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Reviews and Ratings
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reviewed Edmundbyers YHA Hostel, Northumberlan.... October 19, 2010
Edmundbyers YHA Hostel, Northumberland, England
When travelling throughout Europe we often stay in hostel accommodation and I am always telling people that most hostels have private rooms, some en suite, and that really these hostels are much closer …
reviewed Affittacamere Good Night, Udine, Italy. October 19, 2010
Affittacamere Good Night, Udine, Italy
Finding budget accommodation in the Italian city of Udine proved to be a long drawn out struggle. The tourism pages of the municipal website list the larger hotels but not cheaper accommodation like hostels, …
reviewed Hostel at Hotel Park, Ljubljana, Slov.... October 18, 2010
Hostel at Hotel Park, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Due to an unplanned chain of events we arrived in Ljubljana at 8.30 on a Sunday evening with nowhere to stay. We couldn't impose on our friends there as they have a newborn baby and we wanted to be straight …
reviewed Hostel Alur, Tallinn, Estonia. October 17, 2010
Hostel Alur, Tallinn, Estonia
Old Town Hostel Alur is situated as the name suggests in Vana Tallinn - Old Tallinn. Well just about, it's within the old walls and is two minutes walk from the main square, Raekoja Plats. There are one …
reviewed Hostel Uni, Maribor, Slovenia. October 17, 2010
Hostel Uni, Maribor, Slovenia
As a frequent traveller I always want to save money wherever I can and accommodation is one area of my holidays where I am happy to go for the most basic option in order to spend more money elsewhere. …
reviewed Hostel Nis, Serbia. October 17, 2010
Hostel Nis, Serbia
It was only in the few days immediately prior to our September holiday that we gave any serious thought to our first destination. We were flying to the Bulgarian capital, Sofia and were planning to leave …
reviewed Ice Road: A Novel. October 17, 2010
Ice Road: A Novel
  "Ice Road" tells the story of two Russian women from very different circumstances but whose lives contrive to become linked under "Stalin's Terrors". Set in Leningrad, …
reviewed Hotel Begolli. October 17, 2010
posted in Unique Hotels
Hotel Begolli
  On our arrival in Kosovo we were thrown into a bit of a pickle. We had come from Nis in Serbia, a country that strictly speaking does not even acknowledge Kosovo's existence and our bus should …
reviewed Oslo. August 17, 2010
Oslo
Pros: Loads to see and do, laid back, good restaurants     Cons: So expensive for Brits     The Bottom Line: Expensive city but loads to do and see     …
Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir
Pros: An engaging and touching memoir and a subject I knew little about     Cons: Doesn't have wide appeal     The Bottom Line: Engaging tale of the author's childhood …
The Death of Bunny Munro: A Novel
Pros: Very funny, very rude     Cons: Some might be offended by the level of 'smut' (it's high), unnecessary subplot     The Bottom Line: Second novel by Australia's …
reviewed Need You Now. June 19, 2010
posted in Music Matters
Need You Now *
Pros: The title track, one or two occasional glimpses of real country     Cons: Very cheesy, tries too hard, cynically commercial     The Bottom Line: An erratic …
reviewed Court Yard Hounds. June 17, 2010
posted in Music Matters
Court Yard Hounds
Pros: Some nice banjo and fiddle work, one or two decent tracks     Cons: Generally not as good as Dixie Chicks, naff lyrics, too bland     The Bottom Line: Disappointing …
The Rose of Sebastopol
Pros: Good characers and interesting themes     Cons: Ragged and sudden ending     The Bottom Line: A compelling story set during the Crimean Wars     …
reviewed The Crimson Rooms. June 17, 2010
The Crimson Rooms
Pros: An enlightening subject, brilliant historical detail     Cons: None     The Bottom Line: A thought provoking look at London' pioneering female lawyers against …
reviewed Merrell Siena Sandals for Women. June 05, 2010
Merrell Siena Sandals for Women
Pros: Look good, comfortable, good colour range     Cons: Don't tighten enough on heel for me     The Bottom Line: An excellent walking sandal that is well constructed, …
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives
Pros: Colourful portrait of life in Nigeria, thought provoking subject matter     Cons: Some weaknesses in characterisation     The Bottom Line: Colourful portrait …
reviewed Geneva. April 22, 2010
Geneva
Pros: Free public transport, scenic, great food, lots of museums     Cons: Pretty expensive, museums closed Mondays, doesn't feel very Swiss     The Bottom Line: …
reviewed Mdina. April 04, 2010
Mdina
Pros: Lots to see, easy to get to, great architecture and pretty houses     Cons: Torture museum is fairly rubbish     The Bottom Line: Interesting and scenic piece …
The Island That Dared: Journeys in Cuba
