Posts Tagged ‘Afternoon in Farnham’

Afternoon in Farnham

December 7, 2018

A cold wintry afternoon in Farnham.

Carrot and coriander soup with toasted bread followed by a cappuccino in Krema.

I cannot recall when was the last time, if ever Krema empty. Lovely and peaceful.

I looked in Robert Dyas. Two weeks ago, 4000 mAh power banks. I inquired last week, not in stock. I inquired again today, yes in stock, hidden out the back.

A quick shop in Waitrose.

In Starbucks, latte levy of 5p. I cannot see this would make a jot of difference. It needs to be at least 25p. 5p is less than the difference of a cup of coffee across coffee shops. It would be useful to see hard evidence.

There has been an increase in the use of disposable coffee cups. It was the chains that blocked the introduction of a 25p latte levy.

The Boston Tea Party introduced a ban on takeaway coffee cups six months ago. This has seen their takeaway trade drop by a quarter. But was this translated to relaxing with a coffee served in glass or ceramic? Again lack of hard data.

In addition to a pork chop, I had two rashers of un-smoked back bacon from the local butcher. Grilled bacon sandwich for tea. Excellent bacon.

Afternoon in Farnham

December 1, 2018

Heavy rain overnight, afternoon wet but not raining.

Last week I had found 4000 mAh power banks in Robert Dyas. I could not find today, and store too busy to ask.

I notice they have Cambridge bamboo eco mug. Are these the same as ecoffee cup which are also bamboo and look the same marketed under a different name or a clone thereof? The main difference, apart from name, not in a box and much cheaper. Horrible silicone rubbery lid and and holder.

I notice this year ecoffee cups seem to have taken off as everywhere and appear to have replaced Keep Cup, for example FCB Coffee kiosk on Guildford Station. Though personally I prefer a glass Keep Cup or better still relax in an indie coffee shop with specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic.

I am also seeing, most indie coffee shops have on sale reusable cups, offering a discount if bring own cup, though many quite rightly state must be clean and barista friendly, and have moved to compostable cups. As always the indie coffee shops leading the way.

Therefore quite shocking to read a report from last month in The Mail that sales of disposable coffee cups have soared. All the more shocking in light of the massive negative press against disposable coffee cups.

It is long overdue the introduction of a 25p latte levy on takeaway coffee and that coffee drinkers are encouraged to relax with specialty coffee in an indie coffee shop served in glass or ceramic.

Leak and potato soup served with toasted sourdough bread in Krema followed by a cappuccino and flapjack.

If someone calls looking for a job in an indie coffee shop based on they have worked at any of the coffee chains do you offer them a job? No, show them the door. On the other hand if they say they wish to leave a corporate chain because they wish to learn more about coffee, then yes, offer them a job.

I catch Robert Dyas before they close. No, no 4000 mAh powerbanks, at least not what I found last week. I suspect a special buy for Black Friday to claim a price reduction.

I should have popped back last week, but I assumed they were closed.

In Waitrose, bananas rotting on the shelves.

Something I have not seen before, overpriced muesli in a plastic jar.

We are going backwards.

I speak with a member of staff. No one cares.

Afternoon in Farnham

November 10, 2018

An unpleasant day. Heavy rain all night, heavy rain all day. I was delayed by two hours until the rain eased off a little.

I looked in St Mark’s Church. They have a World War One window which has recently been restored. I have not noticed before and could not find.

Tomato and basil soup with toasted bread, followed by cappuccino and flapjack at Krema.

Cappuccino had chocolate which ruins the coffee. Krema should know better.

Out of control children, mother makes no attempt to control them.

Sigh of relief from staff and few remaining customers when they leave.

An idiot with a large 4×4 parked on the double yellow lines and on the footpath. This is the norm for Farnham, no enforcement.

Cut through church yard.

What I assume to be Christmas lights in Lion and Lamb Walk. Could they not have waited until lights are officially turned on next week, with festivities in Gostrey Meadow from lunchtime onward?

Bananas rotting on the shelves in Waitrose, sweating and rotting in plastic bags. Pomegranates in plastic boxes. A handful of sliced green beans in plastic, shipped from Kenya.

Are the lazy people of Farnham so useless they cannot slice beans? And why ship beans from Kenya?

Only three tills manned. As I am laving I mention the rotting bananas. Not the first time I have raised bananas rotting on the shelves. No one cares.

This is the norm for Waitrose, piss-poor service, fresh produce packed in plastic. Waitrose and M&S, high prices and the two worst supermarkets for piss-poor service and obscene use of plastic.

