Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Appalling treatment of elderly lady by Lidl manager

July 17, 2015
Lidll Aldershot pack of six rashers of bacon reduced

Lidll Aldershot pack of six rashers of bacon reduced

Yesterday evening (Thursday) the usual piss poor service in Lidl Aldershot, but that was not the half of it.

An elderly lady two before me in the queue, was querying why she was being charged full price for a pack of bacon that was reduced. She knew it was reduced, as that was why she had chosen it. No reduction sticker, but as she carefully explained, it must have fallen off. Store manager intervened, called her a liar, told the trainee cashier to charge her full price. Lady quite rightly refused to pay.

The customer should be given the benefit of the doubt, if there is a doubt, then check. The manager should have sent a runner to check, but instead called the lady a liar, and then walked off.  There were long queues at the check-outs, but instead of manning one, the manager walked away.

I knew the lady was correct. The reason why I knew, was because their were two different  packs of bacon on the shelves alongside each other, six rashers and twelve rashers, and  they had bright orange stickers 30% off on the front of each pack. I also knew because I had one in my hand.

I draw this to the attention of the cashier, waved it in the air,and said the lady was correct. The cashier apologised, said there was nothing he could do, as the manager had overruled him and then walked off.

I tried to catch up with the lady on leaving the store, but she was nowhere in sight.

Lidl should apologise to this lady, and give a her £100 as a  goodwill gesture. It will not be difficult to identify her, My till receipt shows a time of 1816, she was two in front of me, and she paid by card.

This is not a one off with this manager. She has a bad reputation with customers. I have had problems with her, I know others who have had problems with her.

The service in this store is appalling. Always long queues at the check-outs, not uncommon to find one till, a queue half way down the store, not attempt to open additional tills.

It is long overdue for Lidl and this manager to part company.

This lunchtime I checked my pack of six rashers of bacon. Half the sticker was no longer there, which backs up what the lady had said, her sticker must have fallen off.

Cappuccino at Grays Coffee

July 10, 2015
cappuccino

cappuccino

pottery

pottery

Grays Coffee is located in what was The Deli. A wonderful deli that was driven out of business by harassment by the local council.

My cappuccino was a disappointment.

When a coffee does not look good, it tends not to taste good either.

Cappuccino was surprisingly cheap at a pound. Probably explains why it was not very good.

Grays Coffee illustrates the limits of training. You cannot train a good barista. It is a skill you learn by working alongside other more experienced baristas.

On your own, no feedback, no guidance.

Customer feedback is worse than useless. Why do people visit Costa or Starbucks where the coffee is disgusting, or eat at McDonald’s or KFC?

Bookshelves line the walls, though not many books. The books are for sale.

On the shelves pottery for sale, pottery of a high standard.

A back room that was very gloomy, no natural light.

A very limited menu. Watermelon and feta cheese, that was described as Greek. Apart from maybe sourced from Greece, nothing Greek about it.

Occasional jazz evenings.

Grays Coffee is located in a lousy location, no footfall, and on a main busy main road, if you sit outside, breathing in traffic fumes.

Closes at three, very early, but no passing trade.

Grays Coffee is a social enterprise. It supports a trust that helps traumatised and abused kids.

A new tea shop has opened around the corner, with a devastating impact upon trade. It is doubtful both can survive.

Broccoli and cheese soup at Caffe Macchiato

July 9, 2015
broccoli and cheese soup

broccoli and cheese soup

Too late to eat, and not feeling hungry, I asked for broccoli and cheese soup. It was excellent.

Summer soups

  • pea soup
  • tomato soup
  • watercress soup

Summer soups are light.

As it was a pleasant afternoon, I then sat outside with a cappuccino.

Guildford farmers market

July 7, 2015
Town Bridge

Town Bridge

Town Bridge

Town Bridge

Alice and her sister

Alice and her sister

white rabbit

white rabbit

strawberries

strawberries

Celtic baker

Celtic baker

Hogs Back Brewery

Hogs Back Brewery

English wine

English wine

A mixed day, sun came out it was hot, sun went in it was cool, or at least cooler.

This time of year the market comes into its own, lots of fresh produce.

As part of the Summer Festival, Guildford ought to have the first Tuesday of August a Street Food Festival.

