Posts Tagged ‘Godalming Food Festival’

Godalming Street Food Market

July 7, 2018

A very hot day in Godalming.

The market stretched down Church Street as far as the Parish Church. It was though an illusion. A French market had been tacked on. A big mistake, as the French market is a travelling circus.

I was though pleased to see a French stall that I once found in Winchester, quality produce brought over from France. Not part of the travelling circus, an independent stall.

I wandered up and down, each year fewer stalls, at least fewer stalls of quality, fewer interesting stalls. Many stalls that used to come no longer do.

Gin tasting was a con, they were selling gin, and they were not even the producers.

It was good to see a Punch and Judy show. A rarity these days.

Music and dance at the Pepper pot.

Would it not be great if somewhere in Godalming served quality coffee? Sadly not.

I passed by Jory Cafe Gallery in Church Street. More a greasy spoon cafe than a coffee shop. What were the coffee beans? Would not say, may steal their secrets. Over roasted Colombian. I ordered a cappuccino. Chocolate dumped on top. I sent it back. Second cappuccino not good.

Were their takeaway coffee cups compostable? It did not say. Yes. On leaving I was handed a cup and lid to add to my compost experiment.

I popped in The Star, walked into their back garden. A mistake. Full of drunks. I took my beer out into the street. Remind me again why I prefer coffee shops to pubs.

All day I was wishing for a refreshing cold brew coffee. Chance would be a fine thing.

Disappointed Chimmney Fire Coffee did not have a stall.

Abysmal environmental standards on the market, food safety and obscene us of plastic.

The same stall as of Guildford farmers market, poultry sat on the stall with temperature in excess of 30C. Why was it not closed down? Were the butcher to put poultry on a stall outside the shop would very quickly be shut down.

Food and hot weather do not mix. In this hot weather Environmental Health should be patrolling food markets, not wait until people fall sick.

Humans have this strange ability to hold two contradictory and opposing views simultaneously. We know plastic is polluting our oceans and yet we continue to use plastic.

The amount of plastic on the market was appalling, drinks in plastic, plastic straws, junk foods served in plastic boxes. Even sweets in plastic coffee takeaway cups.

Paella stall an exception, but that an initiative of one stall. It should not be down to one stall, standards should be set for the market, no plastic.

It is not only Godalming. Farnham Carnival, Guildford farmers market, Winchester street food market, all have abysmal environmental standards.

Nor is it only local markets. Wimbledon is handing out bottled water. To add insult to injury, French bottled water.

Has no one heard of Plastic Free July? Does any one care?

From Cook a raspberry and mint lollipop. It was excellent. I went back and had a second.

In Waitrose rCup. Waitrose had their own reusable cup at £3, now the rCup at £12. Claimed to be made from a dozen recycled coffee cups. Which makes the point, plastic is not recycled, it is down cycled. Designed by a former designer for Dyson. Maybe should stick to vacuum cleaners as not barista friendly, something fairly basic for a reusable coffee cup. Greenwash by Waitrose to distract from fresh produce in plastic.

Godalming Food Festival

July 1, 2017

A quick tour, then popped into Cafe Mila.

The Godalming Food Company have marginally improved the coffee they are flogging, but there is far better quality coffee around from quality coffee roasters.

Appalled at the rubbish ice cream van. Disgusted at the engine left running all day.  Why no Dylan’s ice cream serving quality ice cream?

Bins overflowing with rubbish.

I contrast with the street food party in Lower Marsh two days ago to launch Waterloo Food Month where not only were the bins regularly emptied, men were walking up and down the street with sacks collecting rubbish off people.

Waverley,  a useless council if ever there was one, need to get their act together. They know there is a street food festival all day, step up rubbish collection accordingly.

Low environmental standards.  Why are stalls allowed to use polystyrene burger-style boxes?

Excellent rhythm and blues band playing in The Pepperpot mid-afternoon.  A must for Staycation Live. Maybe also have play The Village in Guildford, which to date has been an unmitigated disaster.

