January 2017 – a new year and a new job, working in central London for the next month or two. On my first lunch break (I get a whole 40mins), sitting in Pret a Manger on Carnaby St, found myself struck by the number of places to eat in the area. Thus began my “Eat at a Different Lunch Place every day when working in London Challenge 2017“. There were/are no rules really, except no take-aways, you must sit in the place to eat! Also, I do try to keep the cost as cheap as possible, which has become to mean, less than £10 – blame the location. Originally I aimed at 30 places, as that would be a month’s worth, but then I (surprisingly) got re-hired and decided to keep it going. Despite the walking distances and difficultly of find places increasing and a desperately strong desire to go back to previous establishments, I have persisted and been rewarded with a surprisingly good and varied cuisine for lunch. So, here is my 2017 lunch-challenge diary so far…
Notes: Yes, I’m still updating this list – as it comes from my phone and I’m still trying to workout/remember some of the places.
Also Yes, I will add quite a lot of these to Trip Advisor at some point – already a Level 4 contributor 🙂
Where / What / Any Good? :
Pret a Manger, Carnaby St
Where it all begins…
Asian cafe round corner pork noodles
Hipster sandwich bar
Cafe Pomodoro chips?
Leon, Carnaby St – green curry
Itsu on , chicken & rice –
Work from home day
Wasabi on Wardour St. – Katsu curry – good as always from Wasabi
Work from home day
Italian cafe on Wardour St – had v good lasagne
Italian cafe chicken panini
Vital Ingredient on Golden Square – pork rice – nice tasty healthy food
Hawaii Poke bowl, Kingly St – an unusual lunch of fish and rice in a bowl. Surprisingly tasty and good.
Carbon – rice & lamb – not many seats in the place(maybe 3 or 4) but the food was fresh and good.
Flatplanet pizza flatbread – pretty good, but a bit expensive for a flat piece of pizza, still the service was very good.
Mother Mash (pie shop), Ganton St – sausages and mash – excellent fayre
Burgeri, Great Marlborough St – burger and chips – good place, they give you a machine that buzzes to let you know when your order is ready, think this place is Qatar version of McDonalds.
Cafe by salt beef and cheese panini
Crush – beans wrap
Hummus Wardour St – bowl chicken
Bao – 1 X chicken Bao 1 X xaio Thai chicken – good food, but expensive and I don’t quite get what’s so great about it, but it’s very popular.
Urban Tea Rooms – chorizo panini
Vietnam noodles soup
Work from home day
Toi & Moi Cafe place – bacon guacamole panini
Koti Roll, Poland St – very good value and a tasty eat.
The Diner, Ganton St – pork burger & fries – wasn’t bad, but expensive for what it was, also the service was awful, the waitress did’t return with my change, which was quite annoying.
Joe and the Juice, Carnaby St – a sandwich -a loud trendy place, the loud trendy version of Costa really, would’ve preferred not to be quite so loud, even the serving guy shouted at me when my order was ready.
Mo 13.2 – Th 16.2
Worked from home and went on trip to Scafell Pike.
Contract ends: 28 places eaten at in total
Get re-hired – Work and lunch-challenge starts again…
This is a long blog write up of my trip to the Lake District in Feb 2017, it’s purely for amusement and to (erm) write something. Back in 2007 I attempted to climb Scafell Pike and got lost on the mountains(another long story), so I decided to re-visit the place this year with my friend Paul. He’s lived in the USA the past 17 years, so was well up for this trip to arguably the finest of English countryside.
Tues 14th Feb 2017
The plan for the morning: up at 8am, breakfast, pack car, 9am head to Wimbledon, go for 10km run, back by 10:30am, pick up Paul and head to Lancaster! I was signed up for the Hampton Court half-marathon on Sunday, hence the need for a run. Unsurprisingly, getting ready took longer than hoped and I got to Wimbledon around 10:30am! Picked up Paul at 11am and drove 5 hours to Lancaster University, stopping off at a service station for a spot of Costa and a Greggs baguette. A very helpful and informative bear of a man checked us into the uni and we headed to our room, which was most clean and pleasant. I then worked out this was probably the only day I could do a much-needed run, so that was the next priority. The booking.com reviews said there was a gym and sauna in this place, so we headed for the sports centre. Being gymophobic, Paul did not want to go to the gym and after being informed it would actually cost £12 + VAT + council tax, neither did I. Paul was kind enough to go back to the room and wait, so I went for an exploratory 7 mile jog instead – headed towards Lancaster Town Centre, then back and around the University grounds. Other than finally making it to Lancaster city limits(a goal of mine for many years), the definite highlight was the curious mirage towards the end, of hundreds of athletic young student women yelling and jumping around for netball practice, which you don’t often see round where I live…
Our next plan to walk the 3 miles into Lancaster, was altered, thank goodness, to getting the bus instead. On the bus Paul noticed our tickets said “Return to Bowerman hotel” and despite Paul being quite keen to get off, we passed/ignored that place and stayed sat until the town centre.
