I’m always so surprised that so many people haven’t heard of TopCashback.
To me, it’s now a way of life when online shopping and the easiest way to save money on my everyday spending.
So, what is TopCashback?
TopCashback gains referral commissions for directing its users to partner retailers. In return, they offer you cash back incentives. These include percentage discounts and small payments for using these well known retailers.
TopCashback is free to join and each time you shop with one of these high street or online retailers, you get money back!
What’s the catch?
There is none! They work alongside over 5,350 retailers worldwide to offer you a percentage of money back when shopping via their website or application.
If you have your doubts, they are currently running a national TV campaign and their Trustpilot reviews speak for themselves.
The only annoying thing is cashback can take some time to be authorised by retailers. Expect up to 12 weeks in some circumstances!
How much can you save?
To date, I’ve saved £162.44 since November 2020. This includes shopping for things like my latest Christmas presents, moving house costs and when buying baby stuff for my baby boy due in March 2021.
You can save money on switching energy and gas or insurance providers, buying takeaways, redecorating your home and buying the latest fashion and technology!
Once authorised, this money can be paid to you via bank transfer or PayPal, whichever suits you best.
You know the drill, you’re busy at work, the cold weather has well and truly set in and you are well overdue a spring clean.
However, when do you find the time? Fantastic Services offer a variety of cleaning services for the home across the UK, as well as gardening, landscaping, tradesmen, removals and storage, waste removal, inventory services, pest control and appliance repair.
We opted for a one-off deep clean as we are in the process of putting our flat up for sale. The service included three cleaners coming into our one bedroom flat for two hours at an arranged time to suit us.
Before they began, they asked me which areas they should focus on, focusing on a customised cleaning check list. Taking a room each in turn they blitzed our place.
They made the bathroom gleam, polishing up all ceramic and metal surfaces. Honestly, it looked like a show bathroom once it was done, I don’t think it was this clean when we bought the place.
In the combined kitchen and living room, our kitchen area garnered the most attention. Surfaces were cleaned and polished, the oven was bombed and blitzed, as well as the microwave. Our upholstery was also given the once over, with the sofa cleaned
Throughout the property, interiors of windows were made to shine alongside their sills and skirting boards were cleaned. They finished by hoovering the place, adding a perfumed spray across all carpets.
So, what did I think of Fantastic Services?
Afterwards, the cleaners asked me to inspect the property. It’s safe to say, I walked back in and found myself in awe. Everything sparkled and smelt sensational.
I found the Fantastic Services cleaners to be thorough, professional and oh so polite. I will definitely be using them again in the future.
If you would like to take advantage of Fantastic Services and their incredible cleaners, you can use the code LDNGAL to receive £10 off your first service.
Are you overdue a spring clean? Have you used Fantastic Services before?
If you are an Oxford local, the news of a new John Lewis store opening has probably had you excited for many years now. Well, now it is here, along with the shiny new Westgate and it is time to spend galore. I was lucky enough to be invited to the new store to get a feel for what they were offering and to tour the services it provides.
The most incredible thing about the John Lewis store in Oxford is its rather subtle Alice in Wonderland theme, a nod to Oxford’s beloved literary history. All around the beautiful interior of the store are hidden secrets of Alice and her time in Wonderland. The main seating area on the ground floor presents an open book, adorned with towering roses telling the story of Alice within printed petals. Each week, this area acts as a storybook museum for children and as an event space when needed.
As you continue around the store you will find teeny tiny secret doors (great for keeping young minds busy), the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole and even an Alice mannequin with a very Rapunzel-esque blonde wig – encouraging you to leave no corner untouched.
So, what do I think of John Lewis Oxford?
Once you get over the sheer genius of the theme you discover a store that satisfies every whim and sense. Within the store, you will discover a gargantuan beauty, homeware, clothing, famed haberdashery, technology, and leisure department.
A unique feature is the Experience Desk, which enables guests to visit and see the daily events on offer within the store and ask any questions that they may have. The John Lewis Oxford store also offers appointments on home decor, beauty, nursery advice, travel, personal style and lingerie fittings – they even have an onsite optician!
Surprisingly, John Lewis Oxford has more services available than any other John Lewis store in the country and are paving the way when it comes to the success of the stores.
It is music to my ears to discover that the beauty and skincare events are very popular in my hometown, with near-daily events and a first-of-its-kind nail and brow bar, ensuring quick and flawless fixes. Dining is also covered with The Café Bar by Benugo, The Place to Eat restaurant and the highly-recommended KuPP.
It is no surprise that people are so excited to come and shop. Finally, if you do visit, be sure to pop up to the Experience Desk on the first floor for the latest and greatest from John Lewis Oxford!
