Archive for the ‘Guildford’ Category

Afternoon in Guildford

July 14, 2017

Coolish start to the day then turned very warm.

Excellent moussaka off Greek shop at The Village.

I think this is now my fifth visit to The Village, still a disaster, still devoid of visitors.

A new unit has opened selling burgers. Only his second day, but sat outside eating my moussaka, disturbed by the loud music from his stall. The use of polystyrene burger boxes is not acceptable. If nothing else, The Village must set high environmental standards. If individual stalls are going to cut corners, then The Village must set the standards as a condition of opening a unit.

The burger guy comes all the way down from Stevenage.

I look in Food For Thought. They tell me of a new coffee shop, further down the street. I say I will check it out. I have a long chat about coffee. I suggest check out Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop and Standart. I also recommend Real Fresh Coffee.

I look in Oxfam Bookshop. Nothing on coffee.

Outside Oxfam Bookshop, a group of Italians about to cross the road to tax-dodging Starbucks. I ask do they not like coffee? Probably not, as Italy infamous for bad coffee. I suggest Harris + Hool, FCB coffee kiosk on Guildford Station, Dylan’s ice cream or the new coffee shop I have yet to try.

I head to the new coffee shop. I double check where it is. Someone else recommends. They tell me Surrey Hills not good, a rude female with attitude problem and yes, the new coffee shop is good.

Claimed to be an artisan coffee shop. A bold claim to make. especially if not. Caracoli claim to be best coffee shop in Guildford. They are not, not by a long way, which simply makes them look foolish.

I find the new coffee shop, 62 Haydon Place. A long chat with the owner. He has Square Mile coffee which is a good sign, plus guest coffee. He says he is going to host different guest coffees, which also a good sign. I suggest try Karuna Coffee.

Then return to The Village, BBC have been filming around Guildford all day, no idea why, now filming at The Village.

Someone who appears to be responsible for The Village tells me how well it is doing, that it is busy. I look around and see the lack of people. Maybe she sees invisible people. That last week they were forced to halve the rent says the exact opposite.

I learn there is to be a food festival maybe September. I suggest invite Bedda and Karuna Coffee. I should have added Curries from Home.

I try my hand at latte art. Not very good, but I at least realise what I was doing wrong. Not bad for only second attempt. Last time was May at Miyu Coffee, and that was far worse, so at least improving.

Cold brew coffee at FCB kiosk

July 7, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, FCB kiosk at Guildford Station was experimenting with cold brew coffee. They were using their FCB espresso blend. I suggested use the Kenyan coffee they have as a guest coffee from Horsham Coffee Roasters. They have heeded my suggestion.

It is now available in a bottle from the fridge.

Straight out of the bottle, excellent. On ice not quite so good. The ice waters it down. If to serve with ice, need to make cold brew with half the water the other half is in the ice.

Begs the question why is Harris + Hoole serving rubbish nitro brew coffee out of a can when they could be serving cold brew coffee?

Affogato Dylan’s ice cream

July 7, 2017

An affogato at Dylan’s ice cream in The Village.

A dollop of vanilla ice cream, a single shot of espresso, Ideally a double shot, but would not have fitted in the tub.

It was excellent, though I was left with a  liquid mess in the bottom of the tub.  Maybe I should have eaten sooner, as very hot day, over 30C.

Explosion at Guildford Station

July 7, 2017

Early afternoon, a  little after two, an explosion, followed by smoke billowing from a train.

Time stood still. It was as though a motion picture had frozen.

No one panicked. More, a look of concern, what next?

Police, station staff, security running to the train.

A couple of Chinese girls asked me what had happened. I said I did not know, other than state what I had heard and seen.

A station announcement, move away from the train. A technical problem with the train. Another announcement, no trains.

I guessed, maybe a massive electrical short, which in turn had taken out a sub-station.

I later learned I had been correct. I also learnt bits had blasted from the train, luckily no one injured.

Afternoon in Guildford

July 7, 2017

Another very hot day.

A couple of weeks ago, FCB kiosk at Guildford Station was experimenting with cold brew coffee. They were using their FCB espresso blend. I suggested use the Kenyan coffee they have as a guest coffee from Horsham Coffee Roasters. They have heeded my suggestion.

Cold brew coffee at FCB kiosk  is now available in bottle.

Straight out of the bottle, excellent. On ice not quite so good. The ice waters it down. If to serve with ice, need to cold brew with half the water the other half is in the ice.

Begs the question why is Harris + Hoole serving rubbish nitro brew coffee out of a can when they could be serving cold brew coffee.

Whilst there, an explosion on a train. Smoke then billowing from the train.

Time stood still. No one panicked.  Police and security running to the train. People stood, with concerned expressions, not sure what to do, as they assessed the situation.  A couple of Chinese girls asked me what was going on.  All I could tell them was what I had seen.

It was then announced, technical problem with the train, clear the platform, though no request to clear the station. It was then announced no trains.

I hazarded a guess, a major power short which then would have taken out the sub-station.

