Posts Tagged ‘Ideas on Paper’

Nottingham cold mid-January afternoon

January 15, 2020

A sunny albeit cold afternoon in Nottingham.

It is not every day visit a bean-to-bar chocolate maker, craft beer brewery and a coffee roastery all in one day.

And visit a Thai restaurant and a coffee shop.

To Paste, Thai restaurant. Excellent lunch, generous portion size. As last week, empty.

Looked in Ugly Bread Bakery. Mentioned the Panorama programme on town centres broadcast on Monday, worth watching.

Invited to a meeting with retailers the following day.

Head off to Sneinton Market.

Pass Bookwise, a second hand bookshop. I briefly look in.

Sneinton Market fairly easy to find, head off straight down the street. The further I walk down the street, the seedier it becomes.

Google Maps says five minutes, more like ten minutes.

Steinton Market something of a disappointment. I was expecting something like Trinity Market in Hull. I was also expecting fruit and vegetable stalls. But no, revamped units, now let to small businesses by the local council. A good idea. Though nearly everything appeared to be closed.

I then happen upon Luisa’s bean-to-bar craft chocolate, the jewel in the crown in Sneinton Market.

I pop in, but at a delicate process. I am asked can I pop back? No problem. I am off to Blend coffee shop, I will return a little later.

Sneinton Market is three rows of long low outbuildings. In the second row I find a craft brewery. I pop in. Not open to visitors, but I walk in anyway. I buy a can of expensive IPA, only a choice of two. I don’t like cans, I prefer beer in bottles.

Then in the third row I find Stewarts of Trent Bridge, a coffee roastery. Again I pop in. I am kindly shown around, not that there is a lot to see apart from a Probat coffee roaster.

Then to Blend, a coffee shop, the retail outlet for the coffee roastery.

Open and airy, like a warehouse, but smell of frying bacon not so good, nor the loud unpleasant music, too loud. I was surprised how busy.

For an outlet for a coffee roastery not exactly showcasing their coffee, a single origin, not at all obvious, appears to be a blend that changes monthly and the house blend.

I asked for a cappuccino. As far as I could tell, no pour over on offer, or if there was not obvious as I did not see.

I was asked what size? Show me the cups. I asked for the correct size. Then a silly conservation ensues, told it is personal preference. No, there is only one size for a cappuccino, the correct size. It is always best to keep quiet than display ones ignorance. And if do not know, do not wish to know, then get out of coffee.

My coffee is brought blended with chocolate.

No, a cappuccino does not have chocolate, ether blended or dumped on top.

I take it back, ask for a cappuccino with no chocolate. I should not have to ask. I should be asked. And a good coffee shop would not ask as they would not dream of insulting clients with chocolate.

What is brought is not good. OK, but not good. Lukewarm, mediocre at best. Marginally better than 200 Degrees, which is a very low bar to exceed.

It is then back to Luisa’s. An interesting conversation on chocolate ensues.

I had tasted samples earlier. Another taste. Each one is better than before. In essence it is wow. Mind blowing chocolate. I have never before tasted such exquisite chocolate, though I have yet to try Bullion or Bare Bones from The Steam Yard. One fruity, maybe cherry like, another more citrus. Mind blowing flavours. The last one I tried, as I hold it in my mouth, the flavour intensifies.

These are not added flavours, these are the intrinsic flavours of the chocolate. This is what chocolate should taste like, not like Cadbury’s. A coffee analogy, coffee does not taste like the vile tasting undrinkable coffee served by Costa or Starbuck’s.

It is then to Outpost Coffee to enjoy a decent coffee.

Then to Ideas on Paper. Where I needed to visit, half price sale on back issues of magazine. But only time for a quick browse, no running late.

Dash Vegan zero waste shop has gone from Cobden Chambers. The restaurant had gone when I visited a few weeks ago. It was the zero waste side I excepted to go. I say gone, it has relocated to Hopkinson. But how long before it goes, as not a viable business the amateurish manner in which it is run. A pity they had not advised customers soonest, not waste a visit to find closed a notice posted on the door, especially as I had passed Hopkinson earlier, as would other customers if arrived by train.

