Victorious Festival 2014.


Walking toward the festival site, the weather is gorgeous, the atmosphere is buzzing and we are excited to see what Victorious Festival has to offer.
As we collect our passes we are greeted by a lovely woman who asks us
“What's a Whimbiscuit? We were all wondering.”
“It’s a whimsical treat” I explained, “a treat you give yourself that you don’t necessarily need but would very much enjoy, like getting a pack of your favourite biscuits to dunk in your tea, or, if you like, great furniture, or indeed a bank holiday festival. We review all those type of luxuries for our readers”.

She laughs and we enter the festival to be instantly amazed as to how the Victorious guys have transformed Southsea seafront into a not so little festival village. There are food stalls lining the streets, a kids area (one of two) in front of the beautiful Southsea Tennis Pavillion, and a cocktail bar, all within the first 100 metres of entering.
Following the one way system- all tailored to kept fluidity within the crowds, we end up at the ‘Seaside Stage’. Grabbing ourselves a beer, we meet up with some friends and find a spot to watch our first band of the weekend.



One of great things about Victorious Festival is they have loads of local bands on the line up, one of which is the first band we watch. The Exits are an electronic, indie, rock band that have been together for a number of years, and this really shows in their music and live show. We were completely captivated by the awesome anthems they were booming out, and their lead singer Roy has all the characteristics of a great rock n roll front man, with the voice to match. I can’t help thinking they would have benefitted from playing later in the day though, with a great light show and evening crowd to dance to their rhythmic beats.

After they finished we went for a wander around the site to see what else it had to offer. Walking to the ‘Castle Stage’ area, we get our first view of what will be one of the most photographed sights of the weekend. On top of the hill with a view over the festival, is a huge lit up ‘Victorious’ sign with flags flying high.
It’s a sign that stands it’s ground and says “we are here, and we are staying”.


As Max Stone and his band play their soulful tunes in the background, we stroll over to the acoustic stage to grab a drink from the many accessible bars. Although with average cost of £4.50 a pint, it’s hefty, yet certainly consistent with other festival's prices, and like many, no food or unsealed soft drinks are to be brought by visitors from outside. Soft drinks on the other hand, were very reasonably priced (free to drivers who had a car-park pass).

Sitting on a bale of hay, we enjoy some acoustic delights from a number of artists that include- Sam McCarthy, Secret Smile and a few tunes in between by Southsea Alternative Choir. Filling us with joy, we spend the rest of the afternoon meandering around the huge market area, and more food stalls (somewhat limited vegetarian/vegan options however perhaps).

With a little stop at the Real Ale tent to experience what it has to offer, we return back to the castle arena, for a good old Southsea sing along to Razorlight.
The crowd is huge and Razorlight smash it out of the park, its safe to say they were a massive triumph.
As we take a seat on the hill, with the sign shining bright above us, Dizzee Rascal takes to the stage. The atmosphere is jumping and there isn’t a single face without a beaming smile on it. We jump to our feet and dance our little socks off with thousands of others there. Dizzee knows exactly what he’s doing, playing all of his hits, none better than Bonkers (obviously), and finishes his set with the crowd shouting for more.
Mrs Biscuit and I didn’t finish our Saturday there though, and we head over to the LJRs Silent Disco Big Top to dance the night away to the sounds of Southsea’s It’s A Sin vs Chaos DJs. Later on we find leaving the festival was easy with its methodical system, yet getting a taxi was not. Prior preparation it seems, wins the day.

Sunday morning, we make our way back to the festival site. We pop into Southsea Skatepark to watch some the skate, bmx and scooter displays, then to the Strong Island Tent, the Beats and Swing Tent, and the Casemates Showcase to explore as much as we can of this impressive festival. It’s hard to believe it is only three years old, and that this is the first year at the seafront location. There is so much to see and do, and there really is something for everyone.


Local band Kassassin Street,  is another that has obviously worked on their craft, with their melodic, atmospheric, psychedelic rock, and a singer with quite a hauntingly beautiful voice, we would highly recommend everyone takes a listen. Shed-7 followed by bringing back their 90’s rock, and as we sang our little hearts out with friends, one of my personal favourite moments of the weekend was when they ended their set with Chasing Rainbows.

