Posts Tagged ‘Chichester’

V60 Japanese iced filter coffee at Coffee Lab Chichester

August 3, 2018

Far too hot for a cappuccino.

I had passed Coffee Lab earlier on my way to the farmers market.

They have bagged the beans, cold brew not brewed, make me a Japanese iced coffee.

Half the water than usual fora V60, the other half as ice in the carafe.

As the hot coffee drips through, instantly chilled by the ice.

First wash the filter.

Let the ground coffee bloom to reelase CO2.

Continue to pour.


Chichester Ship Canal

August 3, 2018



Alighting at Chichester Station I decide  to take a walk along the Chichester Ship Canal. I think not far to Chichester Harbour. I am wrong, a long way.

Chichester farmers market

August 3, 2018

What was I doing travelling to Chichester then on to Arundel on a very hot day when I would have been better off sat in the shade of the trees in my garden?

It was already hot by nine o’clock in morning.

Whilst changing trains at Guildford Station, a cappuccino from FCB kiosk. It was not great.

Train to Portsmouth from Guildford packed. A fast service London Waterloo to Portsmouth only five coaches.  Drunks on the train.

At Havant, slow train to Brighton pulls in, time to run across the bridge and catch the train. Why not time it better?

Train packed, standing room only. Train full of drunks.

Many more drunks when I alight at Chichester. The reason  why,  racing at Goodwood, Glorious Goodwood.

At Chichester Station a train of Pullman coaches. I expect a steam locomotive. Sadly not, diesel engine front and back.

Train is so long,  diesel locomotive on the crossing, road closed.

I decide to take a walk along the Chichester Ship Canal. I think not far to Chichester Harbour. I am wrong, a long way.

Amazing sculptures along the route.

I call in Coffee Lab. Very annoying, Clifton Coffee beans shipped from Coffee Lab in Winchester on Wednesday not in. Makes it even worse. Old beans. Their Colonna beans also old. They say they have more recent, will bag for me. I say ok, will pick up as I pass by later. Cold brew? No, but will do me a Japanese iced filter later.

To the market. Only one stall I am interested in. The stall with the excellent onions and tomatoes.

At first I mistake the wrong stall, but eventually find.

Environmental standards on this market a disgrace. On one stall, fresh produce wrapped in plastic, sweating in the heat.

The man with the tomatoes and onions, tells me that on the Arundel farmers market they will not even be able to use plastic carrier bags. I say use paper. He says costs. I say tough. There is a cost to the environment on using plastic,. Society should not carry the externalised costs, but at least the stall is using brown paper bags on which to drop produce, as do most market stalls.

Coffee stall with beans in the midday sun, temperatures in excess of 30C a disgrace.

If want coffee beans, Edge coffee van in Draper’s Yard or Coffee Lab, but not off this stall.

Lunch at St Martins Coffee House. It is packed, but I manage to find a table in the shade in the garden.

Owner not around. A pity as I had found sources of organic coffee.

Head down Pallant, North and South. Quiet streets running parallel to South Street.  Lovely buildings.

Cut down a narrow street, which brings me out at Coffee Lab.

They have bagged the beans, make me a Japanese iced coffee.

Train is running several minutes late. I miss connecting train to Arundel, have to wait for next train.

I nearly miss Arundel. I see Arundel in the distance and think that is where the train is heading. No, have to alight at Arudel Station and walk to Arundel.

As I am about to leave the station, Chinese girl asks me the way to Arundel. I say I am going that way. She joins me. Do we need a taxi? No, we will walk.

It is not far.

We look in a few coffee shops, catering supply coffee.

We find Tarrant Street Espresso. It is closed. It is a little after 3-30.  What sort of place is this? He closes at four, but today early. We make do with a takeaway. For Square Mile Red Brick espresso blend it is a disappointment. The coffee shop more of a kiosk.

As we are half way up the hill, we head further up the hill to what could be the entrance to Arundel Castle. It is not,  and does not even list the opening hours. My new found Chinese friend had been told entrance was at the bottom of the hill, but I thought we best check, not walk down the hill to have to walk back up the hill.

We find the entrance, to be told as we walk in it is closed. Not even a quick look? No, go for a walk along the river.

We walk a little way along the River Arun, then back up the hill to Arundel Cathedral.

At the bottom of the hill, a square with on one side a lovely little food shop. I buy cheese and a Florentine and a yoghurt coated flapjack. Lady serving tells me top entrance used to be the entrance or at least the exit. She said its closure has killed the town. People enter the castle at the bottom entrance and most not aware of the existence of the town.

