Posts Tagged ‘London’

Happy New Year 2021

January 1, 2021

New Year 2021, firework display London was muted, spread over a wider area, fewer fireworks, a laser light show and what I assmed to be drones incredible display.

The past twenty years, massive firework display concentrated in the centre near London Eye, barges anchored in the Thames with fireworks, massive crowds.

This year no crowds, the fireworks fewer and spread over a wider area, reduces air pollution which exacerbates the risk of covid-19.

Racists go into overdrive the mention of Black Lives Matter.

Shocking the images from Wu Han where covid-19 originated. People packed in the streets, coronavirus has not gone away. Similar shocking scenes in New Zealand.

Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, it spreads through person-to person-contact. The only way to stay safe and stop its spread is to avoid other people, avoid crowded enclosed spaces, wear a mask.

Data presented Monday was sobering, the new more infectious strain of covid-19 the number of new cases rising rapidly. The last two days of 2020, the number of daily deaths in UK close to 1,000 deaths per day. On New Years Eve, the number of new cases exceeded 55,000. In the last two weeks, the number of new cases has doubled.

UK should have gone into tier 4 at least a week earlier. UK should now be in lockdown.

Two vaccines have received Emergency Approval, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca, to be rolled out in a mass vaccination programme. But we should be cautious and not relax our guard. Vaccinations are usually carried out in advance of a disease not during a global pandemic. The vaccine does not become effective for several weeks, in other words may sill catch covid-19 and fall ill. Little is known about transmission, you may be vaccinated but still pass covid-19 to others.

New Year’s Eve, coffee in a coffee shop, I learnt the barista who served me last week, now off sick with coronavirus.

I end with a short reflection from Paulo Coelho on what has been a very difficult year for everyone.

London coronavirus ghost town

September 24, 2020

Eerie, travelling across London and barely a soul to be seen.

Reclaim the Streets Soho

June 3, 2020

The impact of covid-19 has hit everyone hard, every sector, but none so hard as the hospitality sector, with no sign yet of when they may be able to open.

Look at Soho, boarded-up streets and unless action is taken soon, they will remain boarded-up. And unlike airlines and travel sector which spread covid-19, are victims.

And yet it should not have been. Opening up too soon, relaxing lockdown, will create a second wave, but there was absolutely no reason why indie coffee shops and restaurants, not chains, could have not opened up in May, the weather was ideal, opened up with their tables and chairs spread well spaced apart in the street to maintain social distancing.

What has stopped this happening is the intransigence of local councils who would rather see local businesses die than give them a helping hand.

We can hear birdsong, streets are traffic free, city centres pollution free.

Covid-19 has jolted us into another now.

There can be no return to normal as normal was not normal.

Time to Reclaim the Streets.

Pedestrianise not only Soho but also Covent Garden, leaving only the arterial routes for through traffic. Deliveries park on the periphery, deliver by hand cart or trolley.

Kick start the local economy, allow indie coffee shops and restaurants to spread their tables well spaced apart into the street, no chains no pubs No Smoking, social distancing maintained.

Win win for everyone, local businesses helped back on their feet, improves the ambience.

Soho Summer Festival:

We’re proposing that streets around Soho are temporarily pedestrianised, in order to allow restaurants and bars the space for outdoor seating. This would allow the public to enjoy the Soho we know and love, while maintaining a safe social distance.

The norm in Athens, local streets at night turn into restaurants.  The Mayor of Athens is extending the pedestrianised streets.

The norm in North Laine in Brighton, coffee shops and restaurants, tables in the street. Brighton is extending its pedestrianised streets.

This does not require a change in licencing laws, it does require a change in the mindset of local jobsworths who would rather see local businesses go to the wall than improve the ambience of our city centres.

An initiate to Reclaim the Streets in Soho has been launched, an initiative dubbed the Soho Summer Festival. Initially pedestrianise the area for the summer. 

Once the summer has passed, it should be made permanent.

2025: The Long Hot Winter

December 25, 2019

Christmas 2025, the future.

