Posts Tagged ‘farmers market’

Lincoln farmers market

April 14, 2017

Is this sad little market someones idea of a joke?

Half a dozen stalls.

Maybe middle of winter, early January, but this is mid-April, spring.

I chatted to one of the stalls, to learn it does not get much better in the summer, when fresh produce.

I found a leaflet, but what was shown appeared to be wishful thinking, as only fresh meat on the market today. I saw no bread, cheeses, cask ales.

I learnt there was a market Saturday, but up by Lincoln Castle. That there was a market every Friday, but in a different location.

Therefore had one found next week, a market further down the High Street, then turned up the next week, and found no market, would you turn up again?

And what of publicity? I have seen none.

I had had afternoon tea at Henry’s, was walking back down the High Street, through The Stonebow, was passing Stokes on High Bridge, when I noticed a few stalls further down the High Street.

As I walked past the stalls, I noticed people were walking past, not even glancing at the stalls, let alone stopping to have a look.

Very apparent no one was there for the market, but then with no publicity, only half a dozen stalls, hardly surprising.

I would not make a special trip.

Is this the best Lincoln can do, a city of 100,000 souls, surrounded by villages, a county town for an agricultural county?

But then Lincoln, a market town, does not even have a market.

Whoever is responsible for this market should hang their heads in shame.

I did at least pick up excellent strawberries.

Guildford farmers market

November 1, 2016
Secrett's Farm cauliflowers

Secrett’s Farm cauliflowers

A cold, grey, misty day.

No surprise not many people around, although the Celtic Baker stall had almost sold out.

Last week I visited a new shop in Guildford, a cheese shop cum deli, in Chapel Street. Knowledgeable staff, excellent choice of cheese. I suggested a few stalls on the farmers market whose produce they may wish to stock. I also said, as I knew them, I would have a word.

This I did. Chutney no, can barely meet demand. Little Beer Corporation and apple stall with fruit juices, yes, were interested.

It also helps with delivery, on market once a month, can drop off supplies.

Ollo Foods

Ollo Foods

Excellent dosa off chutney stall, Ollo Foods. Absolute must for Staycation Live.

A couple of stalls, maybe more, have dropped out since the car park fiasco whilst the setts were being relaid in the High Street. The excellent pie stall will be much missed, and the paella stall.

I did not check what the new paella stall was serving in, already packing up.

Low environmental standards on the market.

If London South Bank Street Food Market and many if not all music festivals can set high environmental standards, then why not Guildford for its own farmers market? Only one word, hypocrisy.

When Godalming, and many other places, have a street food market, some  like Godalming  once a year, some like Winchester every week on a Wednesday, then why not Guildford?

August or September would be ideal.

And why no coffee stall serving high quality coffee? It is not acceptable that Costa and tax-dodging Starbucks serving undrinkable disgusting coffee are allowed to dictate what happens on the High Street.

And shame on any producer who gets their coffee from these chains when Guildford has indie coffee shops, including Surrey Hills Coffee, just off the High Street in Chapel Lane. When on the one hand they expect us to support local producers, maybe time to practice what they preach.  Again one word to describe this behaviour, hypocrisy. Though I could add, stupidity.

And where are the Environmental Heath Inspectors? No problem on a cold day, but when I see meat and poultry in the sun when 30C in the shade, then there is cause to worry, as it says the stalls have not a clue how to handle food. If this is what I see in public gaze, what happens behind the scenes?

Looked in on Ben in Ben’s Records. Nothing by Agnes Obel. I suggested check her out.

cheese cum deli in Chapel Street

cheese cum deli in Chapel Street

Walked down Castle Street, popped in cheese shop cum deli. Let them know I had spoke as promised to a  few stalls.

For the last hour, getting very cold, cold mist making it worse.

cappuccino in Harris Hoole

cappuccino in Harris Hoole

Cappuccino in Harris + Hoole. I could have popped in one of the indie coffee shops, sadly Harris + Hoole now owned by Cafe Nero, but they all close early, and in Harris + Hoole I am guaranteed a constantly good coffee.  Unlike Caracoli, where the manager knows nothing about coffee and makes himself a laughing stock.  It is a tragedy the indie coffee shops close early, as in the summer they are turning away a constant flow of customers.

