Thursday, 29 June 2017

Delayed Flight? Know Your Rights

The recent debacle involving British Airways, an IT failure and thousands of stranded holidaymakers just goes to show – even the best-planned trip can descend into chaos. With ambiguous promises of refunds and bags still failing to be reunited with their owners, the word on everyone's lips is "compensation".

Unfortunately, airline compensation is notoriously tricky to obtain. This is in part to carriers’ reluctance to volunteer the appropriate sums, but also due to weary, frustrated travellers not fully realising what they are entitled to. The answer is to be fully aware of what you are due in accordance with the EU Regulation 261/2004. Brush up on the fundamentals now, to make sure that even if your summer holiday takes a nosedive, you can guarantee a smooth landing.




Understand your Flight

Firstly, be aware that these rules only apply to EU flights. These are qualified as:
Flights departing from an EU airport, by any airline (EU or non-EU);
Flights between EU destinations, by any airline; or
Flights arriving in the EU, but only if they are with an EU airline.

Also, the further you’re travelling, the more compensation you can claim. Flights fall into three brackets:
Short haul: any flight shorter than 1,500km
Medium haul: flights between 1,500km and 3,500km, or any EU flight exceeding 1,500km.
Long haul: any flight travelling outside of the EU exceeding 3,500km

If your travel involves connecting flights, it’s useful to know that the distances above relate to the last destination affected by the delay. This means if disruption causes you to miss several short connections you may fall into a higher bracket.

Delays

Your flight has to be delayed for a certain amount of time before the EU law applies:
Short haul: delays of 2 hours or more
Medium haul: 3 hours or more
Long haul: 4 hours or more

Once these limits have been reached, the airline has to provide appropriate care, and if the delay exceeds 5 hours you can claim for a reimbursement of any unused tickets.

Cancellations



Cancelled flights are always eligible for re-routing or reimbursement. You should also be given appropriate care (refreshments and accommodation where necessary).

Also, depending on when you were made aware of the cancellation, you may be entitled to additional compensation. For example, if you receive less than 7 days’ notice, any alternative route offered must leave within an hour of your original departure, and allow you to reach your final destination no more than 2 hours late – otherwise, you can claim.

Extraordinary circumstances

The phrase "extraordinary circumstances" refers to disruptive events that are deemed entirely beyond the control of the airline, providing they have taken all reasonable measures to avoid it.

These incidents may include volcanic eruptions, terrorist acts or industrial strikes, but the phrase is often used as a shield by operators reluctant to cough up. Pay attention to the claims made by the airline and look for evidence to support or refute it – for example, if you are told “bad weather” is causing the problem, are other flights travelling through the affected area?

Reimbursement and Re-routing

Refunds for unused tickets must be paid by the airline within 7 days, by cash, cheque or bank transfer. Air vouchers or other forms of payment are only acceptable if you specifically agree to them.

If you still wish to travel, you may decline a refund of your ticket and opt instead for an alternative route via "comparable transport" to your intended destination, which can be taken at your convenience. Your route may include another transport hub within reason – such as another city airport or rail station.

Compensation

In addition to reimbursement or re-routing, you should claim compensation if it is due. The maximum compensation for each band is as follows:
Short haul entitlement: 250 EUR each
Medium haul entitlement: 400 EUR each
Long haul entitlement: 600 EUR

If an alternative route is provided, and you reach your destination within a reasonable time ( 2 hours of your intended arrival for short-haul trips; 3 hours for medium haul; 4 hours for long-haul), this compensation may be halved.

Appropriate Care

Once your flight is reasonably delayed or cancelled, you are entitled to free refreshments proportionate to your delay, and suitable accommodation should your disruption force you to stay overnight. The airline will have recommended hotels for you to use and must refund transport between the airport and where you stay. Keep any receipts you receive.

Don't be swindled by an airline that doesn't want to pay. If you can't find a resolution, contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), who will advise if they think your case is worth pursuing, and what steps you can take. Sometimes this ruling is enough to convince the airline to pay, otherwise, you may have to take them to court. If you wish, you can hire professional representation, like George Ide Lawyers, but this may not be necessary as disputes under the value of £10,000 are eligible for the small claims court.


