Posts Tagged ‘Afternoon in Farnham’

Afternoon in Farnham

May 12, 2018

A cold wet afternoon in Farnham. Heavy rain all afternoon.

Chicken and vegetable soup followed by smoked salmon in a small bread roll at Gail’s.

The Farnham Deli is no more. No surprise, it was only a matter of time before it closed. The deli side was excellent, the tea shop dreadful, not helped by a woman who was rude to customers.  It is now a vegan cafe.

I looked in. The place has been gutted, the back half turned into an open kitchen. Noticeable cleaner that the Deli, a surprise it was never closed on health grounds. The upstairs also opened up. Art on the walls.

I am not very likely to eat here as no fan of vegan food.

Nor have a coffee. Coffee sourced from Surrey Hills, which is not great coffee, especially when they add robusta. A cappuccino bloody expensive at £3-20, all the more so when made with fake milk. It is not possible to make a cappuccino with fake milk. It looks disgusting, tastes disgusting.

I may though in future try the soup. Today it was roast tomato and red pepper soup.

A cappuccino at Krema. I was a little disappointed after their coffee shop in Guildford yesterday. Most of the regular staff appear to have left. My cappuccino was blended with chocolate. They did offer to make me a fresh one, but I declined.

Wandering through Lion and Lamb Courtyard, a novel offer at Lion and Lamb Cafe and Restaurant. We choose the menu, you choose the price. Curious I walked in and asked.

What was it, beans and toast? I have never seen busy, usually empty. It was admitted it was a last ditch attempt to attract custom. The menu chalked up on a large board but to the side a number of conditions, which somewhat defeats the offer.

I have eaten here a few times. The menu looks enticing the food has never been good. Which probably explains why always empty.


Afternoon in Farnham

December 16, 2017

A cold day, cold frosty morning.

With a little under twenty minutes to spare, having just missed a bus, I wandered into Aldershot town centre.

I found a Christmas Fayre, if that was what it was, a couple of tacky fairground rides blocking the street, Rotary Club blaring out distorted music, a coffee stall with no one drinking coffee, and the streets deserted.

On the bus 1400 No 17, female Stagecoach employee stood chatting to and distracting the driver. A notice clearly states do not stand forward of this point and distract the driver. One rule for passengers, another for Stagecoach?

In Farnham, alighted off the bus and walked along the riverside walk. Walking up through Gostrey Meadow, very cold.

I popped in Phyllis Tuckwell charity shop. I wanted their Christmas cards. Sold out. I did though pick up a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.

Excellent carrot and butternut squash with herb soup served with toasted sourdough bread. Far better than the soup of late in Gail’s artisan bakery.

Followed by cappuccino and a flapjack.

There was not many people about. Unlike last few weeks, Krema not packed. Cook on the other hand, very busy. No idea why, as usually only busy when a special offer. I asked. They did not know why busy either, and no, no special offers.

Churchard very cold.

I cut through the churchyard to Bishops Meadow. Dusk, gloomy and cold.

Lion and Lambs Courtyard very busy.

I looked in Caracoli. They have their own, or at least branded as their own, a bit like branding KeepCup, double walled plastic reusable coffee cup. Plastic! Somewhat defeats the objective of reducing the use of plastic. The lid screws in, which maybe makes it leak proof.

Only one coffee book in Waterstone’s, the completely useless Where to Drink Coffee. It has been relegated to a shelf by the floor.

Waitrose very busy and yet not all the tills manned.


Afternoon in Farnham

December 2, 2017

Anther cold day, not far above freezing, but did not feel as cold due to lack of strong wind and wind chill.

Alight from bus and walk along the riverside walk and through Gostrey Meadow.

Last week I found a heron in the River Wey. It was there again this afternoon.

The Christmas fair held two weeks ago has badly churned up Gostrey Meadow. It should not have been held in Gostrey Meadow. Castle Street would have  been a better location.

Lunch at Krema, a bacon in a bap. I would have had soup, but already gone.

Krema was empty when I walked in, but soon filled up.

I was pleased to again find Angar, and he made me an excellent cappuccino.

Which will go first, Wholefood shop, Deli or Barista Lounge? I cannot see any surviving.

Wholefood shop has very poor stock. I wanted muesli, no muesli. I would have thought very basic item  for a wholefood shop.

