Archive for August, 2018

Thieving Harry’s

August 31, 2018

To get to Thieving Harry’s is not easy. Hull Old Town is cut in two by a very busy main road, with no easy way to cross.

Two crossings out of the way, the middle crossing, the lights not working and barricaded off the central reservation.

Long wait at the crossing to cross. Would not make a jot of difference to the traffic if less of a wait, as traffic at a crawl.

Cutting in half, apart from the inconvenience, it is damaging the businesses in this part of Hull Old Town as far fewer people on the other side of the road.

Caffeinated in Trinity Market had kindly marked my map, Thieving Harry’s not difficult to find.

Located overlooking the old docks and the sea in the office of what was once when a thriving shipping dock a fruit merchant.

An excellent cappuccino.

Coffee sourced from The Blending Room. I came away with two bags of single origin from Indonesia.

Coffee from Indonesia is not often found for the simple reason Indonesia produces poor quality coffee. There are though exceptions.

We have a problem with plastic, plastic-lined paper takeaway cups, plastic cups, plastic utensils, plastic straws.

As always it is the indie coffee shops leading the way. Compostable cups, refillable cups, though best to relax with coffee in glass or ceramic, paper straws.

Thieving Harry’s showed me something I had not seen before, drinking straws made from shells.

Thieving Harry’s is featured in Coffee Shop North.

I was given a copy of The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide in which Thieving Harry’s is also featured.

The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide is a scam. It is not what it claims to be an independent guide to speciality coffee shops.

How credible an indie coffee guide when those listed are paying Β£500 each for a listing? When coffee shops that do not deserve a listing are listed? When those that deserve a listing are not listed? When the coffee shops are writing their own entries?

Coffee shops are approached by the publisher to have an entry. Part of the scam is to be given a pile of ‘free books’, free books that do not sell, free books that end up being sold off on the cheap or given away.

To find excellent coffee shops, follow your feet, when find a good coffee shop, ask, they will recommend others. That was how I found my way around Hull Old Town, one coffee shop at a time.

And dare I say, follow on-line The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop.

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Shoot the Bull

August 31, 2018

A burger does not have to be bad anymore than sausages have to be bad.

Lincoln sausages from Redhill Farm farm shop in Bailgate off the butcher in Heighton are excellent, as are their pork chops, ham and pork pies.

Similarly, a burger can be excellent, as for example Dirty Organic Burger street food stall in Brighton.

I had decided to eat at Trinity Market, followed by a coffee off Caffeinated.

Looking at all the food stalls, I was not impressed. I decided to try a burger off Shoot the Bull.

Burger was good not the usual disgusting McShit burgers or worse, far better than the poor quality burger off street food stall at Steam Punk Festival last weekend in Lincoln, but not quite in the same league as Dirty Organic Burger.

The service not so good, if not surly.

No, do not put ketchup on without asking, and no do not blame the customer for not telling you.

Putting ketchup on a quality burger is like dumping chocolate or adding syrup to speciality coffee. You do not. The only reason to add ketchup, chocolate or syrups is to mask an otherwise bad taste.

Not handed a serviette, had to request.

No mention of the offer of a meal deal with a beer.

Skip the fries, offer a decent craft beer. Brew Dog Punk IPA would go down a treat with a quality burger.

Served on some sort of card. Asked but they did not know, other than they believed it could be composted. Utensils wood.

A marked contrast to the poor environmental standards in Trinity Market. Food served in polystyrene boxes, plastic utensils.

The low environmental standards are the fault of the council. They should set minimum standards for anyone wishing to have a stall. Do not comply, do not get a stall.

Two Gingers

August 31, 2018

Two Gingers is an excellent little coffee shop located in Paragon Arcade, half way between Hull Station and Hull Old Town.

They have their own house blend and speciality coffee sourced from The Blending Room, a local coffee roastery.

I chose a cappuccino from their house blend. Excellent.

Two Gingers is not featured in Coffee Shop North, but Luke Smith is featured from when he worked at Thieving Harry’s.

