Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Restaurant review: Skylon

After some research for a business dinner close to Waterloo, I booked Skylon in the Royal Festival Hall.
The room was vast, gymnasium sized in fact, with a level of noise approaching that of a teenage basketball match, but the floor-to-ceiling windows opening up on the Thames make it spectacular. Shame they did not give us a window table as requested. The waiters are all in star-trek-like uniform, in tune with the retro-futurist location and name, plentiful and nice enough but they probably were beamed to another planet during main course as service got slower and slower.
The wine list is predictable but good, the sommelier was new and knowledgeable.
I haven't mentioned the food, and that's because it was passable. On the positive side, my onglet was perfectly uncooked as I ordered and like it but the smoked mackerel salad was some potted fish, swimming in light mayonnaise dressing and cos lettuce.

Final verdict: Skylon joins OXO in the category "you pay for the view, not the food".

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tube to cost £5 to fund Olympic, West London commuters bear the pain for no benefits

While salaries are on hold (except if you're a tube driver and can hold the government to ransom to get a grand's bonus), public transport costs continue to increase much faster than inflation.

Some of this is due to the Olympics bill.

As a West Londoner, I deeply resent this as we don't even enjoy the benfits of the games since all events are in the East.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Friday, September 09, 2011

An airport encounter

So there I was yesterday night having three hours to kill at FRA (Frankfurt airport), working in a half-empty noodle bar -MoshMosh; if you ask (sort of Wagamama; with better beer but not as good dumplings).
Weissbier tasting meant I had zip to the gents 5mn only to find a middle-aged woman sat opposite me. The waitress (tasked with watching my possessions) later told me she tried to say someone was sitting there, to no avail. Those long tables were quite narrow, so I felt a bit annoyed for a short while and then resumed crafting a powerpoint on my laptop.
She orders food, I eat a pho and then the next thing is that she spills her white wine on my laptop. She mubles sorry, I say nothing but am profoundly annoyed. She wipes it -ineffectively-, I mention she could drink champagne as it doesn't stain since it also made it onto my trousers. She answers it should not stain, to which I say I'll have to take a trip to the dry cleaner. She looks ashamed, glances sideways without a word for a good 10 mn, then picks up her things and flees without uttering anything else.
I was amazed by so much rudeness and wondered whether she would she have offered to picki up the drycleaner bill if she was a bloke? Anyway, I guess I'll go to a different restaurant next time, maybe Hooters?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

When will TfL realise they need more BorisBikes at Waterloo?

Now the Summer's gone -and everyone's back-, it's cruelly obvious Transport for London need to add more capacity to its Barclays Cycle Hire scheme.

The scheme is over-subscribed in several locations, including in Waterloo where at peak time (after 0815) one can't hire a bike nor drop it off after 1815.

The staff at hand -two guys and a trailer- can't cope with the quick-forming lines, often 20 deep.

At a time when the motorist is robbed more than ever, when train tickets have increased for years above inflation (as incomes stagnated), it is time to better resource alternative transportation schemes. They are both 'green' and low cost, as well as popular.

King regards,

Ludovic Windsor