Posts Tagged ‘Bailgate’

Fish n chips Elite on the Bail

March 6, 2020

My third visit.

Stylish but poor layout.

First visit, service poor, second visit had deteriorated. I am pleased to report the service is improving, but at least three waitresses with hair dangling down.

First visit, fish n chips excellent, second visit chips not good. Today excellent haddock, batter crispy, the best I have had anywhere. The chips though could be better.

On each visit, fewer diners. Today almost deserted, not a single diner on the first floor. Reaction to coronavirus, people reluctant to eat out?

Pubs avoid, especially J D Wetherspoon. Restaurants, if not busy I would not avoid.

But what all restaurants must do, hand sanitiser as walk in and waiting staff before taking to table request patrons use. If they refuse, deny entry. Safety of staff and diners must come first.

Excellent views of Bailgate from first floor.

Wandering through Bailgate, absolute must this area pedestrianised.

Pedestrianise Bailgate

March 3, 2020

The local council proposal: rid the on-street parking and grant parking for residents (and of course nice little earner for the local council).

No. Get rid of the on-street parking, seize the opportunity for radical change, pedestrianise Bailgate and make traffic free.

The only surprise is that this has not been done years ago. For that thank backward Bailgate Guild that is not doing Bailgate any favours.

Bailgate Guild  are carrying out a survey. Maybe I should say ‘survey’. I have seen bad surveys, they nearly always are, slanted to deliver a desired result. But never this bad, so bad I could not in all honesty even call it a survey, this is prejudice and bias masquerading as a survey.

In local shops, asked to complete ‘survey’, but so-called survey takes as read have arrived by car, how many arrived by car etc etc.

Nowhere the option to say walked or used public transport.

Today I did both, is was raining, caught the bus, then walked to Bailgate along East Gate.

Usually I would walk up Steep Hill, a very pleasant walk, linger, but did walk back down.

At a guess, but quite an educated guess, 90% of those in Bailgate had walked.

The local council should treat this so-called survey with the contempt it deserves, ignore it.

A survey should ask, how did arrive:

  • walk
  • public transport
  • car

Then go on to ask

  • purpose of visit
  • time of day
  • how long
  • where visit
  • expenditure

I spent nigh on £50 if include a bill paid in the Post Office, which helps keep the little post office open.

I also walked around to The Lawn, had a coffee, then back through the grounds of Lincoln Castle, to then walk down Steep Hill.

There is on-street parking for about half a dozen cars. What do people do, drive round and round in the hope of finding a parking space?

Whilst I was walking along Bailgate, an idiot drove through at high speed in a 4×4.

Pedestrianise the street, make traffic free.

To do so immediately improves the environment for pedestrians, creates a safer environment, decreases pollution, contributes to reduction in greenhouse gases. Can then wander around without the risk of being run down, crisscross from side to side, will increase footfall, all the businesses benefit.

The focus should always be on making environments car free pedestrian friendly. On how do we benefit the environment, slow the rise in global temperature.

Creating a car free Bailgate would then create a pedestrian route from the High Street, up through The Strait, up Steep Hill, across Castle Hill and into Bailgate.

And for those who insist on using their cars, car parks nearby on two sides of the Lincoln Castle, and more car parking at The Lawn.

Bailgate could be divided into two halves. Castle Hill to Westgate business sector, Newport to Westgate residential. There would be an argument for resident parking in the residential sector. I would say no, grant permits to park in the nearby car parks.

Coffee by the Arch revisited

February 19, 2020

Since my last visit some time ago, Coffee by the Arch has changed owners. It had been for sale for some time. New owners took over 20 days ago.

On my last visit, service was so bad, I gave up waiting and walked out. And what I saw of coffee served not worth waiting. The coffee sourced not good.

Very little has changed, and not improved.

Service still bad, clueless on coffee.

Long wait before served with a cappuccino carpet bombed with chocolate.

I took it back. Second attempt not much better. All I can say in its favour is that I have had worse.

The coffee supplied by Limini, suppliers of catering supply coffee to the trade. Says all need to know about Limini when they supply syrups.

There is no excuse for sourcing cheap low quality coffee, or for not employing skilled baristas.

Local try Seven Districts. But would need to employ a barista to get the best out of their coffee.

I have never understood why anyone opens or buys a coffee shop when knows nothing about coffee.

Depressing, in a good location and could be an excellent little coffee shop.

Elite on the Bail revisited

February 19, 2020

I last visited Elite on the Bail an upmarket fish n chip shop last week, one week after it had opened.

