Afternoon in Winchester

A strange day.  Cloudy and yet very warm. Only walking down Magdalen Hill cool. Had the sun come out or clear blue sky it would have been very hot.

On the way down rolling hills, yellow with ripening wheat. At least I assume wheat, it could be barley, oats doubtful.

I pass by the site for Boom Town under construction. It is huge. This year 9-13 August 2018.

On the street food market I keep hoping the Sicilian guys will revert back to their excellent pasta, not the disgusting food they now sell, but hope in vein. It is tragic, they had an excellent food product, and now they have rubbish. Everyone I speak to is of the same opinion. People have told them and yet they do not listen. To say the least, perverse.

I find Coffee Lab open. Sadly they now close at three.

I make the mistake of not buying their guest coffee from Clifton which they tell me is every good.

Clifton Coffee are not doing their reputation any good by supplying coffee to Cosy Club, a corporate chain, a fake 1930s bar, so fake it is a parody of fake.

I learn Dhan is around.

On my way to Coffee Lab Academy, I spot Dhan at a table by the window, he spots me, smiles and waves.

I walk in and we greet each other. We have not seen each other since last year. I pass greetings from baristas I met in Athens last year. So long ago, I can no longer remember who.  I tell him of some of the coffee shops.

He kindly signs a copy of Coffee Art which I wish to give as  a gift and makes me a cappuccino.

It is then to The Square for lunch. They warn me in Coffee Lab Academy I am too late for lunch.

They are correct. Lunch now ceases at two. When nothing on the street food market, I think no problem, excellent lunch at The Square.

Winchester is weird. Everywhere stops serving food at two. If you are lucky three.

The Square was serving food into the afternoon, but the residents of Winchester are now so brainwashed into believing no food after two, that The Square had no custom after two.

What I have suggested is they follow the example of Just Made 33 or 200 Degrees, freshly made food, once it has gone its has gone.

No Laura today.  Off ill. I ask wish her well.

It was then to Flat Whites Coffee Shop.

They prepared me something to eat. It was not good.

It is rare to find coffee shops with good food.

I try their cold brew. It is OK, but not great. I am sure the last time, it was not concentrate, then watered down.

Two new guest coffees from The Good Coffee Cartel.

In a tin, as though a tin of meths. Not sure this is a good idea. The idea is reuse the tin, but from where the beans to top up the tin? It is not like going into Grocer and Grain and topping up with olive oil.

I am now back to my original dilemma, where to eat in Winchester. A tourist city that has nowhere to eat. Utterly bizarre.

Now too late to buy anything off the cheeses stall. We have a chat,  and had a short chat earlier.

I tell him of the turkey stall on Guildford farmers market and Godalming street food market and the ludicrous advice given to stallholders, poultry and turkey sausages sat on the stall in these high temperatures. He said even with refrigeration, he is having difficulty keeping the cheese cool, and some days has had to pack up early, otherwise would have to throw the cheese away.

I mention Re-Inventing the Wheel. He knows the book but has not read. I ask of Salers Tradition, from the Auvergne, made in 45 kg wheels. He knows the cheese, knows the area, has a  house there and has recently returned.

A couple of weeks ago, I was to have attended a talk at Pufrock, Bronwen Percival and James Hoffman on cheese and coffee. It was cancelled at short notice It is due to be held again end of July or early August I will let him know if I learn more.

Back to The Square. A cappuccino and a cake.

I stay until a little after seven, catch 1920 bus. It is tempting to go for a walk, catch 2020 bus.

Five coffee shops visited, five if I count Flat Whites van.  A coffee in three.

Nothing left at Alton Station Cafe. It was chicken curry, I had looked in earlier on my way down to Winchester.

I would have liked moussaka They often used to have moussaka, and I never tried,  once I tried and could not believe how good.  In Athens and Cyprus not as good, but the bikers do not like and they do not make any more. I suggested do a special for the bikers, but also a small amount of moussaka.

Wednesday night is Bikers Night, but now they are becoming a  pain, too many are turning up.

I walk in Waitrose. Long queue in Waitrose. I walk out. No trains. I go back. Train turns up. Not leaving until 2115. There has been no trains since 1735 which did not turn up.

Does Waitrose hate customers? The cheese counter was closed at least twenty minutes before the store closed.

I arrive home at ten.

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