Sunday in Brighton

August 19, 2018

Train arrives at Gatwick several minutes late. I just make a train to Brighton, a slow stopping train, standing room only.

As approach Brighton, South Downs shrouded in mist.

On arrival, cool, drizzle, only not drizzle, sea mist, haar.

No Small Batch coffee stall today on the station forecourt, but not to worry, as I wish to check out coffee shops listed in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide.

Instead of heading down to the sea or into North Laine, I head into North Laine but heading under Brighton Station.  This brings me into the far end of North Laine.

What I am doing today is check out some of the coffee shops listed in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide, which I picked up on my last visit to Brighton from Pharmacie.  Those I am familiar with warrant an entry. On flipping through it, I had noticed that several were in the immediate vicinity of North Laine, thus my decision to check them out.

Immediately under the bridge, Organic Dirty Burger, excellent burgers, but sadly only open Wednesday to Saturday. Excellent burgers. Unlike the disgusting burgers from a  van in the station forecourt, Gourmet Burgers, gourmet they are not.

First coffee shop Blend & Brew not open at weekends. Very tiny, more like a kiosk. Made to look very tacky with windows plastered with notices.

Milk Not Sugar, not listed, claims to be artisan coffee. Like gourmet, meaningless. I ask of the coffee? Italian blend. Roasted by who? Do not know.

Coffee at 33 excellent coffee, very busy, maybe pop down later.

I look in Magazine Brighton. They have latest Viva Brighton (which is free). Latest Drift and Ambrosia, but not latest Standart.

Further down the street, what appears to be a scam, a rough man asking can use your phone to make a call. He has an equally rough looking mate who he then has a chat with. I suspect hand him an expensive phone and he legs it down the street. If caught has already handed it over to someone else.

I may of course be wrong as he did go into a coffee shop cum bakery and someone lent him a phone to use. On the other hand, had I waited and observed would I have seen him carry on down the street?

I head to the end of the street. I find myself in an unfamiliar part of Brighton, very rough, busy main road. It was as though I had been transported to a rough part of London.

I soon discover the maps in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide are useless, or rather their logic in their use of maps, the area I am looking at, coffee shops on three different maps.

I find The Longhouse. Closed today for decorating.

I carry on up the street. I find Presuming Ed’s Coffee House. Seedy is not the word, it is dire, I have come across more attractive squats. Moronic music blasting out, the moronic music found in rough bars in Cyprus that attract the dregs of the tourist trade. I turn on my heels and walk out.

I then find Glazed, for some reason I thought it was called Gazed (of the two I prefer Gazed). Similar to Presuming Ed’s Coffee House more like a squat than a coffee shop, only they carry it off better and do not have the moronic music. But two pleasant people. I decide to chance it and have a coffee, a cappuccino with an Ethiopian coffee. It is excellent. I sit outside as they have a sideline in making doughnuts and unpleasant stomach churning stench of doughnuts pervades the coffee shop.

Called Glazed, they offer a delivery service of glazed donuts.

Glazed is the only coffee shop other than Pharmacie where I have found The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide. I pick up a couple of copies, their only two remaining copies.

I pass by The Longhouse, they let me have a quick look inside.

Pelicano very busy. I pop in say hi. I see they have latest Drift and Standart. I say I will pop back later and pick up Standart (includes a free coffee) and maybe Drift.

I could have picked up latest Drift from Magazine Brighton but did not wish to carry around all day.

It is then lunch at Iydea. Today the sides are better than the main dish. Lasagna, but bears no resemblance to lasanga.

A quick shop in Infinity Foods. I thought they closed at four, but must be later.

I raise with them sale of Whole Earth peanut butter. It is inferior peanut butter bulked out with palm oil. There is no such thing as sustainable palm oil, bad for the environment and (destroying rain forests)  bad for our health (higher in saturated fat than pig fat). They have Meridian and Suma peanut butter, both of which is ground peanuts, no added sugar, no added palm oil.

To Coffee at 33. I would have had a coffee, but takeaway only. I say no. I buy a couple of bags of coffee.

Then I think, not to worry, continue my search for new coffee shops to try, and once again discover how useless the maps in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide, or at least their perverse logic how they map the location of the coffee shops.

I stumble across Marwood hidden down an alley. Another coffee shop that resembles a downmarket squat. I walk in, turn on my heels and walk out.

