I'm bombardier from Ware. I've been Qyping since 02-04-2008
"quot homines, tot sententiae"
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bombardier's Qype profile
Unit 15 Staple Tye Shopping Centre, Southern Way, Harlow, Essex CM18 7PJ
First off, if you’ve never had the good fortune to visit the Staple Tye ‘Shopping Centre’ in Harlow before, then boy, are you in for a treat. It’s probably worth walking or getting the bus there though, as if you park up there’s every possibility of your wheels being missing when you get back.
Staple Tye itself has (among other things) a McDonalds, a Papa John’s Pizza place, a Chinese Takeaway, an off-licence, a Lidl, and a Blockbuster Video. Still want to go there? Well, OK then.
On approaching the KFC, you will notice a queue stretching out onto the pavement. Each and every time I have been there it has been like this. You’d think it’s because it’s the best KFC in the land, but I’m not convinced that is the case, for two reasons: 1)KFC is the devils’ own ‘food’ and B)I think it’s the best of a bad bunch in Staple Tye. I don’t even like KFC, and will go for McDonalds over that when I go there, but my wife and daughter enjoy it for some peculiar reason, so I take my life in my hands and venture out there on occasion.
When you eventually get to the front of the queue you are greeted by a bunch of employees who don’t speak English as their first language. This makes it pretty hard to order accurately given some of the perplexing names KFC give their products.
Once you’ve collected your food I’d recommend a visit to the bar at the entrance to the shop to check it. Invariably, there is something wrong. Mayo when you asked for none, wings when you asked for legs, beans or coleslaw missing, and so on. I’d avoid the Pepsi too, as it’s pumped and is both flat and diluted; an unfortunate side-effect of the franchise business model, and fully taken advantage of at this particular KFC. Add to that the soggy chips and you’ve got a less than rewarding dining experience.
The only reason I’ve given it two stars is because it’s my nearest KFC (still 7.75 miles away), otherwise I’d have to drive 14 miles to Stevenage.
So, unless you’re a friend of The Colonel, I’d maybe steer clear of this place.
County Hall Westminster Bridge Road, riverside biulding westminster, London SE1 7PB
I love the London Aquarium. It has a pretty decent variety of fish and is easy to get to.
The sharks are easily the best thing there, and feeding time is pretty cool - they dart about, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it style, and being able to go up and touch the rays is nice.
I’d say it’s fun for very young kids, and interesting for adults, but for kids somewhere in the middle they tend to get bored quite quickly as it can be repetitive. To that end, it would be nice if they changed things around a bit every so often.
It can also be a bit mazey in there, with the route not being that easy to follow, but you can wander round at your own pace so if you miss something you can always go back. It also gets pretty hot in there, so take some water!
White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire EN10 7QA
This is a great day out, and is in a fantastic location to serve a big area of Hertfordshire. It feels like it shouldn’t be where it is, close to so many towns but is brilliant as it means you don’t have to trek too far to get to it (assuming you live in Hertfordshire - you’re knackered if you live in Scotland!). It’s no more than about a 20 minute drive from Ware, Hoddesdon, Cheshunt, Broxbourne etc, and only 40 - 60 minutes from Harlow, Epping and other bits of West Essex.
They have LOTS of animals and birds there, all in really nice, big enclosures so you don’t feel so bad about going to see them as captives. Throughout the year they do different shows with the animals and there are daily talks and feedings to go to. The feeding of the tigers and lions is not to be missed. You can really get a feel of how powerful they are when all that separates you from them and their food is a steel mesh fence!
They have all kinds of animals there, big cats, camels, birds, reptiles, meerkats, goats, reindeer - loads! They should be opening a penguin enclosure this year too (if it’s not already open - it was still being built when I went in 2007) which should be fun.
There is a big fast-food type restaurant that does Happy-Meal-a-likes and grown up food too, with plenty of seating inside and out. Dotted along the way there are refreshment huts and benches etc. too.
There are also some climbing frame things and slides etc. for the kids at the entrance.
It’s not hideously expensive and has loads of parking, and I thoroughly recommend it for a family day out in Herts.
Little Rollright, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 5QB
Legend has it that a king of ancient England was marching along the ridge with his men. They stopped to rest, and while the king - the King Stone that can be seen today - surveyed the way ahead, a witch approached him (the local village of Long Compton was said to have been a stronghold of witches in times past). The witch made a bargain with him, saying,
“Seven long strides shalt thou take, If Long Compton thou canst see, King of England thou shalt be.” The king, thinking this an easy bargain, replied, “Stick, stock, stone, as King of England I shall be known.”
The king took his allotted seven strides, but his view was blocked by the mound known locally as The Archdruids Barrow. The witch triumphantly announced,
“As Long Compton thou canst not see, King of England thou shalt not be, rise up stick and stand still stone, for King of England thou shalt be none.”
Next thing he knows, the king and his men became stones!
There are three separate things to see up in the fields above Long Compton. There is the King Stone, The Whispering Knights (they look as if they are leaning towards each other, conspiratorially - in actual fact they top a neolithic burial chamber), and the Kings Men, a ceremonial stone circle.
The King Stone and the Whispering Knights are enclosed by rails, but the main stone circle is open and you are free to walk around and touch them. It really is a magical and mystical place, and one that I will visit many times in my life I am sure.
