I recently went to the very lovely Coworth Park near Ascot, on the borders of Berkshire and Surrey. It’s a strange part of the world in some ways, a beautiful bit of countryside nestled between some not so beautiful parts of the world – I’m looking at you Bracknell and Slough!
Like a lot of country houses that have been converted into hotels, Coworth Park is predictably stunning. But what I thought was amazing was the attention to detail, from the sweeping wooden staircase to the interior control lighting in each of the bedrooms and a free standing copper bath in the bathroom.
Then of course there’s the spa which is quite simply out of this world – especially the large and beautifully lit pool which you can see pictured above.
I was there with a company called DS Automobiles who I must admit I knew very little about before going on the trip. But basically it’s a luxury car brand from France named after the iconic Citroen DS, first launched in the 1950s.
And although it’s difficult to get as excited by the design of the latest DS car, the DS 7 Crossback SUV (pictured above in the grounds on a rainy Wednesday), there’s no denying it’s a luxurious vehicle inside.
Quite simply it’s stuffed to the gills with tech including 14 Focal loudspeakers and a load of semi-autonomous driving and safety features including Night Vision mode (handy if you don’t want to run over deer on the country roads).
What I particularly liked though were the car’s massage seats which were very comfortable indeed – perhaps a little too comfortable for driving – and the detailing of the interior upholstery.
Like Coworth Park itself, there’s certainly no shortage of luxury with this latest DS car – a lot more Ascot than Slough.
You can read my full review here on my tech website, Tech Digest: https://www.techdigest.tv/2018/02/review-ds-7-crossback.html
Remember a little while ago I told you about some underwater MP3 players I’ve been testing in time for the summer? Well now they’ve been published on Tech Radar here.
Personally I prefer the Finis design (pictured above) which you don’t have to put in your ears – it uses bone conduction technology to transmit the audio across your cheekbones.
It’s more comfortable to wear and doesn’t move out of position which can be a problem if you are wearing earbuds. The downside is that it’s a little more expensive than some of the others at around £80 (see here).
Most of the designs work surprisingly well underwater providing you give them a bit of a clean after swimming. I recommend a spray like Muc Off to get rid of any excess water and for cleaning out the charging points which can become corroded over time.
One question that people always seem to ask me about these devices is ‘can you listen to audiobooks on them while swimming?’ The short answer is no. Many people have tried but most report disappointing results when listening to dialogue.
However, for music these devices are great and some of them are very cheap (not much more than £25). Although I would definitely recommend the Finis, it can only be used in the water – it’s not suitable for land use. If you want something that can be used for running or cycling, then perhaps look at a model like the i360 instead which does both jobs very well.
You can buy the Finis Duo here
What else to do on a rainy Bank Holiday Monday than reminisce about the 1970s when swimming meant burning your skin off with Vosene Shampoo, ducking each other’s heads under the water and throwing yourself off the 10m diving board without bellyflopping. Oh and public information films. Who remembers this one below about Dave who shamefully couldn’t swim and lost his ‘bird’ as a result? You can read the full feature here.
When I’m not teaching in secondary schools or writing freelance tech pieces I’m often swimming, usually during the Winter in the outdoor HEATED pool at David Lloyd in North Finchley.
But in the summertime I like to venture a little further afield and swim in lakes and the sea.
Sometimes I combine journalism with swimming (though not at the same time as the Mac gets a bit wet). So this month I’ve been testing out some new Arena gear I’ve been sent which you can read about on my swimming blog, Goggleblog here.
Next week I’ll also be testing out some underwater MP3 players or SwiMP3 players for gadget website, Tech Radar, now that I’ve finally got enough players that actually work! Watch this space.