Archive for the ‘York’ Category

York Food Festival

September 27, 2022

This should be a celebration of quality local produce, instead junk food.

My reason for visiting York. I was going to eat, but glad I did not.

Hot dogs, loaded fries, Greek food that gives Greek cuisine a bad name, adulteress cheese.

Are there no local fans producing cheese? Cheese stall at Lincoln farmers market has a better selection cheese. As do cheesemongers in York.

A cookery demo with maybe half a dozen people.

Finding Kiosk closed, I returned for a coffee. It was not good. I poured down the drain. A cyclist returned with his coffee, it was that bad.

Looking at the programme. A demo of Ukrainian food may have been interesting.

On the way from The Perky Peacock I passed by the Larder Club. Tasters to try, a food trail for the York Food Festival. Could I try? No, I had to pay for an official food trail from the a

York Food Festival.

I talked to the information stall. No mention of the food trail, and I thought not to ask.

Afternoon in York

September 27, 2022

Unlike my last trip to York, an uneventful trip.

A very cold day.

At Doncaster, a brief wander into the town

York Station very quiet. I have never seen so quiet.

Walk along the city wall to The Perky Peacock. Coffee has change to Pact Coffee. Not good news. An excellent job on the dungeon.

Look in second hand bookshop Minster Books. I have manged to obtain Foundation series and Robot series but not Empire series.

I take a different route. Pass by The Larder Club. I look inside. A little Italian restaurant. I will try for lunch on my next visit.

York Food Festival junk food. I wm through and head toKiosk in Foddgste

Kiosk closed. Excekksnt deli nextdood sold. But will continue as a deli.

The Shambles street food market not great but better than the York Food Festival.

I look in a deli with quality cheese. More than can be said of the cheese stall at the York Food Festival. Are there no farm cheeses in Yorkshire?

Head back to York Festival for a coffee. Not good, I pour down the drain.

I made the mistake of not popping in Spring Espresso Foddgste. It used to be excellent, sold a couple if years ago and went downhill.

Just make the train which pulls in in time v

Afternoon in York

August 3, 2022

A hot day in York. Chaos on the railways.

Ticket office in Lincoln not open. Have to buy from a little hatch. Why did they not warn me not to travel to York?

Train to Doncaster, then chaos on the East Coast main line. Board only showing trains for the morning. Trains delayed, trains cancelled. The train I want not even shown .

I wander into Doncaster. Come back.

My train shown as cancelled. A train King’s Cross to Edinburgh due to arrive at 1130 previously shown as delayed, now shown to arrive in an hour.

I spot a train for Hull. I watch it departing.

As I am walking along the platform, an announcement a train for Edinburgh stopping at York will arrive once a freight train departs.

This train not shown on the displays, not shown in the platform. I hop on, hoping it will stop at York.

I check train times. No problems shown for return train.

I eat at Mannetti’s in Lendal.

Retrace my footsteps to The Perky Peacock

They have changed to Pact coffee. Not a good move. It was Origin. I advise alternatives.

Visit to bookshop, Minster Gate Bookshop. I am able to pick up the one book I am missing from Robot series.

Head to Kiosk. In luck, now open later than four. Also starting to return to a coffee shop. Excellent espresso.

Stay too long chatting.

I make York Station with one minute to spare. My train not shown. Had I got the time wrong, missed it? Chaos as when I was at Doncaster. My train then shown, running nearly an hour late. Station staff unhelpful.

Speaking to two Chinese girls, I say run across the bridge, a train for Kings Cross. They say not their train. I day, does not matter, catch any train, if miss, catch my delayed train.

I walk back to The Perky Peacock. Then return to York Station.

This time rail staff helpful. Suggests change at Doncaster, not Newark.

On train, additional stop at Retford. Advised change at Retford, ten minutes wait for Sheffield to Lincoln train.

Many passengers at Retford. I speak to a black girl. She says she is waiting for her train. I advise catch any train as may be cancelled or delayed. Why were they not advised to catch the train that made an additional stop.

It was hot in York. Very hot at Retford.

Afternoon in York

June 16, 2022

Hot and sunny afternoon.

A wander in Donaster whilst waiting for train to York.

From York Station walk along City Walls to The Perky Peacock.

Cold bew coffee.

Head to York Minster, then to a bookshop.

I am in luck. Caves of Steel.

Pass by an art gallery. Outside an old leather case. Donation for Ukraine. Ideal for carrying out a work of art.

I pop in. Mention Cook for Ukraine and Mad Heads Coffee.

Oxfam Bookshop. I woul have bought two book. But they had stuck a stick label on one of the inside pages. Crass stupidity. Even worse, could not see had done anything wrong.

Coffee kiosk in the Street. Attic and Harlequin closed.

From local MN aeker ayorkshire peas. Excellent.

Filter coffee from Kiosk. Aloao pick up a bag of Panama Geisha.

Get ightly lost walking to the station.

The Hairy Bikers’ Chocolate Challenge

February 18, 2020

I did not expect Hairy Bikers’ reality chocolate show on Channel 5 to be anything other than dire. It lived up to expectations.

Dire it was, gimmicky, dreadful presenters, dreadful contestants.

I endured five minutes then turned off in disgust. I tried again the next day. I managed ten minutes before giving up in disgust.

Set in the Nestlé factory in York, one of the worst corporations in the world. York where once upon a time Joseph Rowntree started.

Industrial chocolate.

I had hoped bean-to-bar chocolate, not fat and sugar.

The programme could have been set at York Cocoa Works. And at the very least, wander through the Shambles and look in Monk Bar Chocolatiers.

York, home of chocolate, and the viewers are insulted with corporate industrial chocolate.

Corporate chocolate makers lobbied in US to water down the definition of chocolate to include  emulsifiers and other additives.

Over the last two decades we have seen shocking reports about the use of child labor, sometimes under hazardous conditions, on cacao farms in Ivory Coast and Ghana, and of widespread destruction of forests in cacao-growing regions worldwide.

Public outcry had prompted the major chocolate companies to pledge to end the worst forms of child labour in the cacao industry. But no laws were ever passed in America to require this (those same companies lobbied against the legislation and quashed it), little has changed.

We find a similar corporate story with environmental impact. In 2017, 34 chocolate companies agreed to end deforestation by their industry. But according to a 2018 report by the environmental group Mighty Earth, cacao production was still ravaging forests, and the animals living within them, at an alarming rate.

Direct trade, traceability, transparency bean-to-bar chocolate makers source the best beans, place emphasis on the growing conditions, the terroir, the working conditions, will include details on their chocolates or on their websites.

Cacao grown under the shade of trees helps to protect the natural habitat.

Across the country we have bean-to-bar chocolate makers, viewers could have been introduced to quality chocolate, instead industrial chocolate in a Nestlé factory.

According to the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, sales of premium chocolates grew in the US 19 percent in 2018, compared with 0.6 percent for mainstream chocolate like the classic Hershey bar. Over the past decade, the number of small American bean-to-bar chocolate producers — the kind with cacao percentages and places of origin printed on those hyper-chic labels — has jumped from about five to more than 250.

We could have visited a cacao grower in the Amazon, learnt of the sacred origins of cacao, learnt how cacao is replacing coca in Colombia, that quality attracts a higher price than that paid by Nestlé, direct trade not the FairTrade scam, seen the different cacao pods, fermentation, selecting the roast profile, the processing to turn the cacao nibs into a bar of chocolate.

Maybe a visit to Casa Cacao to see what experts can then do with bean-to-bar chocolate.

But no, a Nestlé factory churning out industrial chocolate for the masses.

At the very least set within Hotel Chocolat. Each person have an expert on hand to advise. Then go through the rigorous selection process. But at a guess no one would have passed, and that would have been the end of the series.

Begs the question: Is this Channel 5 series sponsored by Nestlé?

Cappuccino at Kiosk

August 30, 2019

Stop off at Kiosk in Fossgate. Excellent coffee as always.

Guest coffee from Dark Woods, single origin for pour over. Not known what they were using for my espresso, but not Dark Woods.

The girl working there has much improved from last year.

A guy sits and has a chat with me outside about coffee.

Spring day in York

March 29, 2019

A lovely warm sunny day in York.

End of February was warm and sunny, as was today end March, though not as warm as end of February.