Have you ever been delayed on a flight?

* Guest post by Dakota Murphey.
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Why You Must Visit Basingstoke This Summer

Did you know it's all happening in Basingstoke this Summer? No? Well I am here to tell you all about it.



Running from July 14th to 13th Of August, the Made In Basingstoke festival is a cultural make, do, share, experience type event full of things to create, taste, discover and make.


Photo credit Discover - The Francis Frith Collection

Daily activities will be running throughout the town, in shops, museums, and shopping centres. The festival will also be celebrating the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen who was also born and raised in the area, with a bronze statue of the author, being unveiled in the town centre on the 18 July. There is also a new ‘Sitting with Jane’ free public arts trail and the associated app featuring 24 ‘Book Benches’, each designed and painted by a different professional artist. 



Sitting with Jane - Artist Video from Face TV on Vimeo.

The Create Week (14-20 July) includes an immersive gaming experience called 'The Mystery of the Star Eaters’. This interactive game will turn Basingstoke’s streets into a life-sized board game, in which you have to work out clues, interview witnesses and solve puzzles. Sounds too cool for words!


Other activities include the Create Market - in The Malls shopping centre. Local artist and crafters will give practical workshops and talks on everything from making ceramic pots, to crocheting, to decoupage, whilst music lovers will be enthralled by jam sessions and digital music workshops.





The Taste Week (21-27 July), is jam packed full of foodie events. I am particularly looking forward to seeing celebrity chefs Phil Vickery and Jean-Christophe Novelli at The Malls Shopping Centre on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July. Coinciding with this event will be a taste market of local produce, cupcake decorating workshops, coffee tastings and a Jane Austen themed cream tea at The Red Lion hotel.


The Discover Week (28 July-3 August) is next to celebrate Basingstoke's historic past. Participate in a Punch and Judy Festival, a vintage fashion makeover, make your own inspired Burberry paper rain coat and many other events

The Make Week (4-13 August) will have a range of free events for families. Create selfie masks, get the children involved with craft workshops, and enthralled with story telling.



For more information and a full schedule of events visit www.madeinbasingstoke.co.uk. You can also follow @inbasingstoke and use #LoveBasingstoke on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to find out what's going on and share your photos and experiences.


I will be visiting the festival, courtesy of Basingstoke Together, a local business owned company with the idea to promote the town and shed a positive light on the area, so if you are going I may see you there! 

Let me know, what activities would interest you if you went? 
T ravel Loving Family
Wander Mum
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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

10 Things You Should Do In Your 40s

I know it sounds like a cliche but many of us get to our 40s and think aargh! You basically reassess your life and realise life is short and you don't live forever.  I guess to some extent we grow up, although many of us still feel the same inside as we did at 18. I know I do.

So without trying to sound condescending, these are suggestions for things you should do in your 40s if you are trying to be sensible. Don't worry you don't have to give up all your favourite things, everything in moderation as they say.

1. Get your 5 a day



We all know this but often don't get our 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. Don't forget juice counts as one of your 5 a day. If you are not a big fan of fruit and veg, a smoothie, soup, or tomato based pasta sauce can include more than one portion.

2. Take regular exercise


The NHS guidance on exercise recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week and strength exercises on two days a week. Moderate exercise can be everything from walking fast to cycling to hiking to water aerobics. Vigorous exercise can be aerobics, jogging, running or martial arts. The important thing is to find something you enjoy doing and stick with it.

3. Give up smoking



There are many ways to tackle this, and nicotine chewing gum or patches can help. Some people find companies such as Vape Ayr useful as this vaping company has a wide variety of different flavours. Evidence suggests that using vaping and e-cigarettes could help you to cut back and give up smoking.

4. Make a will

There are many reasons why it's important to make a will. A will helps to resolve family disputes, allows you to leave specific items to certain people, and help you save on inheritance tax. So don't delay, make one today.

5. Get rid of toxic relationships

We may have friends that just take from us in time and effort and never give anything back. Or we may be in a relationship where the other person isn't supportive or loving. If you can, consider getting rid of these toxic relationships. It's not always easy but why do you need people around you that keep putting you down or are so demanding but never appreciate you?

