Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln Cathedral’

Lincoln Cathedral Cafe

July 21, 2021

Where to start, lack of character, lack of ambience, outsourced, disgusting coffee, piss-poor service.

But let us start at the beginning.

The Cathedral had a lovely tea shop, wonderful ambience, back of the Chapter House, off the cloisters. It closed, the staff fired.

I ventured into the garden a few weeks ago, a couple of days before they opened. I walked in out of curiosity, to be shouted at as soon as I stepped over the threshold, Get Out.

Visitors walking in the garden came across to me and said they were appalled at the way I had been treated.

They went on to say were disgusted at the closure of the tea shop and said it was yet another example of how the Cathedral squandered money. I think if they knew how much they would be even more appalled. I have heard £7 million mentioned. Whether true or not I do not know.

A couple of weeks later I looked again, now open. Very busy. I was told has been much busier earlier.

I looked last week, thought I would try a coffee. We stop serving at four-thirty close at five. It was a little after four thirty.

Why, long daylight hours, warm weather, visitors milling around, why close at five?

Today, try again.

Fountain in the garden not working. Was it my imagination, was it not working when I was ordered to Get Out?

The fountain a monstrosity, unbelievably ugly. This could have been rough hewn limestone, as used in the construction of the Cathedral, smooth on the inside, lined with slate. There would be some leakage. Surround with a circular channel to collect the water.

Lining the footpath, low lamps, grey, less than foot high, ideal trip hazard.

Outside what was the Dean’s residence, tables and chairs in a sun trap. Ideal spring or autumn but not mid-summer, no parasols, no shade.

Inside, noisy, very hot.

Service abysmal. At least four waiting staff came to the table to take order. Completely disorganised.

Long wait for order. How long does it take a tea and coffee when they were not busy?

I went to inquire. I was lied to, told only eleven minutes had elapsed. I looked at the receipt which was stamped with the time. At least fifteen minutes had elapsed. Maybe they cannot count.

I asked why was there no parasols? We have only been open three weeks and did not know it was going to be hot. This is like saying we did not know summer happens.

I asked of the coffee they used. Did not know. I asked when I looked in a couple of weeks ago when I looked in when busy. I asked of the staff brewing the coffee. Did not know. How can be brewing coffee and not know?

Catering supply coffee.

I looked at the cakes. Very unappetizing. Looked like factory cakes.

I returned to my table.

No air conditioning. Very hot.

I then realised time on the receipt was when paid, not when ordered. Order taken, then sometime later asked to pay. Should that not be when finished? The norm elsewhere.

Drinks eventually arrived, Maybe half an hour after ordering.

What was wrong? Where do I start? Cup size far too large, looked as though carpet bombed with chocolate by a Lancaster bomber. I took one tiny sip, too hot, tasted as disgusting as it looked, cheap low quality catering supply coffee.

I took it back. En route was intercepted by a waitress. I explained what was wrong. She started to argue with me. It is never wise when you clearly know nothing about coffee to argue with a customer who does, especially when have just demonstrated how not to make coffee. I have had worse but this was pretty bad.

A young man then came to the table. Said I had complained. Did not introduce himself or explain who he was. I asked and learnt acting manager.

I explained what was wrong. He did at least listen. Unlike the waitress who threw a tantrum, not in my pay grade.

He then asked what would I like to drink? I had assumed a drink on its way. Did I really want cheap crap catering supply coffee? No. By now I had had enough. I asked for a glass of water and a refund. A glass of water was brought and a refund.

Near the table was what looked like a drinking fountain. It dispensed soap. I explained this should be clearly labelled as to what what it was. I can see a child, once worked out how to operate, white froth pours out, will think it a drink. It is foamed soap. An accident waiting to happen. I explained to the acting manager what appeared to be a drinking fountain should be clearly labelled. He claimed it was. No, all it had was the name of manufacturer or supplier, no explanation what it was. I assumed to be a drinking fountain, a child would assume the same.

And the tea? The cup as large as the teapot.

The staff were at least wearing masks which is more than can be said of the adjacent gift shop, where no staff wearing masks. I do not recall name badges worn.

Large posters in the café and gift shop promoting concerts. No mention of services in the Cathedral.

Menu on a plastic laminated sheet. Ideal for coronavirus transmission. I saw no staff cleaning.

We left several minutes before four. Staff were already vacuuming the floors.

When arrived mid-afternoon, not busy, less than a third full. When left, almost empty.

The ambience that of a station waiting room.