Excellent lunch at La Casita, followed by ice cream off Dylan’s Ice Cream.

Last year, Guildford Independent’s Day, well actually a month. I wondered if Guildford Independent’s Day this year, as it was a good idea. A map showing local independent shops in the town centre.

I walked past a tailor, and popped in and asked could I have a few, as I had spotted on display in his window. He said yes, help yourself.

I asked that he stamp it. He did not know what to do. I explained. He then said he could not, I had to buy something. Well I am hardly going to order a tailored suit.

Last year, it was a a visit. At the time I thought better to purchase, but now I have changed my mind. A visit, maybe a visit to somewhere not been before, see what they do.

Last year the Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage was not shown or listed. They had not even been asked. I am pleased to see this year they are listed. And yet Glutton & Glee are not.

Before the tailor, I had visited a couple of places that are listed, and yet I had not noticed the maps on show nor were they drawn to my attention. Some take the view do not wish to direct custom elsewhere. Incredibly short-sighted if everyone takes that view.

Why farmers market stalls not listed?

They need to do, which they failed to do last year, ask retailers to make available  even after the month is over, as useful map showing the independents.

They also need to build Guildford Independent’s Day and launch a local currency, a Guildford pound.  A lost opportunity not to have done this year having generated interest last year.

Pot of tea and a flapjack at Glutton & Glee. It has recently changed hands, now owned by a company, and it shows. Pot of tea and a flapjack over a fiver. It would have been more had I had a tiny piece of carrot cake or a cappuccino. They have lost their good staff, including a top class barista. Art from the walls has gone, and everywhere painted a battleship grey. The tables and chairs outside, not rustic, rusty. I wonder how long before it closes?

On my way to the market I passed the back of The Keystone. At least the graffiti has been painted over. Later I bumped into a friend. She said the pub has become a nightmare for those living in the street, noise of the music, the drunks it now attracts.

Guildford farmers market, first Tuesday of the month in the High Street.

Godalming Food Festival

July 4, 2015
Godalming Food Festival

Godalming Food Festival

Church Street and the High Street lined with stalls.

The Star was serving beer from barrels in the street, tables and chairs in the street.

Why not make this an everyday occurrence, the centre of Godalming traffic free? Something for Godalming Town Council to ponder about, seek views.

Although very busy I do not think there was as many people as last year and unlike last year, there were not stalls impossible to get near. But then it was a very hot day, a day for sitting in the garden, in the shade, under a tree.

Thai

Thai

Greek

Greek

Thai

Thai

Ascot Ales

Ascot Ales

Apart from stalls selling many varieties of food from Hog Roast, to Thai, to Indian, to paella, to Greek there was also beer stalls, fruit and vegetable stalls, coffee, bread, cakes.

I had Hog Roast (the local butcher), which as last year excellent, and they are not stingy with portion size.

Later I popped back to the butcher and picked up a pork chop. I think last year I had sausages.

After the Hog Roast, visit to The Star and have half a pint of a local ale.

On the way a chat to a coffee roaster.

Making coffee is a skilled job (one reason why the coffee in Starbucks or Costa is undrinkable). Coffee roasting an even more skilled job. If a coffee roaster is established by people with no skill in coffee roasting, not having worked under a master coffee roaster, what then the quality?

A veg box scheme imports pineapples from a grower. A grower who was dumped by a major supermarket chain. Not Fairtrade, because they would rather set higher standards with the grower then a better price is paid. Same applies to coffee roasters.

Organic label? If imported, monoculture, imported inputs, should it really be classed as organic? The standards are set too low.

The standards for some of stalls should be raised. It is not acceptable to be serving food in polystyrene boxes when card alternatives are available.

Dylan’s Ice Cream had a van. Surprising not busy.

No coffee van. Invite HoBo Co or Jimmy Bean, and a must for Staycation Live.

Curries from Home a must for Godalming Food Festival. If you have never eaten Curries from Home, you have never had a decent Indian meal.

A Greek stall. No Greek flag Vote NO.

On my way in, popped in the Parish Church, a candle lit, a prayer card writ, Greek people find the courage to vote NO, please overcome the fear that is driving you to vote YES. Vote no against the destruction of Greece by the EU, terrorism by the creditors.

