The Anonymous Widower

Marks And Spencer’s Chicken Kiev Has Been Renamed Chicken Kyiv

I took this picture in Marks and Spencer at Liverpool Street tonight! Note the name!

I didn’t buy one as it isn’t gluten-free.

There have been lots of articles like this one on Birmingham Live, which is entitled Tesco, M&S, Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda Under Pressure To Rename Chicken Kievs ‘Kyiv’.

So perhaps, pressure works.

 

 

May 19, 2022 Posted by | Food | , , , , | 1 Comment

A Gluten-Free Sandwich In Costa

Costa announced a couple of months ago, that they would be selling M & S Food.

Even so, I was still surprised to find this gluten-free sandwich in Costa at Paddington station.

I actually prefer their egg sandwiches, as for some reason egg sandwich fillings seem to go well with gluten-free bread.

May 5, 2022 Posted by | Food | , , , | 1 Comment

The Joy Of Freedom

I set out my views on masks in the title of Should We Be Given More Discretion Over Mask Wearing?.

Today was the first Friday under the relaxed rules on masks, when I have done my pre-weekend Friday morning routine.

  • Take a bus and a Northern Line train or a direct bus to Moorgate.
  • Have a Full English breakfast in Leon.
  • Visit Marks & Spencer on Moorgate and get my weekend food.

These are my comments on today’s trip.

  • I rode the bus to Angel without a mask and had a pleasant chat with a lady of my age about Putin.
  • We felt that the Brutus solution for Vlad the Poisoner would be best!
  • On the train between Angel and Moorgate stations, I was the only passenger not wearing a mask.
  • It was easy to walk up the steps at Moorgate station.
  • Leon was busy, with about half of customers and all staff wearing masks.
  • Marks was about half full and it was nice to be able to shop wearing my glasses, which don’t fit my mask.
  • I should say, that I need my glasses to read sell-by dates.
  • There were no naked faces on the bus home.

It was such a joy for me, to be able to travel and do my shopping without a mask.

But then at no time, was I in a crowd, which might have made me reach for my mask.

Conclusion

I doubt at no time, I’ll go back to full-time mask wearing.

Incidentally, I used to have a racehorse called Joy of Freedom.

February 25, 2022 Posted by | Food, Health, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Face Coverings Your Choice

In England from today, you don’t legally have to wear masks.

This notice was on the door of Marks and Spencer at The Angel.

These are the words at the bottom.

Face coverings are not legally required but the Government recommends them in indoor crowded areas. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 please refrain from entering the store.

How sensible!

It will be interesting to analyse the takings of Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Sainsburys as they are all close together on Liverpool Road.

I was standing outside Marks & Spencer, when I took the picture.

 

January 27, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lumo Allows Passengers From London To Edinburgh To Pre-Order Meals

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Advent.

I just tried it out and what I saw was a good start.

They even had gluten-free sandwiches and other items from Marks & Spencer.

You can access it here.

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Levelling Up – The Marks & Spencer Way

When I first moved to Dalston, there were three convenient Marks and Spencer stores within a few bus stops.

 

  • Angel, which is a basically a food store with a floor of clothes above, where my grandmother used to shop before the First World and C and I used to shop in the 1970s, when we lived in the Barbican.
  • Moorgate, which is a small department store, with a medium-sized food department in the basement, which I use regularly.
  • Hackney, which was a very small department store with a poor food department, was convenient as on some of my journeys, I would get a bus home  from outside the store.

Over the last ten years, more Marks and Spencer stores have sprung up, Archway, Camden Town, Dalston, Eastfield, Hampstead, Liverpool Street, Old Street and West Hampstead, which I use occasionally, as they are on routes home.

This morning I went to the eye hospital in Colindale and coming home, I got a 32 bus to Brondesbury for the Overground.

As I needed some food, I had various choices of journey home.

  • Get off at West Hampstead and do my shopping there, and then get back on the train.
  • Get off at Hampstead Heath and do my shopping there, with a light lunch in le Pain Quotidien.
  • Get off at Dalston Kingsland and do my shopping there, with a bus home.
  • Get off at Hackney Central and do my shopping there, with a bus home.

Unusually, I chose the last option and got a big surprise.

I had been worried that Marks and Spencer in Hackney would close, but now it has been turned into the most upmarket Marks and Spencer food store, I’ve ever seen.

