Archive for the ‘Lincoln’ Category

Seafood stall outside Lincoln Central Market

September 5, 2020

Third weekend seafood stall outside Lincoln Central Market. First week I find.

Bored stallholder.

I asked bored stallholder when he finally noticed a potential customer, no customers, is this your entire stock or am I late in the day? It was lunchtime. I could not believe how limited the stock. No surprise no customers.

Stallholder could not hear me or failed to comprehend. I suggested he turned down the noise that was blaring out if he could not hear.

He then turned very unpleasant, ordered me to get away from his stall.

Behind his display I noticed very tiny crabs. Far too small to be on sale. Illegal? Certainly not good for conservation. Would lead to over-fishing and reduce opportunity to breed. Something Trading Standards and who ever regulates crab fishing should investigate.

If selling undersized crabs what else questionable?

As I walked away, man shouted at me he did not want my custom, not that he was ever likely to get my custom.

Rude, extremely bizarre behaviour. How to gain customers without really trying. If nothing else needs lessons in good manners.

Once again questions raised useless jobsworth who mismanages the market. No vetting, no due diligence. Having already done his best to destroy the market by kicking out a popular fruit and vegetable stall, now trying to destroy the existing fishmonger inside Lincoln Central Market.

I visited the stall inside the market. Unlike the stall outside a quality fishmonger with a good range of seafood.

The tiny crabs on the outside stall £6-50, fishmonger £4-50 for a crab twice the size.

Failure to notify change of bus route

September 1, 2020

For six months a diversion, instead of ten minutes into Lincoln thirty minutes, whilst a roundabout under construction.

Today, an hour late into town, no bus stop, temporary bus stop vanished. What did this mean, back to normal or yobs stolen the bus stop?

There was no information on the bus last week, nothing from drivers to say normal service resumed.

A lady pulled up, to say no bus, now back to previous route, road opened.

To previous bus stop, both sides of the road notice at bus stop to say bus stop not in use. No timetable.

Would it not have made sense to have left temporary bus stop in place for at least a week, notice to say normal service resumed? Or, whoever removed temporary bus stop, notices on other bus stops?

A bus passed by leaving Lincoln, therefore can expect bus into Lincoln to pass by anytime soon.

At Lincoln Central Bus Station, no timetables, not a single timetable. New timetable came into play Sunday. Information office not open. Information office never open.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and sixty-two

September 1, 2020

For six months a diversion, instead of ten minutes into Lincoln thirty minutes, whilst a roundabout under construction.

Today, an hour late into town, no bus stop, temporary bus stop vanished. What did this mean, back to normal or yobs stolen the bus stop?

Thee was no information on the bus last week, nothing from drivers to say normal service resumed.

A lady pulled up, to say no bus, now back to previous route, road opened.

To previous bus stop, both sides of the road notice at bus stop to say bus stop not in use. No timetable.

Would it not have made sense to have left temporary bus stop in place for at least a week, notice to say normal service resumed? Or, whoever removed temporary bus stop, notices on other bus stops?

A bus passed by leaving Lincoln, therefore can expect bus into Lincoln to pass by anytime soon.

At Lincoln Central Bus Station, no timetables, not a single timetable. New timetable came into play Sunday. Information office not open. Information office never open.

Buy two glasses for coffee from Lakeland. Not a shop I would recommend. Promotion for loyalty card (to enable tracking). Does it give discount? You will get vouchers in the post. Fat lot of use. Contrast with Hotel Chocolat, apply for VIP card in store, kicks in immediately.

Faffle at the till. Lady has a card that does not work. Tries contactless. Card not contactless. Tries again, tries again with keying in pin. No success. Why does she not use cash? Tries again. Works. Has a basket full of goods, then someone else has basket full of goods on same card.

I am about to walk out, when staff member opens a second till. I am given vouchers. Not valid until October, have to spend over thirty or fifty pounds. This is Lakeland taking the piss.

In High Street too many people.

Walk and Ride. First time I have caught and busy.

Bailgate, as expected, restaurants empty, back to as was in July, Eat Out to Help Out finished.

Haddock and chips at Elite on the Bail. Not busy. Staff tell me Eat Out to Help Out was not good, customers rude, insufficient staff, then quiet the rest of the week.

Many of the chains are offering for September or part thereof half price meals. They are still displaying Eat Out to Help Out. This is misleading. If half price, were they previously ripping off customers, or if running at a loss, to put indie restaurants out of business?

A pleasantly warm afternoon. Walk around to Stokes at The Lawn, but too late, to catch the sun on the terrace.

Mike too busy to try a coffee. I have a cappuccino.

