The Lobby: Off-topic discussion

Hello and welcome to The Lobby! Your place to discuss subjects that just don’t fit in our other conversations. Make yourself at home!

This Lobby is closed to new comments

Do you want to discuss an issue but can’t find the right place to post it? Or maybe you’re looking for somewhere to chat with your community pals? Well, you’ve come to the right place…

As with any community or conversation it can – and does – wander off-topic. This is perfectly natural, but it hasn’t always been possible to do so on some of our posts because of the precisely defined nature of each subject.

So, at the behest of some of our community members, we created this off-topic discussion area – The Lobby.

Any ideas spawned here in The Lobby could generate new posts for debate and discussion on Which? Conversation, so you – our community members – are able to help shape the direction of our community.

What happened to the original Lobby?

Why do we have two Lobbies? Well, like all good franchises, we wanted to experiment with a sequel. But seriously, the original Lobby was so popular (with almost 13,000 comments), it was becoming hard to load the page.

So we’re starting fresh with what we’re affectionately calling “The Lobby 2”.

No comments from first Lobby have been deleted, and you can still link to comments, but you won’t be able to add new comments.


To ensure The Lobby remains a healthy and friendly place for you all to share your thoughts, musings all of our Community Guidelines apply, with the exception of one:

You may go off-topic… that is the purpose of The Lobby.  🙂

Looking for other areas to talk?

• Website feedback: Let us know about any technical issues, and share your ideas on the future of Which? Conversation closure: A discussion about the closure of

Which? Members: Discuss issues related to our organisation, including governance

Welcome to the Lobby!

So without further ado… welcome! What are you waiting for!?


Thank you for that magnificent dinner. It will always have a place in my heartburn.

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

That poses a problem. Which wine goes with it?

At the weekend our coffee maker pump died and then our cafetiere shattered.

We think it is the pump which will be a big job to fix. What am I going to do for coffee over Christmas?!

Abby, sorry to hear that.

Whilst other beverages are available (not least coffee liqueurs?), I guess you might need to dash to a nearby white goods store and acquire some emergency caffeination equipment.

I wholeheartedly recommend the DeLonghi bean-to-cup machines. There are several models, almost all of which have the same basic mechanism in them. Top range ones have extra whistles and bells – but all make damned good coffee.

My review was simple – long time ago.. “Pros: Makes damned good coffee. Cons: I’m drinking too much coffee”

Permission to panic, Abby. I’d delve into the faulty machine in the hope that it’s an easy fix, but time is short and Derek’s solution is more practical.

I am very tempted by a bean to cup and if it had been a few weeks ago before we bought each other our Christmas presents we would have gone for one. Sadly it will take a lot more time for a pump to arrive than a new machine. Although I might just get a new cafetiere and wait to the New Year to take our machine apart.

Worst was when I got into work and relaised our cafe was closed for Christmas. I had to take mug in hand across the road to a cafe. I got some very odd looks!

We also have a DeLonghi and My beloved loves it. Certainly works quickly and easily, if a tad noisily.

I thought the noise was part of the coffee culture. It certainly seems to be unavoidable in all the coffee bars I have ever been in. I have never understood why coffee cannot be made somewhere behind the scenes and brought to the table in peace. Violently banging out the grouts seems to be another part of the ritual.

John – you sound just like my husband! 😀 Many coffee places really need to get some more soft furnishings though. The worst is the summer when every other order involves blending ice.

It’s all done for impact, John – like having food cooked as you watch. The barista could just press a button on a bean-to-cup machine.

What made me appreciate coffee was buying small paper packets of coffee that had been roasted on the premises and freshly ground, when I was a student. The smell was magnificent.

I know you are all on the edge of your seats so… We used the stove top coffee maker this morning. Not bad coffee at all – I think it will do us well for the time being! I might go out and get one of those milk frother sticks though. Can’t have Christmas without a bit of milky froth! (I think that is technically what is known as a modern world problem!)

I’m glad you are sorted for coffee, Abby. I would not like to think of you being teatotal at Christmas.

