Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln’

Easter street food festival Lincoln Castle

April 20, 2019

Chow Down travelling circus Easter street food festival in the grounds of Lincoln Castle.

A pleasant walk along Minster Yard running south side of Lincoln Cathedral.

People enjoying the sun on the grass on the east side outside the Chapter House.

Passed through a farmers market in Castle Hill, with a mental note to return later, but first the street food festival in the grounds of Lincoln Castle.

Long queue to get in, £3 entry fee for what is usually free access.

Inside packed.

Dogs are usually welcome in the Castle grounds. Not today. Not acceptable no dogs. No street food festival I have a visited has barred dogs. But then can usually access and walk through the Castle grounds for free.

£3 entry fee, £5 for French fries, £3-10 takeaway coffee.

Recently a new shed has been built at the West Gate. Usually manned. When queried why build a new shed which is no longer manned, told only manned when pay to gain access to Castle grounds.

West Gate closed for Chow Down which hits local businesses either side of Lincoln Castle. Something Bailgate Guild must raise.

A problem for disabled, and possibly illegal. A car park at The Lawn, a ramp for easy access. West Gate closed.

Claimed to be largest street food festival in the country. Not true.

Street food market in Lower Marsh, South Bank street food market, Godalming street food market, Street Food Picnic in a park in Guildford a couple of years ago, all much larger, all far better street food.

The burger at the Guildford Street Food Picnic, grilled on a charcoal grill, served with a side of new potatoes.

Claimed 25% of the offering being either vegetarian or vegan. I did not see a single vegetarian stall let alone a vegan stall.

Claimed craft beer breweries from across the UK will be attending so you can sample some of the finest beers the country has to offer – whether it be draught or in cans.

Really? Where were they?

A craft beer stall, but nothing to say what was on offer. Same true of the beer tent. What was really weird, what was being served behind a partition to block sight of what was being served.

Later I had an excellent local craft beer off the farmers market outside.

Chow Down yet another travelling circus. A couple of weeks ago, a travelling circus of disgusting junk food in the the High Street.

Yes, Chow Down better than the junk food in the High Street but it would have had to have been pretty disgusting to be worse. Not a high bar to exceed.

They also appeared to have minimum environmental standards. Stalls using recyclable containers. Though then let down with no obvious bin for compostable waste. My burger served in a card box went in general waste. Only later did I see a bin for recycling. But saw no bin for compostable waste. I saw a grand total of two bins, with one young man going round collecting the rubbish ignorant people had tossed on the ground.

Chow Down also had better food offering than the disgusting offering at the Lincoln Vegan Festival a couple of weeks ago in the Drill Hall, though vegans and vegetarians would have been very disappointed by what was on offer.

I expected to be spoilt for choice. I was not.

I settled for a burger. It was good, but I have had far better. Dirty Organic Burger in Brighton, burger from street food festival in a park in Guildford a couple of years ago (and it was charcoal grilled and came with a side of new potatoes).

A cappuccino off Laynes Espresso coffee stall using Dark Woods Arboretum espresso blend. It too was good, far better than usually get at such events, undrinkable coffee served from a van and better than the undrinkable coffee served in the Lincoln Castle cafe which is to insult visitors, but not in the same league as Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle.

And on a hot day, why no cold brew coffee? A very refreshing drink on a hot day.

Nor were the waffles on a waffle stall in the same league as Madame Waffle.

Laynes espresso claimed the Chow Down travelling circus was curated, in other words they have selected the best. If this was curated, I hate to think what it would have been if not.

If this is the best the North and Midlands has to offer on street food, then a poor reflection of street food culture in the region.

Not last year but the year before, Steam Punks had a far better street food offering.

I was there lunchtime, the Castle grounds were packed, and yet what was noticeable the food stalls were not busy.

There was better food on offer at the local farmers market outside the Castle in Castle Hill, from where I was also able to pick up an excellent local craft beer

After returning to the farmers market, where I found better food on offer, then walked down Steep Hill.

Drunks spilling out of the Magna Cart were blocking the street.

If Lincoln is to host a street food festival, then do not invite a travelling circus, organise own street food festival. If stalls not of quality, then do not invite again. For example, South Bank street food market has regulars, plus a couple of pitches for guest stalls.

Follow the example of Staycation Live in Godalming (underwritten by the local Town Council). Host in the Castle grounds a weekend of live free music in the summer, Lincoln BIG or the community fund that hopefully replaces Lincoln BIG as Lincoln BIG not fit for purpose underwrites, performers have their expenses covered, sell albums, and not only music, also drama and poetry, a collection for a worthy cause, street food, quality street food, around the periphery and dogs welcome.