As I am leaving, he wishes to try Ethiopia Arsosala WS, an Ethiopian coffee I had picked up from Cartwheel Coffee. I would have suggested V60, Mike says no, an espresso. He is impressed the bag lists brew ratio for espresso and filter, which gives a good starting point. Something more coffee roasteries should list.

We try espresso, or at least Mike tries espresso, for me he adds hot water a sort of Americano, though I would have preferred to try espresso. We are both impressed. Very fruity.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and fifty-eight

August 28, 2020

Heavy rain forecast, walk out of bus station to heavy rain, luckily did not last long and I managed not to get wet.

Looked in Lakeland, overpriced kitchenware store. Usually devoid of customers. Today at least half a dozen.

Not for quality coffee making equipment, no V60, Chemex, Aeropress, swan-neck kettle, digital scales.

But and a big but, two glasses and a grinder.

The hand grinder CrushGrind Columbia coffee grinder I had not seen or heard of before. I extracted from the box and it appeared to be a quality product. A rare find for Lakeland.

Botanist another crap corporate chain has colonised the recently created square.

Meanwhile indie coffee shops and restaurants have been requesting for years tables in the streets.

Ludicrous in Santander. I wanted £50 notes. I waited and waited. I asked member of staff please ask cashiers to save me wasting my time. He refused. I waited and waited. He then relented. A single £50 note.I said forget it and walked out.

Looked in Oxfam bookshop. Selling off old coffee and chocolate long past its best. Why would anyone buy stale low quality coffee from Oxfam when can buy freshly roasted coffee from Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle and hopefully soon from Forage and Fill (one of the few stalls worth visiting in Lincoln Central Market)?

The outdoor seafood stall I saw last weekend no sign of. Apparently been and gone. Last Saturday packed up early afternoon.

Hopped on Walk and Ride to avoid walking up Steep Hill.

Friday, restaurants in Bailgate empty.

Elite on the Bail not busy. Haddock and chips. Loud music, apart from irritating, a clear breach of coronavirus  regulations, but no enforcement, no one cares.

All the crass Eat Out to Help Out has done is to transfer businesses from end of the week to the beginning of the week, and overloaded restaurants and coffee shops to the point where they cannot cope.

To help indie coffee shops and restaurants, close streets pedestrianise traffic free tables in the streets, as has happened in Nottingham. But should have happened early summer. Now the weather not good too late.

The Lion and Snake binge drinking pub building an outside bar. Why? If to attract more drunken yobs would be clear breach of covid-19 regulations.

Temperature plummeted. Heavy rain.

Hopped on Walk and Ride back down into town.

Cappuccino at Madame Waffle.

Tempted to pop into Lakeland to pick up grinder but closed at five.

Cold, heavy rain.

Bus defective windscreen wipers not doing a great job wiping windscreen. Why has the bus not been taken out of service?

Lincoln farmers market

August 15, 2020

Friday farmers market in Louth second Friday of the month, Saturday farmers market in Lincoln third Saturday of the month.

An alert I found at two o’clock a farmers market today, sent five hours earlier. Poor use of social media. OK for a reminder but should have sent out an alert at least day before. Though I am also at fault for not checking.

Dash into Lincoln, maybe make farmers market as packing up.

Whilst waiting for a bus,  I am passed by a convoy of Porsche and Lamborghini. To my surprise I encounter later parked up near Lincoln Cathedral.

I made the farmers market as stalls packing up.

I was curious, why if farm in the Lincolnshire Wolds Lincolnshire Poacher does not have a stall at the Louth farmers market. Too many shops selling their cheese. Maybe that explains why the Louth farmers market only has one stall, many excellent local food shops therefore what does a farmers market offer?

Bread stall half price bread? No. Two for the price of three. A deal with a lady who was made the same offer. Two pound each. I gave her two loaves and she thanked me and said she would give the second one to a friend she was meeting later.

Excellent haddock and chips, late lunch at Elite on the Bail.

Parked outside a car with parking ticket stuck to the windscreen. No one came to the car.

Lack of social distancing The Lion and Snake.  Loud music audible half way down Westgate.  When will dysfunctional Lincoln City Council act and shut down pubs and bars flouting covid-19 regulations?

Walked around Lincoln Castle to have a coffee on the terrace at Stokes at The Lawn, if open. Sea haar last few days, making cooler. It was open but now too cool to sit on the terrace.

Walked the back way down into town.

Loud music, horrendous noise binge drinking bars top end of the High Street. Breach of covid-19 regulations but no action by dysfunctional Lincoln City Council to enforce the rules and close the bars and pubs flagrantly flouting the rules.

Cappuccino at Coffee Aroma.

Whilst sat outside Coffee Aroma, large gangs of drunken yobs roaming around. No sign of police.

