The Anonymous Widower

Nespresso

Just heard the CEO of Nrdpresso defending his product, where seventy-two percent of the product goes into landfill.

Ridiculous!

My tea-bag goes straight into the food composting bin!

So much more environmentally-friendly!

August 15, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , , | 3 Comments

Gluten-Free Spring Rolls In Summer

I picked up these gluten-free spring rolls in Marks and Spencer today.

I know it’s now Summer, but enjoy!

July 1, 2019 Posted by | Food | | 3 Comments

A Plaintiff Plea On Wake Up To Money

I regularly listen to Wake Up to Money on BBC Radio 5 Live.

One morning, they were talking to Kentucky Fried Chicken about their new vegan burgers. As a coeliac, I say Yuck! to that!

Somebody else texted the program and said something like.

I’m a coeliac, how about more gluten-free food.

In fact it was a bad week for me as a coeliac last week.

  • I found Beyond Bread had closed on Upper Street.
  • Le Petite Bretagne  closed in Dalston.
  • I spent about twenty minutes looking for a coffee and a gluten-free cake in Liverpool Street.

All this passion for vegan and vegetarian food, is marginalising those like me, who have to avoid gluten.

I’ve still got a couple of cafes in Dalston, where this is possible and I could always go to M & S and take a cake home.

But I refuse to buy an expensive coffee maker.

After Liverpool Street, I ended up in Leon in Moorgate.

Note the excellent gluten-free cake and the posh cup and saucer.

Note, that because of my stroke, I like a proper china cup or mug

I tend to avoid American-owned chains like Costa and Starbucks, as some American gluten-free practices are suspect to say the least. I used to like Cadbury’s Bournville chocolate, but now I believe it uses addictive wheat-derived glucose, I wouldn’t dare touch it.

As I said finding good cafes and restaurants that do gluten free well is becoming more difficult.

  • Carluccio’s is creaking and many that I used regularly like Glasgow, Islington, Liverpool and Westfield have closed.
  • Pattiserie Valerie is struggling and has closed a lot of outlets.
  • Jamie’s Italian has gone bust.
  • If I go a bit upmarket, there is Bill’s and Cote, but they are not ideal for a fast pit-stop.

As last week, I suspect that most coeliacs hope that Leon or others following their relaxed, quirky and customer and diet-friendly model, prosper.

Freedoming

These days many pensioners like me, get free public transport in their local area.

Londoners like me, get a Freedom Pass, which gives free buses, Underground, Overground, trams and trains, within the M25.

I will often get up, look at the BBC London News, the weather and other sources. I may then decide to go to Canary Wharf, Richmond ir wherever  to have a walk, see an exhibition or whatever.

London is an amazing cornucopia of delights, which is a sentiment echoed by others who live close to our other great cities.

Free public transport enables this lifestyle.

I think the various cafe and restaurant chains can tap into this lifestyle, as often one of the reason to go to a place is to have a good meal or a drinki.

If like me, you like particular chains, I believe that their web sites could be an important part in planning how to waste a few hours.

Suppose, their web site  had the following features.

  • A simple list of all their cafes and restaurant, with st most a short description like “Close to Pierhead”
  • The ability to sign up to a simple e-mail alert of new openings and closures. Note the word simple!

I believe that if I got a message saying a chain had opened in say Kingston, it might prompt me to go and have a walk and perhaps lunch, with a friend I haven’t seen for years.

Note.

  1. Lists are much better than maps, if you don’t know the area.
  2. Companies are relying too much on apps, which are OK for finding places near where you are, but are useless, if you are using the cafe or restaurant, as the resewn to go or the starting point for an explore.
  3. I believe Carluccio’s troubles started, when they abandoned their list on their web site. I told them so in strong terms.

Patteriserie Valerie has an excellent list.

 

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Down The Pub For The Football

There is a typical man’s pub that does beer and pizza near me, where I go occasionally to watch football, if I don’t fancy watching alone.

So for tonight’s England-Argentina game in the Women’s World Cup, I walked along my road and had a butchers!

There wasn’t a seat to be had, so I may have got my gluten-free beer, but there wouldn’t have been anywhere to eat a pizza.

But it was gratifying to see the support for the women’s version of the National game!

