Behind the wheels of the Ferrari Portofino – this is what it’s like to drive a £248,000 sports car

Behind the wheels of the Ferrari Portofino – this is what it’s like to drive a £248,000 sports car


‘It’s like having Pavarotti in your ear the whole time, as the revs rise, sing, blip, burble and fall away’

Ferrari Portofino review
© Ferrari S.p.A.

Words by Erin Baker, Editorial Director at Auto Trader

After driving the Range Rover Evoque, it’s time to review the Ferrari Portofino. The newest model by the Italian sports car manufacturer might just the perfect Ferrari, replacing entry-level model California due to its more lifestyle-focused nature as a grand tourer rather than a hardcore sports car. And while the Portofino retains a focus on comfort, it’s a sharper, sportier offering, and ticks all the boxes.

Style

Wow, this car is astonishingly better looking than the California; it’s hard to believe they belong to the same family. There’s a slimmer derriere, sharper lines and sleek headlights. Our test car came in a matt Champagne paintwork that was subtle and beguiling. With the roof up, it looks like a hardcore supercar; with the folding metal roof curled up in the boot, it screams to be taken on a gentle turn from St Tropez to Nice or, indeed, along the Portofino coastline.

Inside, there’s room for a couple of children in the two small rear seats (I drove my 8 year old and six year old sons 50 miles in it and they were fine; adults will struggle to find leg room). The folding roof takes up much of the boot space, but there’s room for a weekend case and a large bunch of flowers for your host.

Tech

It’s all there, but it’ll cost you. Even Apple CarPlay, a standard feature in sub-£10k cars, will set you back £2,400 here. But Ferraris have moved on since it was all about the engine, and you can now specify a rear parking camera, decent audio systems and more.

© Ferrari S.p.A.

The best bit, however, is the entire secondary digital touchscreen for the front passenger who can see the speed, the revs and change music stations and more. Might make some control-freak drivers feel a bit twitchy though…

Comfort

The front seats are thinner than in the California, to create more leg room for the rear occupants. There’s Isofix in the back but any child on a booster will have their legs jutting out too far.

However, this is as comfy as Ferraris get – the suspension is set up for a softer ride so you can travel further without tiring – even in Sport mode, selected via a traditional F1-style “manettino” switch on the carbon-fibre steering wheel, it’s not too jarring.

With the roof down, you could easily drive the whole day and arrive utterly relaxed (albeit with dreadful hair).

Power

This is, of course, the point of this car, even if you never explore the limits: the styling oozes power, and the whole car screams speed. You don’t have to be a petrolhead to sense that something special is happening under the bonnet: Ferrari makes engines like no one else. And even though there are plenty of Lamborghinis, Aston Martins and other Ferraris that are way faster, the 600 horsepower the V8 engine puts out feels like double that amount. It’s like having Pavarotti in your ear the whole time, as the revs rise, sing, blip, burble and fall away, and the road disappears at a rapid rate in your rear-view mirror. It’s a very special, very emotional experience, even for “us women”.

Price

No one really pays base price (£166,000) for a Ferrari: if you’ve got that much money to spend on something as frivolous as a supercar, you’ll be wanting a few creature comforts, like the aforementioned Apple CarPlay. In fact, our test car rang the tills at £248,000. Ooops. You probably don’t need the £10,000 special wheels we had, but you might fancy the embroidered Prancing Horse Ferrari emblem on the headrests (£720) and floor mats with embroidered logo (£768)… the list is endless.

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These are the most popular puppy names and they’re beyond cute

These are the most popular puppy names and they’re beyond cute


Making us want a dog EVEN MORE

dogs
Credit: Design Pics Inc/REX/Shutterstock

If you’re thinking about getting a pet and are currently engaged in the dogs vs cats debate, we have a few things that might help you make up your mind. Firstly, dogs love their owners five times more than cats do according to scientific research. Secondly, walking a dog makes you happier – again, science says so. And thirdly, a study found that humans love dogs even more than other humans which is hardly surprising because dogs are just fantastic in every way.

Taken all that in? Great – you’re getting a puppy.

But when it comes to naming your adorable little ball of fluff, where do you start? Do you opt for a classic pooch moniker? Should you think about bestowing them with a more human name? Will you go completely rogue and make something up for a name that’s totally unique?