Interesting exhibition in Arundel Cathedral. Ghost like apparitions in the pews. At first I thought only those near the door. But no, throughout the Cathedral. I guessed it was the departed souls of those who died in World War One. I was surprised how many, Arundel only a small town. My guess was correct, to mark 100 days of the end of WWI. I think 95.

Then to the station. A train at 1902, only running late. Caught the 1832 running late at 1807.

Change for Havant. Havant to Guildford. Then another train.

Walking home very warm.

Home a little after ten, very tired.

The Brewhouse Project

July 25, 2018

The Brewhouse Project is a joint crowdfunded venture between Edgcumbes Coffee and Arundel Brewery.

Should they raise the funds they wish to create a café, roastery and brewery located on a site outside Arundel serving and selling craft beer and freshly roasted speciality coffee.

It will be possible to drink a coffee and smell the beans being roasted, drink a beer and see it being brewed.

It is hoped to have a food truck at weekends and evenings.

Chichester farmers market

July 20, 2018

Chichester farmers market takes place twice a month, on the first and third Friday of the month, not that you would learn this from the organiser, as requests for information are ignored.

On my way down, excellent Origin guest coffee off FCB kiosk at Guildford Station where I changed trains.

Train to Portsmouth packed.  It was not last week, but I was on an earlier train and it was Friday.

I arrived Chichester around midday. At Havant I caught the slow train, saving about ten minutes by not catching the later fast train.

I looked in Coffee Lab, but no time to stop, on my way to the farmers market.

The farmers market is smaller than at first appears. There are other stalls nothing to do with the farmers market. This is at first confusing until realise the stalls of the local producers have a distinctive canopy.

All in all, compared with Guildford farmers market, first Tuesday of the month, something of a disappointment.

The same low environmental standards as Guildford, fresh produce wrapped in plastic. On one stall the vegetables sweating within the plastic.

Tomatoes off one stall. I would have had one of his cucumbers but when I walked back, all sold, Not sure if the strawberries were from this stall or a different stall.

Sausage man would not sell me any sausages. Said unless I was going straight home. Contrast this with the turkey sausage stall on Guildford farmers market, on a stall, not refrigerated in this heat.

A stall with coffee, The Crafted Coffee Company, the coffee dark roasted. No one these days, not unless low quality beans to hide the defects, does a dark roast. I asked of the Q grade. The woman manning the stall would not say. She was quite rude. The beans in the midday sun.

Then to St Martins Coffee House for lunch. Excellent. I discovered the garden was much larger than I had realised.

Excellent lunch. The owner wished to have a chat ushered me to a  seat, insisted I had a coffee and give my honest opinion.

Whilst I was quite happy to sit and chat, I did not have the time. The coffee was not good. I could have told him that without having a cup of coffee. Poor quality coffee. Anonymous catering supply coffee.  Organic does not equate to quality. I suggested a few coffee roasteries he should talk to. It may not be possible to certify organic, but they would be able to tell him what inputs if any had been used. I also suggested visit Coffee Lab, have a chat, try cappuccino, V60, cold brew. He would then see what good coffee should taste like.

It was then to the station.

I headed down St Martins, found I could cross East Street and walk parallel to South Street down North and South Pallant. A far more interesting route, pollution free, lovely buildings.

I did not have long to wait for train, but then had to change after one stop, then to Ford.

I was heading to Edgcumbes Coffee. I had tried their coffee off their van last week, it was not a good idea.  I began to wonder was this a good idea, they were in the middle of nowhere.

I finally arrived, found people sat in a courtyard. If people were prepared to trek to middle of nowhere, then surely a good sign. There was also a coffee shop, The Edge Cafe, the other side of the courtyard, the coffee roasterie, strictly No Entry.

I got into a long conversation with a young guy. The son, Edgcumbes a family business.

What did I want? A cappuccino, I let him choose which coffee to use. It was good. far better than of their van. Not as good as Coffee Lab, but still good.

I questioned the cold brew, 72 hours, concentrate, then watered down.  It was ok, a little too watered down, he added more concentrate. Now OK, but I still prefer cold brew not watered down or V60 chilled, Japanese iced filter.

I bought coffee. Again I let him choose.

I also bought a bar of chocolate. Very expensive, £7 a bar of chocolate. I tried when I got home. Very good, but then it had to be at £7.

Back to Ford, I decided to visit Littlehampton as only one stop. If I was expecting something like a smaller version of Brighton I was to be very disappointed. More like Aldershot-by-the-Sea. The only difference the shops were not empty and boarded up and no filthy Nepalese parasites.

