to pick the tickets up there. I work in London Waterloo and sometimes the queues can have a waiting time of of to 45 minutes. This is not very good if you are booked to go on a specific train. Now, if you didnt want the hassle of buying the ticket on the net or queuing at the ticket office, then you could just buy your ticket on the train. The only problem with doing this is when you buy a ticket on the train, there are no cheaper fares available. For example you can't actually but a saver single/return. You would be forced into buying the more expensive standard open return/single. In most cases these tickets are double the cost of the cheaper saver version. My advice ...

Canon NB Camcorder battery (NB-2LH) 07/09/2007

Canon - It blew me out of the water!

Canon NB Camcorder battery (NB-2LH) This battery pack came with my Canon MVX300 camcorder, and it gives me around 2 hours recording time. Now, with multiple charges and uses, I noticed that the battery packs recording time was slowly getting shorter and shorter with each use. Considering that we have been to many weddings, birthday parties and christenings, the camcorder has had loads of use. I'm surprised it's even lasted this long to be honest. I didn't want to throw away a perfectly working camcorder, just because the battery was getting worn out, so I took a trip down to my local Jessops, in hope of finding a new one. Unfortunately for me, they didn't actually have one in stock at that time. So my friendly sales assistant suggested that I tried their website. When I asked about the price, to be honest I was rather shocked. They quoted me £45.99 - I really could not believe it. To ask me to pay that price for just a simple battery, I was almost insulted. I thought that they were having a joke at my expense. So I slunk out of the shop, with my tail between my legs, seriously considering buying a cheaper, less effective copy-cat product. In the end I settled for the real McCoy. This was actually really user friendly, and very easy to fit. I decided that if I was going to spend my hard earned cash on a replacement battery, then I might as well invest in something that would last. I ended up purchasing one from the Jessops website, for £45.99 plus delivery, which I thought was ridicules. But never mind. I ...

London Underground 07/09/2007

Don't take your Oyster & shove it up your A**hole

London Underground London Underground consists of 12 different colour coded lines (13 if you include the DLR - I haven't included it here as I have a separate review on that) Each line has its own rolling stock and Drivers specifically trained to drive on their own lines. At times the LU can be a very hot and crowded place, which can make journeys unpleasant at times. If you're new to using the LU it can be a very scary place to be. So I would recommend that you familiarise yourself with the route that you will be taking before hand by using a map and maybe speaking to other people about their experiences first. I would also recommend that you never travel alone when possible, especially late at night. There are many things that may happen while on the tube. I would not suggest that you take valuables with you at any time, as the tube is a haven for pickpockets. Once you understand using the tube it will seem like a breeze. HOW EASY IS IT TO BUY A TICKET? All London Underground stations have either a number of manned ticket and information windows, or a ticket/oyster machine. SO, getting a ticket is extremely easy and convenient. You can either buy a single ticket or a return ticket, depending on your journey. If you are travelling off-peak (After 09.30am Mon-Fri, any time at the weekend) then the best value ticket would be a 1-6 zone travel card priced at just £6.70. At peak times this would cost you £13.20. COMFORT OF THE TRAINS. If you are lucky enough to avoid travelling ...

Premier Travel Inn Basildon (Festival Park), Basildon 01/09/2007

I always seem to stay here when im drunk..

Premier Travel Inn Basildon (Festival Park), Basildon Well... As you may know. All premier Travel Inns are really much of the same standard. This particular hotel is situated ideally in the middle of a large leisure complex. Known Locally as "Bas Vegas". There are maunt restaurant, a multi screen cinema, trendy bars and nightclubs, all within a square mile or so. Its brilliant if you want a fun packed weekend away with your girlsfreinds, for example on a hen night. But not so good if you want a quiet relazing weekend away somewhere. You have probably guessed, from reading some of my other reviews, that I do live in Basildon, Essex. When I go to the Festival Leisure Park, I plan on getting a cab home with some freinds. But you know how hard it can be to get a taxi on a friday or saturday night, so we end up usually asking if they have some rooms available for the night. where we manage to get some sleep. The building itsself is about 8 levels high, and there are around 80 rooms there, all of an acceptable standard. There are extra facilities available, such as wifi or satelitte TV. Rooms are very reasonably priced at £60 Mon-Thurs and £53 Fri-Sun. (But - Higher prices do apply during key events) There are some rooms that have disabled access (although they might be limited) The furniture and the Bed are all arranged with plenty of space around them. The Bathroom, is a "wet" room. Meaning that there is no shower as such. But it is just a room that is completly tiled with a shower and a toilet in it. There is also a ...