Contrast with Hisebe, fresh produce loose, cereals, nuts, dried fruits loose, liquids for example organic shampoo top up own container, and excellent service.

And yet Iceland has a TV commercial banned for highlighting damage palm oil plantations cause to rain forests.

St Mark’s Church open, a vigil to mark Armistice Day. I quietly walked around the church. I still could not find the window. I remained a little while in silent contemplation. I thought of the horror of those souls who died in the trenches.

Afternoon in Farnham

August 18, 2018

A pleasantly warm afternoon.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to walk along the riverside walk along the River Wey.

Once again, publicly minded citizens have torn down a section of the fence obstructing the footpath. The problem is getting out the other end.

And why is the footpath closed? To enable a bridge to be built to bring construction material in from the A31, one lane of which will be coned off for months if not years, to build a shopping centre that no one wants, a shopping centre that will be empty, a shopping centre that will destroy the character of an historic market town. Many empty shops in the town but corrupt local councils decides to build a shopping centre, a shopping centre that will sit empty.  The only reason it has been able to proceed, the developer went bankrupt, is because Surrey County Council has handed over £50 million of public money to keep the project afloat.

A festival in Gostrey Meadow, some sort of 1940s celebration, an American band playing. Nothing to say what it was, no people. Closing the footpath leading into the park does not help.  I learnt later, a VE/VJ fete.

Just made the butcher before he closed. I missed last week. I asked did he close on the dot if not early. He admitted he may have closed early as very quiet last week.

Vegan restaurant very strange soup, watermelon, apple, and mint. I cannot see how this can be soup. I was willing to try, but no we stop serving food after four. Not, sorry we have run out. That is why these little businesses fail, lack of flexibility, turning away custom. Maybe I was lucky.

On to Gail’s. For once tables outside clean. Not busy, only one table inside occupied. Gail’s is never busy.

Tomato and red pepper soup was good.

I sat outside. It is not pleasant inside.

People sat next to me after the table was vacated. When whatever they had ordered was served, they had to ask for the table to be cleared.  The table the other side of me not cleared. When they left, no attempt to clear the tables.

I rarely see the same staff twice at Gail’s. Again new staff.

To Krema for a  cappuccino and flapjack.

I dropped off a card for Coffee Festival in Winchester.

Then walk around 23-acre Bishop’s Meadow. They have introduced cattle at the far end, but already removed as not sufficient grass in the dry weather. There is in other parts but lacks secure fencing.

Afternoon in Farnham

August 11, 2018

Another cool day, threatening rain, had been raining earlier.

I attempt to walk along the riverside walk, then through Gostrey Meadow and into the town.

Only to find I cannot, it has been fenced off. Luckily people had torn down part of the fencing. Let us hope they continue to do a public service, tear down the fence.

I then find my way is blocked when I reach the far end.  Luckily I am able to walk through the trees and find my way around the fence.

It is not acceptable the walk has been fenced off. The reason why even less acceptable.  To enable contractors to build a bridge to bring their materials straight off the A31, resulting in one lane closure, to build a grotty unwanted shopping centre that will be detrimental to the character of Farnham. The only reason it is going ahead is because the local council Waverley has pushed it against the wishes of the town, and Surrey County Council has poured in £50 million of public funds.  Greed and corruption writ large.

I make the butcher only to find closed.  Either closed on the dot if not closed early.

I was looking forward to a cappuccino, only Krema closed.

A visit to Farnham Parish Church.

Whilst in the church, as it was closing, came an extremely arrogant man, with a woman and child in tow.  American accent, I suspect an Israeli, but I may be wrong. He asked for something with a name, that neither I nor the lady locking up had a clue what he was asking for. He then showed on his phone, and said the Hebrew letters for God.  No, we had not seen. I also explains Jews do not say out loud or write the name of God, they write G-d.  The man disagreed. The woman he was with very quickly found. How did she know where to look? A discoloured board for the Ten Commandments, with the word he was looking for at the top, clean and glowing. Again odd. The letters bore little resemblance to what he said he was looking for. He argued, got out his phone. No they did not look the same. They then departed. They showed no respect for the church, the child making loud vulgar noises. A not very pleasant man.

What was he really looking for?

The printed sheet he had in his hand, had a few lines instructing him to look in the church.