I caught a train, but had to change as bound for Bognor Regis. Same platform next train, I was told for Havant.  I was tempted to visit, as only one stop.

Next train, went to Bognor Regis. It did say it on the train, but I thought a mistake.

At the station they let me out. I walked to the sea through the town. Bognor Regis was as grim as Littlehampton, only slightly bigger.


—- to be continues —

Coffee Lab Chichester

July 13, 2018

Chichester is an old Roman town, the pedestrianised centre still follows the Roman Street plan, a medieval buttercross Chichester Cross in the centre, medieval side streets, surrounded by the Roman wall.

A town I thought where I would be spoilt for choice for coffee shops.

I was to be gravely disappointed.

Corporate chains a plenty, the pedestrianised centre ruined by corporate chains. Plenty of what were little more than greasy spoon cafes masquerading as tea rooms and coffee shops. But nowhere serving speciality coffee.

Then at the end of East Street and beyond, Draper’s Yard, well worth a visit, and within Edge an old Citroen van serving Edgcumbea Coffee. I tried cold brew and a cappuccino. Neither were good.

It was then to St Martins Coffee House which I had stumbled across earlier in the medieval streets in the North East Quarter between between North Street and East street for late lunch. A restored town house, wonderful garden out the back, a restaurant and not as the name would imply a coffee house.

Commenting on this, I was directed to Coffee Lab.

A couple of years ago Coffee Lab was one tiny coffee shop in a side street in Winchester serving excellent coffee. In the following two years, two more making it three in Winchester, pus a few more in other towns. Together with Flat Whites van and Flat Whites coffee shop, Winchester has become a thriving coffee city.

I have had my reservations, grave reservations, Coffee Lab opening several coffee shops, but I was not disappointed. The guys knew their coffee.

I was served an excellent cappuccino. I also tried their cold brew. It put to shame what I had tried at Edge aka Edgcumbes Coffee earlier.

I also noticed guest coffee.

Guest coffee is new for Coffee Lab, as until now all they have had is their Einstein and Hesienberg blends from The Roasting Party.

Chichester now has one coffee shop serving excellent coffee.

St Martins Coffee House

July 13, 2018

Chichester is an old Roman town, the pedestrianised centre still follows the Roman Street plan, a medieval buttercross Chichester Cross in the centre, medieval side streets, surrounded by the Roman wall.

All the more depressing that the pedestrianised centre has been ruined by a proliferation of corporate chains, independents driven out by the greed of the Church and other local landowners, interspersed with what are little more than greasy spoon cafes masquerading as tea rooms and coffee shops.

From the station I trekked South Street to the Chichester Cross and all points of the compass, north, south, east and west in the hope of finding a decent coffee shop and somewhere decent to eat. I trekked in vein. It was then the medieval streets, and there in the North East Quadrant between North Street and East Street I happened upon St Martins Coffee House.

St Martins Coffee House is a restored town house, an oasis in a desert of mediocrity.

The town house was derelict, restored over several years by the current owner and now a restaurant.

Inside ancient wooden furniture, no cheap crap. Near the entrance a piano, feel free to play. It was actually in tune. Upstairs games to play chess, Japanese Go or Scrabble.

Outside a wonderful little garden.

Simple fare, freshly prepared, ingredients wherever possible sourced locally, in season, organic. Nothing hotted up in a microwave, no use of aluminium utensils, storage glass not plastic.

I selected for my lunch Red Dragon Cake. It was a little like the bean burger I used to have in Neal’s Yard Bakery in Covent Garden. Sadly long gone, as too has Food for Thought in Neal Street. Served on a bed of salad.

Generous portion size and delicious.

This I sat and enjoyed in the delightful garden.

Cakes were vegan, which I did not try, as my experience with vegan cakes is that they have never been very pleasant. Though I admit I was tempted.

I did not though give in to temptation, as I was tempted by a fresh fruit juice and the two would not have gone well together.

I chose carrot apple orange ginger fresh juice. I asked how made and it was as I had designed for a coffee shop in Cyprus and a juice bar in Athens.

It was as I expected, excellent for a hot day.

The coffee was dark roasted Italian sourced from a large company. This I declined, as would not have been good.

I made recommendations of from where they could source their coffee, top quality local coffee roasters. The moot point, may not be certified organic, but if single origin direct trade, would have traceability and transparency back to the farm, and would be able to say what inputs if any had been used, and the likelihood is none. Also for this weather, consider cold brew. And add other coffee methods, for example V60 pour over.

I suggested visit Coffee Lab, where they would be able to try speciality coffee. I did not know until I visited, Coffee Lab now have guest coffee.