 

June 14, 2019 Posted by | Food, Sport | , , , | 2 Comments

Is Leon The Only Fast-Food Restaurant, Where You Get Personal Service?

When I ordered my full English pot in Leon a few minutes ago, they were temporarily out. So the assistant told me to sit down and he brought it to me a couple of minutes later.

This regularly happens in Leon and it’s one of the reasons I go!

May 29, 2019 Posted by | Food | , | Leave a comment

CoolRail To Cut Carbon Footprint Of Fresh Food

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette International.

These first two paragraphs outline the plan.

Food logistics company Euro Pool System has launched a thrice-weekly CoolRail dedicated temperature-controlled service to transport fresh produce between Valencia in Spain and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

This is intended to be first route of planned network of CoolRail services which would link Spain with Germany, Scandinavia and the UK.

I can see this method of fresh food transportation growing, especially as CoolRail claim it is as fast as by road and cuts CO2 emissions by 70 to 90 %.

It also appears that the UK through the Channel Tunnel is in CoolRail’s plans.

Fish, Lamb And Beef To Europe

The obvious British export, that could use the service the other way to Europe is probably fish, as a large proportion of UK-landed fish goes to Europe at the present time.

This page on the Seafish web site, gives details about fish imports and exports.

Quality meat, like Welsh lamb and Scottish beef could also be sent to Europe, after being slaughtered in the UK.

What About Quality Food And Drink?

This page on the Scotch Whisky Association web site is entitled Scotch Whisky Exports On The Up in 2018.

This is two paragraphs from the page.

In 2018, the export value of Scotch Whisky grew +7.8% by value, to a record £4.70bn. The number of 70cl bottles exported also reached record levels growing to the equivalent of 1.28bn, up +3.6%.

The United States became the first billion pound export market for Scotch Whisky, growing to £1.04bn last year. The EU remains the largest region for exports, accounting for 30% of global value and 36% of global volume.

That means that Scotland exported to the EU, the equivalent of 461 million bottles of whisky, that is worth around £1.41billion.

A twenty-foot shipping container has a volume of 33.2 cubic metres., so with allowance for packaging, one could probably hold 33,200 bottles worth about £100,000.

To accommodate all Scotch Whisky exports to Europe on the 2018 figures, would need 14,000 containers per year or a very civilised thirty-eight containers a day.

Conclusion

There’s certainly a large market for food transport by rail across Europe and to the UK, some of which will be in containers with refrigeration and some without!

 

May 28, 2019 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mojitos On Display By The Tills In Dalston Marks And Spencer

As this picture shows, the well-publicised Mojitos are handy in Dalston Marks and Spencer, which is perhaps thirty metres from the London Overground at Dalston Kingsland station.

They are the two light-blue cans on the left of the shelf.

I had just relieved the shop of two bottles of my favourite 0.5% Southwold Ale.

Incidentally, I have never drunk any alcoholic drink out of a can, without using a glass as an intermediary.

These days, I don’t even drink soft drinks directly out of a can.

If Transport for London allowed sponsorship of rail lines, perhaps the North London Line would be sponsored by Marks and Spencer, as they have stores very close to the following stations.

  • Richmond
  • West Hampstead
  • Hapmstead Heath
  • Dalston Kingsland
  • Hackney Central
  • Stratford

I think there will be more.

May 5, 2019 Posted by | Food, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Leon Goes Posh!

I took this picture in the Leon Restaurant on Moorgate yesterday, where I often go for breakfast.

I’m not a lover of plastic cups and in that restaurant, I can have a big mug of tea with my gluten-free full English in a pot!

As you can see, those who don’t like plastic cups or mugs  sized for builders, can now have their beverage in a real cup and with a posh saucer.

May 1, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

A Neat Cup-Holder On Chiltern Railways

The picture shows a  cup-holder on a Chiltern Railways’ train.

It is neat and well-designed.

It probably didn’t cost a fortune too!

 

 

April 24, 2019 Posted by | Food, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Lucky Seven

Why the Lucky Seven?

Because i’m drinking them! Does that make us the Lucky Eight?

The seven were the last on display in Marks and Spencer on Finsbury Pavement.

The City is a good hunting ground for this excellent beer!

April 16, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment