Posts Tagged ‘Bailgate’

Cafe St Paul’s

January 9, 2023

Where once a Thai restaurant at the back of Bailgate, now a café, though actually a restaurant. Why call a restaurant a café?

They face two problems, lack of football, and no one can see inside.

Last week whilst outside, two people asked me what it was like. I had to admit I did not know as I had not ventured inside.

Today, two hours late into town a long wait at a bank, I was too late for Olé Olé, Elite on the Bail not open, I thought I’d give Café St Paul’s a try.

The entrance was white, inviting, now painted battle ship grey (well actually brown) singularly uniniviting, made worse by a wooden bench seat.

Walking in was very surprised how large. And to learn there was seating upstairs with a balcony overlooking Lincoln Castle. Solid wooden tables.

Let down though by the food, pricey and poor quality.

I ordered a burger. A burger can be high quality, though rarely so. This was not one of those rare occasions.

Poor quality burger, ok not a McShit burger, but not a quality burger. Poor quality chips, and a little salad doused with God knows what which gave it a vile taste.

Everything was very salty, though that may have been my fault. When nothing appeared to have come out of the salt cellar, tried again.

Music too loud. Not thudding out but nevertheless loud.

Cold. I was glad I was wearing a warm jumper. And was sitting adjacent to a radiator, albeit luke warm.

I only saw two staff members. Kitchen and bar. The guy behind the bar was friendly and helpful.

I was the only diner. When I arrived there was a guy taking photos.

Coffee LaVazza. Coffee ground .and sitting there for ever.

Sitting on the shelves Martini. Vermouth does not keep, once opened should be kept inaridge.

On the shelf a local coffee liqueur. I tried. It was undrinkable. Addition of simple sugar syrup made it marginally drinkable.b

This would make an excellent coffee shop serving speciality coffee.

I was the onlyfiner.

Bailgate long overdue pedestrianisation

July 10, 2022

Napoleon referred to England as a nation of shopkeepers. In Bailgate we have narrow minded short sighted shopkeepers who cannot see further than the end of their nose.

Bailgate should have been pedestrianised years ago. Shame on Lincoln City Council for failing to grasp the opportunity to pedestrianize Bailgate. [see Pedestrianise Bailgate]

A Bailgate free of motorised traffic would create a far better environment. There would be more people on the street, longer dwell time. In the summer local restaurants could put tables and chairs in the streets.

Where else do we find historic parts of a city with traffic passing through?

Would anyone seriously consider opening up The Shambles and other ancient streets in York to traffic to enable park outside a shop, to pop in to buy one item?

Car parking a red herring. There is plenty of car parking around the castle and at The Lawn.

If car parking is an issue, allocate the same number in the adjacent car parks, free or limited charge for two hours, more than sufficient time to shop and have lunch.

In Athens, local residents with the help of anarchists, block streets with wooden boxes containing plants.

Pedestrianised streets, low traffic neighbourhoods, low emission zones, not only create a safer cleaner environment, they also create business opportunities for example e-cargo bikes powered by solar energy for local deliveries.

One third of car journeys in South Yorkshire are less than 500 metres! That’s about five minutes walk.

The Good Society does not happen by chance.

We need to see Doughnut Economics Lincoln. [see Doughnut Economics Cyprus]

A measure of the liveability of cities, the ratio of parks to car parks.

The car promises mobility, but delivers immobility.

Enrique Peñalosa served as Mayor in Bogotá for three years from 1998. When he took office he did not ask how life could be improved for the 30 percent who owned cars, which seems to be the question asked elsewhere, he wanted to know what could be done for the 70 percent — the majority — who did not own cars.

Peñalosa realized the obvious, that a city that is a pleasant environment for children and the elderly, ie like Venice, would work for everyone. Within just a few years, he transformed the quality of urban life with his vision of a city designed for people.

Under his leadership, the city was transformed, cars were banned from parking on the sidewalks, 1,200 parks were created or transformed, a highly successful bus-based rapid transit system was introduced, hundreds of kilometres of bicycle paths and pedestrian streets were created, rush hour traffic was reduced by 40 percent, 100,000 trees were planted, and local citizens were involved directly in the improvement of their neighbourhoods.

