Archive for the ‘Godalming’ Category

Gryphon Live at St Mary’s Church Farncombe

August 12, 2016
Gryphon

Gryphon

Excellent concert Gryphon at St John’s Church. Medieval and Renaissance influenced rock.

Although in Farncombe, venue easy to get to as the church is opposite the station.

6-piece band, multi-instrumentalists, brass, acoustic guitar, bass, percussion, violin, various wind instruments some the like of which I had never seen before, keyboards, vocals.  Quite an impressive line up and performance.

Sound balance and quality was at times a bit iffy. They could have done with a better sound system.

Before the concert started, I was having a conversation sat outside the church with one of the band, the guy who plays keyboard and many wind instruments, of the Canterbury music scene, of influences, of who played, bands like Soft Machine and Caravan. He was part of the scene, and said he was a chorister in Canterbury Cathedral. Then in our teens and early twenties.  Lucky because we had exposure to excellent music.

How do we come across music or literature worth knowing about, worth listening to, worth reading?

At university The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin played. But also Soft Machine, Caravan, Spirogyra, experimental groups. I was exposed to a wide range of music, often what friends played in their rooms, music I would not otherwise have encountered. Much I did not at the time necessarily like, but it entered the psyche. We were part of what became known as the Canterbury music scene.

I was surprised how far people had travelled to the concert.  I thought I has come a long way from the other side of Guildford. Guy catching the train was heading to Reading, before the concert someone said they had come down from Hertfordshire, during the interval I overheard someone say they had come down from Yorkshire, a young guy with a skateboard had come from Holland (I assume not by skateboard).

Looking at the table, the organiser has an impressive range of acts playing at their little church. I suggested book Jewelia, Steve Lawson, Imogen Heap.

Talking to the band, I suggested they release on bandcamp.  I also suggested they play at Staycation Live next year.

I picked up all three of their albums, Midnight Mushrumps, Red Queen to Gryphon Three, Gryphon. Three of the band kindly signed.

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).

Staycation Live 2016

August 8, 2016
Staycation Live 2016 Sunday

Staycation Live 2016 Sunday

A hot sunny day, little fluffy white clouds.

Train to Guildford, then almost an hour wait for train to Godalming. Sunday service.

Excellent cappuccino off FCB coffee kiosk.

The Peas

The Peas

As I arrived,  The Peas, a two piece set were playing. They were good.

Next on a rock group, Spotlight Cannibal. What I heard, not good, and I wandered off in search of food.

Pizza off the pizza truck Sole Luna. 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.

A cappuccino off the coffee truck Cafe2U. Not good, and I poured it in the flower bed. Hopefully no long term damage done. It was too hot, but that was not the problem. At a guess, poor quality coffee beans.

Sadly yet another example of franchise scam. The guys running the van were keen. Dump the franchise, go and work somewhere like Harris + Hoole or an indy coffee shops, ie not the chains, learn all you can about coffee working alongside a skilled barista, then set up your own operation, be it coffee shop or coffee truck, but do not fall for the franchise scam.

The Free Radicals

The Free Radicals

I heard from outside the cloisters, what sounded like Irish music. I found The Free Radicals who  were excellent. Towards the end the music was Middle Eastern. A pity they have not recorded anything, or if they had, not available. If they do or have, then please release on bandcamp.

Soundation

Soundation

Soundation, an excellent reggae band played last year, and were back by popular acclaim. Neil will be familiar to many playing in Guildford High Street and of late in North Street near Harris + Hoole. They had an album for sale, but cleared off. I caught up with Neil as he was carting away his gear. I said I would pick up a copy off him when I see him next in Guildford.

Frank the Cat signing Under the Covers

Frank the Cat signing Under the Covers

Frank the Cat were amazing. Funk, R&B from 1960s and onward. Think Earth, Wind and Fire and you get the idea: lead singer, backing vocals, brass and rhythm section, percussion. I picked up a couple of copies of their album Under the Covers.

With the exception of the reggae band Jeramiah Ferrari Sunday was far better musically than Saturday. What a difference it makes, good musicians with good materiel.  I used to come away with a pile of CDs, not anymore, albeit I would have had more, if anything recorded.

Coordination between the two stages, cloisters and bandstand none existent. Easy enough to resolve.

Pin a play list up at the side of the stage.

The bands need to do a better job of making their merchandise available, have a little table at the front, sign and chat. If on bandcamp, direct people there, make it better known. After all, it was established as a meeting place for fans and artists, and both get a good deal.

A pitch fee of £600 for the weekend is too high. It forces up prices, custom drops off. have a lower pitch fee, lower prices, and when pitch fee recovered a levy of 10% donated to Staycation.

The food and drink, emphasis on local, independent and quality.

Where lies the balance?