I head off looking for Lost in the Lanes. I am stood looking lost in the lanes, though I am not lost, I know where I am. A man asks am I lost? I tell him what I am looking for. He tells me where to find the Trading Post. I know Brighton coffee scene better than he.

I follow his directions, I retrace my steps, and find I had been looking down the street where located Trading Post Roastery but not seen for looking.

Trading Post Roastery they only roast blends,. I am asked what flavour coffee do I want? Er. Dark roast or not. I am fed a load of bullshit. Cappuccino served with chocolate. I send it back.

The best I can say about the cappuccino, not good, but OK.  The flapjack aka granola bar was far better than the coffee. Questionable should they be listed in The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide?

If summed up Trading Post Roastery with one word, it would be pretentious. I was reminded of Coffee Island, the Greek version of Starbucks.

It was then to the seafront. No time to walk along the pier.

Back to Pelicano. I make it just before they close. For anyone else it would be a takeaway but they know me. Yes, I will have Standart, I would have had a cold brew, but no cold brew. V60. No, if ok, I will have V60 Japanese iced coffee, half hot water, half in the ice. They were going to make, then add the ice. I say no, ice in the carafe, as it then instantly chills the coffee. Which coffee? I let them choose.

I say V60. It was actually a Kalita Wave. It was excellent.

I also buy Drift, San Francisco edition, and I am given a  free bag of coffee.  I have last one, sadly slightly coffee stained.  I tell then if anyone asks for, please send them to Magazine Brighton as they have copies of the latest Drift.

No time to finish my coffee. They kindly pour into a takeaway cup.

I just make it for the train, only I have no ticket and they will not let me through the barriers. I am directed to a row of ticket machines. Luckily a helpful member of staff operates the ticket machine.

I get on the train as pulling out. Another packed train, standing room only,  part packed in like sardines.

Train Gatwick to Reading leaves on time. Waits outside Redhill, then shunts up and down at Redhill. No explanation or apology what is going on why now several minutes late. Guildford now running at least twenty minutes late. Only on leaving Guildford, an explanation and apology, fault with the train. North Camp now running over twenty-five minutes late.

A few days ago announced rail fares will raise yet again, not only rise, rise faster than inflation.

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Afternoon in Farnham

August 18, 2018

A pleasantly warm afternoon.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to walk along the riverside walk along the River Wey.

Once again, publicly minded citizens have torn down a section of the fence obstructing the footpath. The problem is getting out the other end.

And why is the footpath closed? To enable a bridge to be built to bring construction material in from the A31, one lane of which will be coned off for months if not years, to build a shopping centre that no one wants, a shopping centre that will be empty, a shopping centre that will destroy the character of an historic market town. Many empty shops in the town but corrupt local councils decides to build a shopping centre, a shopping centre that will sit empty.  The only reason it has been able to proceed, the developer went bankrupt, is because Surrey County Council has handed over £50 million of public money to keep the project afloat.

A festival in Gostrey Meadow, some sort of 1940s celebration, an American band playing. Nothing to say what it was, no people. Closing the footpath leading into the park does not help.  I learnt later, a VE/VJ fete.

Just made the butcher before he closed. I missed last week. I asked did he close on the dot if not early. He admitted he may have closed early as very quiet last week.

Vegan restaurant very strange soup, watermelon, apple, and mint. I cannot see how this can be soup. I was willing to try, but no we stop serving food after four. Not, sorry we have run out. That is why these little businesses fail, lack of flexibility, turning away custom. Maybe I was lucky.

On to Gail’s. For once tables outside clean. Not busy, only one table inside occupied. Gail’s is never busy.

Tomato and red pepper soup was good.

I sat outside. It is not pleasant inside.

People sat next to me after the table was vacated. When whatever they had ordered was served, they had to ask for the table to be cleared.  The table the other side of me not cleared. When they left, no attempt to clear the tables.

I rarely see the same staff twice at Gail’s. Again new staff.

To Krema for a  cappuccino and flapjack.

I dropped off a card for Coffee Festival in Winchester.

Then walk around 23-acre Bishop’s Meadow. They have introduced cattle at the far end, but already removed as not sufficient grass in the dry weather. There is in other parts but lacks secure fencing.