Free summer weekend music festival in the grounds of Lincoln Castle, street food, finish at 2000 to give time to pack up in daylight, then continue in the evening in the town, for example Coffee Aroma street party, jazz with pizza from clay oven at Caffe Portico.

Extinction Rebellion Lincoln

April 18, 2019

Mail on Sunday saw a ludicrous feature on Extinction Rebellion, they were deluded, they wished to take us back to a fossil free dark age.

No, they recognise we face a Climate Emergency, that a fossil free future is our only future.

London, key points were taken. It was not until the third day BBC started to report.

Police have been deployed to arrest peaceful protesters. Would they not be better deployed to deal with knife crime?

Arresting people is pointless, and on dodgy legal grounds. For every person arrested, two more take their place.

Nothing learnt from Civil Rights protests in US. Arresting people, more take to the streets.

In Algeria and Sudan, the people have taken to the streets, faced down oppression, kicked two brutal dictators out of office.

In Lincoln, on Day 4, a small gathering under a tree in the High Street.

Were they there days before, I do not know.

One ignorant man shouted abuse, hit out at the disruption in London.

That disruption is as nothing when London floods due to rising sea levels.

Extinction Rebellion have taken direct action as a last resort, for far too long our corrupt politicians have been in the pocket of big business, giving the go ahead to fracking, to Heathrow expansion, subsidies to oil industry, go ahead for open cast mining.

Direct action is the only action that has ever changed anything.

It will cost far more not to address climate change to sit back and do nothing.

Protesters in Lincoln were calling on Lincoln City Council to declare a Climate Emergency, as many councils already have, to halt the Western Growth Corridor.

Activists need to seize control of the local Town Hall, to end the one-party state in the pocket of the local coop and big business, follow the example of Madrid, Barcelona and A Coruña, open to public participation, network across Europe with other citizen-controlled Town Halls.

Lincoln and Lincolnshire have an appalling bus service. Try getting a bus to anywhere after 1900 in the evening.

The pedestrianised High Street is not. Lorries drive through any time of the day. No enforcement action, local council and police turn a blind eye.

There is a ban between 1000 and 1600, but no one takes a blind bit of notice.

There should be a ban 24/7, emergency vehicles only. Lorries park on the periphery, deliver by hand cart and trolley. The norm in Europe

Maybe they will, but the protesters should have sat down on High Bridge and blocked the High Street.

Ban wood burning stoves from the city.

It beggars belief we still build new build with no solar panels on the roof.

We need local area power distribution networks, owned and controlled by the local community, into which feed renewables paid a fair price, consumers pay a fair price. Surplus generation fed to other local networks via a publicly owned National Grid. Any ‘profit’ either fed back into the system or used to fund local community projects. Electric cars provide a nighttime base load.

Avoid any corporate chain coffee shops, enjoy specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic in an indie coffee shop. In Lincoln that would be Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle. Reusable coffee cups glass Keep Cup or bamboo ecoffeecup address symptoms.

The planning application for a drive-thru Costa must be opposed. No one who loves coffee would be seen dead in Costa. More traffic. At a time when we should be reducing our dependency on the car, an application for yet another drive-thru. Local Coop once again acting for corporate chains whilst at the same time destroying Sincil Street. Those who love coffee relax in Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle with specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic.

Brighton has Hisbe. Lincoln needs a zero waste store.

An animal diet, apart from being nutritionally dense thus better for our health, is environmental sound, grass fed animals are part of the natural cycle, improving the soil acts as a carbon sink.

We need to re-wild.

We have to drastically reduce our emissions of carbon. The longer we delay, the deeper the cuts.

Children are going on strike on Fridays. They question why their future is being destroyed.

We need a Green New Deal.

Read This Changes Everything.

Hacks at failing local rags The Lincolnite and Lincolnshire Echo failed to cover the protest.

Vine’s Bakery

April 6, 2019

Vine’s Bakery opened on Friday at the foot of Steep Hill.

Although they only opened on Friday, and selection currently poor, it was as though Lincoln had never seen a bread shop before, maybe have not, as a steady stream of people passing through the door into the shop.

I thought with them being open on a Sunday, they were open seven days a week, but no, closed Monday and Tuesday.

The location is not good, bottom of Steep Hill. Either have to walk up the High Street and The Strait or down Steep Hill.

Ideal location would have been Bailgate where they wished to open, but were blocked by shortsighted businesses in the Bail.

