Archive for February, 2019

Cold sunny afternoon in Hull

February 15, 2019

A hard frost first thing in the morning. Cold sunny afternoon in Hull. A cold breeze blowing in off the sea.

The low sun over the Humber as train approaches Hull a little before the Humber Bridge.

I am pleased to see Paragon Arcade is slowly slowly being restored to its original splendour.

Occasional evening events in Paragon Arcade.

I had only meant to look in Two Gingers to say hi, but as I was chatting, decided to stay and have a cappuccino.

By far the best cappuccino all day. Their own blend from The Blending Room.

They also have guest coffee from La Cabra Coffee, a Danish coffee roastery.

Suggestions for future guest coffee:

  • Athens – Taf – The Underdog
  • Nottingham – Cartwheel Coffee – Outpost Coffee
  • Brighton – Coffee at 33 – Pharmacie

Tea pigs not quality tea. Added as an afterthought, but indie coffee shops these days do make the effort to source quality teas.

Imperial Teas in Lincoln a good starting point.

Two Gingers had no wish to be listed in the scam Indie Coffee Guide, thus a cheek listed against their wishes.

Next door White Rabbit which I had not noticed before. But if you are going to open a chocolatier, please have quality chocolate and employ people who know about chocolate.

Quality chocolate has to be bean to bar, not bought in chocolate melted down and remoulded.

And please note quality chocolate:

  • cocoa mass – sugar
  • cocoa mass – cocoa butter – sugar – vanilla

Anything else is not quality chocolate. Quality chocolate is not bulked out with emulsifier. In the US legal definition of chocolate excludes emulsifiers. Emulsifier used because cheaper than cocoa butter.

The bars of chocolate excellent copy of Hotel Chocolat, the look and feel even down to obscene use of plastic and addition of emulsifiers to what is claimed to be quality expensive chocolate.

Near the Maritime Museum a new coffee kiosk, The Lost Flip Flop.

The coffee I did not try, but catering supply coffee from a coffee roastery in Surrey I have never heard of.

Do not touch with a barge pole Cupsmith tea or coffee, nor Surrey Hills Coffee. Chimney Fire Coffee in the Surrey Hills maybe.

There are though many excellent coffee roasteries. To buy in cheap crap commodity coffee is a bad move and to serve poor quality coffee on a hiding to nothing when can buy poor quality coffee from the corporate chains.

Tea poor quality tea pigs.

On to Trinity Market.

None too pleased to find Shoot the Bull had stopped serving. What is the point of quality food if piss-poor service?

A falafel off The Falafia. ok but not great.

Cappuccino off Caffeinated.

When I first encountered Caffeinated least year I was told to be in the scam Indie Coffee Guide was a mistake, a mistake they would not be repeating. And no, they are not listed in the latest edition, apart from an entry in the back. But why then tell me they sold all their copies when previously said unable to shift and ended up giving away. And it would be amazing if they did sell when no one else manages to sell.

The concept of Trinity Market is excellent, and puts to shame the disgusting Central Market in Lincoln, but standards are slipping, the Yorkshire pudding stall in the corner for example and the low environmental standards are not acceptable. Food served in polystyrene boxes. Why is it council run markets always have low standards?

Hull Old Town is unfortunately crossed by a busy heavily polluted road which is difficult to cross. No help to those businesses such as Thieving Harry’s located on the other side. At the very least operate the pedestrianise crossings more frequently.

Cappuccino at Thieving Harry’s far better than it looked.

Thieving Harry’s are featured in Coffee Shop North. Quite wisely they have pulled out of the scam Indie Coffee Guide though like Caffienated still listed at the back.

Thieving Harry’s an excellent location to watch the setting sun this time of year.

There are three coffee shops worth a visit in Hull, Two Gingers, Caffienated and Thieving Harry’s. Of the three, Two Gingers in another league, partly the skill of the barista and partly they choose their own blend.

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Kitchen and Coffee

February 14, 2019

Kitchen and Coffee is possibly the only real coffee shop in Grantham, at least they appeared to care and knew how to serve coffee.

I found Kitchen and Coffee as heading back to the bus station looking forward to leaving Grantham.

Located in a street which had other local businesses.

Unfortunately as I was now heading home, only time to ask for a takeaway coffee if I was not to miss my bus. As it turned out, bus failed to turn up and I had to wait an hour in the cold for another bus, but that is a different story.

When out and about have a couple of bad coffees, as I did today I begin to wonder my sense of taste, and then I have a coffee that is drinkable and all is well in the world.

