Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Turn Fit Deli

December 15, 2015
coffee beans at Turn Fit Deli

coffee beans at Turn Fit Deli

Turn Fit Deli

Turn Fit Deli



Turn Fit Deli only opened early this month and it has already shot to the No 1 coffee spot in Guildford (No 2 jointly shared by FCB Coffee kiosk and Harris + Hoole).

I popped in Turn Fit Deli a couple of weeks ago, maybe a couple of days after it had opened.

Excellent coffee from new coffee shop, Turn Fit Deli. Weird name. Coffee, coffee beans, light lunches, cakes and cookies, everything home made by different people.

Atmosphere is minimalist, modern.

Turn Fit Deli shows how to if you wish to open a coffee shop with a reputation, buy in world class coffee beans, employ a word class barista who knows his coffee. Turn Fit Deli has done both.  You cannot cut corners when it comes to serving coffee.

Word of mouth, Turn Fit Deli  has already acquired a reputation with coffee connoisseurs as the place for coffee.

Everything where possible, locally sourced.

We need a network of local businesses, each sporting each other.

Next step use FairCoin and introduce a local currency.

Absolutely no excuse for farmers on farmers market letting themselves and everyone else down buying disgusting  coffee from Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks.

Guildford Christmas farmers market

December 15, 2015
busy High Street

busy High Street

Celtic Baker

Celtic Baker



The Little Beer Corporation

The Little Beer Corporation

ginger beer and elderflower

ginger beer and elderflower

Only ten days until Christmas. An extra farmers market for Christmas.

I did not expect to see many people. A dull damp wet day, then heavy rain. But to my surprise the High Street was busy. Only they were not here for the farmers market, they were Christmas shoppers.

I felt sorry for the stall holders, piled high and no one buying.

No lessons learnt from the summer. An extra farmers market, stock brought in, stock taken back. Why? Lack of publicity. I only knew about this market, and the one in summer, because stall holders told me.

Contrast with two weeks ago, first Tuesday of the month, when many stalls were already sold out by lunchtime.

The problem food wise, ten days before Christmas is too early for food shopping.

But at least today, I was able to get a loaf of bread off Celtic Baker and a pie off the pie stall.

I also got a couple of mince pies off Celtic baker. I did not buy more as very expensive. I was to later regret as excellent.

Apples off the apple juice stall. I would have liked rhubarb and strawberry jam, but they did not have any. Maybe seasonal.

A chat with The Little Beer Corporation. Their idea for company structure very much resembles Open Coops.

Why an overflowing drain by the Isle of Wight tomato stall? Health implications? Been like it for years apparently.

Outside Angel Gate, a massive diesel generator. Why? Noise and very unpleasant diesel fumes. Not good health wise. The stalls nearby should be given a free pitch next market.

By the time I reached the top of the High Street, what until then had been light drizzle, was now turning into heavy rain.

Lunch in the Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage. Sadly it is going downhill fast. Thai green curry was not good, ironically better in their takeaway at the top of the High Street. Service appalling. Served by Miss Glum. Had she smiled her face would have cracked. The staff are not doing the owner any favours.

frog in craft exhibition in Guildford House

frog in craft exhibition in Guildford House

stained-glass kaleidoscopes

stained-glass kaleidoscopes

On the way back down a visit to Guildford House. A craft fair in one room. Star of the exhibition, stained-glass kaleidoscopes.  Each one a work of art (with a  price to match). Very much collectors pieces.  And not forgetting a frog.

Excellent cappuccino in the new coffee shop in Chapel Street, Turn Fit Deli, where as it was now very heavy rain, I stayed until they closed.

Turn Fit Deli only opened early this month and it has already shot to the No 1 coffee spot in Guildford (No 2 jointly shared by FCB Coffee kiosk and Harris + Hoole).

Absolutely no excuse for farmers on farmers market letting themselves and everyone else down buying disgusting  coffee from Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks, when they can pick up a coffee from Turn Fit Deli.

Lunch at The Black Penny

December 9, 2015
The Black Penny

The Black Penny

chickpea salad

chickpea salad

pumpkin soup

pumpkin soup

Four weeks ago, in London with my lovely friend Georgia. Where to eat?

If it was Friday or weekend, I would have suggested South Bank street food market, but it wasn’t, it was midweek, Wednesday.

Food for Thought was sadly no more.

We could have eaten at the Wild Food Cafe in Neal’s Yard, but I thought try The Black Penny.

I had eaten there before,  bread with roast beef. The beef was good, but I would have preferred without the mustard.

