Posts Tagged ‘Bailgate’

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.

Coffee by the Arch 20 minutes queue for bad takeaway coffee

June 27, 2020

Stokes at The Lawn closed at three, Misto not open never appears to be open, twenty minute queue at Coffee at the Arch for bad coffee.

 

It actually seemed like half an hour, but maybe no more than twenty minutes.

Are people in a queue because they see a queue?

I hate queues, I will usually walk away and go elsewhere or go without than stand in a queue, especially stand in a queue for bad coffee.

But beggars cannot be choosers, neither Stokes or Misto open, thus no choice but to stand in the queue.

I knew it would be bad coffee, I had a coffee when they changed hands early this spring, but glutton for punishment and you never know, maybe they have improved, got their act together, sourced quality beans, employed baristas.

Sadly not, the beans badged with their own name, but still poor quality beans.

And was the coffee bad? Unfortunately yes.

I walked through Newport Arch back into Bailgate, sat on a wall and took a sip. It burnt my tongue. It was scalding hot.

A cappuccino should not be scalding hot. I was at least asked did I want chocolate? I should not be asked. That is not to suggest it should have chocolate dumped on top. A cappuccino does not have chocolate. Why do cafes masquerading as coffee shops not understand, a cappuccino is not served scalding hot, the milk is burnt, chocolate is not dumped on top. Although the row of syrups is at least a warning sign the coffee we serve is not good.

There was a hint, the coffee may have been bitter, if made by a barista would have been an improvement. But better still, source quality beans and employ baristas.

I walked to a little square and poured on a garden.

And no, Coffee by the Arch has not improved since I had a coffee early spring.

Why do people open a coffee shop or buy a coffee shop if they know nothing about coffee?

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.


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