I looked in the Goldalming Museum. Something I must do more often, as they always have an interesting art exhibition worth visiting.

I looked in Cafe Mila. Pleased to see they had changed their coffee. I went back later, had a coffee. Not bad but not great. I have reservations on Cupsmith, who I have never heard of. No information on the bags of coffee, and calling a coffee Breakfast Coffee, is meaningless.  Best by is also meaningless. At the very minimum, roast date, where sourced from and if single origin or a blend.

How much information to put on a bag of beans was discussed at Union Summer Carnival. Every bean has a story to tell.

Go into Waitrose and check out coffee beans from Union Hand-Roasted Coffee.

Cafe Mila often have interesting books dotted around. I quickly browsed Coffee. Glossy pictures, text on glossy paper making difficult to read. The contributors not experts on coffee.  Not recommended. There are far better books on coffee.

A few ideas tossed around whilst at Cafe Mila. Try Karuna Coffee, or at the very least as a guest coffee. Consider next art exhibition entitled coffee. Could be still life of a coffee, a coffee scene outside a coffee shop. The opening could be a coffee festival held in Angel’s Court.

I also gave a copy of Waterloo Food Month Gastro Passport. Could do the same in Godalming, use street food festival as the launch party for a  Godalming Food Month.

I recommended copies of Caffeine, help yourself, Standart to browse or for sale. If for sale, Cafe Mila would be on the Standart distribution map.

The food festival finished at five o’clock, but stalls were packing up at least half an hour before. Then idiots were driving through at speed, with risk of injury, other idiots illegally parking on footpath, engine running, obstructing the highway.  A bus even tried to get through.

At five, allow stall vehicles through to dismantle stalls, then open at six.

Local businesses do not like the food festival as they see takings fall. This is short sighted. It brings many more people into Godalming, who see what is in the town. Maybe they will return.

I could have eaten in Cafe Mila. I did not, as there was much on offer in the street, but I did return mid-afternoon, had a drink and a cake.  I noticed although empty inside, there were many people sat outside.

A chat with Godalming Mayor, who is also the local butcher.  He was interested to hear these observations. At least as the local butcher, folks can bend his ear.

A clash, Southampton had a coffee festival on the same day.

Guildford farmers market, first Tuesday of the month.

Staycation Live, first weekend in August.

Godalming Food Festival

July 3, 2016
Godalming Food Festival

Godalming Food Festival

Last year very hot, so hot I would rather have sat under a tree in my garden. Many others must have thought the same.

On my way, station where I bought a ticket yesterday, said we owe you money. True, as I had paid for a ticket and not been given a ticket. I replied, issue tickets today and call it quits.

Good timing, on arrival at Godalming Station, the streets were very wet, although I had not noticed rain on my way down.

Godalming Parish Church

Godalming Parish Church

I popped into Godalming Parish Church, a candle lit, prayer card writ, to give Jeremy Corbyn the strength to stand firm against the coup plotters.

In Church Street, a girl selling French Champagne, and no, you do not serve in opaque blue plastic. The plastic probably no choice, as in the street, but at least clear.

French Champagne

French Champagne

Not going to be selling us any Champagne then? She did not understand. I explained the EU is threatening UK with trade sanctions, and the French had a lot to lose, as they sell us wine and cheese, and we are the largest purchasers of Champagne.

Dylan’s Ice Cream was there. Why was you not at the Garden Party last weekend? Apparently the dates had been switched. Maybe that also explains why no Curries from Home doing the food.

A lot more stalls than previous years. This year past the Pepperpot and up the High Street.

excellent soup in Changing Perceptioms

excellent soup in Changing Perceptions

I popped in Changing Perceptions, to say hello to the lady who was there last week, but she was not there. I decided to stay and have soup. It was excellent, served with two big chunks of quality bread and a lump of butter.

It was packed when I walked in.

