Je suis grian1954 de Paisley. Je suis sur Qype depuis le 07.09.2009
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Port Glasgow, Scotland PA14 5PG
I have visited Finlaystone Gardens on a good number of occasions over the years. I try and visit at least once a year but in reality the pattern has been more like once every two or three years. I had a guided tour of Finlaystone House by Lady MacMillan back in the 1990s. The house is now closed to the public being occupied by, I believe the son of the MacMillans, his wife and family.
There is a charge for admission to the estate, currently at 4 pounds per adult. This was the first thing I noticed on visiting recently where the sign at the entrance has the current price tacked over the previous one, a warning perhaps. In previous years I have used the estate's honesty box, outside the shop.
We had hoped to have lunch at Finlaystone since there is a cafeteria but the lady in the shop informed us it is closed over the winter months. We were standing opposite the old laundry wondering what to do. I had my camera and had just taken a photo of the laundry when the lady from the shop, who must have been spying on us out of the window, came out and told me that I could not take photographs of the estate and resell them and that I could not take photographs of the house since there were children inside. A calendar had been made by someone she went onto to tell us in illicit fashion and had caused a lot of trouble.
First, let me say that I never visited Finlaystone for the purpose of taking photographs to resell, nor had I any intention of taking photos of the house since I knew it is no longer open to the public. The old laundry is some distance away from the house.
But if a person had made a calendar then surely that is a good and creative project involving much work and money in making the finished product.
Such a product if successful would also be a source of free marketing for Finlaystone Estate too so I cannot understand the attitude of the estate forbidding any private commercial photography from enterprising individuals.
One change I noticed was the number of signs on the estate around the centre with "have you paid" aggresively in your face.
My partner wanted to leave after the woman accosted us, as well as being affected by the army of signs demanding to know if we had paid the admission fee.
There are some shop units in the former stables. One was of interest to us being concerned with skin care by organic means. I am uncertain as to whether you have to pay the admission fee to visit these units.
We might have gone inside the shop and even made a purchase but we decided we wanted to get out of Finlaystone without visiting the estate. We found the experience disappointing and distasteful.
I won't be back!
Station Road, Port Glasgow, Scotland PA14 5PT
I think the name of this business has changed since I last visited which was a couple of years ago, maybe.
When we entered the premises a sign said that we should wait to be given a seat but since the place was virtually devoid of customers and we wanted a beer and snack we walked right on inside.
Staff were friendly and well intentioned but kind of amateurish considering we had just come back from Florence where we had been entertained by professional Italian waiters.
We had two soups. Bread was described as "crusty" on the menu but was nothing of the sort, being soft and kind of soggy inside and rather disappointing compared to the excellent truly crusty bread we had enjoyed in the restaurants we visited in Florence.
My partner and I each had a pint of Guinness which I felt was poured too quickly, apparent in the taste and viscosity of the beer to my discerning palate. Guinness should be priced by how it is cellared first and how it is poured, second.
While we sat in the comfortable sofa we heard occasional excited shrieks of "service" emanating from the kitchen area. Rather odd communications system between kitchen and waiting staff
Staff seemed to gang up or congregate around the few customers who were actually dining, unklike us. So you would see two or three at one table simultaneously. Overkill and claustrophobic.
I felt the bill was way too high for what we had. I never felt this in Florence once but met with consistently good value for money when eating out. Disappointing not to experience the same in your native country.
I won't be back, not under the current management anyway.
Wellington Road South 1100, N6E 1M2 London
We stayed at the Days Inn hotel, London, Ontario for a few nights in mid-November. This is not in central London but more on the outskirts of the city. The hotel is surrounded by large drive-in retail outlets such as Wallmart and Best Buy.
We were located on the ground floor and found the room comfortable in every way as well being quiet both day and night. A fridge and microwave was available. We used the laundry service which was very handy. Our car could be parked right outside our window. Some tradesmen type vehicles appeared early evening and were gone in the morning which made me think the hotel was popular with travelling reps and people working in that area temporarily. We were very satisfied with the service at Days Inn hotel.
