Tuesday 25 July 2017

Nestle Shredded Wheat Barley & Spelt, Rye & Quinoa both with a hint of honey

Okay so first off I received these product FREE from Bzzagent. That said I am not being paid to review these products nor is it a requirement of receiving them. I just had to spread the word about them via my various social media channels. I decided to review them as I am trying to get more involved in review sites and add contact to my website (once it's built). So for more reviews and also some silly videos please check out my youtube channel or my website (details at the bottom of this review).

So I received the contents below in my Bzzagent Kit:- 3 x £1 money off Coupons and 2 x full size boxes of cereal. 1 x Barley & Spelt and 1 x Rye & Quinoa.  

I tired each cereal on two consecutive mornings. One with Cashew Milk and the other with Hazelnut milk. this was more out of preference as I am trying to cut down on the amount of cows milk I drink.

In the interest of fairness I also tried each of the cereals dry on their so that the taste was not compromised or altered by the different flavours of milk.

In the past I have not been a big fab of Shredded Wheat when I am previously tried the large ones that look like a brillo pad for scrubbing the dishes with.  To be fair I used to think they probably tasted not much better than one too I was however pleasantly surprised by these new bit size ones. With the old large style ones I used to constantly be putting another spoonful in my mouth in order to get some more milk to help wash it down with. Eventually I just ended up with Hamster cheeks full of chewed up shredded wheat and still unable to swallow the straw like texture. Not a very pleasurable experience to enjoy for breakfast.

These new ones on the other hand were a nice bit size piece. they don't seems as straw like or dry as their larger counter parts. The toppings on them are very tasty, almost like nuts and honey. Having tried these two flavours I can't really say I noticed a difference in the flavours and if I had not been told before hand what was on them I would of probably thought both boxes were the same. It might be worth adding a slightly different flavour profile to each box so the experience if different. Maybe nutmeg, cinnamon of something so they taste different to each other.

All in all thought I will be eating these until finished and having noticed they also do Cherry Bakewell flavour and Apple Crumble flavour, I will definitely be trying one of those.

Friday 5 December 2014

Mazzo Italian Restaurant

This newly opened restaurant in Royton is a great place for a mid week treat. Well lit, clean sharp lines and well placed mirrors give it a spacious feeling even though it's a relatively small venue. It makes it not too big so it feels empty with a few in but big enough to cope with large groups or a busy weekend. We went on a Thursday and it was pretty busy so glad we booked. They did accept walk in diners while we were there but I would definitely suggest booking in advance. It's a new venue and already seems to be a hit so don't leave it to chance. The owner was there to greet us and all the staff were friendly and attentive without being intrusive.
There were five of us that had dinner so we ordered a garlic bread to share which was half tomato and half cheese (both were really nice). It was a kind of thin pizza type and came out really quick almost as soon as we had ordered.  We had a bottle of very nice Pino Grigo and various beers and coders. Then for starters we had muscles in white wine sauce, prawns and avocado, Carpaccio, ribs and tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad. Drinks were kept on top of so we were never left with empty glasses.
For main courses we had 3 lots of prawn & tomato linguini (I will find out the full description and update) one pasta Salmone and one Carbonara. The food was piping hot and the pasta perfectly aldente. Portion size was just right and left just enough room for two of us to share a couple of desserts ;-)
We shared the Limonchello cheesecake and the chocolate fudge pudding with vanilla ice cream, both were gorgeous.  To finish off we got a couple of liquors, limonchello and frangelico. My favourite was the Frangelico which was a hazelnut liquor that just tasted like Nutella. It wasn't creamy looking like baileys, it was more of a clear liquid and tasted amazing. It's the first time I've had that but I will definitely be trying that again.
If you are looking for somewhere new to try in Royton this place is a must. Very reasonably priced and not pretentious or stuffy. Felt really at home and all the diners seemed to be enjoying their experience and food.
Will add more pics next time I go but for now these are the ones of the starters we had.

Friday 24 January 2014

Hair of the Dog - Dog Groomer

I have a 3 year old toy cockerpoo who I have been home grooming for about 6 months as she is not very good at being groomed in a shop etc.  She had a couple of bad experiences and I think it put her off and she also associates the groomers table with the vets as its a similar environment.

I saw Hair of the Dog on facebook and saw that the lady (Lorraine) was in the Oldham area so quite local. After reading some of the comments on her page, everybody seemed to speak very highly of her so I decided to make an appointment. The beauty of this dog groomer is that she comes to your home so already the dog is a lot more relaxed as its in their comfort zone etc.

I booked the appointment for 5pm on a Thursday as it needed to be after I finished work. Lorraine arrived promptly set up her table and equipment in the kitchen, where the floor can be swept so thought this would be easier.  She immediately started to let Bonnie (my dog) get to know her and picked her up at the earliest opportunity.  My dog is very soft when she thinks something bad is going to happened and immediately started to yelp even though I could clearly see she wasn't being hurt or anything. This didn't phase Lorraine she simply held her quietly for a while until she was used to her and then put her on the grooming table.

