Need to find the UK’s best bites? Then @europcar has just the map for you #travel #map #food #drink #foodanddrink

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Ever wanted to take a trip around our great British Isles and find out where the best food from each region comes from? Then forget your conventional map because Europe’s leading car hire service Europcar has the solution – its a map called Britain’s Best Bites.

Whether you’re packing a picnic or shopping for the best ingredients for the Christmas table, you won’t go hungry with Europcar’s map of nibbles. so not only can you rent a cool car to see more of Great Britain, you can now enjoy the food along the way too!

So what is this map really like? 

Europcar’s Britain’s Best Bites is a scrolling parallax map which allows customers to take a journey down the country, from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Charmingly illustrated, with famous landmarks and images of the food in each region, the map features a green Europcar car, which can travel from place to place, unveiling gastronomic delights on its trip.

The route is 874 miles in total and covers key areas, including Edinburgh, the Highlands, Carlisle, Manchester, Stroud, Bath, Exeter and Cornwall.

Here’s some of Europcar’s top tip locations for yummy cuisine! Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 22.55.35

Caithness Smokehouse

At the tip of UK mainland, you’ll find the award-winning Caithness Smokehouse. Sample the mouth-watering smokey flavours of its locally sourced North Sea fish.

Tebay Services

In rural Cumbria, even the motorway services have farm shops. Stop at Tebay to fill up on hand-reared meat, homemade pies and relishes.

Lancashire Cheese

A trip to Lancashire isn’t complete without tasting the creamy, mild, crumbly cheese. Travellers looking for something to showcase on their cheeseboards should head to

Dewlay cheese-makers of Gartang, who have been making award winning Lancashire cheese for almost 60 years.

Stop for a coffee

Exeter’s Exploding Bakery is an original, no-nonsense bakery.  Order one of their ‘full-on-flavour’ tray bakes made with local Devon butter and free range eggs served with a relaxing cup of coffee.

With over 250 locations across the UK, there’s a Europcar branch along the whole of the Britain’s Best Bites route, meaning travellers can book a vehicle, wherever they are. It’s flexible and affordable car hire saves wear and tear on the family car, as well as added comfort for longer journeys. With additional items, such as baby seats, additional drivers and GPS, Europcar caters to every traveller’s needs, with the widest choice of vehicles, all on average less than six months’ old.

To find out more visit http://www.europcar.co.uk

Happy Travels! Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 22.55.50

 

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What are you watching this weekend? We recommend THE HUNGER GAMES – CATCHING FIRE #film

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 16.37.24If you had any worries or concerns that Director Gary Ross’s successor would be turning this sequel into a Twilight esq format, where each film has its own unique stamp per director, and the lead character looks more and more bizarre as the films progress, then fear not, as The Hunger Games – Catching Fire  continues the franchise brilliantly.

In the second installment of the hugely popular film adaptation, Tribute victors of the 74th Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem. As a result, President Snow decides to hold the 75th Hunger Games in which all previous victors will once again fight against each other.

If you have been a fan of the books and then watched the first film, you may have felt a little short changed in terms of the detail throughout the Games section itself. Catering to a 12a audience, the first installment of this franchise lacked some of the more graphic scenes of violence throughout, and replaced this with clever jump cuts and edits to keep the action flowing. I for one, was one of those people, and felt slightly underwhelmed when walking out of that original viewing.Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 16.40.18

However, this second film seems to have found its feet much more – realizing that there is a large share in terms of older audience members, it quite purposefully takes more risks. There is a whipping scene involving Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) the shooting of an old man who dares to acknowledge the revolution, and a very unceremonious punch to the face for Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). Although these are all wincing to the eye, they are a refreshing progression for the film, and as the film tackles more grown up subject matter, you very much feel like you’re watching a much more grown up film.Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 16.37.46

Once again the lead characters are portrayed well. Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen is brooding and thoughtful, more of the relationship between herself and Hemsworths Gale is explored, and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta Mellark has realized that he must suppress his feelings in order to play the game and put on a great show. There is also an influx of new cast members (all the other Tributes get killed off in the previous film – in the style of a less brutal Battle Royale!) and one of the biggest surprises of this is Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair. With a flawless American accent, a smile to melt a lot of hearts in the female share of the audience, this British actor will probably use this character to cement his place in the Hollywood heart throb elite – Robert Pattinson better watch out!

