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

Reviews /  367 reviews

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  • Canyonleigh Country Store
    General Retailers    Canyonleigh, NSW

    Canyonleigh's Country Store really is a sweet little general store with that old, colonial feel. Not a huge variety of goods, but enough to get the 'locals' there if ever they need something urgently. Otherwise, it's a 40 minute trek in to some of the bigger towns. Service is polite, prompt and helpful and you can even grab a good coffee if the cafe's open.

  • Ashcroft's Supa IGA
    Supermarket & Grocery Stores    Moss Vale, NSW

    Oh. My. Lord. If ever there was a time to be excited and giddy about a supermarket, this was the time. Supa IGA in Moss Vale was recommended to us by the owner's of a property we were staying in and it did not let us down. The deli was packed with a huge assortment of cheeses, cold meats, salads, quince pastes and other unknown treats while the natural section had a wonderful array of macro and organic items that I haven't been able to source anywhere in Sydney. What I was most impressed by though, was the service received. The poor young man behind the counter, was so very patient with me as I um-ed and ah-ed about what meats to purchase for our pizza toppings. Not only that, he made great suggestions and was pleasant to chat to. Ashcroft's is the place the locals love to shop at and we'll be going back next time we're in the area.

  • Elephant Boy Cafe
    Cafes    Bowral, NSW

    Mates had raved about the Elephant Boy Cafe so while we were in the area we decided to give it a go. But similar to its British Empire decor, the slow, sad demise of the Elephant Boy's empire has been a product of its own success. We wanted to try its boasted 'fair trade manually roasted organic coffee' and arrived to a buzzing cafe during brunch time. The management, who also served us, handed us the lunch menus and when we asked for coffee and cake instead they were less than impressed. I was less than impressed with their lack of amenities (one shared toilet for over 100 patrons; no high-chairs or change facilities), the burnt coffee and their store-bought cakes. My homemade gluten-free chocolate is so much more luscious, especially when served with TLC and a good dollop of cream and my own roasted blend so much more flavoursome. If you want to check out the Elephant Boy, go for it, but don't expect the world!

  • Rythms Opp Shop
    Used, Vintage & Consignment Clothing Retailers    Seven Hills, NSW

    So the last time I visited Rhythms it was the items for sale were so-so and the ladies behind the counter were polite but not super friendly. Today's visit was a game-changer. If I was to make an Op-Shop my local, Rhythms would be winning. The store has had a massive makeover, with industrial crates screwed to the walls, old leather handbags used as shelving and vintage timepieces scattered through the store. Head stylist and employee, Heather's styling has you wondering whether she has a background in visual merchandising. And yes, she does! There are particular racks that have exculsive Aussie labels at only $25 each while every other item throughout the store is charged at a flat rate: dresses $8, skirts $6 and jackets (on clearance) $5. Amazing quality items and great service, with locals coming in to get help with things from making appointments with the doctor to filling out job application forms. An initiative of Castle Hill Church of Christ, you can really feel that the staff here at Rhythms are genuine, interested people who are not your regular, boring Christians. The work that they do really shows both the love that they have for their jobs, the people whom they serve and the overall cause. Love this place!

  • One World Sport
    Pubs & Bars    Parramatta, NSW

    Went here using a Groupon Voucher and it's true when they say you get what you pay for. One World Sport is a pub on busy Church St in Parramatta, so we assumed the food would be competitive. Glass of wine, beer, two mains and dessert were on offer and wow, what a massive let down. The food was brought to us by a staff, who I think may have been the cook. Partner's steak sandwich was alright, with the steak being pretty good to eat. My souvlakis (two) were miniscule but the chips were alright. We assumed we'd be given the packet chocolate cake for dessert so we skipped outta there before it arrived. It's worth noting the place is under renovations also so everything just seems a bit icky, particularly the crowd!

  • Costi's @ Westpoint Westpoint Shpng Cntr
    Seafood    Blacktown, NSW

    I don't know what iandsh's issue is (they haven't really mentioned anything but the price), but I often get myself half a dozen Pacific Oysters or fresh Tuna or Salmon Steaks from Costi's and they are great. While the prices are on the more expensive side, the service is prompt, fish is fresh and they know what they're talking about if you have any questions.

