Bella.Blue Local Star

Britain born and raised on the streets of Inner-West Sydney, Bella Blue is passionate about finding a bargain wherever it is! A keen eye for excellence in both products & services, she, insists - nay, demands - both, from street eats to fine dining venues, public transport to limousine services. She loves shopping (mainly the window type!), eating out and checking out the local gig scene.In fact she loves it so much and looks forward to sharing her local knowledge with you all!

Joined 14 July 2008 Kings Langley, NSW

  • Australia Post

    Post Offices Lalor Park, NSW
    The staff who works here is much nicer than the other staff, but together they seem to balance things out. Always willing to offer a hand and serve customers with a friendly bit of banter and a smile. A good local spot to get your stamps, pay some bills and pick up your packages.
  • Subway

    Takeaways Woodcroft, NSW
    Good cookies, subs and service, Subway Woodcroft has it going on. Busy at lunch times and queues can make the door, but service is usually good and the subs freshly made and served. Not too bad for a Woodcroft establishment!
  • McDonald's

    Takeaways Doonside, NSW
    Yep, same as below. I feel like the kids who work here are either hearing impaired or seriously bored - bored enough to mess up your whole order. We've had so many things left out of our order, added to our order or changed altogether. Burgers are slapped together carelessly with ketchup and mustard leaking out the sides and wrappers loosely attached. As if eating at Maccas isn't offensive enough, this place manages to make it worse!
  • Hollywood Studios

    Photographers Wentworthville, NSW
    We really have nothing to compare the studio to but we did have an enjoyable time shooting with our photographer. Hollywood Studios claim to be the biggest purpose-built studio of its sort and both indoors and outdoors didn't let us down. What I appreciated the most was that there was no heavy sales push and no pressure for us to purchase photos. Yes, they were expensive: prints started from $295 for average sized images. A set of 3 photos (framed) would have set us back $989. If we could have afforded it we would have purchased a lot more of the artworks created, but unfortunately they were way out of our price range!
  • Pizza 2 Kebabs

    Takeaways Lalor Park, NSW
    Yeah, I don't know about this place. They used to do great pizzas at good prices. Now it's average pizzas that are overpriced. Disappointing that a local establishment such as Pizza 2 Kebabs would hike their prices up so much, especially considering the local demographic isn't exactly loaded. Anyway, I guess this just means we won't be frequenting Pizza 2 Kebabs as much!
  • Arya Hot Food

    Takeaways Seven Hills, NSW
    Similar to your old school General Store, Arya Hot Food sells a variety of items from tissue boxes to kilogram jars of garlic paste. Not sure what the deal is with the 'hot food' in their title though as I've never seen any hot food being sold. In any case, service is friendly and prompt. A good local spot!
  • Christian Parent Controlled Schools Ltd

    Schools Blacktown, NSW
    Let's start with prep: pre-school kind of facility. We sent our child here two days, and for two hours they plonked our toddler in front of a tele to watch 'Frozen', without our consent. The school brags a health-food policy, but then sends kids home with lolly-bags. Again, with or without consent. When this was addressed with the prep coordinator, they seemed annoyed and brushed it off, with the 'what's your problem' look on their face. The junior school is absent of any free-thinking, free from any progressive pedagogy and instead, uses old, tired, and traditional means to 'educate' young minds. Middle school wants to do the right thing by their students and have the Year Advisor badge that other schools do fairly well. But kids start with an advisor in grade 7 and then lose them in Year 9. The inconsistency carries on through to senior school, with poor learning spaces but great teachers (read: younger & passionate), poor pedagogy, but enthusiastic educators. The school boasts that it has no canteen, but has a cafe that sells Coke and cookies! Lots of healthy choices here. The school is void of any decent extra-curricular activities, bar sports. No debating, no chess tournaments, no mock trial. This is not a place I would recommend anyone send their kids.
  • Tara Anglican School For Girls

    Schools North Parramatta, NSW
    While Tara Anglican School is known to be an exceptional school this is more a review of the more-than-exceptional Junior School Library. It. Is. Unreal. A Rubik's Cube hangs from the ceiling while kids read, splayed on the floor reading, an outdoor reading area. The Teacher Librarians are amazingly, passionate and you can tell by the enthusiasm in the girls' eyes. It's a shame more libraries aren't as engaging and inviting as this one.
  • Zilver

    Restaurants Haymarket, NSW
    Went here for a wedding reception and had seriously high expectations after the bride-to-be raved about the 10 course seafood banquet. However, we were let down in a HUGE way. Everything about this restaurant screams tacky, plastic & 1990s. From the moment you arrive you are welcomed by a glaringly ginormous, life-sized sign advertising for your next event: From ONLY $998 per table. So now we now how much they got ripped off by. The wait staff are frantic and there were cables and leads running everywhere. Dinnerware was soiled, with glasses having chips in them, to cutlery having dried food stuck to them. Kudos to those who used chopsticks. Perhaps they were clean-ish. The vinyl covering on the chair covers had split, exposing its stuffing. The floor was stick - and it was carpeted?! What frustrated me the most was that halfway through each course, a whirlwind wait staff would hurriedly clear the table, taking my half-eaten dish with it. While the seafood was fresh, the meals were not as tasty as I'd hoped. Deep-fried taro & scallop was greasy and broken on arrival. The prawns were delish, as was the lobster. Abalone was chewy and overcooked. All in all, it was a very underwhelming night. If tacky, 1990s, plastic-covered Chinese restaurant is what you're after, then head to Zilver.

