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Reviews Written by
Richard Hammond (Oxford, UK)
(VINE VOICE)   

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Tombow Mono 100 F Pencils (Box of 12)
Tombow Mono 100 F Pencils (Box of 12)
Price: £14.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the premium., 7 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Review of F grade. Tombow Mono 100 have long been seen as a superb premium pencil and I can see why - clean and crisp lines, great even shading and a lovely thick Japanese lacquer. These also come in an incredible robust plastic case and card slipcover. Quality writing and drawing tools.


3M SandBlaster 28000 230 x 280mm Sandpaper Sheets with Assorted Grits (8 Sheets)
3M SandBlaster 28000 230 x 280mm Sandpaper Sheets with Assorted Grits (8 Sheets)
Price: £6.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it., 7 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We've been renovating a house and I've lost count of the hours of sanding that's involved. I'm sick of sanding wood. Up till now, I'd been buying standard own brand sheets and rolls and got on okay. I wish I'd tried 3M SandBlaster earlier though; it's more expensive but clogs waaaaaaay slower than the ordinary stuff. The backing paper is more robust too so pieces stay intact on the block for longer. It's good stuff and well worth the small extra spend.


Itsu 20-minute Suppers: Quick, Simple & Delicious Noodles, Grains, Rice & Soups
Itsu 20-minute Suppers: Quick, Simple & Delicious Noodles, Grains, Rice & Soups
by Blanche Vaughan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.90

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loads of great and tasty options you'll actually make., 3 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Beautifully laid out, mostly as one large photo of the finished meal and one facing page of ingredients and instructions. Methods are easy to follow and the six meals we've made so far have all been extremely tasty - flavour seems to be the defining idea here: that you can build big complex flavours in relatively simple dishes.

Itsu 20-minute Suppers is one of those great recipe books that you flick through and find potential options every few pages, indeed the first one we made was chosen by letting the book fall open at random - a sort of mince, noodles and curly kale thing that was fantastic and that made a gigantic pot that could have served half a dozen people.

What we have found though is that among the recipes for noodles, rice-dishes, asian-style soups and sauces; there is almost always one obscure ingredient per recipe. You'll have a list that goes: chicken breast (yep, easy), rice wine vinegar (we'll have something similar in) and then Himalayan ghost cheese seeds. To be fair, when we've been properly stumped, we've substituted whatever looks nice and it still works.

I've taken off a star because of the obscure item thing; this is billed as 20-minute suppers, which suggests easy meals and it's not really that easy if you also have to visit three stores first to find hand-dried pink zebra peppers. But like the previous Itsu recipe book; this is fun and tasty and you will actually use it.


(MLCA002) 2 CORE BROWN - ANTIQUE TWISTED BRAIDED FABRIC LAMP FLEXIBLE CABLE
(MLCA002) 2 CORE BROWN - ANTIQUE TWISTED BRAIDED FABRIC LAMP FLEXIBLE CABLE

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to work with., 25 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great cable - holds together really well, the insulation under the fabric is tough and the copper feels right.


Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes - 10 Packs (560 Wipes Total)
Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes - 10 Packs (560 Wipes Total)
Offered by VitaPoint
Price: £15.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Smell nice, do the job., 25 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We've used Huggies Pure for both our most recent babies and have absolutely no complaints. These work just as well as the Pure, moist and soft with that all important gathering effect (poo comes off with minimal effort!). Be careful to keep the pack sealed properly or the top wipes dry out within a couple of hours. We transfer ours to a hard plastic dispenser at home and that works fine too. Huggies wipes really are very moist, in a good way, so I guess it's not surprising that there's some evaporation.

In this particular case, these have an added Aloe Vera and to be completely honest; neither of us can tell these apart from the Pure or the Vitamin E versions other than by smell. Even then, all of the three smell fine.

Versus other brands? Like all sane parents we loathe having to spend out for branded wipes and so have tried all the cheap alternatives and, sort of annoyingly, the Huggies range consistently work better and easier. We'd much rather Tesco Basics were as good but they just aren't. So make life with a tiny baby a tiny bit easier and grab the Huggies when they're on offer (which is regularly).


Huggies Soft Skin Baby Wipes - 10 Packs (560 Wipes Total)
Huggies Soft Skin Baby Wipes - 10 Packs (560 Wipes Total)
Offered by Groceries R US
Price: £10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Make life a bit easier., 25 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We've used Huggies Pure for both our most recent babies and have absolutely no complaints. These work just as well as the Pure, moist and soft with that all important gathering effect (poo comes off with minimal effort!). Be careful to keep the pack sealed properly or the top wipes dry out within a couple of hours. We transfer ours to a hard plastic dispenser at home and that works fine too. Huggies wipes really are very moist, in a good way, so I guess it's not surprising that there's some evaporation.

In this particular case, these have an added Vitamin E and to be completely honest; neither of us can tell these apart from the Pure or the Aloe Vera versions other than by smell. Even then, all of the three smell fine.

Versus other brands? Like all sane parents we loathe having to spend out for branded wipes and so have tried all the cheap alternatives and, sort of annoyingly, the Huggies range consistently work better and easier. We'd much rather Tesco Basics were as good but they just aren't. So make life with a tiny baby a tiny bit easier and grab the Huggies when they're on offer (which is regularly).


