Saturday 26 January 2019

Reviews Revisited 2013-2018... Was it really any good? Inc. Epson, B&B, Sausage, Drones

Sometimes something really needs a good looking at before you can say how good it was, so I often think it'd be more sensible to come back to it. Sometimes we review things which prove to be worth their weight in gold.

Reviews Revisited is a series of posts I'll do every couple of weeks to look at the best things we reviewed since the blog started back in 2012... Here's a look back at things we reviewed in the second half of January...

In 2013 when the blog started I was already a regular reviewer for Orchard Toys, so I have them to thank for this whole thing really. I reviewed a handful of games and puzzles for them in January 2013, including What A Performance, which is a brilliant game for any family with children aged around 5-10 and still one of their most popular.

What A performance game by Orchard Toys Box front

The review which has taken me more time than any other also involved loads of building and it was in 2014 with the LEGO Simpson's House. This is such a gorgeous set that we are going to find all the missing bits and put it back together and on display this year. Many hours editing hundreds of photos produced 2 posts in the end... The Simpsons House LEGO set review - Part 1

LEGO Simpsons review cutaway inside view of house showing rooms

Staying with LEGO and in 2015 it was LEGO Juniors under the microscope. A great range for children who want to make more complicated models and move on from DUPLO, but don't quite hand the dexterity or hand strength for little LEGO without becoming frustrated. LEGO Juniors is mentioned in my post about choosing the right LEGO set for your child's age.

Yellow LEGO Juniors digger with brown brick in scoop

In 2015 we were also introduced to local brand Goodlife Vegetarian Sausages. These were loved here, especially by my meat-eating partner, who adores cheese in anything. Happily they are still available now and have expanded the range. Well worth checking out if you just like really tasty food, whether you are a veggie or not. Having just looked I see they now do 'protein balls' - one to try next I think!

Goodlife vegetarian sausages displayed on a table, loose sausage and boxes to show varieties

In 2016 I blogged about our eco-holiday on the Isle Of Wight with 5 of our children. It was their first experience on an official eco-campsite (and using a compost toilet) and it was utterly lovely to leave feeling as if you only left the very tiniest of footprints behind - unlike the dinosaurs, who left the hugest footprints behind on the beach!

Image of LEGO Scooby Doo minifigure examining oak leaf with magnifying glass

My final recap for 2016 is the Epson Eco-Tank Printer. I actually wasn't so keen as it struggled with images and I often seemed to get a line of print missing - it is however now at uni with one of our kids and going strong on only the 2nd refill of black ink. It has printed many thousands of pages, so I honestly have to say it was a good product and true to it's word. Maybe not one for the photographers though.

Epson Eco Tank Printer on desktop showing control panel and paper feed

In 2017 it seemed all roads led to Altrincham, as we reviewed the new Bistrot Pierre French Restaurant. I haven't eaten a more delicious meal since. The attention to detail and flavouring used for the vegetables was amazing - the lighting for photos inside not so much.

Bistrot Pierre Altrincham outside building view showing windows

We were also in Altrincham the next weekend, and we stayed over! We were given the opportunity to review Ayuda House B&B. It did seem a bit weird packing bags and only travelling 40 minutes, but it turns out a holiday on your doorstep is just as brilliant as one many miles away.

Scenes from Ayuda House B&B Altrincham Cheshire bedrooms, dining room etc

Ayuda House is gorgeous and has completely altered our view of the B&B. I'm pleased to say they are still going strong and winning more awards, including a Trip Advisor Certificate Of Excellence.

Ayuda House B&B Altrincham rooms meals cooking

In 2018 I reviewed one of my favourite ever children's fiction books, Magnus And The Jewelled Book Of The Universe by S.L Browne. Matador Children's Books produce independent books we otherwise wouldn't ever see in print and to miss out on this would have been a real shame. I love the characters and tale about a young boy and his guardian, and there are dinosaurs and wizards! Mostly though, I love the way this book casually makes you really think about our world, society, politics and power. It's written so concisely and clearly that really complicated concepts are beautifully simple to understand, even for 7 year olds. Each member of the government should be given a copy to remind them what they are meant to be doing...

And the Goodbye, you fools.... From 2018Air Wars Battle Drones. These were actually excellent and a fabulous price. Not bad to control and loads of fun to actually attempt to hit each other - although the removable 'weapons' are super easy to lose down the back of the sofa. No longer available sadly...

Most of these items were supplied/arranged previously for review. I've not accepted any incentive to include them in this post. I just picked the most interesting!


  1. Yes I too remember the Orchard Games fondly and smile when I spot a well loved games in friends houses. It is a good idea to look back, and I am pleased about the printer, as I have been considering one for a while.

    1. We were going through ours at the weekend and I can't believe how many we had! It's tempting to save them all for Grandchildren, but I can't really justify it as I don't even have any yet :D

  2. I do love these posts, it's good to see if they've stood the test of time and I love Orchard toys they are great x


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I read every one and try my best to reply!