Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Cafe Merlin

November 8, 2022

Located within a private museum, Theocharakis.

A private party. Excellent food and red wine. But terrible coffee

… to be continued …

Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park

November 2, 2022

Local bus was late. Did not stop at the top of the sculpture park. No time to explore

Since my visit last Friday, barricades across the entrance. I can only assume to stop idiots with off-road bikes and other vehicles.

Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park

October 28, 2022

For the first time on many trips, local bus stopped at the top bus stop, giving me time not to explore but at least to walk through the sculpture park then pick up the InterCity Bus for Larnaca at the bottom entrance.

Ayia Napa Medieval Festival

October 15, 2022

The final day of the 17th Ayia Napa Medieval Festival

Compared with previous years fewer in the procession. Absent some rrom Wednesday.

Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park

October 15, 2022

I caught an rstkier bus thsn Wednesday, which gagevtieç

Bus once again failed to stop at top entrance lm

The Drill Hall lunch

July 20, 2022

The local council spent oodles of money renovating The Lincoln Drill Hall, then it closed, the money down the drain.

The Drill Hall has now reopened with new owners and an infantile name, The Drill.

A tacky entrance, to say the least uninviting and off putting.

When I walked in, empty, bar staff eating in a corner, one other table with a couple of women.

Since my last visit, the bar area appears to have been renovated. There is also outside seating.

I had intended to eat, but the menu uninspiring.

A drink, no. Beer from an industrial brewery, catering supply coffee.

What is depressing, this could be an excellent lunchtime bistro, a coffee shop serving excellent coffee, a bar with craft beer.

I turned on my heels and walked out, to find somewhere to eat.

Lincoln is being overrun with corporate chain eateries. On my visit to Lincoln, two more chain pizza parlours to open, both offering free pizzas as an enticement.

Independents need to do better, otherwise we will have none left. They cannot take their clientele for granted.

Fresh Local & Wild

January 28, 2022

The entrance belies the size of the interior.

On entering it is like stepping into an empty warehouse, lots of empty space, and rows of tables as though a works canteen.

My interest was piqued, what was this new venture, how was the coffee?

Very little local in terms of local produce, but yes local businesses, each has a stall, the stalls not manned.

Bananas on the fruit and veg stall rotten, everything else appeared fresh.

Zero waste stall, no one to ask of the various products and I’d be reluctant to use the chutes.

Bread from Vine’s bakery on another stall. What happens to the bread at the end of the day, half price, given away?

Wild? I saw nothing wild.

The coffee?

I was pleasantly surprised. I had an excellent cappuccino, baristas who know how to make coffee. An espresso blend The Lincoln Imp from Seven Districts a local roastery.

Apart from their roastery in the middle of nowhere, the only place worth visiting to try Second Districts coffee.

Lincoln now has three excellent coffee shops

  • Coffee Aroma
  • Madame Waffle
  • Fresh Local & Wild

In the near future, it is hoped to have bags of Seven Districts coffee on sale.

When buying coffee beans, only buy from a reputable roastery or an indie coffee shop where they are passionate about coffee.

St Mark’s closed and boarded up retail units, little footfall, no surprise Fresh Local & Wild empty.

St Mark’s is out of the way, a detour from the town centre, but if passing by, then pop in for the coffee.

The location is not good, not in the town centre, and although hosting local businesses, a chain.

The ideal location would be the Lincoln Central Market and were it not for the dysfunctional local council lacking in vision, they would have kicked the tat out of the market, much needed renovation, then created something akin to Fresh Local & Wild, local businesses, quality local business not rubbish, art and a specialty coffee shop.

In the summer it is hoped to have outside seating.


update

My initial thoughts, with reservations, 5*, but now 2* and that is being generous.

Seven Districts and guest coffee from Two Chimps, but for how long, the baristas have walked, the coffee is terrible, and giving the roasteries a bad name?

The fruit and veg stall, rotten produce, one visit half the produce rotten. My last visit, only three baskets of what I would not describe as fresh.

Vines Bakery pulled out?

The coffee was the only reason for a visit, now not worth a visit.

Only two coffee shops in Lincoln worth visiting for decent coffee:

  • Coffee Aroma
  • Madame Waffle

How long before Fresh Local & Wild closed down? There is virtually zero footfall at St Mark’s, the store must be haemorrhaging money to pay the rent for a unit this size, plus staff, plus heating and lighting, plus business rates.

