Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Lamb burger with sweet potato chips at Lion and Lamb Cafe and Restaurant

July 15, 2017

Whenever I walk by Lion and Lamb Cafe and Restaurant in Lion and Lamb Yard in Farnham it is empty. There is a reason for this, the food is awful and expensive, though the menu is enticing.

I inquired of the menu. The reason I enquired is experience has taught me  what it says is not what is on offer.

I returned later, to be told to sit outside as two parties of loud drunk women inside.

They should have told me this earlier, but at least the girl did apologise.

Lamb burger with sweet potato chips ordered. Not long coming. It looked disgusting.  It was disgusting.

When I cut into the lamb burger, it was not cooked.

To put in context. A burger at The Queen Hotel, a Wetherspoon pub in Aldershot, is better, cheaper and you get a pint of real ale.

A couple of weeks ago, a 9 oz burger from a stall at the Street Food Picnic at Allen House Grounds in Guildford was vastly superior, and it came as an extra with a side of new potatoes. But then it was a quality burger, that from Lion and Lamb Cafe and Restaurant anything but.

The only thing good about the experience was the girl serving was pleasant and polite.

I learnt later from their website, that serve artisan coffee. I saw no evidence of this.

I have been here a couple of times before, it was bad then, and nothing has improved.

I checked to see what TripAdvisor had to say. Once again, glowing reviews that are not true.

As I said to the couple who walked away, good luck finding anywhere decent to eat in Farnham.


Affogato Dylan’s ice cream

July 7, 2017

An affogato at Dylan’s ice cream in The Village.

A dollop of vanilla ice cream, a single shot of espresso, Ideally a double shot, but would not have fitted in the tub.

It was excellent, though I was left with a  liquid mess in the bottom of the tub.  Maybe I should have eaten sooner, as very hot day, over 30C.

Godalming Food Festival

July 1, 2017

A quick tour, then popped into Cafe Mila.

The Godalming Food Company have marginally improved the coffee they are flogging, but there is far better quality coffee around from quality coffee roasters.

Appalled at the rubbish ice cream van. Disgusted at the engine left running all day.  Why no Dylan’s ice cream serving quality ice cream?

Bins overflowing with rubbish.

I contrast with the street food party in Lower Marsh two days ago to launch Waterloo Food Month where not only were the bins regularly emptied, men were walking up and down the street with sacks collecting rubbish off people.

Waverley,  a useless council if ever there was one, need to get their act together. They know there is a street food festival all day, step up rubbish collection accordingly.

Low environmental standards.  Why are stalls allowed to use polystyrene burger-style boxes?

Excellent rhythm and blues band playing in The Pepperpot mid-afternoon.  A must for Staycation Live. Maybe also have play The Village in Guildford, which to date has been an unmitigated disaster.

I looked in the Goldalming Museum. Something I must do more often, as they always have an interesting art exhibition worth visiting.

I looked in Cafe Mila. Pleased to see they had changed their coffee. I went back later, had a coffee. Not bad but not great. I have reservations on Cupsmith, who I have never heard of. No information on the bags of coffee, and calling a coffee Breakfast Coffee, is meaningless.  Best by is also meaningless. At the very minimum, roast date, where sourced from and if single origin or a blend.

How much information to put on a bag of beans was discussed at Union Summer Carnival. Every bean has a story to tell.

Go into Waitrose and check out coffee beans from Union Hand-Roasted Coffee.

Cafe Mila often have interesting books dotted around. I quickly browsed Coffee. Glossy pictures, text on glossy paper making difficult to read. The contributors not experts on coffee.  Not recommended. There are far better books on coffee.

A few ideas tossed around whilst at Cafe Mila. Try Karuna Coffee, or at the very least as a guest coffee. Consider next art exhibition entitled coffee. Could be still life of a coffee, a coffee scene outside a coffee shop. The opening could be a coffee festival held in Angel’s Court.

