Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Lunch at Thai restaurant

August 29, 2014
crispy spring rolls

crispy spring rolls

lunch at Thai restaurant

main course

Lunch at Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage.

Usually I only have the main course, but today I was hungry, and added crispy pancake rolls as a starter.

Did I want a desert? No, I would have afternoon tea or coffee later with a cake or a cookie.

I remind them of farmers market on Tuesday.

A girl with half a dozen kids. I ask are they able to use chopsticks? They say yes. I am quite impressed when they ask for chopsticks, and yes, they are able to use.

I act as Pied Piper, take them to the Castle Grounds and show them Alice Through the Looking Glass. How I do not lose any of them on the way, I do not know, but they seem streetwise.

Station Cafe

August 27, 2014

Station Cafe black shed

Station Cafe black shed


In the forecourt of Alton Station, a black shed with a couple of benches outside, never found open before.

As I had forty minutes to wait for a train, I decided to take a look inside.

I was pleasantly surprised, nothing what I would have expected from the outside.

At one end, bookshelves lined with books, very tastefully decorated. I expected a scruffy transport cafe.

I said, I had never seen it open before.

Bikers night, every Wednesday night in the summer, last Wednesday of the month in the winter.

I cannot have been in Alton on a Wednesday before.

Little Local Deli

August 19, 2014
Little Local Deli

Little Local Deli

cappuccino

cappuccino

I spotted this little deli in the morning, I looked in, and they told me they had only opened on Saturday.

They seem to know their stuff, as they had beer from The Little Beer Corporation, the only place I have ever seen apart from The Joint in Guildford, and they had coffee from Winchester Coffee Roasters.

I decided to pop back in the afternoon and have a cappuccino, as I have been wishing to try coffee from Winchester Coffee Roasters.

Whilst waiting, I chat to two little girls. They tell me they like the place, better than Costa.

They have a long way to go making coffee. My coffee was sloshed in the saucer. I think they were surprised when I said make another one. They did, and yet I was still left with the original.

Taste and appearance, better than Costa (they would have to be serving ditch water to be worse), but not comparable with Harris + Hoole in Guildford.

If you are going to open an indie coffee shop, then you have be at least as good as Harris + Hoole Guildford, serve lunch and afternoon tea and cakes at least as good as Café Mila in Godalming, otherwise you are just another café serving tea, cakes, coffee and snacks.

If Little Local Deli are going to survive, they have to prepare lunch (something more than a sandwich or a hotted up quiche), and they need quality cakes and cookies.

Camberley a ghastly town, this deli probably the only place worth visiting.

Lunch at Pinetrees restaurant

August 19, 2014
Frimley Park baked fish

Frimley Park baked fish

A hospital is not somewhere you would go out of your way to eat, not unless you were already there, but Pinetrees restaurant, buried deep in the bowels of Frimley Park Hospital, is worth a visit, or was.

As I was at the Frimley Park Hospital in the morning, I thought I would eat there, via a round trip to Camberley.

I had to ask directions, as I could not remember how to find it.

The emphasis is on healthy eating (which is more than can be said of their public café by the main entrance), a wide choice of salads.

The choice was baked fish or meat balls, starter leak and potato soup.

I skipped the soup.

The baked fish came with mashed potatoes, sweetcorn or green beans.

Price is incredibly cheap £2-75 (25% more for visitors), which probably explains why packed.

I noticed at least half had a takeaway, exactly the same meal, but in a polystyrene burger box.

Water, from a machine, in plastic cups.

Very poor environmental awareness.

I thought at first, maybe disease control, but cannot be, as I had a plate, cutlery.

In the entrance to the hospital, a little café, junk food, sugary cakes. In the corridor, a widescreen TV, information on healthy eating, avoid sugar, excess alcohol, only too fast to read. Opposite the information display, a vending machine dispensing Coke.

Sugar kills

August 19, 2014

After an X-ray, dental surgeon, that will be six teeth I will be taking out.

Was it six, to be honest, I lost count?

He reassured me he had taken out thousands of teeth (or was it tens of thousands) all around the world (and he was was a Lt Col), but I am not sure that was reassurance or not.

Why, I look after my teeth?