A classic example of outsourcing.

If they actually cared and clearly don’t, they would have sourced coffee from Seven Districts, employed a competent barista, bags of the Lincoln Imp coffee on sale in the gift shop.

If visiting Lincoln Cathedral, walk into Bailgate if wishing to eat as spoilt for choice. Try Bailgate Deli, falafel and salad excellent, Sanctuary on The Bail, their backyard a hidden gem. Or Elite on the Bail for fish n chips. Or if a nice day, sit on Castle Hill with a sausage roll from Redhill Farm shop. If wish for a coffee or tea, walk through Lincoln Castle and out the other side to Stokes at The Lawn where on a hot day it is pleasant to sit outside. For the very best coffee, walk down Steep Hill into the city centre and try Madame Waffle or Coffee Aroma. Also in Bailgate a very popular ice ream parlour, always a queue. On the way down Steep Hill, Bells serves ice cream, a traditional tea shop and unlike Lincoln Cathedral Cafe has charm and character. Another place of charm and character, Pimento a vegetarian restaurant half way down Steep Hill, teas served are from Imperial Teas opposite.

Support local businesses, money is circulated within the local economy.

I walked down into the town, sat outside Madame Waffle with Japanese iced coffee. Highly recommended on a hot day.

There are plans to use the café for meetings and conferences. I cannot think of a less suitable venue. And this has nothing to do with the catering, which is easily solved by ditching the current contractor. The rooms are very noisy, in the summer too hot. It would be nigh impossible to follow any conversation or comprehend a speaker.

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.

Heritage Open Day Lincoln Cathedral

September 15, 2018

Heritage Open Day, the one day of the year free entry to Lincoln Cathedral, unless of course attend a service.

Rather than walk up the High Street, up The Strait, up Steep Hill, I took a different route. Along Sincil Street (sadly trashed by the local Council in cahoots with the local Coop), over the River Witham, up past The Collection, then Well Lane which brings out on Steep Hill a little past Base Camp.

To my pleasant surprise, a farmers market in Castle Hill, held the third Saturday of the month.

Spending time on the market meant I had very little time to wander around Lincoln Cathedral.

I noticed seats laid out, each labelled. Front row, County Council chief executive, chairman, and other County Council jobsworth, then rows Lincoln City Council, then RAF, then cadets, and almost as an afterthought, a few seats for the public.

I asked. A Battle of Britain Commemorative Service 3 pm on Sunday.

Where then the seats for Veterans? And was the priority not wrong? Should not the worthless parasites be at the back, Veterans on the front row, followed by RAF?

Inquiries were made. Veterans were not even aware of the Service.

Wintry afternoon in Lincoln

January 15, 2015

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

Did not get into Lincoln until late afternoon.

Sun dropping, and temperature dropping by the minute.

With cold wind blowing, frozen to the bone within minutes.

Although before four o’clock, most of the shops in Sincil Street closed or closing.

Cappuccino in Stokes on High Bridge.

Road works meant amended bus timetable, buses to Washingborough running every half an hour not every twenty minutes xx10 and xx40.

Misty morning The Strait and Steep Hill

January 10, 2013

Steep Hill in the mist

Steep Hill in the mist

Steep Hill in the mist

Steep Hill in the mist

Steep Hill in the mist

Steep Hill in the mist

Very foggy this morning.

Walking up the Strait and Steep Hill, very misty, very atmospheric, the stuff of a Victorian melodrama, which explains why many such dramas have been filmed here.

The towers of Lincoln Cathedral were shrouded in mist, as was the entrance and walls of Lincoln Castle.

Westgate, which follows the walls of the castle, freezing cold fog.

Walking back down, the sun came out for a brief period, but not for long, back came the mist.

Afternoon tea at Lincoln Cathedral tea shop

January 5, 2013

Lincoln Cathedral tea shop

Lincoln Cathedral tea shop

Around the back of Lincoln Cathedral (where can be found flying buttresses and Alfred Lord Tennyson) is the entrance to the tea shop. It can also be accessed if already in the Cathedral from the cloisters.

This is quite a charming little tea shop, and apart from sticking my head in following a silent meditation at Mary Magdalene during the Winter Solstice, I have not visited this tea shop for years.

On offer, teas, coffee, cakes …

I had tea, and what I thought was carrot cake, but as it tasted of ginger could not be sure what it was. I do not think it was freshly made, probably bought in factory cake, and nowhere compared with the excellent carrot cake from Café Mila in Godalming.

