Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Head East for your Valentine's Day romantic break

Car hire comparison engine eRentals.co.uk has announced a surge in bookings for unusual destinations in Eastern Europe this coming Valentine's Day. The site has seen a surge in recent bookings for destinations throughout that region for the week around Valentine's Day.

The car hire specialist has reported a recent spike in reservations in unusual Valentine's Day locations like Sofia in Bulgaria, Prague in the Czech Republic, Bratislava in Slovakia and Krakow in Poland. Brits are looking to Eastern Europe to source themselves a better value romantic break this February.

Briony Fairbairn, spokesperson for eRentals.co.uk, says: “France remains as popular a romantic destination as ever but we've definitely seen a change in booking behaviour this year. Brits looking for bargain breaks over the Valentine's Day period are using cheap flights, restaurants and hotels to enjoy bargain breaks to Eastern Europe this year."

“Ski resorts are increasingly popular this year too as people use value for money car hire as a way of getting more for their budgets.”

eRentals.co.uk is right now offering three day car rental deals such as Sofia airport for £20, Krakow airport for £40 and Budapest airport from £40. The site has also seen increased demand for deals in Faro, Malta and Bordeaux for Valentine's Day.

Briony went on: “It's understandable that people are still working to tight budgets and we really do sympathise - however the romantic couples who want to get away this year can do so without breaking the bank thanks to new value for money Valentine's Day hire deals.”

eRentals.co.uk is a specialist car hire company, providing cheap car hire in over 12,000 locations around the World. Committed to finding its customers the best prices, eRentals.co.uk offers a quick and easy search of the latest offers.

To check the latest deals visit www.erentals.co.uk

(EDITOR: Planning ahead, why not check them out to see what deals you could get for a special break for Chirstmas 2012?)

Monday, 23 January 2012

Hunter Dunn, Hunter Dunn, best place for Valentine gifts under the sun!

Richard Weston Fluorite Scarf
It is a sad but true fact that Valentine’s Day can turn even the best gift-buyer in to a monster. Despite good intentions it’s easy to get bamboozled by the barrage of love hearts and cherubs tempting us to buy such horrors as novelty lingerie, service station flowers and oversized teddy bears!

However, with the return of the recession, retail studies are showing a clear shift in our gifting practices and it appears that more shoppers are shunning Valentine’s Day novelty presents and giving practical and stylish gifts that their significant other will not only like, but cherish.

So how to go about sifting through the plethora of Valentine-themed items in the shops to make sure that you find the perfect gift for that special someone?

Amanda Wright, founder of online clothing boutique Hunter Dunn, says: “With people tightening the purse strings they are far less likely to treat themselves, so gifts such as cashmere knitwear or silk scarves are a fantastic way to show you care on Valentines Day.”

Still unsure? Follow our guide to buying the perfect gift from www.hunterdunn.co.uk!

For Those with a Passion for Fashion
Combine romance and style with a ‘Botanical’ necklace from London-based jewellers Comfort Station. Each necklace contains laser cut slices from an antique botanical book, making this the perfect unique gift for your one-and-only! (http://www.hunterdunn.co.uk/botanical-book-pendant-p-156.htm...)
RRP £197.00

For the Classic and Cosy
Your special lady can channel Riviera Chic all year round with this classic nautical jumper from renowned knitwear designer John Smedley, made from beautiful extra-fine New Zealand Merino Wool, this ticks boxes for being both practical and luxurious. (Carey indigo/white stripe sweater pictured) (http://www.hunterdunn.co.uk/carey-indigowhite-stripe-sweater...)
RRP £130.00

For the Simply Stylish
The lady in your life can add a dash of classic style to any outfit with a Weston scarf.

Prize-winning architect and landscape designer, Richard Weston creates unique pieces inspired by the forms, patterns and colours found in nature. This luxurious collection of silk satin scarves are digitally printed from his unique mineral, stone and fossil collection (Fluorite design pictured) (http://www.hunterdunn.co.uk/scarves-c-101_108.html)
RRP £147.50

For the Man in Your Life
Let’s hear it for the boys! Treat the man in your life to a luxurious 100% Merino Wool jumper from renowned knitwear designer John Smedley. (Beetroot Hunter Round Neck Sweater pictured) (http://www.hunterdunn.co.uk/beetroot-hunter-round-neck-sweat...)
RRP £95.00

For The Woman Who Has Everything
Treat her to a beautiful iPad sleeve from Vogue-featured designer Mimi Berry. Made from Raspberry Italian hard leather and designed to fit both iPad 1 and 2, this is the one item that the woman who has everything simply cannot live without. (http://www.hunterdunn.co.uk/raspberry-ipad-cover-p-291.html)
RRP £120.00

All items detailed above can be found at online boutique Hunter Dunn – visit www.hunterdunn.co.uk

(EDITOR: And, yes, we know it is early, but why not check out Hunter Dunn for some ideas for neat Chirstmas presents, too?)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

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Got presents you didn't want or can't use? Swap them!

