Birmingham, West Midlands

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    Archaeologist and web editor who loves Egyptology and indie stuff. Former piano player..

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    • 27 May 2019

      Can I leave zero stars? Falcon Cars deserves this. I've been using Falcon Cars for months to cover my commute to work or uni when it's heavily raining or late and dark at night because it's a taxi company very active on Hagley Road and the Edgbaston area. However, I have experienced some bothering inconveniences and a poor customer service that led me to this review and stop using its services. The correctness of the service is unpredictable if not nil: the drivers do not use the meterometre to calculate the fair, sometimes you receive a text on your mobile after booking which thanks you for it and reminds you to reminds the taxi to use the device! You, company, should oblige your drivers to be fair!
      The service is uneven because the message that confirms your booking doesn't always arrive; hence you are pushed to call them back to be sure your car is going to pick you up.
      In two weeks in a row, my taxi arrived late for my booking, and it was late after work in a dark area, and I was alone.
      Last night I had enough: at 14:10 I booked to taxis to go and come back to work, never received the text message. My taxi to go back home was at 23:15. It never arrived. I call the company at 23:20, the recorded voice informed me that the taxi was coming in 4 mins. Around 23:30, I called again and after the recorded voice (a female voice - the general one - and the male voice telling me the time remaining and the number of my taxi), I spoke with an assistant. He apologised, but when I told him it was my second time experiencing a delay at night, he reminded me in an unpolite way that they are Muslim, so I had to understand that it's their holy month. He said that the taxi was coming in 3 minutes. At 23:40, I was still waiting for my taxi: I was alone, it was dark and getting cold. Most of all, I felt they were kidding me and making me guilty for not being Muslim, so for not understanding them. I booked my taxi in advance, so they committed to fulfilling, and I had no respect back while I'm polite and open to everyone.
      I think it's totally unfair and I don't refer to the sole customer service experience.

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    • 13 Mar 2018

      Finally, I made my stop at Tapas Revolution in the Grand Central station in Birmingham!
      The location is cool and colourful, on the second floor of the station and people can choose where to sit (bar or table).The space is quite small but everything is well curated. Note that it's quite cold because it's an open space and that - if you aren't familiar with the concept of "Tapas", tapas are finger food (small dishes thought to be shared with friends). Tapas are thus quite small in portions but I've found the two dishes, Torreznos con Mojo Dulce and the Pisto, really rich in flavour, original (traditional) and not oily. Piso is a sort of ratatouille without potatoes (thanks god): vegetables such as aubergine courgettes and peppers slow cooked in tomato sauce. The was recommended by Alfonso who also made me some company and had a nice chat with. (Nice to hear Spanish again)
      He's really friendly and told me a lot about Spanish cuisine and his way of cooking.
      Torreznos con Mojo Dulce are pork bite fried and flavoured with a particular glaze which spicy and slightly sweet. I knew already that taste, Spanish pimiento is spicy, dry and with a particular bitter twist unlikely chilli peppers. Despite this dish was fried, every single piece was crunchy and fragrant that is perfection in this case. Everything well presented.
      They were both fulfilling. I was craving to try churros and got some, the plate was filled with: such a surprise! Churros are fried dough accompanied with hot chocolate. Here too, the churros were perfectly cooked, fragrant and not oily. Unfortunately, the added sugar and cinnamon (despite nice and close to the Brit taste), deviate from the traditional concept, but all in all, they were delicious.
      I've got 3 tapas for around 11£ with a student discount. I would say too much, but all was well cooked and really fulfilling.
      It's weird to eat at the bar and seeing the staff around but I enjoyed the chat and the meal.
      Unfortunately, it's still too cold but the Tapas Revolution corner is better (in term of temperature) than Pho which is too exposed.
      Next time, no cinnamon and sugar on churros, please!

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    • 11 Dec 2017
      First to Review

      La Pasticceria Santoro a Marina di Ascea è un locale storico aperto nel 1976.
      Si trova a cinque minuti dalla stazione ferroviaria, a metà strada tra la stazione e il lungomare:
      un punto di ritrovo e di sosta facile da raggiungere.
      Offre una scelta stagionale ricca in un locale molto ampio: gelati artigianali prodotti con ingredienti cilentani a chilometro zero (noci e fichi del Cilento), cioccolate calde in inverno, crepes e granite in estate, piccola pasticceria assorita tutto l'anno con frolla fatta a mano.
      Da non perdere i coriandoli, biscotti di morbida frolla coperta da zuccherini colorati e uniti da gelatina, diffici da imitare, e i biscotti di pasta di nocciola con scaglie di nocciole (fragranti e meno dolci della pasta di mandorle).
      Le torte e le torte gelato fanno bella mostra nel banco frigo come lo zuccotto e la torta con pasta di nocciole dalla decorazione ad intreccio a mo di canestro.
      Consiglio i coriandoli e il gelato artigianale.
      E' un ottimo posto per una pausa caffè e dove scambiare quattro chiacchiere con la titolare: una signora amichevole e garbata con la quale passare del tempo è molto piacevole. Entrare da Santoro è come fare un saluto ad un amico di famiglia!

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    • 9 Aug 2017
      First to Review

      Santoro PassionFruit is a lovely, tiny kiosk in front of the sea and sea promenade in Ascea Marina. A white cabinet with large umbrellas for a refreshing stop, white-painted pallet furniture and comfy sitting. This is a fruit salad and smoothy bar which is unique in its genre in Ascea Marina: here one can have freshly made frozen smoothies, ice creams, fruit salads and some crepes on request. You can pick the fruits you like for your perfect combination or let the lovely owner prepare something right for you to match your tastes (in case you can't decide on your own). Santoro PassionFruit team cuts fruits and does its smoothies at that moment: fresh fruits and milk or fruits and yoghurt? The lady did an amazing and very refreshing melon and peach smoothie with yoghurt by knowing that I can't eat extremely sweet things. It was delicious: great in flavour, naturally sweet and not frozen but at the right cool temperature. That was pure perfection! Santoro PassionFruit also prepares smoothies with the famous figs of Cilento and it has a fig ice cream too. The selection of ice cream flavours is small but well balanced and genuine.They also do coffee! Super recommended: a huge frozen smoothie is 4€ and you can stay there for as much and long as you like. The team is extremely sweet!
      I hope it could be open all year around!

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    • Hairdressers, Spa

      Marina di Ascea, SA

      22 Apr 2017
      First to Review

      Basile Centro is a complete beauty salon located in Ascea Marina. It's my hair centre at the moment! It was born as a hair salon and has added a good variety of offers: manicure, pedicure, skin care and body care treatments, massages, hair removal, tan, make-up for wedding and events. The treatments offered by Basile Centro are both for women and me and the staff is very gentle and well prepared.
      The waiting there isn't long, but the atmosphere and the music are soft and nice, tho. The interiors are exquisite and mainly black and white with super comfortable chairs. In this centre, water is expired from wet hair with an innovative tool, all the tools used are the newest in their kind. Pietro, the top hair stylist and owner, analyses your hair and face in order to find the perfect cut. I've got an amazing 40's wavy asymmetric lob I'm in love with.
      Basile Centro is close both to the sea promenade and the small train station. The salon has a parking place and a lodge with old olive trees. Prices are perfect, cut and hairstyle is 20€. Basile Centro is also specialised in crazy hair colouring with allergen-free products!

      Basile Centro è un salone di bellezza in Ascea Marina, un piccolo paese marittimo in provincia di Salerno. Il centro può sembrare piccolo, ma mi ha sorpreso. Nato come salone di parrucchieri è arrivato ad offrire una vasta selezione di offerte: manicure, pedicure, trattamente viso e corpo, massaggi, depilazione, trucco sposa e per eventi. Molti trattamenti sono sia per uomo che per donna e lo staff è molto preparato e specializzato, oltre che gentile. L'attesa non è lunga, la musica e l'atmosfera di sottofondo è rilassante.
      L'interno è molto ben curato e chic, minimale e black&white, con sedute molto confortevoli. L'acqua viene letteralmente aspirata dai capelli con un meccanismo innovativo., come tutti gli strumenti adoperati che sono all'avanguradia. Pietro, il proprietario e top stylist, analizza il capello e la struttura del viso per consigliare il taglio migliore: ho avuto un bel taglio anni '40, un lob leggermente asimmetrico con morbide onde. Sono molto soddisfatta del taglio e del servizio!
      Il salone è vicino al mare e alla stazione ferroviaria; ha un parcheggio e loggia con ombrosi alberi di ulivo mediterraneo. I prezzi perfetti e onesti: taglio e piega sono 20€. Basile Centro è anche specializzato in colorazioni per capelli stravaganti e anallergici.

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