We walked up to the castle, which had some nice night views and an interesting plaque about how it used to be a prison. Paul also got to see the railway station! After a bit of wandering, we ended up at the Brown Cow pub – which was a great place, with fine Guinness, except this was Valentine’s night – so there was Paul, myself and about 2 other people. Still, we saw the Champions League shock defeat of Barcelona 4-0 to Paris St-Germain(the four of us cheered each goal) and the barman even said we could get a takeaway and bring it back! I was quite happy to do this, but we ended up going to Wetherspoons and grabbing some ‘real’ food(aka buritos) instead, which you prob should do after a 7 mile run. We caught the bus back and set the alarm for 6:30am!
In summary, here was my marathon training diary from 2011. I kind of only planned the big distances, mainly basing them around and wanting to be able to run a distance of approx 20miles one month before the actual marathon date. Running is different for everyone, my only tip really is do try to get the big distance 2-3 hour runs done – the 10,16 and 20milers – they are tough and somewhat daunting, but try to keep relaxed, take it easy and just do them. You’ll look back and find them well worth it on the day. Looking back now, it’s amazing what you can actually do.
After last year’s experience, I found there were some great guides/pages out there for house buying, but nothing that covered all the steps I encountered – I felt lost sometimes, waiting for stuff to happen or receiving stuff, so decided to write this up.
Please note: I was a first time buyer, did my own removals (didn’t have that much stuff) and my dad was a surveyor, so he did the surveying. Your experience might be quite different.
The other week I received this letter through the post – I was wondering if this was a scam, so Googled “VTA publications and Biblical Wealth Secret”, but could only find one reference and that was here at MoreMoneyReview.com. I signed up to MoreMoneyReview to read the comments and apparently this Biblical Wealth Secret thing is pretty much the same as another scheme called Streetwise or the Fortune Files. From the reading those, it seems to largely promises the world YET somewhat unsurprisingly delivers very little.
Anyways, I found the letter is rather amusingly and well written – FULL of lures to bring in vulnerable people! So I scanned it and OCR’d it, here it is for your reading and to help Google know more about VTA Publications 🙂
I literally chucked this thing together and the result was a most top, tasty and delicate home-made pie!
try it out and impress your friends!
Serves about 2 people.
1 x cooked chicken breast *
2 x carrots (peeled and sliced)
1 x large onion (diced)
1 packet of ready rolled filo pastry – or about 4-5 sheets!
Cooking oil – be it olive, sunflower, whatever, to brush over the pastry
2-3 tablespoons Bisto gravy granules
sprinkles of black pepper, Herbes de Provence
some thyme to garnish (if you have any spare)
I oven roasted mine, but deep fried is probably more kebab shop like.
Prepare your salad ingredients
For the salad you’ll need lettuce, tomatoes, onions (red or ordinary will do), diced cucumber and some Dutch cheese – you’re meant to use Gouda, but I used Jarlsberg as had a packet sitting in the fridge. Also some garlic mayo and/or hot pepper sauce. And yeah I know the oven door could do with a clean.
Voila – chips, chicken and salad
Stick the chips, chicken and cheese in an oven dish – top with a few onions
Put a layer of chips in your dish, then a layer of chicken/meat on top of that, then a layer of cheese on top of that. Top with a few onions. I only used half the dish, as am watching my weight being January and all.
Oven bake at 200 (gas mark whatever) til cheese properly melts – maybe 5mins
Ta da! properly melted cheese
Top with the salad & garlic mayo – the Kapsalon is complete!
Add a layer of onions, then lettuce, diced cucumber and tomatoes. Finally, squeeze over a generous spread of garlic mayo and pepper sauce. I used Remia classic Fritessaus too as I love that stuff. That’s pretty much your Kapsalon.
Ah yes, one last thing – best eaten with a can of beer
The guys in Roffa (Rotterdam) put them in wraps or takeaway boxes, but I just put it into a bowl, not very well either. Anyways try it out, my Dutch friend always eats his with a can of beer (never a bottle). He says they’ve been around for a few years, but nobody here’s heard of them. I hope this helps introduce the non-Dutch nations of imgur to the wonder and taste of the Kapsalon.
Now I went to Rutlish School, an ex-grammar in Merton Park, Wimbledon, SW19. So my real question is, are we #Rutlish School boys part of the ‘cosy club’? Let’s look at the facts – John Major PM is an old boy of ours, we have an Old boys club called The Old Ruts + we were all boys + we have a “Speech Night” whereby a famous old-Rutlish boy does a speech and presents prizes(John Major in 1991) + we had ‘houses’ + we have a ‘head boy’ + we used to play ‘fives'(a game generally only played at private schools) + we did had Latin lessons at GCSE and A-Level!
Inspired by this article, I’ve now made some art work! 🙂
The problem with iTunes is you simply cannot copy files, photos, images, videos directly to and from your iPhone or iPad. I wanted to copy some specific .MOV video files to my iPhone and copy some camera roll photos off it and found this became a bit of a nightmare. I really couldn’t be bothered with syncing and all that malarky, I just wanted to copy the files and go. Anyways, after several hours of playing around I’ve concluded the following, hope it helps somebody : I found I needed 3 programs to maintain my iPhone as I wanted…