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lizzie (north of north)

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Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Smart Toast, 4 Slice, Brushed Metal Finish, 1650 Watt
Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Smart Toast, 4 Slice, Brushed Metal Finish, 1650 Watt
Price: £149.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Quality, but...., 6 Mar. 2014
Often when a celeb chef puts their name to something it sells lots, but isn't worth the price. Not so with the Sage Smart toaster and the rest of the range, with the Heston Blumenthal name attached. This is a quality piece of equipment. It is die-cast metal not plastic and very well built. I like the "quick look" and "a bit more" functions. I like the long and wide slots for artisan breads and rolls. Because the controls are on the end rather than side like many long slot toasters,this sticks out about 15", though it is only about 7" wide. This model also has a variable volume beep that tells you the toast is done, which you can switch off if you wish. This model, as opposed to the 2 and 4 slice standard slot versions, has a Fruit loaf button which toasts at a different temperature than standard, for those breads with a higher sugar content. It also has a crumpet/bagel button which will toast more on one side than the other. They are actually the same button, pressed once or twice.
I am slightly surprised that given the price it only has a 2 year guarantee. It is an eye-watering price for a toaster.
UPDATE: after using this for a few days I am disappointed. The sides get quite warm, I would not call this a "cool wall" product. But the major issue for me is that while it toasts evenly, it seems to either burn or be too light. I wanted to use this to toast bagels, delighted to have a bagel button, but it nearly burns on the lowest setting. Not what I expected for the price, I will investigate to see if it's faulty, or return. (it was faulty and was returned)

Le Creuset Stoneware Mug, 350 ml - Marseille Blue
Le Creuset Stoneware Mug, 350 ml - Marseille Blue

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mugs!, 1 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought on an offer of 3 for 2, I bought different colours for a bit of brightness. They look much better than in the pictures. Not cheap, but have a 5 year guarantee and will go from freezer to microwave to dishwasher.
Sad that Amazon ended the offer early, as I went to order some more and though the promotion info was there it wouldn't show in the checkout. Might have something to do with the fact that Amazon lowered the prices a bit.

Magimix 11529 Vision Toaster, Black
Magimix 11529 Vision Toaster, Black
Price: £134.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expected more for the money, 31 Jan. 2014
I bought this toaster to replace an old Magimix one, so I know how they work. I also know how well built they are. I drooled over this Vision toaster for a long time before buying. 5 stars for the build and the look! But it's a clever gimmick, I think. The toast was unevenly done, to the point where the top was almost burnt and the bottom was barely brown, the middle was crispier but not browned. Not too good for a toaster, my old Magimix is far better. A couple of thoughts... my old Magimix had a bell that dinged when the toast popped up, this machine doesn't. The plus is it's quieter to use, the negative is that the toast goes cold if I haven't heard it. I agree with a previous review that said because of the "glow" produced when the toaster is on it is hard to tell what colour the toast actually is, until you pop it up. The glow makes it look darker than it is. And as much as I love the idea of the glass to see the toast, most people have a toaster against a wall, so you only see one side anyway. Is it worth it? TBH, not really.

Bodum Pavina Double Walled Thermo Glasses 0.35l x 2
Bodum Pavina Double Walled Thermo Glasses 0.35l x 2
Price: £14.40

3.0 out of 5 stars OK, But..., 30 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are nice glasses; nice design, nice to hold, great size. Unfortunately, one of the two arrived with condensation between the glass. Can't find a crack and have put it through the dishwasher with no disaster, but I do notice it doesn't hold the heat as the other one does.

Delonghi EN520.S Nespresso Lattissima Plus Coffee Maker - Silver
Delonghi EN520.S Nespresso Lattissima Plus Coffee Maker - Silver
Offered by sotel-germany
Price: £221.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful...with a few niggles, 25 Jan. 2014
This is not my first Nespresso machine, I love Nespresso. The coffee is great and the service from Nespresso and The Club are second to none.
The Lattissima Plus is a great machine, especially if you like coffee with milk - not just espresso. The unit is compact, smaller than my old Citiz. Very easy to set up and an instruction book included in the box - no going to a website to download. The milk box goes into the fridge when not is use, pipe easy to rinse after each use by pushing a button. Four buttons for coffee style:espresso, Lungo, capuccino, latte. The drip tray pulls out for smaller cups and goes in for taller mugs or glasses. The milk frother works very well, I use unsweetened soya milk and it is wonderful!
The niggles:
I have no idea why the silver version is more expensive than the others, they're just coloured plastic.
The cord is a bit short, fully extended only about 20 inches, I think.
The factory settings for latte use too much milk. You have to reset the volumes, which isn't that hard to do, for them to come out how you like them. True with all the selections for me.
With the drip tray pushed in for a bigger cup the lower drip tray is fixed, so cannot be taken out to clean. It is also very deeply grooved, so not just a simple wipe to clean. But if you use it and then immediately pull out the other tray it will drip into that which is easier to clean.
The unit isn't very tall, so not all tall glasses or mugs will fit.
Coffee isn't boiling hot, you pretty much have to drink it straight away. There are some things you can do to help this, like run the machine before putting in a capsule so the hot water heats the cup, or put the cup in the microwave. Someone has suggested doing a factory reset and the temperature would be warmer. I tried it and can't really say I've noticed a difference.
None of the niggles are enough to change my opinion of the machine or of Nespresso. Love it!

