Cold December afternoon Aldershot and Farnham

December 4, 2021

A bitterly cold afternoon, low temperature made lower with a bitterly cold north wind.

Aldershot

A strange Christmas Tree Festival in Princess Garden.

Lunch at Indonesian street food restaurant, ayam woku. I learn lady is sister of who used to run it. Why the change I do not know. I also learn they were not closed for a year, only opened in the evening, now back to usual hours, open for lunch.

Farnham

Luckily I catch The Coffee Can before leaves Gostrey Meadow. Far too cold for coffee on the street. I am frozen the brief time I am there.

Christmas cards from Phyllis Tuckwell charity shop. All their best stuff is in this shop. Not looked in for at least a year.

Pleased for warmth in Electric Cycle Cafe.

When I leave bitterly cold. Time to catch a bus, actually two, and go home.

Cold and damp December afternoon in Guildford

December 3, 2021

Not as cold as Thursday, but still cold.

An hour and a half late to Guildford, Gatwick train packed.

Nearly two hours in a bank trying to resolve a problem the bank has caused.

On market, cheese stall has already closed. Stalls on a market should not close until the market closes. Guildford need to enforce this as a condition of a stall on the market.

Very late lunch at Hanki, Korean restaurant.

Constant flow of Deliveroo serfs into Hanki. They are a bloody nuisance and a deadly coronavirus disease vector. I have asked that a sign on the door, masks must be worn, helmets removed. Also that they are instructed to wait outside and food handed to them.

In Athens, delivery drivers wear masks, remove helmets, wait outside.

Make Krema before they close. Excellent espresso.

Over 50,000 new covid-19 cases today, Omicron variant in Surrey. In South Africa where first identified spreading like wildfire, vaccines may not be effective due to number of mutations, and are certainly not stopping the spread of Omicron. Tuesday, lax regulations introduced, mask wearing mandatory, but only in shops and on public transport, widely ignored. Where is the enforcement?

In Guildford, many retailers, staff not wearing masks, customers not wearing masks.

Too late for a train, wait for the next.

A man hanging around M&S, suspicious, turns out to be their security. He is not wearing a mask, dangling around his mouth.

Through the barrier at Guildford Station, strong British Transport Police presence enforcing wearing of masks. Problem is, passengers remove mask once on the train.

I catch a bus, it breaks down after one stop, next bus does not turn up.

Cold December afternoon Aldershot and Farnborough

December 2, 2021

A very cold day, only a few degrees above zero with a very cold wind blowing. It was sunny in the morning. I considered a trip to Winchester, but decided not, it is always colder in Winchester.

Ayam woku at Indonesian street food restaurant. I think it may have changed hands. I was the only one there.

Market day in Aldershot. A handful of stalls, including junk food.

Usually not a soul to be seen, deserted streets. A few more souls market day.

I passed by Karuna Coffee House, early afternoon almost empty. Costa was busier.

I pass by a hairdresser. Lady at a sewing machine with a chess set in front of her. I am intrigued.

Bus to Farnham.

Pay a visit to Coffee Gems. I should have picked up a bag of coffee. On the other hand, following recent trips, and tempted, I have more coffee than I know what to do with.

The Coffee Can not in Gostrey Meadow. Departed before I walked through. But then a cold day.

Excellent espresso in Electric Cycle Cafe. I try a little experiment. I stir, stir not swirl. I cannot believe the difference it makes.

Quick shop in Waitrose.

Passing through Aldershot early evening, town centre sealed off, flashing blue lights, road blocks, swarming with police.

Philly’s Coffee & Sandwiches

December 1, 2021

Philly’s Coffee & Sandwiches, a coffee shop cum sandwich shop, sadly takeaway only.



From the north end of Farnborough town centre, head West, a walk of about ten minutes along a very unpleasant busy polluted main road. A very cold walk on a cold day.

I find closed, or at least it said closed in the window. Door was open. I asked could I have a coffee, otherwise not only a wasted journey, an entirely wasted afternoon?