3-5 Gibson Street, Glasgow, Scotland G12 8NU
Offshore is a café on a corner of Gibson Street located very close to where the river Kelvin meets Kelvingrove Park. I have always admired the elegance of the curve of the tenement at this corner.
Knowing that Offshore offered free WiFi I had arranged to meet someone to give them a laptop with a wireless PC card I no longer needed. The café has some pleasant sofas but since it appeared to be quite popular with students with laptops all the sofas were occupied and I had to make do with an upright seat. I had a coffee which cost 1.90 and my understanding was that I could take up to an hour to relish it. Their WiFi connection worked fine [one guess what the passphrase is!]. I was using the laptop’s battery but I noticed some customers were plugged into the mains.
The staff were pleasant and friendly and the café was quite a nice, relaxed and comfortable place to be with a coffee and laptop for an hour.
501 Crow Road, Glasgow, Scotland G11 7DN
The Three Craws is a pub and restaurant located on Crow Road, Glasgow, very close to Jordanhill railway station. My mum lives close by and we go for a pub lunch there every now and again. We last visited in early December. This is a popular place for lunches, the clientele typically drawn from the surrounding areas of Jordanhill and Hyndland. The atmosphere is relaxed and the interior décor and style, fresh and pleasant, rather more like a hotel than a pub by Glaswegian standards. But pub The Three Craws certainly is, offering a good selection of real ales. I had a pint of Landlord, an award winning British beer from Timothy Taylor brewery. We both had haddock in a beer batter with chips and peas which was on a special offer, an enjoyable lunch. The service was good and the bill moderate. My mum and I will be back before long!
Collip Circle 200, N6G 4X8 London
Windermere’s Café nestles within the Windermere Manor complex and is virtually on the campus of the University of Western Ontario, London. The restaurant has a glass covered patio seating area. Although it was dark when we visited and a shade cool I imagine the patio could be very pretty in the summer. Naturally the place is very popular with academics and visitors to the university. A group of us met for supper one evening in late November. One deal offered which is popular and seems good value is the Prime Rib Dinner Buffet. Some of the group went for the buffet deal but not feeling hungry enough for more than one course I opted for a good old beef burger with fries and salad which was good and wholesome. I had a glass of Canadian dry white wine, the name of which I cannot remember, and it was ok but just a little bit acrid.
The service was typically Canadian, civil and pleasant and the bill was moderate.
This is a good place to eat if you are visiting London, Ontario and connected with the university in some way.
The Esplanade 45, M5E 1W2 Toronto
04.12.2009 (mis à jour le 06.12.2009)
Novotel is part of the Accor Hotel group, a massive global chain. They are surprisingly reasonably priced places to stay.
Our last night in Toronto was spent in the Novotel Hotel on The Esplanade near the waterfront. We arrived to check in quite early. There were two receptionists present, one was reticent and the other talkative. For our sins we were served by the talkative member of staff. He could not find our booking. Finding it entailed going to another area which meant the other arrivals would not be dealt with promptly. So he asked us if we would mind waiting while he served the next customer. The problem was that a string of customers appeared in succession and formed a queue. He served the queue. We waited and waited... My partner was patient. My patience evaporated after the first customer had been served and he didn’t get back to us as we understood he would. I was quietly simmering for a period and eventually I became infuriated. Fortunately it was my patient partner who dealt with the receptionist so my steam evaporated from a safe distance away. Good customer service is something I know about, appreciate and respect. When we finally checked in some 30-odd minutes later I was already soured towards Novotel hotel, Toronto.
Everything else was OK. The room and bathroom was clean and the bed comfortable although the bed covers were just a little thin. This was ironic since we had turned down the heating to make the air in the room less stuffy through the night.
The hotel allows you to leave your car in their underground park until midnight of the day you have checked out. This saved us some bucks.