The pizza van not local, on the other hand very high quality.

The cocktail van rubbish, and did they really have to have their moronic music blasting out. We are there to hear the bands on the stage, not their poor taste in music.

The Little Beer Corporation did an excellent job. All the more so as not something they have done before.

But please, not a stall selling drink from an industrial complex.

The coffee truck, there is far better locally. Invite  the  Vintage Pop Up Tea Room found in Gostrey Meadow in Farnham on a Saturday during the summer.  Or The HoBo Co or Jimmy Bean.

Dylan ice cream an excellent choice. Quality and local.

I do not know the criteria for picking the music, but last couple of years standards have slipped.

There needs to be hashtags for twitter. Suggest

Shame on the organisers, starting a rumour that Roger Taylor, drummer with Queen, was playing with his own band.

Nevertheless, a great festival, always fantastic atmosphere and the organisers do an excellent job.

Staycation Live 2016

August 6, 2016
Staycation Live 2016

Staycation Live 2016 Saturday

A lovely day, clear blue sky a few fluffy white clouds, hot.

I arrived around one o’clock Nothing on the main stage, whether I had missed anything, I do not know.

A wander around. More food stalls, most not good.

Pleased to see Dylan ice cream, The Little Beer Company had two stands (not something they have done before). But why rubbish coffee? There are plenty of indie coffee vans serving quality coffee.

In the cloisters, a guy who could not sing or play a guitar. I have come across better in a karaoke bar.

Free Recovery

Free Recovery

Back to the main stage. A heavy metal band, Free Recovery, loud noise and distortion.

Time to go into Godalming, grab something to eat and fruit and vegetables.

I looked in Changing Perceptions. Nothing worth having.

Cafe Mila, was not very good last time I ate there, but the roll with lentils and salad was excellent.

Back to Staycation Live.

Jeramiah Ferrari

Jeramiah Ferrari

I caught the end of a reggae act Jeramiah Ferrari. They were good. I even bought a couple of copies of their album Jeramiah Ferrari.

They can be found on bandcamp, but clueless in its use. make entire album available, not one track.

Back to Cafe Mila for afternoon tea and a cake.

On my return, Ushti Baba, a hillbilly act gone bonkers. No idea who they were, until I checked later. They were dreadful.

Jenna and the G's

Jenna and the G’s

They were followed by a pop act, Jenna and the G’s. OK, but nothing worth going out of your way for.

Whilst they were I had roast pork off Thee Milford Meat Roaster, It was excellent, tasty and succulent. Washed down with a  pint off The Little Beer Corporation stall, though a guest ale, not one of their own. A very dark beer, but not stout.

Between acts, The Scarlet Vixen, an exotic dance act, were excellent.

merchandise

merchandise

One good idea, putting group merchandise in front of the stage.

As usual, programmes like gold dust. Why not pin up the running order by the stage?

Lack of coordination between the two stages.

Let us hope Sunday is better.

Godalming Food Festival

July 3, 2016
Godalming Food Festival

Godalming Food Festival

Last year very hot, so hot I would rather have sat under a tree in my garden. Many others must have thought the same.

On my way, station where I bought a ticket yesterday, said we owe you money. True, as I had paid for a ticket and not been given a ticket. I replied, issue tickets today and call it quits.

Good timing, on arrival at Godalming Station, the streets were very wet, although I had not noticed rain on my way down.

Godalming Parish Church

Godalming Parish Church

I popped into Godalming Parish Church, a candle lit, prayer card writ, to give Jeremy Corbyn the strength to stand firm against the coup plotters.

In Church Street, a girl selling French Champagne, and no, you do not serve in opaque blue plastic. The plastic probably no choice, as in the street, but at least clear.

French Champagne

French Champagne

Not going to be selling us any Champagne then? She did not understand. I explained the EU is threatening UK with trade sanctions, and the French had a lot to lose, as they sell us wine and cheese, and we are the largest purchasers of Champagne.

Dylan’s Ice Cream was there. Why was you not at the Garden Party last weekend? Apparently the dates had been switched. Maybe that also explains why no Curries from Home doing the food.

A lot more stalls than previous years. This year past the Pepperpot and up the High Street.

excellent soup in Changing Perceptioms

excellent soup in Changing Perceptions

I popped in Changing Perceptions, to say hello to the lady who was there last week, but she was not there. I decided to stay and have soup. It was excellent, served with two big chunks of quality bread and a lump of butter.

It was packed when I walked in.

