The Anonymous Widower

Dalston Goes French

I know that De Beauvoir Town, where I live, is next to Dalston’s Kingsland Road, which is the local High Street, but surely for the local Marks and Spencer to sell sandwiches labelled in French is going a bit far.

What would the Rees-Moggies say of this?

August 17, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , , | Leave a comment

The New Wide Pedestrian Entrance To London Bridge Station

These pictures show the entrance to London Bridge station from the bus station.

It will also be the way many people enter the station after walking across London Bridge.

From notices on the walls, it would also appear that there will be a new Marks and Spencer Simply Food.

June 21, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

A Pit Stop At Hampstead Heath Station – 12th May 2018

I went for breakfast to a convenient Le Pain Quotidien near Hampstead Heath station.

In addition to the Heath, the station is within walking distance, to a large number of eateries and shops, including a very large M & S Simply Food.

There is also the Royal Free Hospital.

When I go to Hampstead Heath, I tend to go to Hampstead station in the High Street, then walk down the hill and go home from the London Overground station.

May 12, 2018 Posted by | Food, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

West Hampstead Station – 12th May 2018

West Hampstead station is being rebuilt with a new entrance and a step-free footbridge.

The new station would appear to be able to handle more passengers.

This image on the BPR Architect’s web site, shows how it will look, when it opens.

The new station would appear to be able to handle more passengers.

It’s strikes me, that the design is almost a modern application of the rules, that created London Underground’s distinctive stations of the 1930s.

One of the routes I took to and from Minchenden School, involved two of the Piccadilly Line‘s iconic stations; Oakwood and Southgate. Both were designed by Charles Holden and are Grade II* listed buildings.

Those stations were and still are all about space, brickwork, glass, imaginative use of metal and clean lines, often with integrated retail units.

West Hampstead station appears similar, but the retail is more surrounding, than integrated.

Modern fabrication techniques with metal and plastics, also give the architects and designers more freedom.

I like the pierced steel cladding on the footbridge at West Hampstead station and it is probably a lot more affordable, than all the bronze used in Southgate station.

If my mother, who died a few years ago, came back and arrived at the new West Hampstead station on the London Overground, she’d only confuse it with a London Underground station.

May 12, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Do I Hoard Too Much Beer?

I have been buying the Marks and Spencer 0.5% Southwold Pale Ale.

With my body, the beer seems to be gluten-free and also the alcohol level is low enough to not affect my INR.

But am I buying to much, as the most I drink in a day is two?

I am only guarding against future shortages!

This behaviour seems to run in the family.

My mother used to tell this tale.

At the start of the Second World War, she asked her Dalstonian mother, if she was prepared for the inevitable rationing.

Her mother replied, that she’s been caught out in the Great War, so this time she’d already got a hundredweight of jam in the cellar and she had another hundredweight of sugar ready to make some more!

I doubt, there was a jam shortage in the Millbank household during the Second World War!

Perhaps, my prudence over beer shortages comes from my Dalstonian grandmother?

May 12, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , | 1 Comment

I’m Now Following The Queen’s Example

By Legend, the Queen never carries any cash.

I’m now deliberately following a similar policy, but I only use a contactless bank card for most of my daily purchases, like my paper and food.

I’ve even still got a couple of John Lewis vouchers gathering dust in my wallet, as sincve the new M & S Food opened in Dalston, I rarely go need a Waitrose.

One thing I find with M & S Food, is that on a typical purchase the average price is two pounds per item. So to keep under the thirty pound contactless limit, I rarely buy more than fourteen items. These unusually fit easily into usable bag.

Buying my paper in M & S or a station also means I can use contactless for the purchase.

A couple of days ago, I was approached by an aggressive tin rattler for a charity I would never suppose because of some of their practices. So I waved my card and asked. “Do you do conactless?” I got a smiling “Sorry! No!”

I still use cash for three purposes.

  • Restaurants with waiter/waitress service, so the tips go to the staff. It also means at busy times, in cafes I use a lot, I always get a table.
  • Black cabs, when I occasionally use one.
  • Personal services from local tradesmen, where the value is small. Otherwise it’s a bank transfer.

But it’s amazing, how little cash you now need.

 

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Finance | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Marks And Spencer Returns To Dalston

Marks and Spencer used to have a shop in Dalston, but it is now long gone. In those days before and during the Second World War, the shop would have been close to where my mother worked at Reeves.

Yesterday, I went to the littleWaitrose at Highbury and Islington, only to find it was being rebuilt, so I decided to take the Overground to Dalston Kingsland station and get the tin of cannellini beans,  needed from the big Sainsburys opposite.

On turning right out of the station, I saw a new store had been opened under a new residential block.

Imagine my surprise, when I saw it was a new M & S Foothall.

But Marks and Spencer don’t sell cannellini beans, do they? Oh! Yes they do!

  • This new stop may only have a short frontage on the street, but it is deep.
  • It is much more Kings Road, than Dalston Kingsland High Street.
  • The gluten-free section is massive.
  • I was even able to get the Southwold 0.5% low-alcohol beer.

These pictures show the store on Dalston Kingsland High Street.

I suspect this store will be a roaraway success.

  • It is a high-quality store.
  • The world-famous Ridley Road Market is opposite.
  • The only major store in the area, is a medium-sized, but rather tired Sainsburys.
  • Passengers changing between the two alston stations will have to pass the front door.
  • It is up there with new stores I’ve seem in Camden Town, Muswell Hill and West Hampstead.

If Crossrail 2 is built, it will sit right on top of the Dalston mega-station.

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , | 1 Comment

A Quick Fish Pie Supper

I like fish pies and there are several entries for fish pie. If I have time, I will cook my version of Jamie Oliver’s Fish Pie.

But today, I found a new gluten-free fish pie in Marks and Spencer, so I had to try it.

I cooked it in the microwave and it was of a very different type to Jamie’s, being creamy rather than having a good proportion of vegetables. Although, both have a potato topping, rather than a pastry pie-crust.

It was well-worth buying, cooking and eating, at a cost of £3.80 for one.

Note the tomato sauce in the pictures. I’ve found some very dodgy fish pies and cooked some of my own, in my time, that needed it.

This one certainly did not!

Next time, I’ll cook it in the oven, although I think both methods will work, but you may get a different texture of pie.

March 15, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , , | 4 Comments

The Return Of The Best Gluten-Free Sandwich From A Supermarket

Marks and Spencer do very good gluten-free  sandwiches. In my experience, the only better gluten-free sandwiches I have had, have been in a couple of dedicated gluten-free shops, where the sandwich has been made in front of me.

This was my lunch today, bassed on a gluten-free egg sandwich, that has been brought back after about five years.

Incidentally, I suspect that egg seems to have a complimentary taste with good gluten-free bread.

I’ve also had excellent gluten-free egg sandwiches in several places including the Tate Britain, Tate Modern and Cafe Northcote in Blackburn cathedral.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Food | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chilled Marks and Spencer’s 0.5% Southwold Pale Ale

I took this picture of Marks and Spencer’s 0.5% Southwold Pale Ale in the fridge of their store on Finsbury Pavement in the City of London.

Not that it needed to be cooled today, as it was real bass monkey weather.

December 9, 2017 Posted by | Food | , , , | Leave a comment