High minimum order for wholesale, too high. No one is going to take a chance on an unknown entity, unknown quality, unknown quality. There should be no minimum. This gives the opportunity to slowly grow the business.

I wished for a wholemeal loaf. No wholemeal. I settled for a seeded brown. OK but not great.

I have also tried a white loaf. It was not good.

Serving coffee is not a good idea. Who wants a bad coffee when there is excellent coffee to be had from Coffee Aroma and Madame Waffle? Focus on bread and cakes. Begs the question planning consent for a cafe?

Ludicrous reporting by hack on the local rag, they had a tour of the bread shop. Tour? A counter and shelves with bread.

Lincoln street food market

March 29, 2019

The third visit of this disastrous street food market. The surprise is that it was ever invited to return.

Little more than a travelling circus.

The low quality summed up by two cheese stalls very poor quality cheese, but other stalls little better.

Why a beer stall in the Cornhill. Not enough drunkenness on the streets? Why were many of the tables barred from use in what is public space.

Large generators polluting the High Street.

Overflowing bins of rubbish.

Who is responsible for inviting this disastrous street food market? At a guess another major fail by Lincoln BIG hyped by Visit Lincoln.

Whoever has not a clue what constitutes good street food.

Why does not Lincoln organise its own street food market?

Invite a few stalls, build up slowly. Any stall that is not quality, any stall problem with obnoxious smells, do not invite again.

In the meantime, to taste quality street food try Curry Jacks, every week in Lincoln town centre.

The Lincolnshire Echo a failing local rag

March 13, 2019

The ground used to shake in St Benedict’s Square when The Lincolnshire Echo rolled off the printing press, a daily local paper, several editions during the day, Final had the national news the dailies would cover the following morning, a special sport edition at the weekend, vendors on street corners.

The Echo as known locally a pale shadow of its once former self, a single edition published once a week, stale news, staler that what we once used to wrap our fish n chips in, the one remaining vendor on the High Street long gone, its on-line version Lincolnshire Live, drivel, regurgitation of corporate press releases masquerading as news, click bait, not a clue how to use social media. No in-depth reporting, no investigative journalism, no holding local government to account. This is left to locals with no resources. One of many failed or failing local newspapers now breathing its last gasp.

If we look at last week’s edition, it is easy to see why no one reads let alone buys.

For months The Echo has been demonising the homeless, rather than taking to task the local council for failing to help. And help is not moving them on.

The Street and Steep Hill, many failing if not failed businesses, many do not even bother to open, tea shops that close when tourists are around but open when not, too many run of the mill tea shops chasing the nonexistent tourist pound, shops selling tat.

But what we learn is a popular shop that was rarely open and hardly surprising when open not busy is to close. Any one passing by has known this for weeks.

And this is the same story of a few weeks ago of a soap shop, a popular shop closing for lack of customers.

Spot the oxymoron, popular shop closing for lack of customers.

Maybe the scribblers have a different definition of popular to that in common use.

Little more than click bait, opening of a new Boots store a boost to the High Street. Er no, Boots is relocating to across the street.

No explanation of why Boots is relocating to across the street? A question any competent journalist would have asked. Difference in rent, end of lease? Will the other smaller Boots stores in town close and relocate to one store? No mention of Boots a major tax dodger, or that the only reason BHS closed was theft from BHS pension fund, rogue tax dodger Philip Greed.

A game of Pass the Parcel, Musical Chairs, one large empty unit relocates from one side of the street to the other side of the street.

Makes not a jot of difference to the High Street, there is still one large empty unit.

When writing of coffee it helps to know something of coffee. What has been written of 200 Degrees smacks of hype, ignorance and regurgitation of a press release.

200 Degrees is a chain, albeit a small chain, with a reputation for serving mediocre coffee. Better than the large corporate chains but not in the same league as local indie coffee shops Coffee Aroma and Madame Waffle.

No there is not a garden courtyard. There is a back yard, as yet unfinished.

A specialty coffee shop does not serve coffee blended with cheap nasty robusta.

Why poach staff from other coffee shops if host a barista training school? No qualified trainer for the training school.

Sincil Street is not being redeveloped it is being trashed, local Coop and Council in cahoots. Why is this not being questioned?

Why no questioning of the levy on all businesses to support Lincoln BIG, controlled by Big Business, unaccountable to local businesses, the money then squandered, no benefit to local businesses. A levy few can afford.

Why no questioning of Visit Lincoln acting as a quasi PR agency, paid to promote corporate chains?

No questioning of the incestuous relationship between local Coop, corporate chains, local Council and Lincoln BIG.

The Lincolnite little better not an echo, regurgitation of press releases masquerading as news, drivel, click bait.

