Celtic Baker sough dough bread
A lovely warm, if not hot in the sun, sunny day. Not what to expect when it is farmers market, as often cold and windy and raining. And not what to expect early April.
No sunflower seed wholemeal loaf off Celtic Baker. One greedy woman had taken four, and as a result they ran out early.
The pie man had Cornish pasties.
Guildford Allotment Society had a stall. I was surprised how many allotments in Guildford, though they may not have actually been in Guildford, could be the surrounding villages.
I suggested they opened up a social enterprise cafe in the town, as Russell Brand has with The Trew Era Cafe in Hackney or Skipchen in Bristol, supply it with surplus produce from the allotments.
Other ideas floated:
- In Switzerland, neighbours get together, each agreeing what to grow, this avoids all having the same surplus, and then swap the surplus.
- Guerilla gardening, identify public space, turn it into growing space.
- Identify unkempt gardens. Offer to grow produce, share 50:50 with the householder.
One thing I liked, some of the produce on their stall had been grown by a nine-year old girl. As it was school holiday, a pity she was not there to discuss what she had been growing.
I thought maybe soup in Glutton & Glee. Curried cauliflower. Er, no thanks.
Lunch in the Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage. When the owner is not there, it is not good, and today was one of those days. The service was appalling, surly, harassing people to leave when closed, and the food was not good either. My stomach was bad a few hours later.
Shocked to find The Joint, up market butcher in Jeffries Pasage, has closed. Their shop repossessed by Abbot’s Hospital who are the landlords. Why I do not know. Their prices were high, always busy, the staff always pleasant and helpful, though sadly the quality was not commensurate with their high prices. I suspect rip-off rents which is driving everyone out of business.
An example of rip-off rent. Ben’s Records runs a Record Fair in the Old Town Hall. It was £200 to rent, now £450. Whether this means Ben doubles the cost to the stalls to recover, I do not know. Absolutely no excuses for the rent hike, other than crass stupidity and greed by the local council.
Sometimes you get the impression, local councils wish to deliberately kill off all local businesses.
And yet, it is local specialist businesses like Ben’s Records that makes a trip to Guildford worthwhile.
Standards on the market must be improved. It is not acceptable to be serving food in polystyrene burger boxes or drinks in polystyrene cups, not when there are readily available alternatives and other markets set far higher standards.
If the Watercress Festival, music festivals, set high standards, why not Guildford?
Jimmy Bean on Winchester market serves the soup in a recyclable, compostable paper cup with a lid. If he can do it, why not everyone? And not even from specialist suppliers, easily obtainable from catering suppliers. He said cup product of Compost Me. And no great cost as is often offered as a pathetic excuse.
Hypocrisy from Guildford. Often a stall encouraging us to be more aware. Put their own house in order first. Not only put there own house in order, get the information out there, make sure everyone knows where they can get supplies from.
Yet another example of crass stupidity by the Council, monoliths (as they are known in the jargon), erected on the pavement. They are unsightly, and an obstruction. At least A-boards can be kicked over.
And to make matters worse, they are everywhere where there is a concentration of people and a pinch point. Outside the entrance to the Station, both ends of Bridge Street including on a busy traffic island where people are crossing the road, in the High Street.
I did see the Mayor loitering in the High Street. I should have collared him and asked for an explanation for this crass stupidity.
Yet more public money poured down the drain.
There is no innovation in councils. One council has a stupid idea, and they all follow like mindless sheep.
Coffee and cookie in Harris + Hoole.
There will be an additional market on St George’s Day, Thursday 23 April 2015. Note a Thursday not a Tuesday. I saw no publicity on any of the stalls. I am only aware because a couple of stallholders told me.