I looked in later, picked up two bags of their house blend.

I would have liked a V60 from one of their single origin coffees, but no time.

On a previous visit in May, guest coffee, but maybe no longer offer guest coffee.

The house blend is a single origin from Ethiopia, roasted by local roastery The Blending Room. The artwork by Tinned Sandwich, a local artist.

Hull Freedom Festival

August 31, 2018

Freedom Festival, a three day festival in Hull.

Freedom Festival was started in 2007 to commemorate the anti-slavery pioneer William Wilberforce.

Train to Hull, stunning views over the Humber Estuary and of the Humber Bridge.

On arrival at Hull Station, greeted by Philip Larkin.

Then head to Hull Old Town, cobbled streets (strictly speaking setts) but first a detour to Two Gingers in Paragon Arcade.

Excellent cappuccino in Two Gingers.

They have recently introduced their own house blend from The Blending Room, plus single origin coffee from The Blending Room.

Zeberdee’s Yard locked off, rehearsals for a concert tonight.

Lunch in Trinity Market.

I went round the stalls, twice. None looked appetising, appalling environmental standards, food served in polystyrene boxes, plastic utensils.

Burger off Shoot the Bull. Rare breed beef, burger excellent, service not so good. No, do not put ketchup on without asking, and no, do not blame the customer for not telling you.

No mention of the offer of a meal deal with a beer. Skip the fries, offer a decent craft beer. Brew Dog Punk IPA would go down a treat with a quality burger.

Asked of Caffeinated where to locate Thieving Harry’s. They kindly marked on a map of Hull Old Town.

Passing by Hull Minster, a guide said I must enter and look at the moon. No time, maybe on my return. She was insistent. Amazing, a suspended moon occupying the nave, quite surreal. Yes, she was correct Museum of the Moon in Hull Minster an absolute must visit.

To get to the part of Hull Old Town where Thieving Harry’s is located, have to cross a busy main road with no convenient crossings, one crossing closed and long wait at the lights when crossing.

Pedestrians should have priority. The traffic is at a virtual standstill. The crossings should be more frequent for pedestrians, it will make not a jot of difference to the traffic flow.

Thieving Harry’s overlooks the old docks now a marina and the sea. Located in what was once the offices of a fruit merchant, the old Fruit Market was located in this part of Hull Old Town.

Picked up a couple of bags of coffee.

We have a problem with plastic, plastic-lined paper takeaway cups, plastic cups, plastic utensils, plastic straws.

As always it is the indie coffee shops leading the way. Compostable cups, refillable cups, though best to relax with coffee in glass or ceramic, paper straws.

Thieving Harry’s showed me something I had not seen before, drinking straws made from shells.

A diversion to Trinity Market to collect two bags of coffee off Caffeinated.

As I cut across Trinity Square a giant puppet had been erected. This was one of the giant puppets to parade through the Hull Old Town later that evening as part of Hull Freedom Festival.

I pop in Two Gingers and pick up two bags of their house blend. I would have wished for a V60 pour over, but no time.

All three coffee shops use The Blending Room, a Hull coffee roastery. Today they had a pop up coffee stall. Where, no one knew, and they lacked the courtesy to respond to a query. What is the point of tweeting have a pop up stall for the Freedom Festival and do not say where? Yet another example of poor use of social media.

Made the station in time for my train, just, only to find no train, running late.

Stunning views across the Humber Estuary out of the train window and of wind turbines.

Afternoon in Nottingham

August 29, 2018

It would have been a day in Nottingham, arrive late morning, but thanks to dysfunctional bus service running at least 12 minutes late, I missed the train, and had to catch the next train an hour later.

The train had usb charging points hidden beneath the seats.

Not seen before, a coffee kiosk outside Nottingham Station, Nelo’s. Cappuccino OK, not great. It would improve if the coffee was ground fresh for each cup. The guy was knowledgeable about coffee, but it needs more than a piece of paper from 200 Degrees to make a barista.

The biscotti biscuit was excellent.