Ocean Colour Scene over by the sea (how fitting) really didn’t disappoint, with an arena full to the brim. They took full advantage, and had every single person belting out their songs back to them. So much so, everyone was still singing ‘The Day We Caught The Train’ long after they’d left the stage.


The crowd quickly moved over to watch the daddy of dirty blues, Seasick Steve himself, showcasing the ease of drifting between stages at this well designed festival. With just two people performing, the intensity that they created was phenomenal, further extended by an energetic set from 2Manydjs.  Grooving tunes also filled the 'secret disco' from Justin Robertson who brought the end of the night over at the ‘Civilisation Of The Rough’ tent.

With only few murmurings of epic queues at the bars, and perhaps not enough toilets, these issues are minimal, and as you might expect at a festival. All we can say at team Biscuit however- with our extraordinarily priced £20 a day tickets- is long may Victorious Festival continue. With 2015 early bird tickets already on sale, we recommend getting them quick. If they can pull off such a triumphant weekend in only it’s third year, just imagine what they can do in their fourth.



Victory to Victorious!  

(Pics- by Whim Biscuit).

Cordless easy cleaning with Vax Life Vacuum.

The Mrs and I have just moved house, a process that we hate the fuss and bother of, and is universally noted by many as being up there in a list of things that can be totally annoying. Especially when it comes to that 'final house clean' and you find all those spare socks under the sofa that your cat has dragged there like months ago. Not only that, my ancient henry hoover was just not on it's best form, and whilst the old house was all wood floors, the new is fully carpeted. So, with this in mind, and a new fluffy addition to the Biscuit household (blog post coming soon!), a good vacuum is exactly what we needed.

Now I am definitely the gadget obsessive in the house, and I love anything with some technical wizardry, so when we were asked to review the latest in cleaning technology, the cordless Vax Life Vacuum, I couldn't wait to try it out- and Mrs Biscuit was thrilled I was this excited about cleaning.

Lightweight, and unplugged, this upright vac is neat and much more streamline than what you would expect. It uses wind tunnel technology, and lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, as well as a super easy to empty bag-less system, to help make everything as convenient as possible. For the sensible among us, who wonder and muse about warranties and the like, this comes with a superb x6 year guarantee for total peace of mind.

The first thing we noticed with this vacuum, was how light and easy to manoeuvre it was. The base glides and turns effortlessly, although we wish there was a release switch or something that unchecked it from upright position, to moving. You kinda have to push it with your foot to get it to click back, and as soon as you tilt it slightly upwards it can lock back upright again.

It's chargeable battery is so easy to remove, charge, and simply fit on again, similar to the way the dirt container just clicks on and off to empty. Theres no changing plug sockets as you go room to room, and no worry about effectiveness as you go from carpet to hard-floor surfaces. There are x2 settings to adjust this which change with the flick of a switch, allowing you to move from kitchen tiles, to even the heaviest pile rug. We loved how great it was at getting tufts of cat hair off the carpet, but it is such a shame that it does not have a tube extension, or handheld attachment, as it's kinda difficult to do any furniture, fixtures, or fittings.

The battery is supposed to last for up to x20 minutes, or enough to do a complete sweep around of a house, yet in reality we reason it lasts up to x15 minutes on the carpet setting max. We almost do the house in sections now, and recharge to take it upstairs later (so light going up the stairs- would be great for the elderly or those who struggle lifting perhaps). A solution perhaps is to purchase another battery, which we've heard a few of Vax cordless owners are already doing.

All in all, it's just the perfect vacuum for those who have a flat, have no storage and still wish for an upright vacuum, or those who hate lugging heavy appliances. Thus as noted before, ideal for older people who don't wish to bend down to change the plug all the time, and maybe students. It's only real let down is the lack of handheld/tube attachments, as you can't get into the nooks and crannies that gather dust that easily, or skirting boards etc, so we'll be keeping another vacuum just for that.

Keep checking the Vax site for deals and special offers. At time of sending to us it came with a free steam cleaner, and at other times we've heard it can be reduced every now and then. With consistent free delivery, it's just a really great product, with a really innovative design. Thumbs up.

An Eco-Pan by Ozeri with non-stick-ability.