Coffee beans on sale. A blend from two different estates in Brazil. Roasted for them by coffee roasters in Nottingham, but not either Cartwheel Coffee or Outpost Coffee.

Teaspoon tea company

February 13, 2019

A coffee in Teaspoon Tea Company. Not recommended, froth on top, scalding hot and cheap nasty coffee.

Why bother serving coffee if know nothing about coffee?

But, they may claim they are a tea shop not coffee shop.

Maybe a choice of around 50 different teas. Did not try and so cannot comment on the quality.

Leadenham Teahouse

February 13, 2019

On the way to Grantham stopped off at Leadenham to visit award-winning Leadenham Teahouse.

What does award-winning actually mean? Not a lot as these days virtually anyone is up for an award and when given by Good Taste Lincolnshire or Good Taste Awards meaningless.

Last year Good Taste Lincolnshire awarded Coffee Bobbins the best tea and coffee shop in Lincolnshire which serving poor quality tea and coffee made the award a laughing stock, as not even the best in Lincoln.

This time around the turn of Leadenham Teahouse for this worthless accolade.

Leadenham is a village on the way Lincoln to Grantham, I say village, actually Leadenham Teahouse on the cross roads, though there is a village church and it does host to my surprise a polo club.

Leadenham Teahouse is a tea shop serving tea and snacks and cake and coffee, a Post Office, well actually a Post Office counter and a little shop selling tourist tat.

As tea shops goes quite pleasant though nothing special.

Custom was myself and a coupe of ladies. No one came in to use the service of the Post Office.

I had avocado on sourdough toast with a sprinkling of cottage cheese, and a little salad.

OK, but poor quality sourdough to what I have had elsewhere and poor offering compared with excellent avocado on sourdough toast at The Cheese Society in Lincoln, which also came with melted halloumi cheese.

In the centre a wood-burning stove emitting more pollution than a diesel lorry, but maybe ok in the middle of nowhere.

The tourist tat, but no tourists, and I could not see why there would be especially as the tea shop not open on a Sunday and closes half day on a Saturday.

Outside bench seats by traffic lights on a major road.

I had a cappuccino. It was not good, poor quality catering supply coffee and clueless on how to make coffee. Though in a all fairness a tea shop not a coffee shop and there was a wide choice of tea.

A few cakes from local bakery, but did not look at all appealing.

I was surprised no fresh bread on sale.

I was told try the farm shop down the road.

Cold afternoon in Grantham

February 13, 2019

It was forecast mild. It was cold.

A long bus journey Lincoln to Grantham. I could have taken a train, but wished to stop off at Leadenham.

Passing through Navenby, at least one, maybe two coaching inns.

Each village a parish church.

Many large mansions set back from the road with long drives. At a guess wealth from sheep long ago.

Leadenham, where I alighted, a cross roads, little else, and a tea shop Leadenham Teahouse by the cross roads.

Very difficult to see how the tea shop cum Post Office cum shop with tourist tat survives with no tourists, nothing to bring in tourists, not open on a Sunday and closed half day on a Saturday.

Grantham a dump and not worth the effort of a visit. Same crap corporate chains as everywhere, greasy spoon cafes, tanning parlours and boarded-up shops. The River Witham flows through the town.

Of interest, statue of Isaac Newton, and the local parish church.

Unusual for any town no homeless on the streets.

The church offered a coat to pick up if feeling cold.

St Wulfram’s Church boasts of the tallest spire in the county if not the country. This may be true, as no matter how far I backed away from the church, I could not capture all of the spire.

A coffee in Teaspoon Tea Company. Not recommended, froth on top, scalding hot and cheap nasty coffee.

Why bother serving coffee if know nothing about coffee?

But, they may claim they are a tea shop not coffee shop.

Maybe a choice of around 50 different teas. Did not try and so cannot comment on the quality.

As heading for the bus station, I did encounter local shops. And a real coffee shop, Kitchen and Coffee. Too late for anything other than a takeaway coffee. And yes drinkable.

1610 Stagecoach bus to Lincoln failed to arrive, broken down somewhere en route to Grantham.

1710 arrived twenty minutes late at Lincoln. Missed connecting bus, twenty-five minutes wait in the cold for the next bus, one of the last buses from the bus station.

At Lincoln, seven in the evening, nearly every bay at the bus station, No Departures. And that is within the city, let alone to villages and towns outside of Lincoln.