In summary, poor design, poor service, excellent fish n chips.

Has anything changed?

Not a lot can be done about the poor design.

The service far from improving has deteriorated, now on a par with Burton Road Chippy.

Waitress with hair dangling over the table, wrong change on bill, bill not brought promptly to the table when offered to bring, but a few of the problems experienced.

There is a problem with the dish washing machine. Black flecks on all the crockery, a rough scum on much of the crockery.

Elite need to address the poor service  and the things that are going wrong. .

Suggestion: Deploy experienced staff from Elite Tritton Road, pay their travelling expenses and time to and from Elite on the Bail.

Fish n chips?

Haddock was excellent, even better than last week, but the chips poor quality, not up to the standard of Elite.

Poor quality of chips queried. Apparently difficulty sourcing quality potatoes suitable for frying.

Lincolnshire grows potatoes but cannot supply quality potatoes to Elite.

Elite on the Bail

February 16, 2020

Elite does not rank as the best fish n chip shop in Lincoln, it ranks as one of the best in the country.

First week in February, opening long delayed, Elite finally opened a new fish restaurant in Bailgate, Elite on the Bail, an upmarket fish n chip shop.

Has Elite managed to maintain their reputation?

First impressions, pleasant interior, but look closer and appalling bad design.

Walk in through a set of double doors, two people barely can fit in the airlock, one overweight would just manage. The queue to wait is the other side of the second door, get hit by the door.

Doors to the toilets very heavy. Weak or infirm would have difficulty opening. I cannot speak for the ladies toilet, but inside the gents, barely can squeeze into hand washing area before the loo. If someone the other side of the door walked in too fast, door smashes into them.

Hard surfaces in the restaurant, very noisy and not pleasant.

A very dingy corner beneath the stairs.

Disabled are restricted to the ground floor. If there was a lift to the first floor, I did not notice one.

Luckily not busy, and this was lunchtime, Elite Tritton Road would be packed if not a queue, therefore no problem obtaining a window seat.

Other window seats, if obtain, offer pleasant views out onto Bailgate.

No senior citizens special offers. This a big mistake, and should be addressed.

Hint: order child’s portion.

The menu referred to a board for specials. Yes there was one for fish options, but nothing for the deserts.

Elite Tritton Road take a pride in the potatoes used and the fish caught. No display to indicate the fish caught, potatoes used.

Serving staff not up to the standard of Elite Tritton Road, hopefully will improve. But not as bad as Burton Road Chippy.

Tea has never been a strong point of Elite. The tea was not good.

Clearing away finished plates, half drunk cup of tea was taken away.

And the all important question, the fish n chips?

The fish n chips live up to the reputation of Elite, if not excelled. If maintain this standard and introduce senor citizen deal (crass stupidity to have dropped), cannot see Burton Road Chippy remaining in business.

The ludicrous review Lincolnshire Live (Lincolnshire Echo) was quite rightly slammed on social media. No surprise Elite chose not to share on social media. Apart from ordering pie and drowning chips in gravy (yes, need to employ someone who can write and knows food) was heavily criticised for no mention of the seafood. There may though be a reason for this, and not the fault of the reviewer. No seafood menu was produced.

On leaving I asked to see the sea food menu. Tiny italic writing difficult to read. And no, not impressed. I am used to excellent seafood restaurants by the sea, fresh caught tsipira (sea bream) grilled over charcoal. For Elite I will stick to what Elite do best, haddock and chips.

And no, fish n chips was not dripping with fat, as one reviewer complained. I have never had fish n chips from Elite dripping with fat.

Bailgate needs to be made traffic free.

Christmas Emporium Lincoln Castle

December 21, 2019

Why is it everywhere has the desire to dump a few sheds in a town centre fill with tat and junk food and call it a Christmas Market?

This market was dismal. I walked in a little after three to find no one around, all the sheds bar a couple closed. They had obviously closed before three. The ubiquitous junk food.

What is the point of a market that closes at three then reopens again at five, albeit to then charge £8 entrance fee?

I spoke to a couple of stallholders. To say the last they were thoroughly pissed off.  And I do not blame them. Paying a high fee for a pitch for no customers. They will not be returning.

I then found I could not get out the West Gate and had to walk around the Castle to Stokes at The Lawn

This is another example of the appalling mismanagement of Lincoln Castle. Complaints fall on deaf ears.

Lincoln Christmas farmers market

December 21, 2019

Held Castle Hill, a dismal Christmas farmers market, a pale shadow of when I last visited the farmers market in the summer of last year or Easter this year.