Confused.com is celebrating its Nectar Points promotion by bringing back the spirit of nostalgic TV show 'Swap Shop' to central London for one day only.

New research carried out by Confused.com, amongst 2,000 people in the UK, shows saving money is one of the biggest motivators for swappers, with 31% of people saying that they preferred to swap to save money, whilst 36% admitted to swapping 'to get something I actually wanted rather than something I would never use'.

With 17% getting more satisfaction from swapping than shopping and 48% of people having already swapped an unwanted possession online, it’s clear that swapping is on the up.

Confused.com 'Swap Store', which will take place at London's Victoria Station from 1-3pm on January 25th, is part of the give-away which sees 1,000 Nectar points given to every customer who buys a car insurance policy through Confused.com between now and the end of March 2012.

Swap Shop presenter, Keith Chegwin, will be compering the swap, said: "It's great to see that swapping is back in fashion, and I'm really looking forward to running Confused.com's Swap Store. Saving money is one benefit of swapping things you no longer need and it can be really entertaining too."

Mike Hoban, Chief Marketing Officer at car insurance comparison expert Confused.com added: "The popularity of swapping unwanted gifts has encouraged us to have some fun this January by arranging our very own 'Swap Store'. Those old enough to remember the children’s TV show 'Multi-coloured Swap Shop' will not be disappointed."

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

GET ME IN! Offers Last Minute Ticket Discounts This Valentine’s Day

Couples and singletons looking for high quality, low cost entertainment this Valentine’s Day need look no further than GET ME IN!’s last minute tickets service. Its bargain deals are sure to get hearts racing – with discounts of up to 75% on tickets for even the most in-demand events.

Current under-face-value deals for events that take place between now and Valentine's Day include tickets for: Welsh stunner Katherine Jenkins’ latest tour, the fabulously camp Strictly Come Dancing tour and crooner James Morrison’s gigs in London, Manchester and other UK venues.

Recent bargains snapped up by customers have included tickets for the breath-taking Cirque du Soleil Totem which sold for £40 despite a face value of £70, tickets for XFM’s Winter Wonderland which sold at £9; £14 less than their £25 face value, and tickets for the hilarious Billy Connelly which had a face value of £35 but sold for just £25.

The last minute service allows fans to buy concert tickets and comedy tickets up until a few hours before an event, meaning you can avoid a last minute dash to your local petrol station for a wilted bunch of flowers, should the big day slip your mind. Delivery options include e-tickets, next-day delivery or collection and all purchases are protected by a 150% Fan Guard guarantee.

To check out the bargains currently available, or to find out more about GET ME IN!, its last minute ticket service or the Fan Guard guarantee, visit www.getmein.com.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Treat your mum to an extra special lunch this Mothering Sunday

The award-winning Babylon Restaurant at The Roof Gardens in Kensington makes for the perfect setting for Mothers Day. A delicious 3 course menu, glorious views across the capital and live jazz music will give your mother the treat she deserves.

On 18th March, spend a relaxed Sunday afternoon with the family by sampling Babylon’s wonderful lunch menu. Traditional roast dishes are on offer from succulent rump of lamb and mint sauce to roasted pork belly and Bramley apple sauce, all served with the comforting accompaniment of roast potatoes and vegetables. To finish, an indulgent dark chocolate mousse or tropical vanilla bean and passion fruit Crème Brulee.

The Mothers Day menu is priced at £26.00 for two courses or £29.00 for three courses. With a special children’s menu also available at just £8 for three courses plus a magical magician performance; Babylon ensures that every member of the family will have a Mothers Day to remember. What’s more, there will be a live jazz band playing throughout lunch to take requests so there’s no better time to have one of your mum’s favourite songs played!

For reservations please call Babylon on 020 7368 3993 or email Babylon@roofgardens.virgin.com. For more information please visit www.roofgardens.virgin.com.