Whether historic, I do not know, although called a Coffee House, St Martins Coffee House is actually not, it is a restaurant. But would make a wonderful coffee house if sourced speciality coffee, employed a skilled barista, and this would compliment their excellent food and environment and bring people in during the afternoon when quiet.

I then myself went in search of Coffee Lab where I had an excellent cold brew and cappuccino. And as always interesting conversation.

Draper’s Yard

July 12, 2018

The centre of Chichester is pedestrianised, a Roman street pattern with a medieval streets, surrounded by a Roman wall.

In the exact centre, the Chichester Cross, a butter cross where people met to sell their produce.

Sadly Chichester is a classic example of how to ruin a town, not as normally the case a town centre ruined by corrupt planners in the pockets of greedy developers of which there are too many examples across the country, but ruined by corporate chains, the same crap corporate chains that blight every town centre, but at least the planners could have done something about the tacky shop fronts out of character with the buildings.

And where there was not corporate chains, greasy spoon cafes masquerading as tea shops and coffee shops.

Wandering to the end of East Street and a little beyond I happened across Draper’s Yard.

A yard with many interesting business, including Edge a coffee van, a little cafe. It made a pleasant change to the corporate chains in the city centre.

It was what The Village in Guildford should have been like, not a million pounds of public money wasted.

The only aspect I did not like was the fake grass.

Out of the way and I guess that was why it was deserted, but well worth the effort to try and find.

Trip to Chichester

July 11, 2018

Uneventful trip down, train to Havant, then train to Chichester.

Chichester, as the name suggests, is a Roman town.

Basically it is a cross roads, with the Buttercross at the centre, a Cathedral City, the cathedral having moved from Selsey to Chichester 1075, or at least the seat of the Bishop moved.

The Buttercross known as the Chichester Cross, is where in Medieval times people would bring their produce to sell.

The centre is quite small, and the inner core pedestrianised.

Sadly Chichester is a classic example of how to ruin a town, not as normally the case a town centre ruined by corrupt planners in the pockets of greedy developers of which there are too many examples across the country, but ruined by corporate chains, the same crap corporate chains that blight every town centre, but at least the planners could have done something about the tacky shop fronts out of character with the buildings.

Writing in The Telegraph, Boudicca Fox-Leonard writes of Chichester having lost its soul.

In a city with such solid historical foundations, where the Romans based their AD 43 invasion of Britannia, and Cicestrians still talk fondly of routing the Vikings in Kingley Vale, the homogenising hand of high-street capitalism has been allowed to walk in without contest, and conquer all.

A tantalising mixture of high and low, like an upmarket, al fresco Westfield. I reckon you could find anything you want in Chichester: just probably not something unique.

Earlier this year, a flesh-eating piranha was found dead in the sewers, but locals are less concerned about the prosaic dispatch of a carnivorous pet than they are about the insatiable hunger of local landowners who have driven up business rates so that only the same old chains can afford shop rents.

The locals’ refrain goes something like: “There are 82 cafés in the centre of Chichester: we’ve got a Starbucks, Pret, Caffè Nero…”

This is not a boast. How could a city that prides itself on a cultural history, famous for its groundbreaking theatre, its arts festivals, its links to Olivier and Larkin, sell out quite so blandly?

Where are the independent retailers? Who is in part to blame? The same response comes from all in a stage whisper: the church.

Along with a few old families, the Diocese of Chichester is the main landowner in the city. And it has presided over its assets with maximum economic nous but, perhaps, minimal foresight.

Chichester has one of the UK’s highest concentrations of chain shops.

Meanwhile, on the fringes, in the fascinating medieval and Georgian lanes fanning hither and thither from its rigid Roman centre, there are still a few independent cafés, record shops, crafters and bric-a-brac purveyors. The architecture is beautiful, as is the wisteria. The pulse is weak, but Chichester’s once mighty heart is quietly beating.

Not though everywhere ruined, still some excellent unspoilt buildings.

And where there was not corporate chains, greasy spoon cafes masquerading as tea shops and coffee shops.

Today was market day. I was surprised how large, down two streets. But most of it was tat.

The only quality stall, a French stall. I do not know who was the more surprised to see each other, he or I.

The other a Sicilian stall that I see on the street food market in Winchester. Sadly still peddle rubbish. But I am not the only one to tell them. Hopefully they will heed what everyone is telling them and revert to their excellent pasta. There are few people who can make excellent pasta, they are one of the rare examples.

And Rasta man who has a fruit and vegetable stall on the Guildford market.