As I was enjoying my soup, a moron backed a massive 4×4 all the way down the street, then unable to get any further due to the market stalls, parked blocking the street

Pork off the hog roast from the local butcher. Not as good as previous years, maybe I should have got there sooner and not had the soup, as previously they were still slicing off the roasting pig. No crackling. They knocked 50p off the price. Although not as good as previous years, it was still good.

cocktail Dragon and The Bell

cocktail Dragon and The Bell

Dragon and The Bell, had some strange cocktail. I tried it, and it was good. They were asking people to post pictures of their stall on Instagram. I said no, a very bad idea. Instagram claim the right to use these pictures, and they are not visible on twitter.

I explained far better, ask people to post pictures on twitter with hashtag

and pick from the best. And that they should change the poster on their stall to say this.

Whether or not they heeded my advice I do not know, but they thought it an excellent idea.

Café Mila had a juice bar. Ride a bicycle and it drives the juicer, or pick your own fruit and vegetables off the adjacent fruit and vegetables stall, and we will make to order.

I decided upon a zinger, but a variant on what they serve. Three carrots, apple, an orange (which I bought off the fruit and vegetable stall) and a piece of ginger.

The girl tried it, and was impressed.

A chat with the Greek guy who was running a Greek stall. Last year we discussed the situation in Greece, and how terrible it was. I told him of my experience of Athens last October. He said he had lived in England for 60 years, and was proud to stand with the British and vote against the EU. He said Greece and UK, must stand together and fight the EU, but was disgusted that Greece had been betrayed by Alexis Tspras, who now headed a puppet government of the EU. He found it tragic that there were Brits who voted to support the EU. He questioned what did we fight the war for?

Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions

A cappuccino in Changing Perceptions. Not undrinkable as cappuccino in Godalming Food Company, but not good. I suspect poor quality beans and lack of skill. It was very weak. They also topped with chocolate. Never serve a cappuccino with chocolate, or at least not without asking.

I enjoyed the flapjack.

£3-30. In Costa it would have been a fiver, less a few coppers, for disgusting undrinkable coffee, factory cakes, and an unpleasant corporate contrived atmosphere.

Why oh why do people drink the disgusting coffee in Costa, Cafe Nerro or tax-dodging Starbucks?

Steve, of Café Mila, plus one of the photographers who took the pictures, said take a look at the photo exhibition in Godalming Museum.

They always have excellent exhibitions, and I regret to say I did not visit the watercolour exhibition last week.

The exhibition was excellent, a must visit. I suggested also exhibit at Guildford House, Guildford Institute and Café Mila. I also wrote my suggestion in their book.

It was then wander back down the street as everyone was packing up.  And pop in Waitrose for some cheese.

I had almost forgotten just caught the butcher before he closed.

Waitrose was packed. But at least they man the tills and provide service, unlike Waitrose Farnham.

A long chat with a pleasant girl who was carrying out a survey.

Bus to Guildford. ideally, 70, 71 or 72, as direct. Along came a 46, which goes all around the houses. All around the houses, it went all around the countryside. I began to think it was heading to Aldershot not Guildford, and I had caught the wrong bus. I had assumed it was going to Guildford from the bus stop, I had not actually asked. It did eventually arrive at Guildford.

At Guildford Station, I watched my train disappearing. Half an hour wait for the next train.

Godalming Food Festival is better than the street food market in Winchester on a Wednesday, but not as good as the South Bank Street Food market every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Godalming Food Festival

July 4, 2015
Godalming Food Festival

Godalming Food Festival

Church Street and the High Street lined with stalls.

The Star was serving beer from barrels in the street, tables and chairs in the street.

Why not make this an everyday occurrence, the centre of Godalming traffic free? Something for Godalming Town Council to ponder about, seek views.

Although very busy I do not think there was as many people as last year and unlike last year, there were not stalls impossible to get near. But then it was a very hot day, a day for sitting in the garden, in the shade, under a tree.







Ascot Ales

Ascot Ales

Apart from stalls selling many varieties of food from Hog Roast, to Thai, to Indian, to paella, to Greek there was also beer stalls, fruit and vegetable stalls, coffee, bread, cakes.

