Friday Quick Links

>> DIY Fix-it
Extensive illustrated guides to loads of different DIY projects. For those intimidated by technical terms like wallpaper or plumbing, the beginner’s approach allows you to select which part of the house you want to do something to, and get a list of projects that you could do in that room.

>> Barbecue Bible
Recipes, "BBQ History" and the BBQ 10 Commandments (“Know when to baste, guage yor fuel, keep it lubricated and never desert your post”!)

Newsbreaker >> Newsbreaker
This variation on the classic arcade game Breakout rewards you for clearing lines of bricks by linking you to headlines for breaking news stories

>> YouTube clip of the week: Newbreaker Game
At the premiere of Spiderman 3 in LA, the cinema audience took part in a demo of a big-screen version of the afore-mentioned Newsbreaker game. The gameplay here was controlled by a motion sensor tracking the movements of the entire audience

>> BBC Music: Reading & Leeds Weekender
The Beeb’s summer music festival coverage concludes with extensive video highlights (both online and on the digital TV red button service) from the main stages at Reading and Leeds. Headliners include Razorlight, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Kings Of Leon, Arcade Fire and Bloc Party

Also mentioned: Travel links for Notting Hill Carnival:
>> Transport for London Journey Planner
>> BBC London Travel News

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BBC Get Cooking

>> BBC Get Cooking
The Beeb’s online recipes site has had a YouTube-style makeover turning it into a nifty interactive video console, featuring annotated video recipes and masterclasses from top chefs including Sophie Grigson, Paul Merrett and Madhur Jaffrey. Make sure you’ve got space for the laptop next to the oven!

Group Recipes

>> Group Recipes
I described this on air as the most interactive foodie site I’ve ever seen. In February I talked about Minti and how it really raised the bar for parenting websites and this does the same for food sites.
Highlight of the site is Roger The Recipe Robot – You fill in an online taste survey about favourite ingredients and styles of cuisine; Your answers help Roger the robot predict which recipes will be to your liking – and Roger’s predictions will become more accurate each time you rate a recipe on the site.
You can film your own recipe demos and upload them to a YouTube style Recipe TV area, or mark your favourite food shops or restaurants on a customised Google Map.
Or use the Recipe Stumbler to explore recipes related to your favorite foods.

UK Pub & Bar Guide

>> Pint Price
>> Beer in the Evening
In the wake of a rather bacchanalian birthday celebration last night, today felt like an appropriate day for a couple of hop-fermented sites.
PintPrice does what it says on the tin – listing the price (in sterling) for a pint of beer in 122 different countries.
Beer in the Evening is my favourite online guide to the UKs best pubs. Search for a pub by name or by location, rate or review a pub yourself or try the London Pub Crawl Generator which will create a custom pub-crawl for you based on either geography or pub initials!

Top Table

>> Top Table
I first featured Top Table when it was a small-scale site concentrating on reviews of restaurants in Central London. The site has grown massively since then; It’s now Europe’s leading site for restaurant reviews and bookings, covering cities across the UK plus Paris, Barcelona, New York, Rome and other international destinations.
You can search for a restaurant by cuisine, price, atmosphere, (child-friendly, romantic, business etc), availability or location, or restrict your search to eateries offering discounts to Top Table users.
You earn reward points for booking online or submitting restaurant reviews – and these points can be redeemed for free meals.

SushiFAQ

>> SushiFAQ
I’m allergic to fish (thanks for asking) but that doesn’t stop me appreciating the artistry inherent in Sushi creation.
Sushi FAQ tells you pretty much anything you might wish to know about the history, etiquette and preparation of sushi, sashimi, wasabi and more. A surprisingly entertaining (and informative) read.

Bonfire Night Links

FireworksThis year I’ve not been able to find one definitive site with a complete list of all the big firework displays taking place around the UK, but one of the better lists can be found at Fireworks magazine’s site. It’s also worth doing a postcode search on the BBC Where I Live site as many BBC local pages are carrying details of organised displays. If you’re planning on hosting your own fireworks event, then safety is paramount, so be sure to check out fireworksafety.co.uk.

The UK Firework Review has comprehensive info for anyone arranging their own display, with impartial reviews of a huge range of foreworks, extensive advice on safety (going beyond the fireworks code) and a space to exchange information with like-minded fireworks enthusiasts.

The BBC H2G2 site has a useful feature on the origins of Bonfire Night and the Gunpowder plot.

Hookery Cookery provides Bonfire Night Recipes including Houses of Parliament Soup, Treason Toffee and Creamy Ember Jackets

Or If you prefer staying home and keeping warm, Cyber Fireworks has a range of virtual displays set at various American landmarks: Just click around the screen to launch different fireworks – very pretty and a lot quieter than the real thing!