I was served an excellent cappuccino, but then barista said no, you deserve better.

Then when I left, served another two coffees.

Very impressed.  A barista who takes a pride in his work.

Two coffee places vie for No 1, depends who is serving, FCB kiosk on Platform 2 at Guildford Station and Harris + Hoole. Surrey Hills Coffee comes in at No 3.

Which again begs the question, why oh why, no quality coffee stall on the market, other than objections from Costa and Starbucks?

Guildford farmers market

August 2, 2016
all but desrted Guildford farmers market

all but deserted Guildford farmers market

Last night heavy rain all night. This morning still very wet. The day was warm and humid.

Cappuccino off FCB kiosk on Platform 2 Guildford Station. A new girl doing the coffee, nevertheless, she made a decent cappuccino.

FCB and Harris + Hoole occupy the top coffee slots in Guildford. Surrey Hills Coffee  a distant third. Caracoli a laughing stock whilst clueless manger who is ignorant on coffee. Forget the chains with their disgusting undrinkable coffee.

As a result of stopping for a coffee and a long chat, arrived about hour and a half later than I had intended at the farmers market.  Had it been in the High Street, there would have been nothing left, but located where it is, in a car park, the producers arrive with their produce, then take it back.

Even though I was late, there was actually more people than I have seen at this location. By no means busy, but at least not deserted.

Observing, most of the business appeared to be between stalls, lack of customers meant they had time to wander around.

Each time I visit, more stalls have dropped out. Noticeable by their absence, honey, tomatoes, garlic, fish cakes, sea food, pies, potting plants, beer, wine, fruit and  vegetables, ice cream, and  that is only a few I could mention.

Having had a wander around I decided upon a grilled sausage, only it was not cooked. I said I would pop back when cooked.

Apple stall, no apples yet, but had jam. I picked out strawberries, jam and an apple juice with ginger. He put them to one said to pick up later.

A stall I do not normally drop by, Ollo Foods, mainly because pickles and chutneys, of which I have no interest. They were about to pack up, and asked would I like to try what they had left which had just been cooked. Is it hot? Yes. OK.

I had a dosa. It was excellent. They served on a paper plate.

Dosa is an Indian dish from south India. A sort of pancake made with rice.  Near Euston Station, down the back streets, are Indian restaurants, where sometimes I have dosa. They are stuffed.

I then remembered. The sausage. I went back.

By now full.

How often does Environmental Heath visit the farmers market? I have never seen a visit.

If a supermarket had a delivery of poultry or meat, left outside for hours, questions would be asked. Why then is it ok on a farmers market, poultry and meat on a stall all day in temperatures above 20C?  Sticking a probe into a piece of meat, reaching a minimum temperature, does not indicate that it is cooked.

Looking at the High Street, barring anything unforeseen, the farmers market should be back in the High Street for September, as the work is almost finished.  But in the meantime, stallholders have lost a lot of money, lost most of their client base, and the general populace thinks the farmers market no longer exists. It is going to take many  months to recover.

Today, they actually got their pitches free.

But they should have had free, or at least at much reduced rate, whilst not in the High Street.

Once back in the High Street, each stall, for the number of times they have been in the car park, should get that number of times at a reduced rate in the High Street. That is the least the council can do.

Charging High Street pitch fees when not in the High street is tantamount to fraud.

And it is complete bullshit the claim the council was losing parking fees. There are plenty of free spaces in other car parks.

There has to be something special for the next market in the High Street.

Make it a  street food festival, then make it an annual event.

If Godalming can hold a highly successful street food market, then so can Guidlford. This year there was even more stalls.

Publicity is needed. and not adverting on a rubbish commercial radio station that no one listens to.

It needs editorial in local media. Posters.

A banner maybe across the High Street.

There also needs to be something special when people turn up, to encourage people to turn up.

Hampshire has goodies at some of its markets.

Have each stall donate something, the greater the donation the better. Not obligatory, but hopefully all will cooperate. Buy anything from any stall, be entered into a draw for what has been donated. Draw to take place at the end of the market.

