Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Cappuccino at nova gea

October 13, 2016
cappuccino and cereal bar

cappuccino and cereal bar

Cappuccino and cereal bar at nova gea.

There are two, one in Plaka, the other off Syntagma.

The one off Syntagma is not in a good location, located on a six-lane highway opposite the entrance to the National Garden.

The cappuccino was reasonable.

Dinner in Plaka

October 12, 2016

Excellent pork souvlaki with salad at Plaka Restaurant. 

For starters vegetable soup.

Zinger at nova gea

October 12, 2016



Zinger at this excellent juice bar nova gea.

Zinger: Three carrots, one apple, one orange, piece of ginger.

Served in a jam jar.

Also to eat excellent wrap with humus, tomato, carrot and broccoli.

Champagne breakfast

October 8, 2016

This morning champagne breakfast by the sea. 

Food waste by Morrisons

September 15, 2016

Morrisons Cafe in Aldershot, used to late afternoon, mark down their cakes to ensure none left.

Not anymore. Now official edict, no cakes to be reduced until last hour.

Staff used their initiative, judged when to mark down the cakes. They shifted the cakes, no waste.

But it appears, initiative is not welcome in Morrisons.

An overpaid fool descended on the local Morrison store, threw a wobbly when he saw cakes reduced half an hour before the official sanctioned mark down time.

Now one would think, this overpaid fool would have better things to occupy his mind, like service, strategy, that the food served in this cafe is often disgusting, but no, cakes reduced half an hour too early. He should have been praising the staff for showing initiative, not criticising.

For the sake of making the price, Morrisons would rather see food waste than stock cleared.

Guildford farmers market back in the High Street

September 6, 2016
Guildford farmers market back in High Street

Guildford farmers market back in High Street

After an absence of many months, with loss of most of the clientele and stalls dropping off month by month, Guildford farmers market is finally back in the High Street.

The High Street was busy, though not for want of publicity. More should have been done to publicise and to make the return to the High Street a special event.

From conversations I overheard, there may have been many people, maybe end of school holidays, but they were not there for the farmers market. People were genuinely surprised at finding it was there, were asking how often, when will you be back?

Stalls reported the same. A curious interest, people browsing, but not buying.  Though they of course did a far better trade than the car park which was always deserted.

Dylan’s ice cream did not seem to be doing its usual trade. Hardly surprising. The owner not there. A lad, more interested playing with his phone and listening on his headphones, than actually doing a day’s work and serving customers. Then he vanished, leaving the van with a closed sign.

The majority of stalls appear to have reappeared. Although I did not see the man with his pies. I thought the fish cake stall was not there, but then found them

Stalls said they pulled out of the car park, because they could not sustain the losses.

Excellent sweetcorn off Secrett’s Farm. As were the Marjoram plums.

From the apple stall, apples and apple juice.

Celtic Baker seeded wholemeal loaf and a couple of date slices.

Dosa to eat for my lunch from Ollo Foods.

Ollo Foods with their Indian food would be an ideal stall for Staycation Live.

There is still no tea or coffee stall on the farmers market. It is time this omission was addressed. For quality tea or coffee, choose from Vintage Pop Up Tea Room found in Gostrey Meadow in Farnham on a Saturday during the summer, Flat White on street food market in Winchester on a Wednesday, The HoBo Co or Jimmy Bean. For beans, Surrey Hills Coffee, who now have a coffee shop in Chapel Street, just off the High Street.
A very warm and humid day. Possible 25C. Why then stalls with meat sitting all day on the stall in the heat? Why is Environmental Heath turning a blind eye?

At 2-30, I found a guide at Tunsgate who was giving a free guided tour of Victorian buildings in Guildford. I expected a lot of people. There were two ladies, one from the States. I said I would join but had a couple of stalls to visit. I caught  up with them at Holy Trinity Church.

Inside Holy Trinity, half a dozen ceramic pieces on exhibit. I assume that is the art exhibition.

Holy Trinity has an apse. Maybe not true for Holy Trinity, but this feature, as did many features of English churches, come from El Camino de Santiago. The purpose was, as the altar would often have some relic, to aid circulation around the altar.

On the far wall, Holy Trinity used to have  a row of windows at ground level below the existing windows. Not that they would have let in much light as the below the ground level outside.

I always thought the mound behind the church was the existence of a chamber beneath. Apparently not. It was simply the spoil dumped there when work was done on the church.

Many of the buildings in Guildford designed by Henry Peake.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Alice Through the Looking Glass

A detour in the Castle Grounds, designed by Henry Peake, to show the lady from the US, Alice Through the Looking Glass.

As we passed down Quarry Street, I draw attention to the Victorian porch on the church and the plans by Methodists, who appear to have hijacked  St Mary’s, to demolish  the Victorian porch and replace with a toilet block. Our guide was suitably horrified, the first he had heard of this.

refreshing green smothie in what used to be Glutton & Glee

refreshing green smoothie in what used to be Glutton & Glee

After our tour, a much needed smoothie in what used to be Glutton & Glee. As I walked in, not long gone 4-30, greeted by ‘We close at five’. Why oh why do they not stay open later in the summer? To close at five is far too early.

Peake's Pond in Castle Grounds

Peake’s Pond in Castle Grounds

Sat in the Castle Grounds reading Debt.

1900 train to Aldershot running 15 minutes late. Which then meant missed bus.

Coffee from Grocer and Grain

September 4, 2016
Grocer and Grain

Grocer and Grain

On a visit to Brighton, on my way down from Brighton Station to the seafront, I popped in Grocer and Grain.

An excellent little grocery shop, always a pleasure to visit but not from where one would expect to be served quality coffee.

