Bella.Blue Local Star

London born raised on the streets of Inner-West Sydney, Ella Bee 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

Reviews /  344 reviews

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  • Blacktown Aquatic Centre
    Swimming Pools    Blacktown, NSW

    My partner and I have been frequenting Blacktown Pools for years, mostly early in the morning to do laps. In summertime it can get ridiculously crowded and people forget that the lap-lanes are for, well laps. The Learn to Swim programme runs here also and infants to seniors can be seen learning how to float or tread water. However, I do have three gripes: 1) the family change rooms are almost always full of school kids during school swimming classes. Complaints don't seem to deter them. 2) the family change rooms do not have baby change tables, so if you do decide to go for a dip with a babe, don't plan on taking a shower. 3) Staff here (mainly female) all seem to be on their cycle at the same time, with permanent attitude issues. It's a real shame because many locals petitioned that this facility would not be closed down, only to be spoke to and treated with such indifference and disregard. If there was a closer option to us I would relocate our swims there, but for now, we have no choice but to put up with it.

  • Coles Supermarkets
    Supermarket & Grocery Stores    Kings Langley, NSW

    I'm not a huge fan of supporting huge supermarket chains, but Coles Kings Langley is our 'local'. So when we are in desperate need of a loaf of bread or a litre of milk, off we go. Parking is great, and the customer service here is surprisingly good. If we're not sure where something is, staff don't just point us in the direction but will walk us over and check with us that stock is available. It's so good that we are now on a first name basis with many of the employees. Definitely worth heading here if you're a local.

  • Collaroy Beach
    Beaches    Collaroy, NSW

    A quieter beach on the northern beaches, Collaroy Beach is a great spot for an afternoon fish & chip sesh or for an early morning surf. Great facilities for families also: toilets are well-kept, baby-change facilities are well-maintained and the bins aren't overflowing like other local beaches. Within walking distance from great local eateries, Collaroy is the spot to be on a lazy arvo!

  • Chillax Espresso Bar
    Cafes    Collaroy, NSW

    Really disappointed with how ridiculously overpriced everything was here. Yes, I know it's on the Norther Beaches, but really, Chillax is down a laneway and off the main street (Pittwater Road). There's a pretentious and desperate vibe about the whole place. Lacks ambience but is big on ego, labels and clean-eating-bragging. Such a shame, because we were hoping for good things at Chillax!

  • Wicked Campers
    Caravan & Campervan Hire    Waterloo, NSW

    Went away for a week this month and used Wicked. Gross gross gross! Yes, they are maybe the least expensive campervan-hire company on the market, but you really do get what you pay for. Bed bugs, anyone? Cracked windscreens? So disgusted with everything about the vans and their customer service was appalling. Would never recommend anyone use their services at all.

  • Optus World
    Mobile Phones Retailers    Blacktown, NSW

    Really disappointing face to face service at this store. I had to return a set top box using Toll Priority. Long story short: Toll never came and picked it up. Optus advised me to take it in to my local Optus store and on arrival I was told that they could not accept it. So frustrated with the lack of cross-communication and helpful service to their customers. Can't wait for our contract to end!! Will never go back with them.

  • Newtown Thai
    Takeaways    Newtown, NSW

    Love this place. Always buzzing, always smiling, always open (or so it seems). The food is fresh, tasty and lunch times are the best (especially if you're a student). $7 will give you a decent sized serving of rice with a plethora of curries or stir fries to choose from. We normally opt for green curry or panang, but might try a stir fry next time! If you do choose to dine in, prepare for a crowd, low lying tables and backless stools. Don't take a pram and make sure you wear a coat in winter, it gets blustery!

  • Barnett's Bakery
    Bakeries    Crescent Head, NSW

    This place has a reputation for its pies, and my, did they deliver. We arrived soon after the lunch rush and were horrified that they were running out of our faves. Thankfully there was a Pepper Steak one sitting on its lonesome. Best. Pie. Ever. Meat was tender, juicy but best of all, chunky. A little pricy, but when you've got one of these in your hands and you're sitting and watching the surf, it really is irrelevant!

  • Jazzveh Woodfired Pizza Cafe
    Restaurants    Bella Vista, NSW

    Service here is wonderful. Our waitress took us to our table within moments of us arriving, distributed menus and brought out bottles of chilled tap water. However, the food itself is really, really average and quite expensive. The pizza was really bland and under-seasoned while the pasta was under-cooked and glugggy. Friends had raved about it and unfortunately it just did not perform. What a shame.