The market has to have a coffee van serving top quality coffee. There is no excuse for not having.  An obvious choice the  Vintage Pop Up Tea Room found in Gostrey Meadow in Farnham on a Saturday during the summer.  Or The HoBo Co or Jimmy Bean.  There is also no excuse for producers drinking takeaway coffee from Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks. If nothing else, appalling hypocrisy. If they expect us to support them, then they in turn should support local indie coffee shops. The same of course applies to the market itself, support local, support quality. .

First Tuesday of September Guildford High Street?

Depressing Guildford famers market

May 3, 2016
deserted farmers market

deserted farmers market

There is nothing more depressing than wandering around a market, and finding it is empty.

Today Guildford farmers market all but deserted. Not as bad as last month, but then last month it was cold and raining, whereas this month, at least the sun was shining.

At a guess, many of the stalls their business is 10% of what it would be be. I asked a few. They said 20% of normal and they were losing money.

Stalls that are usually on the market absent, stalls that were there last month absent. I expect many more to be absent next month, as it is not worth the effort to attend, to sit all day bored stiff losing money.

Usually the grilled sausage stall would have a queue. Nothing. I waited for a sausage to be cooked. I was the only in line.

As I waited  and then sat and ate my sausage I observed a bread stall. During this entire period, not only did I not see a single purchase take place, I did not see a single passer-by even stop and take a look at the stall.

The farmers market would usually be located in the High Street, but due to the relaying of setts, the market has had to be relocated.

It has been relocated to a car park away from the town centre, with no footfall. It would be difficult to  imagine a worse location.

It a retailer was in this location, they would b e paying a third of the rent, a third of the businesses rates, compared with a prime High Street location.

The stallholders are being charged a premium rent for a premier locationa nd yet they are not in a premium location. They are still being charged as though in the High Street. They are not in the High Street, they are in a car park.

This is tantamount to fraud.

What is wrong with North Street, where the street market si held on Friday and Saturday. It could be argued, insufficient room. In which case overflow into the side streets.

What is wrong with the bridge at the bottom of the High Street, could overflowin into the adjacent car park or beside the river?

Or Castle Street?

Or even the Castle Grounds?

Or Tunsgate?

Indeed anywhere other than this grotty car park.

It is not only the stallholders who are suffering.

If most of the suggested location, surrounding businesses benefit.

No one benefits from the location in a car park.

The council would bleat they are losing revenue from parked cars.

This is complete utter bollocks.

Are they suggesting that whoever would have parked here, does not visit Guildford?

People would simply park elsewhere, the car parks and side streets are not full. Thus no loss of revenue.

The only time there would be loss of revenue, would be in the run up to Christmas,  when the car parks are full to overflowing.

And what does the council do at this time of year? Er, makes the car parks free.

And why is there a veto on coffee? Who is applying this veto?

There is a stall with tea.  Since when has tea been grown in the Surrey Hills?

Surrey Hills Coffee could have a stall. They are local coffee roasters.

And if there is a veto, it is not being applied fairly.

Coffee is sold on the street market.

What we are seeing is appalling maladministration by the council.

Lincoln farmers market

January 13, 2016
Lincoln farmers market

Lincoln farmers market

A rather sad pathetic farmers market in the High Street, all of four stalls.  And no one was buying.

If this was Guildford, there would be stalls the entire length of the High Street. Ironic, Lincolnshire is a farming county.

Maybe they should follow the example of Guildford, not hold a market in January.

I spoke with one of the stallholders. I was curious, was it a farmers market, it could just have been stalls. It was confirmed, yes, it was a farmers market.

I saw no information on any of the stalls indicating when the market was held.

I was tempted to buy sausages off one of the stalls. But then decided no. I would rather buy from the excellent butcher in Heighington.

The High Street is the wrong location. Sincil Street would be a better location, where there are indie shops or there were until the local council destroyed the area.

Guildford Christmas farmers market

December 15, 2015
busy High Street

busy High Street

Celtic Baker

Celtic Baker



The Little Beer Corporation

The Little Beer Corporation

ginger beer and elderflower

ginger beer and elderflower

Only ten days until Christmas. An extra farmers market for Christmas.

