Michael 84

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Friday, 5th January, 2018

AU Vodka Review Is It Golden?

Au Vodka Review

I love trying new vodkas, and I heard about AU Vodka a while ago, and since it’s Christmas, I got a bottle. Over the past year or so I’ve tried a lot of plain vodkas, and reviewed them on the blog. From Reyka vodka to Our Vodka London, and Legend of  Kremlin, they all have their own individualises and qualities.

The biggest draw to this one is the gold bottle, which really does look the part. AU is the symbol for gold, so it all ties in with the branding. It’s a standard 70ml bottle size, and is a higher than most 40% vol vodka, and 5 times distilled.

The vodka is a premium vodka and tastes as such. It is quite smooth, but not the smoothest vodka which I’ve ever tasted, but I have tried quite a few premium bottles in my time, it is quite pleasant to drink. It has a sharpness to it, you can really get a taste of the vodka with that warm, alcohol kind of kick to it.

Drinking this in a cocktail or just using one mixer it goes down very easily. I tested it out with Red Bull as I do with most plain vodkas and it tasted very nice, easily drinkable and enjoyable.

It comes in at around £32-£35 which is at the higher end, which is around the same as Crystal Head or Absolut Elyx vodka, but slightly more than something like Ciroc, Grey Goose or Belvedere.

If you’re looking for a nice vodka and a bottle to do the talking for you, this is definitely a contender.

Does AU Vodka have the gold standard

Thursday, 4th January, 2018

Take Me Out 2018 Girls – Series 10 Photos

Take Me Out Series 10 2018 - Girls Photos

It’s back in it’s usual place for January 2018, a New Year means a new Take Me Out, Paddy is up to series 10 now, so it’s time to…

Bring on the girls!

There will be two special episodes of Take Me Out this year. One will see the script flipped and the ladies will be picking the lads, so it will be a first ever, Bring on the boys. For the celebrity special this year it will be Chloe Sims from TOWIE and gold medal winning gymnast and Strictly Come Dancing semi finalist Claudia Fragapane choosing one of the boys. Another special will see the older generation have their chance, with lucky gents coming down the love lift.

Take Me out is back on Saturday 6th January 2018

But you want to see photos and know more about the 30 girls who’ll be gracing your TV screen every Saturday night? Here they come…

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Wednesday, 3rd January, 2018

New Men’s Grooming Products For 2018

Grooming Products From Christmas

What better way to get 2018 off to a good start, than with some new men’s products!

At Christmas I think every man get’s the same stuff…Scents or skincare products. One of the most universal gifts you can get for any man is men’s grooming, you can’t really go wrong with male products. Along with socks and underwear, it’s a standard kind of thing to get. I got quite a bit, as most lads tend to at Christmas, and all of this stuff will last me quite a while!

My go to shaving gel has been King of Shaves for years. I don’t actually know how long for, but it’s been a favourite for a while, and I got two bottles, it’s definitely not the first time you’ve seen it on the blog.

The same can be said about Post Shave Balm, which I swear by. Nivea MEN Post Shave Balm is one of the first ones I ever tried years ago, and never looked back since. I’ve been using quite a few different brands and products for post shave, all of them really good, but it will be nice to go back to this classic. I also got the skin revitaliser face cream which I’ve never used which I look forward to trying out.

When it comes to face scrubs I prefer to not use them every day, and I already have a lot, and now I have even more! I got these two from Bulldog, it may take me a while to get to them.

I got a new bottle of another go to product, this time toothpaste, and I use BLANX.  This one is the white shock which I’ve never tried before, so it will be interesting to see how it compares to the original formula.

Finally I got a set from L’Oreal MEN Expert which contains face wash, shave gel, moisturiser and shower gel. I’ve had most of these products before, and I have to say that I love the Shave gel. It’s got Ice Effect, and I can honestly say that it feels so cool on the skin while shaving, and has a really nice scent. I used it last year and loved it, it really rivals my King of Shaves as my favourite shave gel. I don’t think I’ve used the shower gel before, I’ll be able to see what that’s like soon.