  • Healthy Life
    Health Markets    Seven Hills, NSW

    Am a big fan of this store and the variety of things able to be purchased from flaxseed, chia, psyllium husk and even organic chocolate truffles. The staff are always pleasant and know what products to recommend for your various needs. This place is way better to shop at for your supplement needs than Woolies or Coles as the prices are much less expensive and the staff are trained and knowledgeable regarding their products. Definitely worth visiting for all your health food needs.

  • Westfield Parramatta
    Shopping Centres    Parramatta, NSW

    Westfield used to appeal to me, but it has lost its glow ever since the food courts and hallways became bumper to bumper with trolleys, prams and people traffic. It is just insane. The food court has had a makeover and there are just rows and rows of people eating, while others search for seats and yet others queue for miles to get a meal. Parking used to be relatively easy but is now out of control and there are hardly any areas for drivers with young children or strollers. Not my preferred shopping centre, but somewhere I will go if I have to!

  • Kidabout Playland
    Playgrounds    St Marys, NSW

    While my little one was too small to take advantage of all the equipment, I listened in on my friends' conversations about the facilities. What they seemed to like the most was that they could sit in the one spot and see their child wherever they might be in the playland. Also that 'rescuing' their child, as an adult, was easy, and that they could fit up and down stairs and corridors. On the downside the facilities are pretty manky here: toilets are below par and there are none for little people. Change tables are just a bench with two mats on them and no bins. The cafe really should up its game and serve a better variety and healthier options, because there's no way I'd be feeding my son a bowl of hot chips and cake.

  • Civic Video
    Movies & Video Game Rental    Carlingford, NSW

    We've been hiring DVDs from Civic in Carlingford for years and have not had a problem! While we have had the occasional DVD that has skipped a few times due to a scratched surface, they have been happy to swap it for another one when we've taken it back. However, weekend and Friday night fees can be quite high so it's almost better to just get a couple extra on Thursday night and keep them over the weekend!

  • Oporto Carlingford
    Takeaways    Carlingford, NSW

    While the burgers are always fresh they really need to work on customer service at this Oporto. Since management changed a couple of years ago, most of the staff are lifeless and take your order as though they are not too sure why you are there. There are the occasional smiles though and they will fix your meal without drama if they've made an error. All in all, a good spot to pick up a late night quick feed, if that's what you fancy!

  • The Beresford Hotel
    Pubs & Bars    Surry Hills, NSW

    A great venue to catch up with old friends. We booked the 'Upstairs' spot and were pleasantly surprised by the good, live music played, friendly bar staff and decent finger food on offer. After about 8.30 though, it got very loud and crowded so we moved our posse to a quieter destination. Booking the event was easy peasy also as the Beresford comes under Merivale's many establishments and I was dealt with in a timely and professional manner the whole way through. Definitely will go back.

  • San Churro
    Cafes    DARLING HARBOUR, NSW

    I was really impressed, not by the deliciously, thick Spanish-styled hot chocolate, but by the good-humoured, friendly guy serving me and the obvious sense of camaraderie at this cafe. My order was brought out within moments and it was just as lush as the waiter promised it to be. Definitely worth it!