Managed to catch train with a few minutes to spare. Have to walk to the front of the train to get on, standing room only.

Afternoon in Nottingham

September 12, 2019

A cheese sandwich stall not seen by at the side of Nottingham Station. High quality cheese.

A wander around Hopkins vintage emporium.

Lunch at Cartwheel Coffee and a cappuccino.

To The Specialty Coffee Shop, caught Michelangelo as he was leaving. I was invited to stay for coffee cupping later, but not possible.

I had Coffee Gems Kenyan coffee. We tried, it was excellent. I left beans for the coffee cupping.

Guest coffee Koppi, but no time to try.

Looked in the cheesemonger in Flying Horse Walk.

Too late for train decided to catch next train.

Time to kill, looked in BeerHeadZ. Time for a craft beer.

A wander down to Nottingham Canal.

Train was packed, standing room only, but not pakked in like sardines as I feared.

Nottingham last day of August

September 1, 2019

Train to Nottingham, full of drunks. Why are they not stopped from boarding the train?

Cold and starting to rain when arrive in Nottingham. Warm and sunny when I started off.

Looked in BearHeadZ down the side of Nottingham Station. Resisted the temptation to stay for a drink.

Crazy people at Gourmet Coffee in station, cannot take photos, we will call security.

Gourmet is an utterly meaningless attribute, usually signifies crap coffee. Reinforced by not serving coffee in correct cup size.

Looked in 200 Degrees, fairly busy. OK for lunch, but not for coffee.

Lunch at Cartwheel Coffee. And a cappuccino. Very busy.

A chat with the guy who runs the Loakes shoe shop. Excellent place for shoes.

I am surprised to learn the tea shop out the back has closed. Surprised Cartwheel do not take it over as a lovely hidden courtyard to sit on a pleasant day.

On Leaving, heavy downpour, cold.

Why an ice cream van with an engine running in a pedestrianised street?

I head to The Specialty Coffee Shop, as nearest place to get out of the rain.

As always excellent coffee.

I am seeing Click everywhere. Not sure why.

I find Leftlion which I have not seen before. Similar to Now Then and Independent Life but larger format. Nottingham has a glossy freebie, as with glossy freebies everywhere, straight in the bin. Leflion a marked improvement.

A couple of guys come in, we chat. One tells me how he enjoys honey crunch chicken in Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage in Guildford, and of Krema and Canopy for coffee, notes coffee has improved at Canopy with a new barista. Surrey Hills not good, always empty. I agree.

A couple of ladies each bring to the counter a HuskeeCup to buy. The only two. I was aware of HuskeeCup but the first time I have seen one in the wild.

Buy a HuskeeCup and get first coffee free. The cup costs £15 (this may include cost of the lid which is extra), assume a coffee £3, brings the cost down to £12.

The design is elegant The lid and saucer are extra. The cups stack.

Michelangelo said the egg shape was ideal for latte art.

There is a scheme HuskeeSwap, whereby bring in a clean undamaged cup, and will receive coffee in a washed HuskeeCup. I know not if operates in The Speciality Coffee Shop.

HuskeeCups are made from the husks of coffee beans which would otherwise been a waste product.

Now stopped raining, sun comes out.

Looked in Wired to find a friend. Gave her a copy of The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide. No time for a coffee.

Popped in the zero waste shop in Cobden Chambers. They really must get their act together. It must rank as one of the worst zero waste shops in the country. Poor stock, small bags difficult to get anything in, jars are marked with contents but no price.

Picked up Drift London edition from Ideas on Paper. I had hoped to find a back copy of Standart, surprisingly no back copies of Standart, only latest edition. Latest Drift, only one copy left, had been saved in case I dropped in. Did I have a copy of the Tokyo edition? Why, did he have in stock? No. Currently on sale at £2000.

To Outpost Coffee. Not likely to make the train I had hoped to catch, I decide on a later train.