A door leads out of the tea shop and into the cloisters. A pity they have now placed tables and chairs in the cloisters as it completely ruins the cloisters.

Winter is not the best time to view the cloisters. Summer is best, when the sun catches the limestone and gives it a warm glow. In the winter the stones look cold.

A pair of Peregrine falcons have taken up residence in the towers (to them it resembles a cliff face). One would expect it to keep down the population of pigeons, but according to the staff, not so, and they have been seen hunting as far afield as woods in North Hykeham.

The tea and coffee are fair trade. The coffee is supplied by Stokes.

Celebrating the Winter Solstice

December 21, 2012

Mary Magdalene Church

Mary Magdalene Church

Mary Magdalene Church

Mary Magdalene Church

end of the mayan calander

end of the mayan calander

I am the single radiance by which all is aroused and within which it is vibrant…
For the man who has found me, the door to all things stands open…
I am the magnetic force of the universal presence and the ceaseless ripple of its smile.

— Excerpts from Hymn To the Eternal Feminine by Teilhard de Chardin

Today was the shortest day.

At a little wholefood stall in at the Central Market in Lincoln, maybe a new stall as I have never seen before, a little typewritten notice of celebrations for the Winter Solstice.

0700 Walk up Hoe Hill, near Fulletby, near Horncastle to observe the sunrise

1100 Mary Magdalene Church, Castle Square, Lincoln for a silent meditation at 1111.

1130 Tea shop at Lincoln Cathedral.

1530 Heartwood near Branston to observe the sunset.

The only one I was able to make was the silent meditation at Mary Magdalene. Walk to the top of the High Street, then up The Strait and Steep Hill. I must be unfit as hard going.

Mary Magdalene is rarely open, it was a pleasant surprise to find open. No mention of mediation, no one knew what I was talking about.

Rather annoying, very noisy people in the church.

Unbeknown to the church the silent mediation did take place, and luckily the noisy people had left.

But why can people not be quiet in a church? In the main Catholic Church in Puerto de la Cruz, it is always quiet, those in the church are either silent or converse in quiet whisper.

Silent meditation in a church, one very quickly becomes aware of surroundings, every little sound.

Nine people turned up, ten counting me.

I like this idea a group of people unannounced descending on a church.

I walked with them to Lincoln Cathedral. I was curious why these two locations?

Mary Magdalene represents the sacred feminine, Lincoln Cathedral masculine (I assume St Hugh), yin and yang.

Mary Magdalene lies immediately outside Lincoln Cathedral. At Winchester there is a little church immediately outside the cathedral.

Mary Magdalene, an old Saxon church, lies on a ley line (I do not know what evidence). It is also at the junction of two Roman roads. One I know to be Ermine Street, I assume the other to be Fossway.

A little south of Lincoln, where you can still walk on the old Ermine Street, not a modern road that follows the route, is an ancient Templar building.

At least one of the group of nine had read The Alchemist several times (the tenth anniversary edition is currently available as e-book reduced price). I said there was a new book, Manuscript Found in Accra available next year, Aleph was in The Works at a low price, The Pilgrimage preceded The Alchemist, and to check out The Alchemist pen from Montegrappa. And do not forget audio book of The Way of the Bow is free!

Today the world was going to end (the day has not yet ended). A misinterpretation of what Mayans predicted. They predicted a new era of understanding, not the end of the world. (14th Baktun).

Steep Hill

January 30, 2012

Steep Hill

Steep Hill

The River Witham, High Bridge, The Stonebow, a couple of old churches, Sincil Street the only area of character left around the old market area, and that is about it, little else of interest in the city centre of Lincoln. The same trash High Street stores as in every other town across the country. Clone town writ large!

For more interesting part of town, walk through The Stonebow to the top of the High Street.

At the top of the Hight Street, The Strait, which leads into Steep Hill. Both have buildings of character, quirky buildings, quirky independent shops, even a lampost leaning over.

On the left as you walk up The Strait, two Norman House, one of which houses an excellent restaurant.

As you climb up Steep Hill and it earns its name, your are following the main Roman Street that ran through the Roman city of Lindum Colonia, up from the River Witham to the top of the hill.

More Norman houses as you walk up Steep Hill.

A tea shop, selling teas not cups of tea, though you will find those too, dress shops, a chocolate shop, a flower shop, art galleries, second-hand bookshops, little bars and restaurants, a pie shop, a clock shop (though rarely open). Even a Russian doll shop!