I am pleased to say, every single person I spoke to supported Greeks voting <a href="http://NO vote“>NO to EU in the referendum on Sunday.

Music from the Pepperpot was dire, which probably explains why no one listening. I can find better playing in the High Street in Guildford. Late year there was someone better playing in the street. She was then invited to play in the Pepperpot. Why was she not invited back? Invite Jewelia to play.

In Angel Court a Punch and Judy Show.

Afternoon tea and cake at Cafe Mila, but first a zinger.

bread shop closed

bread shop closed

Many businesses are being driven out of Godalming by rents that are too high. Now many empty shops. I was shocked to see the baker in the centre of Godalming had closed. Though I was told later they had relocated.

Some years ago, there was an indy book shop opposite Waterstone’s. They were driven out by high rents.

One thing the Town Council should do, publish rents. Successful rent appeals have a database to work on. Keeps rents down.

Slug and Lettuce has closed, which is no bad thing. But it has been replaced by a grotty clothes chain which is not good for Godalming.

Godalming need to look to Frome, a town council taken over by ordinary citizens, though to be fair to the existing council, they do better than most councils, for example Godalming Food Festival, Staycation Live.

Abysmal piss-poor service in Waitrose. Bloody stupid scheme, know in advance what you want to buy (by clicking on-line) then get 20% off (if you have a My Waitrose card).

Bus to Guildford, then train.

The Keystone is becoming a disgrace. Fly posters at the front, graffiti on the back wall, awful music blaring out into the street.

Next event in Godalming: Staycation Live (sometime last weekend in July or first weekend in August)

Strongly recommend Guildford hold a food festival first Tuesday of August as special event for Guildford Summer Festival.

Lunch at Caffe Macchiato

June 29, 2015
Peroni

Peroni

Pollo buscaiola

pollo buscaiola

side salad

side salad

Caffe Macchiato

Caffe Macchiato

Excellent lunch at Caffe Macchiato.

Pollo buscaiola, breast of chicken cooked with wine, peppers, served with porcini mushrooms in a garlic and tomato sauce, chips and a side salad.

Portion size always generous,and I struggled to finish.

I washed my lunch down with a bottle of Peroni.

Caffe Macchiato is usually quiet, this afternoon very busy, poor waitress literally run off her feet. I think the reason why, hot sunny afternoon, it had its windows wide open, and thus was tempting to go in.

Everything freshly cooked with fresh ingredients.

Caffe Macchiato is an Italian restaurant at the top end of Union Street. The only attractive building in the street.

Union Street was an attractive tree-lined street, pleasant to sit outside Caffe Macchiato on a warm afternoon. All the trees have been cut down and uprooted, leaving an unpleasant stark urban street.

For the last six months, traffic has been blocked from the pedestrianised street whilst work takes place. This needs to be made permanent, as the absence of traffic has much improved the street.

Aldershot is infamous for its disgusting fast food outlets that dominate the town centre, that and pound shops, gambling joints and boarded-up empty shops. Caffe Macchiato is a rarity being the only decent place to eat in Aldershot. Indeed it is even worth making a trip to Aldershot.

End of last year an idiot left a very nasty review on TripAdvisor claiming poor service, unpleasant staff, not freshly cooked or fresh ingredients. Nothing could be further from than the truth.  TripAdvisor needs to do more to eliminate fake reviews.

Free newspapers, wifi.

The walls are used as an art gallery. Worth a visit for the art.

Occasional live music in the evening.

Lunch at La Casita

June 26, 2015
 fillet of sea bass with white wine and garlic served rice

fillet of sea bass with white wine and garlic served rice

La Casita

La Casita

La Casita

La Casita

I had intended tapas, but chose instead sea bass covered in sauce with rice,  fillet of sea bass with white wine and garlic served rice.

I thought maybe the sauce would spoil it, as quite strong, and mask the flavour of the fish, but no, it was excellent.

The owner told me the sea bass  was fresh that day.

Very pleasant ambience, service good.  The owner, if not busy, is only too happy to talk about the food, how prepared and cooked, which is always a good sign.

Two recent fake reviews on TripAdvisor which not only stand out like a sore thumb, but bear no resemblance to my experience of La Casita (I have eaten there a few times).

La Casita is one of the few places worth eating in Guildford.