I look in a cheese shop. Excellent selection of cheese. I pick up unpasteurised Lancashire cheese. I am complimented on my excellent choice.

Only just make the train. Standing room only.

Cold afternoon in Nottingham

January 30, 2019

A spur of the moment decision, a trip to Nottingham.

Today it was zig-zag back and forth.

I would usually stop off first 200 Degrees Nottingham Station and grab something to eat. And yes I was hungry, but it was packed and I had first to visit Cartwheel Coffee.

On my last visit, I had spotted Drift issue 4 Stockholm edition, impossible to find. I wished to see if would sell to me or swap for a later edition of Drift.

The owner kindly gave it to me. I thanked him, and said I would later drop off a copy of Ambrosia, sister magazine of Drift, with which he was not familiar.

They were in the middle of a coffee cupping session. I asked could I join them. I was welcomed and interesting conversation ensued.

I could have stayed for lunch, but very busy.

Back to 200 Degrees for lunch. Still very busy but this time I managed to find a table, the only unoccupied table.

Looked in Hotel Chocolat. Smoke and mirrors, appalling level of overpackaging, obscene use of plastic.

It was then to Ideas on Paper in Cobden Court.

I was shocked what had been done to Wired. Garish and ugly. Make it look cheap and tacky, like a disgusting junk food outlet. A big mistake.

I looked in where I had been told a zero waste shop. Not open today.

Luckily Ideas on Paper open.

I picked up two issues of Ambrosia. No idea why I picked up the latest, as I already have. Not thinking straight.

I did that last time I found Ideas on Paper open, latest issue of Ambrosia, only to find I already had.

I would have liked to have popped in the chocolate shop, but no time.

Back to Cartwheel Coffee. Dropped off a copy of Ambrosia, picked up Drift.

Excellent cappuccino.

Caught 1529 train. An earlier train thain I would have wished, but turning very very cold.

Afternoon in Nottingham

January 15, 2019

Two-coach East Midlands train Lincoln-Nottingham-Leicester.

It could have been worse, it could have been a clapped out single coach train. At least this train was refurbished and had usb charging points. Though few use as hidden below the seats.

I took the opportunity to charge a power bank. I did not think it needed charging, other than maybe a top up. To my surprise took the entire journey to charge. Failing power bank?

A new stall outside Nottingham Station selling dosa. Too cold for street food but not impressed. Appeared to have been already made, did not look appetising, was then popped in a frying pan, hotted up, ingredients tossed on top.

I was not impressed. Not the way to make a dosa. Nothing like the quality or professionalism of Ollo Foods with a stall on Guildford farmers market.

Lunch at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station overlooking Nottingham Canal.

Tomato soup was something of a disappointment, tasted like tinned soup, but the falafal was was excellent.

200 Degrees is a small chain. Coffee mediocre at best.

Excellent cappuccino at Cartwheel Coffee.

An organic single origin from Honduras.

On sale Frank Green reusable cups. These, together with rCup, are the worst reusable cups on the market.

I suggested get shot of, stock KeepCup or ecoffee bamboo cups. But ideally encourage relax with specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic, discourage takeaway.

I looked in Wired, but who I wished to see was not there.

Their own branded glass KeepCup. Large. I have never seen large before.

Guest coffee Girls Who Grind.

On my last visit I had been told by Outpost Coffee of a nearby zero waste store. I asked of the vegan stall. Cobden Chambers, but not today. I checked, no, not today. A pity, as I wanted muesli, which I had hoped to find.

Ideas on Paper not open. No information to say when open. Annoying as was the reason for my visit.

V60 from Outpost Coffee. They were busy.

I looked again Ideas on Paper. Not open.

Nottingham Station. Long walk down a long platform to waiting train.

V60 and Om Nom at Outpost Coffee

December 27, 2018

In indie coffee shops, not only excellent coffee very often interesting reading material.

I came across Om Nom in Magazine Brighton. Then when I came across again later in the day in Infinity Foods I decided to pick up a copy, On Nom issue 3.

