Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “expensive food”

Dragonfruit Yoghurt. But How Many Know What Dragonfruit Looks Like?


Muller light yoghurts are fantastic and they keep on experimenting with new and different fruit flavours and combinations.

But the cover of the yogurt pot gives little clue really as to what dragonfruit fruit looks like.

In reality until I saw Dragonfruit on a Maldives breakfast buffet I neither could have guessed what they look like. Taste wise they are quite mellow and separating the dragonfruit from the pineapple might be a little tricky, or interpret that as impossible.

Looking at them unpeeled and ready to eat, but prepared by an excellent chef, they look not unlike dominos.  So a few photos to show maybe more what they look like in the Maldives with an excellent chef, than in reality how they might look if I prepared them .

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The reason why no obesity in Helsinki- The Cost of Food


There is little doubt that the Finnish are an attractive and healthy looking race. There was little or no sign of obesity anywhere in Helsinki despite the city having a plethora of the same restaurants that in UK seem to carry the blame for obesity. There were a few shocks however.

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A typical Helsinki couple. Element of distance between them.

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Helsinki Fashion

In all my travels I was not prepared to see a restaurant OLO Creative Kitchen in an ordinary central Helsinki street advertising a meal for 149 euros.

IMG_2783I stood there for 5 minutes pondering both my eyesight and my cognitive ability to recognise the currency, but in the end it was euros and the cost was 149 euros. The option of then paying a higher price 315 euros to have what I take to be unlimited drinks seemed a sensible one for the reason that drinking enough might allow one to forget the cost of the meal. Amnesia may have its benefits. But the maths are curious. 166 euros gives you these unlimited drinks, but wine by the glass is 21 euros , so essentially you need to drink 8 glasses minimum to get value.

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The food generally here in restaurants is expensive compared with many other European cities, and substantially so. Eating a dinner in the Radisson Plaza hotel in Helsinki would be a nice event, nice restaurant and good service in good surroundings. Until the bill arrives. A few examples. Fried sole 36.5 euros, grilled Reindeer fillet ( like beef actually) 34 euros. An average starter such as reindeer mouse ( yes that is average here), 11.90 euros, the same as a cheese salad as a starter. Desserts again look particularly attractive but you will not pay less than 9.50 euros for Creme Brûlée, and “old-time” ice cream does not have an old-time price tag weighing in at 11.50 euros. Should we decide that reindeer and cloudberries are too exotic for a chilly and rainy April evening then a Club Sandwich will set you back 18 euros. The same price as a caesar salad with chicken.IMG_2808IMG_2801

 

There are a few ways around this if you are prepared to eat a main meal at lunchtime. There are a plethora of restaurants with either lunchtime buffet choices, which was my option, and in the Radisson Plaza I ate a nice lunch of unlimited salads and bread, and various choices that included Pork and Elk stew, fried trout and plentiful roasted root vegetables for 12 euros. Many other restaurants had their equivalent.

Street food was however plentiful and delicious and available in many places.

 

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The real way to eat? Clearly sample The Reindeer hotdog.

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Could Reindeer hotdogs catch on at football?

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Helsinki street food.

Champagne and Cheesecake £19? Scottish Value.


Not sure about this one. The offer of Champagne and Cheesecake for 19£ does not seem that much of a bargain unless one gets the whole bottle of champagne? The definition of a ” Light Breakfast” also seems a little different to any southern interpretation. These food related offers were available at Edinburgh Airport.

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Swedish Food Photos and Reflections


In general terms the food is superb if rather expensive. Many meals are fish based with excellent quality and also good sized portions compared to some of the anorexic fish that get deported to UK. On the other hand they like their ” bad food” too and many good burger restaurants and suchlike exist, including one that smells at you as you arrive at the airport and clear baggage hall. What however is striking is that the food in the airports is excellent. Take Landvetter airport in Gothenburg, a small airport really but the quality and choice of the foods puts Heathrow to shame. If you are a cake lover then allow yourself an hour and 1000 calories to indulge before your flight. Some of the food combinations also make novel cuisine. Take the combination of cod and chicken in a gravy that i was served at Clarion Post hotel. Excellent and the combination works.