She has a table with a metal arm thing that comes over the top of the dog with a couple of loops that she can hook straps into.  A loop was placed under her rear end to keep her upright and hooked in place and another loosely around her neck to try and keep her from moving about too much or falling off the table.

As this was her first time I stayed with Bonnie and held her head so she could see me the whole time and I could talk to her to keep her calm. I was expecting Bonnie to be really agitated and maybe try and bight Lorraine, as my mum had told me she had been really aggressive at the last dog groomers.  I don't know whether is was a combination of being at home with me and that Lorraine was realty good with her but she didn't make half the fuss I thought she would.  Obviously she didn't particularly want to be there but she put up with it either way.

After Lorraine had trimmed her down quite short (which she needed as she had become very knotted and matted in places) she then took her upstairs and bathed her. Bonnie was kept in place with a leash around her neck that had a rubber cup sucker thing that stuck to the bath. She was also able to tidy bits up while she was in the bath and less likely to wriggle about. The shampoo was a lovely banana scent which smelt lovely and clean.  I also noticed Lorraine had put the solution into a squeezy washing up liquid type bottle so it was easier to apply to the relevant areas instead of trying to tip up a bottle of shampoo whilst holding the dog in place (a Tip I will be adopting for bath times :-) ).

Once towelled dry she was back on the table and blown dry which she doesn't mind so much. When she was dry Lorraine then tidied up her face and paws as best she could. But this time Bonnie was pretty restless as in all it had taken 3 hours.

Bonnie is also really paw shy and constantly pulls away but Lorraine even managed to get them done, including her pads AND clip her nails which I thought would be impossible. She also has problems with her ears which I explained to Lorraine so she showed me how to clean them really easily with ear cleaning solution on cotton wool balls. I am going to carry on doing this regularly now as Bonnie didn't seem to mind this so much once the ball was in her ear.

I was really pleased with the outcome even though Lorraine was critical of her own work and said she would of liked to get her neatened up more. I think for her first big trim Bonnie had been patient enough so I was happy for her to leave her as she was.

I was expecting to pay around £30 as I think Pets at home charge £28 and especially since Lorraine had to come to me I thought it would of been more. But the whole thing cost £18 so I gave her £25 as I thought it had been well worth it. She even finished her off with some spray that left her smelling like Baby Powder which was lovely.

I intend to make another appointment sooner than needed so that Bonnies gets used to having it done and there won't be as muany knots etc this time so it will be a smoother process for both :-)

Thanks Lorraine for a great job. Sadly I couldn't take any pics during the process as I needed to keep Bonnie calm, but next time I get her done I will take come and insert at the relevant parts of the blog.

I did get a couple of before and after pic though:-

The Hair of the dog facebook page is below:-


Saturday 21 December 2013

The Old Bill - Oldham

This is the second time I have been here now for something to eat and again I was not disappointed. I took my mum for some lunch after we had finished Christmas Shopping. Being the last Friday before Christmas it was absolutely rammed and I hadn't booked a table.  We were made to feel welcome from the minute we walked in and weren't made to feel awkward for not booking or anything, instead Paulo (the owner) advised that he would see what he could do. Within a few moments he was back and showed us to a table for two nicely tucked into the corner.

The place itself is really homely and has a Spanish taverna type feel, it doesn't feel pretentious or anything so you instantly feel comfortable and ready for a good meal. Due to how busy they were there was just the evening menu available but that was fine as there were enough items to choose from.  We both decided to have the sirloin steak and share a couple of starters, so we got the garlic mushrooms and the pate to start. When Paulo came to take our order my mum apologised and said "I know chef's hate this but can I have mine well done as I don't like any blood in it". It'is normally a no no in food places as it's seen as ruining a good piece of meat, but instead the request was met with the usual 'nothing is too much trouble' attitude I have come to expect from here. In fact he said "well they shouldn't be running a restaurant then, you can have it how you want it and when it comes if it's not done enough for you let me know we can cook it for longer".  I asked for mine medium as I don't mind it a bit pink. Quite often when somewhere is busy it is very easy for customer service to go out of the window but that is definitely not the case here. Both times when I have been all the staff have been friendly and and can't do enough for you.

The Garlic Mushrooms:-

The garlic mushrooms were gorgeous and not your boring breaded mushrooms, instead they were almost like a stroganoff In a tasty sauce full of flavour. The portion size was more than enough for us to share.the sauce was so nice my mum said she could of mopped it up with a piece of bread lol.

The Pate:-

The pate was a nice smooth consistency and came with a Cumberland type relish which was a perfect sweet accompaniment to the pate. It also had two toasted and buttered baguette slices and a salad garnish.