I also gave a copy of Waterloo Food Month Gastro Passport. Could do the same in Godalming, use street food festival as the launch party for a  Godalming Food Month.

I recommended copies of Caffeine, help yourself, Standart to browse or for sale. If for sale, Cafe Mila would be on the Standart distribution map.

The food festival finished at five o’clock, but stalls were packing up at least half an hour before. Then idiots were driving through at speed, with risk of injury, other idiots illegally parking on footpath, engine running, obstructing the highway.  A bus even tried to get through.

At five, allow stall vehicles through to dismantle stalls, then open at six.

Local businesses do not like the food festival as they see takings fall. This is short sighted. It brings many more people into Godalming, who see what is in the town. Maybe they will return.

I could have eaten in Cafe Mila. I did not, as there was much on offer in the street, but I did return mid-afternoon, had a drink and a cake.  I noticed although empty inside, there were many people sat outside.

A chat with Godalming Mayor, who is also the local butcher.  He was interested to hear these observations. At least as the local butcher, folks can bend his ear.

A clash, Southampton had a coffee festival on the same day.

Guildford farmers market, first Tuesday of the month.

Staycation Live, first weekend in August.

Love & Scandal

June 22, 2017

A detour to Lower Marsh to investigate a street food market I happened upon Love & Scandal.


Would I like to try a coffee?

Yes, but sorry no time, I am on my way to a coffee festival, Union Summer Carnival at Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, somewhere in Docklands, one of the top coffee roasters in the country.

Maybe later, If I have time.

On leaving Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, I decided I would return.

Too hot to sit outside, we sat outside discussing Cyprus, Turkey, the divided island and the Middle East. It turned out my host was a Turkish-Cypriot. Interesting to hear from the other side.

Eventually I got around to ordering falafel wrap, hummus and salad. Followed by a cappuccino.

The coffee used, a blend form Alchemy, Opus Espresso v 12.  Like Pioneer from Horsham Coffee Roasters, the blend is seasonally adjusted to attempt to retain a similar flavour profile, cocoa, hazelnut, orange.

I had not heard of Alchemy, but speaking to a  Greek barista at Union Summer Carnival, he said it was a highly regarded coffee roaster.

Only for the last couple of weeks, Love & Alchemy has been opening in the evening as a bistro.

Sadly I was the only one there.

On leaving sometime after ten o’clock, I was surprised to find a man with a van from Grimsby selling fresh fish.



Street Food Picnic 2017

June 17, 2017

This is the  third annual Street Food Picnic in Allen House Grounds.

It is one of those events spread by word of mouth.

Last year, I saw leaflets in a Thai takeaway. This year in the Tourist Information Office.

Basketball courts had food stalls, a grassy area for people to relax.

Live music in the food area. From what I saw mid-afternoon onward, dreadful.

In the grassy area, a guy playing reggae.

A pleasant relaxing atmosphere.

A wide range of food stalls.

A burger off one stall. Yes I know, not very adventurous. But this was a quality burger, not the disusing crap served in McDonald’s.

For me at 9 oz, too big. And I had a side of potatoes.

I could have done with a beer to wash it down.

It would have been nice to have  had a decent bar.

I suggest invite The Little Beer Corporation to run a bar. They did an excellent job at Staycation Live last year in Godalming.

Need a coffee stall, a coffee stall serving decent coffee. Invite Karuna Coffee to run a coffee stall.

One stall was serving milkshakes, topped with ice cream, topped with two cakes. I did not want the cakes. The ice cream was poor quality ice cream, maybe in part because it was vegan.

I suggested they checked out the amazing milk shakes at Miyu Coffee.

I also recommended that they did not use Instagram, instead upload pictures direct to twitter and facebook.  Instagram claim rights to pictures and pictures are not visible on twitter

No milk alternatives to dairy products rarely work.

Next year invite Dylan’s Ice Cream.

Dylan’s Ice Cream can be found at The Village and during the summer on the farmers market firts Tuesday of the month.

I would also suggest invite Bedda, two Sicilian guys serving amazing pasta.