I had Hog Roast (the local butcher), which as last year excellent, and they are not stingy with portion size.

Later I popped back to the butcher and picked up a pork chop. I think last year I had sausages.

After the Hog Roast, visit to The Star and have half a pint of a local ale.

On the way a chat to a coffee roaster.

Making coffee is a skilled job (one reason why the coffee in Starbucks or Costa is undrinkable). Coffee roasting an even more skilled job. If a coffee roaster is established by people with no skill in coffee roasting, not having worked under a master coffee roaster, what then the quality?

A veg box scheme imports pineapples from a grower. A grower who was dumped by a major supermarket chain. Not Fairtrade, because they would rather set higher standards with the grower then a better price is paid. Same applies to coffee roasters.

Organic label? If imported, monoculture, imported inputs, should it really be classed as organic? The standards are set too low.

The standards for some of stalls should be raised. It is not acceptable to be serving food in polystyrene boxes when card alternatives are available.

Dylan’s Ice Cream had a van. Surprising not busy.

No coffee van. Invite HoBo Co or Jimmy Bean, and a must for Staycation Live.

Curries from Home a must for Godalming Food Festival. If you have never eaten Curries from Home, you have never had a decent Indian meal.

A Greek stall. No Greek flag Vote NO.

On my way in, popped in the Parish Church, a candle lit, a prayer card writ, Greek people find the courage to vote NO, please overcome the fear that is driving you to vote YES. Vote no against the destruction of Greece by the EU, terrorism by the creditors.

I am pleased to say, every single person I spoke to supported Greeks voting <a href="http://NO vote“>NO to EU in the referendum on Sunday.

Music from the Pepperpot was dire, which probably explains why no one listening. I can find better playing in the High Street in Guildford. Late year there was someone better playing in the street. She was then invited to play in the Pepperpot. Why was she not invited back? Invite Jewelia to play.

In Angel Court a Punch and Judy Show.

Afternoon tea and cake at Cafe Mila, but first a zinger.

bread shop closed

bread shop closed

Many businesses are being driven out of Godalming by rents that are too high. Now many empty shops. I was shocked to see the baker in the centre of Godalming had closed. Though I was told later they had relocated.

Some years ago, there was an indy book shop opposite Waterstone’s. They were driven out by high rents.

One thing the Town Council should do, publish rents. Successful rent appeals have a database to work on. Keeps rents down.

Slug and Lettuce has closed, which is no bad thing. But it has been replaced by a grotty clothes chain which is not good for Godalming.

Godalming need to look to Frome, a town council taken over by ordinary citizens, though to be fair to the existing council, they do better than most councils, for example Godalming Food Festival, Staycation Live.

Abysmal piss-poor service in Waitrose. Bloody stupid scheme, know in advance what you want to buy (by clicking on-line) then get 20% off (if you have a My Waitrose card).

Bus to Guildford, then train.

The Keystone is becoming a disgrace. Fly posters at the front, graffiti on the back wall, awful music blaring out into the street.

Next event in Godalming: Staycation Live (sometime last weekend in July or first weekend in August)

Strongly recommend Guildford hold a food festival first Tuesday of August as special event for Guildford Summer Festival.

Godalming Food Festival

July 5, 2014
Godalming Food Festival

Godalming Food Festival

On arrival, I popped into the Parish Church, a candle lit, prayer card writ for Cristina.

Outside the church a piper playing, Awful noise. Bagpipes are not for pleasure, the Scots used them when they went into battle to terrorise their enemies.

I was tempted to walk along the river, but decided not, maybe later.

Yasemen Kaner-White book signing

Yasemen Kaner-White book signing

Church Street was closed, as was the High Street. Stalls lining Church Street and all the way down the High Street.

Usually Godalming is quiet, a handful of people going about their businesses, although I have never been there on a Saturday. Actually not true I have been on a Saturday for Staycation Live, and the town was quiet then, though the park was packed for the music.

Thai food

Thai food

Ascot Ales

Ascot Ales



The High Street was packed, I have never seen so many people in Godalming, Some of the stalls, you could not get near due to the people. A paella stall and a hog roast, had a queue half way down the street.