Sadly it seems to be following the ad hoc farmers market held in the High Street which became smaller and smaller and finally died.

Contrast with Guildford Christmas farmers packed with Christmas shoppers.

I managed to pick up cheese from two different stalls, and raw milk unpasteurised milk from the same stalls.

I regret I did not shop in Redhill Farm shop in Bailgate, when I passed by it was busy, later when I passed by it was closed.

BeerHeadZ Lincoln

August 26, 2019

I had been told by two ladies of a new bar, BeerHeadZ in East Gate.

As I was in the vicinity for the Lincoln Steampunk Festival I decided to check it out.

Very much like Growlers & Cans in Guildford, main difference more than twice the size, lacked the selection of cans and bottles, a much larger selection on tap.

The guy behind the bar knowledgeable and helpful.

I settled on 1/3 pint of Pekko limited edition Ashover Brewery. I enjoyed it, ordered another 1/3 pint.

Since they opened, never the same beer twice.

Problems getting a licence, blocked by pubs in Bailagte including White Hart Hotel and by the local council. The same pubs and bars that have drunks spilling onto the street and the same local council only too happy to grant binge drinking bars a licence.

One long table, cf Growlers and Cans, then smaller tables by the wall. Handy 13A sockets on the wall with usb charging sockets.

In design, it could have been a coffee shop.

What I did not like and hope they get rid off, a widescreen TV and quiz nights.

Occasional live music.

For people who appreciate good beer and do not like pubs.

Located off Bailgate, a little way down East Gate.

A small chain.

Lincoln Steampunk Festival Asylum X1

August 23, 2019

The eleventh Lincoln Steampunk Festival, day one of the four day event held over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.

A very hot day, and due to get hotter over the next few days.

Today possible to walk through the grounds of Lincoln Castle, as can do every day, but next few days, will be charged the same entrance fee as though walking the Castle walls, simply to visit a few stalls. This is not acceptable and something the steampunk organisers need to resolve. Those who have a stall in the Castle grounds pay a lot of money for their stalls and a barrier is then created to deter those wishing to visit their stalls. It also hits local businesses either side of the Castle entrances

Not many steampunks around, but next for days will be very many.

Bailgate, Steep Hill, The Strait, five o’clock nearly every single business, shop, tea room, cafe, closed, many would have closed at four if not earlier. Sheer madness, biggest steampunk festival in the world, brings in thousands of people, people with money in their pockets, and nowhere open to spend that money.

For visitors a few recommendations.

For coffee avoid the chains and their undrinkable coffee. Walking up the High Street

  • turn left before The Stonebow, Coffee Aroma on the right
  • through The Stonebow, a little further up the High Street, Madame Waffle on the right

For quality beer forget the pubs, pick up a bottle or two of craft beer.

  • on the left in The Strait, Crafty Bottle, craft beer and a bottle opener

For gear no better than

  • The Strait, J Birkett
  • bottom of Steep Hill, antique shop

Lunch at White Hart Hotel

March 23, 2018

Today decided to dine in style.

Lunch at the White Hart Hotel in Bailgate.

For starters, wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil.

The starter was a meal in itself.

Followed by rib-eye pork steak. A very impressive steak knife, an implement of quality.

Ingredients sourced locally, with a list where sourced from. A pity more do not follow this excellent example.

The rib-eye pork steak  was sourced from the butcher in Bailgate. Redhill Farm Shop, from where I obtain their excellent ham and Lincolnshire sausages.

Compliments to the chef, the food was excellent. The vegetables, at least the cauliflower, could have been cooked a tad longer.

I was warned the  rib-eye pork steak would be slightly pink. Fine for steak, but not pork, I asked that it be cooked a little longer.

I noticed an adjacent table had Lincolnshire sausages, sourced from Fosters, not the butcher in Bailgate.  These were under cooked.

I would recommend if The White Hart Hotel wish to serve the best quality Lincolnshire sausages, either source from the butcher in Heighington or from Redhill Farm Shop in Bailgate.

I later popped into the butcher and asked of rib-eye pork steak as not something I had come across before.

The offer of a coffee was declined. There are far better places for a coffee in Lincoln, Makushi aka Base Camp on Steep Hill, Madame Waffle in the High Street and Coffee Aroma just off the High Street near The Stonebow.

I had a window seat. I would not have liked to be in the main body of the restaurant as too much like a chain restaurant.

I was very impressed by the steak knife. An implement of quality.