I made the mistake of buying a jar of peanut butter in the wholefood shop. I could as I anticipated bought one got one half price in Holland & Barrett.

I thought The Lion and Lamb Cafe and Restaurant had closed down as when I walked by Thursday it was in darkness. No it is still there, as always empty when I walk by.

I popped in Neal’s Yard Remedies in Lion and Lamb Courtyard. Man was chuffed when I complimented him on his wonderful winter scene in the window.

Why oh why does Waterstone’s not stock any coffee books worth reading?  Where to Drink Coffee, their one and only coffee book, is rubbish.

Stock control in Waitrose gets worse, fruit and vegetables empty shelves, cheese counter empty.  Then when go to pay, only half the checkouts and not all are manned.

A friend has the right idea. It used to be possible to obtain a free coffee in Waitrose, then they removed the takeaway cups. She takes in her own mug.

But, why, as she said, are their disposable coffee cups not biodegradable, then could go on the compost heap. A bin in Waitrose in which to deposit.

2.5 billion disposable coffee cups go to waste every year. Waitrose are contributing to the problem.

Afternoon in Farnham

November 25, 2017

Very cold in Farnham.

A heron catches my eye as I walk along the riverside walk.

From Gostey Meadow I cut through alleyways to Castle Street.

Soup, maybe something savoury, a cheese and tomato bread roll, in Gail’s artisan bakery.

No bread rolls, I settle for the carrot soup, carrot and ginger.

Service has been appalling in Gail’s ever since it opened sometime last summer, today no exception. Rarely see the same staff twice though individual members of staff try their best and are always polite.

Find a clean table. Tables piled with dirty dishes. I find one that does not have dirty dishes, but it is not clean.

My soup comes, or what jokingly is called soup, arrives. A few spoonfuls of puree carrots, bowl filled with cubes of soggy bread, is not soup.

I use the serviette to rest my phone on, as I did not wish to rest on the dirty sticky table.

I have to ask for butter, then ask for a  knife.

Waitress walks by, looks at the disgusting soup, stops and asks is it ok? I say no, it is disgusting. She offers to do something, I am not sure what, I say no.

During the summer, one thing that could be relied upon at Gail’s, when  available, was the soup.

The coffee is awful,  they are using Union, and not doing Union any favours.

I leave for Krema, where I know I will at least get a decent cup of coffee.

Owner is very pleased when I give him a couple of copies of Caffeine.

I look in Cook. I ask have their mince pies changed, as usually excellent, but what I had a couple of weeks ago, were not good.  They say no.

I cut through the churchyard. It is freezing, noticeable colder than the street.

No board outside the church, though lights on inside.

A man walks out of the church. I ask is it open? A sore point. He is not happy that he has been thrown out of his own church by a bunch of percussionists.  I say I will chance it. He wishes me luck.

I walk in, no on says anything. Then when I take a picture, a woman ask me to leave, says someone might steal their percussion instruments. I cannot see how, when they are there.  She is eating a takeaway, the smell permeating the church, another woman using her mobile.

I have often in the summer wandered in during rehearsals, no one ever objects.  I am careful not to disturb the rehearsal.  I am always made welcome, invited to attend the concert. They will explain who they are, what the concert is. Not this rude woman, I am asked to leave.  These though were musicians on tour. Obviously full of their own arrogant self-importance.

I ignored the woman who has asked me to leave, made my way out at my own pace, stopping to write notes in the visitor book to say how appalled I was by their behaviour.

Walking through Lion and Lamb Courtyard, it too is freezing cold as the churchyard.

I look in Waterstone’s. Their one and only book on coffee, Where to Drink Coffee, is probably one of the worst they could stock, entirely useless as a guide.

Walking back from Waitrose, I notice a marvellous display in Neal’s Yard Remedies. This time last year in Puerto de la Cruz, Exposición de Belenes en Casa Ventoso, an amazing exhibition of Christmas street scenes. This was similar, though on a  much smaller scale, nevertheless, it must have taken a lot of time and effort to construct. Far, far better than the usual Christmas scenes.

Afternoon in Farnham

November 18, 2017

A cold day, worse than yesterday in Guildford, as cold and wet

Passing through Aldershot, I found a rather pathetic Christmas Market, a a few stalls, sheds selling junk food which unfortunately will remain through Christmas until the New Year, and a brass band.