I can’t drink coffee any more 😭 😭 😭

I am intolerant to cow and soya milk so was drinking oat milk. Oatly barista makes an excellent cup of coffee but unfortunately I have a problem with inulin (diarrhoea) that seems to be a recent hidden ingredient added to many food products.

I now drink coconut or cashew nut milk neither of which makes a decent coffee but OK in tea. A big problem with plant based milks is they can be too thin (coconut) or curdle in coffee (cashew nut).

I wrote to the Food Standards Agency a month ago asking them to make it compulsory for inulin to be listed in food ingredients but they didn’t reply.

Enjoy your coffee Abby.

@alfa That’s not fun at all! My husband has a similar issue with cows milk and has given up finding a decent alternative so have switched to black coffee. I’m not sure I could do that though!

On the inulin – is that added to the milk or there naturally?

@wavechange I go past the cafe Nero roasters on the train every day. Smells weirdly like toast! The first time I passed it I tought the train guard was toasting his breakfast!

I know some coffee connoisseurs who would disagree with the button pressing though! 😀

Has your husband tried Oatly Barista? It really does make the best coffee with a decent frothy top. I can’t drink black coffee.

A few months ago I was getting up the courage to see the GP when I saw a TV food programme that mentioned the side effects of inulin in oat milk. I stopped using it and the squits stopped. After a week or so, I tried the oat milk again,went downhill again that stopped when stopping the oat milk.

I haven’t done that much research into it yet but it does occur naturally in many foods that don’t seem to bother me like onions and bananas. I get the impression it is extracted from chicory root and a weed I can’t remember the name of now then added as dietary fibre. I want to see it listed in product ingredients.

Inulin is a non-digestible polysaccharide produced by many plants. It’s generally soluble, being composed of fairly short chains of sugars. Humans cannot break it down, but bacteria in the gut can. In some people this can result in bloating and the problem you mention. Most people don’t get enough soluble fibre in their diet, so inulin is generally seen as desirable.

Although inulin can be added to food, it’s probably not mentioned because it’s usually present in the ingredients, rather than added, in the same way that lactose is present in milk and gluten is present in cereals. At least gluten-free products are now widely available and most people who are lactose-intolerant can tolerate small amounts.

Welcome to Christmas Eve, the day in 1922 when the BBC broadcast the first British radio play The Truth about Father Christmas and the day in 1871 of Verdi’s Aida first performance.

Where there’s smoke. there’s dinner.

I had a ploughman’s lunch, yesterday. Then he punched me.

Best avoid the fisherman’s pie too.

And the dog’s dinner.

Went to a sea food disco the other day. Managed to pull a mussel.

Another bit of retail ritual – why do used-car dealers open all the tailgates on the hatchbacks every morning?

So the rain can get in. 🤓

And so they don’t overheat in this glorious sunshine…


“No I prefer sunshine.”
How far does Santa go on a full charge? Rudolph prefers to canter.
Rudolph has three points on his antler. He was caught by a speed camera.
Does Santa get range anxiety? Only over the wild west.

Welcome to Boxing Day and the day in 2004 a 9.3 magnitude earthquake created a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and edges of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people.

Henry keeps a record of everything he eats. It’s called a tie.

Practice safe eating; always use condiments.

This joke came with the condiments of the season.

Saw a chap at the RSC yesterday; he was just about to eat his hamburger when he said “How now, Ground cow?“

Welcome to Make Cut-out Snowflakes Day, the day in 1949 when Queen Juliana of the Netherlands grants independence to Indonesia and the day in 1979 when Soviet forces kill President Hafizullah Amin.

After Christmas, I’m going on a balanced diet. Chocolates in each hand.

My GP put me on a stable diet. Hay and oats three times a day.

My wife’s trying a new diet; chocolates and bananas. She hasn’t lost any weight but can she climb a tree!

Welcome to the wonderful downtime for so many between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and remember those who have to work throughout the holidays, such as NHS staff, Police, Fire, show workers and many others, the day in 1065 when Westminster Abbey was consecrated and the day in 1612 of the first observation of Neptune by Galileo who recorded is as a fixed star without realising it was a planet.