As we were around lunchtime, there was at least a choice.

The pumpkin soup was excellent. The same could not be said of the chickpea salad with roast chicken.

The Black Penny is a coffee shop. We did not try the coffee. I have on a previous occasion, and for a specialist coffee shop, I would have expected far better.

The atmosphere is good. But I cannot recommend either the food or the coffee.

Located on Great Queen Street, halfway between Covent Garden and Holborn.

Guildford farmers market

December 1, 2015
wintry River Wey

wintry River Wey

Guildford farmers market December 2015 01

Celtic Baker

Guildford farmers market December 2015 02

walnuts in honey

The Little Beer Corporation

The Little Beer Corporation

Dull day, mild, but very windy.

As Debenhams had roast pork, I stopped for dinner. Had I visited market first then had lunch, there would have been nothing left. I noticed as I left, it was already gone from the menu.

But it meant, nothing left on many of the stalls. I asked, would it have made a difference if I had been an hour earlier. They said no, it had been a very busy day and Celtic Baker had short supplies today. I have never seen Celtic Baker with so little on his stall, the pie stall had two pies left.

No bread, no pies.

I was though able to get jars of honey with walnuts, a bottle of English wine, jam and a couple of beers.

Standards need to be improved. If the South Bank street food market can set high environmental standards then so can Guildford for their farmers market.

It was good to see the The Little Beer Corporation had a stall. You cannot get more local, as they brew their beer in Guildford. Why not sooner?

The structure of The Little Beer Corporation is, or will be, that of an open co-op, with crowd-sourced funding. A lead more local businesses should follow. A local  network of open co-coops, each supporting each other, retaining money within the local economy, supporting the local community, contributing to the collaborative commons. All the more reason they should have been offered a stall on the market months ago.

A new coffee shop has opened in Guildford, Turn Fit Deli. Light lunches, cakes, cookies. Why oh why are the farmers buying disgusting coffee from Costa and tax-dodging Starbucks when they can get an excellent cappuccino from Turn Fit Deli? If they wish us to buy their produce, they in turn should be supporting quality local businesses, anything less is appalling hypocrisy.

There will an additional Christmas farmers market in two week’s time.

Pizza at Home Slice

November 22, 2015
Home Slice in Neal's Yard

Home Slice in Neal’s Yard

Home Slice in Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden very busy.

Full, though a few girls looked as though they were leaving. Are you on the list? What list? We put you on the list, then we call you when a table is free. We will call you in about one and a half hours.

A cappuccino in M&S opposite Covent Garden Tube Station. It was ok. Better than disgusting coffee in Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks.

A call, a table free.

Pizza is cooked in a wood-fired clay oven, choice of 20 inch or a slice (the choice of slice restricted to three options).  To put 20″ in context, that is four inches short of two feet.

A slice of mushroom pizza as on Monday. Hungry a second slice. Delicious.

Half of lager, another half. The lager locally sourced.

Wine is served in what looked like a 2l bottle, tall straight sides. A shock to the table next to me, a lot of wine to drink.

Not quite, they measure the bottle with a ruler, than charge for what you have drunk. At least that appeared to be what was happening.

It would be more relaxing without the loud music.

Walking in, hit by the noise.

Monday late afternoon, it was busy, but I was told it get much busier later, and so it proved to be, and it was Saturday night. I thought before seven o’clock it would not be too busy (I had hoped to arrive earlier) but not so.

Monday it was very hot (mild outside). Saturday night not too hot, but then freezing cold outside.

Monday I was given a card giving me 10% off. But did not have it with me. They accepted I had the card, and was given 10% off.

It was a relief to get back outside, away from the noise.

Lunch at South Bank street food market

November 22, 2015
fresh cooked street food

fresh cooked street food

Lunch at South Bank street food market. I have a burger that at £6 expensive compared with food off other stalls. I tried a sample, and I enjoyed, but did not enjoy the burger.

One woman with a stall with fancy sausage rolls, wanted to know why was I taking picture?  There is always one. Others were quite happy for me to take pictures.

Coffee from Ethiopia coffee stall. Excellent cappuccino, one of the best but at £2-90 for a tiny cup, expensive.

South Bank Street Food Market

November 20, 2015


Four weeks ago in London.

It was Friday, which meant street food at the South Bank.

Spoilt for choice.

They exact high environmental standards, compostable containers, knives and forks either plant based cellulose or wood. If South Bank can, why not elsewhere.