Alighting off the bus in Farnham and walking along the riverside walk, I found a Christmas Market in Gostrey Meadow.

Unlike Aldershot, it was busy, many people, lots of stalls.

Cappuccino and flapjack in Krema.

The Christmas Market was for turning on the Christmas lights.

Why so early, why not wait until early December?

I like what they did in Winchester, instead of wasting money on a so-called celebrity, they had the local Big Issue seller turn on the Christmas lights.

A lesson other towns should learn from.

Afternoon in Farnham

November 11, 2017

Cold and damp, after rain all night and morning.

Last week was very crowded in Farnham. This week almost as bad. It is as though they think it is December not November.

Last week in Gail’s busy, unusual to be busy, normally empty. Same this week, queuing out the door.

Last week, told no soup, gone three. This was news to me, and it was not gone three. Usually they have no soup left. The soup was not good.

Usually soup in Gail’s is good. This week not good either. Lamb soup. It was like drinking gravy with a shepherds pie dropped in. Yuk.

Last week, Krema full, as was Barista Lounge which is usually empty. At a guess overflow from Krema. Though passing by later empty, then closed early. Krema still busy.

I noticed last week Krema have changed from Pioneer to Work Horse. both coffee blends from Horsham Coffee Roasters. I queried why. More suitable for winter, less fruity more chocolatey.

In Waterstone’s, on the shelves not on display, Where to Drink Coffee. There are far better books on coffee that they could stock.

The usual appalling poor service and lack of stock control in Waitrose. It was bad last week, this week much worse, meat, fish and cheese counters closed. Why? To install a trendy sushi counter.

Man was saying how bad Farnham Waitrose was. I backed him up. We both said, do not get this bad stock control in Sainsbury’s. Indeed nor in Waitrose in Alton.

Afternoon in Farnham

September 23, 2017

A pleasant warm sunny afternoon.

Autumn is here, once the sun goes down, it turns cold.

Alight from the bus, walk along riverside walk, through Gostrey Meadow, and up into Farnham.

A bowl of soup at Gail’s artisan bakery.

I had not realised how late it was, I left for the butcher, then came back for my quiche.

The soup, tomatoes, roast peppers and tarragon. Served with two doorstops of bread I did not really need anything else. Doubly so as the quiche was not good. I was told it came with salad. The salad a few green leaves.

Curious why the coffee always bad, I asked, does anyone make the coffee? No, we have baristas.

It was then to Krema for a cappuccino.

Best cappuccino I have had in Krema. The coffee was new,  Horsham Pioneer v 4.5.

I would have walked around Bishop’s Meadow, but sun going down and turning cool.

Afternoon in Farnham

August 12, 2017

A pleasant sunny afternoon.

First time in weeks it has been possible to alight from the bus and walk along the riverside walk, through Gostrey Meadow and up through Downing Street. Last two visits it has been teeming down with rain.

Today they actually had soup at Gail’s, tomato, red pepper and tarragon. It is rare to see the same staff twice. Those who are there, generally helpful and pleasant.

Pleasant day, sat outside.

Castle Street is a pleasant broad street, but ruined by traffic.

Everyone knows the centre of Farnham needs to be pedestrianised, made traffic free, but never any action.

An idiot parks outside Gail’s in disabled parking bay.  Female gets out, does her shopping in Gail’s.

Farnham seem to be full of jerks who think they can park anywhere, usually on double yellow lines, on the narrow pavements. It is nearly always jerks with massive 4x4s.

Tables next to me, left dirty, no one bothers to clean. Not a good impression for anyone walking by.

Visitors to Farnham sat outside and were not impressed by the dirty tables.

Last couple of visits to Farnham the Parish Church has not been open. Pleased therefore to find today open.

A strange exhibition, Prayer Stations. Different sets of objects, one of which was shoes scattered on the floor. Somewhat dumb, as coming in from bright sunlight into a gloomy church, the shoes  are not seen, an ideal trip hazard. someone is going to have a nasty fall.  Even worse if then crack head open on the side of a pew or the stone-flagged floor.

As a pleasant afternoon, a walk around 23 acre Bishop’s meadow,  then through into the field with the horses.

