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Ms Humdrum reviews: B Afternoon Tea Bus Tour around London

Family and friends, tasty tea, cute cakes, succulent sarnies, scrumptious scones… what more could you ask for? Some sightseeing around Central London please. Oh, and on a vintage red double decker bus, if you don’t mind. What I’ve described is exactly what you get from the B Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. Priced at around what I paid for the Ritz afternoon tea some five years ago, you rock up at Victoria bus station and check-in to board the bus. The waiting staff guide you on and you find your booth. I manged to get a photo before anyone arrived. 


The tea is set up for you and is sort of stuck down on the table with a little bit of material! Note the nice touches of the flowers adorning the sides of the bus and the tables with natty bus and shopper images. You settle in and order your first (of many) drinks. I had in my head that I’d be supping loose tea using a strainer out of a bone china cup and saucer. However that just isn’t going to work on a bus, I realise. So you are given travel mug…

Ms Humdrum reviews: The Taken escape room from Escape London

Escape rooms seem to be the new thing. You pay to be locked into a room, with your goal being to escape! But it’s a little more than that. Teamwork aids the solving of puzzles and challenges, with clues around you, be it icons or codes. There is not always just one room; often a second room is there for the finding. Based around a theme, this immersive style of game has really taken off, with even my mum completing one!

I was imagining a quiz based on general or specific knowledge, but no, it’s not necessary to have any prior information. Anyone can take part. Last week, on a family day out, I “Escaped” with my mum, cousin and her daughter. The rules were explained to us before we entered and we were told that while there was a camera, there was no audio. If we required help (yes you can ask for help!), we needed to dance in front of the camera and help would come via the TV screen in the room. Our theme was “Taken” - our good friend Bob had gone missing and we were entering the room w…

Book review - The Artificial Anatomy of Parks by Kat Gordon

I had loaded up my Kindle with books I thought I'd be interested in before my week long trip to Menorca in the summer, during which I managed to finish a record six books!

As I'd chosen this book months ago, I hadn't actually remembered I'd already read An Unsuitable Woman by the same author until I came to write this review. The two novels share similar themes, but are different enough not to have noticed the link, unlike my Liane Moriarty book, which, having read four of hers now, all tend to be feature similar characters (good reads though they are).

The Artificial Anatomy of Parks is Tallulah's story, past and present, starting in the present in her early twenties, called to the hospital as her father has had a heart attack. We learn how she grew up in a family filled with secrets (whilst obvious to us readers, not to the tender Tallie) and how she coped with personal tragedy. Not a likeable character at first (like the main protagonist in An Unsuitable Woman)…

Ms Humdrum recommends Clean Deodorant Balm, available at Southsea Bathing Hut

Let me start by saying I'm a Mitchum Girl. Those of you who recognise the name will know the safety promised (and delivered) by that green container. You won't sweat. You won't smell. Most of us probably aren't sweaty Betties, but the confidence offered by Mitchum keeps us purchasing. It's actually an antiperspirant-deodorant, a deodorant hiding BO and an antiperspirant preventing sweating. These green (ironic) scent-sentries lining up are recyclable in most areas, but still they add up. I am not an eco-warrior as such, but I am trying to be aware of what I consume. But I don't want to smell. So it was with a heavy pit that I made the decision to try out a natural deodorant brand which didn't contain nasties, was ethically created and, most of all, worked. 

I love Southsea Bathing Hut's own facial oil (reviewed here) and the chocolate lip balm they sell. Mr Humdrum loves their stuff (also in my review) so they were my first stop for a suitable product. S…

A walk from Portchester Castle to Salt Cafe

Well we just had to choose the worst day of the year to walk. The date had been set weeks before - who knew there would be the worst winds of the decade almost on this very day? But we didn't want to be beaten. We will walk to the cafe. At least it wasn't raining!

Parking is free next the castle and obviously, it wasn't busy this day! We set off around the outside of this medieval monument. The sea wall affords views across to Portsmouth and Gosport, and Portsdown Hill if you look behind. You can see the Spinnaker Tower in my photos, but you'd have to zoom in. The sea wall leads to a walk along a path, switching between grass (a much more sheltered area) beside a playpark, and the beach. It is an easy, flat walk, made slightly harder in the wind. After 1.75 miles, you reach the Salt Cafe (@saltcafe66). This took us one hour - that wind did slow us down!

I've had a breakfast bap there before and remember it being delicious, but slightly expensive. But today, we went f…

Book review - Big Little Lies (and other books) - Liane Moriarty

"Oh, she 's very popular this summer," a Waterstones assistant tells me as I go into try to buy this for my friend's birthday. I end up choosing Nine Perfect Strangers for her instead, which I've also read, along with Three Wishes. I am a ex-booker, now a Kindler. (I have long since abandoned my crowd-led exclamations of "Oh it's just not the same as holding a book in your hands" etc. In fact, I've come to realise that I don't want to store another book in the house, or pack it off to the charity shop/save for the next car boot sale - I just want to READ the bloody thing. And my latest infliction, an arthritic thumb, sometimes makes holding books very painful, believe it or not. And I do buy the books that are important to me - like the latest Harry Hole or Rebus books. OK why did I need to justify all of that?) 

One of my things with being a Kindler is that I just find another book from the same author, purchase, rinse and repeat. I ended up…

Ms Humdrum recommends... The B-52s

The B-52s - Hurry up and bring your jukebox money!
London Apollo, Sunday 30 June 2019

It's been a week since we saw them and my opinion is still the same - one of the best live shows I've ever seen. Here's why.

I first like to explain what sort of a fan I am. Mr Humdrum is more the fan that I am, although I'm quite familiar with most of their albums. I knew (and loved) Rock Lobster and Planet Claire from my local nightclub in the 80s and much preferred the earlier stuff to the poppier Love Shack/Roam singles.

Off we popped last Sunday to the Hammersmith Apollo, via the Rik Mayall Bottom bench. What a venue (the Apollo not the bench!) - art deco, built in 1932 and currently in a gorgeous shade of green. A stunning bar leads into the (last week seated) venue. Late tickets equal restricted view, but we found a spot between two pillars and I managed to see quite a bit more than I usually can at gigs, being of slightly smaller stature than the majority of the audience. I did re…