Have you been to John Lewis in Oxford yet? Do you like the Alice in Wonderland theme?
In the South of England, there’s really only one place you want to spend Halloween being thrown about from rollercoaster to rollercoaster, and that is Fright Nights at Thorpe Park.
I love theme parks. Actually, that is an understatement. I ADORE theme parks. There is nothing quite like being hurtled around loops and sheer drops that doesn’t make a great start to the day.
Although lacking elaborate make up or a costume, I knew I was in for a spooky and fun day spending Halloween at Thorpe Park.
SO, WHAT DID I THINK OF THE FRIGHT NIGHTS EXPERIENCE at Thorpe Park?
Walking in, the park had evidently had a Halloween theme revamp, with ghoulish décor, low-lit lighting, smoke machines and live actors creeping in as dusk settled for the night.
In collaboration with AMC The Walking Dead, Thorpe Park also featured two new scary mazes. Say hello to THE WALKING DEAD: Living Nightmare and THE WALKING DEAD: Sanctum.
Sanctum was a real treat, a creepy live action outdoor maze with a deep South twist. With accents haunting each twist and turn, the live actors certainly knew how to put a shiver down your spine.
In addition to the usual thrill ride and attractions, the special evening welcomed four additional mazes and attractions to explore, including Saw Alive, The Big Top, Platform No. 15 and Containment.
It was certainly a worthwhile venture, with later closing times, the addition of new mazes and attractions and the haunted vibe taken into consideration. I would recommend a ticket for 2018 and I will probably return again myself. Do remember though, ‘the island changes after dark’.
Have you been to Fright Nights at Thorpe Park? How did you spend your Halloween this year?
I have to admit, I was rather excited for my visit to the Wellcome Kitchen. Not only because it looked exquisite, but also because I was very eager to take a peek around the Wellcome Collection. Known as being the ‘free destination for the incurably curious.’
The Wellcome Collection is a truly spectacular and unique museum. Located near Euston Station, it’s brimming with intriguing exhibits and collections on science, health and life. It blurs the line between technology and art.
As curious as I was, I soon dashed to take our summer-inspired afternoon tea in the Wellcome Kitchen.
Located on the second floor, this boutique venue is divine. It’s bright and elegant and includes a focal display of the celebrated Pill Dress by artist, Susie Freeman.
What is included in the Welcome Kitchen Afternoon Tea?
So, what did we get in our Wellcome Kitchen afternoon tea for two at the Wellcome Collection? Check out the menu below:
A selection of finger sandwiches including cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon and coronation chicken
A selection of mini cakes including 2 raspberry and cream tarts, 2 nutty brownies, 2 lemon mouse macarons and 2 red berry cakes
Two fruit scones, Cornish clotted cream and Tiptree strawberry jam
A pot of loose leaf tea (a variety of flavours) or a hot drink each
So, what did I think of the Wellcome Kitchen Afternoon Tea?
In all honesty, I loved this afternoon tea experience. The venue is beautiful and the food divine.
The afternoon tea included a fabulous mix of sandwiches and cakes.
Everything was well presented, with lovely floral china and welcoming staff who graced you with big smiles.
All the food is freshly prepared on site and they even made our sandwiches to order (I cannot have butter, it makes me feel very unwell – odd I know, but, alas) which was a wonderfully helpful touch.
The food is locally-sourced and tends to be seasonal produce, you can even indulge in a glass of sparkling pink Moscato if you feel inclined!
It is the perfect venue to unwind and get lost in great company or even solo. The Wellcome Kitchen is so quiet and calm, away from the vibrancy and bustle of the intrigued visitors of the Wellcome Collection downstairs.
Once you have finished your delicious afternoon tea, you will discover the spectacular Reading Room adjacent, which allows you to unwind with a copy or two and take a peek at an eccentric collection of sculptures, paintings and artefacts.
Overall, a perfect mini-day out wrapped up with lots of technology, culture and food – what’s not to love?
Have you tried the Wellcome Kitchen Afternoon Tea?
A long weekend in Prague – surrounded by pastel-coloured views and terracotta roofs
Prague has always fascinated me – pretty buildings, cultural attractions, and an affordable price tag, what more could a girl want from a city break?
With all that in mind, a weekend in this scenic city was definitely on the cards, and Prague was the next destination myself and my boyfriend had planned to visit in Europe. Here is our guide to a long weekend in Prague.
Our mini adventure would begin after a night’s sleep in our okay-ish hotel. The Hotel Colosseum was well located to attractions and to be honest, pretty cheap. I’m not snobby when it comes to hotels, I literally sleep there.