Hotel Chocolat clones

February 12, 2019

Waitrose got into deep shit when they copied chocolates from Hotel Chocolat.

Now Holland & Barrett are doing the same, or at the very least stocking chocolates from Cocoalibre which are if nothing else a crude copy of chocolates from Hotel Chocolat.

It looks like Angus Thirlwell will once again have to threaten legal action to get withdrawn from the shelves, though I suggest this time he takes a far tougher line. I can understand why did not require Waitrose destruction of all stock as leads to food waste but at the very least, desist, pay damages and all stock donated to local food banks or handed to homeless on the streets.

Lincoln BIG demonstrates how to squander public money

February 12, 2019

Lincoln BIG is a parasitical organisation that extracts a levy on top of business rates on businesses in Lincoln town centre.

This levy is something few businesses can afford, for many struggling small businesses it is the final straw that breaks the camel’s back, especially as they see little in return.

The latest example of how to squander public money are the heart silhouettes that have appeared in the town centre.

People I have spoken to thought it was something to do with British Heart Foundation, maybe because it copies their logo and one is located outside a BHF charity shop, but no.

Wrong on many levels, not simply an appalling waste of public money.

Passers-by encouraged to take a selfie. That is let’s encourage and reinforce Narcissist Syndrome.

Lincolnshire, according to a recent survey, is where more than half of teens and young people are suffering mental problems, mental health problem exasperated by social media.

Once taken, encouraged to post on Instagram.

Instagram claims ownership of pictures posted, are not visible on twitter, act as bait to draw into the facebook walled garden where personal data is stolen and abused and then used to manipulate facebook users.

But worst of all, Instagram hosts material that leads teens to self-harm and commit suicide.

Is it really a proper use of public funds to promote Instagram, direct vulnerable people to a site that is complicit in teen self-harm and suicide and by directing there Lincoln BIG are also complicit.

Lincoln BIG is also squandering public money to promote Cosy Club, a ghastly corporate chain, a fake 1930s bar, so fake a Monty Python parody of fake.

It is time to bin Lincoln BIG.

Demolition in Sincil Street

February 2, 2019

The demolition of a building in Sincil Street started Monday, by mid-week building almost demolished, Friday piles of rubble.

More regurgitation of corporate press releases by scribblers at Lincolnite masquerading as news reporting.

This is not regeneration, and no matter how often regurgitate Lincoln City Council and Co-op propaganda, it is still not regeneration.

Sincil Street has been trashed, local businesses destroyed, the Central Market a disgrace, and for what, to make way for more corporate High Street chains, the same crap chains that can find in any ghastly shopping centre.

Contrary to the Lincolnite scribblers I saw no bulldozers, nor were any bulldozers visible in their pictures.

What I did see, was heavy equipment being used to demolish a multi-story building alongside a street with passers-by, a hoarding to prevent unauthorised site access and yet no other protection.

This may be acceptable on a remote factory site, it is not acceptable in a town centre.

There should have been scaffolding covered with netting to protect passers-by from flying debri.

The jobsworth who signed this off, who put people at risk, at the very least negligent if not criminally negligent.

Lunch at The Cheese Society

February 1, 2019

New Year’s Eve, I could not find anywhere open for lunch.

Luckily I managed to squeeze on the sharing table at The Cheese Society.

The same today, early afternoon, I thought I may be lucky, and again just managed to squeeze onto the sharing table.

Excellent avocado on sourdough bread topped with grilled halloumi cheese.

My companion Boston sausages on toasted sourdough bread topped with melted Lincolnshire Poacher (Cheddar-like local cheese, not to be be confused with finest adulterated fake cheddar from Skegness).

Served with a small salad, generous portion size.

I have no idea Boston sausage, maybe a variant of Lincolnshire sausage.

Whilst waiting, I tried a brie from Scotland. I will have to pop back and buy.

I recommended Ambrosia to add to their reading material.

I fancied a coffee from Base Camp, but closed, closed for the foreseeable future, change of ownership. Nothing to say closed, or when it may reopen.

Excellent cappuccino at Madame Waffle.

Walking through the High Street, a van and a lorry in what is a pedestrianised street. Every day the same, no Enforcement.

Demolition in Sincil Street, started Monday, by Wednesday almost demolished. And no bulldozers as reported by Lincolnite. Part of the ongoing destruction of Sincil Street by Lincoln City Council in cahoots with the local Coop.

The demolition scant regard for safety of passers-by. There should have been scaffolding and netting to stop debris landing in the street.