Grocer and Grain is a little grocery shop on a corner, a couple of minute walk down from Brighton Station. It used to be a quite street, until for whatever dumb reason, the traffic was diverted through this street.

Always a delight to visit. Cakes, bread, grains, fruit and vegetables, plants and cut flowers, a range of different coffee beans. And they also serve coffee.

Delightful selection of cakes, coffee beans sourced from three different companies. Widest selection of Union Hand Roasted I have seen anywhere.

Grocer and Grain also serves coffee and yet Union refuse to supply 1 kg bags, which is very short-sighted of Union. They  sources from a fourth company, who roast the beans locally, for the coffee they serve.

I had a cappuccino, which was excellent.  A little grocery shop, is not where you expect to find excellent coffee, but then Grocer and Grain excel  at everything they do.

Later in the evening, finding open, I picked up one of their cakes. During the afternoon, I had visited Coffee at 33 and had an excellent cappuccino. I suggested source coffee beans from Coffee at 33 and sell their beans.

Excellent soup in Barista Lounge

September 3, 2016

Fine drizzle. As I reached Downing Street, the heavens opened. I just made Barista Lounge before I was soaked.

Excellent soup. Wild mushroom with spinach and rice. Nice presentation too.

I am not sure why, the cook came and had a chat with me. Asked me what I thought. I told her it was excellent. I am not sure she believed me.

I cannot say that of the coffee. It was not good. Not bad, but could be better.  They need to source better coffee beans. It was also too hot.

The coffee is variable.

I have had excellent coffee, undrinkable coffee and not so good coffee.

Barista Lounge closes at five. I am surprised for summer not six, though Farnham is quiet after four. I was there to almost six. I would have got soaked if I had left earlier.

Gail’s Artisan Bakery

August 20, 2016
Gail's Artisan Bakery

Gail’s Artisan Bakery

I was told there was a new bakery in Castle Street, where you could also eat out the back.

I needed a loaf of bread, and therefore decided to check it out, then return to Downing Street for a coffee.

Very little choice, no wholemeal bread. Staff were apologetic, said it had been a busy day, and had sold out.

I saw they had soup. Anything to eat. Sorry,  kitchen closed at three.

They had sandwiches, but ludicrous price.  £5 to take out, £6 to eat in.

To put this price in context, I can have lunch in the Thai Restaurant in Jeffries  Passage for this price.

I decided on the soup. Small or large? I decided on small.

I had the soup at a table outside. I think it was tomato and red pepper. It was excellent and generous portion. Served with a small piece of bread. I asked for butter and salt. This was brought out to me, as was the soup and a roll. Salt rock salt, butter in a little dish.

The small roll, and it was small, with smoked salmon was good.

I was asked would I like a coffee?

I had intended to visit Krema in Downing Street where I knew I would get an excellent coffee and flapjack. But decided as I was there, and to save walking down to Downing Street, I would stay and at least try the coffee.

It was not good. Not disgusting as tax-dodging Starbucks or Costa, but not good.

The coffee should have been much better, as beans were from Union Hand Roasted, same roaster as used by Harris + Hoole and Taylor Street Baristas, but nowhere near their standard.

The cookie I enjoyed.

If I had wished to eat, I was too late, as kitchen was closed, it was a choice of breakfast or breakfast, which was served until three.  As with the sandwich, expensive, and there was nothing I fancied.

Why not serve breakfast until midday, lunch until three, then afternoon tea and cakes?

The ambience where the cakes were served was quite pleasant, but further in somewhat stark, more like a prison environment.

I sat at a table, but in reality a piece of wood sticking out from the wall, another for a seat, only enough room for one person, and elbow bashed the wall. I was sat in a corridor. I could have gone further in.

Completely lacking in ambience.

Water, help yourself.

This is now quite commonplace.

On the table were free postcards. This was a clever idea, cheap publicity. Also a little fold out chart, but differed from the reality of Farnham.

The staff were excellent, very pleasant and helpful.

Gail’s class themselves as a neighbourhood bakery. Not really. It is a purveyor of very expensive breads and cakes and sandwiches, a bread shop cum coffee shop cum cafe. It is a chain. The entire environment screamed corporate.

Gail's Artisan Bakery Cookbook

Gail’s Artisan Bakery Cookbook

On sale was their own cookbook, Gail’s Artisan Bakery Cookbook.

Loyalty card unusual, stamped if bought a loaf or a coffee. But had to collect nine stamps.

Gail’s open until seven in the evening. I cannot see any point opening beyond six as no one about.  Contrast with Guildford where the indie coffee shops shut at five, turning custom away.

I can recommend the soup. The bread I did not try, apart from my roll, which was good. The coffee not good. Try Krema in Downing Street or Barista Lounge.

I cannot see Loaf in Downing Street surviving, nor the Downing Street Deli, with competition from Gail’s.

Sole Luna wood-fired pizzas at Staycation Live

August 9, 2016
Sole Luna wood-fired pizzas at Staycation Live

Sole Luna wood-fired pizzas at Staycation Live

Pizza off the pizza truck Sole Luna at Staycation Live in Godalming.

I designed my own.

Excellent pizza cooked in a wood-fired  oven. On a par with Home Slice in Covent Garden.

Expensive, but that is due to high pitch fee of £600 for the weekend, which then gets passed on as high priced pizza. Which in turn leads to lack of custom, and they do not come again.

Far better model. Charge a reasonable pitch fee, charge no more than a fiver for the pizza. Once pitch fee covered, 10% of additional sales is donated to Staycation Live.

Hopefully Sole Luna will be back next year, but that is going to depend upon intelligent pitch pricing.

I recommended Sole Luna try the street food market every Wednesday in Winchester (they would be the best stall there) and Godalming Food Festival (an annual event first Saturday in July).