Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Lunch at the Guildford Institute

June 5, 2015
Guildford Institute lunch

Guildford Institute lunch



The lady who did the excellent Friday  lunches at the Guildford Institute has now left. I enjoyed the last of her excellent cooking three weeks ago and said a sad farewell. Yes, it is still possible to have lunch at the Guildford Institute, but I do not recommend. Today’s fare simply did not compare.

To make matters worse, a price hike.

A meal deal, main course with two salads, a fruit juice, a dessert, plus a pot of tea, was less than a tenner.

Today, meal deal, main course with two salads, no fruit juice, a dessert, a cup of tea not a pot of tea, was £10-50.

The leftovers were being emptied into plastic boxes. Does this mean to be served up another day? I hope not.

Lunch at Sirena Bay

May 31, 2015
Sirena Bay

Sirena Bay

The Protaras Water Festival so noisy, decided upon lunch at Sirena Bay.

Sirena Bay very busy. But then it was Sunday.

Yacht moored in the bay. Some visit in syle.

Dinner at Nicolas Tavern

May 22, 2015

As always excellent dinner, but then expect no less at Nicolas Tavern.

Chicken soup and mushroom soup as starters.

Lamb chops and souvla (pieces of pork spit-roasted). These came with potatoes, instead of vegetables, Greek salad.

As always, generous portion sizes, several lamb chops.

Nicolas Tavern was busy, which was more than could be said for other restaurants.

The tourist industry appears to have collapsed, with rows and rows of empty sunbeds on the beach, boats sitting idle, thus to see a restaurant full, gives a measure of Nicolas Tavern.

Nicolas Tavern, is a traditional Greek-Cypriot taverna, more or less opposite Capo Bay Beach Hotel, at the Ayia Napa end of Protaras.

Lunch at Guildford Institute

May 9, 2015
chickpea bake and salad

chickpea bake and salad

banoffee pie

banoffee pie

Excellent lunch yesterday at Guildford Institute.

Chickpea bake and salad.

Followed by banoffee pie.

It was very packed when I arrived.

I got the last of what little was left.

After lunch I had a chat with artist Susie Lidstone who was dismantling her art exhibition.

Guildford farmers market

May 5, 2015
Celtic Baker

Celtic Baker



Angel Gate

Angel Gate



Last night it chucked it down. I expected today to be paddling. But due to the strong winds, which got stronger during to day, it was dry.

Last market was an extra one for St George’s Day, due to it being an extra one, not on the usual day, and with lack of publicity, it was something of a disaster for the stallholders.

The wind chill made it very cold. And with stallholders hanging on to their stalls to stop them being blown away, the market was forced to close early.

Celtic Baker had once again run out of wholemeal bread.

The Royal Oak

The Royal Oak

Having visited The Royal Oak during a visit to the special St George’s day farmers market a couple of weeks ago and found they served excellent food, I decided upon The Royal Oak for lunch, only to find it was closed. Even more of a shock to find the new landlord had left.

Lunch at Glutton & Glee.

Glutton & Glee I would recommend for tea and coffee and cakes. But not for lunch. Pricey and nothing special.

cappuccino at Harris + Hoole

cappuccino at Harris + Hoole

Cappuccino and cookie in Harris + Hoole. Always excellent.

On my way to the farmers market, I popped in St Mary’s. One of those rare days when found open.

I had a long chat with a guy packing up a sound system. It had been the venue for Trinity Folk Festival. Originally held at Holy Trinity. But the acoustics bad. St Mary’s excellent.

I suggested although not folk, next time book Jewelia. I also told him of bandcamp.

I also learnt what horrified me, and I suspect will horrify most people.

St Mary’s has kindly offered to host a Methodist Church, but like too many abuse their hospitality.

St Mary’s has a Victorian porch. Nothing wrong with it, though could argue not of the age of the church. The Methodists want to rip it down, replace with what Prince Charles would call a carbuncle affixed to the front of the church. They want to rip up the graveyard at the front of the church (where people relax and eat their lunch) and convert to a meeting area. But worst still, they wish to destroy the graveyard at the back, which is a much valued and loved tranquil wildlife area and build a church hall.

The Methodists are loaded with money having sold their church for redevelopment, and now think they can lord it over St Mary’s.

I would tell the Methodists to sling their hook.

St Mary’s is the oldest church in Guildford. The tower Anglo-Saxon. It was from the tower the invading Normans were observed.

Something I noticed today, nailed above the entrance of the porch a scallop shell, symbol of El Camino de Santiago. I am curious. I will have to inquire.

Guildford farmers market is held on the first Tuesday of the month in Guildford High Street.

Lunch at the Guildford Institute

May 1, 2015
chickpea bake and salad

chickpea bake and salad

As always, excellent lunch at the Guildford Institute,

For main course, chickpea bake with three salads.

Followed by key lime pie.

A rather strange and pretentious review of eating out at the Guildford Institute in Surrey Life, written by the editor.

Insultingly compares it with a canteen, drinks diet coke (welcome to carcinogenic aspartame), insults some of the regulars by suggesting they have been dining their since the building opened.

