Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A new dog-friendly guide to set tails wagging... from Andy

Our new guide Dog-friendly Breaks in Britain is out now, and packed with b&bs, hotels, inns and pubs where your dog is a welcome guest too. Order now for a £5 discount.

We'’ve rounded up some
very special offers from our dog-friendly owners, so start plotting a weekend away with your four-legged friend.

We have a bumper
competition prize this month: a 2-night b&b stay in a log-fired dog-friendly inn, an organic dog food hamper and some stylish dog accessories.

Alastair loves dogs and you can read why on
Facebook. We are pretty dotty about them too, and have a new Twitter account dedicated to this exciting guide!

One last thing: check out our
special offers from Canopy & Stars... Dogs can glamp it up, too, you know.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

For the life in your men

Sorry that should read the men in your life! Or anyone you want to buy a gift for!

Not sure what to buy them ? Why not treat them to one of Freya's products?

She is offering SG staff a 10% ONLINE only discount AND she will post it off for you!

The online code is SG2000 you just need to enter it at checkout!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Out with the Roe, in with the Luna

Good news and bad news, first the bad, the fish shop below us (next to Kall Kwik) has shut.
The good news is that a new eating place La Luna di Luca has opened in its place.

Better news, CP & VJD obtained a 20% discount off the menu for Stopgappers.

They are also doing a summer introductory offer throughout July & August which is Fairtrade coffee and freshly baked pastries for £2.50.
Choice of freshly daily changing pastas and risotto £3.50.
Afternoon Malteser cake or cupcake with tea or coffee for £2.50.
We will also have a daily Panini for £3.00.

Opens for breakfast at 7.30 a.m.

Follow the link for a sample of the other fare available.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A weekend treat from Kristin

I like would highly recommend the Bridge House Hotel in Beaminster -

It isn't the cheapest - however the restaurant is fantastic! It has a Georgian Dining room, an outside dining room and of course, fabulous food! The staff are friendly and warm.
Its located 20 minutes from Bridport and Lyme Regis, ideal for a relaxing weekend - with easy access to beaches and wonderful scenery. It's been a hidden secret of mine and Marks for a number of years and over the years the hotel has just got better and better.
The Coach House rooms accommodates dog's too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Come Dine with me... from CMO

Saturday 25th June 2011, 12pm onwards
I’d be delighted if you and partners / family could join us for a big
Stopgap garden party at home in Epsom.
Drinks will be served from midday followed by lunch – a totally casual but delicious affair!

You can swim, play petanque or tennis, enjoy the bouncy castle or
just relax in the sun with a cold beer – the choice is yours!
If you can make it and I do hope you can, please RSVP to me ( by Friday 13th May
letting me know how many are in your party (and ages of children please)
along with any dietary requirements.
Sunridge, 7 Ruden Way, Epsom Downs, Surrey KT17 3LL

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Impress your guests at your Barbie with this Lemon Juice!

Do you like the refreshing flavour of freshly squeezed lemon juice?

Then make this and save yourself a fortune, makes over a pint of concentrate

Lemon Juice Recipe - takes 10 mins MAX

3 Lemons (un-waxed are best)
10 oz sugar
1 pint boiling water
one & half teaspoons Citric Acid (available at chemist)

Squeeze Lemons saving the skins.
Add all ingredients to boiling water making sure sugar is dissolved
Put in skins and leave in fridge overnight
Remove skins and any pips and decant into an airtight bottle - dilute to taste

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Flexible Plumber - JAE has fund a great one!

I've a great contact for plumbing -
Charlie Jepson - 07727 113173
He's a super bloke - is currently training to be a counsellor for young addicts, but does plumbing jobs to fund his training. He's very flexible in terms of timing - and will cover the whole of this area. Likes cash in hand and great at the smaller repair jobs -nothing would be too small.
He charged me £40 in total for a recent visit to fix a leaky boiler.

We had a great chat about his training at the same time!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Household appliance repairs from Stephen

What a brilliant find! The top floor dishwasher had a breakdown, I searched on the internet and got Sean from Shepperton. He came straight away only charged £50 call out (as opposed to the usual £80) and had it repaired in 20 mins, AND he didn't up the price with various ad-ons. He also advised me we shouldn't use Rinse Aid in the dishwashers as the tablets already contain them and doing so produces too much soap which causes problems with the dishwasher. He had a great 'can do' attitude and I would definitely use him again.
He is also GAS SAFE registered, repairs most, if not all household appliances. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

T 01932 269364 / 020 8898 8818
M 07714 982 222

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

GREECE IS THE WORD! (So is Derbyshire!) from JAE

Thinking of a week in Greece?

I know the TV is full of ads for holidays - but if anyone is thinking of planning a getaway to Greece I can highly recommend of hideaway island Andros. Completely unsophisticated, no high rises, no airport so no package holidays.
Andros is quite a big island by Greek standards, with a road system across the island that means you can get anywhere in under an hour - even by scooter ( the best form of transport)
There's really no night life other than the standard restaurants and a mix of tourists - not many Brits ;-)
There are loads of basic studios to hire that are significantly cheaper than the more developed islands like Mykanos. L
ast year we tried a somewhat more comfortable option - Blue Bay Village . It's actually just a small collection of apartment blocks - 4 in a building on two stories. Nicely equipped, some with kitchen facilities too. The good bit is that it's within a 15 minute walk to the town of Batsi , the main resort town on the island. Very quiet and with a stunning unbroken view over the sea. The nearest beach is 5 minutes walk away - a small beach with a taverna so a steady stream of cold beers and greek salads. All in all a completely chilled out getaway.
Prices per night vary from €70 for a studio for two in May to €170 for a maisonette for 4-5 in August. Worth paying that bit more than in the town!

Take a look at the website -

Or in Derbyshire?

Through ( the best website for characterful places to stay) we recently found Alstonefield Manor near Ashbourne. A stunning 16th century / Georgian manor house run by a lovely couple, Jo and Robert Wood.
It's been thoughtfully and beautifully decorated - probably thanks to Jo being a stylist for interiors / house magazines. She also bakes cakes for tea each day (JBD eat your heart out!) and a great breakfast.
Set in a typically picturesque village in the Peak District, it's perfectly located for long walks - no need to drive anywhere.
And only 100m from The George Inn - an award winning eatery - highly recommended!
Generally the Manor only takes booking for the whole weekend but we tried our luck with a late booking and got in for a night. They have a mix of accommodation including a cottage for self catering.
Room rates are £80 to £150 per night - B&B - well worth it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cooking with Claire

Roast chicken, sweet potato and chillies with tahini greens and coriander yoghurt

A really yummy Sunday evening supper and certainly good enough for a casual dinner with friends. The only thing I changed was I put just a small amount of the Tahini dressing onto warm steamed veg. We all agreed, including Katie, that all together it was absolutely delicious! In case you are new to Tahini, it's a bit like peanut butter but made with Sesame seeds and you can get it in Waitrose.

Super healthy and delicious Autumn Salad
I changed the dessert, but aside from that this was our lunch on 28th December. The Autumn salad got a huge thumbs up from everyone and the only negative on the lamb was we ran out! We also had the wine - all from Waitrose Direct and they were delicious. You can get pheasant breasts from Pinks farm shop on Eton street. But if you don't fancy them I think this would work with duck or chicken.


Get it there... CHEAP from Claire

UK parcel delivery

If you need to send a parcel anywhere in the UK at a low rate, try this site: I was given a golf bag for xmas and needed to send it back, but as it was from an online retailer we had to pay the return cost. I got a quote from UBS and via parcel Monkey I ended up paying less than a 1/4 of the price I was quoted!

Space in a van
If you need to move anything large around the UK - we wanted to send a sofa up to the Midlands office - you can put your requirements on the website - and people with a van who want to do the delivery can bid for your job. We had originally been quoted £150 for someone to do the delivery and ended up accepting a bid for £60 from a lovely guy called Cem. He picked the sofa up and delivered it on Monday as promised.