A very hot day.

I was hesitant on a street food festival in Allen House Grounds. It is away from the town centre. On the other hand it had an atmosphere it would not have had in the High Street.

In the High Street people would have had have a bite to eat and passed on. At Allen House Grounds they stayed, relaxed and enjoyed the day.

I stopped off on the way at The Village. Early afternoon and it was as dead as I saw on Friday, late afternoon and early evening. The moronic music blasting out is not helping.

Hottest day of the year, 27C in London.

Guildford farmers market first Tuesday of the month.

Farnham Carnival last weekend of June 2017

Godalming Food Festival Saturday 1 July 2017

Staycation Live first weekend of August 2017.

Guildford farmers market

June 7, 2017

A blustery  day.

Many stallholders failed to turn up, others turned up then packed up, the market started to pack up early  afternoon.

All in all a wasted trip.

Depressing to see stallholders buying drinking coffee from Costa and tax-dodging Caffè Nero. Support local producers, do as we say, not as we do.

Why no indie coffee stall on the market, one at the top one at the bottom of the market? Stalls serving speciality coffee, roasted locally.

Godalming has an excellent street food market in July, why not Guildford, why not August, along the High Street, overflow into Tunsgate? It is not too late to organise for August or September.

There is one in Allen House Grounds. Waste of time, wrong location, few are aware.

Bedda, two Sicilian guys serving excellent pasta are a must for the market. They have applied, why have they not been invited?

A new coffee coffee  shop Esquires Coffee has opened top of the High Street. Do not waste the effort  on a trek to the top of the High Street as wasted effort.  Not worth a visit. Clueless on coffee.  Two serving could  not have been more miserable  if they tried.

Guildford farmers market is held first Tuesday of the month.

Street Food Picnic Allen House Grounds 17 June 2017.

Godalming Food Festival 1 July 2017.

The Dispensary Kitchen

June 3, 2017

Although I was earlier than usual in Winchester, I was too late to have a coffee at Coffee Lab due to time spent at the street food market.

This though proved to be a mixed blessing, as I found The Dispensary Kitchen.

Earlier I had been recommended to try by the bank manger in Santander. Coffee Lab also recommended I try.

Banks managers used to flog dodgy financial products, for which a few years down the line the bank would be hit with multi-million pound fines. Now they play safe and recommend coffee shops.

A Victorian building, which has been sympathetically restored, stark modern furniture which provides a pleasant contrast.

A long chat with the owner, who also made me a cappuccino.

He actually apologised, was not the barista, but no reason to apologise, it was an excellent coffee.

Beans a blend, Elixir 22, sourced from The Roasting Party, the same roastery that supplies Einstein and Heisenberg blends to Coffee Lab.

Named 22, as use 22 grams of coffee, the norm is 18.

A light roast, though not as light as the single origin roasts by Makusihi, which I am starting to think may be too light.

A fresh bag was opened for me. Not much of a aroma.

I kept the bag for reference. Journey home, wonderful aroma of the coffee wafting by.

Currently 1 kg bags. They may have smaller for retail sale.

Later in the evening The Dispensary Kitchen  turns into a restaurant.

A good idea, as makes better use of resources.

I have never understood the coffee shops in Guildford that close at five o’clock, turning away customers.

It is always a pleasure to visit a new coffee shop and be served excellent coffee.

Very new, had only opened the week before.

Winchester needs more quality businesses like this that take a pride in the quality of service and what they serve. Local businesses that recycle money within the local economy, not chains that serve rubbish and drain the local economy.

Winchester is starting to develop its own coffee culture: Flat Whites, Coffee Lab, Coffee Lab Academy, and now The Dispensary Kitchen. It was only a year ago that Coffee Lab opened.

Taverna Kamasias

May 28, 2017

The week before we had eaten at Ocean Basket in Ayia Napa. A big mistake, the food disgusting, service terrible, the KFC or McDonald’s of seafood.