Lunch at 200 Degres near Nottingham Station, but no coffee. Their coffee is not great, though I like the ambience of the coffee shop and the food and cakes are excellent.

I tried to find Cartwright Coffee that the little coffee kiosk and one of his customers had recommended. I could not find nor Jamie Oliver that I was told was nearby.

I asked a passing Black girl but she did not know. I knew Nottingham better tan her, even though she was a local.

She suggested I took a coffee in Pret a Manger. Ha, ha.

It was therefore The Speciality Coffee Shop.

Michelangelo said both his guest coffees even though single origin, were suited to espresso, not filter.

I tried Rwanda from Maude Coffee Roasters. Excellent cappuccino. I asked was a light roast, as was reminded of coffee from Base Camp? I was told yes.

I picked up two bags of coffee.

I looked in Ideas on Paper in Hebden Court. Picked up a copy of Ambrosia San Francisco edition.

I looked in Wired, said hello. I would have liked to have had a cappuccino, but no time. Next time.

On to Outpost Coffee. A V60. I let them choose. A Kenyan coffee, a bit too acidic. Very expensive beans, so expensive, sold in small glass jars. I did not inquire the cost.

On the shelf a Gina cold brew tower which I had not seen before. They brought down onto the counter for me to have a closer look.

V60 emptied into a takeaway cup. A sacrilege I know. But I had a train to catch.

A couple of years ago Guildford had cows dotted around the town, Brighton snowdogs, Lincoln Barons, then last year Knights. Nottingham has Robins. Why Hoodwinked I do not know.

Train 1721. I was very lucky to catch. Were it not for cramming the passengers in like sardines and the time it took to board I would have missed the train.

AsylumX – Day 4

August 27, 2018

Welcome to the Asylum, a four day SteamPunk Festival in Lincoln, the largest known SteamPunk Festival in the solar system.

I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clock maker. β€” Voltaire

Day 4: The fourth and final day of AsylumX, a four day SteamPunk Festival in Lincoln.

Luckily unlike yesterday not raining, not cold, and as a consequence many more people on the streets.

Lincoln Assembly Rooms is somewhere I have never been before. A tea room and a grand hall, I was told it was the ballroom.

They need up their game on tea and coffee, supplied by Lincoln Tea and Coffee. I cannot comment on the tea but their coffee is disgusting, some of the worst I have ever come across. There is absolutely no excuse these days, sourcing poor quality coffee.

In the ballroom SteamPunk books, though not all the authors present. I had hoped to pop back, but never did.

Street food in a playground of a school. Not many stalls and not busy. In a car park a guy with a bcycle serving coffee.

Coffee off the coffee stall ok, not great, same for the food off the only food stall.

Stalls booked failed to show.

Low environmental standards. An ice cream van with engine running, food served in polystyrene boxes, plastic cups and utensils. The coffee guys on the ball, compostable cups.

The stall was serving The Blending Party, the bicycle Iron and Fire Coffee. Sadly I never returned to try from the bicycle.

A market outside The Lawn, talks in the Blue Room, which put The Lawn on the map.

To enter the grounds of Lincoln Castle Β£13-50 (Β£11-00 for concessions. The grounds are usually free. An entry fee to visit a few stalls is completely unacceptable.

Within the grounds of Lincoln Castle in the corner of a marque, Gary Nicholls and The Imaginarium, a book and stunning images. The book is a trilogy, so far only Volume I Eve’s Story. We are promised Volume II next year. Also artefacts from the trilogy.

An adjacent stall to Gary Nicholls. Colin Edmonds with Steam Smoke and Mirrors, a SteamPunk novel.

I learnt from Gary Nicholls, not only worth reading the characters appear in his trilogy.

Why not take a stage further, a character reading Steam Smoke and Mirrors, a recursive image?

AsylumX – Day 3

August 26, 2018

Welcome to the Asylum, a four day SteamPunk Festival in Lincoln, the largest known SteamPunk Festival in the solar system.

I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clock maker. β€” Voltaire

Day 3: The third day of AsylumX, a four day SteamPunk Festival in Lincoln.