  • Espresso Organica
    Cafes    Concord, NSW

    Was soooo excited to try this cafe as its website boasts the best coffee in Sydney. I called ahead as I wasn't too sure it was a pram friendly cafe. They insisted they were and on arrival I noticed that there were many families with kids, grandparents with children and their babyccinos and their own steaming mugs of coffee. Too bad they can't get the orders right. Manoeuvring my stroller to my table was fine but when leaving they had rearranged tables and seats and it was quite a maze. One of the staff had to ask people to move and relocated their tables and meals with them, as I tried to get out. Anyway, arrived and we all ordered hot drinks. All our beverages were brought out incorrectly. No, not given to the wrong person, but the staff had somehow given us all wrong drinks. An iced mocha became an iced coffee, a cap became a flat white and a juice was a bottle of water. To the food. The menu looked promising, enticing even. The Mushroom Haloumi Stack, the Baked Eggs Cayiana and of course a staple brekkie order of Eggs Benedict. I wen't for the Benedict, coz really, you can't go wrong, right? My veggie friend went for the Mushy Haloumi Stack and the others went for baked eggs.
    Okay, pause. In between all this my little one was fine and could have gone without a nappy change, but after a feed is always a changed so I inquired about their change facilities. They looked confused. Change facilities? We only have the one bathroom (wheelchair friendly) which you can use? I took the little one in, in one hand, nappy change bag in the other. The situation was pretty bleak. It was a large, disabled bathroom: toilet, basin and that was it. No bin, no sanitary hygiene disposal system for women and no baby change table. Confusing, considering the amount of infant children out with their children. When asking the head staff, they suggested I took my pram in and change my child on that. I pointed to the capsule and asked if they would do that. They then proposed I asked my friends to come and help me. Friends. How many of us would that take? Anyway I finally proposed they let me take a dining chair in there with me so I could have a clean and somewhat raised surface for the baby to lay on. They lay on that surface precariously while I squatted in front of them and fumbled for nappies, wipes and a nappy bin-bag. If I was fussy I would have fussed about and shown my discontent, but really I managed alright, with my bad back and all. But mums, this one is not for you if you are not happy putting your designer bag on a dirty floor.
    Anyway, on returning to the table, our meals had arrived. From across the way, I noticed what looked like a hair on my friends plate. They had obviously discovered it also, because they were poking at it with their fork. Then a second was found and they really were upset. Not the hair on head type either. We called for a staff and they asked their to pick it out so that he could verify it being a hair. Meanwhile we're all twiddling our thumbs wondering whether we should stay or not. Reluctantly, they took the plate back to the kitchen and returned and tried to explain to us that it was in fact not a hair, but mushroom root.......*crickets chirped* as we all sat in disbelief. However, the chefs had graciously agreed to make another meal. And, they added, all kitchen staff wore hair nets. Yes, I thought, on their heads.
    I realise this is a long post but the place was full to the brim with people lining up outside. Mainly because there aren't any other cafes as large Espresso Organica on Majors Bay Road. While it's not horrible, it is horrible if you are made to feel as though you are an inconvenience for having a hair in your meal, or for having a child whose nappy needs changing.
    And just to set the record straight, it is not an organic cafe.

  • Chinta Ria
    Restaurants    Sydney, NSW

    Chinta Ria is good. Good. But not great. The food is close enough to Malaysian street food and what Amma might have thrown together. But then they have strange concoctions like a battered, fried chicken doused in a mix of lemon juice, tomato sauce and mayo. It just didn't go down too well with Kway Teow. Kway Teow had two prawns in it, and at $24 you would expect, well, four. The Roti was really quite average, not as flaky and buttery as the bread-like substance back home. The Rendang, on the other hand, was wonderful. We considered giving it a 5 out of 5, but the service really lets this place down. A booking was made weeks in advance but we arrived and there was none. We were seated outside and noone really attended to us unless it was to take our orders or bring us the bill. We had to hound staff for water, hound them for incomplete orders and hound them for the dessert menu. In their defence, they were pretty flat-out and there was an entrance-queue forming just after we were seated. Thankfully there are two large bowls of prawn crackers to nibble on while waiting your turn!

  • Country Road
    Clothing Retailers    Homebush, NSW

    Country Road has some seriously beautiful pieces at their outlet store. However, I feel as though they are not discounted enough for them to have an outlet store. Definitely love going in and poring (or pawing!) through the variety of women's wear, kids wear and home goods. It does get a little busy in here on the weekends so I try to get there during the week or early on Sunday morning when everyone is still in bed. The staff here are fairly helpful if you need a hand, but otherwise seem to be very busy unpacking new stock and doing their thing. But this isn't really an issue when you have so much to look at! If you're at DFO Homebush go Country Road!

  • Charlie Brown
    Clothing Retailers    Homebush, NSW

    Love this Charlie Brown store. Yes it's a little hectic with things everywhere and no real organisation, and it is a little hit and miss, but when you hit, you hit high! Some of the dresses are beautiful and at heavily discounted prices, the Charlie Brown outlet is where I have been to buy outfits for weddings, work or everyday wear. Weekends can get a little overwhelming with the busyness of the store and clothing being flung everywhere, so if you can get there mid-week and midday you are onto something good!

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