Sugar.

But I avoid sugar,

The damage was done years ago, in your teens.

Sadly all too true, my grandmother used to stuff us full of sweets.

As the dental surgeon said, people did not know what we know now, for my grandmother, it was an act of kindness.

But what is the excuse today? There is no excuse today for parents giving their children sweets, taking them to McDonald’s, giving them Coke and other sweetened fizzy drinks. Any parent that does, is engaging in child abuse.

A can of Coke, I cannot remember the figures, but at least ten spoons of sugar, maybe more. Would anyone put ten spoons of sugar in a drink? Can you imagine heaping ten spoons of sugar in a cup of tea.

Diet Coke does not let you off the hook either. it is fizzed with CO2, a carbonated drink (in essence Coke is nothing more than syrupy fizzy water). The CO2 makes it acidic, and that eats into your teeth.

So nothing for it, grin and bear it, half a dozen teeth to be extracted, except I will longer be able to grin.

How will I be able to eat?

Don’t worry, you will manage.

Sugar kills teeth.

It is not only teeth, we are in an obesity epidemic, type 2 diabetes hitting kids in their late teens, early twenties. It used to be known as late onset middle age diabetes.

Why no sugar tax, why no government action?

Because we have an extremely powerful food lobby, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Cadbury’s, and he who pays the piper calls the tune

In the entrance to the hospital, a little café, junk food, sugary cakes. In the corridor, a widescreen TV, information on healthy eating, avoid sugar, excess alcohol, only too fast to read. Opposite the information display, a vending machine dispensing Coke.

Late lunch at Caffe Macchiato

August 18, 2014
spaghetti con polpette

spaghetti con polpette

cappuccino

cappuccino

Having ate last week at Caffe Macchiato, I thought I would try again today.

As last week spaghetti con polpette, spaghetti with meatballs, onion and tomato sauce, was delicious. Nicely presented. Generous portion size, indeed over generous. Fresh ground pepper was added, as was Parmesan cheese.

I followed with a cappuccino. Usually Caffe Macchiato is excellent for coffee, sadly not today, it was horrible, as Costa. Why, I do not know, as their coffee is usually very good.

Caffe Macchiato used to stay open until 7pm, which was good for sitting outside, though not today, summer seems to have ended and autumn begun. Now, closes at 6pm.

Caffe Macchiato is a rare example of somewhere worth eating in Aldershot.

Kiara’s closed

August 16, 2014
Kiara's closed

Kiara’s closed

Last weekend I was saddened to see Kiara’s, a lovely tea shop in Downing Street, had closed. Bailiffs sent in by landlords based in Cornwall who could not give a toss about Farnham. Problem is, there are now a number of empty shops in Downing Street. Every time one closes, one less reason to walk down Downing Street and a domino effect kicks in, and yet more shops close, and that is what is now happening.

About a year go, Morello’s, a lovely Italian coffee shop opposite Kiara’s closed. In June, The Barn closed in The Borough.

Not good news for Farnham.

Late lunch at Caffe Macchiato

August 14, 2014
spaghetti con polpette

spaghetti con polpette

Thanks to heavy showers and thunderstorm, I was in Aldershot far later than I had intended. Barely sufficient to visit WHSmith before they closed. A wasted journey, no they did not have Adultery, no idea when available (it was published today). WHSmith once again ably demonstrating why they are a failing High Street chain.

I was hungry. I decided late lunch at Caffe Macchiato was the order of the day.

Too cool to sit outside.

Spaghetti con polpette, spaghetti with meatballs, onion and tomato sauce, was delicious. Nicely presented. Generous portion size, indeed over generous. Fresh ground pepper was added, as was Parmesan cheese. The Parmesan cheese was a little over done, but that was my fault, I said yes, not realising I needed to say enough.

Like the little Italian coffee shop in Alton, Bottega dei Sapori, everything at Caffe Macchiato is freshly prepared using fresh ingredients.

As with everyone else in Aldershot, Caffe Macchiato has been hit by Wastegate. They will be hit again if the unwanted plans to squander £4.5 million in Aldershot goes ahead. Plans for which there is strong opposition and has been no consultation.