Sadly a complete washout. A cold wet day, few people on the streets, street food gave up by lunchtime as no one about, the stalls on Castle Hill were forced by Council jobsworths to cease trading by mid-afternoon (previous day forced to cease trading at six when easily could have continued until seven).

This year, local shops take SteamPunk now in its tenth year seriously.

In Sincil Street, check out a charity shop, amazing SteamPunk creations.

A craft beer shop in the Strait, a special SteamPunk craft beer.

Near the top of The Strait, a wine shop with specially distilled SteamPunk gin.

Coffee connoisseurs are spoilt for choice with the Lincoln coffee culture, do not even think of going in any of the chains. Three coffee shops as walk from the town centre to Lincoln Castle.

Walking up the High Street, just after passing over the River Witham, turn left before passing through The Stonebow and find Coffee Aroma.

Pass through The Stonebow, up the High Street and find Madame Waffle.

Continue up the High Street, up The Strait, up Steep Hill, and as pass the cobbled section find Base Camp.

AsylumX a four day SteamPunk Festival over the Bank Holiday Weekend, Friday 24 August to Monday 27 August 2018.

AsylumX – Day 2

August 26, 2018

Welcome to the Asylum, a four day SteamPunk Festival in Lincoln, the largest known SteamPunk Festival in the solar system.

I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clock maker. β€” Voltaire

Day 2: The second day of AsylumX, a four day SteamPunk Festival in Lincoln.

Today, stalls in Castle Hill, in grounds of Lincoln Castle, many many steam punks. A food court open outside the Castle walls, street food, coffee van real ale, craft beer.

This year, local shops take SteamPunk now in its tenth year seriously.

In Sincil Street, check out a charity shop, amazing SteamPunk creations.

A craft beer shop in the Strait, a special SteamPunk craft beer.

Near the top of The Strait, a wine shop with specially distilled SteamPunk gin.

Coffee connoisseurs are spoilt for choice with the Lincoln coffee culture, do not even think of going in any of the chains. Three coffee shops as walk from the town centre to Lincoln Castle.

Walking up the High Street, just after passing over the River Witham, turn left before passing through The Stonebow and find Coffee Aroma.

Pass through The Stonebow, up the High Street and find Madame Waffle.

Continue up the High Street, up The Strait, up Steep Hill, and as pass the cobbled section find Base Camp.

AsylumX a four day SteamPunk Festival over the Bank Holiday Weekend, Friday 24 August to Monday 27 August 2018.

Lancaster Skies

August 25, 2018

A private showing of Lancaster Skies to veterans of Bomber Command and their guests at International Bomber Command Centre overlooking Lincoln Cathedral.

IBCC officially opened earlier this year, a centre, a digital archive, exhibitions and the Memorial Spire.

An appropriate setting for a private screening of Lancaster Skies.

A brief introduction by the producer, the film follows the lives of a Lancaster crew after they lost their skipper, a homagae to war films of the 1940s and 1950,

The film starts with a Lancaster being attacked by German night fighters, on landing they discover their skipper has been fatally wounded.

The crew are dysfunctional, can barely cope, they then have to cope with a new capatin, a rather aloof former fighter pilot.

The new capatin is keen to be in the air, take the fight to the Germans, the crew on the other hand are happy to remain grounded and send their time down the pub.

They are given a mission, in the same aircraft they last flew in now patched up. On their return they are again attacked.

The film is in black and white, the focus is on the crew.

The genre is less of the war films, more that of a series of working class films that were released in the 1960s, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, A Taste of Honey all from the same film studio, Woodfall Films.

Whilst the film was being shown, a runner ran from IBCC to RAF Scampton and back.

Lancaster Skies will be shown in selected cinemas. Please lobby local cinemas if wish to see.

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V60 at Madame Waffle

August 24, 2018

V60 Hundred House Coffee guest coffee at Madame Waffle.

A coffee from Costa Rica, roasted Hundred House Coffee brewed by Bruce.