The works carried out and the direct involvement of the people created a sense of civic pride among the city’s 8 million residents, making the streets of Bogotá in this strife-torn country safer than those in Washington DC.

Enrique Peñalosa has observed that:

… high quality public pedestrian space in general and parks in particular are evidence of a true democracy at work. … Parks and public space are also important to a democratic society because they are the only places where people meet as equal … In a city, parks are as essential to the physical and emotional health of a city as the water supply.

The reforms Peñalosa initiated in Bogotá were carried on by his successor, Antanas Mockus.

Curitiba, a provincial city in southeastern Brazil, has a population similar to Philadelphia or Houston. It faces the problems of all Third World cities, unwanted migration into the city, rural dwellers pushed off the land and lured by the cities. The migrant poor form slums and shanty towns on the edge of the city.

Population 300,000 in 1950, 2.2 million by 1990, and an estimated million more by 2020.

We are used to seeing pedestrian areas in towns and cities, we take them for granted, but in the early 1970s, car-free streets were a novelty.

Curitiba was one of the first cities to have a pedestrian area. This was thanks to Jaime Lerner, a planner by profession, being appointed mayor.

In 1972, the historic boulevard the Rua Quinze de Novembro, was converted virtually overnight, into a pedestrian area. Workman planted tens of thousands of flowers. The street was closed on the Friday night, when it reopened 48 hours later, it was a pedestrian area, one of the first in the world.

Shopkeepers had threatened to sue for loss of trade, by midday Monday, they were petitioning for the surrounding streets to be pedestrianised.

To put what Lerner was doing in context, this was at the time of the construction of Brasilia, the new capital of Brazil, a dazzlingly modern new capital of skyscrapers and wide motorways that was widely seen at the the time as the city of the future.

People took the flowers, workman added more. Protests by motorists, were met by children bearing flowers, which has led to the alternative name of the street Rua das Flores.

Had this historic street not been pedestrianised, it was destined to be destroyed for an overpass, as have so many historic streets in towns and cities across the world.

Cities should not only be designed for people not cars, they should be designed that people do not need cars.

Jaime Lerner turned out to a be a visionary, a rarity in local government, and ultimately served three terms in office, twelve years. His successors continued his vision.

Tofu and salad at Bailgate Deli

June 19, 2021

I was in two minds to eat at Bailgate Deli, it was a cool day, cooler than of late, but fish and chips at Elite on the Bail has not been up to their usual high standards of late.

A table was free, I took a seat.

I wished for falafel and salad.

All they had was fake burgers, not their usual menu. Oh why, when vegan food, vegetarian food, can be excellent, it does not have to ultra-processed vegan crap. I should have left, eat at Elite on the Bail.

I was offered, toasted tofu, maybe I was offered fried tofu, with salad. It sounded disgusting but was surprisingly quite good. Generous portion size.

Next weekend? Sadly more ultra-processed vegan crap. Obviously avoid weekends and eat weekdays. A shame because it will give any visitors a bad reputation of the place.

Bailgate Deli falafel salad

May 15, 2021

A cold wet day, more like winter than mid-May, a visit to the deserted Lincoln farmers market on Castle Hill, I wonder why I bother, as not worth a visit, i thought grab a sausage roll from Redhill Farm shop, head off down Steep Hill, when it stated to rain.

Next option, eat at Bailgate Deli, a little deli in a side street off Bailgate.

Menu written on the window, I decided on soup and falafel, check the soup, no soup, and no free tables.

A table came free. The falafel and salad was excellent, but too cold to sit outside, a warm day would be pleasant, but not a cold day.

Next week they will be able to offer indoor sitting. I would not wish to eat inside, too small. As it was, lack of social distancing of the outside tables.

I learnt on leaving, the little side street has finally been granted traffic free pedestrianised status. Now long overdue pedestrianise Bailgate

I picked up cheesecake for later. It was excellent.

The rain had stopped, walk down Steep Hill for a coffee at Coffee Aroma.

Lincoln Eco Pantry revisited

February 24, 2021

When visit anywhere a shop, coffee shop, have a bad experience, it can be worth paying a second visit, maybe the first visit was an anomaly.

That is what I did today with Lincoln Eco Pantry.

