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Stephen B

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Posts posted by Stephen B

  1. The explanation of the buffet thing makes sense (isnt the Greek/Turkish/Cypriot place on Princess Street now buffet?).  I'm in Stockport fairly often at lunch time and the general town centre offerings are dire - I usually end up at a Chinese buffet just near the station.

    Ah, Stockport. How is the Arden Arms for lunch these days? I used to go there fairly often for Sunday lunch, but not recently, alas.

  2. Hmm, Matthew Norman does have a lot of bad luck with restaurants. I used to glance at his reviews in the Telegraph, and the number of times a restaurant got zero or one out of ten seemed disproportionate. I see the Grauniad allows him fractions of a point; how does he distinguish between (say) 0.25 and 0.33 out of ten?

    But, as has been posted here before, a lot of reviews are presented as entertainment, not information.


  3. ...

    For Pubs you have lots of great old places. The Castle (traditional small city boozer), Hare and Hounds (old smithfield market boozer with and an old piano), Bar Fringe (serves bloody hundreds of Belgian beers) as well as The Pot of Beer and Marble Arch just off Rochdale Road (both real ale places, the latter a microbrewery with beautiful tiled interior).




    The Pot of Beer's shut, mate, for ever as far as I know. Gone to the redevelopers. You'll get a decent choice of pop in the Smithfield, opposite Bar Fringe (which can be fairly scary in its own way).


  4. The bloody Ledbury - Fay Maschler, Jan Moir, Tracy MacLeod, Terry Durack, Giles Coren.

    Does anyone actually buy the Telegraph on Sunday? I really wanted to read Matthew Norman's review which I would guess was this week and I completely forgot to pick up a copy. For some bizarre reason Norman's reviews are never on line.

    The Ledbury is MN's topic this week (5th June).


  5. From the map, I think the Thistle Hotel is pretty much next door to Jessica's, on the Hagley Road. My parents stayed there when it was the Strathallan in, err, 1980 (wow! tick tock tick tock!) and it was - then - a functional modern hotel. That was probably the last time I was in that immediate area (but I did go to the botanical gardens last year).


  6. Indeed, Matthew Norman was less than complementary, eg "... run with an unhappy mix of arrogance and incompetence and serves food (eventually) that is both overambitious and overpriced." The food was too foamy by half, late, cold, not as described (etc). "... the bill verging on an act of grand larceny for a meal that ranks as one of the biggest rip-offs ever contrived on this planet or any other."

  7. I use about 20g of coffee in a 6-cup cafetiere (=french press) to make 10 fluid oz of coffee (I like mixed units :biggrin: ), so a 51oz chappy should take about 100g of coffee, say just under 4 ounces.

    But, each to their own - that ratio won't be right for everyone. I use a thermometer to get my brewing water to 95 deg C :nerd: and leave it for four minutes.


  8. While we're on the subject of British food phobias (mine), it's not particularly a breakfast food, but another thing that's always scared the shit out of me for, what, nearly a quarter of a century are those jars of pickled eggs you see on the bar top counter at least of my local, the Bridge Inn. I've always imagined it was the same jar, still sitting there after 25 years or more. I've never seen anybody eat one, though apparently some people do. Don't tell me, Adam, you like 'em deep-fried . . .

    It's a pickled boiled egg. Boiled egg plus vinegar plus a bit of spice. How could it scare anyone? Marco: next time you're in the pub buy one and eat it. If you don't like it, never buy another one. Hang on, I've a better idea: next time you're in a supermarket, buy a jarfull. If you don't like them, give them to me. :biggrin:

    There was that time in Ye Olde Woolpacke when I asked for an egg, and the barmaid served it on a plate complete with a cocktail stick. I laughed so hard and long that Mrs Stephen wouldn't go in that pub for years.


  9. Oh there. This place caught my eye when I called in for petrol in the station opposite (see, it's not that out of the way). A crowd of Morris dancers were using the petrol station forecourt to Morris about on, and the pub opposite for pop.

    I've never been in, but now I know that lager drinkers are laughed at, I'll definitely give it a go. Give me a few weeks. It certainly looks the part.

  10. Have tried many links , than you.

    Still no Pol Roger '96 vintage. Any help??


    Mmm, Pol Roger. I have a bottle of white foil that I must drink, thanks for reminding me.

    www.everwine.co.uk advertise the 1996 in various sizes.

    12 x 75cl £383.05

    3 x 150cl £295.16

    1 x 500cl £290.37

    I think they are internet-only though, and oop North, so I guess you need the help of a friendly local.

  11. As a child*, Yorkshire pudding was eaten in our house as a pudding, that is, after the meal. The usual accompaniment was raspberry vinegar, of which there were several pint bottles on the pantry floor. After a number of years, these were used up, and more was made to the proportions in the recipe below. This gave a syrupy concoction that was too sweet, so the next batch cut back on the sugar.

    *until I was about 25

    Practical Cookery for all, Blanche Anding et al, Odhams Press, circa 1945.

    Fill a large seven pound jam jar with fresh raspberries, press well down and cover with [malt] vinegar. Cork or cover and set aside for fourteen days. Strain [through a cloth]. To every half a pint of juice add half a pound of sugar. Place juice and sugar in pan and simmer slowly for thirty minutes. Allow to cool, and skim. Bottle. Use according to strength desired.

    The cleverclogs here won't need telling not to squeeze the cloth as you strain the mix, and not to use an aluminium pan.

  12. My Mom always told me you salt for 2 reasons.

    2) it raises the boiling temp of the water

    There is an effect, but it's weak.

    The ebullioscopic constant of water is the increase in boiling point caused by 1 mol of the thing you dissolve in 1 kg of water - that's SI units, obviously - and is about 0.515 K per (mol per kg). One mol of sodium chloride weighs about 60g, but it splits into two bits, doubling its effort; so about 30g of sdium chloride in 1 kg of water will raise the boiling point by half a degree centigrade. (Scientists like to use kelvin instead of centigrade to confuse non-scientists; physical chemists like to use peculiar mixed units like mols per kg to confuse everybody.)

    So, to raise the boiling point by about 1 deg C you need 60g of salt per litre of water :blink:

    (edited to add the 60g)

  13. subsequent research seems to indicate that diet has very little to do with it (although red wine may have some beneficial effect), but the reluctance of French doctors to certify death as being due to heart disease may have much more to do with it. They apparently have a tendency to omit what Basil Fawlty would call "the bleedin' obvious" and attribute cause of death to all sorts of obscure (secondary) causes.

    I'm no medico, but I though that explanation was set aside some time ago. see eg Law & Wald, BMJ May 1999 for the numbers (and several other explanations of the French paradox).

  14. I rather like Warre's Quinta da Cavadinha, about £20 a bottle. Two bottles went down well over Christmas, I'm not sure of the year, maybe 1987 (the port, not the Christmas).

    Any "if you like that, try this" suggestions?

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