BAKELITE LAMP HOLDER | for screw (e27) light bulb with lamp ring
BAKELITE LAMP HOLDER | for screw (e27) light bulb with lamp ring
Offered by Dowsing & Reynolds
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Look great in place, appear to be well made too., 4 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really nice holders. Though the cable grip is plastic, it blends very well. The lampshade ring is also plastic and quite cheap but for naked applications, the lovely 1930s Streamline Moderne bakelite body looks fantastic.


Star Wars The Force Awakens Chewbacca Electronic Mask
Star Wars The Force Awakens Chewbacca Electronic Mask
Offered by Champion Toys
Price: £19.97

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That iconic Chewie roar!, 4 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's Chewie! It makes a really, really accurate set of simple Chewbacca growls and my five year old loves it to bits.

The mask is made from a hard plastic with a jointed jaw - when the wearer opens their mouth, the mask's jaw moves with it and makes that instantly recognisable growl. In terms of size, fits the five year old really well but is a bit too small for the average adult, so I'd say that it's probably good upto the age ten but obviously that will differ by child.

The whole thing is well made and held securely by an elasticated band. As to play value - Arthur does go back to it quite often and when he has friends over this is one of the toys that gets a lot of play. It's good fun, the voice is terrific and it's Star Wars "Chewie; we're home."


Baby Einstein Rhythm of the Reef Prop Pillow
Baby Einstein Rhythm of the Reef Prop Pillow
Price: £17.70

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not entirely fit for described purpose but with plenty of play points all the same., 1 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm left a bit nonplussed by the Baby Einstein Rhythm of the Reef Prop Pillow; it's partially sold as an aid for 'tummy time' but it's far too big to be practical in that role. It's not great as a sit-up prop pillow either, as there's no easy way to make it horseshoe around baby. It really is massive and just kind of gets in the way. The ever popular crinkle bits are there and baby and parents alike enjoy scrunching that. There's an annoying crab thing that makes a tune, a little mirror, lots of colour and some good high-contrast parts which are useful for attracting young babys' curiosity. We were lucky enough to get one free for review and though it sounds churlish; I don't feel we'd bother actually buying one given all the other more fun/fit tools and toys available.


Tefal QB502140 Kitchen Machine Beater, Die Cast Dough Hook, Beater and Flex Whisk , 1.5 L - White
Tefal QB502140 Kitchen Machine Beater, Die Cast Dough Hook, Beater and Flex Whisk , 1.5 L - White

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb baking tool, 12 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There's so much right with the Tefal Kitchen Machine QB502140 and the price is very competitive relative to other 'stand'-type mixers from similar brands but there's one task it just can't do that a food processor can, so I've reluctantly had to take a star off.

The box and literature calls this a 'kitchen machine' and provides a huge range of accessories either packed in or to add later. With that billing as a kitchen machine, we really hoped it might be able to replace our knackered old clunky food processor but there's one thing it just can't do and it's massively frustrating - and that's create breadcrumbs.

Lets get that out of the way and instead begin to look at what this unit does really, really well; and that's baking. This is a superb mixer for dough, pastry and cakes. Bread dough is an especial highlight; we've made a dozen loaves so far and each has been mixed perfectly. I enjoy hand kneading dough but you don't always have the time, many mixers just don't do an even job and dough remains tight and inelastic; not so with the Tefal Kitchen Machine, which is happy with sticky spelt mixes to traditional dry white mixes and all stops between.

The dough hook and bowl are perfectly happy with enough mixture for two standard 500g tins worth, or a single mix which still moves properly in the bowl.

Pastry is handled very well, again by the tough metal dough-hook and the 'planetary' motion which sort of makes a circle orbit within a larger circle orbit of a different length, so varying the movement of the dough hook, or beater, such that it reaches every bit of a mixture in the bowl.

The machine itself is more compact than rival offerings despite maintaining a generous 4.6lt bowl. When flipped up, the hook goes well clear of the bowl and removing that bowl never feels tight or restricted. It's a very neat bit of engineering to get a compact footprint with such comfortable ease of use.

The attachments include:
- 1.5lt Blender
- Metal beater
- Metal dough hook
- Clever wire and plastic whisk that does a fantastic job of fluffing!
- Rotary chopper and slicer

They are all nicely made but the chopper thing and blender will see rare use in our house where the simplicity of this machine as a baking and mixing tool probably wins out.

The controls are all very positive and reassuringly chunky, and a 900w motor never strains. There are four strong suckers on the base of what is a suitably heavy unit (though nothing like your Mum's old Kenwood Chef) and these hold it secure to a worktop even when chucking round a kilo of heavy dough in the bowl. There's also a splash guard for the bowl that removes a bit of the temptation kids seem to have to put their hands in the bowl then they're helping you to bake!

We also have a separate 1400w Tefal Blender, which we are delighted with and together with the Tefal Kitchen Machine QB502140 can do almost everything our food processor could do but better. If it weren't for those pesky breadcrumbs then we'd be over the moon.


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