Alresford

August 14, 2019

I pass through Alresford, New Alresford to be correct, on the way to Winchester. Today, even though I was late and it was raining I decided to alight from the bus.

Town hosues,a few shops, at least smany indeepndent shops, tow coffee shops, Caracol and Coffee #1.

Caroclo went bsut, new owers, coffee was never good.

Coffee #1, enw, only a few weeks in Alresford. The coffee and service as I wa stio learn terrible.

It was then hop back on the bus to Winchester.

— to be continued —-

Afternoon in Winchester

August 14, 2019

This morning heavy rain. A trip to Winchester not an option. It then brightened a little, rain stopped, and off I went to Winchester.

Heavy rain on the way, roads awash with water.

Had I set off early, I would have stopped off at Alresford, arrived Winchester early afternoon.

I decided to stop off anyway, a quick look around, maybe find something to eat.

Alresford has two coffee shops.

Carocoli went bust, was then taken over by whoever runs the coffee shop in the department store in Farnham. It was not good before, can only have got worse.

Coffee #1 is new. I learnt how new, onl ya few weeks old.

It is aching, chain owned by Caffe Nero, and it shows,from the poor service to the bad coffee.

Service was that bad that I missed the bus to Winchester, caught the next bus.

Arrived in Winchester a little after five.

Long chat with cheese guy. I learnt it was he who had told me of Coffee Gems.

Just made The Square before it closed at six.

I could have maybe made the 1820 bus, decided to make the 1920, go for a walk behind the Cathedral and back vin the River Itchen.

Wednesday night bikers night at Alto Station cafe. No one had tuned up, only a single bike parked up outside. More turn up in the depths of winter.

At least it meant there was food left.

— to be continued —-

Brighton Coffee Festival

August 11, 2019

Brighton Coffee Festival was hosted in Brighton Open Market, along London Road., only a few minutes walk from Brighton Staiton, downa steep flight of steeps,and along …. A part of Brighton i was not aware of let alone visited before.

I lacked a ticket. Nightmare trying to book on-line using a phone, little better on a laptop.

Book on-line charged £7 a further £1 booking fee. On the gate £10.

A mix of coffee roasters, many of which were local coffee shops or Sussex coffee roasters plus London coffee roasters, a couple of food stalls, interspersed with talks and a latte art competition.

It was basically wander around try the coffee. Most were serving V60, a few espresso and V60.

A few talks. The sound systems so bad impossible to hear the lady from Pharmacie. A Colombian guy Eduardo Florez from a The Colombian Coffee Company in Borough Market was comprehensible, maybe I was stood in the right spot.

Awful moronic music blasting out. It was overloading the system and clipping. It made it nigh impossible to hold conversation.

Colombian guy Eduardo Florez interesting. Why do we buy coffee? We do not buy wine.

Well actually we doe, we buy red or whit or fizzy, sweet or dry, the cheapest we can find, but basically is is we buy wine.

Similarly we buy coffee, or at least drink coffee.

The discerning coffee drinker seeks out quality, wishes to know the origin, the provenance of the coffee, the variety, when it was roasted, by who was it roasted.

Coffee farmers who focus on quality, are able to command a higher price for their benas, everyone is happy, the grower gets more money. the coffee drinker better quality coffee. Constart with the fair trade scam whi pays a tiny margin above commodity price, mainaytsn gafmers in poverty as no incentive to improve quality.

The rubbish coffee relies on marketing.

WE as coffee drinkers by seeking out the best coffee, frequeting indie coffee shops, avoiding the corpaoarte chains and coffee shops serving bad coffee are helping the coffee farers improve their lilehood.

It wa s apity he did not have astall to enable visitos to try and buy his coffee.

Intetetsing converaation with .. a coffee farmer in Rwanda. Sge told me a little of the etstae, taht processings atkes packe on the farm, a schoo has bene built for the children.

Red Roaster roast her coffee beans.

On walking in, greeted by Small Batch, and unfortunately an unpleasant cacophony of noise.

I am not a fan of takeaway coffee, the only way to enjoy coffee is to sit and relax with a coffee glass or ceramic but one of those rare exception where I will stop time permitting and have a coffee is the Small Batch kiosk outside Brighton Station. The coffee served always consistently good.

Small Batch had receptacles for coffee cups, liquid, and lids. The only stall, though others may have had hidden, as took cup if handed over.

Everyone was using compostable cups.

I then wandered around clockwise.

First coffee off Horsham Coffee Roasters.

A Kenyan V60, it was excellent. The first and best coffee of the day.

I later returned and tried a Rwandan. It too was good.

It will be interesting to see how compares in Krema.

By contrast, a coffee off Roasted was disappointing.

A table with The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide. Now in its second edition, a useful guide to have, but a case of feel the width never mind the quality. Too many coffee shops which if the idea is to highlight the best in Brighton I would not include.

How is it financed?

Redemption roast coffee at Aylesbury Prison, where also teach coffee skills to young offenders. They also have four coffee shops in London.

Excellent cappuccino off Caravan with their espresso blend. Very interesting flavour profile.

Pelicano had an impressive stand. There coffee shop in North Laine is one of my favourite coffee shops. Not only for coffee, always an impressive display of cakes. One of the few places places can obtain Drift and Standart.

Passing by the Pelicao coffee shop later they told me they had had a very good day at the coffee festival.

I have never been to the London Coffee Festival, and frlom what I learn, each yaer it gets worse.

The ogaisners of the Brighton Coffee Festiva were helpful, responded very promtly to my queries.

The ticetin on-line a nightmare. I would suggets fir future use Event Brite, as never had problems.

Please please ditch the music. It made convesraion nigh impossibe.

I was pleased toge chains and corpaorate coffee suplliers ddid not get a look in. The ficus was onspecialty coffee and local.

I would have liked to have seen Square Mile, Alchemy, Kiss the Hippo, Coffee Gems, Columbia Coffee Roasters, DT Coffee Roasters.

How to fit them all in, if space cannot be extended? Omit the food stalls, food was avalibes o no need for food stalsl. And that included The Flour Pot, who are a cake shop.

Consider a fringe or alternative coffee festival, events sprad overf a week or longer, hosted in different coffee shops across Brighton.

Brighton Coffee Festival was hosted in Brighton Open Market, along London Road., only a few minutes walk from Brighton Staiton, downa steep flight of steeps,and along …. A part of Brighton i was not aware of let alone visited before.

The central are lined with shops. Unfortunate less tahn half were open, and most of yhsoe taht weee open closed before four. I would have liked to ahve looked in the zero waste shop.

I found a Turksih lady wih a stall making food I have never come across before. She made it look simple, bust she told me not as simple as seh made it look.

A ball of doughm which she dropped into a machine resmabeleling a minute version of an od fashioned mangle,s he then rolled witha tiny rolling pin. Droppped nto whatever you wished for, vegan vegeatian meat. I chose lamb. Fold in half,, thne poppped ona hot palte for five minutes. Delicious. I nacan olny decsribe as almsot like a thin pizza base, bust then folded to resemble a Cornish pasyty.

On leaving via the London Road entance I aspoke witha man packing up a bookstall. He said wjen evenst were onm it was varied but today he did quite well.

— to be continued —

Free Coffee

August 11, 2019

On my way to Brighton Coffee Festival at The Open Market I encountered outside Costa on London Road a small van giving away free coffee.

No idea why.

I think it was to promote the hemp milk they were using, though it could have been a protest against Costa.

The coffee was undrinkable, though probably still better than Costa.

If drinking undrinkable coffee may at least drink free undrinkable coffee, though I would prefer to have neither and pay for good coffee, or failing that a beer or water or fruit juice or tea.

I did not try until I reached The Open Market, a little further up the road. It was scaling hot. I have never had coffee this hot.

I poured it down the drain and the cup I dropped in a bin.

— to be continued —

Sunday in Brighton

August 11, 2019

A pleasant day in Brighton.

Train to Gatwick, no wifi, train to Brighton, no wifi.

At Brighton Station popped in Passenger Lounge for wifi to load Google maps of where I was going.

I headed a back way out of the station down steep steps, that eventually brought me out some way along London Road.

A guy with a little van parked up outside Costa giving away free coffee. No idea why. It was undrinkable, though probably still better than Costa. If drinking undrinkable coffee may at least drink free undrinkable coffee, though i would prefer to heave neither and pay for good coffee, or failing that a beer or water or fruit juice or tea.

London Road, the further walk along away from the seafront the worse it gets.

Not far along London Road, past Presuming Ed, and there on the right the entrance to The Covered Market.

It was only then I tried the freebie coffee. It was scalding hot. I have never had coffee this hot. I poured it down the drain and dropped the cup in a bin. An afterthought, maybe I should have kept for the Brighton Coffee Festival.

I lacked a ticket. Nightmare trying to book on-line using a phone, little better on a laptop.

Book on-line charged £7 a further £1 booking fee. On the gate £10.

A mix of coffee roasters, many of which local coffee shops or Sussex and London Coffee roasters, some food.

It was basically wander around try the coffee. Most were serving V60, a handful espresso and V60.

A few task. The sound systems so bad impossible to hear the lady from Pharmacie. A Colombian guy from a Columbia coffee company in Borough market was comprehensible, maybe I was sood in the right spot.

Awful moronic music blasting out. It was overloading the system and clipping. It made it nigh impossible to hold conversation.

Onleavingm I thought of trying coffee shops in this part of Brighton, but not sure if open and wished to make Blackbird before tyhey clsoed.

Very annoyed to find they had clsoed early.

On the safront very windy.

Walked onto tghe oier, Very strong wind.

Decied to check coffee shops in Kemptown. Tghey were clsoed.

A wanswe through Kemptown. Very rough arae with rough peopel hanging around.

I decided to call it a day, jehad to Palicano, have a coffeem thne catch a train.

I apssed a fisg =h n chip shop. A man eating outside. It looked good. I asjked, and he said it was good.

I checked, open until seven.

Time to have a coffee at Pelican. New staffm no. Had tgheie been the original straff I would have had a coffee.

BNack ti fish n chip shop. I ordered fresh cooked haddacka dn chios, the haddock with no skin.

Long ytime coming. By time I had findihedm sun had gond and turning cold.

Sag stod at the end of the tabel hoping for someting to eat.

Time to head for the staion. I caugght an earleir train tahn a couple of weeks ahom thogh later tahn woudl have caught if had noit had fish n chiosp. But if I had caught next trainm I would miss connection at Gatwick and have long wait for next train.

I was surised to find train waiting at Gtwick. Wifi workingm no usb opaiwer.

On leaving a lady with astall Turksih food. It was excelelnt. Tgherew ere sonme food shops. They clsoed before four ans several were not opem.

— to be continued —

Afternoon in Farnham

August 10, 2019

Very strong winds, cool compared with of late.

Alight from bus and walk along River Wey and up through Gostrey Meadow.

This used be an enjoyable pleasant walk, but since building of an ugly bridge to facilitate building of an unwanted shopping centre not so, but still better than walking through the narrow streets and enduring traffic fumes.

I looked in Okomoko zero waste shop, almost filled a jar with muesli, then topped off with dried apricots.

Why were the apricots dark brown? I have seen dried apricots like this before, but not in England, in Athens.

Girl said the orange coloured ones were dyed. Seemed odd.

I checked. No, treated with SO2 to retain their orange colour, the dark ones are not and turn a dark colour as dry naturally in the sun.

Gail’s the service has never been great, never see the same staff twice.

Tables covered in dirty dishes. Customers were having to clear.

When my order was brought, a sausage roll, the sausage pink and under-cooked, no attempt to clear my table.