Issue no 2, long sold out.

The day after the longest day, the Saturday before Christmas, I decided to try my luck in Ideas on Paper in Nottingham, as always keeps back issues. I was out of luck, issue 3 but no earlier issues.

They did though have latest issue of Standart and Ambrosia.

Then another idea, Outpost Coffee. I had seen Om Nom on display on a previous visit. I may be in luck. And I would have as always an excellent V60 from one of their single origin coffees.

At first I thought I was out of luck, not on display, then I noticed more reading material tucked away on a shelf. I was in luck, not only a copy, they kindly gave me their copy.

As always an excellent V60 served in ceramic.

The ceramic cup, Åoomi dust ceramic coffee mug, is on sale at Outpost Coffee.

Afternoon in Nottingham

August 29, 2018

It would have been a day in Nottingham, arrive late morning, but thanks to dysfunctional bus service running at least 12 minutes late, I missed the train, and had to catch the next train an hour later.

The train had usb charging points hidden beneath the seats.

Not seen before, a coffee kiosk outside Nottingham Station, Nelo’s. Cappuccino OK, not great. It would improve if the coffee was ground fresh for each cup. The guy was knowledgeable about coffee, but it needs more than a piece of paper from 200 Degrees to make a barista.

The biscotti biscuit was excellent.

Lunch at 200 Degres near Nottingham Station, but no coffee. Their coffee is not great, though I like the ambience of the coffee shop and the food and cakes are excellent.

I tried to find Cartwright Coffee that the little coffee kiosk and one of his customers had recommended. I could not find nor Jamie Oliver that I was told was nearby.

I asked a passing Black girl but she did not know. I knew Nottingham better tan her, even though she was a local.

She suggested I took a coffee in Pret a Manger. Ha, ha.

It was therefore The Speciality Coffee Shop.

Michelangelo said both his guest coffees even though single origin, were suited to espresso, not filter.

I tried Rwanda from Maude Coffee Roasters. Excellent cappuccino. I asked was a light roast, as was reminded of coffee from Base Camp? I was told yes.

I picked up two bags of coffee.

I looked in Ideas on Paper in Hebden Court. Picked up a copy of Ambrosia San Francisco edition.

I looked in Wired, said hello. I would have liked to have had a cappuccino, but no time. Next time.

On to Outpost Coffee. A V60. I let them choose. A Kenyan coffee, a bit too acidic. Very expensive beans, so expensive, sold in small glass jars. I did not inquire the cost.

On the shelf a Gina cold brew tower which I had not seen before. They brought down onto the counter for me to have a closer look.

V60 emptied into a takeaway cup. A sacrilege I know. But I had a train to catch.

A couple of years ago Guildford had cows dotted around the town, Brighton snowdogs, Lincoln Barons, then last year Knights. Nottingham has Robins. Why Hoodwinked I do not know.

Train 1721. I was very lucky to catch. Were it not for cramming the passengers in like sardines and the time it took to board I would have missed the train.

Cobden Chambers

April 6, 2018

The centre of Nottingham, the same crap chains that monotonise every town centre, interesting buildings, spoilt at ground level by modern shop fronts, a few buildings unspoilt.

It is always down the side streets and alleys, find anything of interest.

And so it was with Cobden Chambers, down a narrow side ally opposite a href=”https://keithpp.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/wired/” target=”_blank”>Wired.

Passing through the alley, it opens out into a courtyard with benches for picnic, lined with murals on one side, the other a colourful terrace, Cobden Terraces, and at the far end Cobden Place, housing little studios, a cafe and restaurant, a bookshop, record shop.

I was reminded of North Laine in Brighton or Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden.

The Courtyard

The Courtyard plays host to pop-up street food vendors, markets and street art, drawing visitors into the Chambers and creating a dynamic, vibrant atmosphere.

Studio Chocolate

Hand designed chocolates

Ideas on Paper

A bookshop with quality magazines, Drift though not Standart if into coffee culture.

Think

Food and art.

Forever Records

Record store specialising in vinyl old and new.


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