Babylon Restaurant at The Roof Gardens is part of Virgin Limited Edition – Sir Richard Branson’s private collection of award-winning luxury retreats.

Babylon’s restaurant manager Peter Avis is winner of the ‘2009 Restaurant Manager of the Year’ Award
Babylon is open for lunch: 12-3.00pm (last seating 2.30pm) Monday – Sunday, and dinner 7-11.00pm Monday – Saturday (last seating 10.30pm)
Babylon was awarded two AA rosettes in the 2012 AA restaurant guide
An optional 12.5% service charge will be added to your bill

Sunday, 15 January 2012

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Scribbler.com launches a range of personalised Valentines cards

Scribbler.com has unveiled its new look website in time for the Valentines day madness. Hoping to capitalise on the British public’s ever-growing demand for Valentines cards, the personalised card website, which is owned by the greeting card chain Scribbler, has launched its own product range for the first time.

“Scribbler’s business model has traditionally been to source product from up and coming card designers, and this has been our cornerstone for the last 30 years.” explains Edward Armitage, Head of Ecommerce for Scribbler, “With the introduction of personalised cards, we’ve found a demand for photo-upload greeting cards that our existing designers cannot satisfy, so we’ve had to do it in-house”.

The new Valentines cards take advantage of the personalisation functionality on the new website, allowing customers to upload photos, change text on the front of the card, and type a personal message inside, but most importantly they are consistent with the cheeky humour and fun design for which Scribbler has always been popular.

Scribbler warns that their cards will not be to everyone’s taste. Lovers of hearts, flowers, and teddy bears should probably look elsewhere, hey reveal. But if you are looking for a Valentines card urging the recipient to “Sit on my Facebook” for example, then you’re in the right place.

For more information please visit www.scribbler.com or call 0845 262 6270

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This will be ideal for Christmas 2012, as it takes place in September, just long enough to learn new great ways to bake Christmas goodies!

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Plan ahead for next Christmas with Rudell the Jewellers sale!

You can plan ahead for Christmas 2012, with the help of Rudell's and their current sale.

Because this year’s Sale is the biggest yet with hundreds more items than ever before included in the saving. 2012's Sale helps usher in an exciting event in the Rudell’s calendar, making way for a new juncture in their impressive company history.

Both the Wolverhampton and Harborne showrooms have selected extensive collections of jewellery and watches to be included in their limited time only Sale. There are some fabulous treasures to be discovered in their windows and inside the stores.

The landmark showroom at 89 Darlington Street, Wolverhampton is undergoing a transformation. Having been resident at this site since 1938, the ensuing years have seen Rudells expand into their neighbouring properties, to become the impressive showroom that you can see today. This year will see a splendid new store front and an update to the interior, so to better display their luxury products.

The exclusive jewellers were keen to update the store without compromising any of the historical features of the property. All of the staff are delighted with the plans and look forward to unveiling the new look to their friends and clients during Summer 2012.

All Sale items have been significantly reduced and many represent over 50% saving. The Sale also extends into Rudells impressive gift-ware selection, with fantastic prices on leather goods, pens and silverware. This special event runs until the 28th of January so be sure not to miss out. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, now is the time to capitalise on these fantastic prices and choose something truly beautiful for your loved one.

FACTFILE:
From Diamond Rings to Necklaces, Earrings, Watches and Engagement Rings, Rudells currently have two showrooms, one in Wolverhampton and the other in Harborne, Birmingham. Please visit them for a warm, friendly service and to view their quality jewellery ranges, prestigious watch brands and giftware.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A Mothering Sunday treat for your mother!

Show your special mum just how much she means to you this Mother's Day with coastal lifestyle brand, Seasalt.
Bring the South West to your mum with Seasalt's beautiful array of Spring/Summer 2012 clothing this Mother's Day and shower her with nautical stripes, unique prints and gorgeous Organic Cotton. Sailor Tees are available in a wide range of colours to suit every mum in a classic nautical stripe. Made from the very best 100% Organic Cotton, spoiling your mum this Mother's Day is affordable at just £25.00

Give a gift to mum and to charity this Mothers Day. The beautiful Sailor Shirt designed using the Marie Curie Cancer Care brand colours, not only offers a beautiful spring fresh contrasting Zennor blue and Light Sand yellow stripe, but with each one purchased £5.00 from the sale of the top will be donated to Marie Curie and the wonderful support they provide.