Louth farmers market

August 14, 2020

I was recommended visit the farmers market in Louth, the second Friday of the month.

It had to be better than the farmers market in Lincoln with very few stalls. It could not be worse, could it?

It was worse. One solitary stall. Yes, there were other stalls, remnants of the Wednesday market.

It is easy to see why towns like Louth are failing when shops shut at three.

Seeing nothing worthwhile on the farmers market, a quick scoot around before everything closed.

A shop with loose dry goods, Spill the Beans, nuts, seeds, muesli, dried fruit, pasta, shovel what one wants, closed at three. I got in before three. A tiny shop, no social distancing when two more customers walked in and stood by me, no door open.

A cheese shop, The Cheese Shop, I stood outside looking at the cheeses. I waited and waited and waited. Two customers pissing about. One of them could have walked out, then I could have walked in. Three staff serving, well actually only one serving. In the end I gave up.

Headed to  Auction House , only to be told kitchen closed, anyway we shut at three.

Earlier I had passed by Red Mama’s Cafe Wine Bar, stopped and looked, to be told we are closed. It was a little after two.

On my way in to the farmers market I had stopped and had an interesting chat in a wholefood coop, Louth Wholefood Co-op. I commented on their large selection of chocolate, a pity all from industrial conglomerates and not quality chocolate. The man serving I had a long and interesting chat with. He agreed. I suggested try Louisa’s and Bullion, relativity local and unlike what they had on the shelves, quality chocolate.

Looked in a butcher, Lakings, made a mental note to pop back later.

Down a side street, a little vegetarian restaurant The Green Cottage about to close, almost three. Very limited choice, I counted maybe four choices displayed on a wall. I thought maybe specials, looked in the menu that had been brought to the table. No, menu listed sandwiches. And not something I would wish to handle at the best of times, and certainly not during covid-19 pandemic.

My contact details were not taken. Nor were they taken at Auction House a couple of weeks ago.

Note: Failure to take contact details for track and trace is the norm not the exception.  It only serves to empathise why everyone should download, install and share German track and trace app.

I ordered quiche, new potatoes and salad. It was not very good and I left half eaten.

Lady apologised she closed at three, said she used to be open until four but no businesses. I was her only customer.

I guess catch 22. Poor choice, no customers, no customers not feasible to offer wider choice.

Now around 3-15, I thought pop back to cheese shop, I may be be in luck, but no. The shop with the loose nuts etc had already closed.

Louth has many interesting little shops but to what end if close at three?

I manged to find the butcher Lakings  I had passed early.

Walking back I noticed the pie shop, Smiths Pies, had closed.

Speaking to a helpful lady watering hanging baskets she said they closed in January, thus not a casualty of coronavirus.

lunch at Gino’s

August 10, 2020

After a wasted trip to Heighington for lunch, one pub closed the other so grim a lucky escape no food, I decide try Gino’s in Bailgate.

There are many Italian restaurants, depressing that few are worth a visit.

Gino’s lunchtime is usually empty, last week busier, today busier still. Whether summer visitors in Bailgate or the silly Eat Out to Help Out I do not know. Had it been busier, I would not have walked in, as reluctant to eat anywhere that is busy.

Service very very slow, bordering on terrible, though staff pleasant.

Whether normally this bad I do not know. Maybe staff on furlough, caught unawares by the sudden increase in numbers and not increased staffing levels.

I had to request the special lunchtime menu, which I had seen mentioned on the window. It was not brought to the table until I asked

It was not a lot different to the menu I was brought, the main difference the more expensive items missing and what was listed a lower price.

I had intended to order a pizza, and on the special menu significantly cheaper if chose a more expensive pizza. I changed my mind and decided to order one of the special dishes, pollo alla crema.

To say the least, pollo alla crema a grave disappointment. The sauce weak, insipid and watery, not as should be, the chips not good, and the salad limp not fresh.

I contrast with the same dish or at least similar pollo crema a fungi at Caffe Macchiato, the sauce thick and creamy, the salad always crisp and fresh.

I then made a mistake of ordering a coffee, a cappuccino. I would not usually order coffee in a restaurant and certainly not in an Italian restaurant as Italians are infamous for very bad coffee. But I was curious.

It was worse than I expected, all froth and foam. I dipped my spoon in delved deeper, froth and foam with a  slight brown stain. First sip, a mouthful of froth and foam, next try, a slight taste of the coffee, and it was vile, Italian cheap over-roasted commodity coffee.

Cappuccino left untouched.

On leaving I asked a lady at a table what she thought. She was not impressed, poor quality food, poor service, failed to mention 50% with East Out to Help Out.