Pros: Great writing, learn lots about Cuban history, politics and culture     Cons: Less than usual about the author's own experience     The Bottom Line: Veteran …
reviewed The Night Following. March 01, 2010
The Night Following
Pros: A simple story cleverly told     Cons: Incredible at times     The Bottom Line: Powerful and touching without sentimentality - a thought provoking story   &nbs …
reviewed The True Deceiver. February 21, 2010
The True Deceiver
Pros: Just a really wonderful and evocative novel     Cons: None at all     The Bottom Line: Tove Jansson writes a magical novel for adults     …
reviewed Delicious. January 31, 2010
Delicious
Pros: Easy, non - challenging read     Cons: Predictable, could have had more depth and still been readable     The Bottom Line: An average holiday read set partly …
reviewed Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. January 31, 2010
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Pros: Very funny, witty, well-drawn characters, a little crazy     Cons: None at all     The Bottom Line: A Yemeni Sheikh dreams of bringing Scotland to the Middle …
Rice, Spice and All Things Nice
Pros: Gorgeous illustrations, accessible ingredients, good alternative suggestions, degrees of complexity     Cons: Not enough illustrations     The Bottom Line: …
reviewed Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest. January 31, 2010
Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest
Pros: Helps put Romania in context, an astounding building     Cons: Uncomfortable history, vulgar and ostentatious decor     The Bottom Line: A macabre yet fascinating …
Thirsty Work: Love Wine Drink Better
Pros: One or two useful bits, visually very attractive     Cons: Not in depth enough, annoying "hip" language     The Bottom Line: OK for young people developing …
reviewed The Girl on the Landing. January 31, 2010
The Girl on the Landing
Pros: Excellent portrait of mental illness     Cons: Issues with narration, too similar to last novel     The Bottom Line: Paul Torday writes another winning novel …
reviewed Gardens of Water: A Novel. January 30, 2010
Gardens of Water: A Novel
Pros: Compelling story, fascinating look at divisions in modern Turkey, experly told story     Cons: Young couple a little unlikely     The Bottom Line: Engaging …
reviewed Lonely Planet Slovenia. January 28, 2010
Lonely Planet Slovenia
Pros: Good background information on history, etc; section on capital city is excellent     Cons: Omits some fine sights; poor food section; hit and miss photographs     …
reviewed Home Before Dark. January 24, 2010
posted in Music Matters
Home Before Dark
Pros: Great duet with Natalie Maines; nice country direction     Cons: Neil's voice doesn't always fit songs; some songs too long     The Bottom Line: A solid album …
reviewed Zagreb. January 23, 2010
Zagreb
Pros: Elegant architecture, plenty of green spaces, lots of museums, good food     Cons: Not so good for people with mobility problems     The Bottom Line: Croatia's …
reviewed Bloodborn. January 23, 2010
Bloodborn
Pros: Well-crafted plot, author knows her subject     Cons: Needless sub plot, tries too tackle a question too big for this novel     The Bottom Line: Competent …
reviewed The Snow Tourist. January 23, 2010
The Snow Tourist
Pros: Excellent research, eclectic topics that work together brilliantly, entertaining     Cons: Some maps would be a useful inclusion     The Bottom Line: An enjoyable …
reviewed Arctic Chill: A Thriller (Reykjavik T.... January 20, 2010
Arctic Chill: A Thriller (Reykjavik Thriller)
Pros: Good characters, setting brilliantly presented     Cons: Crime fiction element poor on this occasion     The Bottom Line: A good author but don't make this …
reviewed Ibis London Euston. January 19, 2010
Ibis London Euston
Pros: Good location, not too noisy, good value if on offer     Cons: Slow check in     The Bottom Line: Adequate hotel in good location for north London rail stations  &n …
reviewed Weleda Birch Body Scrub. January 05, 2010
Weleda Birch Body Scrub
Pros: Lovely fresh fragrance, a quality product     Cons: A little too pricy for mean old me     The Bottom Line: An invigorating body scrub with a fresh fragrance    …
Sun and Shadow: An Erik Winter Novel
Pros: Good twist near the end, originally a good idea, compelling start     Cons: Too many unresolved threads, unnecessary digressions, poor dialogue     The Bottom …
reviewed Kitchen Stories. December 26, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Kitchen Stories
Pros: Funny, warm, simple; great acting, visually appealing     Cons: None at all     The Bottom Line: Science sparks an unusual friendship     …
A Thousand Days In Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure
Pros: Some great food writing and accounts of Tuscan life      Cons: Boring analysis of their marriage     The Bottom Line: Marlena and Fernando's Move to Tuscany    …
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