My first visit was before Christmas, their second day of opening. Sympathetic refurbishment of the building, excellent stock, but what I did not like, too many people crowded in, a coronavirus death trap, and as I left when I spoke to the lady who identified herself as the owner I would not go as far as surly but not very friendly. But to be fair, very busy, major problems and delays in opening, probably stressed out.

I passed by last Saturday, I had intended to pop in, too many people, gave it a miss.

Today, empty.

The reception could not have been different, the owner went out of her way to help, information on the products in stock.

I was very pleased to learn, Tony’s Chocolonely once stocks have gone, will not be restocking, links with slave trade, industrial low quality cholate. What a pity others do not show same standard of ethics. I advised check out Luisa’s and Bullion.

Everything I wanted was in stock, though not olive oil shampoo. Even sea salt. For salt I will have to take in a glass jar, it would eat through a brown paper bag. Would she like glass bottles and jars? Yes, but not currently. On the first floor, a box with an assortment of glass jars and bottle, also a shelf of glass kilner storage jars.

A big plus compared with the zero waste stall in Lincoln Central Market a wider range of stock. Another advantage actually open.

One week after the zero waste stall opened in Lincoln Central Market, the local Council kicked out the fruit and vegetable stall that accounted for at least 80% of market footfall. The market is now dead. The zero waste stall has irregular hours, take pot luck if find open. I can pass through on my way from the bus station, but I would not go out of my way not knowing if open. Sometimes I am lucky and find open, sometimes not. A downward death spiral.

Lincoln Eco Shop located opposite Redhill farm shop. The location is good, as a range of food shops, butcher, baker, greengrocer, Elite on the Bail fish restaurant. All we now need is a decent speciality coffee shop.

Note: For quality chocolate try Imperial Tea.

Note: Coffee beans are loose. Not ideal, will have oxidised and not be fresh. For coffee beans, Madame Waffle or Coffee Aroma.

Lincoln Eco Pantry

December 20, 2020

Passing through Lincoln Central Market I learnt of a zero waste shop uphill, ‘competition’. As I was en route to the Lincoln Christmas farmers market on Castle Hill, I decided to try and find it and check it out.

Lincoln Christmas farmers market a very sad and sorry affair.

Lincoln Eco Pantry in Bailgate opposite Redhill farm shop, not difficult to find. A queue outside, though everywhere had a queue outside.

Lincoln Eco Pantry a long time in opening. There was rumour of opening in the town at least two years ago, but a bad location, then at St Marks, another bad location. The current location, should have opened early November, finally opened on Friday.

Letting agents Banks and Co which means will be paying high rent or a surprise if not, Bailgate location would also be high rent, though in current dire circumstances maybe rents are starting to fall,

The location, apart from the high rent, excellent as compliments butcher, baker and greengrocer. All we now need is a specialty coffee shop, currently lacking in Bailgate.

Sympathetic restoration of an old building. How it has been fitted out creates a pleasant environment.

Ground floor, bulk refill for shampoo and laundry liquid. No names I recognised. For shampoo, Faith in Nature from the health food shop opposite Mary le Wigford Church just off the High Street, laundry liquid the zero waste shop in the Central Market.

The point was made, choose suppliers to compliment not compete with what already exists in Lincoln.

All the more baffling therefore a large amount of prime shelf space by the counter which encounter as enter the shop devoted to poor quality chocolate laced with additives, chocolate that can buy in any Oxfam shop and in most supermarkets, with not very environmentally friendly package. A definite negative.

Helpful young lady manning the till fed me nonsense additives were because vegan chocolate. Er no, emulsifiers substitute for cocoa butter because the emulsifiers are cheaper. Dark chocolate cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, occasionally vanilla, nothing else. Only milk chocolate and white chocolate are not vegan due to addition of milk.

For quality chocolate visit Imperial Teas on Steep Hill. Excellent selection and knowledgeable about chocolate. The only place in Lincoln for quality chocolate.

Limits on numbers in the shop, limits on numbers on the first floor, a notice on the door, not that anyone took any notice of the notice on the door, nor was it enforced.

Upstairs on the first floor, loose nuts, cereals, dried fruits, tins of tea and coffee. All bagged and weighed by a helpful young lady.