Docklands Light Rail (DLR) 01/09/2007

Quickest way around the east of central London.

Docklands Light Rail (DLR) The DLR was first opened in 1987 the serve the development of Docklands, London. The Docklands as we know it now is much larger than it used to be. The original DLR consisted of just 15 stations and 11 trains. Since then a number of extensions have been added, that now serve Bank, London City Airport, Beckton and Lewisham. Today the DLR has 31KM of railway, 38 stations and 81 vehicles. HOW EASY IS IT TO BUY A TICKET? All Docklands Light Railway Stations have ticket vending machines, with some having additional ticket windows, where you can purchase tickets or ask for information. If you don't purchase a ticket, then there is sometimes an opportunity to buy a ticket on board for the passenger services assistant. As well as this, all DLR stations now have oyster readers and machines where you can purhcase an oyster ticket, or top up your pay as you go. FREQUENCY OF TRAINS. If you turn up at a station for a train, you will never have to wait more then about 8 minutes. But - more often than not, a train to your destination is only a minute or so away. Provided you turn up at a station between opening and close of service, you will never have to wait very long at all. Generally, Trains to all destinations are every 5-10 minutes apart. FACILITIES FOR DISABLED PERSONS. All Docklands trains have a level platform-to-train gradient, making it easy for those with imparements. As well as this the DLR was the first fully accessible rail network in the uk to offer ...

Nokia N73 18/08/2007

UPDATED! Best N Series (Not. Look At My Update.)

Nokia N73 UPDATE! I don't know about an update, maybe this whole review needs re-writing. Yes, it has all the gadgets and features you could ever want. But what it is lacking in the most is the fact that it is'nt very user friendly. I don't know if anyone else has this problem. But, when I have my phone in the silent mode, and try to switch it off. The bloody thing won't switch off. Maybe it is'nt the best N series ever. Also, I tried finding the alarm clock the other day. It took me almost half an hour to find the damn thing. This phone really is'nt very easy to use after all. Its very complicated, with confusing, long winded menus. Time for an upgrade me thinks. I think this phone is the best N-series yet. It has to be. It has everything you could ever need. The features include, A handy 3.2 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, which provides a great quality print, complete with red eye reduction and flash. A built in music center, and stereo speakers. also, a visual interactive display when it comes to radio stations. You can see details of artists and songs, also you can interact with the station, to purhcase ringtones or even tickets. You will have access to the latest applications and games to while away the time. You can also keep your content current and synchronised with your PC or laptop, using the handy usb cable, or even the bluetooth connection. You can be safe inthe knowlege that your device is safe, as the N73 has a built in virus protection. So ...

South West Trains 18/08/2007


South West Trains HOW EASY IS IT TO BUY A TICKET? With 51 points of sale at London Waterloo, there should be absolutely no problem with buying a ticket. With all points of sale acceptin either cash, or credit/debit cards, then you have the most convenient system. As well as this you have 14 ticket windows at the ticket office. Where all methods of payment are accepted. Cash, euros, customer service vouchers, travel tokens, credit/debit cards and even warrent payments. I know that some other smaller stations don't have a ticket machine, or a ticket office that opens very much. So, for example, If you couldnt buy a ticket, and explained this to the guard on the train when you board, then he or she will take this into account and then issue you with the correct fare. Another way that you can but thickets is through the SWT telesales department. Unlike other Train operating companies, the telesales department is unique to SWT. The only tickets you can buy from them is for use on SWT. Once you have purchased the tickets, you can then pick them either at the station (generally it would be one of the bigger stations) or they can be posted to you first class the very same day. I also forgot to mention the travel center at London Waterloo. There they have 7 windows, totally dedicated to helping thee public with anything they might need. There they can do things like advance purchase, railcards, seasons tickets and much much more. You can also buy tickets for travel the same day too. Buy beware - ...
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