Holiday Cheers from Europe – London 2014

Carnaby Street - Soho - London
Carnaby Street – Soho – London

Carnaby Street was the hottest fashion street in Europe during part of the ‘Sixties’.

Selfridges Oxford Street London
Selfridges Oxford Street London
Reindeer in London's Covent Garden area
Reindeer in London’s Covent Garden area

 

Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus

The light from the jumbo advertising screens makes the shot magic – just a cellphone photo as most others in this post – it’s so easy and always there.

Eros statue in Piccadilly Circus surrounded by Christmas presents
Eros statue in Piccadilly Circus surrounded by Christmas presents

Last christmas 2013 Eros was encased in plastic as a Snow-globe, but the storms blew it apart and there were styrofoam pellets all over…

Swan in the round Pond in Hyde park London
Swan in the Round Pond in Hyde park London

Tate Modern London Restaurant

Sir Henry Tate

Sir Henry Tate 3-11-1819-12-5-1899
Sir Henry Tate 3-11-1819-12-5-1899

The Sugar Cube – Main source of Sir Henry Tate’s fortune.

Sugar cubes - the main source of Sir Henry Tate's fortune was the patent for the sugar cube which he acquired.
Sugar cubes – the main source of Sir Henry Tate’s fortune was the patent for the sugar cube which he acquired.

Sir Henry Tate was the founder of the Tate art collections and galleries, two in London, the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, One in Liverpool – Tate Liverpool, and one in Cornwall – Tate St Ives. He made the bulk of his fortune from acquiring the patent for the sugar cube.

Richard Tuttle's 'I don't know' in the great hall at the Tate Modern London
Richard Tuttle’s ‘I don’t know’ in the great hall at the Tate Modern London

I have been to the Tate a few times now and it is one of my favorite places in London , and the world for that matter, to go for art. They also happen to have a very nice and vegetarian friendly restaurant on the sixth floor with an extraordinary view of the river Thames and the city. I went back this year while visiting for the Holidays and found that the quality is still top notch, although one might wish for a menu refresh as far as the Vegetarian alternative goes. The Mushroom risotto is very good but another alternative would be welcomed.

A view from the 6:th ffloor restaurant at Tate Modern, London
A view from the 6:th floor restaurant at Tate Modern, London
Inside the restaurant
Inside the restaurant
Aperitif
Aperitif
Onion soup and a Port to start
Onion soup and a Sherry to start
Mushroom Risotto paired with a nice Côtes du Rhône
Mushroom Risotto paired with a nice Côtes du Rhône

You can also, and it may even be advisable, pair your food selections with excellent beers chosen especially for some dishes – in this case I just felt like wine…

Regional British cheeses, oatcakes and chutney paired with Flight of wines, 3 wines of 50ml each
Regional British cheeses, oatcakes and chutney paired with Flight of wines, 3 wines of 50ml each
Coffee and Cognac in the Memeber's room at the Tate Modern
Coffee and Cognac in the Member’s room at the Tate Modern London

If you plan on visiting more than one of the Tate’s and to come back – it may be worth becoming a member – you will also support this great organization’s work by doing so. Memberships currently – December 2014 start at GBP 62.

 

 

 

 

 

United Airlines under Jeff Smisek wants you to hold it in a vee bit longer….

United Airlines Bathroom Line 777 Economy/Economy plus
United Airlines Restroom Line 777 Economy/Economy plus 4 restrooms/221 passengers

The recent flight from LA to London I was on was a Boeing 777 carrying 221 passengers in Economy class.
Jeff Smisek seems to think that passengers have no right to a bathroom when they need it, rather they should hold it in until one is available – and given the 4 restrooms available to those 221 passengers (that’s 55 and 1/4 passengers/restroom) that might just take a while when the rush is on.

I was unfortunate enough to be seated in a seat just next to the restrooms and I saw first hand how some passengers had problems with ‘holding it in’ as evidenced by crossed legs etc. I had my feet stepped on several times – not a very pleasant experience – I would suggest that you, Mr. Smisek get on one of these flights and be seated in seat 33H to see for himself!

I think United airlines is headed for trouble – I constantly get the response “No one listens to us’ from the flight crews when I try and point out problems and areas that can be improved to them so that they may forward it up the chain. It is my impression that this chain is severely broken at Unite. The general feeling after the merger with Continental and the new ‘bean counter’ policies enacted my master bean counter Smisek, is one of total resignation amongst the front line personnel.  I don’t blame them – if you feel that your voice is never heard – that’s not an unusual or strange reaction to have.

The shareholders may be happy at the moment – but sooner or later one would think that the constant ‘over-promising’ and ‘under-delivering’ for us customers will take a toll on the bottom line. I have been a loyal frequent flier in United’s mileage plus for many years, lately I have seen my benefits eroded by mr Smisek’s new policies. Despite the constant advertising campaigns telling us how much better it was going to be after the merger, it’s only been going downhill. Those advertising campaigns now seems more like the style of advertising and sales tactics employed by the worst of the worst used car sales companies. It may just be time to look elsewhere for better frequent flier programs and an airline that actually cares about and listens to their customers.

– It’s definitely time to wisen up Mr. Smisek and it’s time for United to start treating your loyal customers right again!

New York – New York

New York City November 2014

New York City
New York City

On a recent visit to New York City I had a chance to test my theory of the good quality of Vegetarian food at museums around the world. So far one of my favorites is the restaurant at the Tate modern in London. The bottom of the barrel so far is the Louvre museum in Paris, where the best Vegetarian dish was a microwaved quiche! That alone should be fodder for another French revolution given the French’s love of food…

My first museum restaurant in NYC this time around was the ‘Wright‘ at the Guggenheim museum. Since the restaurant was not planned for at the time of building but was added in 2009 it is located on the bottom floor and pretty much has no views to the outside and neighboring Central Park, but the space is nicely designed and the surrounding museum has plenty of visual pleasure to enjoy before or after your meal anyway. The lunch was very good and an overall superb dining experience even for a Vegetarian, I can strongly recommend it! I recommend that you check the hours though since the were only open for lunch and closed early at the time I visited.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Wright restaurant at the Guggenheim in NYC
The Wright restaurant at the Guggenheim in NYC
The Bar in the Wright restaurant at the Guggenheim in NYC
The Bar in the Wright restaurant at the Guggenheim in NYC

 

A Manhattan at the Wright in the Guggenheim on Manhattan
A Manhattan at the Wright in the Guggenheim on Manhattan
Soup at the Wright in the Guggenheim on Manhattan
Soup at the Wright in the Guggenheim on Manhattan
A Manhattan at the Wright in the Guggenheim on Manhattan
A Manhattan at the Wright in the Guggenheim on Manhattan
Risotto at the Wright in the Guggenheim on Manhattan
Risotto at the Wright in the Guggenheim on Manhattan
Dessert at the Wright in the Guggenheim on Manhattan
Dessert at the Wright in the Guggenheim on Manhattan