Yonge Street 220, Toronto Eaton Centre, M5B 2H6 Toronto
Visiting Richtree Market restaurant in Toronto in November was an unforgettable and unique experience for me. There is nothing I know of in Scotland and the U.K. that compares. The experience is difficult to describe by the standards of conventional reviews of eating houses. Make no mistake the Richtree restaurant is a market with a ‘carnivalesque‘ atmosphere. Panache, vibrant colour; heaps, piles and stacks of produce, hustle and bustle that presents anarchy and organisation side by side: these are some of the first impressions gleaned from a visit.
What we have here is a novel concept. Those who put it into practice deserve to be applauded.
So impressed were we with this restaurant that we ate there several times but since Qype rules forbid me reviewing the same business more than once I will describe only one of our visits.
A group of us went there for supper one evening late November. Usually in the early evening you have to queue to be seated. When allocated a table each person is given a swipe card. Then, when you select from a menu an assistant takes your card and the order is added to your account. There is a good variety of very tempting foods. I settled for some soup, beef barley broth, with a main course of some chicken, cooked Cajun style, served with potatoes and vegetables. We shared a bottle of Mundavi wine. The bill was moderate. I think part of the trick eating at Richtree inexpensively is to stick to a special offer or few items as I did. Once you start selecting portions right, left and centre (and it is very tempting) your bill will mount up rapidly.
The service was civil and efficient; utensils not being used are taken away as soon as you sit down. The restaurant appeared fairly popular for families with young children. An eclectic and interesting range of music was played, loud enough to be appreciated but not intrusive. I also really liked some of the music played. I am not knowledgeable of contemporary Canadian music but what we heard that pricked up my ears was similar to the sounds of a band like that of Les Cowboys Fringants: that is a fusion combining folk and country elements with rock music.
When you leave your table your bill is settled by your swipe card at a cash point close to the exit. As is typical in North America since our group comprised at least 4 adults the service charge was included. Since various Richtree employees may have been involved in serving you it may be that a fraction of the service charge will be allocated to each of them through the data processed by the swipe card. This seems fair.
If you have not been to a Richtree Market restaurant then it is an experience that you must try.
Thames Street N 75, Ingersoll, N5C 3C6 London
The brand name Tim Hortons is ubiquitous in Canada. Driving along Canadian city main streets it seems a Tim Hortons outlet appears every several hundred yards. There are some 3000 branches, the majority located in Canada with around 500 in the U.S. They began in the 1960s initially only offering coffee and donuts. Now they do soup and sandwich style lunches offering combo deals as well as a range of bakery goods. Good coffee has been a consistently strong feature of the brand.
We were travelling east towards London, Ontario on Highway 401 and feeling like a bite for lunch stopped at Ingersoll, a fairly small town close by. The Tim Hortons Ingersoll branch is strategically located being one of the first retail premises encountered as you enter the town. We noticed people eating there who appeared to be truckers and delivery drivers.
My partner and I both had some chicken noodle soup which at 2.59 Canadian dollars [equivalent of 1.47 GBP] was very reasonable. The soup, served with crackers of course and not bread, was just a little greasy but still very good. I had a chicken sandwich too was quite wholesome. It had some vinaigrette dressing which I would have appreciated knowing about beforehand. In Canada the sandwich default tends to be with dressing rather than without as is the case in the U.K. We both had a tea as refreshment poured in a Tim Hortons container, a familiar sight in Canada.
The bill in total was moderate and the service, Canadian style, was once again civil and cordial.
The Esplanade 56, M5E 1A7 Toronto
Scotland Yard is the name of a homely pub located in downtown Toronto close to the harbour front area. We visited the pub for supper one evening towards the end of November. The pub’s style and design resembles a typical Scottish [but of course!] or British pub. I found the music a little too loud and the pub itself just a shade too dark but relaxed and atmospheric nevertheless. It’s quite a ‘sportsy’ place. Some darts enthusiasts were seriously involved in a match close to our table. In front of me was a large TV screen showing a game of basket ball between, I assume, two Canadian teams.
I ordered a Guinness stew from their menu as did one of our friends. My partner opted for a macaroni dish. The stew, typical pub grub, was fine. I washed it down with a pint of Guinness. The food was moderately priced and the prices of the drinks were on a par with those of central Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland.
The service was civil and cordial in the Canadian style to which we had become accustomed.