  • It’s more Knightsbridge. than Hackney
  • It’s large and spacious.
  • There are large ranges of tea and coffee, that you normally don’t see in the store.
  • The decor is localised to the store.
  • It is only about a hundred metres from Hackney Central station and fifty metres on the flat from my bus home.
  • It’s even just called Marks & Spencer Food

Now that’s what I call levelling up!

 

December 13, 2021 Posted by | Design, Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sources Of Gluten Free Sausages

It looks like a friend may have a coeliac granddaughter, so as all kids like sausages, I thought I’d post this.

So here, are a few tips on the best gluten-free sausages.

  • Marks and Spencer and Sainsburys only sell gluten-free sausages.
  • Musks in Newmarket have a Royal warrant and make excellent gluten-free sausages.
  • When I’m cooking Lyndsey Bareham’s sausage and bean casserole, I generally use Black Farmer sausages, as all that brand are gluten-free.
  • Musks told me, that you should always use gluten-free sausages on a barbecue, as they don’t spit.
  • German street sausages are gluten-free.

Happy eating!

 

December 4, 2021 Posted by | Food | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Satisfied Lumo Customer In Marks & Spencer

I got talking to an assistant in Marks today and noticed she had a Scottish accent, which isn’t that common in my part of London amongst the young. So I remarked on it.

It turned out she was a student from Fife at University in London, so out of curiosity, I asked her, if she’d heard about Lumo?

She said yes and indicated she was going home on Friday and very much liked the price.

Is Lumo’s message getting through? I think it is!

October 23, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Street Burger – Islington

Regularly in pre-pandemic times, I would go to Carluccio’s at The Angel in Islington for a quick lunch after doing my shopping on a Saturday.

But unfortunately, Carluccio’s is no more!

Now there is a Street Burger by Gordon Ramsay between Marks and Spencer and one of the bus stops, from where I can get a bus home.

Before I continue, I should say I have form with Gordon Ramsay, as I once talked to him on Radio 5 about gluten-free food in a restaurant.

He said that if you book at least 24 hours before and say you want a gluten-free meal, the restaurant has no excuse for not giving you what you need.

He also said that if they think they’re a good restaurant and can’t offer gluten-free food, then they’re not a good restaurant.

Since then, I’ve eaten a couple of times in his upmarket restaurants and he’s not broken his own rules.

Today, I broke his rule, by just turning up. But I did know, they did gluten-free options.

Note.

  1. I forgot to take a picture of the burger before I started to eat it.
  2. The decor is simple and practical.
  3. What car did the seats come from?
  4. You can have as much soft drink as you like.

The pictures don’t do the meal justice, which was upmarket for a burger.

I shall use the restaurant more often, as it’s so conveniently placed, close to Angel tube station, which is one of my routes  home.

October 23, 2021 Posted by | Food | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Lumo The Ryanair Of Rail?

Someone had to draw the comparison between Lumo and Ryanair and it was The Times, that used a headline of Lumo, The Ryanair Of Rail, Gets The Green Light On East Coast, for their article about the new London and Edinburgh rail service in their article today.

But how alike are the two business models?

Standard Planes And Trains

The Boeing 737 and the Airbus A 320, as used by Ryanair and easyJet  are the two workhorses of short haul airlines.

It can also be said, that Hitachi’s AT-300 train is becoming the workhorse of long-distance rail services in the UK.

Customised Interiors

Ryanair and easyJet do customise the interiors of their aircraft to a certain extent and from pictures on the Internet Lumo appear to have done the same.

If you look at the widths of the planes and trains on Wikipedia, you find these values.

  • Airbus A 320 – 3.95 metres
  • Boeing 737 – 3.8 metres
  • Class AT-300 train – 2.7 metres

Dividing by the number of seats across, which is six for the planes and four for the train gives these figures.

  • Airbus A 320 – 0.66 metres
  • Boeing 737 – 0.63 metres
  • Class AT-300 train – 0.67 metres

I know there is an aisle down the middle, so let’s say that it is 0.60 metres. This gives these spaces for each seat.

  • Airbus A 320 – 0.56 metres
  • Boeing 737 – 0.53 metres
  • Class AT-300 train – 0.53 metres

I think that is adequate space for a designer to do a good job.