Gail’s is not god for coffee.

As always cars parked outside Gail’s on the double yellow lines.

To Krema for a coffee.

I thought of going for walk around Bishop’s Meadow, dark clouds were not far away. I thought best to go to Waitrose.

Irony is lost on Waitrose. A notice where the shelves stacked with toilet rolls stating Waitrose going plastic free, the toilet rolls warped in plastic.

The usual poor service in Waitrose. Only two tills manned.

No 1 Bus from Aldershot going on a diversion. Nothing at the bus station to inform passengers.

Cappuccino Harris + Hoole

August 9, 2019

Since takeover by Caffe Nero and rapid fall from grace, Harris + Hoole is not somewhere I would usually frequent.

Thanks to heavy downfall of rain, too late for Krema, and as it was touch and go whether I would make a train, I decide to stop of at Harris and Hoole and have a coffee.

Inside busy, too hot and stuffy, decided to sit outside.

Staffing levels far too low, but that is Caffe Nero, death by a thousand cuts.

Cappuccino reasonable, not great. Again Caffe Nero, their low quality coffee. It used to be Union.

Experience Guildford demonstrates how to squander public money

August 9, 2019

You could not make it up if you tried.

Dump a pile of sand by the side of the River Wey in Guildford, add a few deckchairs and beach huts, and call it a beach.

This is how Experience Guildford, accountable to no one, least of all small independent businesses, squanders public money.

The difference to Brighton, apart from the sea and a pier and Brighton iSore, Brighton has people on the seafront.

There is to be a vote in Lincoln to get rid of Lincoln BIG. The same needs to happen with Experience Guildford, parasitical organisations that serve no useful purpose.

Tusnsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre is always empty. That despite Experience Guildford and Visit Guildford endlessly promoting not only Tunsgate Quarter but also Cosy Club on social media.

Further examples of how pubic money is being squandered.

Afternoon in Guildford

August 9, 2019

Forecast a storm, strong wins, heavy rain.

Fortunately not, but that was bouts of heavy rain.

Sunny morning. I was late walking to the station and started to rain as I reached the station.

Train passed through heavy rain.

At Guildford, it was sunning. But, I stayed and had a cappuccino off FCB kiosk, by the time I left, dark clouds, windy.

Walking along the River Wey, an example of how Experience Guildford squanders public money. Sand dumped at the side of the River Wey to create a beach, replete with beach huts and deck chairs. The difference to Brighton, Brighton has people.

There is to be a vote in Lincoln to get rid of Lincoln BIG. The same needs to happen with Experience Guildford, parasitical organisations that serve no useful purpose.

Luckily I made the market, lunch in Bamboo shoots without it raining.

Then to Growlers & Cans. I mentioned the possibility of Staycation Live for next year. Either to run the bar or to advise on the supply.

Now all need to do is find a good coffee stall and good food. Easier said than done.

To Ben’s. I should have gone to Krema first, then Ben’s.

Heavy torrential rain, Tunsgate awash with water. Too late for Krema.

Walked through the Tusnsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre. As always empty. That despite Experience Guildford and Visit Guildford endlessly promoting on social media not only Tunsgate Quarter but also Cosy Club. Further examples of how pubic money is being squandered.

I looked in Nepsresso shop. Did I wish to but. No way. They claimed Tunsgate Quarter had busy periods. Oh look, we have spotted someone.

Popped in Harris + Hoole. Staffing levels too low. That is Caffe Nero. A cappuccino, reasonable, not great. Again Caffe Nero, their low quality coffee. It used to be Union.

I sat outside. Inside too hot and stuffy. The chairs appeared to be dry. An illusion, soaking wet.

Whilst sat there, cars would park on the double yellow lines. No enforcement.

An army of enforcers at Guildford Station, treating passengers as criminals.

The Missing Bean

August 9, 2019

I have for some time been meaning to visit The Missing Bean.

When I first found some weeks ago, it was closing, other visits to Oxford too late to find open.

— to be continued —