Archive for the ‘Aldershot’ Category

Rushmoor Concert Band

July 15, 2018

Passing through Aldershot on Saturday on my way to Farnham I happened upon a brass band playing in the bandstand in Princess Gardens.

The band, Rushmoor Concert Band, far outnumbered the audience, and in the absence of any meaningful publicity, they were probably like me only passing by.

There is a weekly programme of events of bands playing in the bandstand throughout the summer.

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Aldershot Armed Forces Day

June 30, 2018

Aldershot self-proclaimed Home of the British Army.

Town centre as usual deserted.  A handful of people in Princess Gardens, a fraction of for Victoria Day.

Dreadful music blasting out.  Norm for Aldershot.

A scattering of stalls.

Karuna Coffee was as Victoria Day serving V60 pour over coffee.  Clueless on coffee I did not bother to check it out as I very much doubt improved from last time I tried, and with their arrogant and abusive manner I doubt will have learnt how to pour V60 coffee.

Instead later in the afternoon, after visiting Farnham Carnival, in contrast packed, but disgusting fast food that would have done justice to Aldershot, it was excellent cold brew from Krema in Farnham using single origin Ethiopian coffee from Horsham Coffee Roasters, a coffee shop that is professional in the coffee business, a professional coffee roaster that engages in direct trade thus benefiting the growers and ensuring their dignity not forcing them into the FairTrade scam or reliant upon charity to send their kids to school.

Contrast Armed Forces Day in Aldershot with Armed Forces Day in Guildford that ended with opera from the balcony of the Old Town Hall to a packed High Street.  Launch of Guildford Fringe Festival, a month of cultural events.

 

Mango Bean closed

June 12, 2018

Mango Bean has closed, adding to a long list of retailers that have closed in Aldershot.

Looking down the street, a row of boarded-up shops, no life on the streets.

Mango Bean closed a few months ago. The only surprise that it did not close months ago.

It was a franchise coffee shop. The interior grim, the coffee awful, the person running the franchise arrogant and rude, clueless on coffee.

Mango Bean would form an excellent case study on running a coffee shop, or how not to.

If know nothing nothing about coffee, do not open a coffee shop. There are plenty of places where can drink bad coffee, do not add to the list.

If know about coffee, why open a franchise? And if are going to fall for a franchise scam, at least pick a known franchise, otherwise what are you paying for.

Anyone opening a business on the centre of Aldershot would be foolish as the streets deserted, and the demographics of those on the streets is people with no money.

A town infamous for its disgusting fast food outlets, the last place to open a speciality coffee shop.

Sirloin steak The Queen Hotel

June 12, 2018

Visits to The Queen Hotel are more and more infrequent, each rare occasion is worse than before.

The good staff from when it opened have long gone.  The food is terrible.

I was surprised to find The Little Beer Corporation on tap. Maybe they had surplus beer Wetherspoon picked up on the cheap.

My meal was not good, service terrible, the usual drunks blocking the bar.

Once again I remind myself why I avoid pubs, frequent instead coffee shops and restaurants.

Wetherspoon News (summer 2018) had two bullshit articles.  One from Tim Martin praising LavAzza as quality coffee, the other from head of Camra talking complete bullshit on why pubs are closing (no mention of pubcos).

There are only two places to eat in Aldershot, Caffe Macchiato and Indonesia street food restaurant.

There is nowhere in Aldershot for coffee.

Something very very rotten Lidl Aldershot

May 12, 2018

There is something very very rotten with Lidl in Aldershot.

This evening around 1940, a little before it closed, walked into Lidl in Aldershot with a friend.

The only reason we were there was because Lidl Farnham was out of stock of what we were looking for. As we knew what we wanted, we headed to what we wanted, picked up, headed straight to cash tills.

As we walked in past end of aisles, I noticed boxes scattered on the floor, a trip hazard.

The tills not manned, a scruffy looking woman standing near the tills but otherwise doing nothing, did not offer to man a till, nor did she offer help when not all the automated tills appeared to be working. When my friend queried which were working the woman looked straight through her as though she did not exist.

On leaving I commented we were being followed around the store. No soonest had I voiced my observations than a Nepalese security guard blocked our way and demanded to look in our bags. I refused and we walked out of the store.

There was no grounds to stop us, we were not acting suspiciously, and as my friend noted, it was obvious what we were carrying was not from Lidl.

If this was racist behaviour by the Nepalese security guard, then not an isolated incident at the store, as has happened before.

Earlier we were in Lidl Farnham and the experience could not have been different. The staff were helpful, checked what we were looking for, courteous at checkout, which was manned, and no we were were not stopped on leaving, even though we had wandered around the store and were carrying the same goods as in Aldershot.

It is common knowledge there is something rotten at Lidl Aldershot, and yet still no action by Lidl CEO.

We await an apology but are not holding our breath.

Aldershot Christmas Fayre

December 16, 2017

Aldershot Christmas Fayre, a couple of fairground rides obstructing the street, Rotary Club trailer blaring out distorted music, a stage with people who could not play, a coffee stall, and the streets deserted.

The streets are always deserted in Aldershot, therefore nothing new.

No publicity for the Christmas Fayre if that was what it was.

I saw no one buy from the coffee stall, and those manning it looked bored stiff, or maybe they were merely frozen stiff.

On the stall, one whole section occupied by KeepCup. Now I have nothing against KeepCup, if it cuts down waste, 2.5 billion throwaway coffee cups every year, though it is addressing the symptom not the cause, and it makes some sense if a coffee shop is selling KeepCup and offers a substantial discount on takeaway coffee if used by regular customers, but what use a stall that will not be seen again?

In the summer there is a music festival, it too is poorly attended, lack of publicity, people who cannot play.  The Christmas Fayre, if that was what it was, more of the same.

If wish to enjoy a Christmas Market then visit Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market.

Cappuccino at Vero

December 14, 2017

 

Yesterday late lunch at Caffe Macchiato. On leaving I check the bags of coffee. Roasted at Vero.

Hard to tell, the Ethiopian had a caramel aroma. If nothing else, indicated a light roast.

Hence cappuccino at Vero. I wished to try the Ethiopian.

I have only had a coffee a couple of times in the past, both times not good, the second time a marginal improvement, therefore at least heading in the right direction.

I would have liked to have tried the Ethiopian, but what was on offer was from Costa Rica. I could maybe have asked for the Ethiopian, but never very helpful, therefore stuck with the Costa Rican.

I asked were they now choosing a lighter roast. Sadly no intelligent response.

The bags at least give country of origin, the estate, but no roast date. Best by is meaningless. Contrast with Cupsmith, no roast date, no information, silly names.

My cappuccino not great, though an improvement on previous visits. Not helped by chocolate dumped on top. What is the point of serving single origin coffee if dunk chocolate on top, as any subtle flavours are lost?

Why do coffee shops not know, you do not dump chocolate on a cappuccino? Or if tempted at the very least ask.

I suggested why not a V60, but was met with a blank look and monosyllabic response.

Vero in addition to roasting and serving coffee, a wide selection of loose leaf tea. I counted 29 jars.

Vero potentially could  be a good coffee shop, at least heading in the right direction, but still a long way to go.

Lunch at Waroeng Windsor Indonesian street food

December 14, 2017

The shop front has been changed at local council expense, to look Victorian, only it does not.

I had looked in yesterday, no Ayam Woku. We will have tomorrow.

I look today, no Ayam Woku.

It is suggested I try Ayam Bakar Paniki, chicken with bones.

As I learn when served, what they meant was a leg of chicken. This I explained.

The leg of chicken was slightly under cooked. This too I explained, that they must cook for a little longer.

Quibbles apart, as always excellent lunch at Waroeng Windsor.

Aldershot  is infamous for its disgusting junk food, closed boarded up shops, a place of desolation, where even the Pound Shops pull out.  Waroeng Windsor is a rare exception of somewhere worth eating in Aldershot and making a trip for.

Dysfunctional Stagecoach

November 22, 2017

A bus pass is a bus pass, it is valid across the country no matter where issued, but try telling that to the bus drivers.

Today a bus driver caused great distress to an elderly lady, refusing to allow her to board a bus, claiming, falsely, that her bus pass was not valid.

The bus was in Hampshire, the bus pass issued in Bristol.

The driver claimed the bus pass had expired. This was simply not true, it was a valid bus pass.

He held up the bus for several minutes arguing with the lady, even though she had a valid bus pass.

The driver was clueless how to even use the bus pass.

If placed on the machine, it will fail, it has to be held above the machine.

The lady when asked, said she had not had a problem before using her bus pass.

But even if there was a fault with either the bus pass or machine, all the driver had to do was issue a paper ticket for the journey.

What you do not do is hold up a  bus for several minutes arguing over a fare of a  few pence.

The lady apologised to passengers for holding up the bus.

It was not for the lady to apologise, it was for the driver to apologise.

No apology from the driver.

Aldershot Christmas Market

November 18, 2017

Passing through Aldershot on my way to Farnham, a rather sad affair of a Christmas Market in Union Street.

A handful of stalls selling rubbish.  A brass band, and sheds selling junk food.

The sheds have made an appearance the last few years. Now Union Street has the appalling stench of their food for the next few months.

Does Aldershot not already have a bad enough image for its disgusting junk food outlets without taking it further down market, if that is possible?

Once again an example of the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor does not care about Aldershot.

A far superior Christmas Market in Farnham.

At  a guess, the Christmas Market was for turning on the Christmas lights, as when I passed through later, I saw the Christmas lights were on.

Why so early, why not wait until early December?

I like what they did in Winchester, instead of wasting money on a so-called celebrity, they had the local Big Issue seller turn on the Christmas lights.