This picture shows the interior of a Great Western Railway Class 802 train, which use a similar body shell to the trains used by Lumo.

Note.

  1. The aisle looks to be similar in width to a seat.
  2. There is a bag shelf above the windows and lots of coat hooks.

As both Lumo and Great Western Railway are both First Group companies, is it likely that the interior dimensions are similar, so that standard trolleys could be used and training could be eased and shared between companies in the group.

This picture shows a trolley fitting in between the tables on a Great Western Railway service.

I suspect, if they design everything together, Lumo could make best use of a narrow aisle to give the seats a bit more width.

This last picture shows TransPennine Express Class 802 train at Willesden Junction station.

Note how the lower part of the side of the train is curved. Is this to get a bit more room for the seat squab?

Passengers Per Metre

This is only a rough calculation and shows typical passengers, fuselage or car length and passengers per metre.

  • Airbus A 320 – 164 passengers – 37.57 metres – 4.4 px/metre
  • Boeing 737 – 160 passengers – 37.0 metres – 4.3 px/metre
  • Class AT-300 train – 96 passengers – 26 metres – 3.7 px/metre

Passenger density in the train is about fourteen percent less.

Toilets

In The Definitive Seating Layout Of Lumo’s Class 803 Trains, I said this.

This article on Economy Class and Beyond is entitled Enter Lumo – The New East Coast Railway Competitor.

It contains a drawing from Lumo,  which shows the layouts of the seats on the train.

    • Coach A – 44 Standard seats – 8 Priority seats – 2 Wheelchair spaces – 2 Tip up seats – Accessible toilet – 56 Total seats
    • Coach B – 84 Standard seats – 12 Priority seats – Bike store – Toilet – 96 Total seats
    • Coach C – 84 Standard seats – 12 Priority seats – 96 Total seats
    • Coach D – 84 Standard seats – 12 Priority seats – Bike store – Toilet – 96 Total seats
    • Coach E – 52 Standard seats – 8 Priority seats – 2 Tip up seats – Accessible toilet – 62 Total seats

Note.

    1. This is a total of 406 seats.
    2. Judging by the position of the tip-up seats they are for staff and perhaps emergency use, if say a coffee gets spilled on a seat.
    3. Each car has a pair of tables, where four can sit. As Lumo’s business model allows early booking, if you and your partner want to take the kids to see granny on her birthday, you should be able to get a table, by booking early.
    4. There are two bike stores in Coaches B and D.

These are some further thoughts.

Toilet Provision

I was on an LNER Class 800 train earlier this week and needed to go to the toilet.

    • I wasn’t sure which way I needed to go, as I couldn’t see a sign pointing me to the toilet, but in the end I struck lucky.
    • You don’t have that problem with Lumo’s trains, as there appears to be a toilet at both ends of the three middle coaches, either in your car or the next.
    • If you’re in one of the driver cars, there is an accessible toilet at the blunt end.

I don’t think anybody will argue with the toilet provision on Lumo’s trains.

Typically a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320 will have two toilets for about 160 passengers.

Lumo’s trains have two accessible toilets and two ordinary ones for 406 passengers.

Ease Of Boarding

If you want to catch a train at virtually any station in the UK, in most cases, you just turn up something like fifteen minutes before the departure time, present your ticket and get on the train.

Planes used to be like that in the UK, but they aren’t any more.

Catering

In the article in The Times, Matt Lee, who is Lumo’s customer experience director, said they have been free to develop their own systems. He says this about the catering.

Catering will be a Deliveroo-style service: passengers can order M&S or Pret sandwiches in advance and have them delivered to their seat. “We are a testbed for other FirstGroup train operators.

Will they do gluten-free?

Luggage

Lumo have a luggage courier service called LumoLuggage.

Service Expansion

Suppose an airline or a train operating company wants to run additional services to add capacity to a route.

With an airline, they will need to obtain additional take-off and landing slots to fly the route.

But Lumo are running five-car trains on a route, where all the stations can handle nine-car trains and possibly a pair of five-car trains.

So Lumo just add extra cars to the fleet, so that they match the number of cars running on the route to the demand.

The only costs to increase the capacity are those of the extra cars and a proportionate number of extra staff.

Conclusion

I can see this service model being copied by other train operators in other countries.

I’m looking forward to going North on Wednesday.

October 22, 2021 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments