Posts Tagged ‘Marmadukes’

Second day of New Year in Sheffield

January 3, 2020

As regular as clockwork, which is more than can be said of our rail network, rail fares increased on Thursday by 2.7%.

Equally as regular as clockwork, rail companies justify rail fare increase claiming improvement in service.

Strange how none of us notice this improvement in service.

I wait and wait and wait at ticket office to buy my return ticket to Sheffield. Increase in rail fares but same piss-poor service.

New Northern Fail train to Sheffield. New but still only two coaches on a route that requires at least three coaches.

Poor design, seats fail to align with windows, partial obstruction of windows by external indicators, large TV screen in your face, deafened each time an announcement. Yes wifi, yes 13A power socket. But power socket hidden beneath the seats and have to be a contortionist to access, and no usb power point on the 13A socket.

Arrive at Sheffield to be met by an army of ticket collectors. This is how they treat rail passengers, as criminals. The guard walks up and down the train after departing each station, checking and selling tickets.

Alighted from train, very very cold.

Walking up from Sheffield Station, no Motore Coffee kiosk. Not that I could stop as heading straight to Union St via Winter Garden for a Taiwanese lunch.

I was not sure if Union St open or if Taiwanese food, but luckily yes to both, and I had had a message in the morning from ShuJu Kitchen confirming would be there serving food.

As always excellent food. I sampled a bit of almost everything. As always excellent and generous portion size. The downside a few of the dishes cold or almost cold. This needs to be addressed. Also they need to serve on hot plates, have the ability to warm the plates.

One reason for visit to Sheffield beginning of the month, latest issue of Now Then. To my surprise a pile of Now Then December 2019 arrives.

I later learn, no Now Then January 2020. The next issue will be Now Then February 2020.

Now Then is like gold dust. Lucky if find. It puts to shame the glossy freebies found in other towns.

From Union St through Winter Garden to Millennium Gallery for an exhibition Now is The time. I was looking forward to it. A total waste of time.

To Marmadukes. Packed, very busy. Who I wished to see not there, indeed I did not recognise any of the staff.

Excellent cappuccino.

To Steam Yard.

I passed Stone the Crows, an indie businesses forced to close by business rates too high. A story that could be told across the country. A total failure of the local council to engage. The same local council that destroyed tens of thousands of trees. Is this why Labour lost the General Election. One party states, Labour councils with arrogant contempt for local people, local businesses? The same story in Lincoln. What is odd, Stone the Crows paying higher rates than comparable businesses which are corporate chains. Why? Answers please Sheffield City Council.

Steam Yard as with Marmadukes, packed, very busy. Leaving Marmadukes early meant more time at Steam Yard. Last few visits, no time to stop.

I noticed as last visit, not only Bullion bean-to-bar craft chocolate, added to their range Bare Bones bean-to-bar chocolate.

Chocolate is following in the footsteps of speciality coffee, source single origin, care taken throughout the process. Not to be confused with overpriced chocolate from Hotel Chocolat or too many chocolates that are simply buying in chocolate and moulding it.

A pile of Now Then on the windowsill next to where I was sitting.

Interesting conversation with one of the baristas. He had been to the coffee farm in Panama owned by Ninety Plus. They own two farms, one in Panama the other in Ethiopia.

Pass by a butcher cum fishmonger in Division Street. Peeled prawns loose, but prawns in their shells shells prepacked on a polystyrene tray shrink wrapped in plastic.

To Sheffield Station with time to spare.

Train running late. Overcrowded standing room only clapped out Northern Fail train of only two coaches. Last part of journey a gang of pre-teen and early teen girls running amok on the train. They should not have been out on their own, let alone travelling on a train on their own.

Alighting from the train, positively balmy compared with Sheffield.

Note: Northern Fail to be stripped of their rail franchise.

Cold December day in Sheffield

December 4, 2019

Train to Sheffield from Lincoln used to stop everywhere after Worksop.

During the summer it did not after Worksop or at least not everywhere, but no great advantage as would arrive at Sheffield Station several minutes early to sit outside the station for several minutes then arrive late.

Today, stopped at every single station after Worksop, then dropped to walking speed, held at signals. Finally pulled into Sheffield Station almost half an hour late.

Noticeably colder in Sheffield.

No time to stop at Motore Cafe other than for a brief chat.

Quick look in Sheffield BID, nowt of interest.

En route walked through Millennium Gallery and Winter Garden. In the Millennium Gallery an exhibition on time. Maybe for a future visit.

The unreliability of the Taiwanese pop up kitchen at Union St beggars belief. Once again not there. Changed from Wednesday to Monday. Is this temporary or permanent? I should have asked.

At least managed ed to pick up a copy of Now Then, which tends to be nigh impossible to find but well worth finding.

Why does every town centre dump a few wooden sheds in the town centre selling tat and junk food and call it a Christmas market?

Sheffield no exception, the junk food the stench turns stomach over as pass by. An example poor quality cheese.

To Marmadukes for lunch.

Excellent burger and chips, but the burger spoilt by relish side and the chips salty. Why? Excellent ground beef. Nothing wrong with the relish but let the ground beef speak for itself.

As always excellent coffee.

Also tried guest coffee from Tarasso as V60. It too excellent.

I just had, only just, time to walk to Steam Yard, grab a coffee, and dash back down to the station.

Their selection of bean to bar craft chocolate has been extended, previously only Bullion, now also Bare Bones.

No time to finish my cappuccino, reluctantly, pour into a takeaway cup.

Arrive Station with several minutes to spare.

My cappuccino now lukewarm. Rather than pour away, I wander back out of the station, hand to homeless guy. Apologise only luke warm. He tahnnks me

Many trains running late, including mine.

I flip through Now Then December issue during train journey.

I find an advertisement for Union St. It shows Taiwanese pop up kitchen as Wednesday.

Samsung A3 2016 would die half way through a day out, hence the need for a power bank.

Samsung A3 2017 which I picked up in Athens died as I reached the station. A whole day, though not used as much as would normally on a day out, fewer photos taken, less use of internet. I would, if taking proper note, charge when low when stop for a coffee.

The week before, Lifesaver 5,000 mAh power bank from a  kiosk at Waterloo Station, claimed two charges of mobile phone. Two hours ten minutes to charge phone, two lights lit down from five, assuming power bank fully charged when picked up the week before from Waterloo Station. For comparison, two hours when charged from a mains charger.  Lifesaver 2A output, usb mains charger 1A output.

May Day in Sheffield

May 1, 2019

Warm sunny morning, as day progressed, as journey progressed, skies darkened.

1120 Lincoln to Leeds via Sheffield Northern Fail refurbished train, no wifi, no usb charging, one and only toilet not working.

At Lincoln Central, toilets by station entrance out of action for a couple of weeks or more, at Sheffield a charge to use the toilets.

En route, fields of oil seed rape, pass over River Trent at Gainsborough.

Eyesore billboards outside station, and as walked into town promoting Betfred a gambling operation.

Coffee kiosk Motore Cafe said hi. I said could not stop as hoped to find Taiwanese pop up at Union St and would then try coffee at Marmadukes.

Headed through Millennium Gallery where currently an exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci drawings, adn several, other exhibitions, through Winter Gardens where snooker tournament, part of World Snooker at Sheffield, lots of anoraks hanging around, to Sheffield BID to pick up a couple more of their useful guides.

I was heading to Union St, a co-working space, coffee shop and pop up kitchen. Each day Monday to Friday different food.

On Wednesday Taiwanese food being swerved by ShuJu Kitchen.

So far I had not had much luck. My first two attempts, no food left. My third attempt they were not there.

Fourth time lucky, Taiwanese food was being swerved by ShuJu Kitchen and it looked popular as people queuing, and even better looked good.

I tried stir-fried chicken, and better still tasted good. Generous portion size.

My only criticism the rice was nearly cold and brown rice is healthier than white rice. Otherwise excellent and I can see why popular.

There was a choice of four options, and when I had finished, only tw0 options left.

I thanked the two Taiwanese girls and said it had been worth making the effort to find them. I asked of street food. Not currently as they lack the mobility, and Lincoln would be too far

They have a good deal with the coffee guy, he supplies the coffee, he gets in return a dish.

I learn that the coffee kiosk Motore Cafe had run a pop up coffee stall for several months, I had actually learnt from the coffee stall, when they left, such was the popularity of their coffee, Union St was requested to supply the same quality coffee, hence support from Dark Woods.

Disappointed no May issue of No Then.

I popped back to Sheffield Bid and suggested they stocked Now Then, as it is good for the independent scene in Sheffield. Not possible as not one of their publications.

I offered to write a coffee guide.

Always helpful, Sheffield Bid directed me to Marmadukes. I went round in a circle but did eventually find.

Coffee Origin, only delivered day before thus recent roast date. Also guest coffee for filter coffee.

My cappuccino excellent.

Chat with a guy from the BBC covering the World Snooker, told me he always visits Maramadukes for coffee when in Sheffield.

Two downstairs rooms, outside seating and an upstairs room (which was closed).

Synchronicity: Barista she told me she knew and had visited The Espresso Room, tiny coffee shop in Covent Garden. For some reason I thought The Espresso Room served Origin. A mistake we both made, that was why it came up in the conversation. It serves, as does The Steam Yard, Caravan.

Synchronicity: Greek guy from Athens knew of The Underdog but had never visited. He asked me where to find. I explained how to find and I recommended to him coffee shops in Athens.

Two downstairs rooms, outside seating and an upstairs room (which was closed).

Although pushed for time, I hopped on No 120 bus and popped to visit Cupsmith.

Next to Cupsmith a shop selling fresh fruit and vegetables, dried fruit, nuts, cereals in jars and cakes. I bought muesli (trying next day it was excellent). Not quite a zero waste shop, but heading that way.

Apologised no time for a coffee at Cupsmith, grab a bag of coffee Girls who Grind, then catch No 120 back into the town.

Just mande my train.

— to be continued —