The steak:-

Both our steaks were cooked perfectly and were so tender and easy to cut into.  It didn't require loads of chewing like some tough steaks can, it was lovely and soft and had clearly been rested properly. Like all sirloin steaks there was the piece of fat down one side but this was only a little and I didn't waste much (which is good for me as I'm picky and have to leave any slightest bit of fat lol). The chasseur sauce was rich and flavoursome with mushrooms and onions. It would of been very easy to just use the same base as the garlic mushrooms but instead was a lovely red wine sauce.  The vegatables were cooked so they were still aldente and not over cooked. The roast potatoes were crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. He meal as a whole was a definite 10/10. The only thing I would say by way of things they could change is that it seemed a waste to put salad on a dish that had vegetables and a sauce on it. Both my mum and myself left all the salad so it seemed a bit of a waste really but that's not a criticism more a way they could avoid waste. My only slight improvement would be that the table mats have seen better days but I guess that's testiment to how much use they get.

We didn't have a dessert as we were both stuffed but the we did see some being served and I did have one on my last visit.  They are definitely not mean with the portions and you could easily share one :-)

This is a place you should definitely try and I guarentee once you have been you would want to return again and again.

Thursday 28 November 2013

ZSpas - Hottubsuppliers.com

When we had the nice weather (yes I know not a lot in the UK) I decided to get my garden done and treat myself to a hot tub.  Looked online and in various garden centres and for a 6 seater a lot of the prices were in the £8K upwards price bracket which was way above my price range. Just as I was about to give up I came across Zspas when I did a general search for hot tubs.  I found a 6 seater one for a fraction of the price - £3500, I though it was too good to be true but gave them a ring.

The guy I spoke to Arun was really helpful and let me know which they had in stock and could delivery for when I wanted etc.  There was no hard sell or anything and he was really accommodating when I had to keep changing my delivery date as the garden wasn't finished.  I didn't have to pay the balance until I was ready to have it delivered which I thought was really good.

There was a small hiccup with the delivery as the delivery men said they couldn't get in into my back garden down the side passage but this was partly my fault as I hadn't measured the width properly. As soon as I spoke to Arun to explain we had managed to get the hot tub in ourselves, there was no quibbles or anything he offered straight away to refund the £100 delivery charge.  The delivery  men aren't Zspa people and are sub contracted so this didn't tarnish my opinion on Zspa in the slightest. Arun even send me some replacement bits that had been damaged when me and my friends man handled the hot tub into the garden.

I had definitely nder estimated how heavy the hot tub would be as it was a really sturdy frame and definitely feels well built. Be sure to measure the width of your entrance to the place it is going as they are bigger than you think.

The 6 seater included 2 loungers and is really spacious. If everyone is sat up instead you can easily fit 10 people in it (I've tried lol).

I would definitely recommend Zspas to other people as the cost is unbeatable.  You don't lose anything in the quality though as its a tob notch hot tub, including Radio/Cd player, LED lights Cover head rests and a drinks rest.

I have had so much use out of the hot tub already and I'm looking  forward to going in it this winter in the snow :-)



Monday 25 November 2013

Quality Street - Green Triangle Dessert by Nestle

If you are a fan of the green triangle chocolate in a tin of quality street you will LOVE these.

They come in a pack of 4 x 70g pots for around £1.79 depending where you get them from. It's a good job you get more than one as one pot definitely isn't enough as they are really moreish.

The consistency is like a thick custard rather than a mouse that's full or air. It has a milk chocolate and hazelnut taste (just like the sweet in a tin of quality street). Its smooth velvety texture makes it easy to wolf down in minutes. Even though it is chocolate and praline it is deceptively light and not at all sickly or too sweet, so much so that I ate 2 one after the other :-/

Definitely something I will be buying again.  They also do one to reflect the toffee penny in the tin of chocolates so I will certainly be giving those a try too.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Port Erin Chippy - Isle of Man

If you only have Fish n Chips once while visiting the Isle of Man, be sure it's at the Port Erin Chippy!

Had been craving fish an chips all day and were disappointed when we got too Port Erin and it was shut.  Not wanting to be deterred we waited the hour at the pub next door until 5pm for it to open.  Let me just say it was worth the wait.

The two of us both had cod and chips with mushy peas. My mum asked for hers lightly battered (as she always does) but usually they take no notice. When her fish came you could clearly see the difference between the two.

The fish was perfectly cooked, bright white cod, a really good size and batter nice and crisp. Sometime you get a fish and it's all batter no fish, Or the batter is soggy, these were just perfect. The chips were lovely and crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside. Also as they were home cut chips you also got lots of small crispy bits which I love. The peas came in a small chip shop carton in the side of the plate. At first I thought this odd and a waste of a carton but then as I thought about it I guess some people like peas all over their dinner and some just on the side etc.

Also I got a regular size chips (above) and my mum got the small, but I think small would of done me to be honest. Although   judging from the next pic you'd never of guessed. 

I think that says it all.

Definitely would go again and a big recommendation from me. 10 out 10.