Archive for the ‘Lincoln’ Category

Lincoln April showers

March 30, 2023

Weekend my coronavirus symptoms returned with a vengeance. My firs day out since Friday of last week.

First day not raining all day.

Sunshine and showers. I managed to dodge the heavy rain.

Oxfam bookshop I was surprised to find Coffee Art still on the shelves. I was also pleased to gin ….

Tony’s Chocolony being sold off. I wish they would ditch this slave trade industrial chocolate.

Walk & Ride to Lincoln Cathedral.

Lunch at Elite on the Bail.

Last week one of watteses thought 501 cocktails was for her. I said no. Today I said if she wanted the the book I’d bring it in for her.

Walked back down Steep Hill.

Tap & Tonic top of the High Street no sign of opening anytime soon. They ignore on social media questions when opening. Very poor use of social media.

Stop at Coffee Aroma for a coffee.

End of the afternoon feeling very rough.

Coffee House

March 25, 2023

During lockdown coffee roasteries sprung up like fungi during warm autumn rain.

If they are a lucky, a local village shop may stock, a local cafe. Markets are a must.

On Guildford farmers market I found beans for sale. Never seen before, never seen since. Asked of the q grade, I was told 250g.

Lincoln farmers market, third Saturday of March, I found Coffee House. Another lock down roastery.

Jackalopy Joe uses paper coffee bags. Useless for storing coffee beans, the paper is porous, the beans will oxidise and be stale. Coffee House weeusing the same useless bags.

When I pick up a bag of beans, a wonderful aroma. With these bags nothing. No aroma, not unless we include the strong smell of the brown paper bags. Maybe that was why the objected to my picking up a bag

Little kilner jars of roasted beans. As with the bags, no aroma.

Looking at one lot of beans, it looked over roasted.

Roasting requires skill, knowledge of coffee.

It goes without saying I did not pick a bag of beans. It would have been a futile exercise and a waste of money.

Lincoln farmers market

March 25, 2023

Saturday a week ago, third Saturday of the month, farmers market.

City centre packed.

Long wait for Walk and Ride, city centre gridlocked.

Eventually turned up Out of Service, but driver offered to give it a go. Quicker to have walked.

A long chat with an organic stall about honey and Honey Festival in Athens autumn last autumn. I picked up not sure what, turnip, parsnip. They reminded me of the market closed at two. It was already two.

Last market there was a new stall, honey. Saturday not there, in its place another new stall, coffee.

Not impressed by the coffee stall.

Fresh salmon, but no crab. Raw milk, Poacher cheese, butter , but no creme fraiche

Lunch at Elite on the Bail.

Looked in Dough Loco. Will drop by one day and pass on what I learned of pizza making from world champion pizza maker at HoReCa.

Walking down Steep Hill, Base Camp their window smashed. It will be expensive to repair, old building.

Back down in the city centre late afternoon, drunken scum roaming the streets.

Lincoln April showers

March 24, 2023

Rain forecast for a couple of hours early afternoon, but low probability.

Looked in Three Joes sourdough pizza but did not see the guy I saw Monday. Expensive, £12-95 for the cheapest pizza.

When will Three Joes sourdough pizza be making the same offer as Franco Manca sourdough pizza on Monday, pizzas £6?

501 Must-Drink Cocktails from Oxfam bookshop.

Muesli and risotto rice from zero waste shop. How much risotto rice for mushroom risotto? A couple of handfuls.

Walk & Ride to Lincoln Cathedral. I could see black clouds. It started to chuck it down.

Sheltered in art gallery.

It eased off. Sun came out. I made it to Elite on the Bail before the next down pour.

Walked down Steep Hill to Coffee Aroma.

Passing Franco Manca I noticed again empty, one customer.

200 Degrees cappuccino

March 23, 2023

Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, two days traveling, flight to Gatwick then train to Lincoln.

Feeling very tired, I popped into 200 Degrees for a coffee.

200 Degrees, a regional chain, marginally better than Costa, Starbucks or Caffè Nero. If lucky, may occasionally be served a drinkable coffee. Wednesday of last week was not one of those days.

House blend is undrinkable, cup size too large.

Cup size too large, order guest blend, flat white cup, then correct size cup for cappuccino. Maybe will be served a drinkable coffee.

First attempt sent back, blended with chocolate. Not asked did I wish for chocolate.

Second attempt, too hot, unpleasant taste. Even worse, vile taste lingered in my mouth.

Gatwick to Lincoln by train

March 22, 2023

Wednesday of last week, after landing at Gatwick the evening before and staying overnight at Premier Inn, train Gatwick to Lincoln via Stevenage. A new route for me.

Nightmare booking the tickets on-line the night before, to then collect the tickets from a ticket machine.

Gatwick has no ticket office.

A long queue at the ticket machines.

Website and tickets said train 1049. Train departed from Gatwick Airport at 1046.