Last year we ate at Papa’s fish and chips. Misleading, as although it is a fish n chip shop, it is also an excellent fish restaurant. Excellent sea bream.

Wednesday night Nicolas Tavern or Taverna Kamasias?

I was told that at Taverna Kamasias the sea bream even better than at Papa’s fish and chips.

I assumed Taverna Kamasias was a fish restaurant. I was wrong, a Greek-Cypriot taverna, strictly speaking a meze house serving fish and meat meze.

I asked was the fish freshly caught? I was told yes.

We ordered a Greek salad. This was served with bread and pitta bread.

For starter, we decided on what we had at Papa’s fish and chips, fingers of cheese, fried, covered in sesame seeds.

We must have got the name wrong. What was served, molten cheese in a bowl with hot tomatoes. It did not look appetising, but was delicious.

Then came the sea bream, my companion chose a seafood platter.

Both were excellent.

The seafood platter included very tiny crabs as find on the beach.

We could have taken our own wine. I did not know this. I could have brought a bottle of red wine from Melissonas Hill Vineyard, though it would not have gone with the fish.

A side dish of vegetables.

Neighbouring table had steak served on a wooden platter. Another table snails.

We did not order dessert, nevertheless a dessert arrived. Slices of watermelon, a couple of strawberries, a couple of Greek cakes and something I did not know what it was served in a jar of honey.

To one side, large loudspeakers, imply must be a venue for live music.

On arrival, maybe around eight o’clock, almost empty. When we left, a little before eleven o’clock, the place was heaving.

What we did not know was this was Black Angus steak night. Yes, it was chalked up, but I assumed it was one of the dishes on offer.

We then drove through Protaras. It was deserted, the bars and restaurants empty. The local economy destroyed by all-inclusive hotels.

Taverna Kamasias, one of the best places to eat in Cyprus, indeed one of the best places I have eaten.

Ocean Basket Ayia Napa

May 18, 2017

If you want bad overpriced seafood coupled with piss-poor service then Ocean Basket in Ayia Napa is the place to eat.

There are good fish restaurants in the locality, in Protaras and Paralimni, but this is not one of them.

We had intended to eat at a fish restaurant in Paralimni. A big mistake that we chose to eat at Ocean Basket instead.

Dips and menu arrived promptly, though no mention of what the dips were, no bread.

A long wait before our order was taken. After half an hour or more had passed, we summoned a waitress. She did not want to know. A waiter was summoned. He at least apologised. He thought our order had already been taken.

Once our order was taken the food arrived promptly. Too promptly to be freshly cooked.

The fish n chips was disgusting. The cod not fresh, the chips not freshly cooked.

Any fish n chip shop in England that served this would not survive long in business.

The seafood platter looked ok, but was cold.

The bread never did arrive.

The toilets tucked behind the bar were not hard to find, follow the smell. They were though clean.

We should have walked out and left the food untouched.

The McDonald’s or KFC of seafood.

A place to be avoided.

My dining companion who chose the seafood platter in less than an hour of eating, had bad attack of food poisoning and had to run to the toilet.

Try Papa’s fish and chips (a fish restaurant)  or Kamasias. Both are in Paralimni.

We then drove through the centre of Ayia Napa. Nighttime and yet the streets were all but deserted, the restaurants and bars empty. As with nearby Protaras, another resort where local economy destroyed by all-inclusive hotels.

Cottage pie at Alton Station Cafe

May 3, 2017

Wednesday night, bikers night. Though few bikers, too cold and wet.

This little black shed is not where to expect high quality food. Be pleasantly surprised.

I was looking forward to moussaka, no moussaka.

A choice of cottage pie or a chicken casserole.

I opted for the cottage pie, and they knocked out a salad to go with it.

The cottage pie was excellent. So good, I could have done with seconds.

I opted for crumble and custard, which also was good.

I mentioned O’Connor’s Secret Garden appeared to have closed. I suggested they looked into taking it on, provided they did not change it.