I did not expect to see many people. A dull damp wet day, then heavy rain. But to my surprise the High Street was busy. Only they were not here for the farmers market, they were Christmas shoppers.

I felt sorry for the stall holders, piled high and no one buying.

No lessons learnt from the summer. An extra farmers market, stock brought in, stock taken back. Why? Lack of publicity. I only knew about this market, and the one in summer, because stall holders told me.

Contrast with two weeks ago, first Tuesday of the month, when many stalls were already sold out by lunchtime.

The problem food wise, ten days before Christmas is too early for food shopping.

But at least today, I was able to get a loaf of bread off Celtic Baker and a pie off the pie stall.

I also got a couple of mince pies off Celtic baker. I did not buy more as very expensive. I was to later regret as excellent.

Apples off the apple juice stall. I would have liked rhubarb and strawberry jam, but they did not have any. Maybe seasonal.

A chat with The Little Beer Corporation. Their idea for company structure very much resembles Open Coops.

Why an overflowing drain by the Isle of Wight tomato stall? Health implications? Been like it for years apparently.

Outside Angel Gate, a massive diesel generator. Why? Noise and very unpleasant diesel fumes. Not good health wise. The stalls nearby should be given a free pitch next market.

By the time I reached the top of the High Street, what until then had been light drizzle, was now turning into heavy rain.

Lunch in the Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage. Sadly it is going downhill fast. Thai green curry was not good, ironically better in their takeaway at the top of the High Street. Service appalling. Served by Miss Glum. Had she smiled her face would have cracked. The staff are not doing the owner any favours.

frog in craft exhibition in Guildford House

frog in craft exhibition in Guildford House

stained-glass kaleidoscopes

stained-glass kaleidoscopes

On the way back down a visit to Guildford House. A craft fair in one room. Star of the exhibition, stained-glass kaleidoscopes.  Each one a work of art (with a  price to match). Very much collectors pieces.  And not forgetting a frog.

Excellent cappuccino in the new coffee shop in Chapel Street, Turn Fit Deli, where as it was now very heavy rain, I stayed until they closed.

Turn Fit Deli only opened early this month and it has already shot to the No 1 coffee spot in Guildford (No 2 jointly shared by FCB Coffee kiosk and Harris + Hoole).

Absolutely no excuse for farmers on farmers market letting themselves and everyone else down buying disgusting  coffee from Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks, when they can pick up a coffee from Turn Fit Deli.

Guildford farmers market

December 1, 2015
wintry River Wey

wintry River Wey

Guildford farmers market December 2015 01

Celtic Baker

Guildford farmers market December 2015 02

walnuts in honey

The Little Beer Corporation

The Little Beer Corporation

Dull day, mild, but very windy.

As Debenhams had roast pork, I stopped for dinner. Had I visited market first then had lunch, there would have been nothing left. I noticed as I left, it was already gone from the menu.

But it meant, nothing left on many of the stalls. I asked, would it have made a difference if I had been an hour earlier. They said no, it had been a very busy day and Celtic Baker had short supplies today. I have never seen Celtic Baker with so little on his stall, the pie stall had two pies left.

No bread, no pies.

I was though able to get jars of honey with walnuts, a bottle of English wine, jam and a couple of beers.

Standards need to be improved. If the South Bank street food market can set high environmental standards then so can Guildford for their farmers market.

It was good to see the The Little Beer Corporation had a stall. You cannot get more local, as they brew their beer in Guildford. Why not sooner?

The structure of The Little Beer Corporation is, or will be, that of an open co-op, with crowd-sourced funding. A lead more local businesses should follow. A local  network of open co-coops, each supporting each other, retaining money within the local economy, supporting the local community, contributing to the collaborative commons. All the more reason they should have been offered a stall on the market months ago.

A new coffee shop has opened in Guildford, Turn Fit Deli. Light lunches, cakes, cookies. Why oh why are the farmers buying disgusting coffee from Costa and tax-dodging Starbucks when they can get an excellent cappuccino from Turn Fit Deli? If they wish us to buy their produce, they in turn should be supporting quality local businesses, anything less is appalling hypocrisy.