Bailagte Independent, glossy packed with ads freebie monthly. What little content there is reads as advertising copy without the warning. A shocking waste of trees.

Funeral Service for Mavis Alice Parkins

February 27, 2019

A Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for the Life of Mavis Alice Parkins (5 June 1929 – 6 February 2019) at Washingborough Parish Church.

Mavis Alice Parkins sadly died at 1825 on Wednesday 6 February 2019. The funeral service was held three weeks later.

The service started at 1130 with the arrival of funeral cortege led by funeral director walking in front with a cane. Which sadly those attending the service did not see as they were already in the church.

The church was nigh full with with some coming from far away, as far away as the southwest of England, Turkish occupied Cyprus and even from Australia.

A very moving reading of the Eulogy by granddaughters Abigail and Jessica, interspersed with their own anecdotes.

Apart from the last few years of her life, Mavis Alice Parkins spent all her life in Lincoln.

As the coffin was lowered into its final resting place, close family and relatives each dropped in a solitary daffodil.

The reception was held at Washingborough Hall, a short walk through a hole in the wall.

200 Degrees coffee kiosk

February 24, 2019

The degree to which coffee is hyped is inversely proportional to its quality. For 200 Degrees a chain of nigh identical cookie cutter coffee shops serving at best mediocre coffee bodes ill for its soon to open coffee shop in Lincoln.

Hyped by the hacks at Lincolnite and Lincolnshire Echo who think that regurgitating corporate press releases constitutes news, hyped by quasi PR agency  Visit Lincoln who should be promoting local culture and events not hyping a coffee chain.

Part of the hype, a horse box serving as a coffee kiosk by the side of the river in Lincoln to promote their new coffee shop in Sincil Street not yet open, part of the trashing of Sincil Street, destruction of local businesses by local Coop in cahoots with the local Council to then bring in chains.

Pot luck if you encountered this coffee kiosk, more by luck if passing by, as whoever handles the 200 Degrees twitter account clueless on the use of social media, failure to say when or where made worse by lack of courtesy to reply to queries.

And even for their yet to open coffee shop in Sincil Street, list of opening hours but not when it actually opens.

  • broadcast —> one to many
  • social —> interaction
  • network —> many to many

Social media is not broadcast, the clue is in the name, social networks.

And the coffee?

Served by a guy with a bullshit job title Brand Manager, who is based in their roastery, not the head coffee roaster, handles their training.

The coffee is bulked our with robusta, a cheap nasty coffee that no reputable coffee roastery or specialty coffee shop would touch with a barge pole. I was fed some bullshit that addition of robusta improves the coffee. It does not.

The cappuccino was better than expected, but then this was a guy who claimed to be in charge of training.

The latte art not great. But then I am used to being served by world class baristas thus a hard act to follow.

On the plus side, the cappuccino was better than I expected and have had in Nottingham, which is why when in Nottingham I do not have a coffee in 200 Degrees, there are far better coffee shops, The Specialty Coffee Shop, Cartwheel Coffee, Wired and Outpost Coffee.

Compared with the corporate chains then yes, as their coffee is undrinkable.

Compared with local coffee shops Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle, no, they are in another league.

I then after walking up Steep Hill and back visited Madame Waffle where I was served an excellent V60 brewed by an expert with coffee from Square Mile.

Whilst in Madame Waffle I was chatting to a couple of Chinese visitors who were very complimentary about the tea and asked could they buy loose leaf tea. It was measured out for them.

Other visitors to Lincoln said how much they enjoyed the coffee and that it was an independent coffee shop.

Which brings us back to Visit Lincoln, why are they promoting a coffee chain when Lincoln has two excellent indie coffee shops, Coffee Aroma and Madame Waffle, something Lincoln can be proud of and should be showcasing? Visitors want what is unique to Lincoln, that makes a visit to Lincoln worthwhile, not what can be found elsewhere, else why make the effort to visit?

But when Lydia Rusling  head of Visit Lincoln brags she took a visitor to Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln Castle and Cosy Club, a fake 1930s bar, so fake a Monty Python parody of fake, there is something clearly very very wrong.

Visit Lincoln a quasi PR company masquerading as a quasi-tourism body.

200 Degrees will open in Sincil Street on Monday 4 March 2019. They have made themselves very unpopular by trying to poach staff from local coffee shops. Very odd as the Sincil Street coffee shop will also host a training school on a mezzanine floor. What does this say of their training school if they need to poach staff from local coffee shops?