As I was enjoying my soup, a moron backed a massive 4×4 all the way down the street, then unable to get any further due to the market stalls, parked blocking the street

Pork off the hog roast from the local butcher. Not as good as previous years, maybe I should have got there sooner and not had the soup, as previously they were still slicing off the roasting pig. No crackling. They knocked 50p off the price. Although not as good as previous years, it was still good.

cocktail Dragon and The Bell

cocktail Dragon and The Bell

Dragon and The Bell, had some strange cocktail. I tried it, and it was good. They were asking people to post pictures of their stall on Instagram. I said no, a very bad idea. Instagram claim the right to use these pictures, and they are not visible on twitter.

I explained far better, ask people to post pictures on twitter with hashtag

and pick from the best. And that they should change the poster on their stall to say this.

Whether or not they heeded my advice I do not know, but they thought it an excellent idea.

Café Mila had a juice bar. Ride a bicycle and it drives the juicer, or pick your own fruit and vegetables off the adjacent fruit and vegetables stall, and we will make to order.

I decided upon a zinger, but a variant on what they serve. Three carrots, apple, an orange (which I bought off the fruit and vegetable stall) and a piece of ginger.

The girl tried it, and was impressed.

A chat with the Greek guy who was running a Greek stall. Last year we discussed the situation in Greece, and how terrible it was. I told him of my experience of Athens last October. He said he had lived in England for 60 years, and was proud to stand with the British and vote against the EU. He said Greece and UK, must stand together and fight the EU, but was disgusted that Greece had been betrayed by Alexis Tspras, who now headed a puppet government of the EU. He found it tragic that there were Brits who voted to support the EU. He questioned what did we fight the war for?

Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions

A cappuccino in Changing Perceptions. Not undrinkable as cappuccino in Godalming Food Company, but not good. I suspect poor quality beans and lack of skill. It was very weak. They also topped with chocolate. Never serve a cappuccino with chocolate, or at least not without asking.

I enjoyed the flapjack.

£3-30. In Costa it would have been a fiver, less a few coppers, for disgusting undrinkable coffee, factory cakes, and an unpleasant corporate contrived atmosphere.

Why oh why do people drink the disgusting coffee in Costa, Cafe Nerro or tax-dodging Starbucks?

Steve, of Café Mila, plus one of the photographers who took the pictures, said take a look at the photo exhibition in Godalming Museum.

They always have excellent exhibitions, and I regret to say I did not visit the watercolour exhibition last week.

The exhibition was excellent, a must visit. I suggested also exhibit at Guildford House, Guildford Institute and Café Mila. I also wrote my suggestion in their book.

It was then wander back down the street as everyone was packing up.  And pop in Waitrose for some cheese.

I had almost forgotten just caught the butcher before he closed.

Waitrose was packed. But at least they man the tills and provide service, unlike Waitrose Farnham.

A long chat with a pleasant girl who was carrying out a survey.

Bus to Guildford. ideally, 70, 71 or 72, as direct. Along came a 46, which goes all around the houses. All around the houses, it went all around the countryside. I began to think it was heading to Aldershot not Guildford, and I had caught the wrong bus. I had assumed it was going to Guildford from the bus stop, I had not actually asked. It did eventually arrive at Guildford.

At Guildford Station, I watched my train disappearing. Half an hour wait for the next train.

Godalming Food Festival is better than the street food market in Winchester on a Wednesday, but not as good as the South Bank Street Food market every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Changing Perceptions

June 21, 2016
Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions, what a  delightful surprise.

Tea room cum coffee shop, wide choice of teas and cakes.  A tea shop that sells paint and furniture. But there was even bigger surprise in store. Wander through the back and it opens out into a workshop where furniture is restored.

I had a flapjack and a pot of tea. I did not have a coffee because I still had the foul taste of the coffee from the Godalming Food Company.

I suggested they check out The Hive in Daltson, attend one of their conferences.

Also check out FairCoin, as it would link then in with social enterprises worldwide.

Changing Perceptions is a social enterprise owned and run by Meath Epilepsy Charity.

Social enterprises are part of the sharing, collaborative commons, the fastest growing sector of the economy.

Cappuccino at The Godalming Food Company

June 21, 2016
er no, not the best coffee in Godalming

er no, not the best coffee in Godalming

looks disgusting, tastes disgusting

looks disgusting, tastes disgusting

The Godalming Food Company changed hands last year. Changes since I last visited. Now half a coffee shop. Poor choice of cakes. Contrary to the sign outside, not the best coffee in Godalming.

They source poor quality beans, and the guy making the coffee not a clue, and it was undrinkable. Not as bad as Costa, but in that ballpark.

The beans were on sale. I do not recommend you buy.  No roast date on the bags.

When you make the ludicrous claim to be serving the best coffee in town, you simply open yourself up to ridicule.

A lady said, go further up the High Street, you will find something much better.

I followed her advice

I do not think I have ever ventured beyond the museum and the bus stop.

Changing Perceptions, what a  delightful surprise. Tea room cum coffee shop, wide choice of teas and cakes.