You could choose from this list of the most popular pet names – or you could take a look at the most popular puppy names. The monikers that are fast becoming top choices for baby dogs are super cute.

Trupanion have put together the most popular puppy names, and here they are:

1. Luna
2. Bella
3. Charlie
4. Bailey
5. Lucy
6. Cooper
7. Max
8. Daisy
9. Bear
10. Oliver

It seems to be a fairly balanced mix of more human names and dog classics at the moment. Lucy and Daisy also appear on the list of most popular baby names of last year, as do Oliver and Max.

Bella and Charlie also appear on the most popular pet names list, and Luna is also the most popular name for a pet cat.

Would you choose any of the names that appear on this list?

To be honest, we love them all.

Guess that means we’re going to have to get ten dogs so that we can use them all…

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Superdrug now offers breast cancer checks and consultations

Superdrug now offers breast cancer checks and consultations


They’re the first high street store to do it

breast cancer awareness

Superdrug has announced that they will be offering their customers free breast cancer checks and consultations in stores, and they have become the first high street shop to do so.

As part of a new partnership with breast cancer awareness charity CoppaFeel!, they’ll be rolling out the new service from Tuesday 20th March across their 56 in-store health clinics nationwide. After pre-booking an appointment, customers can talk to a trained nurse who will be on hand to advise them how to check their breasts for cancer symptoms.

For anyone who is unsure – or doesn’t feel confident – examining themselves, it’s an opportunity to learn how to check your breasts properly and be able to spot anything that isn’t quite right. The nurses, who have been trained by CoppaFeel!, offer non-contact breast cancer checks, instead offering support and advice so that you will be able to check yourself regularly at home.

You can book your free appointment here.

Superdrug surveyed 2,000 women and found that a staggering 82% of participants didn’t feel comfortable talking about any changes they noticed when it comes to their breasts. They hope that the new service will support over 100,000 women in the first year.

Sophie Dopierala, Director of Education and Health Comms at CoppaFeel! said: ‘Our annual research shows for most women who aren’t checking their breasts, knowledge on what to look for remains the main barrier.

‘We are delighted to announce our partnership with Superdrug. Using their trained nurses to encourage people on how to check their boobs or pecs will ensure we are reaching a whole new audience with the breast awareness message.’

Dr Pixie McKenna, Superdrug’s health and wellbeing ambassador, added: ‘Once you know how simple checking your breasts is, it can save your life.

‘I am so pleased to see Superdrug nurses will be taking this initiative to all patients, everyone should be able to check whether on themselves or a partner, or even talking it through with a friend – the more conversations the better!’

What a fantastic initiative.

Let’s hope more high street stores follow suit!

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Cadbury is making big changes to the iconic Heroes tubs

Cadbury is making big changes to the iconic Heroes tubs


Say hello to some new additions

cadbury heroes

This Easter we have a lot to look forward to in terms of chocolate – the Aldi ruby chocolate gem Easter egg, Game of Thrones chocolate dragon eggs, Ferrero Rocher mini eggs

And if you’d prefer something savoury, there’s even a cheese Easter egg so that you don’t have to miss out while everyone else is tucking into their chocolate.

But if you’re after a sweet treat you can get stuck into all year round, Cadbury has some exciting news. They’ll be changing up the goodies in their iconic Heroes tubs.

Don’t panic that some of your favourites will be replaced. All the current chocolate minis will stay where they are – it’s just that there’ll be some new little bars on the scene.

Cadbury is inviting Dinky Deckers and Crunchie minis to the Heroes party.

Dinky Deckers are the smaller version of the popular Double Decker, a crispy cereal and soft nougat mix covered in chocolate. The Crunchie mini is a bitesize version of the classic, honeycomb dipped in chocolate.

They’ll be joining the current line up of Dairy Milk, Twirl, Wispa, Fudge, Eclair and Creme Egg.

The boxes, tins and cartons will be upgraded to include the latest additions in April and will be available nationwide.

We’re SO ready.

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Dogs love their owners five times more than cats do

Dogs love their owners five times more than cats do


Puppy love.

dogs cats
Credit: Anni Sommer/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

We already know that dogs are good for human health, and that walking your dog makes you happier, but how does your dog feel about you? Do they like it when you take endless selfies of them sleeping? Do they want you to coo in their faces when you get home from work? Do they enjoy being squeezed for sofa cuddles?