Passes through London Bridge, St Pancras International then on to Stevenage where change for LNER Azuma to Lincoln.

At Stevenage, fellow passenger, do you not want Stevenage? We are at Stevenage. I thanked her, grabbed my stuff and jumped off the train.

Stevenage very cold compared with Gatwick.

Waiting room was also a little kiok. Coffee undrinkable.

On LNER train I explained to pig ignorant fat female guard their website not fit for purpose and have wrong train times. She did not want to know.

Later the guard changed. A pleasant black female. I explained again. She said she would raise with LNER.

As far as Grantham, a lovely Bengladeshi girl manning the buffet.

At Lincoln, a not very good cappuccino from 200 Degrees. But at least drinkable, unlike the undrinkable coffee at the kiosk Stevenage.

Lincoln windy afternoon

March 22, 2023

Windy but no rain.

Bus into Lincoln, bus to Burton Road, then walk to Nonna Juana Deli.

Mushroom ravioli and a couple of desserts.

Walk Olé Olé. Albondigas and a glass of red wine. The red wine excellent. A pity they do not sell their wine and beer at off-dale prices. Maybe sell in Steep Hill Wines.

Orange blossom and white tea from Imperial Teas.

Several windows smashed on Steep Hill.

Cappuccino from Madame Waffle not good.

Franco Manca empty. One table with one person.

Cappuccino at Coffee Aroma.

Spring flowers on an old wall

March 22, 2023

Church Hill in the Lincolnshire village of Washingborough, spring flowers on an old wall.

Franco Manca sourdough pizza

March 21, 2023

Sunday an e-mail from Franco Manca, Monday pizzas six pounds each.

I decided to give it a try.

I knew what I wanted, tomato, cheese and dried oregano.

I expected the restaurant to be packed, a long queue outside. It was nearly empty, no queue.

Menu does not indicate the size of the pizzas. I learnt twelve inch pizza.

Why sourdough? Traditionally the flour would be soft wheat 00.

I asked for water. A bottle of water brought to my table, no glass.

Sitting on the side near the pizza oven a pizza and what was maybe a couple of sides or starters. Why were they sitting getting cold, not immediately served to a table?

My pizza was served on a cold plate, not sliced. By the time I ate my last two slices,  my pizza was cold.

My pizza was excellent. Not as good as Slow Rise or Dough LoCo, nevertheless excellent and better than I expected.

The one and only waitress was pleasant and helpful. Reviews on Google maps slam the poor service. I had no problem with the service, but did query how one waitress could have coped if the six  pound pizza offer had generated demand?

Whilst no problem with the waitress the service was at best iffy.

When I walked in, maybe 10% full. When I left, almost empty, two occupied tables with a couple of people at each table.

A limited selection of cocktails. Curious, I asked how they made a Negroni. The waitress said we pour it out of a bottle. I thought she was joking. She brought over the bottle to show me,  Campari Negroni.

Four cocktails, three of Italian origin, odd one out gin and tonic. But why no Americano, the precursor to the Negroni, a classic Italian cocktail?

If offering cocktails, I do not expect to be offered ready mix cocktails poured out of a bottle. If lack the resources for cocktails, then remove cocktails from the menu.

The coffee? No one knew, other than Italy. Italy is infamous for bad coffee. I learnt from their website, specialty coffee from Italy. But looking at their equipment, a cheap machine, no beans in the hopper and the coffee ground God knows when. Looking at the disgusting state of the ground coffee, I would have dumped in the bin. Coffee has to be freshly ground, weighed, for each cup.

And no, I did not have a coffee.

For coffee, equi-distance between Madame Waffle and Coffee Aroma. Monday, Madame Waffle closed, Coffee Aroma it was to be.

My bill was brought with 10% service charge added. The offer was £6 for a pizza. I handed over six pounds cash. It is not acceptable to add a service charge.

The robotic reply to critical reviews on Google maps is insulting. A robot would do better. When responding to critical reviews at least have the courtesy to address the issues raised.

Franco Manca is a chain, that started in Brixton, spread across London, and now Lincoln. It was sold to a restaurant group headed by the former boss of bankrupt Pizza Express.

Update: I passed by Franco Manca late afternoon early evening on Wednesday and Friday, on both occasions empty, one table occupied with a single customer.

Lincoln First Day of Spring

March 20, 2023

An hour late into Lincoln.

I would not have gone into Lincoln but for the fact Sunday an e-mail all pizzas at Franco Manca sourdough pizza six pounds each.

I looked in Three Joes sourdough pizza to ask when would they have a similar offer. It maybe explained why they were empty.

A couple of books from Oxfam bookshop on cocktails, one on gin cocktails the other a cocktail handbook for bar staff.

City centre not busy , though not as deserted as early January.

I expected to find Franco Manca packed with a large queue outside.

Coffee at coffee aroma.

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