Sant Esteve, 07720 Sant Lluís
I have to confess, it was closed when I went in the winter so only saw the top remains of this underground stronghold. It was built by the British in the 18th Century when they controlled Menorca and was named after Lord Marlborough. It was built to guard the entrance to Fort Sant Felip. There is a museum and tour that operates in the Spring and Summer, and I hope to revisit it sometime.
Above ground, there are some impressive ruins. Lots of dug out sections, all carved into the rocks surrounding the sea. You can see ironworks from WWII there as well, and makeshift gun emplacements that used some of what was already there, and some new, hastily carved out sections.
Worth a visit, even in the winter, if you’re looking for something different to beaches in Menorca.
I’ve only given it three stars as I have no idea what the museum is like.
Punta Prima, Punta Prima
Even though these ten self-catering apartments are only rated 2 keys I would personally rate them higher. We stayed in one after a mix up with a booking at the Barcelo Hotel in Punta Prima, and couldn’t have been happier. They were really clean, well appointed (air-conditioning, full size fridge and freezer combi, lots of room and lots of storage). The best thing? They are literally on the beach. You walk out of your door and on a small wooden path that lays over the sand. 30 seconds and you’re sunbathing.
Punta Prima is small anyway but here you’re ideally located to reach everything, and the excellent Sebastian’s restaurant/beach café is just across from the walkway.
If you want to be close to one of the nicer beaches on Menorca you won’t find anywhere much closer than this!
Prinsengracht 191, Amsterdam
Absolutely fantastic pancake house. On my first visit I elected to create a custom one, and had cheese and pineapple. The monstrous sheet of batter that came from the (visible) chefs was superb, a cross between an omelette, pancake and pizza.
My second visit saw me choosing a vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce one from the menu. Yum, although I’m more of a savoury man, it was very tasty.
Like most places in Old Amsterdam, it’s quite small, so there’s not much elbow space, but it all adds to the charm I think. Great place to go after a night out in the town.
22 High Street, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 9BY
This is a great little bar. Somewhere between being too far up it’s own rear-end and pleasantly lacking any spit and sawdust. Becks Vier on tap seals the deal.
They have some neat little coat hooks under the bar rail so for a few lads standing chatting it’s ideal, and as it’s only a minute’s walk from Ware train station it’s easy to get to.
It’s got a trendy but not too young atmosphere so there’s no feeling out of place, and as I said at the start, the feel of The Vine means you’re not plagued with either end of the undesirable spectrum of punters.
Not tried any food yet, although they are purported to do a nice breakfast!
Newgate Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire SG13 8NQ
This place was just awful. We were looking for a getaway for a night, near to where we live, and saw this one. The AA and English Tourism both rate it 4 marks. It isn’t, not by a long shot. It is not a ‘barn conversion’ as they say it is, it’s more a portacabin type building (the uPVC double glazing gives that one away!). Imagine the sales office at a new housing development and you’re 99% of the way there. The rooms were tiny, the carpets horribly dirty, the decor shabby and it was freezing. There was a small wall heater but it only worked with your key in the electricity slot in the room, so any thoughts of going out for a nice romantic meal and returning to a cosy bedroom were out of the question. The walls had great big cracks running up them too, not an oasis of comfort as they like to suggest.
The dining area is a handful of tables laid out in the reception area. There is no restaurant - they get Italian takeaways delivered from the restaurant up the road or you can go out.
They call themselves a hotel, but I tell you what, that’s stretching it a bit. It’s no more than a bed & breakfast, and not a very good one at that. At £75 a night it’s not cheap either.
- Ware 23 reviews
- Stanstead Abbotts, Ware 6 reviews
- Harlow 5 reviews
- Hoddesdon 3 reviews
- San Francisco 3 reviews
- Eastbourne 3 reviews
- Lewes 3 reviews
- Brighton 3 reviews
- Hertford 2 reviews
- San Jose 2 reviews
- Walnut 2 reviews
- Great Amwell, Ware 2 reviews
- St. Leonards-on-Sea 2 reviews
- Greenhithe 2 reviews
- Covent Garden, London 2 reviews
- Stevenage 2 reviews
- Highbury, London 2 reviews
- Amsterdam 2 reviews
- Punta Prima 1 review
- Sant Lluís 1 review
- Chipping Norton 1 review
- Broxbourne 1 review
- Waterloo, London 1 review
- Grachtengordel-West, Amsterdam 1 review
- Aylesbury 1 review
- Oakland 1 review
- Battle 1 review
- Hastings 1 review
- Bexhill-on-Sea 1 review
- Halesworth 1 review
- Sants-Montjuïc, Barcelona 1 review
- Battersea, London 1 review
- St. Albans 1 review
- Sawbridgeworth 1 review
- Alcudia 1 review
- Old Street, London 1 review
- Fitzrovia, London 1 review
- Knightsbridge, London 1 review
- London Bridge, London 1 review
- Enfield, London 1 review
- Westminster, London 1 review
- Winkwell, Hemel Hempstead 1 review
- Stansted 1 review
- Newquay 1 review
- Salisbury 1 review
- Elstree, Borehamwood 1 review
- Birmingham 1 review