  • Civic Video
    Movies & Video Game Rental    West Ryde, NSW

    Yes, I'm one of them few folks who still hires DVDs and has movie marathons on a rainy Saturday night. However, this particular video store has all the thrillers and horror dvds in with the drama. It's a little confusing and it makes you wonder whether or not staff know what they're doing, but it's really not a huge deal. What is a bit of an issue though is the scratched dvds. Annoying thing about taking back a damaged dvd is that staff have to watch through it first THEN decide whether you can get a refund. But otherwise, the place is pretty alright!

  • Secure Parking
    Parking    Sydney, NSW

    I was so excited to see the ad on my smartphone's screen: All day undercover CITY parking for $15. So of course we drove into the city. Little did we know that this parking had to be prebooked and prepaid for. Bummer. We ended up paying $25 for 2.5 hours of parking, which was still better than battling the masses on public transport and skip, jump and hopping through puddles of city rain. The carpark is super narrow though and if you're a claustrophobe I wouldn't recommend going here.

  • J.Tommy Thai Smile Restaurant
    Restaurants    West Ryde, NSW

    Really average, unflavoured boring Thai food. We ordered Pad See Ew, Pad Thai and Massaman. The lamb was lovely and fell to pieces but the serving size was soooo small in comparison to other Thai places. Pad Thai lacked love with hardly and chicken and no coriander to give it a bit of oomph. The noodles were claggy and sad. Wish we'd ordered somewhere else!

  • Rubi Shoes
    Shoe Stores    Sydney, NSW

    Get your barefeet basics from Rubi Shoes. Don't expect them to last a lifetime though as most of their shoes are made from manmade materials. Good prices and fast fashion mean the twelvies and up just come back for more. The Sydney Westfield store is a cozy little one, tucked away in a dim corner. But it's full of life and the service there ain't too bad!

  • Twig Cafe
    Takeaways    Redfern, NSW

    Such a wonderful little spot in the heart of Surry Hills. Owners Rainey and Richard were there on Saturday morning buzzing about the place. Rainey chatted with diners while Richard worked his magic in the kitchen. Their kids popped in for some scrambled eggs and we ordered our bevs and checked out the menu. Everything from your basic benny eggs to fancier fare is right here. However, there's not heaps to choose from, which I LOVED, because it made choosing just a little less stressful! Sis and I got the benny eggs, she with bacon, me with chipolatas. I was a little disappointed that I only got the two on my plate. They weren't as packed as flavour as I thought they could be and I hoped the relish would balance this out. Nope, not even a pinch of salt. Luckily there was salt on the table, which fixed the meal nicely. Mum's pancakes were a bit doughy and undercooked, but otherwise lovely, served with fresh berries, maple syrup and a little stack of pancetta on top. They even had high chairs! What I love the most about this place is the lack of pretentious Sydney-a-holes. The staff know their locals by name and the owner took the time to come and chat with us while she could have spent the time with her own kids. All in all a great little find. Google will tell you it's on Cleveland St, but the best place for parking is Young. Check it out on an early weekend morning.

  • Forbes & Burton
    Restaurants    Darlinghurst, NSW

    Worst experience I have ever come across in any Sydney. Rude management, burnt coffee. Can't tell what's worse. Bleh. Don't go here.

  • Boost Juice
    Juice Bars    Blacktown, NSW

    Love me some Boost Juice on a scorching summer's day out west! I want to give this place 5 out of 5 - and it gets that for great customer service, tasty flavours and fresh produce. However, let's face it, Boost is nothing but a sugary and fruity version of a thick shake. We're kidding ourselves if we actually believe what they're selling us is healthy. But that's not why we're drinking their goods are we? Nope, so really, who cares! Get yourself a thirst-quencher at Btown Boost.