Infamous for its junk food outlets, Caffe Macchiato is a rare example of somewhere worth eating in Aldershot.

Caffe Macchiato is also good for coffee. I occasionally drop by and enjoy a cappuccino. Why does anyone drink disgusting coffee at Costa when they can walk up the street and get a decent coffee?

I would have had a tea or coffee or maybe a Peroni, but it was not raining, and as there had been heavy showers and thunderstorms all day, I decided not to risk it, leave and catch the bus. I may as well not have bothered, the bus failed to tun up, neither did the next bus, finally a clapped-out double-decker bus turned up.

Sharp’s Doom Bar

August 6, 2014
Sharp's Doom Bar

Sharp’s Doom Bar

The choice of guest ales at The Queen Hotel have over the last few weeks been going down week by week, that it got to the point there was no choice, often would be served London Pride.

Today, porter and stout. In itself unusual as porter and stout long vanished from most pubs.

Sharp’s Doom Bar is from Cornwall, named after a treacherous sand bank. I was put off for life beers from Cornwall, having found them to have a very nasty metallic bitter taste. It was as though arsenic had leached into the water from the tin mines (probably had). Thus it was with some reluctance, and little choice, I ordered Sharp’s Doom Bar. I was pleasantly surprised, and it was a lovely colour.

To eat, gammon and chips, at least that is what it would have been had I not varied my order. Chips are McCain and disgusting. It is possible to order mashed potatoes. I did not want the egg. Was it possible to have peas, maybe a mushroom? Apparently it was. A much more balanced meal, meat, potatoes and vegetables. I even got half a tomato.

Guildford farmers market

August 5, 2014

Sweetcorn, strawberries off one stall, then returned later, peas and a squash. I mentioned the last time the strawberries got squashed, and I was given a lid.

Strawberries when I go them home, were overripe. Sweetcorn was excellent.

Bread and flapjacks off Celtic Baker.

A stall dedicated to watercress, watercress scones, watercress burgers, watercress soup, and of course watercress. The soup was a ludicrous price, £3 a pot.

Scones can be savoury (eg cheese scones), plain (as I had at the Octagon with cream and jam at Staycation Live on Sunday) or with currants. With watercress! I had for tea. They were not good. When cut in half, green, as bread or scones go when mouldy. They did not taste good. As though salty, but not salty. Maybe it was the taste of the water cress.

Paella stall did very well. Sold out by lunchtime, and I had the last lemonade. The lemonade had a kick, very refreshing on a hot summers day.

The last time I saw Secretts Farm, the sweetcorn was not in good condition. This afternoon even worse, dried up and papery white. This is very unusual for Secretts Farm, as their produce is usually top quality. I regret I did not raise it with them.

Pasty stall had no pasties left. I thought, ham from The Joint. No ham.

Plums off apple juice stall. He did tell me what variety they were, but I have forgotten. The plums that appear before Victoria plums. He confirmed what I have noticed, plums and everything else is early, the seasons are shifting.

Man on the Celtic Bakers stall, was not the usual stallholder. He dropped his serving tongs in the street, picked them up, and continued using them.

Lunch at The Keystone. As last Friday, no fish cakes. I ordered courgette soup (at least a summer soup not a winter soup). I than added king size prawns. Perversely, the prawns were served first, before the soup, but at least they were delicious.

Pubs are going out of businesses, 26 a week. I need a venue, maybe for an alternative fringe book festival, maybe for a launch party for an album release. I visited a pub Friday, twice today. Friday, landlord too busy with paperwork, Today, not there, then on my return, in a meeting. On each visit, the pub empty.

Sorry no pictures. I decided to give battery a top up charge. I then forgot the battery, camera but no battery.

Guildford farmers market takes place in Guildford High Street on the first Tuesday of the month. Last month there was an additional Saturday market at the end of July during the Guildford Summer Festival, though it would be better if this extra market for the summer festival was a food festival. Godalming has an excellent food festival, Woking has a food festival, why not Guildford? Experience Guildford are seeking projects to support, kickstart, to provide a lasting legacy for Guildford. A Guildford Food Festival should be one such project. Make it one of the events of Guildford Fringe.


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