The Planet Pavilion Café – Jodrell Bank – May 2018 – chaos theory in action

When you are surrounded by such awesome science, you might expect the simple things like a cafe to be equally good. On a scorching bank holiday they were very busy, but that’s not necessarily a sign that they were any good, being possessors of a very literal captive audience (there are no other options for a good few miles unless you bring your own).

A reasonable queue, but one which was moving along nicely. The reason for that became clear as Mrs MOFAD ordered. They took your order for items on display. You paid. And then you go to your table, drop some stuff off, and go back to pick up your order. Which is still sitting in the cabinet, so other people could be ordering it, not knowing if they are going to be able have it, because one or more people could have already secured it ahead of them. It was chaos theory in action. Orders were coming out seemingly at random, and there were just not enough people around to organise this chaos.

Eventually we did get some tasty lunches and enormous portions (although you would expect these sizes for the price paid), but the overwhelming flavour was of chaos as opposed to coronation/lightly curried chicken. And there was a lot of celery in the salad. Who wants that? Celery is not MOFAD approved.

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It seems they are trading on the rather good views you get of this thing…

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Must try harder!

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Mr Vongs, Leek, May 2018

The camping takeaway theme continues. After a lovely day out with a short-ish wander around Danebridge, Lud’s Church and a tiny bit of The Roaches, we were back at the camp site and thinking about what to have for dinner. Being a very organised camp site (it’s what Camping and Caravan Club sites are known for), they have a selection of menus from local takeaways, who (crucially) deliver to the site.

Much like Friday night, we were rather hungry, so got our order in quickly, and were soon chomping down on some tasty Chinese. Regular readers will know exactly what I ordered, the one and only kung po chicken, which is a great yardstick for any Chinese restaurant.

This one had a decent amount of chilli, although I would have liked more cashews and pineapple, perhaps I’ve been spoilt by Wan’s Cottage who seem to have the best kung po chicken around. For the second time this weekend, it’s another no photo post, too busy eating to stop and capture this one for posterity. By now you should know what kung po chicken is supposed to look like…

Soho Theatre, May 2018

Working in London again. After a meeting in Ealing this afternoon and a warm walk in the late spring sunshine, I was checking in to my hotel at the wrong end of Ealing Broadway (in terms of proximity to the station). Soon afterwards I was heading east to get to the Soho Theatre. Once again, Transport for London had other ideas, deciding to keep us sitting around on the tracks outside Acton for quite a while. This put paid to my plans to have a bite to eat at The Crown and Two Chairmen before the show (not for the first time this year), as I just made it into the Soho Theatre before the first show of the evening, Sarah Kendall’s latest story telling effort One-Seventeen.

After that show finished it was up to the bar and there was just enough time for a wrap and a pint. Once again, the chicken wrap comes to my rescue, and there was enough time to enjoy the garlic dip with it this time. It’s much tastier than it looks in this photo.

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As for the pint, once again it was spoilt by bar staff who think that a beer engine is some form of multi-gym workout device. This Adnams Freewheel was a new beer to me, but I don’t think I experienced it at its best.

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No time to sit and reflect, more comedy was on the agenda. Up the stairs for Shappi Khorsandi’s latest show, Mistress and Misfit, an energetic performance boosted by her joy to be performing in London again. Much of the show is about Lady Emma “bury me in a Y-shaped coffin” Hamilton, Nelson’s mistress, but also very much a character in her own right. There’s also material about her appearance on last year’s “I’m a Celebrity”, which is something that had totally passed me by.

Another great night at the Soho Theatre, now time to get back to Ealing…

The Lansdowne, Leicester, May 2018

If we’re at The Lansdowne then you know it only means one thing, another night out at De Montfort Hall. On to that in a bit. What’s for dinner tonight? Well, a kind of a cross between a risotto and a paella, this dish from the specials menu has some flecks of chorizo, pieces of chicken, onions, sweet red pepper and creamy saffron rice (and token pea tops). It was not bad but not really special enough to deserve a place on the specials board.

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Luckily, the beer is consitently good in here, and tonight was another example of that. This pint of Peacock from Très Bien Brewery is a testament to the enduring pleasure of a good pint of cask ale. Lots of bitterness, lovely lacing and some maltiness thrown in for good measure.

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Another consitent evening at The Lansdowne, decent food and good beer. Perfect for an evening of fantastic comedy from the ever brilliant Dara O’Briain who was on fantastic form as ever, mixing great banter and off the cuff reactions with the prepared show. An excellent performance.

Caistor Chinese Takeaway, Caistor, May 2018

The final entry in the camping takeaway trilogy for this long weekend, the incredibly imaginatively titled, Caistor Chinese Takeaway. Another lovely day out walking, and again we didn’t really fancy a walk to the pub, so another takeaway was in order. Sadly, this one did not deliver, so we had to rely on Mark driving us up into town to pick it up.

Much like last night, I went for one of my default options when visiting a new Chinese takeaway, kung po chicken, the spicy version of sweet and sour. This proved to be a good choice, although there was variation once more. Very few cashew nuts (I like lots) and no pineapple (which cuts through the chilli when included). A decent dinner though, helped by free prawn crackers of course 🙂

And once again, no picture because it all got wolfed down with great speed. So you’ll have to make do with some crop fields from earlier…

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Nadirah Indian Takeaway, Caistor, May 2018

The camping and takeaway theme continues. A lovely long walk today, so we didn’t really fancy another walk to the pub (and back), so we decided to order takeaway curry for delivery to the campsite. A decent menu of interesting things to choose from, and everyone found something to pique their interest.

I went for one of my usual selections when trying out a new curry house, chicken shatkora, a chicken curry with small pieces of a citrus fruit known sometimes as a wild orange. I love the sourness of this fruit with the richness of the curry sauce, and it was accompanied by a lovely naan bread. There was just enough time to capture an image for posterity.

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Tesco Travesty, March 2018

When you’re on the go and have things to do then a supermarket sandwich can fill a hole in your day. When you get home and find that your “chicken, bacon and sausage” sandwich looks like this:-

Then something is not right in the world of supermarket sandwich makers. Even worse when this is a “premium” sandwich from the Finest range, which should definitely contain more than just half a teaspoon of bacon.

After eating this travesty I did tweet Tesco about it, and they later offered a refund which I accepted. I think that’s fair, given that the sandwich didn’t contain all of the things that it should have done.