Posts Tagged ‘Gail’s’

Carrot soup in Gail’s

November 25, 2017

A cold afternoon 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.

First 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.

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Lunch at Gail’s artisan bakery

September 23, 2017

A bowl of soup, followed by quiche, 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.

The soup was excellent. The soup usually is, I cannot say that though about anything else at Gail’s.

Starbucks bakery (not to be confused with tax-dodging Starbucks serving undrinkable coffee), neither cakes not bread good, but very good quiche.

The quiche in Gail’s looked good, but it was not. I left it uneaten.

The salad, I was expecting a small side salad, not a handful of leaves.

The staff are pleasant, though I have never see the same staff twice.

The service poor.

The ambience poor.

Cappuccino and granola bar in Gail’s

July 22, 2017

Not long after Gail’s opened last year, I had a cappuccino. It was not good.

I have been tempted to try again, to see if improved, on the other hand I hate throwing good money after bad.

Today, was one of those days.

Cappuccuno and  a granola bar.  Neither were good.

The granola bar was hard and dried up. Either made that way, or left out all day and had dried up. Not good for what claims to be an artisan bakery.

I think that claim is to try and justify the extortionate prices, rather than a measure of quality. £2-95 for a small wholemeal loaf.

The cappuccino did not look great, the taste was equally unappetising. It was bitter, far too hot.

There is no excuse, they have Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, an expensive La Marzocco espresso machine. The problem lies with the staff making the coffee, who are completely clueless on coffee.  I would hate to call them ‘baristas’ as it would be to insult baristas.  It is rare to ever see the same staff twice.

Bags of Union coffee are prominently displayed. It is not giving Union a good name.

I then visited Krema, the only coffee shop in Farnham capable of making coffee where at least I knew I would find a half-decent cappuccino.

Gail’s Artisan Bakery

August 20, 2016
Gail's Artisan Bakery

Gail’s Artisan Bakery

I was told there was a new bakery in Castle Street, where you could also eat out the back.

I needed a loaf of bread, and therefore decided to check it out, then return to Downing Street for a coffee.

Very little choice, no wholemeal bread. Staff were apologetic, said it had been a busy day, and had sold out.

I saw they had soup. Anything to eat. Sorry,  kitchen closed at three.

They had sandwiches, but ludicrous price.  £5 to take out, £6 to eat in.

To put this price in context, I can have lunch in the Thai Restaurant in Jeffries  Passage for this price.

I decided on the soup. Small or large? I decided on small.

I had the soup at a table outside. I think it was tomato and red pepper. It was excellent and generous portion. Served with a small piece of bread. I asked for butter and salt. This was brought out to me, as was the soup and a roll. Salt rock salt, butter in a little dish.

The small roll, and it was small, with smoked salmon was good.

I was asked would I like a coffee?

I had intended to visit Krema in Downing Street where I knew I would get an excellent coffee and flapjack. But decided as I was there, and to save walking down to Downing Street, I would stay and at least try the coffee.

It was not good. Not disgusting as tax-dodging Starbucks or Costa, but not good.

The coffee should have been much better, as beans were from Union Hand Roasted, same roaster as used by Harris + Hoole and Taylor Street Baristas, but nowhere near their standard.

The cookie I enjoyed.

If I had wished to eat, I was too late, as kitchen was closed, it was a choice of breakfast or breakfast, which was served until three.  As with the sandwich, expensive, and there was nothing I fancied.

Why not serve breakfast until midday, lunch until three, then afternoon tea and cakes?

The ambience where the cakes were served was quite pleasant, but further in somewhat stark, more like a prison environment.

I sat at a table, but in reality a piece of wood sticking out from the wall, another for a seat, only enough room for one person, and elbow bashed the wall. I was sat in a corridor. I could have gone further in.

Completely lacking in ambience.

Water, help yourself.

This is now quite commonplace.

On the table were free postcards. This was a clever idea, cheap publicity. Also a little fold out chart, but differed from the reality of Farnham.

The staff were excellent, very pleasant and helpful.

Gail’s class themselves as a neighbourhood bakery. Not really. It is a purveyor of very expensive breads and cakes and sandwiches, a bread shop cum coffee shop cum cafe. It is a chain. The entire environment screamed corporate.

Gail's Artisan Bakery Cookbook

Gail’s Artisan Bakery Cookbook

On sale was their own cookbook, Gail’s Artisan Bakery Cookbook.

Loyalty card unusual, stamped if bought a loaf or a coffee. But had to collect nine stamps.

Gail’s open until seven in the evening. I cannot see any point opening beyond six as no one about.  Contrast with Guildford where the indie coffee shops shut at five, turning custom away.

I can recommend the soup. The bread I did not try, apart from my roll, which was good. The coffee not good. Try Krema in Downing Street or Barista Lounge.

I cannot see Loaf in Downing Street surviving, nor the Downing Street Deli, with competition from Gail’s.