I got a few more grooming products which I will write about in more detail over the coming days/weeks. Let me know if you have any skincare or products tips for 2018 🙂

Sunday, 31st December, 2017

December Music Playlist & End Of Year Chart 2017

The Michael 84 Playlist

Have you had enough of the Christmas songs yet? 😀

We wait all year to hear some Christmas songs, and as soon as it’s time to play them, we seem to get sick almost immediately. I have to say that I like the Christmas songs more and more each year, maybe it’s a sign of getting old? 😀

I usually write a playlist every month and also do an end of year chart, but I thought I would combine the two in this post, so first of all here’s my playlist, which has to include some Christmas music.

  • Mud – Lonely This Christmas
  • Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
  • Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody
  • Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
  • East 17 – Stay Another Day
  • Wham! – Last Christmas
  • Rita Ora – Anywhere
  • Big Shaq – Man’s Not Hot
  • Bebe Rexha – feat. Florida Georgia Line – Meant To Be
  • Robin Schulz F/ Hugel – I Believe I’m Fine
  • Fergie – Save It Till Morning

End Of Year Chart 2017

My end of year chart isn’t a chart, it’s just a playlist. I usually do a chart or rank the songs, but I don’t think there’s much point. Everyone knows the best song of the year, my favourite, Despacito by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (Not the terrible Bieber version). I have liked Reggaetón music since I spent the Summer in Mallorca way back in 2004, it’s never really been a big thing in the UK since most lyrics are in Spanish, but it’s had it’s moments, Gasolina by Reggaetón king Daddy Yankee in 2005, and has had other influences even when most people will be unaware (Don Omar had a track in Grand Theft Auto IV). 2017 seen the resurgence of reggaeton music to a global audience, even though it will be seen as a fad to most of the UK, for the people who like it, it’s always going to be good music. So here’s my end of year playlist, with a lot of reggaetón and latin influence in there!

  • Daddy Yankee & Luis Fonsi – Despacito
  • Shakira – Me Enamoré
  • Jennifer Lopez F/ Gente de Zona – Ni Tú Ni Yo
  • J. Balvin, Willy William – Mi Gente
  • Ofenbach – Be Mine
  • Axwell /\ Ingrosso – More Than You Know
  • Little Mix F/ Stormzy – Power
  • Bombai – Solo Si Es Contigo
  • Maluma – Felices Los 4
  • DJ Khaled F/ Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts
  • Carly Rae Jepson – Cut To The Feeling
  • Sigala & Ella Eyre – Came Here for Love
  • Shakira – Chantaje
  • Enrique Iglesias ft. Descemer Bueno, Zion & Lennox – Subeme La Radio
  • Camila Cabello – Crying in the Club
  • Camila Cabello – Havana
  • J-AX & Fedez F/ T-Pain – Senza Pagare
  • Clean Bandit F/ Zara Larsson – Symphony
  • The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – Something Just Like This
  • Little Mix F/ Machine Gun Kelly – No More Sad Songs
  • Zedd F/ Alessia Cara – Stay
  • Stormzy – Big For Your Boots
  • Jax Jones – You Don’t Know Me
  • Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill
  • Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You

And that was it for 2017! I always love the summer hits and bangers, and thank god we had one this year! 2018 is next, let’s see what it’s got in store.

Friday, 29th December, 2017

I Got A New Monitor! An LG Infinity IPS Display

LG Infinity Monitor

I got a new monitor! So the story goes like this…

I have needed a new monitor for around a year. You’ve probably seen my set up, and I run 2 monitors side by side which I’ve done for years, and now can’t live without. Last year one of my monitors kind of broke; It still worked but it took a lifetime to ‘warm up’, actually around 15 minutes, and it was pretty unusable until it did. But since it wasn’t completely broken, I just painfully lived with it for the past year, knowing I wanted to get a new one, but not knowing which one I wanted.