No window, rotted and being replaced, freezing cold, but at least I had a coffee.



Coffee sourced from a local roastery, Coffee Gems in Farnham. Wherever possible, quality and supply issues permitted, source locally.

I had an espresso, followed by a cappuccino.

It then chucked it down with rain, I stayed chatting. Long past closing time, but until window finished, could not close.

The only place in Farnborough serving drinkable coffee.

— to be continued —-

Tilly Shilling JD Wetherspoon disgusting steak and chips

December 1, 2021

Against my better judgement, popped in Tilly Shilling a JD Wetherspoon pissheads pub for a steak.

Lunch at Tilly Shilling, a J D Wetherspoon pub, the pits, a big big mistake.

It used to be, Tuesday steak day, now the same menu everyday, with limited choice.

The most disgusting steak I have ever been served, steak and chips. It used to be served with peas, tomato, mushroom and onion rings, but not anymore. If you wish for what used to be included, have to order gourmet steak, a couple of quid extra.. Gourmet is a much abused and maligned word, but this takes gourmet to a new low.

The streak must have been the cheapest cut of meat, without sourcing horse meat, Wetherspoon could find. Sinews running through the steak, so tough even a steak knife could not cut it. The chips equally disgusting. Steak grilled straight from a fridge as could be seen by the striations, not allowed to reach room temperature.

No self-respecting chef serves this crap, no self-respecting chef would accept such poor quality meat.



Surrey Hills Brewery Albury Red. a dark red colour. I am used to drinking excellent craft beer, which will never find in a pub, certainly not a J D Wetherspoon pub. This was not good.

Covid-biosecurity non-existent: No hand sanitiser as walked in nor on the tables, tables not cleaned, beer rings on the table, staff not wearing masks. This only serves to emphasise, current tightening of coronavirus regulations still too lax.

Farnborough cold wet first afternoon of December

December 1, 2021

Monday, I did not make Philly’s Coffee & Sandwiches, try again today.

Two bus journeys, I was in time, a short wait, only one tiny tiny tiny problem, no Bus Pass and I was not paying for a bus when can travel for free.

Walk through Farnborough town centre, or what masquerades as a town centre, in reality a glorified shopping precinct on a sink social housing estate.

The coffee shop I thought closed, I find open, smokers sat outside. Maybe closes early or maybe not open on a a Monday. It does of course help to display opening hours.

Stomach churning stench from a couple of stalls, aka a tacky Christmas market. Do people really eat this crap? Passing numerous disgusting junk food outlets, I guess yes.


Then a huge mistake, lunch at Tilly Shilling, a J D Wetherspoon pub, the pits. The most disgusting steak I have ever been served, steak and chips. It used to be served with peas, tomato, mushroom and onion rings, but not anymore. If you wish for what used to be included, have to order gourmet steak. Gourmet is a much abused and maligned word, but this takes gourmet to a new low.

The streak must have been the cheapest cut of meat, without sourcing horse meat Wetherspoon could find. Sinews running through the steak, so tough even a steak knife could not cut it. The chips equally disgusting. Steak grilled straight from a fridge as could be seen by the striations, not allowed to reach room temperature.

No self-respecting chef serves this crap, no self-respecting chef would accept such poor quality meat.

Covid-biosecurity no existent: No hand sanitiser as walked in nor on the tables, tables not cleaned, beer rings on the table, staff not wearing masks.

It was then head west down a busy polluted road, ten minutes walk in the cold, to find Philly’s Coffee & Sandwiches closed, or at least it said closed in the window. Door was open. I asked could I have a coffee, otherwise not only a wasted journey, an entirely wasted afternoon.

No window, rotted and being replaced, freezing cold, but at least I had a coffee.

The only place in Farnborough serving drinkable coffee.

It then chucked it down with rain , I stayed chatting. Long past closing time, but until window finisheed, could not close.

Cold walk back, down a busy polluted road.