    Nail Salon Pennant Hills, NSW
    Forgot to mention that HP has really high hygiene standards, unlike many other nail salon chains. All equipment used, was sealed and sterile (phew!) and the pedicure basins were lined with plastic sanitary wadding. Such a lovely change compared to the many nail-salons out there who love to share fungal infections!
  • Paper Cranes Productions

    Photographers Sydney, NSW
    Paper Crane Productions have a seriously talented crew on board. The videos and the narratives within them are flawlessly created, with sweeping shots and amazing focal points. While they are not cheap - packages start from about $5000 - the end product is marvellous. Great if you have the funds but also great if you just want to visit their site or FB page to get a couple of hints and tips on what to include in your DIY videography haha! Lots of fun!
  • Temasek Restaurant

    Restaurants Parramatta, NSW
    Did someone say MSG? If I didn't notice it before, I most certainly noticed it last time I was there. Thirsty throughout my meal, and thirsty for hours later, Temasek will not have me going back for seconds. The quality of the food has gone down hill and really, why would you dine here when there we are now spoilt for choice when it comes to authentic Malaysian fare? Do yourself a favour and avoid Temasek.
  • Westfield Parramatta

    Shopping Centres Parramatta, NSW
    Great for free parking after 6pm, but not great if you don't know the centre well and head back to your car only to find it almost impossible to get to your car spot! We spent almost 20 minutes trying to return to our car space, all with three heavily pregnant women in tow. It would have been helpful had there been a few security personnel onsite to direct us (and a few other lost guests) to the right spot. Next time we'll know to find street parking.

    Nail Salon Pennant Hills, NSW
    Ordinarily I'm not a huge fan of the sweatshop-style nail bars. The rows of poor women (and the occasional man) bending over basins to scrub others' feet unnerves me. However HP Nails & Beauty was surprisingly a good choice. The staff were friendly and there wasn't the normal but awkward foreign chatter. They made polite conversation with clients and (at the risk of sounding like a snob) stuck to speaking in English, which I appreciated hugely. It took about 90minutes for a mani & pedi ($40) and was well worth it as they did a really great job. Would definitely recommend the salon and would go more regularly if only it was closer to where I lived!
  • St Vincent De Paul Society

    Community Service/Non-Profit Pennant Hills, NSW
    This Vinnies store stocks a great variety of designer labels, reflecting the demographic that donates. The prices are also in line with that, so expect to pay a little more for your second-hand-wares from here. The ladies behind the counter are friendly, but forgetful and thought I hadn't paid for my items when I walked out to leave. A little embarassing (for them and myself), but it was a harmless mistake on the old biddy's part. Otherwise, this store is well stocked with board games, books and baby ware also. Have a good browse though as things aren't where they should be so you're bound to be surprised!
  • PappaRich

    Restaurants Ultimo, NSW
    Yes, there are massive lines, but wait is worth it, especially since the food comes out so quickly. PappaRich is your typical Malaysian-street-food vendor with anything from Cham (a coffee-tea hybrid) to Roti Cani, buttery & flaky traditional bread. Staff are super friendly and will recommend bits and pieces to the starving masses and even help you out with ordering if you are that way inclined. It can get loud and extremely crowded but such an experience if you haven't been. Definitely worth the visit if you can't afford an airfare to KL!
  • Gelato Messina

    Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt Parramatta, NSW
    For a Friday night, Messina Parramatta was not too busy! Surprise surprise, as soon as we hopped in line the crowds queued. Seemed like everyone had finished dinner around about the 8.30 mark like us. An indecisive and food-anxious person like me LOVES Messina, because you can pick and choose from a huge variety of quirkily named creameries without too much #FOMO. Salted-caramel White Chocolate is a fave, but I found myself trying the Pannacotta delight this evening. The lines are long and the staff can be a little short sometimes but it definitely is worth it.
  • St Vincent De Paul Society

    Community Service/Non-Profit Woy Woy, NSW
    I love me some op-shopping, so you can imagine my excitement when we drove past a Vinnies on the central coast. Yes I stopped at every one I saw. Unfortunately this Vinnies was below par and seemed more like a Deceased Estate Factory. Seriously. There was bric-a-brac from wall to wall and floor to ceiling and the coffin dodgers at the counter were your grumpy great-Aunt Thelma! Not a pleasant store to visit my any means!
  • Woolworths

    Supermarket & Grocery Stores Blacktown, NSW
    This Woolies is always packed, with queues winding up and around aisles. Items are rarely in stock, but they have a policy where the store will provide customer's with a voucher if the item cannot be located within the store. A good thing too, because while the store is jampacked the shelves are regularly bare, with items on special out the doors within hours. I only go here if I'm desperate and know my local one might be out of stock also, but otherwise avoid it as much as I can.
  • Workers Blacktown

    Associations & Unions Blacktown, NSW
    Great for a family night out with a smorgasbord to choose from. While the quality at their buffet restaurant is lacking the Workers Club makes up for this in quantity. A plethora to choose from, from your regular Chinese fare to your Sunday roasts. It is on the pricier side for average food, but it's huge in terms of how many people can be squeezed into the many rows and rows of tables. It's also a little grubby and I found myself wiping cutlery down with the paper serviettes we didn't have, so with my own tissues. Anyway, don't expect heaps, but do expect to have a good time with family or friends.