6. Laugh every day




Laughter really is the best medicine. Laughter boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins, diffuses anger, burns calories and may even make you live longer! Make an evening every week where you can binge watch your favourite comedy programmes or films. Find friends that make you laugh. Go and see your favourite comedians in stand-up. Do things that make you laugh!

7. Spend money on travel and experiences



I wrote a post on my travel blog Fly Drive Explore about how we should spend money on travel and experiences, not objects. Research by Cornell University suggests that the glee we get from buying objects wanes over time as we adapt to it but the joy we get from buying experiences keeps growing. 

It's simple really, just think, on your death bed will you be reminiscing about that new gadget you bought or will you be thinking of that time you skydived for charity or ran a half marathon, the first time you took your child to Disneyworld, or that time you saw the northern lights? Sharing these experiences with others also strengthens bonds in a way sharing possessions can never do.

8. Do something every day that makes you happy

Try and build this into your day. It could be listening to uplifting music, reading for 30 minutes every day, a relaxing or creative hobby like gardening, cooking or painting, anything that makes you happy and allows you to recharge your batteries.

9. Get you health checks

Over the age of 40, you can get a free NHS health check every 5 years. As a woman, it's also extremely important to have your smear tests when called, yes it can be uncomfortable but it can save your life that's for certain.  Also be sure to check your breasts for any lumps on a regular basis and bring any concerns to your GP. Women who are 50 to 70 and registered with a GP get called for breast screening on the NHS every 3 years. 

If you are a man over 50 ask your GP if you need a prostrate check. Any concerns with your health should be brought to the attention of your Dr as soon as possible. 

10. Protect your skin




As skin gets older it loses elasticity and becomes drier. It's therefore important to moisturise your skin and also protect it from the sun. Using an SPF in your skincare or suncream helps prevent skin damage and skin cancer, as well as minimising lines and wrinkles.


pin for later

Even if you are not in your 40's most of these points are common sense and can apply to you whatever your age.

Let me know do you do any of these? 

*Collaborative post 

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Monday, 26 June 2017

How Your Garden Transforms Through the Seasons

I must admit I'm not a natural gardener, so when I see an infographic like this one below from Rattan Direct that has all this handy information to hand then I like to save it. 

My mother-in-law has a beautiful garden and it's amazing to see how it transforms throughout the seasons.



Gardens are of course for all four seasons (not just Summer!).

Like most people, you probably enjoy your garden most during the warmer months of summer. It makes perfect sense to do so but did you know, with a little knowledge of what each season brings, you could have an even better summer garden?

WINTER

Winter is the time the garden sleeps and with your help, it can sleep better. Move vulnerable plants and create homes for wildlife to shelter from the cold. Protect your soil with mulch and look forward to what spring has to offer.

SPRING

As the first buds of new life come to being, you can be confident finer, warmer weather is on its way. But the spring garden needs help. It needs moisture and fertiliser, and it needs protecting from night time frosts.

SUMMER

The nurtured garden will produce an abundant harvest of fruit and vegetables, as well as a bountiful display of colourful and fragrant flowers. Enjoy!

AUTUMN

Don’t abandon the garden just yet. There is still plenty of wildlife visiting and colour to enjoy before the grey of winter comes upon the garden and us. There are autumnal red leaves to admire and vegetable crops to bring in, from the parsnip to the carrots.

Do you enjoy your garden all year round?


If you think this information is useful bookmark it for another day and happy gardening!

*Collaborative post
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Friday, 23 June 2017

Lake Como and the IPhone 7 Plus

I remember a time when the only function of a mobile phone was to make phone calls. In fact, I remember a time when only the very wealthy had a mobile phone and if you could afford one it was the size of a bus. Things have, of course, changed. 

Now I am a complete Apple convert, I make no excuses for it. Everything seamlessly integrates between products, the user interface is intuitive,  and it's virtually impossible to get a virus on a Macbook.  I have an iPhone 6, a MacBook Air, an Ipad, and love all of them more than Mr W. Ok, maybe not more than, wait, let me think... 