Lion and Lamb Cafe and Restaurant, half a chicken ten pounds. This is to directly take on the chain eatery in Lion and Lamb Courtyard. It always has a weekend special, half a chicken, Difficult to see how a special, if always the same. It used to be £9-99, now £11-50. If success was based on innovation, now also selling fresh flowers, Lion and Lamb Cafe and Restaurant would be packed.  It is not, it is always empty. The menu is always enticing. I have ate there a couple of times. The food has always been awful. The coffee not good either, even though sourced from Union, but Union sadly supply anyone.

It was then to Caracoli for a coffee. Not somewhere I would normally go for a coffee. I was brought a cappuccino with chocolate. I sent it back. Why does no one know how to make a cappuccino? What was brought next had a very unpleasant taste. I suspect bad cheap coffee. It was a tad too hot, but I do not think the barista was at fault. I inquired of who roasts their coffee.  Mozzo Coffee, the same people who supply Flat Whites, but then added a  blend for them. Maybe cheap catering supply coffee.

Then to Waitrose. Loose bananas were not in very good condition. Those in bags rotten.

Waiting for a bus, cold. More like autumn than summer.

Afternoon in Farnham

July 15, 2018

Hot afternoon in Farnham.

Passing through Aldershot, a brass band playing. The band far outnumbered the audience, and in the absence of any meaningful publicity, they were probably like me only passing by.

As I was early in Farnham, I visited Bells Pierce Summer Fete.

I assumed next to The Six Bells, or even associated with, but no, it was along a drive.

To my surprise very popular. A typical English summer fete.

I was reminded of the fete at the English church in Puerto de la Cruz. The main difference was less junk and not forced to pay to enter.

I wish people would would learn how to cook on a barbeque. One could see the sausages were not cooked. I sent mine back, and even then, only barely cooked.

I decided to walk along the ridge of Farnham Park into Farnham. This brought me to Farnham Castle, then out into Castle Street and down to Gail’s Bakery.

Why does nowhere understand that in the summer you do not serve winter soup? I made a mistake and had chicken and vegeable soup.

I looked in the new vegan place on Downing Street. Cold gazpacho soup. Yes, it was a big mistake soup at Gail’s.

Butcher was shocked when I told him of the turkey stall on Guildford farmers market and Godalming street food market, poultry sitting on a stall in this heat. Like myself, he questioned how do they get away with it.

Advice has now been issued to Guildford farmers market in a newsletter the public does not see. Utterly meaningless advice. Only leave on the stall for a reasonable time in warm weather. It was not warm, it was hot, and what is reasonable time? Ice cubes in a glass melt in within a few minutes. The turkey stall should be kicked off the market. They are a disgrace. Food and hot weather do not mix. Environmental health should be patrolling markets in hot weather. And stalls like the turkey stall, fined and kicked off the market.

Cold brew coffee from Krema. It was better than what I had Krema Guildford.

Krema was empty. But then so was Gail’s and the vegan cafe.

I then took a walk around Bishop’s Meadow. Not far, then back along the River Wey and around Manor Field.

The hay has already been cut. My advice has been followed, now grazing cattle though I did not see them.

Lion and Lamb Cafe and Restaurant as always empty, apart from a couple sat outside, Cote opposite packed. It is now time for desperate measures. Last time I looked, eat and pay what you want, though so many conditions attached not worth bothering. Now it is book the venue, catering free. And they are hosting events. The menu always looks enticing, but the couple of times I have eaten there the food has not been good.

Service was abysmal in Waitrose, even by their normal low standards, Only one till manned.

At the Bells Pierce Summer Fete I learnt McDonald’s was to move into the old Argus store in the centre of Farnham. Very bad news if true.

As I pass by to catch the bus I see nothing on the shopfront to indicate this.

Afternoon in Farnham

June 23, 2018

A warm day following a cool start.

A bowl of leak and potato soup in Okomoko. It was not very good, neither was the wholemeal bread.  I am at a loss why they are serving winter soup on a hot summer’s day.  Try tomato, pea or asparagus.

I did not try a coffee. Surrey Hills Coffee is not great, and a cappuccino with fake milk looks and tastes disgusting.

If not wish to use milk, then serve V60 pour over or cold brew with quality single origin coffee, for example from Chimney Fire Coffee.

At £3.20 a ludicrous price for a cappuccino, especially when consider not quality coffee, fake milk, and Krema a speciality coffee shop nearby serving excellent coffee.

Bags of coffee on sale, but I again recommend Krema, where not only serving, but also has Horsham Coffee on sale.

Nor did I fancy a vegan cake.

I had looked forward to cold brew in Krema, only sold out, once tried it is proving very popular.

Next week Farnham Carnival. Unfortunately clashes with street food market in Godalming.

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.