Nuisance caused by Deliveroo serfs

August 17, 2018

Whilst sat outside Krema in Tunsgate overlooking Guildford Castle grounds, unacceptable and illegal behaviour by Deliveroo serfs.

Late afternoon, Deliveroo serf illegally parked his white scooter MJ15 UXK outside the gate to Tunsgate, illegally left engine running, keys left in the ignition, whilst collecting his delivery from Pho, a fake Vietnamese street food restaurant.  No removal of crash helmet, which is also not acceptable.

On return he was told he was illegally parked. He turned very nasty, his arrogant response, I am working and can park where I like.

Complaint lodged with manager of Pho. Not my problem, they work for Deliveroo. Wrong, they are picking up your deliveries.

Forty-five minutes later, a repeat performance, a different Deliveroo serf parks scooter LF15 XKC illegally, no removal of helmet, a delivery for Pho. At least he turned off his engine.

Walking down the street, walking into a restaurant without removing crash helmet is intimidating for staff and diners. It shows lack of respect and courtesy to staff and diners.  There should be a standing instruction to all Pho staff, any Deliveroo serf walking in wearing a crash helmet is asked to immediately leave and not allowed to return until crash helmet removed.

Tunsgate had been pedestrianised, now that the roadworks have finally been finished, people can sit and relax outside overlooking the Castle Grounds. They do not want this nuisance, especially pollution from an engine left running.

Deliveroo serfs on scooters in Guildford are now a major nuisance, they are driving through pedestrianised streets, wrong way down one way streets, ignoring traffic lights. A few months back, I was amazed no accident the behaviour of one of these idiots, the complex road junctions outside the bus station.

The two who were illegally parked at Tunsgate, both were learners, the first not English the second unknown. Are they insured for using their scooters to carry out a business?

Both Police and Guildford Borough Council need to clamp down on these Deliveroo serfs as it is getting out of hand.

V60 at Krema

August 17, 2018

V60 at Krema in Tunsgate overlooking Guildford Castle grounds.

A guest coffee from Clifton Coffee, which I had picked up from Coffee Lab a couple of weeks ago, sourced from Congo.

 

Afternoon in Guildford

August 17, 2018

A pleasant warm afternoon.

New compostable cups at FCB kiosk at Guildford Station, a step in the right direction, but in the absence of bins for compostable waste, what to do with the cups?

Lunch at Bamboo shoots. No brown rice today.

Walking past Surrey Hills Coffee empty. Literally empty, not a single customer. The lad who was there when they relocated not seen for a while, maybe moved on to somewhere better.

V60 at Krema, with guest coffee from Clifton Coffee, which I had picked up from Coffee Lab a couple of weeks ago.

Whilst sat outside Krema, a moron, a Deliveroo serf, illegally parked his scooter, illegally left engine running, keys left in the ignition, whilst collecting his delivery. No removal of crash helmet, which is also not acceptable. On return he was told he was illegally parked. He turned very nasty, his arrogant response, I am working and can park where I like.

Complaint lodged with manager of Pho. Not my problem, they work for Deliveroo. Wrong, they are picking up your deliveries.

Forty-five minutes later, a repeat performance, a different Deliveroo serf parks illegally, no removal of helmet, a delivery for Pho. At least he turned off his engine.

There should be a standing instruction to all Pho staff, any Deliveroo serf walking in wearing a crash helmet is asked to immediately leave and not allowed to return until crash helmet removed.

Tunsgate had been pedestrianised, now that the roadworks have finally been finished, people can sit and relax outside overlooking the Castle Grounds. They do not want this nuisance, especially pollution from an engine left running.

AM Ozone Restaurant

August 17, 2018

 

I would have eaten at Caffe Macchiato, but fancied a change. A big mistake.

Sort of greeted by a toad like man as walked in, actually not greeted at all.

One surly waiter cleared away dirty plates.

Virtually empty, and easy to see why.

Dull and dingy, though did then manage to turn on a few extra lights.

An oriental-style buffet, food from everywhere.

The food not fresh, lukewarm at best, only one dish replenished whilst I was there. Open from midday until 10 pm. Do the dishes sit there all day? The plates stone cold.

I was worried would I get food poisoning. The place was shut down and fined it was disgusting. I looked in vein for a  food rating, it got zero last year, could not find, then spotted on the door, 4*.