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Wednesday, 27th December, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas From Michael

Merry Christmas To You All! 🎅

I decided that I would pretty much stop blogging or doing social media over the past couple of days, it’s the holidays anyway and I guess that most people would be doing the same, or you should! 😀

I hope that you had a good Christmas, I did! It’s been filled with far too much food, and too many Christmas films. I started watching them about a week ago, and just got finished on Christmas Eve when I watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, which is my tradition. I also watched a lot of the older Christmas specials of The Royle Family, can you believe that the show started in 1999, when I was still at school!

It also means the end to Christmas jumpers, at least for this year, so this is the last time I’ll be wearing one, so back to the usual menswear and proper clothing. I got some cool things, I will post most of what I got including some fashion and some reviews in the coming days/weeks.

I will now check out the sales, there seems to be quite a lot on this year, so hopefully I’ll be able to find some bargains. Who has the best sales? Let me know if you’ve found something good.

If you have plans for NYE remember to check out my What To Wear On New Years Eve guide, if you’re looking for tips whether you’re going out for a big one, keeping it local or having a house party.

Saturday, 23rd December, 2017

Cîroc French Vanilla Vodka Review

Cîroc French Vanilla Vodka Review

I finally got the Cîroc French Vanilla Vodka!

So if you read my blog a few months back, you’ll remember that Cîroc announced French Vanilla, and if you’ve been reading for a long time you’ll know I love vanilla vodka, and I’ve tried and tested quite a few (read my which vanilla vodka is best post). When I heard about this back in August I wanted to get some, but it took them quite a while to bring it over to our shores, well they finally did, and I got myself a bottle.

Cîroc is premium vodka. The plain vodka is a very nice premium vodka, and they’ve been extending their flavours line, with things such as coconut, peach, red berry, amaretto and more. I got the brand new Summer Colada which they introduced in the Summer, and it went down well. The latest is French Vanilla, and needless to say it does taste good.

The bottle is the classic Cîroc bottle, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The standard size is 70cl, and is a standard 37.5% alcohol. The vodka is very rich and creamy, and you can really get a taste of the vanilla. It’s nice and smooth which is to be expected, and I think that it’s a really good option if you’re looking to get a vanilla vodka. The others, from brands like Absolut are also very nice, I don’t think it’s necessarily better, but definitely not worse, it’s just nice to drink. Being a premium spirit it’s more expensive, I paid around £26 for this, you’re paying for the good taste, brand and bottle.

I drink vanilla vodka with Diet Coke or Coca Cola which is so good, but if you can recommend any cocktails to use vanilla vodka in let me know 🙂

Ciroc French Vanilla Vodka Review - Tastes Very Nice

Monday, 18th December, 2017

The Laundrette Newcastle Review

The Laundrette Newcastle Review - No Cocktails Without Carbs!

Fancy a good cocktail on an evening? You’ll not get one in The Laundrette

The latest place in Newcastle boasting incredible cocktails is The Laundrette, a new establishment down Westgate Road. I use the word establishment but I should be calling it a restaurant, although that’s not the vibe I was getting before I went.

I was out on Saturday night and there was some buzz about this place, so since it’s a new venue I wanted to go. It’s located all the way to the bottom of Westgate Road, next to Revolution, and us around the new Student flats block. The building didn’t really exist previously, other than an eyesore of a building, I never knew what that was. So this new building went up, purpose built flats called Vita Students, and The Launderette is located on the ground floor.

The Laundrette has the catchphrase Carbs and Cocktails, but it seems like you can’t have the cocktails without the carbs. We went in, had a look at the menu and decided what we wanted to drink. The bartender asked if we were eating food, which we weren’t, and told us that they don’t have a licence to sell alcohol without food.

You can’t grab a cocktail in a place which boasts great cocktails!?

