7 November 2009

An unhappy experience in Bacchus Bar under Burlington Hotel on New St

Went for lunch at Bacchus bar off New Street in Birmingham yesterday, with my Sister, as our planned venue for lunch was too busy. It was an abysmal experience. The bar tender who served me seemed to be suffering from some sort of cold symptoms and was couching often with no attempt to cover his mouth or use a tissue. The food took over half an hour to arrive, which for a weekday lunch time is a very long time. They could not even use the excuse of being busy as the place was half empty and most people did not seem to be eating or had been served before we arrived.

I had rump steak and chips with beer battered onion rings, my sister had a chicken pie with vegetables. My sister said her pie was fine althought he meat showed obvious signs of being mechanically recovered meat including tool marks on the meat. My steak was small, very tough and slightly over done it also contained far more sinews than rump could reasonably be expected to, it was more like stewing steak than rump. The chips had clearly been fried along side fish (there were bits of batter and a slight fishy taste, although not enough to set off my allergy to fish). The onion rings seemed to have been battered with ordinary batter, not beer batter.

The two meals with a large coke each came to just over £23.

For comparison our normal Friday lunch (either 2 mixed grills or a mixed grill and a roast dinner, again with two large cokes, at the Windsor on Cannon St) is much quicker, much better prepared and comes to around £16.

I won't be returning.

It may be churlish to point this out but, the decor seemed to include Ancient Roman, medieval European, Classical Egyptian and 19th Century European, but none of the Classical Athenian Greek that the name would suggest.

6 November 2009


I was chatting with one of my colleagues at work last night. He's a Muslim originating from the Pashtun region (which covers north west Pakistan and a sizable chunk of Afghanistan), although I believe that he himself was born in the UK. We talked about the 5 British troops and 3 Afghanis killed by the Afghani security officer. My colleague said that this event was because the Afghani people don't see the Taliban as the enemy, they see the UK and US security forces as the enemy, and that the Afghani people see only 2 ways to win, military victory or death. I then asked if he was saying that the only mutually satisfactory outcome would be to just wipe out the entire population of Afghanistan (NB, I'm not actually proposing we do that), perhaps start by dropping Napalm on all the population centres. He agreed (after I'd explained what Napalm is and what it does) that that would be the only possible outcome.

Based on conversations I've had with other people, including recent immigrants from Afghanistan, I don't actually think that he is correct.

5 November 2009

Moving boundaries?

Just seen the latest campaigning bulletin from the South Yardley Liberal Democrats. In it they seem to be claiming responsibility for the opening of a new health centre on Richmond Road.

The thing is, I grew up near Richmond road, my mother still lives in the area, I know that area well. That road is not in South Yardley ward, Yardley constituency or even Birmingham. It's in the Lyndon ward of Solihull, maybe edging into Olton ward at one end but still Solihull. Also, unless the new health centre was built to look exactly like the old one, it's been there over 20 years.

Looking at the front page of that same missive, I can't help but wonder where they found these 83% of local voters who blame Labour for the job losses at JLR, LDV and elsewhere in Birmingham. Acocks Green Conservative Association perhaps? Most of the people I know lay the blame at the door of the leader and deputy leader of Birmingham City Council. My racist (and apparently not very bright) neighbour seems to reckon it's the fault of our former colonies in the Indian sub-continent (well, he doesn't use those exact words).

Overall I doubt the veracity of the whole publication.