Afternoon in Winchester

River Itchen

River Itchen

Four weeks ago, last Wednesday in October,  afternoon in Winchester.

I headed for Jimmy Bean, not only good for coffee, but also good for something to eat, which is a rarity in Winchester.  Where was he, not in his usual pitch that had been taken by another coffee stall?

I asked the ever helpful cheese stall, and heading back whence I had come.

Jimmy Bean is no more, now have Savage & Bean. Jimmy Bean still does his excellent coffee, but no longer food, Savage does food with a wood fired oven. I tried halloumi cheese in a burger-style bun, albeit a superior bun, but still a burger-style bun. It came with coleslaw, relish and mayonnaise. I rejected the mayonnaise. It was not good.

This is a retrograde step for Jimmy Bean. Originally I only had coffee, then I tried his food, which was also excellent. A rare example of somewhere worth eating in Winchester. I was looking forward to his mozzarella cheese with slices of tomato, in excellent bread, which he hotted up in an oven.

Now I am back to square one, nowhere decent to eat in Winchester.

Not to say no quality stalls on the food market. The cheese stall is well worth a visit.

Why are the standards on the Winchester street food market so low?

Where are the seats?

Why are the food stalls now all jammed next to each other?

The previous week I was at the South Bank street food market in London on the bank of The Thames. It puts to shame what masquerades as a street food market in Winchester. And they enforce high environmental standards. I was spoilt for choice. I had an excellent Indian a meal for what the Savage offering cost (or maybe one pound more). The coffee stalls were not good, and in that Jimmy Bean wins hands down. Or at least what I had on that trip was not good. Last weekend I had a coffee off the Ethiopian coffee stall. Excellent, in the same league as Jimmy Bean.

They need higher environmental standards. Why are stalls still serving coffee and food in polystyrene, using plastic spoons and forks? To be fair to Jimmy Bean, he does not use. But he is the exception. If he can, why not the others? At London South Bank, if you do not comply with high environmental standards, you do not get a pitch.

Edict from the local council, all the seats have been removed.

By evening, I was feeling ill from food poisoning. I hasten to add, the cause unknown. I had had chicken and sweetcorn soup off a nearby Thai stall which was disgusting. And a coffee and cake off the coffee stall in Jimmy Bean’s old pitch which was excellent.

I popped into P&G Wells, hoping for a copy of Change Everything. No luck. They had, but had lent for an exhibition.

On my way back, something to eat at the Station Cafe in Alton, Bikers Night, last Wednesday of the month. I was tempted to eat at O’Connor’s Secret Garden, but closed for the week.

On my way down, a steam train at Alton Station.

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