Karen Page, amazing performer. And what a difference a decent sound system came make. She was playing in the street, then invited to play at the Pepperpot (where they had decent sound system). They should have had her playing as the main act at the Pepperpot, as what they had playing mid-afternoon were awful

She told me she was at the Farnham Carnival last week, but was asked to play in the street. Why was she not on the main stage, as what they had playing were dire? The exception being The Miller Family, and they are a brilliant seven-piece band.

I picked up a signed CD Karen Page for my friend Crisobella. I suggested she uploaded her album to bandcamp.

Karen Page is a must for Staycation Live this year. I also suggested she played at Café Mila, and at Harris + Hoole in Guildford.

Two years ago, Staycation Live had excellent food, last year, the ghastly commercial stainless steel burger vans. They must invite the local hog roast and decent local food, as they did two years ago.

Jo Wheatley gave baking demonstrations which I missed. A signed copy of Home Baking for my friend Alice.

The man who has a basket shop down a side street, and a little Christian bookshop at the back, had a stall with strawberries and cream. I told him of the talk Canon Andrew White gave at Alton Maltings, and apologised for not letting him know in advance, as I know he would have liked to have attended.

For next year

  • Curries from Home
  • Thai restaurant from Jeffries Passage in Guildford
  • Hobo Co coffee
  • Dylan’s ice cream

I was pleased to see most of the stalls were using card and paper for their food and drinks, wooden forks. A few though were using polystyrene burger boxes, plastic cups. Standards need to tightened. It must be possible to recycle or compost.

I told a couple of local retailers of Guildford Independent’s Day, and suggested the same for Godalming. They thought a great idea. I would though go further, launch a local currency, form an embryonic Transition Godalming, make this their first projects, then officially launch all three next year.

cucumber soup

cucumber soup

A bowl of soup from Café Mila. Cucumber soup. Cucumbers, unless the little ones, are fairly tasteless. I have never before come across cucumber soup. It was excellent, though it did have spices in it.

Pork off the hog roast. Excellent pork. I assumed it must be a suckling pig, but no. Generous portions too. I returned later and had sausages off the butcher.

Afternoon tea at Café Mila, followed by a zinger (apple, pear, lime and ginger).

relaxing outside Cafe Mila with a  glass of sparkling wine

relaxing outside Cafe Mila with a glass of sparkling wine

Alan was playing cello. It was very pleasant sitting outside listening to the sound of the cello drifting out, drinking a glass of sparkling wine. I suggested he got together with a couple of friends, live concert at Café Mila, record, and if good enough, release on bandcamp for digital download, and have available as a CD Live at Café Mila. I suggested he check out Zoë Keating, especially her album Into The Trees.

Café Mila has books to take away, books to browse. I sat outside browsing through Snakistan, a wonderful book of Middle Eastern street food, with lovely stories from Nasrudin.



I suggested Steve would like Sacred Economics, sharing, collaborative commons. We see this at Café Mila with their summer art exhibition. Support for local artists, it brings people in.

I had a last look at the summer art exhibition. It ends on Sunday.

summer art exhibition at Café Mila

summer art exhibition at Café Mila

summer art exhibition at Café Mila

summer art exhibition at Café Mila

A chat with artist Beth, who I met in the spring, and whose art exhibition I missed in May. She said only those she had invited had attended, nevertheless, the exhibition was a huge success, as they came from all over the UK, and even from the States, and she sold four paintings.

I suggested she read The Alchemist, and check out the talk Andrew White recently gave in Alton. As she was going on holiday, she said she would download The Alchemist to her Kindle, to read whilst away.

A train to Guildford a little before 8pm, for a cocktail party at Harris + Hoole.

A strange day, warm, then late afternoon turned cold, then turned warm again.

Saturday 26 July 2014 — Guildford summer festival farmers market

last Saturday July 2014 (?) — Staycation Live

Tuesday 5 August 2014 — Guildford farmers market

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