Archive for September, 2019

Thomas Cook collapse

September 23, 2019

0200 this morning 178-year-old travel company Thomas Cook went bust.

Over the weekend zombie travel company Thomas Cook kept afloat by the banks had been desperately trying to obtain over Β£200 million to stay afloat.

Up until the crash senior management had been happily pocketing hefty bonuses and massive salaries.

The crash came as no surprise.

Thomas Cook, outdated businesses model, package holidays.

Last week the failing Cyprus industry looked to tour companies to come to their rescue. It beggars belief they are still operating in the 1960s, failing to obtain direct bookings.

UK government has mounted a rescue exercise. But why charter planes, why send out CAA and Foreign Office staff? Why not use the grounded Thomas Cook planes and crew, the staff located overseas? It would have been cheaper.

A moot point should the government have bailed out Thomas Cook, would have been cheaper than the rescue, on the other hand sends out the wrong message and creates a dangerous precedent to bail out bankrupt companies, as they then become reckless, knowing taxpayer will pick up the tab.

Strange no mention why Thomas Cook found itself in this parlous state, saddled with massive debt with no hope of repaying, unable to service the debt, or criminal behaviour of a former chief executive.

Holidaymakers being threatened by their hotel, money demanded, should not pay. The claim of the hotels is against the administrators of Thomas Cook not holidaymakers who have already paid for their holiday.

With the collapse of Thomas Cook, tui will have a monopoly, they will screw clients, screw hoteliers, not that they have not been doing that for years. Tui must be broken up.

Hoteliers should grasp the opportunity Thomas Cook collapse offers for innovation, move to direct bookings, cut out the middle man who is screwing everyone, receive payment end of stay not end of season, but need to move fast otherwise companies like tui will step into the void and exploit the situation.

Already airlines are profiteering from the collapse, hiking air fares.

Β 

Cappuccino and V60 Japanese iced filter coffee Canopy Coffee

September 22, 2019

Guildford somewhere I would not usually visit on a Saturday, too many people.

High Street noticeably not busy. Very few people compared with Lincoln on a Saturday, even compared with Lincoln on a weekday.

More empty retail units in the High Street. And not only the High Street.

Canopy Coffee not somewhere I would visit either, poor quality coffee, though I had heard had improved of late, so give it a try.

Therefore after excellent lunch at Bamboo Shoots and excellent craft beer at Growlers & Cans i thought I would take a walk to Canopy Coffee.

Canopy Coffee is a changing variety of guest coffee. Usually a good selection. Today Nord and Square Mile.

Today a pleasant surprise. They have always had excellent guest coffee, the problem no one capable of making coffee.

Today a pleasant surprise. They have always had excellent guest coffee, the problem no one capable of making coffee.

Today excellent cappuccino.

Sadly I cannot say the same of the V60 Japanese iced filter, very weak and watery.

When I asked what I thought I said weak and watery. To be told will try better next time. But why not offer there and then.

The good news is the coffee has improved, at least for cappuccino.

Disgusting undrinkable coffee at Starbucks

September 22, 2019

A cappuccino, looks disgusting, tastes disgusting.

Every mistake. too hot, bitter, all foam and froth.

How can anyone make coffee this bad?

Sadly the norm for tax-dodging Starbucks.

Offered three cups sizes, normal, too big and far too big.

Put off my coffee even before it was served by the girl who served constantly scratting at her hair.

A bunch of out of control kids, no parents, shouting as though in a playground. No one deals with the problem, either shut them up or kick them out.

Also very very hot inside.

The only reason I am here with reluctance, to use the wifi.

Lunch at Ghurkha Palace

September 22, 2019

Mediocre buffet lunch at Ghurkha Palace.

https://twitter.com/keithpp/status/11757859875800555567

Always has been mediocre, the one and only advantage cheap, but even that no more, no longer cheap.

Also tried a so-called Nepalese inspired craft beer. It too was mediocre.

Afternoon in Guildford

September 21, 2019

Midday when I set off for Guildford sunny but still a chill in the air. A lovely warm afternoon in Guildford.

High Street noticeably not busy. Very few people compared with Lincoln on a Saturday, even compared with Lincoln on a weekday.

More empty retail units in the High Street. And not only the High Street.

As always excellent lunch at Bamboo Shoots.

As always excellent craft beer at Growlers & Cans.

Not been for a long time to Canopy Coffee. Out of the way and the coffee not good.

Today a pleasant surprise. They have always had excellent guest coffee, the problem no one capable of making coffee.

Today excellent cappuccino.

Sadly I cannot say the same of the V60 Japanese iced filter, very weak and watery.

Cappuccino at Krema followed by a cold brew.

Up North once the sun starts to go down has turned chilly. To be expected, it is autumn.

In Guildford stayed warm, until at least seven.

As leaving, sat by the River Wey a gathering of boats. No idea why.

Travelling street food circus returns to Lincoln

September 20, 2019

It is bad enough this travelling circus of junk food, poor quality street food, German sausages, chips, kebabs, poor quality cheese, passes through Lincoln once a year. Now it seems twice a year.

Added to which, as if Lincoln has enough problems with drunken yobs in the High Street on a Saturday afternoon, without adding a bar in the street in Corn Exchange.