Two coffee stalls, one had beans for sale (maybe both). Not impressed. Coffee beans should have a wonderful aroma.  These did not, an earthy smell. On the other stall, it was too much trouble for the woman to grind beans fresh for each coffee. If you cannot be bothered, why have a coffee stall?

  • PHOTOS South Bank Street Food Market

Plate of chips at Restaurant Plaka

November 18, 2015
Restaurant Plaka 20

Restaurant Plaka

I had left my main dish at Avocado, I was hungry.

Restaurant Plaka was in the direction in which I was heading,  a quick plate of chips, a piece of bread, and a bottle of beer.

When they brought the plate of chips and bread, I was told ‘on the house’, I assumed the bread. It pleasant surprise therefore when only charged for the beer.

For dessert, ice cream from Coco’s ice cream, then on to The Acropolis Museum.


November 18, 2015
spicy dahl soup

spicy dhal soup

Four weeks ago, my last day in Athens, a flight to catch in the evening.

Morning and early afternoon at the Ancient Agora of Athens. Time for lunch, and hopefully a visit to The Acropolis Museum, but time was not on my side.

I had passed by Avocado a few evenings ago, on taking what I hoped was a short cut from Monastiraki and finding myself in a part of Athens with which I was not familiar.

I headed in what I hoped was the right direction, and luckily my sense of direction did not let me down.

Spicy dhal soup was excellent. Sadly the same could not be said for the bean burger, or whatever it was. It was disgusting. At almost ten euros, not cheap.

The mistake that was made, and same with other menu items cannot tell the difference from real meat balls, was to try to produce meat substitutes. If I wanted a burger I would go and eat a real burger (emphasis, real burger, not the disgusting yuk served by McDonald’s).

They need to look at somewhere like Food for Thought, though not possible, as no longer in existence, or at least obtain their cookbook.

Is it ok? No.

They took it away untouched, and offered to serve me a fresh dish. They were quite embarrassed. I said no, I did not have the time.

I was only charged for the soup.

I felt a bit bad, my turn to feel embarrassed, but it was disgusting, and I could not eat it.

Atmosphere inside fine, but wrong location.

They need to be in Plaka, with outside seating, and drastically change the menu. Whey even have a menu? Do as Food for Thought, fresh menu everyday.

I found I could cut down a street that led into Plaka. It was then The Acropolis Museum, but first stop Restaurant Plaka and a small plate of chips and an ice cream off Coco’s ice cream.

Avocado claims to be the only vegetarian restaurant in Athens.  Whether true or not, I do not know, but when I stumbled across it one evening I stopped out of curiosity and had a chat, as it was the only vegetarian restaurant I had seen.

Home Slice

November 17, 2015
Wild Food Cafe

Wild Food Cafe in Neal’s Yard

Last week, I thought of eating at Wild Food Cafe in Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden, but as I was on my way to The Black Penny, I decided not.

Monday, I thought, give Wild Food Cafe a try.

How to get in, it was upstairs. Then I saw the door, it was closed.

Home Slice 00

Home Slice in Neal’s Yard

Home Slice in Neal's Yard

Home Slice in Neal’s Yard

Home Slice 02

Home Slice

Home Slice 03

Home Slice

Home Slice 04

wood-fired clay oven

Home Slice 05

pizza slice

Home Slice 06

20 inch pizza on communal table

Where now? I thought wander to Soho. But no, I would try the pizza place next door.  No great fan of pizzas.

Very basic, rough wooden tables.

I was shown to a communal table. It was ok, as I could place my stuff on the low window ledge behind. Other tables had coat pegs on the wall.

I was brought a bottle of cold water and a glass, and given an explanation of how the system worked.

I could order a slice (limited selection) or a  whole pizza. A whole pizza was a whopping 20 inches at £20. A slice a reasonable £4.

I ordered mushroom, with pumpkin seeds, I asked they skipped the chilli.

It came on a paper plate, no utensils, very thin base.

I started eating the edge, as less interesting, then watching others realised my mistake, hold by the edge, less messy.

It was the most delicious pizza I have ever tasted. Forget the rubbish served by Pizza Hut and Pizza Express.  Cooked in a wood-fired clay oven.

The only negative points, very hot, in the summer large windows to open, very noisy with awful music thudding out.

The place was very busy, I was told later they would be queueing out the door. It must be by word-of-mouth, as Neal’s Yard is not easy to find.

Home Slice started as a wood-fired stall in 2011, then opened in Neal’s Yard in 2013.

I did not try, they also have local beer on tap and in bottles.

I was going to The Black Penny for a coffee, but was advised to try a coffee in Monmouth Coffee Company. I was not disappointed.


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