Seeing the quirky Dancing House
The Hotel Colosseum was less than five minutes from the celebrated Dancing House or ‘Fred and Ginger’ and this was our first stop.
This deconstructivist style building features quirky architectural design and fascinates many in its place amongst a myriad of Baroque, Rococo and Renaissance buildings, to name a few architectural styles found within Prague.
Step back in time in the Old Town
We gave the Dancing House a quick glance and raced towards the UNESCO-listed Old Town – naturally.
Stepping into the Old Town in Prague is very charming, lined with ornate buildings, street food vendors, the grand Church of Our Lady before Týn and of course, the wonderful Astronomical Clock.
Embellished with cobbled streets, Gothic churches and an array of architectural styles, the whole city is very romantic. Our favourite start to each day was coffee together in the Old Town square each morning.
Czech out the local delicacies and try traditional trdelník
While in Prague, be sure to sample some Czech delicacies by indulging in some delicious street food.
Local delicacies include trdelník (a spiralised pastry with delicious fillings), as well as famed sausages and hams.
Watch the Astronomical Clock procession
What did we love most about the quaint Old Town and its buzzing square? It would have to be the famed Astronomical Clock.
Be sure to await the hourly procession for a truly lovely show, with rhythmic chimes and animated figures. We managed to miss it about eight times during our stay before finally seeing it!
Another cultural delight that mesmerised me was the exquisite Gothic Church of our Lady on Tyn. It is a grand building that dominates the Old Town skyline.
Its interior is almost as astounding as its exterior and it dates back to the 14th century.
Get lost for a moment in Letenské Sady Park
However, there is another church that dominates the Prague cityscape, and that is St. Vitus Cathedral, a beautiful church within the mighty walls of the Prague Castle compound.
Uphill, we made our way through the lush Letenské Sady Park to the castle. There is so much green space in Prague, it is truly fabulous.
Once you have made your way to the top of Letenské Sady, ensure to stop a moment and appreciate the wonderful view of the city beneath you. It is so picturesque, a sea of pastel houses, terracotta roofs, and trams.
Prague is separated by the delicate and winding Vltava river and within the park, you get to see a magical birdseye view of it.
For me, St. Vitus Cathedral is the focal point of the area. Its dark exterior boldly contrasts against the smooth and light pastel walls surrounding it.
Similar to the other churches in Prague, the interior is sublime, truly beautiful for any fan of churches.
Take a stroll down the colourful Golden Lane
After a rather disappointing venture into the castle’s interior, we had a bite to eat and wandered down towards Golden Lane, a collection of former and rather cosmopolitan-looking homes of seamstresses, moviemakers, and herbalists that used to live within the castle grounds.
Walk with saints at Charles Bridge
Afterward, we went to Charles Bridge. Strolling along the winding Vltava River it is almost impossible to miss the entrance to the grand Charles Bridge. It becomes an even more impressive affair as you cross it, adorned with religious statues along its ancient stone walls.
Step into a fairytale in Malá Strana
Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with the pastel-coloured streets of the historic district of Malá Strana. It is like crossing into a fairytale, with many a ‘wow’ moment.
Take a snap at the John Lennon Wall
The backstreets of Malá Strana are amazing to wander. You will discover an array of food vendors, cosy riverside views and sweet lock bridges in abundance.
An interesting stop in the area, is the John Lennon Wall. A graffiti shine to the late Beatles singer and songwriter which is adorned with some peculiar quotes and imagery.
Discover the castle ruins at Petřín Hill
We took the steep climb from Malá Strana, past the exquisite Baroque St. Nicholas Church, up to Petřín Hill to explore some more. Here we discovered more incredible views alongside the old castle ruins.
It really is nice to just step away from the city for a moment to stop and see it all. We decided against Petřín Tower, already having gained some incredible views from walking through the parks alone.
Sip unique cocktails at AnonymouS Bar
After all the walking and with a recommendation from a friend, we decided to celebrate one evening with a few quirky cocktails at AnonymouS Bar.
Tucked away near Old Town Square, this quirky bar sells some strong cocktails and does so in an animated and exciting fashion. Trust me on this one, try it out and try to get a glimpse of the secret menu.
How did we find our long weekend in Prague?
Prague is a truly romantic city brimming with things to see and do. If you’re looking for a European city break with some flair, opt for a long weekend in Prague!
After our whirlwind weekend, we managed to walk about 30 miles (public transport really isn’t too necessary), see all of the attractions we desired, and had a truly amazing time.
I would recommend Prague to anyone and would be more than happy to give some advice if needed!
Have you been to Prague? Where is the next European destination on your travel list?
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