Popped in Sainsbury’s, more to get warm than I needed anything. The service in this store has always been bad, but it has gotten worse, only one till open. Where once a little cafe, boarded off.

Guildford upper High Street empty shops

November 30, 2021

A continuation of last week, photograph the empty shops in the upper High Street

— to be continued —

Atto

November 30, 2021

Atto, a new Korean restaurant in Swan Lane where once Costa. Hanki in Jeffries Passage closed Tuesday lunchtime, give atto a try.

Lunchtime busy, but not too busy, about half full, a steady flow of customers taking their lunch out.

Staff pleasant and helpful, described all their dishes, food was good, reasonable portion size if not generous, I had to stop the girl piling more in my pot. I had sweet and sour chicken on a bed of rice. The juices from the sweet and sour, seeped down into the rice.

Unlike disgusting Pick A Bap in Farnborough, the food looked fresh. The girl said they empty after three hours, clean out the tin, bring out fresh food. Whilst I was there, chef added fresh food, stirred the tins.

Only too happy to give me a drink of water.

Not sure what to do when finished. Are we meant to clear the tables? There was a box for cutlery. I did what others did, tidied up, left on the tray.

— to be continued —

Guildford cold damp last day of November

November 30, 2021

A cold damp day, 10C not as cold as a few days ago, but nevertheless felt cold.

First day mask wearing mandatory in shops and on public transport. Nowhere 100% compliance.

Shop displaying sign mask wearing personal choice. No, it is mandatory, £200 fine.

Illustrates yet another Experience Guildford fail. Could they not have gone round and advised all the small businesses mask wearing mandatory, £200 fine? Even better, run off posters, Mask Wearing Mandatory, £200 fine?

Lunch at atto, new Korean in Swan Lane, formerly Costa. Staff pleasant and helpful, described all their dishes, food was good, reasonable portion size, if not generous, I had to stop the girl piling more in my pot. I had sweet and sour chicken on a bed of rice. The juices from the sweet and sour, seeped down into the rice.

Unlike disgusting Pick A Bap in Farnborough, the food looked fresh. The girl said they empty after three hours, clean out the tin, bring out fresh food. Whilst I was there, chef added fresh food, stirred the tins.

Only too happy to give me a drink of water.

Not sure what to do when finished. Are we meant to clear the tables? There was a box for cutlery. I did what others did, tidied up, left on the tray.

I followed up last week, photographed the empty shops in the upper High Street.

On my way to Krema, a very rare sight, a Town Ranger. What are they for? No one knows.

Cappuccino at Krema. They now even have guest coffee.

Look in M&S.

Wait at Costa, before cross over to my train.

Yobs in my carriage, feet on seats, no masks.

— to be continued —

Pick A Bap

November 30, 2021

Pick A Bap, a Korean restaurant in a grotty shopping centre.

Pick a Bap opened a couple of years ago. It was not good then. Had it improved? Yesterday I paid a visit, ordered some food, in many ways surprised it was still open.

It was empty when I walked in. The shopping centre in which it is located, deserted, many empty units.

I asked of what was sitting in the tins, sitting for how long I hate to think. It was mid-afternoon. From ther look of the contents I guess all day.

A sign says all need to know, Food Prepared Fresh Daily. Bread fresh each day yes, food no, I want cooked fresh.

Asked to tell me what the food was, they refused.

I pointed at one dish, spicy chicken. Yes, with rice please.

It was not good, a fair description would be to say disgusting.

I asked for water. They refused, pointed to a chiller cabinet with bottled water.

Awful music blaring out.

Plastic utensils. Wooden chopsticks loose in a box.

Covid biosecurity non-existent: No hand sanitiser as I walked in, or on tables. Staff not wearing masks. On leaving I used hand sanitiser outside the barber shop next door (it too was empty).

Compared with a couple of years ago when it opened, it was no surprise I was their only customer, it was not good then, if anything, has got worse. Food and service poor.

I cannot compare with food in Korea, but compared with Korean street food in Berlin, two Korean restaurants in Guildford, it compares very unfavourably.


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