The pretty Sunshine Dress lives up to its name this spring. Available in two gorgeous Seasalt unique prints that are designed in house in an office that overlooks Falmouth bay, you won't be able to find a print like it anywhere else! The Sunshine dress means that you'll be able to spoil your mum with a beautifully feminine dress that's inspired by Cornwall's natural coastal beauty.

For those spring showers you can treat your mum to the gorgeous Seaside Mac. The Seaside Mac is fun, fresh and made from weather resistant organic cotton. Inspired by the waterproof fabrics of long ago, Seasalt have developed their interpretation of a traditional oil skin called Tin Cloth. Tin Cloth is the most hardwearing, weather resistant cotton you're likely to find that's organic, so your mum can look fabulously stylish and be brilliantly dry from this spring showers this Mother's Day!

All goods are available at anyone of their 12 shops, or visit them online at www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk/

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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

When love is in the air.....choose the perfect Romantic Getaway!

 
When compiling features on gift or travel ideas for Valentines Day, why not consider Ragdale Hall’s Romantic Getaway Break, The Cupid’s Couples Day or anything else this cosy, welcoming, luxurious English country house may have to offer.

If you’re planning on whisking him/her away for a romantic break this Valentines Day you MUST have a look at The Romantic Getaway at Ragdale Hall. A perfect setting with luxury and pampering included where all you need to do is worry about yourselves….we’ll do the rest.

Or what about the Cupid’s Couples Day to share with that someone special……spend a whole day together...just relax, be pampered, eat well and then let cupid work his magic!

For a Valentines gift they’ll really thank you for this year, why not purchase a Ragdale Hall Spa Day voucher? Ragdale Hall day spa provides a haven for complete relaxation - savour our Thermal Spa, sumptuous lounges and stunning grounds, with a pampering treatment or two thrown in and some delicious but healthy food…perfect for those who enjoy a little me-time!

Indulge the one you love, buy them a Ragdale Hall Spa Break voucher….with tastefully decorated bedrooms, breakfast in bed, the relaxing Candle Pool and plenty of opportunities for a quiet snooze….this romantic Valentines gift really is a must for that someone special!

If your partner is a Ragdale lover already, Ragdale Hall have many accessories and luxury treats, including treatment vouchers, that are guaranteed to put a smile on someone’s face and start the romance flowing

Ragdale Hall Health Hydro & Thermal Spa, Ragdale Village, Nr. Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PB.
Tel: 01664 434831 www.ragdalehall.co.uk

Monday, 9 January 2012

H.Samuel launches iPhone app

H.Samuel the jeweller has now launched an iPhone app, that's free to download and has a number of features and benefits that shoppers can use when they’re on the go.

Customers can shop the full range of watches, jewellery, diamonds, wedding rings, engagement rings, gifts and collectibles all from the iPhone app.

The features of the free mobile phone app are easy to use when out and about. Customers can shop by categories such as gift finder, price, gifts for him or her and they can share favourite items on Facebook and even create a wish list of products. 

Customers can shop all ranges including jewellery and diamonds, watch brands and the sales and offers category. Alternatively customers can use the store finder function on the free app to find out where their nearest H.Samuel store is to the nearest mile. Perfect for the customer who is out shopping and needs to talk their purchase through with sales assistant.

By launching the free H.Samuel iPhone app the nation's favourite jeweller is offering customers a convenient shopping journey. Customers can shop by price, helping them stick to a budget or by recipient, occasion such as Christmas or product category. Customers shopping for themselves can have fun creating a wish list to send to friends and family. Ultimately the iPhone app has made the customer shopping experience easier and more engaging.

H.Samuel has heritage, quality and service. As a leading jewellery retailer, the brand has expert in-store staff, a range of informative online buyer's guides including a watch buyer's guide, wedding guide, diamond buyer's guide, metal buyer’s guide, collectible buyer's guide and birthstone guide. Customers can now rate and review products online, use the web chat service and now shop with the iPhone app. H.Samuel understands the importance of introducing new services and new brands, not only to stay on trend with the market but to attract potential new customers. The list of brands at H.Samuel now includes Chamilia, Rotary, Hot Diamonds, Ice Watch, Guess and Swarovski.

H.Samuel is the nation's favourite High Street Jeweller with over 330 stores and a retail website at www.hsamuel.co.uk. Featuring an incredible range of branded watches, H.Samuel also has a stunning range of jewellery, diamonds, collectibles and gifts for all occasions, offering something for every taste and style. H.Samuel is part of the Signet Group, the world's largest specialty retail jeweller in the US and UK.

