Friday 9 February 2018

Blow Ltd Review

Blow Ltd
As a general rule, I'm a food blogger, but I seem to get myself involved in all sorts these days, as most folk do the whole 'lifestyle' thing. Blow Ltd had asked me a few times to do a review, and after a bit of a tough week, my friend Ellie and I decided to take the plunge before our afternoon of fun in Manchester. 

Bright and breezy, we were off to the big smoke, where it was so cold that my nose was like a beacon and my toes were frozen for at least 24 hours. We arrived safely at Debenhams Market Street to have a toot at what Blow Ltd was all about.

The concept is simple. You make an appointment for your desired treatment, choosing from hair up, a blow dry, make up, nails, or a combination of the lot. You book online or via the app, and choose whether you want to come into the salon, have it done at home, or even at the office! What an amazing concept! We were talking at work about pre-work's do hair and make up in the break room... Imagine folks' faces? Brilliant idea though.
Blow Ltd
I'm a lifelong lover of the classic red nail, and can usually be spotted wearing one of about 50 shades of the same colour! I decided to put an OPI gel version through its paces, to see how it compares to my usual polished look. Ellie went for the total opposite of a beautiful baby pink. Big fan of OPI.

The salon in Debenhams is like an Aladdin's cave of amazing hair products, make up, and styling tools. I feel like I could walk in here looking like a windswept goat, and appear an hour later feeling like a Disney princess. I clearly had high hopes!
Blow Ltd
My nails are like actual talons, but I decided to have them trimmed down after an unfortunate incident involving an ill advised hard punch to a pad, in an ill fitting glove, left a crack in my thumb nail... I was so pleased with these beauties.
Blow Ltd
What a lovely experience we had. The ladies in the salon were chatty, but super quick, and we left feeling a million dollars. An OPI gel manicure is £40, and although we booked, if they have availability, you can just walk in too. So if you find yourself with manky chipped polish, you could nip in and get a manicure done in a jiffy. We're definitely going back here. Also, if you sign up to the mailing list like we did, I've noticed that you get regular money off offers too.  

We followed our lovely morning with lunch out and cocktails in our favourite gaff. What a heavenly little day.

Disclaimer: This is a review, and we were invited for manicures free of charge. We were under no obligation to say nice stuff.

Thursday 8 February 2018

Bosch 'Kitchen Machine' Mixer Review

Bosch 'Kitchen Machine' Mixer
Bosch 'Kitchen Machine' Mixer
So Debenhams asked me to put a mixer through its paces. Yes, I can do that. I feel like a bit of a mixer testing veteran these days! This came in the biggest box you have ever seen in your life, so I was pleasantly suprised that they hadn't sent me some huge industrial contraption for making 10,000 loaves of bread. Nope, the Bosch 'Kitchen Machine' is a wonderfully compact machine, but also comes with a feast of goodies which make it far more than a stand mixer. Here's the low down.

What's in the box?
  • Mixer
  • 3.9L brushed stainless steel bowl
  • Liquidiser
  • Lid/splashguard
  • Continuous shredder
  • Stainless steel mixing bowl
  • Metal kneading hook
  • Balloon whisk 
  • Cake beater
  • Plastic blender attachment
  • Reversible shredding disc
  • Bag for accessories
  • Instructional DVD


  • Beating
  • Stirring
  • Kneading
  • Shredding
  • Grating and slicing
  • Mixing

It does everything you would expect, plus a little more. I really like order, and things having 'their place' so I loved how easy this was to unpack, put together and store when not in use. I have to admit that I didn't read the instructions! It's also incredibly easy to move around if you need to as well. Moving my, 'other mixer' is a bit like power lifting at times, so this felt incredibly easy in comparison. 
Bosch 'Kitchen Machine' Mixer
Reasons to love this mixer:

  • Easy to set up
  • Compact
  • Shiny, sleek design.
  • Retractable cord
  • Comes with a blender and chopper
  • Illuminated speed wheel
  • Not overly noisy
  • Handy bag to keep attachments tidy
  • Lightweight
  • Pads underneath to stop it moving around
  • Whips cream quickly with the balloon whisk attachment (I have no patience)
  • Great value for money in comparison to other mixers on the market (see details below).

Possible improvements:

  • Wider range of colours (this also comes in a nice teal colour, but I will always be team pink).
  • The bowl is slightly smaller than other stand mixers, however I have to say it accommodated a large cake with ease.
  • Cake mix does stick to the sides a little, so needed clearing down.

Bakers will always ask the question about how it compares to the other mixers out there, so I have done you a quick overview. I have used both these other mixers, and in terms of performance, found no difference whatsoever in the quality of the cake they produced, because let's face it, much of that is down to the recipe and your kitchen skills.

Quick Comparison

Power 1000W
Capacity 3.9 litres
Weight 6.4kg
Dimensions 28.2H x 28W x 27.1D
Cost £330

Power 300W
Capacity 4.83 litres
Weight 10.65kg
Dimensions 35.3H x 22.1W x 35.8D
Cost £450

Power 1400W
Capacity 4.6 litres
Weight 7.7kg
Dimensions 29.7H x 22.7W x 40.0D
Cost £500

In conclusion, I would most definitely recommend this mixer. It would look at home in any kitchen, but I'd say it's particularly well suited where worktop space is limited. Stand mixers are great and look the business, but they also take up an awful lot of kitchen real estate. The Bosch model seems to cut out wasted space, without losing functionality. Cracking bit of kit.

Buy it here

Disclaimer: I was sent this mixer to do an honest review. I was under no obligation to say nice things or admire its shineyness for so long.
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