From York Station, along the City Walls is a better route as avoids the traffic, and bring to Barker Tower which houses The Perky Peacock. If walk along the road, not visible.

Barker Tower is one of two medieval towers, a chain was stung between the two to guard the River Ouse.

I have not eaten before at The Perky Peacock. Avocado on sourdough toast was excellent.

Then across Lendal Bridge to Spring Espresso Lendal.

A cappuccino and chat with the owner.

A quick look in Brew & Brownie, no, no copies of Independent Life.

They suggested I try the Tourist Information Office. It was somewhere I had thought of trying.

In luck, not only had copies, had a cupboard full of copies. I suggested hand to Burr & Brownie, Spring Espresso Lendal and Kiosk.

I found my way to The Attic. It was empty. At a guess not doing well and now only open on Friday and Saturday.

Not helped not visible from the street and at street level a betting shop.

My V60 a disappointment.

Art on the wall by Joanna Sutherland. Art is changed every six weeks.

It has copies of Independent Life.

It was then find my way back to York Station

Independent Life

September 16, 2018

Every town has one if not more freebie magazines. These are nearly always rubbish, an appalling waste of trees. Viva Brighton is a rare exception. And far too often these freebie magazines are shoved through the letterbox as unsolicited junk mail to be thrown away unread.

On a recent trip to York, I picked up a copy of Independent Life from Brew & Brownie then leafed through whilst waiting for my lunch at Burr. Like Viva Brighton, another rare exception, worth picking up.

I was though baffled, why Leeds and York, nowhere near each other.

I learnt later at Kiosk it used to cover Leeds, only recently Leeds and York. Still odd though.

Maybe follow the example of Viva Brighton (which has a sister magazine Viva Lewes), Independent Leeds and Independent York.

Kiosk would be an excellent location from which to distribute.

Not on glossy paper. Another plus.

I thought the title Independent came from the fact it was an independent publication, maybe, but actually comes from the focus on indie businesses, which is yet another plus.

It is the indie businesses, quirky, of character, that make the old part of York, Hull Old Town or North Laine in Brighton worth a visit.

Why visit a town for the same crap corporate chains to be found in any town?

A huge mistake Guildford tourist information has made. A short video clip to promote Guildford, featuring er coffee chains, two grotty shopping centres. Reasons not to visit methinks.

Independent Life also publishes The Little Black Book Leeds, now vol 3, a guide to the independent businesses in Leeds. If one does not exist, I assume in the pipeline a similar guide for indie businesses in York.

Independent Life local indie businesses, local culture, art, poetry, well worth grabbing a copy.

Spring Espresso Fossgate

September 14, 2018

I had tried to find Spring Espresso Fossgate in the past, but not successful, it does help to have a map.

Fossgate is a little foodie mecca, three coffee shops cheek by jowl, The Fossgate Social opposite Kiosk, Spring Espresso nearby, next to Kiosk, what looked like an amazing food shop but no time to look in.

I ask of cold brew. Yes, they bring a bottle out of the fridge serve with ice. No time, I ask for a takeaway cup.

— to be continued —-


September 14, 2018

Kiosk a lovely little coffee shop in Fossgate I was recommended to try.

Fossgate is a little foodie mecca, three coffee shops cheek by jowl, The Fossgate Social opposite Kiosk, Spring Espresso nearby, next to Kiosk, what looked like an amazing food shop but no time to look in.

Kiosk did serve Maude and Dark Woods, both excellent coffee roasteries. That in itself sufficient recommendation. Now Assembly.

I order a cappuccino. Excellent.

It is very rare to have the perfect cappuccino, smooth, this was one of those very rare occasions. Assembly house espresso may also have played its part, as described as creamy.

On the walls art, on the shelves several magazines for sale. I recommend Standart and Drift.

Food is served, ask, and something will be knocked up.

Outside, three Chinese girls, excellent coffee, they take me at my word, and walk in.

From the questions one is asking of single origin, that she orders a V60, tells me, here is someone who knows her coffee.

We get into conversation, I learn she used to work for La Marzocco in China. She ask me for recommendations, I suggest several coffee shops, not only York, but also Old Town Hull, Lincoln and Nottingham. And further afield in Brighton and Winchester.

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