Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Castle Hill farmers market

March 16, 2019

A very windy day, weather forecast gale and heavy rain.

Would the farmers market be cancelled? If yes, would it be held the following weekend?

Vist Lincoln were asked, but lacked the courtesy

— to be continued —

Afternoon in Nottingham

March 9, 2019

Gale blowing this morning, nearly blown off my feet, but luckily not raining and bus and train running on time.

1140 two-coach East Midlands Trains overcrowded train Lincoln to Nottingham, but the rail companies do not care. Do not even have the courtesy to respond to tweets.

Talking to three guys from Holland over for a weekend of football, they commented how all the towns were the same, the same crap corporate chains. That in Holland they had learnt, quality indie businesses in town centres, the crap sold in chains can buy on-line.

A lesson the idiots in Town Halls in bed with greedy developers and corporate chains have yet to learn.

In contrast to 200 Degrees Lincoln newly opened this week amidst overblown hype, 200 Degrees Nottingham Station almost empty, though did start to fill up whilst I was there, but this was lunchtime.

Contrary to what 200 Degrees claim, the clientele not commuters, though this may be true in the morning and evening. What I always see is people with friends, meeting friends or people on their own.

Food good, coffee mediocre. Not acceptable old coffee on sale. I would expect better when 200 Degrees roast their own coffee. Not somewhere I would recommend for coffee when far better places for coffee in Nottingham.

One of which is Cartwheel Coffee where I headed for a coffee.

Unlike most towns on a Saturday, Nottingham never seems busy, though walking to the centre through a dismal shopping centre, never seen so packed, not the shopping centre itself which is always deserted but people using as a short cut.

It is strange how Nottingham Station is isolated from the city centre and have to walk through a dingy dismal deserted shopping centre and then along a street lined with crap corporate chains find anywhere.

Cartwheel Coffee packed. Outside a guy on saxophone.

I luckily found a seat by the window. More people than were in Cartwheel, looked in, saw full and walked away.

I ordered a cappuccino. A couple walked in, luckily found a seat. As they walked in, asked me what the coffee was like? I said excellent. I mentioned other places worth visiting, then later as I left wrote them a list – The Specialty Coffee Shop, Wired and Outpost Coffee. I also suggested check out Cobden Chambers opposite Wired, especially Ideas on Paper where I was headed next.

I asked where they were from? Sheffield. I suggested try Tamper Sellers Wheel of which I have heard good things, though not personally visited. Featured in Coffee Shop North.

I mentioned an article in The Guardian on the decline of Sheffield and the ludicrous response from the local council, the same council responsible for destruction of street trees, we have chains.

Once again an example of Town Halls lacking any understanding why people visit. Why visit Sheffield from Nottingham or Lincoln, or vice a versa to find the same crap chains?

Two weekends previous, two Chinese girls, visitors to Lincoln, complimented Madame Waffle on the quality of their tea and asked could they buy loose leaf tea. Two other visitors complimented on the coffee and how much they liked it was an independent coffee shop.

And what does Visit Lincoln promote and hype, 200 Degrees, a chain serving at best mediocre coffee.

Interesting conversation with a group of Muslims, ironically with a stall outside St Peter’s Church. They said it was rare to talk with a non-Muslim who knew anything about Islam and The Koran.

Why outside St Peter’s Church and in the Market Square ice cream vans with engines running in pedestrianised streets?

Chocolatier in Cobden Chambers, knows nothing about chocolate. Chocolate bar clones of Hotel Chocolat, wrapped in plastic, soy emulsifier.

Today, first time, I found the Zero Waste Shop in Cobden Chambers open. But no time other than for a cursory glance. What though I did see, not acceptable to pay 5p for a paper bag or have to weigh in 20g increments.

Nor much time in Ideas on Paper, picked up Caboodle and Ambrosia.

Sadly no time for Wired, on to Outpost Coffee where my second cappuccino, even better than the first. An Ethiopian single origin.

Always excellent reading material in Outpost Coffee. All to be found on sale in Ideas on Paper.

Sitting on the shelf Drift Melbourne edition. Sorry, not for sale.

I learnt I was a member of an elite group. Blocked from all 200 Degrees social media accounts.

1621 two-coach train Nottingham to Lincoln standing room only.

At Lincoln, five minutes from train arrival to leaving the station due to the barricades. A guard patrols the train, checks tickets, sells tickets, but hassle at the barrier. Yet another example of the contempt East Midland Trains has for passengers.

 

The Perky Peacock

February 22, 2019

I have in the past tried to find a coffee shop located on or by the bridge.

Could I find, no.

Today, walking along the Citay Walls I find.

— to be continued —-

Warm sunny February day in York

February 22, 2019

Very unsual day for February. Jet straem bring in warm air from the Canary islands.

Pleasant enough train journey to York, train to Doncaster then to York.

Today I walked aong the City Walls. Mainly to obtain a better sight of York Mister, and to get away from the traffoc.

I decenced to the river and foudn a building I was nt aware of. Nor was I aware could walk under the bridge to get to the other side.

I was reminded of Prague.

An interseing building I had never seen before, as not visible wehn walking across the bridge on the other sode of the road.

What I encountered was …

I looked inside. Intersing building, Origin coffee. I decided to stay and have a cappuccino.

Sitting outsde enjoying the sun I could have been in Tenerife.

The cappuccino excelelnt.

It was then over the bridge and look in …

I was after…

Sadlt they did not havem bu kindly suggestted I try Kiosk in Fossgate where I was headed later.

Lunch at Burr. Not somwwhere I would have coffee, but lunch is usually god.

Today not so good.

Same staff I have never seen twice

The staff I woudl not say wee surly but cerrainly glum. Their body languege saod they would rather be elsewhere

Looked in Spring Espresso Lendal. That was all i waa going to do, but stayed and had a cappuccino.

I wanted Fossgate. As alwaays I get lost.

I evenutally fond.

V60 in Kiosk.

No, they ddi not have …

I piced up ….

TI then foudn my way to The Snamles.

Looked ina chocolatier. Aromo of chocolate, but not as ….

I picked up tow ex[ensive bars of chocolate. Another Hotale Chocola clome/ No information on ingreients, which ata guess illegal.

I am now once again lost, but somehwo find my way back to Lenad and from there to York Staion.

Five minutes to spare to catch train for insg’s Cross, which for once si on time.

— to be continued —-

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.

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.

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.