Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln’

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day nine

April 1, 2020

Bus into town early. Rescheduled, arrives five minutes earlier. New bus, single-decker, stops frequently to keep in time with timetable. Driver fails to turn off engine. Actually even worse, new bus, automatically turns off engine when bus stops, driver turns on, then bus sits with engine running. Dumb passengers, clueless on social distancing, I have to move three times. Less frequent bus service, only once an hour, more passengers and single-decker bus.

Bus station deserted of buses let alone people.

Sincil Street deserted.

Only Pepperdine’s open. Curtis has closed, Central Market closed.

A few people in the High Street.

Common sense breaks out at M&S, front doors open. But only two tills manned. More people in the store than previous visits, failure to man tills, longer in the store.

Bus from bus station, same bus, different driver, only two passengers.

Lincolnshire Echo click bait scaremongering

March 13, 2020

Headline grabbing scaremongering, click-bait fake news.

Talking with people I have not found anyone scared, the county gripped by fear.

I have sadly found stupid people who think no different to seasonal flu, for example a stupid woman on a train, who coughed most of the journey.

I find people who are angry, angry that the government not banning public gathering or sporting events, angry at a Lincolnshire school taking schoolkids on a school trip to northern Italy.

Another example from the local rag, Lincoln city centre a ghost town. Not true, fewer people on the streets yes, a ghost town no.

The front page of the Echo, click bait attention-grabbing scaremongering. Then more of the same. Lincoln like a ghost town.

I was in town Thursday, it was not deserted, it was not like a ghost town, even around 5-30 on Friday not deserted.

I have seen fewer people on the streets in January middle of the day once kids have gone back to school.

If we look at data from mobile phone tracking in the streets of cities. down 3% three weeks ago, three weeks later, down 20%. These are average figures.

In some cities down 27%, worse case down 40%.

Waterside deserted. Grotty shopping centre, not worth visiting, is it ever anything other than deserted?

As always, shoddy journalism.

Nottingham not many people around. I have not visited before on a Friday, thus no comparison, but I was told fewer than usual. A Thai restaurant was busier than previous visits, one coffee shop I was told businesses down, another said half usual level of customers.

People are wisely staying home avoiding anywhere crowded.

Social distancing helps slow the spread of viruses, half the number of people, half the opportunity to spread, which is why avoid crowded places and government should ban all public gatherings.

People are running scared.

Click bait fake news from a scurrilous local rag does not help.

We have no immunity. Our only protection, social distancing.

Avoid crowded places, pubs, bars, crowded restaurants, shopping centres, overcrowded commuter trains. Wherever possible work from home.

People not going into town unless necessary to buy food, are acting wisely.

We have been very badly let down by a government that has steadfastly refused to ban public gatherings.

Eton and Harrow have closed, state schools ordered to remain open. The rich and privileged look after their own. School governors should hold emergency meetings and decided whether or not to close.

Maybe scribblers should ask why no hand sanitiser at entrances to Lincoln Central Bus Station, with signs advising passengers to use?

Maybe ask why hand sanitisers not at entrances to coffee shops and restaurants, clientele asked to use before permitted entry?

Local media acting for the local community, not click bait scaremongering and peddling fake news.

to be continued —

Coronavirus panic buying scaremongering

March 7, 2020

Reports of panic buying much exaggerated.

Friday afternoon I visited several supermarkets, local market, fishmonger, local shops.

There was no evidence of panic buying. Media scaremongering. I visited several supermarkets, a local market, fishmonger. Supermarkets well stocked. Fruit and vegetable stalls well stocked, bread and cakes stall well stocked, meat stall well stocked. Fishmonger well stocked.

Early afternoon, local market. Fruit and vegetable stall well stocked. A bread and cake stall had not sold out, usually by early afternoon sold out. A stall for a local farm. meat, plenty of stock and the stall holder said not busy, had not even had to replenish his stall.

Visited a coupled of local shops, all were well stocked.

Mid-afternoon, Poundland shelves not stripped, no shortage of toilet rolls, the same on a market stall and in Wilkinson, plenty of toilet rolls. Catch indoor market as closing. Fishmonger no shortage, fruit and vegetable stall well stocked.

Late afternoon after visiting a coffee shop. M&S shelves well stocked, as was Heron Foods and a local Coop.

And yet, media claiming panic buying. One report on local news showed a shop with shelves stripped bare. This in the same town I found the exact opposite. Did they search high and low until they found a shop with shelves stripped to support their scaremongering story?

Yes, we should ensure we are well stocked, fridge, freezer cupboards well stocked, which I have maintained since outbreak of coronavirus in China in January, but not the same as panic buying. Face masks and hand sanitiser, I would not waste money on.

Yes we should take coronavirus seriously, which is more than UK government is doing, and here is why.

Coronavirus twice as infectious as seasonal flu, lethality ten times.

Mortality rate 3.4%. In Italy, it exceeds 4%.

Attitude of government sit back and do little until widespread, by which time too late.

As absolute minimum temperature screening at airports, ban all mass public events.

We ourselves can do our bit, coughs and sneezes spreads disease, wash our hands frequently, avoid crowded public places, pubs a no no, especially J D Wetherspoon.

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.

Cappuccino Stokes at The lawn

March 3, 2020

Usually I take coffee in for Mike to try, but today raining, I let Mike select a coffee.

Try this Colombian.

Aroma was that of chocolate, milk chocolate, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

OK I know it is not chocolate, fat and sugar. Read the label if do not believe me. Cadbury’s do not claim it to be chocolate.

A moot point Stokes at The Lawn. Please stock quality bean-to-bar chocolate.

Bullion and Luisa’s would be good starting point, maybe add Bare Bones.

I digress.

Mike brewed a cappuccino.

Fruity, very different to the aroma.

And not usual for a cappuccino, improved as it cooled, more akin to behaviour of a V60.

The roast less a light roast, though was a light roast, but instead of lowering roast temperature reduced the length of roast.

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.

Happy Coffee Bike

February 22, 2020

Spend fours hours travelling up from Kent, pay £400 for a pitch to stand in the cold to serve LavAzza coffee at a junk food travelling circus in Lincoln.

Masochistic.

To say the least I felt very sorry for the young Romanian lady whose stall it was, her very first outing with her coffee trike.

I doubt she covered her travel costs, let alone cost of the pitch, cost of overnight stay.

Who conned her into this ridiculous venture?

She had not worked in coffee, knew nothing about coffee.

Why serve LavAzza when High Street lined with coffee shops serving bad coffee?

She was frozen. I offered to take her for a coffee to have the chance to warm up and drink a decent coffee.  But she could not leave her stall.

I advised she checked out coffee roasteries in Sussex, and to attend the Brighton Coffee Festival in August.

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.