However, iPhones are expensive, so when I was given the opportunity by ThreeUK to review the Apple iPhone 7 Plus I felt it was important to review it as objectively as possible. After all, it's an expensive bit of kit and I wouldn't want readers parting with their cash if I couldn't wholeheartedly recommend it. To cover the phone in depth would take forever so here are the best features of the iPhone 7 Plus that I have found on my recent loan from ThreeUK.



All the photos to illustrate this post were taken in and around the beautiful town of Bellagio in Lake Como, Italy. They were taken on the iPhone7 Plus with the exception of the last photo. The photos have not been edited or filtered in any way, other than reduced in size to upload to the blog.

Size 

Firstly one of the great yet obvious features on the iPhone 7 plus is the size, with a 5.5inch full HD screen. I have never used a phone this size before but found it incredibly easy to get used to and to be honest I wouldn't go back now to the smaller iPhone 6.

Water resistance



How many of us use our phones in the bath - go on admit it? Well, some of the worry of a submerged phone can now be taken away as the iPhone 7 Plus is splash and water resistant.

I did find I wasn't so worried when using my phone on a boat trip in Italy. Also, the worry of using the phone in the rain has now diminished.


According to CNET, there is some truth in the claim of water resistance although Apple's support page says that liquid damage is not covered under the warranty so I don't think you are going to be diving with the phone anytime soon!

Headphone jack

Now one of these reasons they can make this phone water resistant is the lack of the headphone jack. Some would say it's forward thinking as Apple are trying to get its customers to use wireless headphones. However, it still doesn't solve your problem if you have bought an iPhone 7, you just have to buy wireless headphones or listen to your music on a speake
r.


Zoom 

Now sometime you just want a quick zoom in and on the old Apple phones, you have to pinch the screen to zoom. Now they have an x 2 optical zoom that is easy to use. Open the iPhone camera, go to the photo mode and tap the (1x) circle at the bottom, the camera will now display the (2x) symbol indicating its twice as close. 


Mr W 
Extreme close up with (2x) zoom

If you keep your finger down on the (2x) you can access the 10x digital zoom on the sliding scale. Sorry for scaring you with a close up of Mr W who hasn't shaved!

Home button

The home button is not now a button at all, it's a pad and it recognises your fingers in the same way a touchscreen does. Which is strange when you first try it, as it has a slightly different feel.


Colour rendition



The iPhone 7 Plus has a full HD screen and the wide colour gamut.  Personally, I think the quality of the photos and the colour are excellent for a phone. I mean look at the photos above.


Video


 

So I don't edit and make videos myself, I leave this all to Mr W, however, I decided to film a little clip with the phone in Lake Como. I think the clip above shows how good the iPhone 7 Plus is for optimal image stabilisation. This was taken on a boat which was moving up and down.  The video is also in 4K and hasn't been edited at all other than to add music to it.

As you can see the iPhone 7 Plus is perfectly acceptable to use as a video camera for YouTube. In fact, my husband uses the older iPhone 6 on our YouTube channel Fly Drive Explore on a regular basis.

Battery Life

The battery life was certainly longer than with the iPhone 6. I found with a lot of use I had to charge it at the end of the day. 

Feel At Home



I used a £20 Pay As You Go Sim from Three UK for the entire trip. The Feel At Home scheme from Three UK means you can use your phone abroad to over 60 destinations including the USA and Austrailia without roaming charges. 

The iPhone 7 Plus is available from ThreeUK from £36 a month and £149 upfront. As soon as I get a chance I'm genuinely upgrading to the iPhone 7 plus and changing over to ThreeUK. As a travel blogger, the Feel At Home scheme will save me a fortune on my roaming charges, especially when we travel to the USA, which we do at least once a year. 

Tell me, what do you think of the iPhone 7 Plus? Do you use the ThreeUK mobile network?


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Monday, 19 June 2017

Four Simple Ways To Brighten Up Your Home

Not everyone enjoys decorating, but we all like to live in a nice home. Fortunately, there are some really easy ways to brighten up and update your rooms without having to spend a fortune or do a lot of work.