I am never sure whether these horses are friendly or trying to push me out of their field.

I had intended to take a coffee sat outside Lion and Lamb Cafe and  Restaurant sat in the sun. My long walk, meant the sun had gone.

I had checked their website, it said artisan coffee, but did not say what. A couple of weeks ago, I enquired, to learn Union. I decided to try, with no great expectations, as the food is not great, which possibly explains why  whenever I pass by, always empty. As it was this evening.

Cappuccino was served scalding hot. A classic mistake. But it was better than what is served at Gail’s, and had the potential to be a good cup of coffee, if served not so hot.

A very quick shop in Waitrose and just managed to catch the last bus.

Afternoon in Farnham

July 29, 2017

Like last weekend, a miserable wet weekend.

On my way to Farnham,  stop off at Aldershot, check out Aldershot Live Music Day. As always a disaster, no publicity, a waste of public money, the local council going through the motions to give the impression they are doing something, whilst at the same time squandering public money.

I would usually walk along the riverside walk, up through Gostrey meadow,  up into Downing Street.

Too wet. I alighted at the same place, only though to look in Lidl.

On leaving Lidl, I contrasted with the appalling poor service in Lidl Aldershot. Guy on the till replied many have said the same. If this be the case, why has Lidl Aldershot been allowed to fester for so long?

Neither Phyllis Tuckewell nor Oxfam books on coffee.

No soup in Gail’s But at least they now take the sign down.

As walking through Farnham in the rain, I bump into Marios, Cypriot guy who used to run The Barn. I have not seen him since it closed.  The Barn is much missed. It was the only place in Farnham that served decent food.

A cappuccino in Krema. As I am about to walk in, the door is opened for me and it is Anga (not sure of spelling), who warmly greets me. He used to manage Carocoli, then left for Australia. I was most surprised to see him

I think the regular staff were a bit miffed when I asked that he make my coffee. Good as they are, they are not in his league.

I lingered in Cook. Too late now for Waterstone’s.

A little walk into Bishop’s Meadow, too wet to stay off the path, and  then the rain turned heavier.  I was surprised to find the hay has still not been cut. maybe too wet.

A canvas shoulder bag hanging by the hedge, wet and bedraggled, with a  note asking to tweet where found. Maybe a clever way to collect data on people.

A quick shop in Waitrose.

Coffee in Waitrose mainly brand crap commodity coffee. A small selection of what can be remotely classed as quality, of that, only Union quality coffee, and the Union is old coffee, past its best.

It makes the point, if you want quality coffee, do not buy from a supermarket, buy from an indie coffee shop, a quality indie store or direct from a quality roaster like Union.

In Krema, they have coffee from Horsham Coffee Roasters, roast date prominently displayed. If you wish to know why roast date important, ask in Krema.

Lion and Lamb Cafe and Restaurant is always empty when I pass by. No surprise, the food is not good, even though the menu is always enticing. Last time I ate there, a Moroccan lamb burger half cooked. Later I checked them out. One of the co-founders ex-Starbucks, not a good sign. Also claimed artisan coffee.

As I passed by I asked one of the helpful girls. She said they have Union Hand-Roasted, which yes, is quality coffee. Whether they know how to make a decent coffee, an entirely different matter. Gail’s has Union and they make awful coffee. I said next time I am passing, I will drop in and have a coffee.

Afternoon in Farnham

July 22, 2017

Coolish start, then once it rained, turned cold.

Had I left when not raining, but as I was about to leave, heavy rain, but even if I had, the rain  would have caught me later

Bus driver Aldershot to Farnham got lost, turned off the road for some inexplicable reason. Then had difficulty turning the bus around.  Not helped by parked cars and motorists not giving the driver sufficient room to manoeuvre. I think he thought he was on a different route. Easily done I suppose.

I would usually alight from the bus and walk alng the river and up through Gostrey Meadow into Farnham. Not today, running late, and may get caught in a heavy downpour.

Made it to the butcher, luckily they had not closed early.

No soup in Gail’s, but at least they had taken the sign down. Very little of anything.

I tried a cappuccino and granola bar. Cappuccino not good, granola bar dry.

Gail’s a little busier than usual, very noisy, loud moronic music blasting out, noisy out of control children.  I was glad to leave.

At least a  decent cappuccino and flapjack in Krema.