Out with the old and in with the new is the way this second running of the film works, the style has been cleverly matched by Director Francis Lawrence to its predecessor and not a minute of filming is wasted. Even if you’re coming to the movie having loved the book, its truthful approach to what is written will be a welcome relief, and it may even hold some surprises for you too. Plenty of action for everyone, some eye candy for both boys and girls, and a very enjoyable film to watch. You will not be disappointed!

4 Stars

Get into the Capitol Couture as we celebrate The Hunger Games – Catching Fire!

Lionsgate and luxury clothing brand Net-a-Porter have developed  “Capitol Couture by Trish Summerville” which consists of 19 ready-to-wear pieces as well as jewelry and leather goods inspired by “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and designed by Trish Summerville, the film’s Costume Designer.  The collection comprises of dresses and separates including a laser-cut patent dress, leather bomber jacket, silk and leather jumpsuit and slogan t-shirt is out now!

What we particularly love about this collection is that it doesn’t go overboard with the Hunger Games theme, its subtly and stylishness allows for a sleek sophisticated look with the odd hint of Mockingjay!Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 23.13.02

Prices start at £60. 

Need to complete your look, then check out Barry M – they have a fab collection of masterful make up that would make any Tribute proud! Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 23.07.27

Prices start at £4.49.

So go watch a great film and get fabulously fashionable at the same time!

 

New @superdrug research shows we’re a generation of Selfies!! So we better start buying more make up! #instagram #photo #selfie

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So Snoochers, how many have you taken? I’m talking about selfies, come on now, don’t be shy we’ve all done it…those self-portraits taken on a mobile phone, which is then shared via social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.

I’m not going to lie, selfies have happened in the weirdest of places, there was recently an article released about the rising population of people taking selfies at funerals! (Not cool people!) and popular personalities from Rihanna to Rosie H-W love taking pictures of themselves posing to model perfection, its even given way to the birth of new TV shows based around the Instagram lives of the rich and famous kids, who love to share pictures of themselves and their wealth!

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Recent research by Superdrug of 2,000 women showed that half of all young women (18 to 24 years) admit to taking selfies, with one in ten admitting to taking them ‘all the time’, taking on average five minutes and 45 seconds to get the perfect “impromptu” shot.

62 per cent of the young women questioned said they used their selfie as their profile picture on social media.  In the battle of the social media big three, Instagram is the top place for posting selfies with 30 per cent, 21 per cent post theirs on Facebook while 13 per cent use Twitter to publicise themselves.

If only they had selfies back in the day!

If only they had selfies back in the day!

Now these are some interesting numbers, but get this…

While it takes on average five minutes and 45 seconds for young women to take the perfect photograph, it takes them a staggering 11 minutes before then to ensure their hair and makeup are perfect. But why is there all the fuss? Well, Superdrug’s Buying Director Simon Comins, may have the answer, he said:  “The rise of mega pixel cameras on phones ensures that today’s young women want to look picture perfect and this means high definition makeup, flawless skin and artfully styled hair.”

So with this in mind, is it any wonder why we’ve seen a huge rise in the purchasing of make up to help us look “picture perfect” just for our very own selfie?!!

Superdrug reports sales of makeup primers have increased by 21 per cent so far in 2013.  Other products highlighted as essential for selfies also on the rise including eyebrow pencils and volume boosting mascaras.

So whats the verdict?! 

Well, these aren’t going to please everyone, some may say that the selfie is an arrogant, immature thing to do from people who want attention; whilst others may applaud it for giving people the confidence to step in front of the camera and feel beautiful enough to take a snap of themselves. Either way its proving to be big business particularly in the area of make up. So whether or not you decide a selfie is a perfect expression of how you’re feeling at that particular “moment in time” or not, remember…its all a bit of fun, right?

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How easy is it to create great Shabby Chic furniture? #shabbychic @autenticopaint

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So the first hints of Summer were out this weekend and we sent one of our bloggers, Becky Perfect, to try out one of the big homeware trends over the last couple of years. Becky’s always been fascinated by the idea of shabby chic furniture restoration, mainly because with a little lick of paint they can sometimes sell for a lot of money! And with that in mind, there was just no stopping her!!

So armed with an old pine bed headboard she set out to see if a little lick of paint and a bit of sand paper really could do the trick, oh and she was kind enough to make a video about it too….

Huge thanks have to go to Autentico paint and Smile@home who gave Becky the inspiration and guidance in the first place! Much appreciated!

If you’re looking to do your own shabby chic furniture restoration then send us in your top tips and final pictures! We’d love to see how you get on!

Happy shopping!