But, this is not how to handle coffee beans, loose in the tins the beans will oxidise, they will already have oxidised in the plastic boxes shipped in, no information on the coffee beans, their provenance, where roasted when roasted roasted, their origin, country not sufficient.

I have recently been in discussion with a coffee shop and roastery, shipping of green beans, roasting, then supply to the coffee shop. I did consider supply in boxes, but dismissed, not good for the beans, they will oxidise.

DT Coffee Roastery supply roasted beans to Coffee Lab Academy and to The Square by Coffee Lab. The beans are supplied in bags even though located near each other in Winchester. Also true of coffee shops where the roastery is located within the coffee shop, the beans are bagged.

Beans popped in bags after roasted will outgas CO2 which creates a positive pressure in the bag, keeps out the air and stops the beans from oxidising. Roast, leave to rest for a week, then at their optimum for three weeks. Once the bags are opened, coffee beans go stale very quickly.

Coffee should have a wonderful aroma, a hint of things to come. I lifted the lid of the Brazil beans. Instead of a pleasant enticing aroma, I saw burnt over roasted beans with accompanying smell of burnt stale beans. Not pleasant.

And even if by happenchance bagged freshly roasted beans as they arrived in a brown paper bags, by the time arrived home, the beans would have oxidised,  not unless arrived prepared with vacuum storage jars.

If wish for coffee beans,  visit a reputable coffee shop where they care about coffee, Madame Waffle or Coffee Aroma, or try the zero waste shop in Lincoln Central Market.

Tea is fine in the tins, but for tea I would visit nearby Imperial Teas on Steep Hill.

Indy coffee shops and roasteries are always ahead of the game. Much work is being done on closing the loop with sustainable coffee bags. There are no easy answers, no quick fixes, packaging for shipping coffee beans keeping the beans fresh whilst at the same time reducing waste. [see Horsham Coffee Roaster – Recycling our coffee bags]

On sale reusable coffee cups during a coronavirus pandemic when coronavirus is out of control and a new strain is spreading like wildfire is an absolute no no. No responsible coffee shop will accept reusable cups for the simple reason it is to introduce an unnecessary  disease vector. They care about staff and customers and do not wish to place them at risk of infection.

The only reusable cup worth considering is a glass KeepCup, but if dropped, smashed to smithereens or consider a huskee cup. But why use reusable cups, why takeaway coffee, reusable cups addresses a symptom, not the underlying problem, stop using grab and go takeaway coffee.  During covid-19 crisis takeaway cups a necessary evil to reduce cross contamination.

Walk in Coffee Aroma, only one person at a time, strictly enforced a sign No Reusable Cups, and they will refuse to serve anyone who insists on using their reusable cup. Safety of staff and customers paramount.

Post-pandemic, relax and enjoy coffee in glass or ceramic served in an indy coffee shop.

In the natural world the concept of waste does not exist in space or time, the output of one process is the input to the next. Therefore we either use natural materials or we emulate a closed loop system with our manmade materials,  as we do with glass, steel or aluminium.

In Athens it is the norm, loose nuts and dried fruits, loose bars of chocolate, shops, stalls outside Athens Central Market, no special name as this is the norm.

Cashew takes it to another level, loose nuts, dried fruits, bars of chocolate jars of honey and peanut butter combined with a coffee shop serving speciality coffee. Coffee beans on sale are in bags.

The big difference to UK, far wider choice far higher quality. For example, more than one grade of dried apricots, pistachio nuts, peanuts.

I picked up muesli and chocolate-coated coffee beans, bagged, weighed and down to the till downstairs to pay. I may have lingered longer and bought more but it became unsafe, too many people allowed in.

The muesli, soft muesli, more like a muesli base, could have done with added fruits, but nevertheless excellent with the raw unpasteurised milk off the Christmas farmers market.  The chocolate-coated coffee beans reasonable but very poor quality when compared with chocolate-coated Brazil nuts from Athens or chocolate-coated coffee beans from Colombia.

The name Eco Pantry always wise to check if already in use. I found myself wondering why looked different to the shop I visited. I was looking at Eco Pantry in Sevenoaks.

