Sunday, 20 February 2011

Logitech N100 Laptop/ Notebook Cooling Pad

How I discovered it: Between work, email and Twitter, I’m sometimes at my laptop for 16 hours a day. And with my addiction to tweeting live during Dancing on Ice, American Idol, X Factor and so on, some of those hours are spent on the couch with the HP on my lap. Even on the chilliest days, the thighs can get pretty toasty, and I like to be comfy, so I did a bit of research online.

What they say:Improve airflow around your notebook. Some things are better with a little heat - like salsa or a day at the beach. However, your trusted and beloved notebook computer is definitely not one of them. Whether set up on your desk - with or without an external keyboard and mouse - or on your lap, the USB-powered Logitech Cooling Pad N100 distributes air quietly and evenly under the case of your notebook, helping to protect you from the heat. Our cooling pad looks good in any room of your home, as the colours and shape were inspired by nature. Its versatile design with rear air intake allows for steady, unobstructed airflow. The enclosed, durable construction protects the internal fan from dust and damage. Plus, it’s designed for efficiency, with minimal impact on your notebook’s battery power. The slotted surface, with virtually silent airflow, allows the USB-powered fan to distribute air quietly and evenly under your notebook. The rear air intake allows for steady, unobstructed airflow – whether on your lap or on a desk. The enclosed, durable construction protects internal fan from dust and damage. Designed for efficiency, the Cooling Pad N100 creates minimal impact on your notebook’s battery.

What I say: This product has made life so much more comfortable for me! It’s lightweight and quiet – I love the fact that it just plugs into the USB port. It’s better for me, and I can’t help thinking it’s better for my laptop too. 

What could be improved:  Priced from £24.99, it’s gone up since I bought mine a few weeks ago – at £17.99 I thought it was a small investment for much more comfort... I still think it’s worth it, but why the big price hike? VAT only went up by 2.5%!

The verdict: Lorelei loves it!

Friday, 4 February 2011

The Golden Hind Restaurant

How I discovered it: This fish and chips restaurant is my ‘hood – and I first stumbled across it in my wanderings down winding Marylebone Lane. Every time I walked by, it looked warm and inviting and was crammed with happy looking people tucking into huge plates of food. It was only a matter of time before I tried it for myself.

What they say: Nothing – they don’t seem to have a website! But the Restaurant Guide says: “Despite being essentially an upmarket chippie it's worth booking a table at the Golden Hind in order to assure yourself of a seat, especially if you're part of a large group. This popular place dates back to 1914 and has been serving fish to a loyal clientele, including many a famous face, ever since.”

What I say: Some of the best fish and chips in London! The restaurant isn’t licensed, but you can bring your own booze. The prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is wonderful – original green and cream Bakelite fish fryer (not used these days; the kitchen is in the back), tile floor, marble topped tables and wooden chairs. It’s nearly 100 years old, and in that time it’s only been owned by 5 families. The current owner is a charming Greek – the waiters handsome and hard-working, and it definitely feels family-run. We always have the Greek pickles to start, followed by baby-whale sized servings of fish. I don’t like batter, so have mine steamed (perfectly!), but friends tell me the batter is terrific. The chips are properly chunky and the mushy peas are a reassuringly radioactive green. If you still have room after that, you can indulge what I think of as British-schoolboy desserts, like Spotted Dick, Treacle Sponge, and Bread and Butter pudding. Do yourself a favour – if you’re local and haven’t been yet, go! Buy a couple of bottles of champagne and go with a gang of friends. If you’re visiting London, don’t go to the usual tourist spots: have a meal at this very special place for an afternoon or evening to remember.

What could be improved: Nothing – except that it’s so popular, it’s often hard to get a table! They’ve recently bought the restaurant next door to give themselves more room, but – like work expands to fill the time allotted – the diners seem to fill the enlarged premises as much as they ever did. 

The verdict: Lorelei loves it!