Posts Tagged ‘Farncombe’

Natter Cafe

July 25, 2017

There used to be on the platform at Farncome Station, a little coffee shop, Coffee Charisma. I have never found it open.

In Guildford, on the market in North Street, a stall selling coffee, Coffee Charisma.

Confused? Me too. Especially as both had identical logo.

Last time I passed through Farncombe Station, I noticed no longer Coffee Charisma, now Natter Cafe. And no, not open.

Two different businesses, both with identical names. Something had to give.

Natter Cafe also comes as two. There is also outside Farncombe Station, Natter Cafe, and that was where I was headed for a  cappuccino, break my journey on the way to Godalming for lunch, only it did not quite work out that way.

I was looking at the menu, and was then given some advice on the coffee. Try our filter coffee, V60, single origin from Uganda. I do not know why Uganda was chosen, other than a single origin. Possibly because no single origin from Brazil.

I had a look around, before settling down in the garden outside.

Very pleasantly done, both inside and out, inside art on the walls, which is periodically changed.

The V60 was not poured as I would have expected, a continuous pour, not pour to wet the coffee, pause, pour again, and repeat a couple of times.

Compare for example with a V60 Japanese iced filter coffee at Coffee Island in Covent Garden.

I also noticed, did not first cleanse the filter with hot water, which is very important.

I queried this later with the barista. He said they had done that first at the espresso machine.

I found the coffee to be too strong, possibly why I was brought milk. It would also have been better served in glass.

I requested a glass of water, used the glass

Why it was too strong I do not know. Could be the beans which I suspected were over roasted, poor quality beans, maybe too much coffee. It could even be the method by which it was poured.  Also could have been the grind, which would determine how fast or slow the hot water passed through, thus the extraction time.  A courser grind maybe would improve the coffee.

I compare with a Japanese syphon. First time, awful coffee, second time excellent, third time too strong. Why,  poor quality Indonesian coffee, speciality coffee coffee from Columbia, grind too fine, filter clogged, and over-brewed. Small differences make a difference.

Also compared unfavourably with a filter Kenyan at Karuna Coffee and the V60 Japanese iced coffee. And compared unfavourable with all twelve lots from Los Nogales Project during a cupping session at Taylor St Roasted.

But to be fair, though I would have expected the V60 filter to be better much better than it was, I am drawing a comparison with very high quality coffee.

I asked of the beans.

Natter Cafe have their own blend which is roasted for them, also single origin, which is also roasted for them.

All the single origins, maybe even the blend, all roasted to the same roast profile.

Not how any competent roastery would roast beans. Roasted to bring about the best from the beans, also depends upon how the beans are to be used, espresso or filter.

I decided to stay and have lunch, having been tempted by watercress soup and fish cakes served with salad. Both were excellent.

Followed by a cappuccino and a flapjack dipped in chocolate.

The cappuccino not great, large amount of froth and foam. The flapjack excellent.

On sale bags of beans and the little V60 used to make my filter coffee.

Nothing was priced. No roast date on the beans nor could I find the weight. Best by for coffee is meaningless.  A speciality coffee shop would have more information on the beans, though more than would find in a supermarket on brand coffee.

Staff very pleasant and helpful.

I was looking forward to a coffee and was gravely disappointed. On the other hand I was not expecting to eat and found the food to be excellent.

I would highly recommend for the food and ambience, but not somewhere I would go for a  coffee.

Afternoon in Farncombe and Godalming

July 25, 2017

A pleasant hot sunny day, welcome after the last three cold, wet days.

Afternoon zig-zagging back and forth between Farncombe and Godalming.

The idea had been, set off an hour and a half early, coffee at a coffee shop in Farncombe, Natter Cafe, then on to Godalming for lunch at Cafe Mila. Only it did not quite work out that way.

No train for Farncombe, it had been cancelled. Half an hour wait for the next train.

I had intended, cappuccino at Natter Cafe, then on to Godalming for lunch.

Instead, a filter coffee with a V60, watercress soup, then fish cakes with salad, then a cappuccino and a cake.

The filter I found to be too strong. Many reasons, too much coffee, poor quality coffee, roasted to dark, grind too fine.