Surrey Life lunch review

Surrey Life lunch review

Lunch at Food for Thought

April 28, 2015
quiche and salad

quiche and salad

strawberry scrunch

strawberry scrunch

A somewhat late, but nevertheless excellent lunch at Food for Thought

Quiche with four salads.

Followed by strawberry scrunch for which Food for Thought is famous.

It is a tragedy that Food for Thought is closing on 21 June 2015, driven out of business by a greedy landlord driving up the rent to unaffordable level.

It is symptomatic of what is happening everywhere.

It is also symptomatic of the gentrification and social cleansing that is taking place across London.

Walking down Neal Street to Food for Though, a Pret a Manger and Costa down a side street.

In the 1970s, after the market pulled out, the whole area was derelict. It was to be bulldozed for development, but this was stopped.

Next to Food for Thought was a shop that either built or repaired barrows, maybe both. These would line the street and in the summer it was pleasant to eat outside sitting on the barrows.

Now, down the street, trendy shops, the whole character of the street destroyed.

On my table two girls, one from Malaga, the other I know not where, had three years ago walked El Camino de Santiago, and so we had an interesting conversation about the pilgrimage and Santiago de Compostela.

Rise in foodbanks

April 25, 2015
Trussell Trust food bank

Trussell Trust food bank

There are several successes we can attribute to the Tories, and their willing little helpers the LibDems, though some of their successes they would rather we did not know about.

They claim to have reduced taxes.

They have not, not if we include income tax, VAT, Bedroom Tax, loss of benefits.

The poor and the rich are about 2% worse off, the allegedly squeezed middle a fraction of one percent worse off.

Massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.

During five years of austerity, those at the top of the Sunday Times Rich List have seen their wealth double.

Increase in jobs. Low paid, temporary, de-skilled, mind-numbing, zero hours McShit jobs.

Fastest recorded growth in food banks.

The number of Trussell Trust food banks has risen eight-fold in just five years, to 445. Its most recent accounts show an annual income of nearly £3.4 million.

Many of those dependent upon food banks, are caused by the arbitrary sanctions being handed out by Job Centres.

A question mark though needs to be raised against the Trussell Trust.

For the Trussell Trust, food banks have become Big Business. Their recent claim of a million people dependent upon food banks has proved to be false. They have handed out a million food parcels, not quite the same thing.

But it gets worse, they have been charging local volunteers and churches what amounts to little more than franchising fees, £1,500 to set up food banks. telling them the money is needed for ‘branding and PR’ and ongoing fees of £350 a year.

The pitch to prospective punters says:

We’ll provide you with all the tools, training and know-how that you need to start a foodbank so that people in crisis in your town don’t have to go hungry.

They are told they will be given a website, publicity materials and ‘opportunities to talk to the Press’ among other benefits.

Foodbanks are asked to make a £1,500 donation towards these costs.

Last week I found the baskets outside Waitrose Farnham had leaflets inside asking for donations to Trussell Trust. I have never seen a food bank in Farnham, or mention of on church notice boards, but I assume one must exit. But why not Waitrose donate the food?

Waitrose likes to project a green social image, workers are colleagues, partners in the busines, which in reality is little more than greenwash. John Lewis, outsources the cleaners who are on minimum wage (though this may change).

If you want to set up a food bank, you do not need Trussell Trust. In Lincoln, a church gets donations from farms, from shops, and serves it up to the homeless.

And why set up a food bank? Set up a social enterprise cafe, intercept waste food, serve as delicious meals on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis.

These social enterprises should also be helping the fight against benefit sanctions. Always appeal.

Lunch at the Guildford Institute

April 24, 2015


Excellent lunch at the Guildford Institute.

Chickpea bake and salad, followed by a pavlova.

On the walls, an exhibition of watercolours of buildings on the Surrey-Hampshire border.

Two books recommended for the Guildford Institute Library, This Changes Everything and Revolution.

The Royal Oak

April 23, 2015
Holy Trinity churchyard

Holy Trinity churchyard

Holy Trinity churchyard

Holy Trinity churchyard

After a visit to the farmers market, a special one for St George’s Day, I decided on a drink in The Royal Oak, hidden behind Holy Trinity.

A Fullers pub, overlooking the graveyard.

London Pride is a classic beer, difficult to beat.

I ordered a half, and settled in the corner.

I was very disappointed to find the old seating had gone, but I learnt the last landlord had taken it with him.

Strange, I needed no password for wifi, and on the Fullers page, welcomed me by name.



The chef had tried a new dish and invited me to try it. Kebabs, marinated lamb, on a  skewer with peppers and onions. It was excellent. I would have to be in Greece or Athens for something this good.

A good sign when pubs try to cook quality meals, not hotted up white van chiller food. Whether they will get the custom another matter.

Having had a free meal, I thought only fair to stay and have another half.

Irritating though the background music. When are pubs going to learn, a quiet pub, ability to relax or converse, is far better?

It was a pub for live music, but no more, drives away the punters.

I am happy with live music, at least if you can listen, but background music is a bloody pain.


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