There will an additional Christmas farmers market in two week’s time.

Guildford farmers market

August 4, 2015
Celtic Baker

Celtic Baker



Old Town Hall

Old Town Hall

Peakes Pond in Castle Grounds

Peakes Pond in Castle Grounds

Alighting at Guildford Station, I started my day with a cappuccino off the FCB Artisan Coffee kiosk. I am at a loss why anyone has disgusting coffee from Costa, when the best coffee in Guildford is available from a kiosk on Platform 2.

I learnt the bad news that Tolleys have pulled out although they retain their 51% stake in Harris + Hoole. Were they pushed? This can mean several things. Will Tesco sell their stake?  Will Harris + Hoole will go rapidly downhill to become another Costa or Starbucks or Caffe Nero on the High Street?

It is a pity the Tolleys did not offer their 51% to staff and customers, or better still give the opportunity to coffee shops like the one in Guildford, to do a buy out by staff and customers and trade as  open co-ops, or a network of open co-ops. But I do not supposed they cared so long as they made money out of the deal.

Last year, Harris + Hoole recorded a loss of nearly £13 million on sales of £6.6 million. Massive coffee shop expansion, two-thirds of which in Tesco stores. They were also closing coffee shops, even though only opened first coffee shop in 2012. Tesco store location bad positioning. In Guildford it went from that excellent coffee shop in North Street, to the coffee shop in Tesco.  A sad tale of massive expansion, greed writ large.

Along the River Wey and up the High Street to the farmers market.

Many of the stalls had sold out. I bought a lot more than I usually do.

Wholemeal bread off Celtic Baker.

Fish cakes off one of the stalls, lunch for tomorrow.

Pie stall, had sold out of their Cornish pasties, actually better than Cornish pasties. They had sliced one for show, and as a regular, gave it to me.

Off Secretts Farm, quality cucumber.

Jam off the apple fruit juice stall at the top of the High Street. It is interesting to see how they have diversified. Apple juice, then apples, then various fruits, now jam. I had hoped they might have plums. They had, but sold out. I tried a jar of strawberry and rhubarb. Their jam is proving so popular, that they have opened an office as kitchen and are buying in fruit from neighbouring growers.

I tried the jam, spread on toast. Yes, very very good jam.

Lunch was sausage in a bap off one of the stalls.

Unbelievably expensive muesli off one of the stalls. More than double the price of quality muesli from Lidl. I asked them to justify the high price. I was not convinced.

For dessert, blackcurrant ice cream off Dylan’s Ice Cream.

Card boxes for food, cups that can go on the compost heap, lids for cups made from plant-based cellulose, paper bags, wooden forks, are now mainstream, can be sourced from catering suppliers. There is absolutely no excuse for use of plastic or even worse polystyrene cups and burger-style boxes. Music festivals set high standards, it is long overdue Guildford set the same high standards for the stalls on the farmers market.

Occasionally in the past, Guildford has had a stall to encourage recycling. Height of hypocrisy when they do not set high recycling standards for their own markets. At the very least, lack of joined up thinking.

There is a need for a quality coffee van on the market. Invite Jimmy Bean or HoBo Co. It is embarrassing when you see stallholders with coffee from Costa or tax dodging Starbucks or Caffe Nero. On the one hand they want us to buy local, on the other hand failing to do so themselves.

Guildford farmers market first Tuesday of the month in the High Street.

Guildford farmers market

July 7, 2015
Town Bridge

Town Bridge

Town Bridge

Town Bridge

Alice and her sister

Alice and her sister

white rabbit

white rabbit



Celtic baker

Celtic baker

Hogs Back Brewery

Hogs Back Brewery

English wine

English wine

A mixed day, sun came out it was hot, sun went in it was cool, or at least cooler.

This time of year the market comes into its own, lots of fresh produce.

As part of the Summer Festival, Guildford ought to have the first Tuesday of August a Street Food Festival.

Excellent lunch at La Casita, followed by ice cream off Dylan’s Ice Cream.

Last year, Guildford Independent’s Day, well actually a month. I wondered if Guildford Independent’s Day this year, as it was a good idea. A map showing local independent shops in the town centre.