Well, it turns out that maybe they do. More than cats, that’s for sure. Apparently, your dog loves you almost five times more than your cat does – which might help you make your mind up when it comes to the old dogs vs cats debate.

A study appears to prove that your pet pooch is the more affectionate of the two, which may not come as too much of a surprise considering that cats are known for being the more aloof species.

Neuroscientist Paul Zak took saliva samples from ten dogs and ten cats for the BBC documentary, Cats vs Dogs. He then allowed the pets to play with their owners for ten minutes before taking another sample from each animal to test for oxytocin, also known as the love hormone.

The Express reports that dogs showed a 57.2% increase in oxytocin, whereas cats only exhibited a 12% increase.

Zak said: ‘I was really surprised to discover that dogs produced such high levels of oxytocin. The dog level of 57.2 percent is a very powerful response.

‘From this sample it’s true to say that these dogs love their owners five times more than the cats do.’

He continued: ‘It was also a nice surprise to discover that cats produce any at all. At least some of the time, cats seem to bond with their owners.’

So even though they’re comparatively more independent, your cat does love you – just not as much as your dog does.

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The Greatest Showman Easter eggs exist and we need one

The Greatest Showman Easter eggs exist and we need one


Brb, off to Manchester

greatest showman easter egg

Easter eggs. This year, they’re coming in all shapes and sizes. You’ve got Hotel Chocolate Easter ‘sandwiches’, a Marks and Spencer Prosecco egg exists, you can nibble your way through a cheese Easter egg if you prefer savoury, and there are so many delicious dairy-free options if you’re looking for the best vegan Easter eggs.

And while all of the above look fab, we’re actually blown away by the most recent Easter egg to hit the shelves.

Prepare yourself for a proper chocolate beauty.

One bakery is creating The Greatest Showman-inspired Easter eggs and they look magnificent.

Slattery’s Patissier & Chocolatier in Greater Manchester is offering these magical circus-esque eggs that look very similar to everyone’s favourite showman, P T Barnum.

It costs £16.95 but if you really want one we’d pre-order it ASAP as they’re sure to be very popular.

They’re not the only wonder eggs that the bakery is creating. There are also some incredible superhero-themed eggs, including ‘Bat Boy’ (which looks like a cute little Batman), a ‘Women Wonder’ egg and a ‘Captain A’ egg.

To be honest, these look so good that we’re not sure we could bring ourselves to smash them up and eat them.

Then again…

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This is how much sleep you need according to your star sign

This is how much sleep you need according to your star sign


Zzzz.

sleep

We already know that this is the luckiest star sign, and that this is deemed the most intelligent star sign (proof is in the Nobel Prize winners, okay?) – but does your star sign have an impact on how much sleep you should be getting?

Apparently, the answer is: yes.

Australian bedding company BedThreads has explained how much sleep you actually need, whether you’re Capricorn or Cancer.

Those who need the most sleep are Taurus, Libra and Pisces. But if you’re Aries or Virgo you can easily get by on just six hours kip.

So let’s see which star signs need the most shut-eye, and who can keep going on as little as possible…

ARIES

Aries like to get as much done in the day as they can, meaning that they can get by on the bare minimum six hours a night.

TAURUS

Heavy sleepers and lovers of a lie in, a Taurus can easily clock in up to nine hours of sleep a night.

GEMINI

Two sides of the same coin, they’re either cruising by on six hours, or snoozing for nine.

CANCER

They love their warm, cosy bed, and can nod off for up to eight hours at a go.

LEO

Leos may find that their sleep pattern is disrupted if they’re on their own, but when they’re ‘spooning their partner or curled up with a best friend’ they’re more likely to catch the z’s.

VIRGO

Similarly to Aries, they can get by on barely any sleep due to the fact that they’re busy perfectionists who see sleep as ‘a barrier to getting stuff done’.

LIBRA

Libras should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night so that they can fully recharge.

SCORPIO

They find it hard to nod off, but once they do they can enjoy a full night’s kip.

SAGITTARIUS

It’s low on the priority list for Sagittarius, apparently, but sometimes more shut eye is necessary, meaning that they can function on as little as five or six hours – but their ideal figure is eight.

CAPRICORN

They need their rest, making eight hours the perfect amount of time for Capricorns.

AQUARIUS

‘Always on’, Aquarius will average about six hours but will squeeze in seven or eight whenever they can.