Invest in some canvas prints



One of the simplest ways to update a room is to change the artwork or put more up. Most of us have fantastic photos just sitting on our phones and tablets, unloved and almost forgotten.

You can easily take one or two of those and turn it into artwork for your home. It is really easy, and inexpensive, to order canvas prints online. They are available in a huge range of sizes and finishes, and the best print firms offer a wide choice of frames. This makes it easy to order a canvas print that fits in with the style of decor you have used in your home. For someone with a crisp, modern, minimalist apartment frameless prints are a good option. Whereas, a wooden frame would probably be a better choice for someone who lives in a more traditionally decorated home.

Bring the outside in



Humans love to be surrounded by nature. That applies to virtually everyone, so bringing the outside into your home is a really good way to brighten things up and lift your spirits. It can be as simple as buying fresh flowers to enjoy over the weekend, or changing your window coverings so you can see more of the view.

Adding plants to your rooms is a really good way to make it look better. Large houseplants make very good focal points. These days they are super easy to keep. You can buy gadgets that tell you exactly when they need watering or feeding, as well as automatic watering systems that only need topping up every once in a while.


Let the light in



Speaking of windows, another easy way to brighten up a home is to make the best possible use of natural light. Changing your window coverings so you can see more of the view, has the added benefit of letting more natural light into your home.

Putting up more mirrors is a fast way to make better use of that light. You can position them, so that they reflect the light back into your room, and brighten it up.


Spring clean

Most of us lead busy lives, so inevitably some tasks get put on the back burner again and again. This is particularly the case with cleaning tasks. We tend to do the basics, but important jobs like taking our light fittings down and giving them a clean tend to get forgotten. Putting aside a weekend a few times a year to make sure these jobs get done can make a huge difference to how bright and welcoming your home looks. If you do this as a family you can get the whole house done in a long morning and reward yourself by going somewhere special the next day.

More ideas

If you like some of the ideas above, you can find more by clicking this link.


*Collaborative post 
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Saturday, 17 June 2017

Aruba Travel Guide For Couples And Win A TRIP!

White sandy beaches, warm azure waters, pastel coloured houses and glorious sun year round. This little piece of heaven has one name - Aruba.


Aruba is a small tropical island in the Carribean, 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. This little gem has a buzzing Latin vibe and culture and with an average temperature of 32 degrees, it's the perfect tropical destination.

Explore the vibrant capital



The capital, Oranjestad, is a busy bustling port.  A blend of old and new, there are plenty of activities to do together and with a population of 35,000, it's a great size to explore on foot or hop on and hop off the free eco trolly. 

The local market in Oranjestad has over 40 stalls with handcrafted items and local specialities like hand-painted souvenirs and seashell jewellery. Spend time browsing the stalls and admiring the workmanship or have a cool drink in the shade.

If you are interested in beauty, take a tour of the Aruba Aloe museum and factory and find out how aloe vera skincare products are made. This amazing natural substance can help with sunburn, spots and general skincare.

If you love culture try the archaeology museum, the museum of antiquities or for the big kids amongst you the model train museum or the toy museum. I know my husband would love both of the children's museums!

Visit the beautiful beaches


Boca Catalina

Of course, Aruba is famous for its stunning beaches, almost too perfect for sunbathing. Popular activities are sailing, snorkelling, kite surfing and parasailing.

Boca Catalina is particularly perfect for snorkelling in the crystal waters, whilst Eagle Beach is the widest beach on the island with power white sand, famous for coming third in Trip Advisor's best beach in the world. This is one beach you need to visit on your trip to Aruba.

Indulge in grown up activities 



Aruba has a number of spas to relax and rejuvenate in such as the Ritz Carlton spa and Pure Indulgence spa both in Eagle Beach. Relax with a massage by expertly trained professionals, or have a pampering pedicure or manicure.

If you want to try something exciting, play a few games of poker at one of the many casinos dotted around the country and feel like James Bond as you sip a martini, shaken not stirred of course. 

How to get to Aruba



To get to Aruba take a Thomson Airways flight from London Gatwick and in the Summer flights from Manchester are also available. KLM offer a flight to Aruba 5 times a week with departures from 16 UK airports via its International hub at Amsterdam Schiphol. 