  • Myer
    Department Stores    Parramatta, NSW

    Wow. Myer has really gone down the gurgler. Not making annual sales budgets can be blamed soley on their cuts to staff in stores, which leads to super-frustrated customers, wandering around looking for a staff in black to be served by. But seriously, they are so short staffed at the Parramatta store, and what used to be a fun shopping experience has really turned sour. What's worse is their technical systems are SO outdated. When I worked in retail and a customer wanted to check that an item was in stock at another store, all we did was punch numbers into our computers and it would show us where it was stocked - ALL OVER NSW. Not so at Myer. One of the largest departments stores in Australia has to look up other Myer stores, call them up, provide the item number and then wait for it to be found - ON THE SHELF. 45 minutes later I had had enough and decided to leave the pair of shoes on the counter and go to the other store myself

  • Woolworths
    Supermarket & Grocery Stores    Auburn, NSW

    This Woolies is by far one of the worst ones I have ever been to. Where to start? Hygiene? Customer service? Chaos? There is fresh produce on the floor that is not only unsightly but a tripping hazard. Let the staff know there's a spill and they'll look at you like you're the hazard. Unlike most Woolies, there's a sense that everything is cramped and closing in on itself. Perhaps it's because of the continuing crowds or the poor layout. Either way, this is not a supermarket you want to visit!

  • Big W
    Department Stores    Auburn, NSW

    I've got to agree with seanaussie on this one. The Auburn Big W is really all over the shop. It feels somewhat manic, with clothes on the floor, children running through aisles and queues that go on for miles. While the prices are good and at sale-time, you're likely to grab a bargain, the chaos that comes with it is not worth the hassle. Do yourself a favour and find another store!

  • Target
    Department Stores    Blacktown, NSW

    For a department store, Target gets my dough. However, what I do get cheesed about is terrible customer service. There are a couple of women on the register who could probably serve their customers without making eye contact, smiling or saying a word - oh except of course for the price. Apart from that, this Target is mostly tidy and easy to get around. You'll have trouble finding someone to help you though as most of the staff seem to be on a till. My fave part about this store is the genuinely friendly, elderly gentleman who welcomes and farewells you at the main entrance. He's seriously one of the nicest people I've come across!

  • Best & Less
    Clothing Retailers    Blacktown, NSW

    Great store with all your basics for prices that are great. I didn't realise that Best N Less did more than just clothes. They've got manchester as well as licensed NRL gear. Staff are friendly as well as helpful and always jump on a register if they notice a queue building up. I'm not sure why the reviewer below has given it just the 2 stars because I think it deserves a little more than that! Definitely somewhere I'd go back to get kids basics and bits and pieces.

  • The Soda Factory
    Pubs & Bars    Surry Hills, NSW

    This is one of those places that gets lots of love on social media and then...BANG. It goes nuts. While The Soda Factory is good, it's just not, well, great. Yes, it has a cool rockabilly vibe, with Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis being played through the speakers. The pinup girl posters in the bathrooms add to this as well as the Americana decor: high stools, ketchup bottles and of course the menu. But while the menu seems exciting, if you're a foodie, you will be let down. Almost everything, bar the hotdogs and burgers, is fried and served with a creamy concoction (presumably mayo or blue cheese sauce). The burgers are really quite sad, with a pale patty, a lonely lettuce leaf and some sauce squirted here and there. Also, there is really nothing on the menu for the health conscious, but hey, you're in the US of A. Otherwise, meals are fairly reasonably priced but drinks are pricey. Not sure that The Soda Factory is a place I'd revisit, and if I did, it'd be for a milkshake.

  • Blacktown Aquatic Centre
    Swimming Pools    Blacktown, NSW

    I have been a member of BAC for many years now and petitioned for it to continue functioning as a local pool. We decided we would start swimming lessons with our kid,s at Blacktown Aquatic Centre to show our continuing support.
    However, I have been really disappointed by the disregard and dismissiveness of staff when I spoke to them about the poor change room facilities.
    The centre has two family change rooms: one with a change table and one without. This is not adequate, particularly during busy afternoons or mornings when there are several parents with their infant children needing changing.
    To make things worse, the one change room with the change table is broken. The safety strap's buckle has been snapped off and has not been replaced. When I brought this to one of the centre's staff members, I was made to feel as though it was not a big deal. This was 4 weeks ago.
    However, I discovered today that the strap was still not fixed, and this has led us to decide that when this term concludes we will not be renewing our membership or that of our children's lessons. There seems to be an unwillingness to maintain the facilities and respond appropriately to community feedback and we feel as though BAC is not a safe environment for parents with young children. Not a fan.

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