Afternoon in Winchester

A cold damp dull afternoon in Winchester. Temperature was 10C, but it did did not feel as 10C, due to cold wind and wind chill.

I pop into Alton Station Cafe. Confirm I will be at Christmas dinner this evening. Had I booked? No, but was invited. OK, we will fit you in.

Rain all the way down from Alton to Winchester.

Charged power bank on the way down. 75% full, though only used occasionally as flashlight since last charged on the bus two weeks ago.

Still charging on arrival in Winchester, journey of 50 minutes.

The output from the usb ports on the No 64 bus must be very low. Maybe deliberately low, as not to burn out any device being charged. There is no warning, use at own risk, thus bus company would be liable.

I would usually alight and walk down the hill, but cold and miserable day.

Very cold when I alight from the bus.

Concrete barriers in the street. No one knows why. Is Winchester expecting a terrorist attack?

Fewer stalls. And will get worse. Stallhlolders worried Council wish to reduce the number of stalls.

No consultation. The usual contempt for the people.

No consultation with stall holders, no consultation with people in the street. Usual dicktat.

A good street market, which sadly Winchester has not, pulls people in.

No one visits Clone Town, a town with the same crap chains as in every other town, selling the same sweatshop labour goods from the same Third World sweatshops

Ttagliatelle  off Sicilian stall.

I learn Flat White, the coffee stall, had opened a coffee shop. No one knew where. Odd no sign on their coffee stall proclaiming they have opened a coffee shop.

On checking, I find Stonemasons Court Parchment Street. I walked down Parchment Street, but where Stonemasons Court?  Press report wrong. Says no plans to open in other towns.  Not true,  Flat White opened a coffee shop in Southampton several months ago.

It was then to Coffee Lab Academy. Too cold to wander to the Christmas market.

Cappuccino and date slice.

No Dahn. I leave Coffee Art for him to sign.

Walking to catch the bus, I notice the grey concrete barriers merge into the background, no lights. Normally a barrier in the street has lights. An accident waiting to happen.

Power bank fully charged as reach Alton.

A table has been reserved for me at the Bikers Night Christmas dinner.

The full works, turkey and all the trimmings. Followed by a small slice of Christmas pudding served with brandy sauce.

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5 Responses to “Afternoon in Winchester”

  1. Tony Lea Says:

    How much did the cafe charge for the Christmas meal. It looks pretty good for café fare.

  2. Tony Lea Says:

    And great how everyone looked after you.

  3. keithpp Says:

    Alton Station Cafe is no ordinary greasy spoon cafe.

    Bikers night, every Wednesday night in the summer, once a month in the winter, put on a special meal.

    It is usually very good, everything they make and prepare. The rare occasions they do not, it is disgusting.

    And very cheap.

    Three weeks ago, I had excellent chicken curry and rice, in the summer, excellent moussaka.

    Tonight I was invited. You had to book. I was invited.

    As I left, I got out a tenner, about to add a pound, I had been told it was £11. The guy said, £12 but a tenner will do. No, I gave him two pounds.

    They are also very honest. A few weeks ago, I left hide change on the table. Next time I looked in, they handed it to me.

    A few week ago, it was bought in crap. They knew it was crap. They apologised and cooked me something else.

    It used to be run by an English family. They were good, and it was a disappointment when sold.

    But, these guys, Middle Eastern, are even better.

    I now make a point, Wednesday in Winchester, lunch off street food market, but only from the Sicilian guys, probably get food poisoning from anyone else (though there is an excellent cheese stall), then coffee at Coffee Lab (owned by UK barista latte art champion several years running, and won again in Leeds earlier this week), then eat at Alton Station Cafe.

    Come winter, cold dark nights, I was going to go straight home, but still stop off.

    Not now open again until the spring, at least for Bikers Night.

    The only other good place to eat in Alton, O’Connor’s Secret Garden, has sadly closed.

  4. Tony Lea Says:

    Wow excellent value.

    It is great that the Middle Easterners have actually exceeded the service of how the café was run.

    It proves the old adage if nothings wrong don’t change it. Unless of course you want to take the model to the next level.

    Looks like their honesty and kindness is extemporary.

    I have had a couple of breakfasts in there a while ago which were always very nice. Its now on my radar for a re-visit.

  5. keithpp Says:

    Yes, when it was known it was to be sold, there was grave concern. I too had reservations. But I am pleased they are doing a good job.

    I never used to have the bikers meal until I tried moussaka.

    They take great pride in what they cook.

    The usual price is around half of what the Christmas dinner cost.

    Quality good,and generous portion size.

    I have never understood why places serve bad food, sadly the norm.
    Any more than I have understood why anyone opens a coffee shop to serve bad coffee.

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