Dualit NX Nespresso Compatible Variety Pack - 50 Capsules
Dualit NX Nespresso Compatible Variety Pack - 50 Capsules

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Compatible?, 12 Jan. 2014
I have a Nespresso Citiz and these capsules were compatible with it, though it took a lot of strength to push down the lever to make it work. The first time I tried I couldn't get it to work.
The capsules, IMO, are over packaged(as each is individually wrapped and sealed in plastic wrapping) and are plastic unlike the Nespresso ones which are a foil. The teeth that pierce the small end of the capsule have a hard time with the thick plastic and sometimes the capsule catches on the mechanism and either needs to be guided in or afterwards pushed/popped out. The coffee is ok, a bit bitter to me, but perhaps it is the strength, a 7, that I find a bit strong.
I did not buy these from Amazon, my local supermarket sells them for £2.50 for 10.

Denon DHT-T100 Soundbar for TV - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)
Denon DHT-T100 Soundbar for TV - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)
Offered by home AV direct
Price: £174.90

15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It Works!, 21 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wanted something to improve the dialog on my TV, I'm not into hi tech stuff and don't care about booming base or blasting action films. I tried a soundbar, but the height of them usually interfered with the infrared sensor on the TV, so it was a bit of a hassle. I looked at the Bose Solo, but found it was too small for my 40" TV, both size of the base and weight of the TV. Looking around for an alternative I stumbled on Denon and also read reviews of the Maxell. I dithered between the two, but went for the Denon (61cm long) because the unit is smaller than the Maxell (94cm long). The Denon takes up to 27kg of weight and up to a 50" set with a wide base. The sound is very good and can be switched between 5 different modes, as well as day/night. OK, it's not a 5.1 surround system, but I didn't want one. The speech mode is great but TBH the other ones all sound alike to me. I love the fact that there are no lights glaring at me, but subtle on the top of the unit. It was easy to connect and easy to "learn" my Sky remote, so volume can be controlled from that remote. The default of the machine is that when it detects a tv signal it turns on and therefore also automatically turns off when the tv is turned off. You can easily change this feature to manual if you wish to. So, I would only need the Denon remote to change the modes. It was also easy to pair up my Bluetooth devices and stream music. It looks neat and tidy and does the job.
Update: after a day's use I am concerned that the Denon remote, needed to change modes and switch from tv to Bluetooth, is very unresponsive. Tried it right next to the unit, as I wondered if it was too far away, no difference. Changed battery, no difference. I have managed to get it to work by bending the contact in the remote.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 29, 2013 2:59 PM GMT

Sonos PLAY:1 White - The Wireless Hi-Fi
Sonos PLAY:1 White - The Wireless Hi-Fi
Price: £168.38

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fab speaker!, 20 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I already own a Sonos Play 3, so this was an addition for the kitchen. Great speaker! Hefty, so it won't accidentally fall over, looks great. Not very big, so it's not intrusive. Great!
I have knocked 1 star off more for Amazon than Sonos. This item does NOT come with a free Bridge, you have to add one to your basket manually and then the cost is deducted. If you don't read the fine print you might miss that and not get the Bridge. I already have one, so not needed, but others might. Deal needs to be made clearer, Amazon!

Vicious - Series 1 [DVD]
Vicious - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ian McKellen
Price: £5.60

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I think I get it..., 19 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vicious - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I think Vicious is a superb piece of theatrical comedy and makes more sense when you watch the special interviews with the actors and writer included with the DVD. After listening to their thoughts it is even more enjoyable. Wonderful, hoping for a next season.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely!, 19 Dec. 2013
Great pen! classy design, as the barrel pulls out in the middle and that extends the tip. Love the fact that my porous tips fit this. Great weight to it, well balanced and feels nice in the hand.

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