This was obviously disappointing. There are plenty of restaurant bars in Newcastle, from The Botanist to The Alchemist, Browns, Aveika and more which welcome people who just want to have a drink on an evening as well as accommodating the restaurant crowd. It’s kind of weird that a place with a neon cocktails and carbs sign and really play on the cocktail theme, don’t sell cocktails unless you buy food. The place was not too busy, and there were a few people sitting at the bar with drinks, and a group of lads standing drinking cocktails, so we didn’t really see the problem. Maybe a change to the slogan, “Cocktails, but only if you pay for Carbs” would be more fitting.

According to the licencing information, The Laundrette applied for “a licence for the sale of alcohol between 10AM and midnight daily, with late night refreshment between 11pm and 00:30 daily“. – This seems to be the opposite of what we were told by the staff.

The decor and interior of The Laundrette is pretty nice, and the staff seem friendly enough. Since I didn’t eat food, I can’t comment on that.

So overall, if you’re looking for great cocktails you’re in luck, because Jalou and Revolution are less than a minute away, with Tokyo less than 2 minutes away, and all are worth the visit. Sadly you can’t buy cocktails at The Launderette, so you’ll have to give that a miss.

The Laundrette

Address: 48 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1TT
Opening Hours: 10AM – 00:30 Daily
Dress Code: Smart
Music: Yes
Recommended Age: 25+
Guestlist/VIP: None
Bottle Service: None
Stag/Hen: No

Twitter: @LaundretteNcl

Saturday, 16th December, 2017

Fenwick Christmas Window Newcastle 2017 – Paddington Bear

Fenwick Window 2017 In Newcastle Features Paddington Bear

It’s tradition in Newcastle to go and see Fenwick Christmas Window, they’ve been decorating it and dressing it for years. I’ve featured it on the blog for a number of years, and it’s been Alice In Wonderland, a traditional Christmas scene, fairy tale forest and a whole lot more. This year the window theme is none other than Paddington! Who doesn’t love Paddington Bear, and this year sees the story of Paddington, from the train station to marmalade, it’s all featured.

Check out the images below, and you can also find the previous Fenwick Windows which I have covered here on the blog 🙂

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Tuesday, 12th December, 2017

Oral B 6500 Smart Series Black Toothbrush Review & Unboxing

Oral B 6500 Toothbrush review

Don’t you just hate it when something breaks and you have to replace it!?

A few weeks ago my toothbrush broke and I had to replace it. It was a Phillips Sonicare, and it was a pretty good toothbrush, until it broke. I cannot complain too much, I had it for so many years, and the one before that was a Sonicare too. This time round I was up for changing and trying something new, and on Black Friday the Oral B 6500 Black was on offer, so I decided to give that a try. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and here’s what I think.

First of all this is part of the Smart Series. Yeah that’s right, we now live in a ‘smart technology’ world, and we have such things as a smart toothbrush. It comes with a screen which has a timer on it, and displays some information too. You can also get an app which has more information, and it’s all connected via Bluetooth. To be honest, I haven’t bothered with the app so I can’t tell you anything about that part, I think it’s a bit excessive for just brushing teeth, but I may give it a try later and write about it.

Along with the toothbrush itself and the screen, the toothbrush comes with 4 heads along with the charging station. 4 heads is probably enough to last a year, and a pack of heads is pretty cheap, only £15 for 8 at Amazon at the moment, so it’s not too expensive to replace them.

My last Sonicare had some settings for different types of cleaning, but once they started, they pretty much stayed on as they were. The Oral B is pressure sensitive, so if you press hard on your teeth it slows down and a red light starts flashing. It almost seems like it’s because it doesn’t have the power, but that’s not the case, it’s by design. Lifting the brush head off slightly speeds it back up. This means it goes slower when you clean the tops and teeth nearer the back of your mouth, and faster when pressing lightly on the front teeth.

Since it was Black Friday I managed to get this for £50 which was a pretty decent deal, with the RRP being over £200. Overall I am happy with this, I think it’s good, my teeth do feel like they have had a good clean which is what you want.

Oral B 6500 Toothbrush Unboxing