The Anonymous Widower

An Expedition To Muswell Hill To Get Some Lovely Liver

After my plea in Need To Regularly Eat A Large Plate Of Calves’ Liver, I got a recommendation to try The Cilicia at Muswell Hill.

It was delicious and just what my body wanted. The liver had been cooked in sage butter with tomatoes, mushrooms and potatoes.

I shall return!

The only problem is that Dalston and Muswell Hill is not the easiest journey to make by public transport.

My route was as follows.

  • I took by taking a 141 bus from close to my house to Manor House station.
  • I then got a Piccadilly Line train to Turnpike Lane station.
  • From there it was a 144 bus to Muswell Hill Broadway.

It took about 45 minutes.

But it might be quicker to take a 102 bus from Bounds Green station.

Or go to the Angel Islington and get a 43 bus from there to Muswell Hill Broadway.

But my route could all have been so different.

This map shows the Muswell Hill branch which was closed by British Rail and has since been mainly built over.

The Muswell Hill branch would have been part of the comprehensive Northern Heights Plan.

  • The Northern Line would have been extended from Edgware to Bushey Heath.
  • The Mill Hill East branch would have been extended to Edgware.
  • If you look at the maps in Wikipedia, the Northern Line would be very different through London.
  • The Muswell Hill branch would have given better access to the magnificent Alexandra Palace.

But Austerity after World War II meant the extension never happened.

I can see a case could be made for some parts of the Northern Heights plan, but it is too late now, as viaducts have been demolished and routes have been built over.

My feeling is that if there was a need for the Northern Heights plan in the 1930s, then as London has expanded, that need will need to be fulfilled in the future.

So when Austerity hits as it did after World War II and as it is happening now due to Covid-19 and Vlad’s war in Ukraine, we should make sure we don’t compromise our plans for the future.

I believe that with a small amount of safeguarding in the 1960s, the Northern Line would now have a useful branch to Alexandra Palace and Muswell Hill.

November 19, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Battersea Power Station Station To Battersea Power Station Pier – 18th September 2022

I walked between Battersea Power Station station and Battersea Power Station pier.


  1. A new route between the station and the pier has been opened up, which is shorter.
  2. The development opens on the fourteenth of next month, but there is already some good restaurants and coffee shops.
  3. The corgi was the first one I’d met for a few years.

I walked between the station and the pier in under ten minutes.

September 18, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 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.


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.


  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/Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Gare du Nord Now Has A Good Testaurant

Apparently, it’s called the L’Etoile Du Nord.

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , | 1 Comment

No Wonder Lyle’s Is On The Evening Standard Shortlist

I was walking to Dalston Kingsland station today, when in a small park, I saw a guy picking elderberries from a tree in the children’s play area.I asked what he was doing and he said he was a Glaswegian chef from Lyle’s restaurant, and he was collecting it for cordial.

I read today in the Evening Standard that Lyle’s is on their short list for New Restaurant of the Year.

No wonder if the chef goes foraging in Hackney!

May 26, 2015 Posted by | Food | | Leave a comment


This unusual spelling was used by my son, when he was suggesting where we might go for supper.

Is it a restaurant that serves moggies?


February 2, 2014 Posted by | Food | , | Leave a comment

Coeliac Or Just Gluten Free?

I was asked this question in Jamie’s Italian in Edinburgh.

How professional is that?

I had a very nice rabbit pasta.

October 24, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Supper At Savini

Savini is one of the most prominent and well-known restaurants in Milan. It is in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and sitting outside the restaurant, as I did, is one of the best places, I’ve ever found to people watch.  Or as C used to say, watch the bimboni!

I had a good meal and thoroughly overfilled myself. I would of course, have had a better meal, if I’d had a suitable bimboni with me.  But preferably one with intelligence, style and some worldly experience. If a lady can’t remember the 1960s, she’s too young for me!


When C and I met there, I missed a story, that I could have sold to the tabloids.  At the time, there was speculation, that a certain England footballer might be pursuing his career in Milan.  He’d gone missing, but turned up at the next table, with his very pregnant girlfriend. I do remember though, that he chose and ordered her meal for her. But at least they didn’t do anything that might have besmirched their good name, that of their club or their country. In fact his politeness to his girlfriend was a complete surprise, as on the pitch he generally didn’t behave as well.

I think that a few years later, they are still together, so it looks like the tabloids got his antics and personality wrong.

October 12, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

A Big Mistake In Naples

I know Naples well and I like the city a lot, but I still made a big mistake, by not getting a hotel right in the middle and preferably by the station.

I choose to stay at the Holiday Inn and it all went well getting there as the taxi was just ten euros.

I then needed to get back into the city to have something to eat. I wanted to get to Umberto’s restaurant, which is one I’ve used before that is very celiachia-friendly.

I thought there would be a bus, as coming in, I’d noticed the stop on the other side.  But the guy at reception said that the only way to get back to the city centre was to take a taxi and he would call one. Like an idiot I believed him.

The taxi driver appeared about twenty minutes later and insisted I wanted to go to Pompeii.  I ignored him and felt that perhaps the best thing to do was take an early night.  He then called the receptionist and as I was hungry, I negotiated a trip to Umberto.  I didn’t get the direct route and it cost me twenty euros to return.

But at least the meal was worth eating, even if I was a bit stressed. I finished the meal off with this ice cream.

Ice Cream at Umberto's

Ice Cream at Umberto’s

It tasted as good as it looked. But then I trust Umberto’s, as everything gluten-free is clearly marked GF. And they even do gluten-free pizza!

Coming back, they sorted the taxi for me and I got back to the hotel for fourteen euros. As they said, I should have got a hotel in the centre.

The room in the Holiday Inn was actually quite comfortable and good value.

In the morning though, when asking another receptionist (female) how to get to the city centre, she gave me the timetable of their free shuttle bus. And of course, one would have been convenient to have used in the evening.

I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere near a Holiday Inn again. Especially in Italy!

October 9, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Supper In Palermo

The hotel recommended a restaurant round the corner called Gagini.

The food, staff and atmosphere were all excellent and of course gluten-free.

The starter was particularly good as it was three types of seafood blended with salt from Trapani on Salina and spices. I’ve actually been to that island in the Aoelian Islands.

October 8, 2013 Posted by | Food | , , , , | 2 Comments