Monday, November 24, 2014
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Delticom: Winter tyres: Myth and reality

Nothing lasts as well, or as stubbornly as a prejudice. This also applies to getting the right winter tyres for your car. “Too noisy”, “too slow”, “increase fuel consumption”. Winter tyre moaners can be really creative in finding excuses why they shouldn’t move over to “winter specialists”. But what is actually the truth behind the most common winter tyre prejudices? Here’s a check list of 5 typical statements.

“Only use them in ice and snow”

Are winter tyres only of benefit on snowy or icy roads? Anyone who believes that is way off the mark. Due to their special rubber blend, cold weather tyres or winter tyres perform better than summer tyres in terms of grip even at temperatures of seven degrees Celsius and less. More grip means more safety and it also reduces braking distance.

“You don’t need them in the city”

It is common knowledge that the picturesque British winter of country landscapes covered in white powder like snow is not exactly the norm. This is why winter and cold weather tyres have an advantage over summer models, and not just when there is a good covering of snow. “Even if you’re only driving around town, you shouldn’t go without winter tyres. Just one day of snow fall can really reduce your mobility, particularly when you have to rely on your car”, explains Philip von Grolman from

“Winter tyres are really loud and increase fuel consumption”

Another widespread prejudice is that driving comfort suffers with winter tyres. Modern winter tyres are comfortable, and generally no louder than comparable summer tyres. Nor is there any loss of ride comfort compared to summer tyres. Motorists do not have to worry about increased fuel consumption; extra costs related to fuel consumption caused by tyres are a thing of the past.

“Winter tyres lead to high additional costs”

A widespread mistaken belief: some motorists calculate that changing from summer to winter tyres according to the seasons means having two sets of tyres, and so twice the costs. They’re forgetting one thing: The wear and tear of every kilometre you drive is spread over both sets of tyres, so that they wear down more slowly, and have to be changed less frequently. This is a clear advantage for the driver.

“Winter tyres are slow”

This one can also be put to bed very quickly. There is a wide variety of winter tyre models in many different designs which should also appeal to sporty drivers. You can tell the relevant maximum driving speed allowed by the index on the side of the tyre. “T” stands for a top speed of 190 kilometres per hour, “H” for 210 km/h, “V” for “240 km/h. However, it is strongly recommended that you adjust your speed according to the weather conditions. Motorists can get an overview of what models are suitable for their own car in online stores such as in just a few clicks of a mouse.

Buying tyres online is becoming more and more popular

New tyres in the click of a mouse: The automotive area was swept along by the online shopping boom a long time age. One quarter of all motorists surveyed have already bought tyres on the Internet, according to Delticom’s 2014 Report. More than 5,000 motorists in five European countries, including Great Britain, were surveyed as part of the study. British consumers in particular can see themselves buying their tyres online more and more in future on websites such as

Tyres are available at the online stores and, and Delticom online stores in other countries.

Online store for spare parts:

Other online stores in the UK:

For garages and dealers:

Motorcycle tyres:

Tyre test site:

For more information on the company, please visit:


Disney Stores across the UK partner with national charities to donate soft toys as part of its Letter to Santa campaign

-          Star Studded Launch Event at Oxford Street Store -

This year, Disney Store is supporting both Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and In Kind Direct, for its annual ‘Share the Magic’ charity campaign, which officially launched last night with celebrities and their families attending a special  event at London’s Oxford Street Disney Store.

The ‘Share the Magic’ initiative invites families to post their own Letter to Santa at Disney Stores across the country and online at For every letter that is posted a soft toy is donated to a child through Disney Store’s chosen national charities, up to a total of 25,000 across the UK and rest of Europe.  This is the sixth year that Disney Store has run the campaign and this Christmas is set to see the 100,000th soft toy donated to charity.

The ‘Share the Magic’ campaign will run throughout November and this year Disney Store is supporting Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity for its Oxford Street Store activity and In Kind Direct, who will help deliver donated Disney soft toys to hundreds of local children’s charities across the UK, bringing Christmas joy to thousands of children.

Graham Burridge, Managing Director, Disney Store Europe, said: “The response we get from families across the UK who help to support our ‘Share the Magic’ charity campaign year on year is wonderful and we are delighted that we have been able to bring a little Disney magic to so many children since launching the initiative six years ago. We really hope that everyone will get involved again this year and bring their Letter to Santa into our stores or post them online.

Michelle Heaton, Stacey Solomon, Kate Garraway and Claire Sweeney were among the stars that attended the Oxford Street launch event and joined in the fun by writing their own Letter to Santa. Last weeks event benefitted Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity with 10% of all sales being donated to the charity in addition to the donation of soft toys.

There are three ways children can get involved in the initiative, one of which is to write their Letter to Santa at home and bring it into their local store and post it into ‘Mickey’s magical post box’. Alternatively they can take part in free fun letter-writing workshops in their local store or they can go online to to use the letter writing tool then either post it digitally or print it at home and bring it into their local store.

The ‘Share the Magic’ campaign is one of a number of fun and free family activities that take place throughout the year in Disney Stores. These activities help provide special and memorable moments and experiences for families to share. Details of this activity and other events taking place in local Disney Stores can be found here:

Manhattan Grill West India Quay

Set on the ground floor of the Marriott overlooking the promenade and water and adjacent to West India Quay on the DLR, this is a hotel which matches some of the towering office blocks to be found in the area. A slender, but tall design the Marriott's Manhattan Grill challenges the plethora of eating establishments found along the quayside.

There is plenty of elbow room here with large comfortable leather chairs and a good amount of space between tables which vary in size. There is a small banquette area.

The colours are muted and there is plenty of window space devoted to the promenade. There are some classic Mid West rock songs but the music is turned well down and is unobtrusive. The toilets are a bit of a hike out through the lobby and behind the next door bar, but this is far from unusual in many hotels. One end is devoted to an open kitchen space and it is a great pleasure to see your steak prepared here. Did I mention steak? The Grill specialises in steaks and there are two different approaches - 28 days dry aged or 28 days wet aged. The former features Aberdeen Angus and the latter is Creekstone Kansas USDA Black Angus.However this might be getting ahead of yourself as there are some fine starters such as Crabcake (£12), Asparagus (£9) and porkbelly (£10) as well as a clam Chowder and King Prawns(£12). Of these we can report that the Asparagus which comes with a poached duck egg and hollandaise sauce is superbly crisp, which often isn't the case in some of the establishments we have ventured with this dish. King Prawns are of course a favourite all over the world, and wherever you come from you will find that these are delicately prepared in a chilli garlic butter, though for the more adventurous there is a small bottle of Tabasco on the side. Wipes are provided should you not wish to take the walk to the bathrooms to clean your hands after the prawns.

There are some other main courses on the menu, such as the namesake Manhattan Burger (£13.50) which comes with bacon, cheddar and fries. One of our party was very satisfied with this offering which is quite filling and features one of the juiciest burgers you will come across.  Other options include Cod, Baby back ribs, Chicken, Linguine and salmon with prices ranging from £8 to £23.

Anyway back to those steaks. Each of the wet or dry options comes in 3 sizes and there are also a choice of toppings and sauces. All are broiled at 650c. The wet aged is the gold standard of USDA beef and comes as a fillet, ribeye (bone in) or New York strip. USDA Certified prime beef comes from the great American plains and is grain fed for 150 days for unique marbling, subtle texture and unsurpassed flavour. Prices range from £27-£34 for sizes 6oz to 16oz. We tried the New York Strip (well done) and was far more than expected in that the flavour and texture were in harmony. This melts in the mouth and is soft and springy with some gentle sauces to complement it. We also had a stab at the Aberdeen Angus which is dry aged and comes as a fillet, T-bone or ribeye and ranges from 8-20oz £24-32. This was a firm but tender roundel which was just the right size, bearing in mind the generous portions to be found at this establishment. It doesn't need too much pressure from the knife.