I asked for a glass of water. I used the glass for the coffee.

The soup, watercress soup, was excellent. As was the fish cakes and salad.

Surprisingly busy for lunch, I say surprising as nothing in Farncombe. Though it did then die down.  To then pick up again mid-afternoon.

Cappuccino was not very good, though chocolate dipped flapjack excellent.

Irony, I was there for the coffee, but found the food to be far better than the coffee.

I then found I had no money.

They trusted me to leave, go to Godalming, return, then pay, which I did.

I looked in Cafe Mila before my return.

On my way to the station I realised, no phone, I had left in Cafe Mila.

I could see it was one of those days.

Luckily, cafe Mila had my phone when I returned.

In Cafe Mila, an art exhibition, Love and Light.

A wander through Godalming, saw a bus at 1828, went for a walk by the River Wey.

Rather than walk back, I kept on along the river to catch the bus at the other end of Godalming.

I then found I had somehow misread the timetable, there was no bus.

I could have walked back though Godalming caught a bus to Guildford, but decided instead, catch a  train.

I did not know how long I would have to wait. Luckily only a  little over five minutes, again for a train from Guildford.

Gryphon Live at St Mary’s Church Farncombe

August 12, 2016


Excellent concert Gryphon at St John’s Church. Medieval and Renaissance influenced rock.

Although in Farncombe, venue easy to get to as the church is opposite the station.

6-piece band, multi-instrumentalists, brass, acoustic guitar, bass, percussion, violin, various wind instruments some the like of which I had never seen before, keyboards, vocals.  Quite an impressive line up and performance.

Sound balance and quality was at times a bit iffy. They could have done with a better sound system.

Before the concert started, I was having a conversation sat outside the church with one of the band, the guy who plays keyboard and many wind instruments, of the Canterbury music scene, of influences, of who played, bands like Soft Machine and Caravan. He was part of the scene, and said he was a chorister in Canterbury Cathedral. Then in our teens and early twenties.  Lucky because we had exposure to excellent music.

How do we come across music or literature worth knowing about, worth listening to, worth reading?

At university The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin played. But also Soft Machine, Caravan, Spirogyra, experimental groups. I was exposed to a wide range of music, often what friends played in their rooms, music I would not otherwise have encountered. Much I did not at the time necessarily like, but it entered the psyche. We were part of what became known as the Canterbury music scene.

I was surprised how far people had travelled to the concert.  I thought I has come a long way from the other side of Guildford. Guy catching the train was heading to Reading, before the concert someone said they had come down from Hertfordshire, during the interval I overheard someone say they had come down from Yorkshire, a young guy with a skateboard had come from Holland (I assume not by skateboard).

Looking at the table, the organiser has an impressive range of acts playing at their little church. I suggested book Jewelia, Steve Lawson, Imogen Heap.

Talking to the band, I suggested they release on bandcamp.  I also suggested they play at Staycation Live next year.

I picked up all three of their albums, Midnight Mushrumps, Red Queen to Gryphon Three, Gryphon. Three of the band kindly signed.

Appalling behaviour in Farncombe Parish Church

September 24, 2011

Yesterday afternoon, I hopped on the bus Guildford to Godalming, only I made the mistake of hopping on a bus that goes all round the houses.

By Farncombe, I had had enough, I decided I would walk and alighted outside the Parish Church. Luckily I found the church was open, and I walked in.

I wandered around the church. Whilst I was looking at some books near the door a man walked in and politely asked was there please a toilet he could use.

No. This is a church not a public toilet. Go down the road and use the pub.

I was shocked and appalled at the way this man was treated. There was a toilet he could have used.

On reflection, I should have inteceded on his behalf, but I think I was too stunned to react.

Jesus divides the sheep from the goats. He asks why was he not given a drink when he was thirsty and asked. But you did not ask. I was the beggar.

Ironically outside the Church of John The Evangalist is a large sign saying Welcome. Clearly some are more welcome than others.

The very least this church can do is in their parish newsletter issue a public apology to this man.

A local lady kindly directed me to walk along a footpath running alongside the railway line. I eventually came out at the water meadows and crossed the bridge over the River Wey into Godalming.

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