We were delighted to be asked to review some of the newest technology in cook-ware, especially a pan that is not only stylish in a modern green, but also immensely practical with a new unique ceramic based non stick surface. Mr Biscuit got excited by 'the science' of it all, as it boasts that it has no harmful toxins/fumes that some research has highlighted as a potential no-no from traditional non-stick surfaces. It's wow list continues with claims of being eco-friendly, durable, super-scratch-resistant, and being made from a high quality anodized-aluminum combined with a magnetized-bottom for induction stoves.


So we've had this delight for a month now, and we just adore it. It literally is our go-to-pan for everything from a fried-egg, to a quick stir-fry. Everything glides across the surface with ease, the Bakelite handle ensures that theres no ouch moments either, and the great thing about it is....oh who are we kidding....there are multiple great things- mostly that you don't even have to use any oil to make it non-stick, and that its just a dream to clean.
You can purchase this design in multiple sizes and shapes, and is especially easy to order via Amazon.co.uk. Go with haste though, before everyone get's them with their very modest price.


Victorious Festival- music, fun, and hopefully some sun this bank holiday.

Living in the south of England, we are somewhat spoilt for choice when it comes to the festival season. None however, have us here at team-biscuit more excited than Victorious Festival, in the beautiful historic city of Portsmouth.


This August bank holiday weekend (sat 23rd & sun 24th), Southsea seafront will be transformed into a wonderland of amazingness.
In only it’s third year, Victorious Festival has already become one of the most anticipated events of the summer. This is complimented by an absolutely amazing line up. With headliners, Tom Odell, Ocean Colour Scene, Dizzee Rascal, and Seasick Steve, you’ll have the weekend of your life. Not to mention the  hundreds of other signed and unsigned bands, DJ’s  and performers. There will also be one of the biggest, bestest silent discos you will ever bop your little socks off to (full line up HERE).

If that’s not enough to make you swoon in delight, there’s so much more to see and do- including an indoors real ale festival, a smugglers market for all you vintage lovers out there, and huge free kids area for all of your little angels to cause havoc.

One of the most amazing treats with this years festival, is that many of the seafronts attractions are all free entry with your Victorious ticket. These consist of, the aquarium, Southsea Skate Park, Southsea Castle, and the D-Day Museum.
Phew… They really have thought about everything and everyone.

“Why Mr Biscuit, you haven’t told us how much it costs yet?”

You’re right, that's because it's the best part…

You can enjoy all of this breathtakingly tremendous fun for the incredible price of £20 per adult per day! Children between 5-15 can go for £6 a day, and under 5’s go free!
There is also weekend car parking for an extra £12 (all prices subject to a booking fee).

Don’t miss out, I know we’re totally excited.

Let us know what you’re looking forward to there by tweeting us @whimbiscuit -we’d love to hear from you.

For more information and to buy tickets visit - www.victoriousfestival.co.uk

Featured Artist- My Dog Sighs.


Luxury lifestyle could mean many different things to different people. Here at Whim Biscuit we hope we resonate the feeling that it certainly doesn’t mean you have to be the most affluent people, and that it doesn’t mean you must have all the latest styles and trends and trinkets. To us it means filling your heart and home with richness in the ways of kindness, hope, and things of good value.
We review spaces, and places, and objects in a fair and un-biased way, and we never work in association with, are sponsored by, or advertise things that we don’t personally feel will provide our readers with quality and useful-ness.

Something Mr Biscuit and I love to enrich our homes with is art. Art can brighten the glummest of days, and lift the most basic of houses. It is this brightening and anti-glum effect that is an example of something that adds luxury to your lifestyle, even if’s home-made (actually, especially if it’s home-made).


We are lucky enough here in the South-East of England, to enjoy a fantastic arts and crafts scene and culture. There is a distinct community and passion, that is encapsulated in particular by a certain artist that is a favourite of ours- My Dog Sighs.

For ten years My Dog Sighs has literally given away his work as part of the Free Art Friday project. A project he founded, leaving art scattered around cities so people can find and cherish them, now inspiring artists from around four continents to do the same. In recent times, he has gained a well deserved loyal following, and indeed has sold-out five shows. We admire his variance in styles, from the much-coveted can-people and deep meaning full eye-paintings, to the minimalist hug-men.


The cans in particular, produced from a desire to work alongside the urban landscape, to re-purpose materials that are rejected, provide a narrative through his imparting a personality and story into the remaining tin. Their characters all call out for a new home with their often wistful expressions, all painted with such care and precision.