PISCES

‘They’re the dreamers of the zodiac so it’s not surprise that Pisces need their sleep the most.’ They’re getting their eight hours, no matter what.

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This is the age that women supposedly start turning into their mothers

This is the age that women supposedly start turning into their mothers


Interesting…

mother daughter
Credit: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock

We’ve all heard the theory that we turn into our parents sooner or later – but how true is it?

New research by a Harley Street surgeon suggests that women start to become more like their mothers in the first few years after having a child.

Currently, the average age of a woman in the UK giving birth to her first child is 30 years old, and those involved in the study admitted that they stopped rebelling against their mothers and started acting more like them in their early thirties – meaning that we (supposedly) turn into our mothers at around 33 years old.

So what sorts of behaviours do we start to emulate at this point in our lives? Apparently, we start enjoying the same TV shows and hobbies, and we begin using the same sayings.

Men on the other hand become first-time fathers, on average, at 33.5 years old, and signs that they’re turning into their dads include turning off light switches in empty rooms, swapping Radio 1 for Radio 2 and sharing the same political views.

Dr Julian De Silva, the Harley Street surgeon behind the research, surveyed 2,000 women and men to find out when we start becoming our parents.

He explained: ‘We all turn into our parents at some point in our lives – and that is something to be celebrated. Becoming parents is the main trigger and lifestyle factors are also important.’

Dr De Silva also theorised that we start acting more like our parents when we start looking more like them.

‘It is an inevitable part of ageing but a process lots of people want to put off for as long as possible,’ he said.

‘It is one of the reasons why the average age of first-time cosmetic surgery is coming down for both sexes.’

The poll showed that 52% of participants said they began behaving like their mothers between 30 and 35 years old, 26% believe it happened between 35 to 40 years old, with 10% claiming it didn’t happen until 40 to 50.

We’d say we’re already there, tbh.

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You can now add rose gold glitter to your Prosecco because why not?

You can now add rose gold glitter to your Prosecco because why not?


Pardy time.

prosecco

If you’re a Prosecco fan, you’ll probably already know all about the Marks and Spencer pink Prosecco egg that’s available this Easter, and you’ll no doubt have tried the wonder that is Prosecco dib dabs.

And if you want to make your Prosecco that bit more sparkly, you can now add a rose gold glitter to your bubbles – because why not?

Whether you’re planning a hen party and want the drinks to look extra special, or you’re hosting your own Come Dine With Me and want to impress your guests, then this is for you.

prosecco glitter

Credit: Lakeland

Lakeland is now selling edible Prosecco glitter that you can add to your glass to ensure that your glass looks extra shimmery. It also has a subtle raspberry flavour so you can really up your Prosecco game, making it the perfect addition for anyone who wants to nail that perfect fizzing boomerang cheers.

All you need to do is add 1/3 teaspoon to your glass of fizz and you’ll have sparkling pinky purple bubbles. It also has heart-shaped flakes of gold for some extra dazzle.

The Rose Gold Shimmer Popaball for Prosecco costs just £7.49 and you can pick up a bauble of glitter online or at your local Lakeland.

Instagram (rose) gold.

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You’re more likely to win money if this is your star sign

You’re more likely to win money if this is your star sign


pensions

Do you believe in star signs? Whether you trust in what your horoscope says or not, you might want to read this…

It turns out that the luckiest star sign is Aries. According to research by Buzzbingo.com, those born between March 21st and April 19th are more likely to hit the jackpot. Aries are the most likely to win big (more than £1000), with 520 big winners per 10,000 winners, with Sagittarus coming in close second. However, it’s bad news if you’re a Capricorn, as they came last in the table. Those with a Leo and Aquarius star sign didn’t do too well, either Sorry.

Here’s the full list so that you can see where you fall in line with your star sign. It’s based on the most winners per 10,000 winners.

Aries – 520

Sagittarius – 519

Cancer – 510

Taurus – 510

Virgo – 498

Scorpio – 496

Libra – 477

Gemini – 476

Pisces – 471

Leo – 467

Aquarius – 462

Capricorn – 456

The study shows that Virgos came out on top when it comes to overall winners, with 11,186 people taking home cash wins. This is the full breakdown…

Credit: Buzzbingo

So all in all – great news if you’re an Aries!

Sagittarius and Cancer, we’d say you can cash in on the luck, too.

Might be worth heading to the bingo this weekend…

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