They are also attempting to poach customers from nearby coffee shops. Angel Coffee House, not one of Lincoln’s best coffee shops, has been very cleverly manipulated into promoting 200 Degrees on social media.

Leadenham Teahouse

February 13, 2019

On the way to Grantham stopped off at Leadenham to visit award-winning Leadenham Teahouse.

What does award-winning actually mean? Not a lot as these days virtually anyone is up for an award and when given by Good Taste Lincolnshire or Good Taste Awards meaningless.

Last year Good Taste Lincolnshire awarded Coffee Bobbins the best tea and coffee shop in Lincolnshire which serving poor quality tea and coffee made the award a laughing stock, as not even the best in Lincoln.

This time around the turn of Leadenham Teahouse for this worthless accolade.

Leadenham is a village on the way Lincoln to Grantham, I say village, actually Leadenham Teahouse on the cross roads, though there is a village church and it does host to my surprise a polo club.

Leadenham Teahouse is a tea shop serving tea and snacks and cake and coffee, a Post Office, well actually a Post Office counter and a little shop selling tourist tat.

As tea shops goes quite pleasant though nothing special.

Custom was myself and a coupe of ladies. No one came in to use the service of the Post Office.

I had avocado on sourdough toast with a sprinkling of cottage cheese, and a little salad.

OK, but poor quality sourdough to what I have had elsewhere and poor offering compared with excellent avocado on sourdough toast at The Cheese Society in Lincoln, which also came with melted halloumi cheese.

In the centre a wood-burning stove emitting more pollution than a diesel lorry, but maybe ok in the middle of nowhere.

The tourist tat, but no tourists, and I could not see why there would be especially as the tea shop not open on a Sunday and closes half day on a Saturday.

Outside bench seats by traffic lights on a major road.

I had a cappuccino. It was not good, poor quality catering supply coffee and clueless on how to make coffee. Though in a all fairness a tea shop not a coffee shop and there was a wide choice of tea.

A few cakes from local bakery, but did not look at all appealing.

I was surprised no fresh bread on sale.

I was told try the farm shop down the road.

Cold afternoon in Grantham

February 13, 2019

It was forecast mild. It was cold.

A long bus journey Lincoln to Grantham. I could have taken a train, but wished to stop off at Leadenham.

Passing through Navenby, at least one, maybe two coaching inns.

Each village a parish church.

Many large mansions set back from the road with long drives. At a guess wealth from sheep long ago.

Leadenham, where I alighted, a cross roads, little else, and a tea shop Leadenham Teahouse by the cross roads.

Very difficult to see how the tea shop cum Post Office cum shop with tourist tat survives with no tourists, nothing to bring in tourists, not open on a Sunday and closed half day on a Saturday.

Grantham a dump and not worth the effort of a visit. Same crap corporate chains as everywhere, greasy spoon cafes, tanning parlours and boarded-up shops. The River Witham flows through the town.

Of interest, statue of Isaac Newton, and the local parish church.

Unusual for any town no homeless on the streets.

The church offered a coat to pick up if feeling cold.

St Wulfram’s Church boasts of the tallest spire in the county if not the country. This may be true, as no matter how far I backed away from the church, I could not capture all of the spire.

A coffee in Teaspoon Tea Company. Not recommended, froth on top, scalding hot and cheap nasty coffee.

Why bother serving coffee if know nothing about coffee?

But, they may claim they are a tea shop not coffee shop.

Maybe a choice of around 50 different teas. Did not try and so cannot comment on the quality.

As heading for the bus station, I did encounter local shops. And a real coffee shop, Kitchen and Coffee. Too late for anything other than a takeaway coffee. And yes drinkable.

1610 Stagecoach bus to Lincoln failed to arrive, broken down somewhere en route to Grantham.

1710 arrived twenty minutes late at Lincoln. Missed connecting bus, twenty-five minutes wait in the cold for the next bus, one of the last buses from the bus station.

At Lincoln, seven in the evening, nearly every bay at the bus station, No Departures. And that is within the city, let alone to villages and towns outside of Lincoln.

Hotel Chocolat clones

February 12, 2019

Waitrose got into deep shit when they copied chocolates from Hotel Chocolat.

Now Holland & Barrett are doing the same, or at the very least stocking chocolates from Cocoalibre which are if nothing else a crude copy of chocolates from Hotel Chocolat.

It looks like Angus Thirlwell will once again have to threaten legal action to get withdrawn from the shelves, though I suggest this time he takes a far tougher line. I can understand why did not require Waitrose destruction of all stock as leads to food waste but at the very least, desist, pay damages and all stock donated to local food banks or handed to homeless on the streets.