Neither was it mentioned to me the 50% Eat Out to Help Out discount. At least not when menu was brought to the table nor when I ordered. If mentioned, maybe diners would do as I did and opt for a more expensive dish. It was only mentioned when the bill was brought to explain why a 50% discount on the bill.

If anyone does eat here, please do not order the coffee, walk through the grounds of Lincoln Castle or around the walls to Stokes at The Lawn, and if evening Thursday Friday or Saturday, can sit on the terrace in the evening.

I then went to the ice cream parlour in Bailgate.

After enjoying a coffee ice cream I walked down Steep Hill to take a coffee at Coffee Aroma.


Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and forty

August 10, 2020

After an abortive trip to Heighington for pub lunch, one pub closed the other so grim a lucky escape, it was head into Lincoln.

Stuck my head in Pepperdine’s to ask when were they closed? Four o’clock.

No one sat at the tables opposite 200 Degrees. Maybe lack of shade.

New fruit and vegetable stall in Lincoln Central Market lacked half of what I wanted. But to be fair only opened last week and has yet to establish regular customers therefore stock control difficult.  And since to council bully boys evicted last month the one established fruit and veg stall locals have stopped going to the market, if can call it a market.


Was tempted whilst waiting for the Walk and Ride bus to save walking up Steep Hill to eat at the Caribbean restaurant near the bus stop. Very basic, no one around, and very loud music. Covid regulation bar loud music. But dysfunctional local council that could mot organise a piss up in a brewery fails to enforce.

As no pub lunch lunch at Heighington, I decided on a pizza at Gino’s in Bailgate. I had to ask for the special menu.  I decided instead on pollo alla crema. It was not good, the service was very poor.  I made the mistake of ordering a coffee. It was undrinkable and left untouched.

An ice cream from the ice cream parlour, if for no other reason than to take way the vile taste of the coffee.

It was then walk down Steep Hill.

A coffee at Coffee Aroma. A mistake, I should have had a cold beer. Why does no one do cold brew coffee?


Pub lunch Heighington

August 10, 2020

The intention was a detour into Heighington for a pub lunch only to find the pub was not open.

I was in two minds lunch at a pub as pubs not safe places to be with covid-19 on the rise, but if not crowded or maybe sit outside in the shade, only to find the Butcher and Beast was not open. Nothing to indicate why not open or when open, but the windows so cluttered with rubbish difficult to know. There is a board that says menu, with nothing.

I thought hang around for a bus then thought try The Turks Head. Never set foot in before, never will again. A Punch Tavern, business model, find a mug to relieve of their life savings, then find next mug. Recently changed hands. Grim inside, grim outside, outside seating in the car park, no shade, no food.

I waited for the next bus into Lincoln.


Spot the customer

August 7, 2020

Louth has a thriving market. Hull has Trinity Market. Lincoln a shabby, run down, badly managed Central Market.

When think it could not get any worse, beginning of last month dysfunctional Lincoln City Council responsible for the appalling state of the market kicked out on a whim the fruit and vegetable stall that accounted for at least 80% of the market footfall. The few remaining traders saw what little business there was collapse overnight.

End of last month, the outside fruit and vegetable stall relocated to the vacated pitch. If it did not generate footfall for the market when located outside the doors to the market it was highly unlikely to generate footfall for the market when it moved by a few feet. But who can comprehend the perverse mindset of worthless jobsworths? And so it has proved to be, not a jot of difference. From empty space to a bored stallholder staring into space.

It is now a case of spot the customer.

The kicked out stall, always busy, exceptionally busy on a Saturday.

Mid-week, not a single customer at the relocated stall, Saturday a solitary customer looking lost.

The local community is angry at the treatment of their regular stall and will not buy from the relocated stall. Poor quality produce, rudeness, and reports of short-changing does not help.

What dirty little backroom deal was cooked up by the local council? When did discussions start? What rent is being paid? This scandal will not go away. Local media needs to do some digging, fire off Freedom of Information requests.  A Judicial Review would be more than justified.

A deafening silence from local councillors. Maybe they are more concerned not putting at risk their nice little earner from the local coop.

The local community has three options

If do not wish to walk up Steep Hill, pick up the Walk and Ride bus from The Stonebow and alight at Lincoln Cathedral or Bailgate.

Steve and Beth established their veg box scheme during the height of coronavirus pandemic for people who were housebound. They should have received a Civic Award. Instead kicked out by council bully boys for daring to criticise mismanagement and appalling state of Lincoln Central Market.

Please sign the on-line petition objecting to the eviction.

If live in Lincoln please contact your local councillors and local Member of Parliament Karl McCartney and ask them to investigate the eviction, and at the very least go and visit the farm and talk to the former stallholders, talk to customers and check for themselves the facts not rely on officials running a vindictive vendetta for criticism of a badly run market.

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