Brian Eno narrates this fictional documentary set in the year 2025, interviewing Londoners about their first Christmas heatwave.

A terrifying missive from the near future.

Though do we even have to look that far ahead?

Fires in California, Chile, Siberia, Australia. Floods in England, floods across Europe. Melting polar ice caps, disappearing glaciers.

King’s Cross food market

November 28, 2019

When passing through or by King’s Cross Station it is always worth having an extra half an hour to spare to visit the excellent food market located outside the front of the station.

Spoilt for choice, cakes, cheese, savouries.

Excellent Comte cheese off one stall, Cheddar off another.

Then when perused the food stalls, wander down the side of the station to find Craft Coffee, serving some of the best coffee in London.

Borough Cheese Company cheese stall

December 20, 2018

When passing through King’s Cross, always worth giving extra time to visit the King’s Cross street food market, especially to visit the Borough Cheese Company cheese stall.

Excellent Comté and Tome cheese.

The stall used to only sell Comté cheese, and whilst that is still their main cheese, they compliment with a couple of other cheeses, which have been different each time I pass through.

And add a little extra time for a coffee off Craft Coffee.

King’s Cross Street Food Market

December 20, 2018

When passing through King’s Cross, always worth giving extra time to visit the King’s Cross street food market, especially to visit the Borough Cheese Company cheese stall.

And add a little extra time for a coffee off Craft Coffee.

Cappuccino at Craft Coffee

December 20, 2018

I emerged wrong entrance from King’s Cross Underground, but had an advantage. I emerged to find Craft Coffee.

Craft Coffee a kiosk down the side of King’s Cross Station, between King’s Cross and St Pancras serves one of the best cappuccinos in London.

If passing through King’s Cross, always worth setting aside extra time to visit Craft Coffee, to stop, relax and have a coffee. Note relax, not grab it and go, relax and enjoy.

My cappuccino, the best since Athens, and that is high praise indeed.

Coffee, La Vega, a Colombian single origin, an exclusive roast for Craft Coffee from nearby Notes.

Notes is nearby, literally a couple of minutes walk across the open space.

Also worth setting aside extra time when passing through King’s Cross to visit the Street Food Market in front of King’s Cross Station, especially the Borough Cheese Company cheese stall.

V60 at The Espresso Room

December 9, 2018

Saturday in London, looking forward to a V60, I detour to The Espresso Room, which luckily I find still open.

Too late to eat at Home Slice in Neal’s Yard, Saturday evening there will be a long wait as very popular, I go on a detour to The Espresso Room, which I find open, open until seven.

I abandon all hope of eating at Home Slice, as there will be a long wait.

They remember me, I get a free coffee, as bought a bag of coffee on my last visit.

A Lithuanian girl makes me V60 using Kemyan coffee. Excellent. Best coffee all day. Very fruity.

We chat long gone closing time.

Available free Clipper. An example of a free magazine of quality. Comparable with Independent Life, a free magazine in Leeds and York.

On my last visit I was given direction to a shop selling Standart, Drift. I could not find. I followed directions, head down Monmouth Street to Seven Dials.

I learn a vital piece of information was missing, in Shorts Gardens.

Balance

December 9, 2018

I looked in Balance on my way to Four Corners.

Chatting to Jessica Moscrop by her stall JesSpoke, her own designs, I noticed Balance, a new coffee shop across the street.

Mushroom and chestnut soup in Balance had sounded good when I looked in earlier. I double checked it was still available and that it was mushroom and chestnut, not chestnut mushrooms. Sounds good.

Sadly when served weak and watery and lukewarm almost cold. The toasted bread soggy, as they had already put the butter on the toast.

I ordered a cappuccino. Served too hot.

The menu says we do not serve coffee hot, thus absolutely no excuse.

The salad looked enticing except it looked no different to when I looked in much earlier. Not therefore so enticing.

Moronic music playing in the background, fortunately not too loud.

A coffee shop trying to be trendy and failing miserably.


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