I walked past a tailor, and popped in and asked could I have a few, as I had spotted on display in his window. He said yes, help yourself.

I asked that he stamp it. He did not know what to do. I explained. He then said he could not, I had to buy something. Well I am hardly going to order a tailored suit.

Last year, it was a a visit. At the time I thought better to purchase, but now I have changed my mind. A visit, maybe a visit to somewhere not been before, see what they do.

Last year the Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage was not shown or listed. They had not even been asked. I am pleased to see this year they are listed. And yet Glutton & Glee are not.

Before the tailor, I had visited a couple of places that are listed, and yet I had not noticed the maps on show nor were they drawn to my attention. Some take the view do not wish to direct custom elsewhere. Incredibly short-sighted if everyone takes that view.

Why farmers market stalls not listed?

They need to do, which they failed to do last year, ask retailers to make available  even after the month is over, as useful map showing the independents.

They also need to build Guildford Independent’s Day and launch a local currency, a Guildford pound.  A lost opportunity not to have done this year having generated interest last year.

Pot of tea and a flapjack at Glutton & Glee. It has recently changed hands, now owned by a company, and it shows. Pot of tea and a flapjack over a fiver. It would have been more had I had a tiny piece of carrot cake or a cappuccino. They have lost their good staff, including a top class barista. Art from the walls has gone, and everywhere painted a battleship grey. The tables and chairs outside, not rustic, rusty. I wonder how long before it closes?

On my way to the market I passed the back of The Keystone. At least the graffiti has been painted over. Later I bumped into a friend. She said the pub has become a nightmare for those living in the street, noise of the music, the drunks it now attracts.

Guildford farmers market, first Tuesday of the month in the High Street.

Guildford farmers market

May 5, 2015
Celtic Baker

Celtic Baker



Angel Gate

Angel Gate



Last night it chucked it down. I expected today to be paddling. But due to the strong winds, which got stronger during to day, it was dry.

Last market was an extra one for St George’s Day, due to it being an extra one, not on the usual day, and with lack of publicity, it was something of a disaster for the stallholders.

The wind chill made it very cold. And with stallholders hanging on to their stalls to stop them being blown away, the market was forced to close early.

Celtic Baker had once again run out of wholemeal bread.

The Royal Oak

The Royal Oak

Having visited The Royal Oak during a visit to the special St George’s day farmers market a couple of weeks ago and found they served excellent food, I decided upon The Royal Oak for lunch, only to find it was closed. Even more of a shock to find the new landlord had left.

Lunch at Glutton & Glee.

Glutton & Glee I would recommend for tea and coffee and cakes. But not for lunch. Pricey and nothing special.

cappuccino at Harris + Hoole

cappuccino at Harris + Hoole

Cappuccino and cookie in Harris + Hoole. Always excellent.

On my way to the farmers market, I popped in St Mary’s. One of those rare days when found open.

I had a long chat with a guy packing up a sound system. It had been the venue for Trinity Folk Festival. Originally held at Holy Trinity. But the acoustics bad. St Mary’s excellent.

I suggested although not folk, next time book Jewelia. I also told him of bandcamp.

I also learnt what horrified me, and I suspect will horrify most people.

St Mary’s has kindly offered to host a Methodist Church, but like too many abuse their hospitality.

St Mary’s has a Victorian porch. Nothing wrong with it, though could argue not of the age of the church. The Methodists want to rip it down, replace with what Prince Charles would call a carbuncle affixed to the front of the church. They want to rip up the graveyard at the front of the church (where people relax and eat their lunch) and convert to a meeting area. But worst still, they wish to destroy the graveyard at the back, which is a much valued and loved tranquil wildlife area and build a church hall.

The Methodists are loaded with money having sold their church for redevelopment, and now think they can lord it over St Mary’s.

I would tell the Methodists to sling their hook.

St Mary’s is the oldest church in Guildford. The tower Anglo-Saxon. It was from the tower the invading Normans were observed.

Something I noticed today, nailed above the entrance of the porch a scallop shell, symbol of El Camino de Santiago. I am curious. I will have to inquire.

Guildford farmers market is held on the first Tuesday of the month in Guildford High Street.