Leading tour operators offering packages to Aruba include Virgin Holidays, Kuoni, Hayes & Jarvis amongst others.

You could win a trip to Aruba!

The Aruba Tourism Authority are giving you an amazing chance to win a trip to Aruba in conjunction with luxury tour operator Hayes and Jarvis. Entry is via Facebook and you could win a luxury holiday to the Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort, the Carribean's number one resort for romance. What an amazing prize and good luck if you do enter.


*Collaborative post. Images licensed by the Aruba Tourism Authority, aruba.com
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Monday, 12 June 2017

Las Iguanas Review Cardiff

Las Iguanas is a Mexican restaurant chain that you can find in most major cities. You may have spotted one near you and wondered if you should visit. Read on to find out why you should. 


I was invited to review Las Iguanas in Cardiff's Mill Lane, but as always my opinions are honest and reflect the experience I have and the food I eat.

Now, honestly, I like Mexican food but sometimes, well, it looks all the same, wraps with or without refried beans, baked or fried with a sauce. Now I am sorry if I have disrespected your favourite cuisine, but you must know what I mean! So it was interesting to see what food they had on offer at Las Iguanas.

Ollie our server was pleasant, accommodating. He whizzed through the main menu with us and the lunch time offerings too, patiently responding to my questions and queries. One thing I picked up on quickly was the Happy Hour menu with 2 for 1 cocktails and coolers every day.  Now I love a good cocktail but as it was lunch time I decided to order a raspberry cooler - well two raspberry coolers for the price of one. Mr W ordered a coke, he is a creature of habit.



As you can see I couldn't wait to try the raspberry cooler, it was sweet without being too sweet, refreshing and perfect for a warm day, the raspberry really came through in the flavour. A good start.

The menu


A selection from the lunch menu

There is a lunch menu and the main A La Carte menu. The lunch menu is served until 6.30pm every day and is made up of smaller starters at £2.95 and normal sized main meals between £7.50 and £9.50.

The A La Carte menu is available at all times throughout the day. So if you visiting at lunchtime and wanted to mix and match dishes off both menus you could. Prices for starters on the A La Carte menu are from £4.95 to £7.50, and main courses are from £10 to £17.50, the latter price is for the steak.



Highlights of the main menu were 'taco planks' - grilled soft corn & flour tortillas topped with your choice of filling &  fresh taco slaw, as well as a wide range of tapas including empanadas, quesadillas, nachos and chicken wings. You can also find Mexican classics such as burritos, fajitas and enchiladas, a selection of burgers with a South American twist and Cuban sandwiches and steaks. 

Vegetarians are well looked after with a wide selection of inventive dishes including sweet potato, butternut squash & chickpea chilli chimichanga and halloumi churrasco skewers.

The food

We ordered off the lunch menu, I ordered a lamb empanada, and then the beef chilli, Mr W the nachos and then the chicken burritos.


lamb empanada

The lamb empanada was scrumptious, a crispy little pasty, hid a filling of lightly spiced lamb and onions in a tasty tomato based sauce. It came with a sweet salsa, which was great as a dipping sauce. What was impressive was the fact that the pastry was light and non-greasy and yet still crisp - no sogginess here. This smaller size portion was from the lunch menu if you have a large appetite I would suggest you order a starter from the A La Carte menu.




Mr W's nachos were yummy. Crispy tortillas, softening slightly under melted cheese with a decent portion of sour cream, guacamole and salsa. A good solid portion of nachos, again from the lunch menu, so a smaller portion and not overwhelming.

Chicken burritos

Mr W enjoyed his burritos - the chicken was mixed with refried beans, spicy but not too spicy he said. The guacamole, sour cream and tomato salsa was tasty but fairly standard, what you would expect really. What was great was the salad served with it that added some freshness and lightness to the dish.

Beef chilli

Now onto the beef chilli. I will say this and I will say this only once, this is one of the best chilis I have ever had. Why? Well, it was so flavorful, the beef was chunky and tender, the gravy rich, dark, and tasty. I could really imagine someone's mum from Peru, simmering it on the stove gently, stirring it and looking after it, really nurturing the dish.