Quality street food this is not, and yet another example of how Lincoln BIG wastes public money and why they should be wound up.

Quality Street food can be found in Lincoln for example Curry Jacks (outside Central Market, St Mark’s and once a month at Coffee Aroma), The Mint Box (outside Central Market), Barbell Burger Co (Lincoln Castle during Lincoln Steampunk Festival), Redhill Farm slow roast pork (Lincoln Castle during Lincoln Steampunk Festival).

It is long overdue these quality street food vendors got together as the founders of a Lincoln Street Food Festival, locally organised, local traders, invite only, if not quality, do not get a repeat invite. Would need a craft beer stall, a quality coffee stall, possibly cheese stall, if also served cheese in bread, pasta, paella, wood-fired clay oven pizza.

Cappuccino and V60 at Maramadukes

September 17, 2019

Excellnt cappuccino at Marmadujkes which more tahn makes up for the weak and isnoeiod cappuccion at South Street Kitche.

That is the difference Origin coffee and a skilled basrta makes.

I have brought along Coffee Gems Kenyan will will is happy to try as a V60. It is excellnt.

I hav ea waonder usptatrs, until today I did not know there was an upstair, as never seen stairs.

— to b e continued —

Lunch and cappuccino at South Street Kitchen

September 17, 2019

I was going to have lunch at Marmadukes, but decided to have lunch at South Street Kitchen.

Very cold walking up the slope to Park Hill Flats where South Street Kitchen nestles at the foot of the flats.

Not very warm inside South Street Kitchen where for some persevere reason the door was propped open.

I ordered falafel wrap. I also added a salad as side dish.

Falafel wrap was excellent, the salad less so. Cauliflower cooked then left to go cold. I would have preferred raw cauliflower, than soggy cold cauliflower.

I ordered a cappuccino. A mistake. No better than last visit, weak and insipid.

Problem is two fold, lack of skill of barista and using poor quality Dark Woods espresso blend. The Great Taste award meaningless. Dark Woods roast excellent single origin coffee, but not espresso blends.

It is then to Marmadukes where I was guaranteed an excellent coffee.

South Street Kitchen is featured in Vegan North.

 

— to b e continued —

Afternoon in Sheffield

September 17, 2019

Sunny day but cool in the shade.

Not a refurbished Northern Fail two-coach train but did have added usb charging points and wifi. The usb charging worked but very very slow, the wifi did not connect to anything.

Once again train arrives Sheffield Station several minutes earlym thne sits outside for sevearl minutes, with net result ararives sevearl minutes late.

I was going ti eat at Matamadukes, but decided I will walk uop to Park Hill Flats an deat at South Street Kitchen.

I wondered why I had brouught a coat. I was plesaed I had walking uo the slope, with views over the cnetre of Sheffuiieldm it was very cold.

Excellent lunch.

I finsihed off witha cappuccino. Weak and isnpeid.

To Maramadukes. There may have been a more direct route but I desviced to walk through thes tarion to ass by Morore Cafe.

Passed by Motore Cafe packing up. I am surpised they pack uo so early, or neot ven wai to cat the commutter going home but they tell me no bisinesse later.

Excellent cappuccino at Maramadukes, one of the best coffee shops in Shegffield, makes up for the poor quality coffee at South Park Kitchen.

Will the basrta then tries the Coffee Gems Kenuyan. Best so far, excelelnt.

I deiced to vist Upshot Coffee, no time fora coffee, but I wish to check out … in the same parade of shops. Very annoyed to find clsoed, the second time closed. I learn they are very unrelaible and rarely open.

Sadly no time fora coffee at Upshot Espresso Espreoss. Not taht I wa sgoing to stop, I wished to vist Steamyard. But I see they have a coffee I hav enot encountered before, but no time to try.

Sadly no time either to visit Steamyard.

I hop ona bus, hop off in city cente and wal to thre station.

— to b e continued —

Springs Coffee Lounge

September 16, 2019

Two bags of coffee. An excellent espresso blend roasted for Refinery by Bonanza, Springs Coffee Lounge an omni roast for Two Gingers roasted by The Blending Room.

Of the two, which to choose? The aroma was excellent. Not my choice, that of Mike head barista at Stokes at The Lawn.

Mike chose the Springs Coffee Lounge, a Costa Rican that I had picked up from Two Gingers in Hull at the weekend.

For me a cappuccino, for himself brewed using a Canadiano.

At Two Gingers the cappuccino was excellent. Not so with Mike. Not bad, but not as good, though as cooled notes of fruit.

This to be expected. Two Ginger had the blend selected for them, were experienced with the coffee.

Canadiano, again as cooled a noticeable improvement.

The jury is out on the Candadiano. For home use very easy to brew a coffee, provides a very cloudy coffee, and for me, when I have done a comparison, I have prefered a V60.

It will depend though on the coffee. For example a cold brew at Krema is always cloudy and usually excellent.

Springs Coffee Lounge roasted by The Blending Room for Two Gingers, El Perozoso Las Lomas, this is the third or fourth roast each with its own label, variety … taste notes mango, orange, marmalade and honey, altitude …

Omni Roast: Is There One Roast to Rule Them All?

— to be continued —