Lunch at Alexander’s

June 24, 2015
lunch at Alexander's

lunch at Alexander’s

Jimmy Bean had no food left and was packing up early.

Where to have lunch? Winchester lacks anywhere decent to eat.
Alexander’s. in the street before Ginger Two, which I have tried a couple of times and not been impressed.

A wide range of teas, but very poor choice of anything to eat.

I settled on tuna and avocado, a strange mix, but best of a poor choice.

I found it to be very dry. The avocado was not ripe. It was sliced. If ripe, it can be spread like butter.

Tuna and tomato, or onion, or cucumber, would have been better, as not so dry. Not helped by the bread being dry.

They has a couple of sandwiches on display. I said no thanks. Mine was freshly prepared.

Coffee was soorced from Extract Coffee Rasters. Having had a coffee from Jimmy Bean, I did not try.

Ambience was pleasant. Wooden tables, but spoilt by cheap plastic chairs.

Oxfam peanut butter

June 24, 2015
Liberation peanut butter

Liberation peanut butter

Oxfam does not only sell second books and clothes, usually overpriced, they also sell produce.

On sale peanut butter.  Plastic jar, padded out with sugar, palm oil, and salt.

Three additives that are extremely unhealthy. Palm oil  is high in saturated fat, so high, it is higher than pig fat. In its natural form, it is solid, and used to be used as axle grease. Until that is someone discovered how to chemically process it.

These ingredients are used to bulk out foods, because they are cheap.

Palm oil is not only on food, it is also widely used in cosmetics.

Palm oil apart from being bad for our health, is also bad for the environment. There is no such thing as sustainable palm oil production.

I took a jar to the counter and expressed my strong disgust. Not that they will care. Oxfam is another Big Business charity, its product aid.

I did not notice a Fairtrade logo, but at a  guess, it was part of the Fairtrade con.

I say Oxfam peanut butter. Strictly speaking it was Liberation peanut butter, and yes, it did have Fairtrade logo. But as we see with this one example Fairtrade is not synonymous with quality, health or good for the environment

If you this peanut butter on sale, please object,

If you see any product with palm oil, please object.

Quality peanuts butter is ground peanuts, nothing added, though occasionally you may find sea salt.

A a lady later in a health food shop said, it is a pity people do not pay more attention to what is on the label.

If you want quality peanut butter, look out for Meridian or Suma. If not on sale, ask why not.  Quality food shops will sell one or the other, sometimes both

Meridian peanut butter

Meridian peanut butter

Lunch at Caffe Macchiato

June 22, 2015
menu pollo boscaiola

menu pollo boscaiola

Pollo buscaiola

Pollo buscaiola

side salad

side salad

Excellent lunch today at Caffe Macchiato.

Pollo buscaiola, breast of chicken cooked with wine, peppers, served with porcini mushrooms in a garlic and tomato sauce, chips and a side salad.

The side salad, similar to a Greek salad. It was topped with olives which I cannot stand. The waitress took away and removed the olives and brought the salad back, minus olives.

I would have preferred served with English or Jersey new potatoes rather than chips, nevertheless the chips were good.

Portion size generous. More than sufficient for two people. I was hungry, but was struggling to clean my plate.

Everything freshly cooked with fresh ingredients.

Caffe Macchiato is an Italian restaurant at the top end of Union Street. The only attractive building in the street.

Union Street was an attractive tree-lined street, pleasant to sit outside Caffe Macchiato on a warm afternoon. All the trees have been cut down and uprooted, leaving an unpleasant stark urban street.

For the last six months, traffic has been blocked from the pedestrianised street whilst work takes place. This needs to be made permanent, as the absence of traffic has much improved the street.

Aldershot is infamous for its disgusting fast food outlets that dominate the town centre, that and pound shops, gambling joints and boarded-up empty shops. Caffe Macchiato is a rarity being the only decent place to eat in Aldershot. Indeed it is even worth making a trip to Aldershot.

End of last year an idiot left a very nasty review on TripAdvisor claiming poor service, unpleasant staff, not freshly cooked or fresh ingredients. Nothing could be further from than the truth.  TripAdvisor needs to do more to eliminate fake reviews.

Free newspapers, wifi.

The walls are used as an art gallery. Worth a visit for the art.

Occasional live music in the evening.


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