The Other Sam

August 17, 2018

I came across these three kids playing in the High Street during a recent trip to Winchester.

They were amazingly good. A sense of music few posses.

A must for Staycation Live, which this year was dire.

Let us hope someone grants them free studio recording time as they deserve it.

V60 at Coffee Lab

August 16, 2018

After a not very good lunch at The Square by Coffee Lab it  was then head to Coffee Lab.

This was the first, the original Coffee Lab, that opened a couple of years ago in Winchester, now known as little Coffee Lab, the other two being Coffee Lab Academy (though the Academy was short lived and no more) and The Square by Coffee Lab.

It is unfortunate Coffee Lab now closes at three, as the only one that has V60 and cold brew, the only one that has guest coffee and coffee beans on sale.

A different guest coffee from Hundred House Coffee to last week, this time from Colombia.

I learnt why ripping people off, charging £10 for a bag of coffee that retails for less. If not, would have to charge more for coffee brewed with the guest coffee. The logic is perverse. No other coffee shop applies this perverse logic. Need to have a rethink.

V60 with the guest coffee which I sat outside with and enjoyed. The street very quiet.

Pour with swan-necked kettle with water just off boiling to clean the filter.

Pour for around 30 seconds, leave for around 30 seconds to allow the coffee to bloom.  This enables the release of CO2.

Continue to pour.

The swirling motion I have not seen before.

Cappuccino in Caracoli

August 16, 2018

I would usually have a coffee in Krema, something I look forward to, though of late I prefer their coffee shop in Guildford.

On my most recent visit to Farnham, Krema was closed. I with reluctance decided to have a cappuccino in Caracoli in Lion and Lamb Walk, not somewhere I would normally  choose to have a coffee.

I was brought a cappuccino with chocolate. I sent it back.

Why does no one know how to make a cappuccino?

What was brought next had a very unpleasant taste. I suspect bad cheap coffee. It was a tad too hot, but I do not think the barista was at fault.

I inquired of who roasts their coffee?  Mozzo Coffee, the same people who supply Flat Whites, but then added a  blend for them. Maybe cheap catering supply coffee.

Caracoli is both deli and coffee shop and does neither well.

Only one place for coffee in Farnham, Krema in Downing Street.

Afternoon in Winchester

August 15, 2018

A pleasant warm afternoon.

First to dentist, then hop on a bus to catch a train.

I missed the train I would have liked to have caught, but still early. I would still arrive Winchester lunchtime, earlier than I usually arrive, in time for lunch at The Square.

A steam train at Alton Station.

I inquired at Alton Station Cafe, what was the dinner tonight. Nothing, we are not cooking. Had I got the wrong day? No, it was Wednesday, Bikers Night.

Passing through Alton I see a new coffee shop that I had not noticed before about to open. Claimed to be an artisan coffee shop, claim is one thing, reality another, and artisan is meaningless. We will see.

I was very tempted to alight from the bus at Arlesford, then continue on to Winchester, but if I did, I would not make lunch or Coffee Lab before three.

Arlesford was busy but then so was Winchester. Maybe because lunchtime.

I made The Square, but lunch, mushrooms on sourdough bread was not very good, not as good as when I last had.

The Square busy and noisy. Not an environment in which to  relax and I was pleased to leave.

It was then head to Coffee Lab. A different guest coffee from Hundred House Coffee, this time from Colombia.

I learnt why ripping people off, charging £10 for a  bag of coffee that retails for less. If not, would have to charge more for coffee brewed with the guest coffee. The logic is perverse. No other coffee shop applies this perverse logic. Need to have a rethink.

V60 with the guest coffee which I sat outside with and enjoyed. The street very quiet.

Back in the High Street, three kids playing. They were amazingly good. A sense of music few posses.

To the cheese stall. Whilst sat outside Coffee Lab, an e-mail inviting me to a coffee and cheese event at Purfrock Coffee.  It was due to have taken place several weeks ago, but cancelled at very short notice.

Looked in Flat Whites coffee shop. Their new guest coffee not yet in. Maybe next week.

Cappuccino and peanut butter brownie at The Square.

1820 bus to Alton.

Fish n chip shop near the station appears to have closed, as second time I have passed by and seen it closed.

Chicken curry at Alton Station cafe, but as last week, nothing left.