And the cheese guy and coffee woman from Guildford market. Neither seemed to have customers. Not a lot different to Guildford.

And coffee shops, excellent speciality coffee shops? Could I find? No, or at least not as I expected, to be spoilt for choice.

I had sent a message to Chichester Tourist Information Office to ask. No response.

Why have a twitter account if do not know how to use social media? Social media is not broadcast, it is not PR, it is not marketing, it is social interaction, it is implicit in the name, social networks, many to many, social meaning interaction.

Not only the Tourist Information, Chichester farmers market too. I had asked when, how often? No reply. I learnt locally, twice a month, I think first and third Friday, though that needs double checking. At the very least their twitter account could state.

It is not though only lack of understanding of social media, it is pig ignorance, lack of common courtesy. Is not the role of Tourist Information to encourage visitors, therefore if a potential visitor asks questions, should they not promptly respond?

And the coffee shops?

I thought maybe only Harris + Hoole. Marvellous job done on the interior, but now Caffe Nero, death by a thousand cuts.

I think East Street, but maybe wrong, I went to the end, and then a little further, where I found Draper’s Yard, a yard with lots of interesting businesses. But out of the way and does anyone know it exists? I guess not, as deserted. But well worth the effort to find.

Within, an old van, Edge, outlet for Edgcumbes, a local coffee roaster.

Did they have cold brew? Yes, but seems perverse to make with espresso blend not high quality single origin coffee.

I thought I had misheard when told brewed for 72 hours. It must be so over extracted as to be undrinkable. Brewed in a jug. I asked could I try.

The young guy put an ice cube in a plastic cup. Plastic! Poured in a small amount of the cold brew. Very dark to the point of being opaque. I thought this was for me to sample, it did not even cover the ice cube. No, it is concentrate, as it was snatched from me.  He then topped up with lukewarm tap water.  At least I assumed tap water. As a van, maybe not.

To say the least, it was undrinkable. It was like coffee that had been left to go cold, then watered down.

I asked for a cappuccino. It was not good either.

Coffee beans on display were high Q grade, 85 plus, and Ethiopian was 90. And surprisingly cheap, £6 a 250g bag.

I picked up a bag of Ethiopian. £8-50 including the cappuccino. I handed over a tenner. Sorry, we do not take cash.

I have never ever come across anywhere that does not take cash. I may be wrong, and stand corrected if wrong, but I believe it is illegal to refuse to take coin of the realm, legal tender.  And the reason why? Inconvenient for them.

But as the neither the cold brew nor cappuccino were good, maybe I was fortunate.

It was then to St Martin’s Organic Coffee House which I had looked in earlier for very late lunch.

A beautifully restored town house which apparently was derelict.  Excellent food, lovely little garden out the back, but not somewhere I would recommend for coffee.

Then I learnt of Coffee Lab to which I was directed.

I have had my reservations Coffee Lab opening several coffee shops, but I  was not disappointed. The guys knew their coffee and I was served an excellent cappuccino. I also tried their cold brew. It put to shame what I had tried at Edge aka Edgcumbe Coffee.

I had intended to catch a train at six, but having now missed, I decided to have a wander around the Cathedral.

In doing so, I encountered the wonderful Bishop’s Palace Gardens.

The cathedral was now closed, but I noticed no entry free. Too many are charging for entry.

But why all the corporate chains in Chichester? Landlord is the Church and they are screwing tenants, destroying local businesses. The Church once again showing its lack of moral leadership.  The Church at Church House recently hosted an arms conference, the Church has failed to divest from oil.

Then there is Greene King, one the three pubcos the other two Enterprise and Punch, that are screwing pub landlords and destroying pubs.

One in Chichester, the building was leased, that is not a tied pub, excellent businesses built up, Greene King in their greed took back the lease, fired the staff, and now serves their standardised crap, yet anther local business destroyed.

On my way in I passed Artie’s Kitchen. A Spanish tapas restaurant. Three tapas for £15, pricey, though included red wine and bread, which I did not want.

On my way to the station I decided to eat. Had tortilla. OK not as good as I would have in Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife. I was the only one dining.

Opposite, queuing outside a pub for football.

As a result of stopping to eat I missed my train a little after seven. Next train late, missed train at Havant.

Opposite restaurant queue to get in a  pub to watch football. Another pub the same outside the station. A little dumb, are going to get into a  pub full of football supporters? They are not going to leave until end of the match.

On leaving the tapas restaurant, arrived home three hours later, very very tired and physically exhausted.

From various places compostable coffee cups these to be added to the compost heap.

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