As I learnt later, may guess proved to be correct. But luckily no one injured as bits of the train blasted across the line, opposite side to the platform where I was standing. I was next to the train when the explosion happened further down the train.

Quick visit to the market, then looked in Food For Thought, where often something on offer on a Friday.

Lots of fruit and vegetables, a liquidiser demo making fruit juices. Watermelon and something else I cannot recall, but also some powdery rubbish.

This is the mistake Food for Thought always make, always an excuse to peddle some additive.

I asked what it was. A fibre additive. I pointed out, fruit and vegetables have natural fibre.

Watermelon on its own makes a very insipid drink. I suggested add apple. No one was listening, more interested in slavishly following a recipe in a book that required some additive.

Then to The Village. Maybe my fourth visit and still a  disaster. This now seems to be recognised, as rents for the units have been halved.

Wimbledon on a big screen. At a  guess  less than half a dozen people sat in deckchairs watching.

Yet again, no moussaka from the Greek shop, and now have opened a second unit. Must be gluttons for punishment.

The only unit that appears to be doing any business is Dylan’s ice cream. Today free coffee.

I tried an affogatto. Ideally two shots, but would not have fitted in the tub. We tried one shot. Excellent, but a lot of coffee flavoured liquid at the end. Maybe I did not eat it soon enough.

I tried a tea. It was excellent too.

Borrowed Real Fresh Coffee.

At Guildford Station, my guess confirmed, a massive electrical short. Fortunately trains were back to normal.

Afternoon in Guildford

June 30, 2017

A warmer sunnier day than has been of late.

I looked in Harris + Hoole. Pleased to see chiller cabinet now working and hole in the ceiling of the toilet has been patched.

Now we need Harris + Hoole to stop abusing coffee drinkers, passing their personal data to Murdoch when accessing wifi.

I spent the afternoon at The Village.

It was dead two weeks ago when it opened. It was dead today. Whoever is responsible seems determined to drive people away.  Today irritating distorted pop music from tannoys across the site.

I was looking forward to moussaka off the Greek unit. Again no moussaka. I tried the meat balls with rice and salad. This was quite good.

An ice cream off Dylan’s ice cream.

Needed, a good coffee shop. This may happen. Dylan’s ice cream will start serving coffee in about a week. They need though to source quality coffee. I have suggested Karuna Coffee.

Today, or yesterday, delivery of a brand new coffee machine. I spent the afternoon as volunteer coffee taster.

Both the Greek shop and Dylan’s ice cream, need tables and chairs. Either organisers of the village provide extra tables and chairs, or they reallocate the existing tables and chairs which are not in use.

One of the problems apart from lack of quality businesses to draw people in, the music driving people away, and the complete lack of any passing trade, is that three different organisations are responsible for The Village, Guildford Council, a private company letting the units and a third body organising events, a recipe for chaos.

Afternoon in Guildford

June 20, 2017

Hotter than Saturday.  Four days in a row,  temperature exceeds 30C.

A day for sitting in the garden under the shade of the trees, not a  day for Guildford.

But no choice, Samsung A3 2016 unlocked from iFixGadgets had locked me out. They had not carried out unlocking correctly.

Cold brew coffee off FCB coffee kiosk at Guildford Station. Far better than the nitro cold brew in a can from Harris + Hoole which was disgusting.

A method I had not yet seen. A method not mentioned in Cold Brew Coffee. Ideally stored in the fridge, served in a  frosted glass. Ideally brewed with their Kenyan guest coffee, or better still a Kenyan guest coffee from Karuna Coffee.

iFixGadget no phone number on receipt, a website that is not valid. I managed to find a phone number, email ignored, fed bullshit that must have dropped phone, put pressure on the screen.

I was fed the same bullshit on visiting the shop. Then when saw error message, it changed to must have tried to install something on phone etc etc.

No, it locked out on turning off.

It locked out because they had not carried out unlocking correctly.

After much grumbling, agreed to fix.

I wished for moussaka from the Greek unit in The Village.

I forgot, The Village closed, Monday and Tuesday. How perverse. If individual units wish to close, but not close the entire area.  Hardly surprising it is a disaster.

A disgusting feta and spinach pie off Fresco , a  Greek coffee shop. Followed by an  equally disgusting freddo cappuccino.  Never wise to post a sign Best Coffee in Town, when not, as simply makes look foolish.  The coffee sourced, over-roasted burnt rubbish from Italy, that no one who knows anything about coffee would touch with a  barge pole.

Picked up working phone from iFixgadets. Guy who fixed it extremely rude.

iFixgadets are also ripping people off. Cleaning kit from Poundland on sale for a  fiver.

In M&S, an excellent example of why not buy coffee in a supermarket. Beans with a roast date of 11 January 2017, well past their best. Which is why coffee beans in supermarkets do not usually show roast date, as old beans long past their optimum.

Street Food Picnic 2017

June 17, 2017

This is the  third annual Street Food Picnic in Allen House Grounds.

It is one of those events spread by word of mouth.

Last year, I saw leaflets in a Thai takeaway. This year in the Tourist Information Office.

Basketball courts had food stalls, a grassy area for people to relax.

Live music in the food area. From what I saw mid-afternoon onward, dreadful.

In the grassy area, a guy playing reggae.

A pleasant relaxing atmosphere.

A wide range of food stalls.

A burger off one stall. Yes I know, not very adventurous. But this was a quality burger, not the disusing crap served in McDonald’s.

For me at 9 oz, too big. And I had a side of potatoes.

I could have done with a beer to wash it down.

It would have been nice to have  had a decent bar.

I suggest invite The Little Beer Corporation to run a bar. They did an excellent job at Staycation Live last year in Godalming.

Need a coffee stall, a coffee stall serving decent coffee. Invite Karuna Coffee to run a coffee stall.

One stall was serving milkshakes, topped with ice cream, topped with two cakes. I did not want the cakes. The ice cream was poor quality ice cream, maybe in part because it was vegan.

I suggested they checked out the amazing milk shakes at Miyu Coffee.

I also recommended that they did not use Instagram, instead upload pictures direct to twitter and facebook.  Instagram claim rights to pictures and pictures are not visible on twitter

No milk alternatives to dairy products rarely work.

Next year invite Dylan’s Ice Cream.

Dylan’s Ice Cream can be found at The Village and during the summer on the farmers market firts Tuesday of the month.

I would also suggest invite Bedda, two Sicilian guys serving amazing pasta.

A very hot day.

I was hesitant on a street food festival in Allen House Grounds. It is away from the town centre. On the other hand it had an atmosphere it would not have had in the High Street.

In the High Street people would have had have a bite to eat and passed on. At Allen House Grounds they stayed, relaxed and enjoyed the day.

I stopped off on the way at The Village. Early afternoon and it was as dead as I saw on Friday, late afternoon and early evening. The moronic music blasting out is not helping.

Hottest day of the year, 27C in London.

Guildford farmers market first Tuesday of the month.

Farnham Carnival last weekend of June 2017

Godalming Food Festival Saturday 1 July 2017

Staycation Live first weekend of August 2017.

Afternoon in Guildford

June 16, 2017

The morning coolish, by afternoon hot.

I again tried guest coffee off FCB kiosk on Guildford Station. This time Kenyan from Horsham Coffee Roasters. I think the same as Krema uses for either filter coffee or cold brew, or maybe I am wrong. Excellent cappuccino.

I suggested they try guest coffee from Karuna Coffee.

When Caracoli stick a sign outside obstructing the highway claiming the best coffee in town, it simply makes them look stupid, as no, it is not the best coffee in town.

Too late to eat at Thai Restaurant in Jeffries Passage. Instead Thai green curry from their takeaway top of the High Street. It was not good.

I looked in Esquires Coffee. Not a recommended pace for coffee, clueless on coffee. too large cups beans from a catering supplier, they could not even tell me the roast date.

Same applies to Oxfam shop. They peddle low quality FairTrade coffee. Far better direct trade, growers get a far better price for quality coffee.

I checked out The Village. A disaster area. More or less the same location as the failed farmers market last year, lessons not learnt. Moronic music blasting out.

Too hot for cappuccino. I fancied a cold brew coffee, ice cold. Harris + Hoole brought out a murky looking concoction from the fridge, looked as though dredged from the bottom of a pond. Concentrated filter coffee which they chill, then dilute. Yuk.  I tried nitro cold brew out of a can. Only one word to describe, disgusting.  Not helped by the chiller cabinet not working, and so  not cold. Contrary to the false claims made by Chloë Callow in Cold Brew Coffee  I have yet to see any coffee shop with shelves groaning with jars of cold brew coffee, let alone restaurants with fridges full of the stuff.

There is a fairly new Greek coffee shop, which from the numbers outside, must be popular. I assumed and had been told, open until early evening. I asked, to be told closed in a few minutes. Open until seven which I guess is better than the indie coffee shops which close at seven. They gave me half a dozen little savoury pastries. Apart from one that had inside a disgusting sausage, were quite pleasant.

Afternoon in Guildford

June 9, 2017

Slowly slowly turning warmer.

Two weeks ago Gatwick train almost empty, Guildford deserted, following Manchester suicide bombing and raised terrorism status. It was like stepping into Nineteen Eighty-Four. I wondered would today be the same with terrorist attack in London last weekend on London Bridge and at Borough Market. Surprising not, Gatwick train packed, Guildford busy.  Guildford not quite so busy on Tuesday at farmers market.

As always excellent lunch at La Casita.

For starters gazpacho, followed by fillet of sea bream with rice, followed by affogato.

After visiting the market, a cappuccino in Surrey Hills Coffee. Not great, barista took great exception to being asked questions, bags of coffee on sale close to being past their best.

From Waterstone’s Cold Brew Coffee, only published a few days ago, surprised to find.

Then a far better cappuccino in Harris + Hoole.

Passing by Coffee Culture in Angels Gate on my way to the market, busiest I have ever seen it. Rumour on the street is they have gone bankrupt. Whether true or not I do not know.