Sides are around the £4.50 mark and you must try the creamed spinach which is a real treat as well as the seared mushrooms. There are good salads as well as chips, fries and mash.

There are just six dessert options on the menu and most of these come in at £6. They are pretty much what you would expect from cheescake to Quay lime pie. We tried this pie and also the sundae (both £6) and the latter will definitely fill you out if you are not already.

The kids menu is not just an afterthought. This is carefully thought through and should appeal even to the most fussy of eaters. Starters include mushroom soup and a popular dish of grilled cheese and fries sandwhich. There is even a 4oz mini steak on the main course menu so that they don't feel left out. Other options are chicken strips, fish and chips as well as spaghetti.

Service is knowledgable about the steaks and how they are prepared but also unobtrusive.

So far we haven't mentioned drink. There is an extensive wine list. With 7 fizz/champagne and seven each in the whites under refreshing, fruity or full bodied options, but it is the reds which have a whole page to themself. Pride of place goes to a 1999 Rothschild at £499 (which we didn'y try out). There are several other fine wines to try out and even the more modest offerings are of quality. we opted for the Rose which was truly excellent.

Manhattan Grill works closely with the Rothschild Estates across the world to offer guests a wide selection of wine from new and old world vineyards. Their professional wine preserving system allows them to offer glasses of fine wines to guests ensuring guests never have to pass up an opportunity to try a number of wines during their visit. - See more at:

So ideal for city types, but also well worth travelling to seek out and luxuriate.

Mamas & Papas competiton

Check out the Mamas & Papas Pinterest competition – Pin to Win

Running until midnight on 24th November participants are invited to create a mood board which showcases their ideas for a print design for  their dream stroller. Each mood board needs at least 10 pins – 5 pins to illustrate their print themes, and 5 pins to showcase the colour palette of their choice. The winning board should use colour and print to reflect not only the personality and versatility of the Armadillo Flip but, the Mamas & Papas style and brand ethos as well.

The winner – to be announced on Wednesday 26th November – will receive an Armadillo Flip in a colour of their choice.

To enter simply login to Pinterest – follow @ Mamasandpapasuk and create your own pinboard entitled My Dream Stroller

Novotel London City South.

Taking the family to stay in a four star hotel can be a daunting prospect, especially if one of them is only five years old. Many hotels do not really cater to the smaller ones and are not really that happy to see them, though they may try to hide it behind fake smiles.

However, The Novotel London City South offers a warm welcome to everyone, whatever their age. They seem to genuinely care whether you enjoy your stay and go out of their way to make you feel welcome, Making sure that you are aware of everything the hotel has to offer.

The family room we stayed in had an intriguing bathroom. With glass separating the bathroom from the bedroom, it looked as if you could see everything that was happening in the bathroom. Great if the little one wants to go and you relax on the bed and keep on eye on them from the bed whilst watching a film. Then, if you suddenly need privacy for the bathroom, at the touch of a button the glass becomes opaque and the occupant of the bathroom is no longer visible. Hours of fun for all the family with that alone. 

The room itself was nicely decorated, the beds were very comfortable, even the occasional bed was one of the best I have slept on. These beds are designed to be used for families and why should any member of the family not have a good nights sleep. Good and reasonably priced room service menu.

All in all a most enjoyable stay. The breakfast was good, plenty of it. You could even make your own pancakes and top them any way you liked. Plenty of breakfast choice and if you want the eggs done a certain way, they are only too happy to oblidge.

Handy for the West End and only a few minutes walk from London Bridge Station. An excellent family hotel for ALL the family.

The 4-star hotel puts you close to London Bridge, Borough Market, the Shard and the South Bank. The West End and O2 Arena are just a short tube ride away. It's 182 guest rooms welcomes you with free internet access. Elements restaurant has a tempting international menu, while Clinks Bar has light meals and a full range of drinks. Work out in the fitness suite, or relax in the sauna or hammam. The 5 fully-equipped meeting rooms can welcome up to 100 guests for conferences, meetings or weddings. Click for more info on Novotel and other locations.

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