For years now, Mr Biscuit and I have studied hints on his Free Art Friday page, often talking time in the evenings after work to try and search for these lost and whimsical souls. We haven’t had the pleasure to meet any so far, but it’s the journey that counts and the enjoyment through the adventure it brings.




 After all, there will always be a cozy space on our shelves for a lonely can-man, he just hasn’t found us yet, that’s all.


Pics from www.mydogsighs.co.uk/

Something for the Valentines Weekend….or you know….any weekend really..


Might we just take a moment to wish you a very happy Valentines Day, or indeed, just a very splendid Friday with a great excuse to relax, and reflect upon the lovely people in our lives. So even those who don’t celebrate this pink balloon and red rose filled occasion, maybe its just a great excuse to organize with a partner, family member, or friend- 
a spontaneous holiday in our own glorious British Isles for the weekend.
With a nod to ye olde’ times, why not keep the car at home and don your vintage suit for a journey on the rail-ways. There is something quite romantic about travelling by train, packing a picnic, and choosing a good few books to roam across the country/countries with. So here is Whim Biscuit’s top couple of choices for a weekend of off the cuff frivolity, audacious adventuring, and together-ness.


Cambridge

Where to Stay-

The Varsity Hotel and Spa is tripadvisor’s #1 choice for a Cambridge vacation. With it’s penthouse suites, spectacular roof top terrace, and Elemis Spa, it’s certainly a wonder to behold. With its boutique style, it is famed for it’s steakhouse and drink pairing, as well as a fabulous location a stone’s throw from the Magdalene Bridge.

Where to eat-


Ill Piccolo Mondo is a well-reputed, well-recommended gem of an Italian restaurant. It exudes tradition with its homemade pastas, variety of antipasti, and range of fine wines. Based just slightly outside central Cambridge in Bottisham, you’ll get to explore the area, and relish the authentic environment.

Where to go-

Cambridge is a city of architectural, and historic wonder. It’s famed for its skyline filled with impressive collages, chapels, museums, and of course the River Cam.
Whether you are there for the chance to punt your way along the river in a straw-boater, or enhance your art-history, there is always something spectacular to do. Of particular interest is of course the famous University buildings, Kings Collage and its chapel are of note and widely described as ‘totally worth the entrance fee’, as is Queen’ Collage, and Christ’s Collage, where it is said that poet John Milton once wrote among the trees in its picturesque grounds. The Fitzwilliam Museum also houses vast realms of antiquities from ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. There is no entrance fee, and it is a gem of a place to while away a few hours marveling over masterpieces.


Edinburgh

Where to stay-



The Witchery is known for is opulent grandeur and exceptional culinary experiences in the restaurants it runs, but hidden in the buildings by Edinburgh Castle, are just nine suites all equal in gothic glamour, and over the top eccentricity that they would put a West-End theatrical production to shame. We love the decadence, and having the pleasure of dining there before on a previous visit- we know its on our to-do list to go back and stay in this mysterious abode.

Where to eat-

Nothing is more quintessential than afternoon tea, so why not enjoy it to it’s fullest capacity by indulging in a fine example from The Balmoral. Be serenaded in it’s Palm Court by a harpist playing from the balcony. Enjoy its exceptional service, and savor the lovely sandwiches, melt-in-the-mouth scones, and wonderfully fragrant tea- or champagne if you prefer, there is of course a choice to enjoy some Bollinger while you relax.



Where to go-

Edinburgh is a place you could visit for a weekend full of wows, or a full week of wonder. Plan ahead though and you can get some great deals with city cards, and booking in advance. We still have a variety of amazing things that Mr Biscuit and I have to do, but we highly recommend the following. Take a half a day out and explore, climb Calton Hill and scramble up Nelson’s monument. Take a thermos and absorb the amazing views of the city. Or literature fans can venture up neighboring Arthur’s Seat as featured in David Nichols’ book ‘One Day’, followed by the famous Elephant House cafĂ© where J.K. Rowling scripted Harry Potter. For thrill seekers and adventurers however, book onto a twilight tour with the Mercat team for an underground ghost tour and many a haunting tale.
Edinburgh is a favorite place of ours, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


Travelling by train is an easy way to organize a trip, and to travel cross country, you can literally book with CrossCountrytrains.co.uk who offer cheap tickets and an easy booking experience.

Thank you.