Covid-19 biosecurity poor if not very poor. Ground floor door open thus ventilated, tiny crack window open first floor not sufficient ventilation, a girl on the first floor handled all the goods and bagged, but there were too many people in the store, this when we have a mutant highly infectious strain of covid-19  spreading like wildfire and Lincoln  recording double the national average of new covid-19 cases. Sale of reusable cups highly irresponsible. No one should be taking reusable cups to a coffee shop and no coffee shop should accept. The lax covid-19 biosecurity so poor Lincoln Eco Pantry should close until further notice until they address these issues.

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 twenty three

July 24, 2020

First day of mandatory face wearing in enclosed public space.

Miss a bus which turned up several minutes early. Took the opportunity for a walk along the River Witham.

Following bus no opening of door or turning off engine when bus waiting at bus stops. Bus hot, no air, made worse by wearing of face mask.

A hot day, feeling very unwell.

No one I speak to is happy wearing a face mask.

But if I visit indie businesses, in out within a few minutes, restrictions on numbers, doors open, risk minimal.

If we are to stay safe, social distance minimum 2m, avoid enclosed spaces, avoid crowded places, avoid supermarkets and shopping centres, avoid pubs, download and install German track and trace app and share with friends.

It puts the onus on the individual who will be blamed when the inevitable second wave breaks out.

Walking through Lincoln Central Market, dead. Well done dysfunctional Lincoln City Council, kick out a fruit and vegetable stall upon which people rely, destroy a local businesses, and destroy the other traders in the market who have seen business fall off the edge of a cliff. Contrast with Louth, where on a Wednesday a thriving market that brings folk into the town, what a market town should be like. But dysfunctional Lincoln City Council would rather bring in soulless chains and destroy local businesses.

As always, excellent haddock and chips at Elite on the Bail.

The Lion and Snake quiet but soon starts to kick of with rowdy drunks.

Noise in Castle Hill, horrendous noise from a busker.

Another example of dysfunctional Lincoln City Council. No action.

Same problem in High Street.

I looked in Imperial Teas on my way back down Steep Hill. Excellent bean-to-bar craft chocolate in stock from Original Beans and firetree. But very disappointed to find firetree has additives. Imperial Teas is the only stockist of quality chocolate in Lincoln. Forage and Fill in Lincoln Central Market are looking to stock quality chocolate, but not yet as too warm in the summer to stock chocolate.

Cappuccino at Madame Waffle. Opened a week or so ago. Not open Monday and Tuesday. I sat outside.

The Lion and Snake toilets dragged past drinkers emptied in the street

July 14, 2020

Super Spreader Saturday, The Lion and Snake in Bailgate full of drunken yobs. It slowly got worse with urinating up the wall.

The following Saturday calmer, two portable toilets against the wall.

Tuesday the toilets padlocked.

No attempt to control drinkers. Not allowed to move from tables. One gets up, walks over to shout at a drinker in Prince of Wales Inn.

An open lorry pulled up in the street. Man in shorts wearing no gloves manhandled one of the toilets into the street, helped by two bar staff neither wearing gloves, both then go back into the pub, one picks up a pint glass from one of the benches, thumb inside the glass. None were wearing face masks.

Toilet dragged into the street is then emptied and cleaned in the street outside a restaurant and food shop. Stench unpleasant.

The same again with the second second toilet, though without help of bar staff.

Liquid from toilet cleaning flowing in the street.

Those who witnessed what happened were shocked and disgusted.

This should not have happened. Toilets should have not been dragged past customers, should not be handled by bar staff not wearing disposable gloves, should not be emptied and cleaned in the street, worse still in front of food retailers and restaurants.

Toilets should have been collected when pub closed, taken back to company to be emptied and cleaned.

This would be bad any time due to risk of disease spread. This at time of coronavirus.

Pub should be closed until further notice.

Action is need by local environmental health officers.

Elite on the Bail re-opens

July 4, 2020

First day restaurant side of Elite on the Bail open, for several weeks takeaway only.

Empty. I had choice of where to sit. I chose a large table to keep distance.

Staff in visors. The staff outnumbered their one and only customer.

Few will have ventured out, their social media said taking bookings, not reply when asked can turn up. Need to address their use of social media.

Few will have ventured out, Super Spreader Saturday, pubs full of binge drinkers.

My haddock and chips excellent. I had a couple of times had takeaway but nowhere as good.

Annoying a member of staff closed the door, then no ventilation.

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