It is served with a topping of chilli butter, adjusted to your heat and this added that perfect touch.

The spring onion rice was layered in the bottom of the bowl with the chilli on top. I liked how you had to dig deep into the bottom to get to the yummy rice, it really added an authentic touch.


Jalapeno cornbread accompanying the chilli

The chilli also came with a chunk of warm cornbread, which was great to mop up the juices and had a hint of lime and jalapeno. This was one hearty chilli for sure.


Love the decor!

Feeling as if we were going to explode we sadly left dessert. I did, however, browse the menu and can assure you dessert lovers among you wouldn't be disappointed, from the Aztec chocolate fudge cake to a delicious sounding creamy caramel cake there were some scrumptious sounding desserts on the menu.



I personally feel Las Iguanas is a great choice when you went Mexican food, their ethos is super and refreshingly simple - they want to bring authentic South American food to your table. They pride themselves on using the freshest ingredients and I feel it really shows in their food - every day they make over 30 sauces and salsas fresh by hand in their kitchens.

We would definitely return, I mean, how could I not after that chilli? With 2 for 1 cocktails and coolers, a well-priced lunch menu, authentic tasty South American food and super efficient service, Las Iguanas is carving out a well-respected niche on our high street. Recommended.

Las Iguanas
8 Mill Lane, 
Cardiff 
CF10 1FL
 029 2022 6373
https://www.iguanas.co.uk/restaurants/cardiff
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Friday, 9 June 2017

Looking For An Individual Style - Try Antique Fireplaces

When thinking about redecorating, what becomes important very quickly is putting your own stamp on your home. A home should reflect your personality, your taste and your style, but shopping for a particular look becomes more difficult with the saturation of the modern marketplace with generic superstores and chains.

It becomes harder to seek inspiration and find unique pieces to capture the essence of your design flair. You may want to reflect your own quirky nature, or perhaps bring together different aspects of the personalities within your family, but you are unlikely to really capture this in an off-the-shelf flat pack number, despite sometimes paying a hefty price tag.

If you really want to harness your individuality and find something truly unique and interesting, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Beyond the high street, there lies a hidden world of off-the-beaten-track antique shops and markets that provide a wealth of opportunity to seek out a focal point for a room that is personal to you, not just because you chose it, but because it won’t be available in rows in every DIY store in the country.



This approach to shopping requires an element of bravery because we’ve become conditioned to shopping ‘off the shelf’ over the years and it’s easy to forget how to choose something completely individual. Buying from a commercial establishment doesn’t require a vast amount of decision making, quite often items are grouped in styles, or placed in displays that suggest how they could work in a room, but where’s the fun in that? An eclectic approach shows individuality and flair.

Fireplaces London

If you are considering a significant feature for a room, such as a fireplace, London is the place to go. With a wealth of shopping areas and markets dedicated to antiques, such as Portobello Road, there is a wonderful atmosphere that absorbs you, as well as a wealth of inspiration to help you harness your style.

In any home, a fireplace is often a focal point in a room. As well as keeping you warm it can be a significant design feature, and will often influence the arrangement of furniture. So for an individual look why not go shopping for an antique fireplace?


Some people can find antique shops a little intimidating but if you are not feeling brave enough to begin your adventure into the world of antiques alone, consider taking someone with you to bounce ideas off and help you decide what you really like. It's a great idea to spend some time looking through magazines or online to see what era might suit your taste and budget, before you go. 



This example fireplace is Victorian, in the Tudor-revival style, but the plain lines mean it could fit into a more modern home. 

Once you get the hang of antique shopping and finding what your personal style looks like, it will become easier and with experience finding that individual unique item will soon become an enjoyable one. You may even find a bargain. 

Of course with antiques, you also get amazing history and provenance. Digging around in a shop full of character and curiosity, such as Westland London, which is situated in an old church in Shoreditch, your hunting instinct will soon take over as you seek out the perfect focal point for your room. Once you find the perfect piece, you will have it forever and it will always be a talking point. Where you found it, where it originally came from, its history, there is really something wonderful about owning your own piece of the past.

Have you ever browsed antique shops? 

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