Afternoon in Godalming

June 21, 2016
churchyard

churchyard

River Wey

River Wey

River Wey

River Wey

Pleasant warm afternoon, hazy sun, occasional blue sky.

A bridge has been built across the line at Godalming Station. It is unfortunate that it is out of character with the station that has kept its Victorian character.

Candle lit, but no prayer card writ (as there were none) in Parish Church  for Mavis in hospital with a fractured shoulder (but slowly, slowly recovering).

Chairs had been put on top of brasses and other artefacts in the floor.

I moved all the chairs.

Why do churches not take better care of their heritage?

Friday lunchtime concerts. Mainly organ recitals.

Why not invite Jewelia to play the piano?

I was pleased to see the churchyard has been left as a hay meadow, paths cut through the grass.

A lesson for Farnham Parish Church which has cut its grass.

A pleasant walk along the River Wey.

I was surprised how how the hogweed. I do not recall it ever being this high before.

Walking up through Church Street, I saw the little coffee shop cum cake shop had closed. I was not surprised, it has been there a couple of years, and I have yet to see anyone in it.

Lunch at Cafe Mila was a disappointment, not their usual high standard. The soup was ok, the main, a sort of curried vegetables was not good.

Cafe Mila need to up their game on their coffee. The world has moved on. They need to source beans from a quality independent roaster. Try Horsham or Surrey Hills.

I learnt from the butcher when the Godalming Food Festival will be.

The Godalming Food Company changed hands last year. Changes since I last visited. Now half a coffee shop. Poor choice of cakes. Contrary to the sign outside, not the best coffee in Godalming. They source poor quality beans, and the guy making the coffee not a clue, and it was undrinkable. Not as bad as Costa, but in that ballpark.

A lady said, go further up the High Street, you will find something much better.

I do not think I have ever ventured beyond the museum and the bus stop.

Changing Perceptions, what a  delightful surprise. Tea room cum coffee shop, wide choice of teas and cakes.  A tea shop that sells paint and furniture. But there was even bigger surprise in store. Wander through the back and it opens out into a workshop where furniture is restored.

I had a flapjack and a pot of tea. I did not have a coffee because I still had the foul taste of the coffee from the Godalming Food Company.

Long wait for 71 bus. Half and hour late and had still not turned up. I caught the 46.

The 46 used to run ten minutes or there about after the 71, but now seems to run at random times.

A pleasant bus ride through sunken lanes.

Godalming Food Festival Saturday 2 July 2016.

Tuesday afternoon in Godalming

November 24, 2015
swan and Cygnets on River Wey

swan and cygnets on River Wey

riverside walk

riverside walk

River Wey

River Wey

soup at Cafe Mila

soup at Cafe Mila

lunch at Cafe Mila

lunch at Cafe Mila

Four weeks ago, last Tuesday in October, pleasant sunny afternoon in Godalming.

A walk along the river.

Lunch at Cafe Mila.

Wander in the street.

Afternoon tea at Cafe Mila.

Long journey home on the bus.

Lunch at Cafe Mila

September 15, 2015

Lunch at Cafe Mila was sadly was not up to their usual high standard. Soup was excellent, but the chickpea curry was awful. The service was not too good either.

I usually sit downstairs, at a long wooden table, but it was too noisy, loud music, and three very noisy women who probably could be heard half way down the street, sat behind me. I decided to sit upstairs. Having placed my order and said where I was sitting, I let me know I was relocating upstairs.

leak and potato soup

leak and potato soup

Long time before my soup arrived. Full marks to the waitress, not a drop sloshed around the bowl.

The soup bowls have changed. They were shallow, now deep. Or maybe my imagination.

Leak and potato soup. It had no resemblance to any leak and potato soup I have ever tasted. That said, it was excellent, piping hot and generous portion size. Though at £6, pricey.

chickpea curry

chickpea curry

One of my favourite dishes from Curries from Home is chickpea curry. That was my main course. It was awful. The only time I have ever left a dish at Cafe Mila.

I have before had Thai green curry, and that was excellent.

The service was terrible. Long wait for my soup. An even longer wait for my curry, though when it was finally delivered, the girl did at least apologise.

Nor was it quiet upstairs. It was, but half way through my soup, the noisy women arrived joined by a fourth women. Ignorant, scant regard for others who were upstairs because it is the quiet area.

In the corner a lovely sculpture.

Later I decided to return for afternoon tea only annoyingly to find they had closed early. Not good, people will not bother late afternoon, if they risk finding closed, then in a downward spiral of closing earlier and earlier.

Cafe Mila have occasional special evenings. Why not invite Curries from Home for an Indian evening? At least it will be authentic India cuisine.

sculpture

sculpture