The “different place for lunch every day, when working in London” Challenge 2017

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 🙂

When: Where / What / Any Good? : Notes:
Wed 4.1.17 Pret a Manger, Carnaby St Where it all begins…
Thu 5.1 Asian cafe round corner pork noodles  
Fri 6.1 Hipster sandwich bar  
Mon 9.1 Cafe Pomodoro chips?  
Tue 10.1 Leon, Carnaby St – green curry  
Wed 11.1 Itsu on , chicken & rice –   
Thu 12.1 Work from home day  
Fri 13.1 Wasabi on Wardour St. – Katsu curry – good as always from Wasabi   
Mo 16.1 Work from home day  
Tu 17.1 Italian cafe on Wardour St – had v good lasagne  
We 18.1 Italian cafe chicken panini  
Th 19.1 Vital Ingredient on Golden Square – pork rice – nice tasty healthy food  
Fr 20.1 Hawaii Poke bowl, Kingly St – an unusual lunch of fish and rice in a bowl. Surprisingly tasty and good.  
Mo 23.1 Carbon – rice & lamb – not many seats in the place(maybe 3 or 4) but the food was fresh and good.  
Tu 24.1 Flatplanet pizza flatbread – pretty good, but a bit expensive for a flat piece of pizza, still the service was very good.  
We 25.1 Mother Mash (pie shop), Ganton St – sausages and mash – excellent fayre  
Th 26.1 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.   
Fr 27.1 Cafe by salt beef and cheese panini  
Mo 30.1 Crush – beans wrap  
Tu 31.1 Hummus Wardour St – bowl chicken  
We 1.2 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.  
Th 2.2 Urban Tea Rooms – chorizo panini  
Fr 3.2 Vietnam noodles soup  
Mo 6.2 Work from home day  
Tu 7.2 Toi & Moi Cafe place – bacon guacamole panini  
We 8.2 Koti Roll, Poland St – very good value and a tasty eat.  
Th 9.2 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.  
Fr 10.2 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.  
Fr 17.2 Eat  

Contract ends: 28 places eaten at in total

Get re-hired – Work and lunch-challenge starts again…

Scafell Pike Round 2 – Lake District Trip Blog

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!

First Time Buyer – Steps to Buying a House / Buying a House Procedure

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.

Biblical Wealth Secrets – VTA Publications – Scam

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 🙂

Chicken, carrot, onion and gravy pie de Chef James

photo 4

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.

Ingredients:
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
Optionally:
sprinkles of black pepper, Herbes de Provence
some thyme to garnish (if you have any spare)

Does going to Rutlish School put you in the “Cosy Club”?

rutlish_emblem
Rutlish School coat of arms

Apparently the UK is deeply elitist and you can’t get a ‘top job’ unless you are one of the ‘cosy club’ which mostly comprises of private school types.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-28953881

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! 🙂

Rutlish Elite

Free ways to copy files, video, photos and music directly to/from your iPhone without iTunes

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…

My Royal Exchange over 2 years Youtube Video

My latest youtube video! London’s Royal Exchange filmed over 2 years – Nov 2010 – Jan 2013. On my way home from work each day/night I started taking pics of The Royal Exchange from outside Bank station. Eventually making this stop-motion movie from them – it’s a bit jerky at the start, but hope you like the video anyways. Watch out for the Olympics logos/barriers – taken during the men’s marathon and wheelchair marathons.