Pure Entertainment Group unwraps 8 luxury travel experiences this Valentine’s Day

From Brazilian sunrises, the Eiffel tower of Paris to Arabian nights in Marrakech, bespoke concierge company Pure Entertainment Group presents a selection of eight Valentine’s Day packages that may surprise your honey…Find the recipe that works in 2012.

Think outside the box of chocolates and offer the one you love an enchanting moment in time this Valentine’s Day 2012. Bespoke luxury travel concierge Pure Entertainment Group has teamed up with cupid this year to bring discerning travelers some of the most romantic and exclusive Valentine’s Day vacations:

1) For the Classical Music Lovers
This Valentine’s Day, jet off on a whirlwind trip to lovely Vienna, Austria. A 2-night stay at the 5-star Hotel Imperial quickly becomes a romantic escapade, complete with a private 3-hr visit of Vienna, a special Valentine’s Day dinner for two, daily breakfast, and the Opera lover’s dream: first class tickets to Verdi’s romantic tragedy, La Traviata at the Viennese Volksopera.
Prices: Starting at €2,400 per couple

2) For the Beach Lovers
Spend 2 nights in a spacious bungalow at Brazil’s most exclusive resort, Ponta dos Ganchos, and rekindle your romance like the first time. With a pampering couple’s massage, a relaxing bath for two prepared with flowers, a special Valentine’s Day dinner, daily frolics hand in hand along the beach, and romantic surprises along the way, guests may never want to go home.
Prices: Starting at $3,580 per couple

3) For the Parisian Chic
When a box of chocolates simply won’t do, there is always the magic of Paris, France! Wake up to the glorious view of the Eiffel Tower from your Eiffel Premier Room and opt for an in-room massage pour deux. Think outside of the box with a 2-hour chocolate tour to visit the world’s leading chocolatiers, then end the day with a special Valentine’s Day dinner at Restaurant L’Abeille.
Prices: Starting at €3,950 per couple

4) For the Winter Lovers
Seize the cold, Canadian winter by whisking your snow bunny away to Mont Tremblant, Quebec for a romantic winter wonderland. Spend two nights at the ski resort destination, enjoying a choice of a 2hr private guided tour by snowmobile or a half-day guided dog sledding tour. A couple’s massage awaits the lovebirds, along with a special Valentine’s Day dinner at La Quintessence right after. Snuggle closer after all it’s Valentine’s Day.
Prices: Starting at $2,700 per couple

5) For the Arabian Nights
Uncover a whole new world with 3 exotic nights at the 5-star La Mamounia hotel in Marrakech. Discover a dazzling place you never knew on a guided tour of Marrakech with a professional photographer, enjoy a picnic for two in a romantic location, soar to new heights with a dazzling helicopter ride above the Atlas mountains, and indulge in a hammam ritual treatment in a private hammam. For Valentine’s Day, there will be a surprise at every turn in Morocco – no magic carpet required!
Prices: Starting at $5,950 per couple

6) For the intimate couple
Celebrate Valentine’s Day in the private paradise called the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay in Hawaii where an experience of a lifetime awaits lovers. Sleep in a gorgeous ocean view room. The next day, discover a magnificent bay to swim, enjoy a two-tank dive with your lover to see the stunning underwater world, receive a tropical bliss massage for great energy balance, mind and body tranquility and finish it off with a private intimate Valentine’s Day dinner.
Prices: Starting at $5,150 per couple

7) For the Art enthusiasts and foodies
Embark on a mesmerizing Valentine’s Day escapade in New York and taste life to the fullest at the James Soho Hotel. Meet with an art curator for a private walking tour as well as recommendations, then return to hotel and continue with a 50-mn revitalizing hot stone massage at deux. Later on, go wine and dine at David Burke Kitchen along with a privately guided tour of David Burke Kitchen with the Executive Chef. If life isn’t beautiful, let us know!
Prices: Starting at $3,940 per couple

8) For the Single Ladies
Jet set to the beautiful island of St Barthelémy with two of your friends, and celebrate being single at the luxurious Hotel Le Guanahani & Spa for 3 nights: white sandy beaches, fine dining cuisine, water sports such as windsurfing, scuba-diving, snorkeling as well as partying await you. Who said Valentine’s Day is not for single ladies?
Prices: Starting at €3,600 for three people

To book or to inquire further about these exquisite 2012 Valentine’s Day packages or any other travel arrangements, please contact your luxury concierge, Pure Entertainment Group: email: concierge@purentonline.com or call +1 (514) 764-9693

Like them on Facebook: Facebook Page Pure Entertainment Group
Follow them on Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/purentonline

Pure Entertainment Group is a bespoke event management and luxury concierge company based in Montreal, Canada. Steve Edo, CEO and Founder, launched the company in 2006 to become THE luxury concierge service for discerning clientele in North America and worldwide. Pure Entertainment Group delivers the finest lifestyle experiences to its clients and members by offering personalized and customized experiences designed to suit their preferences. Whether a private jet trip around the world, luxuries yacht in the French Riviera or a trip into space, the sky is the limit! Pure Entertainment Group’s management model is to listen to their clients’ needs, and to provide exactly that.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

That's Gardening: Gardening the hobby to make you fitter

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Italian bikes - Exquisite not exclusive!

Classic style with cutting edge material
Looks and performance, at an affordable price ...it’s possibDo you always have to compromise your new bikes aesthetics v it’s function, shouldn’t all bikes be as attractive to look at as they are functional to ride - it’s a tough one - Should bikes that look stunning automatically perform at a similar level?

Do you have to accept someone else’s interpretation of a great paint scheme, just because your budget is limited and you want the very best fit and durability? All of these are questions that anyone looking to buy a decent road bike will ask themselves a thousand times.

Grupetto Italia have some very positive answers with a NEW range of bikes that look as good as they ride. Grupetto Italia have launched 3 beautiful new models for 2012 all with head turning custom finishes that wrap around some of the classiest frames you’ll see on the road today. Aimed at the Race and Sportive rider that wants to stand out from the masses, the bikes mix classic Italian styling and design references with the very best components and materials available today.

Two carbon models the Mottarone SL and Mergozzo CL line up alongside the columbus tubed CS Maggiore to offer the sort of bespoke bikes you would think you’d have to pay Saville Row prices for, infact, nothing could be further from the truth. At a time when spending £3,000+ on a race bike can be seen as pretty standard, Grupettos range starts at half that figure (£1,500) for bikes that offer exclusivee looks and exquisite performance, at a non exclusive price point.

Grupetto’s Nat Rizzi says “To get a half decent looking frame usually means paying a fortune or compromising quality for a badly ‘retro styled’ far eastern import. We’ve noticed with the growth in sportives and cycling in general that riders are often unhappy with the ‘image’ of their bikes but because of budget concerns they forgo this for perceived performance values from some of the bigger more obvious brands - how a bike looks and makes its owner feel is often grossly undervalued”

Well now thanks to Grupetto you can have it all - Style and Performance in equal amounts, no compromises, and because Grupetto build there bikes to your exact specification you will get outstanding value that fits your budget bracket.

Working alongside some of Italy’s finest independent frame builders they have produced a sensational range that will simply out perform similar priced bikes on both specification and finish. With a small showroom in Amersham, Bucks. and direct sales via their website www.grupettoitalia.co.uk they offer clients the comfort of knowing that the bike they buy is created for their exact cycling needs, not to shoehorn you onto something mediocre.

Nat continues “What the pro’s call form’ on your bike, is seriously lacking in so many riders we see on the road today. We ensure our customers have the perfect combination of fit and function maximizing their performance at whatever level they ride at or are aiming for. We offer a FREE fitting service either remotely or in person, that utilizes traditional bike measuring and set up methods to achieve the simple task of making sure you look and feel right on the bike” If you get it right you get so much more from your cycling experience, whether racing local criteriums or riding a Gran Fondo or the Etape.”

Italians are masters at getting this balance right, from a pair of Berluti shoes to a Riva speedboat ‘The look” is as important as the performance with the ultimate goal of having the very best you can produce. Grupetto’s artisan frame building team are based in Italy’s cycling heartland near Bergamo and all the frames take their names from legendary cycling landmarks in the area. If you want an iconic bike that will not disappoint in comfort or performance in the colours you’ve always wanted, talk to Grupetto Italia.

For further information call: 01494 432 984 or visit: www.grupettoitalia.co.uk

(EDITOR: Looking for something to spend your Christmas money on? That's Christmas has found the perfect opportunity for you!)

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Thursday, 5 January 2012

That's Food and Drink: Loseley recipe for Mother's Day Sunday 18 March

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Shutl unveils data from Christmas 2011 holiday period: bigger, later, faster, more male and more mobile!

Shutl, the internet start-up that delivers what you want, when you want it, today unveils delivery data collected over the 2011 holiday period.

Shutl offers online and in-store shoppers the ability to receive their orders in as little as 90 minutes or within a one-hour window of their choice, same day or any day. Shutl serves retailers across all product categories, with clients ranging from Argos to Laithwaites Wine and Karen Millen.

Shoppers shutl’d late this Christmas…
- 51% of all peak pre-Christmas shutling happened over a 10-day period (from 14th to 23rd December), with 24% occurring over a frantic 4-day window (from 19th to 22nd December).
- Shoppers bought 2 hours later in the day versus 2010, with a seven-fold increase in the number of insomniacs placing online orders between midnight and 3am.

What separates men and women?
- Pre-peak, men accounted for only 36% of Shutl orders on average, however 38 of the 40 days leading up to Christmas saw a higher proportion of men using the service. Saturday 17th December saw the first (and only) time male users outnumbered female! Men seemingly have higher expectations than women - or at least they don’t value their time as highly! Feedback left by female shoppers over the period consistently ranked the Shutl service 4% higher than their male counterparts, scoring it a whopping 96% combined across ‘value for money’, ‘ease of use’, ‘speed of delivery’ and the ‘delivery person’. The greatest variance was for ‘value for money’, although male perception improved by as much as a 150% in the build-up to Christmas.

Kindle beats iPad in battle, but Apple is winning the war
- 55% of top 100 products shutl’d were consumer electronics.
- Amazon’s Kindle was the top seller, representing 1.6% of all items shutl’d over the period and outselling iPads by almost 2:1.
- When including iPods, Apple narrowly pips Amazon to the post, accounting for 1.7% of all items shutl’d.

2011 in numbers: bigger, faster, cheaper and more mobile
- This year saw a 155% increase in the availability of Shutl (600k shoppers were offered Shutl delivery). This is the combined result of more retailers offering the service and the successful completion of company’s first phase of expansion beyond London.
- 2,570% more shoppers chose to shutl versus 2010, driven by increased availability, greater awareness and better pricing.
- The fastest delivery was an order placed at Oasis on 16th November 2011, delivered in 17mins : 24secs of checking out. This was 41% faster than last year’s quickest (29mins : 24secs), though still some way off Shutl’s 14mins : 59secs world record set in March 2011.
- A 4,385% surge in the number of people using the Shutl service via a mobile device, with iPads proving to be the most popular (accounting for a whopping 77% of all mobile traffic).
- The average price paid for Shutl delivery over the holiday period was £5.64, with over 40% of customers receiving their delivery for free!

“It has been a merry Christmas for Shutl, the retailers we serve and our courier partners. We take it as an encouraging sign for 2012 that so many people preferred to end 2011 shopping rather than sleeping!” comments Tom Allason, Founder and CEO of Shutl.

“We’re already working hard to make Shutl available to as many shoppers as possible in time for Christmas 2012.”

Shutl is a UK start-up that promises to bring delivery up to speed by letting shoppers get what they want, when they want it. The service connects retailers to local same-day courier companies, enabling delivery to both online and in-store customers within as little as 90 minutes (‘Now’) or within a one-hour delivery window of their choice (‘Later’).

Shutl currently holds the record for the world’s fastest e-commerce delivery; a shopper taking receipt of their goods within 15 minutes of checking out online. Shutl was founded by veteran entrepreneur Tom Allason, also known for founding eCourier.co.uk. The company has been operating since March ’10 and counts Argos, Aurora Fashions, B&Q Tradepoint, Karen Millen and Laithwaites Wine amongst its customers.

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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Retailers have begun to publish Christmas trading statements

This week some of the biggest names on the high street are set to publish Christmas trading statements which will shed light on how they have fared over the critical Christmas trading season.

With online sales reaching a historic high, many commentators are beginning to question the future of the high-street.

The UK leads the way in online shopping, with 9% of all retail purchases made on the net – the highest in the world. What’s more, a further growth of 150% is expected in m-commerce as more people go shopping on their mobile phones.

A greater amount of interactivity is expected to be added to the high street in a move that will see multichannel shopping moving into the 21st century. There will be a greater reliance on using social networking, the internet and mobile phone technology in an attempt to bring shoppers to the high street, mirroring similar engagement practices seen online.

We have a range of independent retail commentators who can provide insight and commentary into consumer spending patterns.

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Christmas is still happening in Royal Tunbridge Wells!

Royal Tunbridge Wells Ice Rink To Stay Open An Extra Week

Following the launch in November over 25,000 skaters have experienced the fun and thrill of skating in the beautiful and festive Calverley Grounds.

The ice rink has been so popular tickets sold out in the run up to Christmas but tickets are now on sale for the first week of January. The rink will now be open all day Thursday 5 - Sunday 8 January (9.30am - 9.30pm).

Councillor Bob Atwood said "We are delighted with the response to the ice rink so far and hope lots more people will take the opportunity to visit it during the extended period of opening.

"The intention is that the rink will return next year subject to funds being available."

The cost for one hour's skating, including hire of skating boots, will be £7.50 for children and £9.50 for adults. A family ticket can be purchased for £30.60 and a Parent & Toddler session is £7 for one adult and one toddler. The rink will be open from 9.30am till 9.30pm, last admission will be at 8.30pm.

To book tickets visit www.tunbridgewellsatchristmas.com

Tickets can also be bought in person from the ticket office in Calverley Grounds or at the Assembly Hall Theatre Box Office.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

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New Year's Resolution? Get it 50% cheaper! With Fruit For the Office!

Fruit For The Office LogoFruit For The Office are offering all new customers the chance to get 50% off their first fruit delivery until the end of January. All you need to do is sign up or call 0800 019 4037 and quote the code NEWYEAR when placing their first order.
With the New Year well under way, thousands of people across the UK are attempting to kick start a healthy eating plan for 2012. But as the nation heads back to work this week, trying to stay away from sugary, fatty snacks could get really difficult.

Fruit For The Office are on hand to help office workers to make a few small changes for 2012.

“It can be hard to start the New Year with a total overhaul of all bad habits. From past experience, we think it’s better to take your time, and make small changes that you’ll be able to maintain all year long" points out the firm's director Daniel Ox.

“That’s why we’re keeping our NEWYEAR discount code open for the whole month. Whenever office workers are ready to embark on a healthy eating plan in January, we’ll be here to help them on their way.” Continues Daniel.

Having a regular fruit delivery to the office can help you to achieve a number of popular New Year's resolutions this year:

BETTER HEALTH – A fruit filled diet will give the body more vitamins and nutrients, therefore improving over all health.

WEIGHT LOSS – Replacing unhealthy snacks with fruit will cut down on calories consumed which will aid healthy weight loss.

PROMOTION – A better diet will help to boost energy levels and motivation which is great for employers who want a more productive work force. It’s also brilliant for employees with their eye on a promotion for 2012!

With 50% off all first orders available, it is worth seeing what benefits more fruit could have for you and your office in the New Year.


(NOTE: To check on terms and conditions, please check with Fruit For the Office.)

Monday, 2 January 2012

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Unofficial Queen's 'gong' launched: Queen's Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Medal

The Commemorative Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal has been struck to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the reign of the Monarch of our great nation. This uniquely exclusive, patriotically inspired medal brings together every facet that brought Great Britain to this exceptional moment in our history. Unlike the official issue, eligibility is not restricted to those currently serving for Crown and Country and allows you to proudly display your service to the Queen and allegiance to the great institutions that serve and defend the realm.

Eligibility
Available to all those who have served Queen and Country from 6th February 1952, the date Elizabeth II ascended to the throne, or those who are currently serving members of the Armed Forces, Emergency Services personnel (paid, retained or voluntary), Prison Service, Police Community Support Officers, holders of the Victoria Cross and George Cross and members of the Royal Household. Next of kin and direct descendants may also apply.

The miniature medal and all other items are available without restriction. The Government of the United Kingdom will be striking an official medal which will be issued to eligible serving personnel only. Many deserving individuals will not be eligible to the official issue including all those who are no longer serving.

"Unlike the official issue, eligibility is not restricted to those currently serving for Crown and Country, " said a spokesman.

Cost approximately £39.50.

(EDITOR: At £39.50, this might make a great 2012 Christmas present for a deserving recipient.)

 www.awardmedals.com

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Sunday, 1 January 2012

Thank you for helping with That's Christmas

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the providers of gifts, the producers of fine foods, beers, wines and spirits and the public relationship professionals who helped make That's Christmas such a success.

I look forward to working with you all again during the course of 2012.

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