Ayia Napa Medieval Festival

October 16, 2021

The last night of week-long Ayia Napa Medieval Festival. My third night.

Leaving Limassol later than intended, I reached Ayia Napa later than intended, caught last hour of concert.

I sat for about twenty minutes, then wandered around the stalls.

I had no intention of buying anything, I ended up buying a jar of honey, two bottles of pomegranate juice. Each bottle, the size of a coke bottle, the juice of a kilogram of pomegranates. One good for health, but never more than one.

The honey eased the sickness of caffeine poisoning.

Tried local version of jamon serrano. Very tasty.

Soaps tempting but would have contaminated coffee.

I suggested bees wax paper for wrapping. Where to obtain from? I inquired of honey stall. They were not very helpful.

The Medieval stalls were far more interesting than any craft market in England, which tends to be overpriced tat.

I thought I would eat at a restaurant, further up, past the monastery. Too late, closed. A conversation with the owner, a large glass of brandy, invited to return another day.

Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park

October 14, 2020

Yesterday, changing from local bus to Intercity Bus en route to Larnaca, I alighted at Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park and wandered through.

I noticed many new additions since my last visit a year ago.

Reclaim the Streets

May 16, 2020

We hear the sound of birdsong, the streets are traffic free, the cities are pollution free.

There can be no return to normal as normal was not normal.

We have been jolted into another now. We must maintain our city centres car and pollution free.

The first businesses to reopen coffee shops, tables outside, social distancing maintained,  dwell time relatively short.

To achieve this, coffee shops need to be able to spread out into the streets, out into the squares, the norm in Athens, indeed the norm across Europe, when one coffee shop in Lincoln requested this they received an emphatic no from Lincolnshire County Council, not even the courtesy of an explanation.

Unfortunately we will not agree to you increasing the number of tables and chairs you use or the size of the area that you have at the current time (your enclosure needs to still be only outside the frontage of your premises).

Kick starting the local economy, improving the ambience, worthless council jobsworths don’t give a damn.

Our High Streets were dying before the covid-19 pandemic. The loss of Big Business, corporate chains, from the High Street is no great loss, it was destroying the High Street. If we are to recover it will be through small local independent businesses.  That is why we must allow indie coffee shops, and only indie coffee shops not chains, next restaurants, to expand into the streets. Not pubs and bars as we do not want drunks on the streets.

Local businesses spreading into public space helps everyone, safeguarding staff and clientele through social distancing, improves the ambience of the locality, especially if No Smoking, and for many local businesses it will mean life or death, the difference whether they survive or not.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has recognised people are going to be reluctant to use public transport  therefore we have to encourage walking and cycling if we do not wish traffic levels to rise. But if wishes to improve cycling and walking, must also make our city centres more attractive by encouraging local councils to facilitate indie coffee shops and restaurants to spread out into our streets.

Deliveries to the pedestrianised areas,  park on the periphery and deliver by handcart or trolley.

Sheffield, an unusual city in that prior to the covid-19 pandemic a city on the up, a marked contrast to most decaying cities. And why? Independent businesses everywhere.

BBC Radio 4 The Food Programme recently featured Sheffield, the focus on how indie food businesses were bringing life back to Sheffield. With the exception of Marmadukes I would not agree with their choice of examples, but the gist yes. I could list several examples, South Street Kitchen, Marmadukes, Steam YardSheffield Cheese Masters, Bullion bean to bar craft chocolate, ShuJu Taiwanese pop-up kitchen at Union St.

Mention also needs to be made of Now Then, an indie magazine that features local culture and indie businesses, interesting articles and art, well worth seeking out.

Through reclaiming the streets, we are operating at the interface between business, environment and society, a component part of Doughnut Economics, where the local economy is designed to be regenerative and distributive, with people and the environment at its heart.  We kick cars out of our town centres, we plant trees, we improve the ambience, we create a space where local businesses and communities can thrive, breathe clean air, or simply relax with a  good coffee, read a book, sit and watch the world go by.

One of my favourite places to sit and relax, Little Tree, a bohemian bookshop cum coffee shop, not far from The Acropolis.

In Exarchia, an anarchist district of Athens, they set up road blocks, boxes with plants,  created traffic free zones. The city authorities also act, they are extending the pedestrianised areas around The Acropolis.


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