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Motorway Service Stations


Driving as I do around 20,000 miles/year sadly I am sometimes forced by circumstances to stop at these appalling places. My childhood recollections are of stopping late at night often on the way back from football games at wonderful places such as Barrow ( and I mean that, Barrow is a wonderful proper real football ground, the simple fact that it borders on Mordor and takes weeks to get there should not detract too much from that) and finding cold service stations, long queues and smelling vividly of fried food. Sadly not much has changed except two things. In the main they are all outlets, Burger King, Costa ,Waitrose etc, they are all incredibly expensive, but the queues have gone as no-one wants to or can afford the extraordinary prices.

Today typified things. Mug of tea 2£. Served as tea bag floating in mug. Go on a hunt to find milk, spoons etc. Served by the eternally damned or at least they look that way. No hello, no smiles, no thankyou’s. The atmosphere was dire. The tables looked like they had been sourced from a car boot sale selling ancient tables from a closed down club. Dirty. Smelly. It must have taken the last 20 years to extract every last ounce of atmosphere, pleasure, call it what you will. These places are devoid of anything resembling humanity.

Then the shops. Selling a selection of things that non-one in their right mind wants or needs. Buy a paper and one gets asked if one wants to buy two packets of chocolates for £4. The petrol station. Anywhere on this island diesel costs around 133.9-135.9 pence/litre. The more greedy local garages might ask for 137.9. The service station today was asking 144.9 pence/litre. This equates to an extra £7 a tank if I were to buy there.

Service stations are doomed. Only the desperate stop there in increasingly smaller amounts and the reasons above are why. Either charge a fortune but serve excellent stuff or charge reasonable prices in a reasonable atmosphere. Doomed unless you fancy buying one of these nice coats for sale in the shop. I am being serious…….

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The Shocking Cost of food at London City Airport


For anyone who does not know, LCY is an airport easily accesible from the centre of London and is used by many city types and those that inhabit Canary Wharf. Mere mortals like myself may use the airport when it is easier than travelling out to Heathrow. Tonight I was shocked beyond belief at the cost of meals on offer in essentially a bar area.

The layout of LCY is essentially open plan with a few barriers separating out a few areas. There is only one bar and that is in the main section of the deparature lounge and in fact one has to walk through the lounge with tables on either side to get to the departure gates 21-24. So there is a constant stream of people rushing past these tables to head off to the airport.

The cost of meals in this area is astonishing, ranging 20£ up to 35£ for a single main course. So for a couple with a bottle of wine eating a quick meal before flying off they will leave with their wallet emptied by potentially over 100£.

 

Prices of Food at London City airport

Prices of Food at London City airport

Stockholm


SnowAlthough I have been to Stockholm a few times I have never truly appreciated what a pleasant city it is. This time snowbound, everything looked cute but everything worked. Trains and planes and cars were all on time, taxi drivers spoke eloquently and engaged passengers in meaningful conversation. The people all looked young. Maybe the old ones get locked away in some sinister plot. As one arrives at Arlanda Airport, they really do play ABBA music to welcome you and photos of famous people like ABBA and Roxette adorn the walls of the luggage reclaim area. T

There is a price to pay and that is literally true. This city is expensive and is best visited when someone is paying the bill. A Croque Monseiour would cost you over 12£. Coffee usually is around 4-5£. Hotels are pleasant places where receptionists are helpful and smile. They are also warm. One of main complaints this last winter has been arriving at Marriott hotels to find that the room heating has been switched off for seemingly the last millennium. On my arrival it happily gets turned on but then takes the length of my stay to warm the room up.

The characters in Stockholm also are straight from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I could have cast that film many times just by sitting in a cafe and looking around. Lastly the food. It is good. The restaurants have a kind of laid back attitude where service is good but not to the point of being obsequious. Tables have gingham cloth covers and serve you pretty much what you want. I had Meatballs. I could have had massive Steaks. This is a place to come back to, but please someone invite me and pay my bills while I am there. The street names are right out of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo like Sodermalm.

Dirty Pretty Wings


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