On the way up, occasional glimpses of Lincoln Cathedral. As you pause for breath, look back and you will see across the valley to South Common on the opposite escarpment.

Once the top is reached, and take all day as there is much to tarry for and no need to hurry, you will find yourself in Castle Square. To the left Lincoln Castle and to the right Lincoln Cathedral.

Carry on and you are in Bailgate. As you enter Bailgate, a little church on the right, worth gaining entry to, though rarely open.

In Bailgate a small butcher. If not the best in Lincoln, maybe even the County.

Walk through Bailgate to Newport Arch. The Roman archway to Lindum Colonia,

Walk around the castle to The Lawn, which Lincoln City Council in an act of crass stupidity has put up for sale. The Lawn, a former pioneering Victorian Mental Hospital houses the Sir Joseph Banks Conservatory.

Sir Joseph Banks was the Chief Scientific Officer on the Endeavour.

I have a knack of being in the right place at the right time. I had been in The Collection far longer than I wished due to it raining. It finally stopped, giving me time to walk up Steep Hill and back down, but little more. Looking down Steep Hill the winter midday sun caught the buildings and the wet street. A week later and half an hour later, the sun did not catch the buildings or shine down the street. Half an hour made all the difference.

At the top of Steep Hill is a little bronze plaque saying it was awarded Britain’s Best Place by the Academy of Urbanism.

Steep Hill must have the rare accolade of a street being reviewed on Trip Advisor!

It is a rare experience to be able to walk the length of a street in England and not encounter a single High Street chain store. This is how our towns used to be until destroyed by greedy developers and corrupt planners.

Top Story The Digital Mission Daily (Monday 30 January 2012).

Lincoln Cathedral

January 22, 2012

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral sits atop of a hill. It is visible from miles around, but within the city not so as the short-sighted Lincoln City Council has allowed the erection of appalling multi-story eyesores. The same city council that has presided over destruction of the heart of the city, has put the historic Lawn up for sale and now plans the destruction of Sincil Street, the one area of character left in the city centre. It used to be policy to not allow any building to obstruct the historic skyline, but now greed and fast bucks is all that matters.

The best way to approach the Cathedral is on foot. From the top of the High Street, up The Strait, passed Norman Houses, up Steep Hill and more Norman Houses, and the cathedral is there when you reach the top. On the way up you will get tantalising glimpses of the cathedral.

Resist the temptation to tarry, if you do, you will not have time to look around Lincoln Cathedral. Though there is lots to see on the way up. If you do tarry, then make the most of it and save the cathedral for another day.

I did tarry, with the result that on the two days I made it to Lincoln Cathedral, before Christmas and in the New Year, I had no time other than to look in the door, have a chat with the Duty Chaplain and light candles.

Lincoln Cathedral was founded by the Normans not long after they invaded, as was Lincoln Castle. It is the finest Gothic Cathedral in Europe, as you will see when you step through the door and look down the nave. The view down the nave literally takes the breath away. Worth the climb if you only look down the nave then have to turn around and set off back down the hill. As did I.

Inside the Cathedral the Lincoln Imp, Cathedral treasures and lovely cloisters that are very tranquil to walk around.

Lincoln Cathedral owns one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, currently on loan to Lincoln Castle.

Lincoln Cathedral was used as the set for The Da Vinci Code, with Tom Hanks staying at the nearby White Hart.

I have a knack of being in the right place at the right time. The light on the walls is the winter sun filtering through the stained glass windows at midday.

The cathedral on the hill is the cathedral being caught by the morning sun not long after sunrise. But note the ugly building on the left, a blot on the landscape.

Candles in the side chapel are a bit of a disappointment. A sand pit! I would have at the very least expected wrought iron candle holders.

The book to get on Lincoln cathedral is Capturing Lincoln Cathedral, though you will have a job as it was a limited edition edition and I picked up the only two remaining copies. It captures the cathdral in all its moods.

Candles in Lincoln Cathedral

December 22, 2011

candles in Lincoln Cathedral

candles in Lincoln Cathedral

Today three candles lit in Lincoln Cathedral: One for my lovely but sadly mad friend Sian, one for Paulo Coelho as thanks for writing Aleph, and one for Canon Andrew White who was back from Iraq.

Contrary to the lies from Barack Obama, Iraq has not been left in a stable state. Iraq descends into hell.

The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell

On the climb up to Lincoln Cathedral I passed a Russian doll shop and stumbled upon a Roman well.


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