Posts Tagged ‘Guildford Institute’

Lunch at Guildford Institute

June 19, 2016
lunch at Guildford Institute

lunch at Guildford Institute

Friday I felt like lunch at Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage, but as I ate there a few days before, I decided upon lunch at Guildford Institute.

A big mistake.

It was not good. I did not even bother with the sweet.

But worse was to come.

An hour and a half later, bad food poisoning.

I had nothing else to eat or drink, therefore can be reasonably certain what I ate at Guildford Institute was the cause.

I had had breakfast that morning but no different to any other day.

A few days before, I had a dessert at Guildford Institute. No problem.

This though is not the first occasion of food poisoning. It has happened at least two or three times before.

It used to be a different lady preparing the food on a Friday. Never once a problem.

The problem has always been, those who used to prepare the food Monday to Thursday, now Monday to Friday.

The last time this happened, I went back and asked those who had eaten when I had, had they fallen ill.

I cannot be certain, but it may have been they did.

The food is prepared outside, brought in, then heated in a microwave, some is on a hot plate.

What I had, some sort of fritter, was heated in a microwave. It was not hot, lukewarm.

Plus I had two salads, one a lentil salad, the other some form of shredded cabbage.

As this is not the first time this has happened. At least two or three times before. Environmental Health need to investigate to determine the cause.

Lunch at Guildford Institute

November 13, 2015
excellent choice of dishes

excellent choice of dishes

mushroom and spinach lasagne

mushroom and spinach lasagne with couscous 

There used to be excellent food at the Guildford Institute, then the lady who provided lunch on a Friday left.

I now eat elsewhere.

Last week an occasional diner told me someone new was doing the food on a Friday and it was good. She recommended I gave it a try, and was interested to hear what I thought.

She was right, or at least partially so.

The choice of main course was excellent, indeed spoilt for choice. On a par with the high standard had been used to on a Friday.

I chose mushroom and spinach lasagne. Excellent.

The salads left much to be desired as did the sweets.

I chose couscous. I would have preferred a little of three of the salads, but not possible. Lack of flexibility not good.

For dessert, apple pie. But no cream. There was custard out of a pot from Tesco. Er, you got to be joking.

Good news, main course a vast improvement. Bad news, last day.

Food today was provided by Kitchen Sink Catering (dumb name). With reservations outlined above, they should be invited by the Guildford Institute to do Friday and Saturday, to give people a choice.

Afternoon in Guildford

June 13, 2015

First half of Friday afternoon, was a wild goose chase to find somewhere for lunch.

Options to eat in Guildford, at least somewhere decent, are rapidly vanishing.

Guildford Institute used to be excellent for Friday lunch, but no more as the lady who did the lunches has left.

I popped in Friday, to be accosted and told I had not paid. I was surprised, but, one can forget, and so I apologised and paid.

I left and gave it some thought.

How did the lady know, she was not there last week?

The amount I was told I owed, was not what my lunch cost last week.

And then I remembered, I had paid. The reason I remembered, as I had attempted to pay, as I usually do, where the food was served, but had been rudely told to go round to a hatch where they accept payment.

Something very wrong.

kebabs at The Royal Oak

kebabs at The Royal Oak

I was now on my way to The Royal Oak.

A few weeks back, I had popped in for a drink, and the chef had brought out an excellent kebab, put it on the bar, and suggested help yourself, he wished to know what we thought. It was excellent. So excellent that I popped back another day to try, only to find the pub had closed and changed hands, but the chef was still there.

Today I thought try again. Awful music playing, two sullen women behind the bar. I asked of the kebabs. They looked at each other. No, we don’t do kebabs.

I walked out with the passing comment, I have tried twice, there will not be a third attempt. I did not think to ask was the chef still there.

We are too polite. We accept second best. More people need to walk out.

It was then back to Guildford Institute.

I explained to the lady the situation. I asked what she thought I had had for the sum she claimed I owed. It was eight pounds and something. I then told her what I had had, main course, sweet and a cup of tea, which came to £10-50, more than she said I owed. Thus how could it be I?

And how did I know it came to £10-50? As that is what was on the bill I took to the counter to pay.

Begs the question who the bill was for, the bill it was claimed I had walked out without paying?

She said it was her daughter who made the claim. That I had tried to pay, had the money in my hand, but as I was talking, I walked off without paying.


Luckily, she accepted something was wrong, and gave me my money back.

I asked could I get something to eat? She said no. They were packing up. Though I was offered a sweet.

But what is worrying this is the second time it has been claimed I had not paid.

The Keystone courtyard covered over graffiti covered wall

The Keystone courtyard covered over graffiti covered wall

It was then down to The Keystone.

The Keystone was an excellent pub, but the landlords fell out amongst themselves, the pub went downhill, and eventually a new landlord took over. A new landlord who has been a disaster. His first act was to lose a good chef.

It used to be pleasant on a sunny afternoon to sit outside in the back courtyard and have their excellent fish cakes. I found the courtyard covered over (now dark and gloomy instead of open and airy), awful music playing (it was bad enough in the pub but at least the courtyard was quiet), and the back wall covered in graffiti (an unbelievable eyesore which the local council should enforce a clean up). I asked for the fish cakes to be told they did not do them any more. It was burgers or nothing. I walked out.

Looking from the church (and there are arms houses further along), the back of The Keystone looks like something out of a Third World shanty slum. is there planning permission for the unsightly structures that have been erected? Jobsworth from the local council need to get out and about a bit more (their office a few minutes walk along the road) and carry out enforcement.

lunch at Thai restaurant

lunch at Thai restaurant

Back up the High Street and late lunch in the Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage. It was excellent. I should have gone there first.

We are losing many pubs every week. Too often it is greedy pubcos, selling them off for redevelopment. But it also badly run pubs too.

J D Weatherspoon, may be a chain, but their pubs are well run. That is why they are successful. If I go into Harris + Hoole for a coffee, the staff are always great, plus the tea and coffee and cookies are excellent too.

I contrast with the two pubs I visited yesterday. Bar staff who give the impression they are bored and would rather be somewhere else, indeed anywhere than where they were.

The two pubs empty. Harris + Hoole always busy, as it was today. Says it all.

Attitude is one problem. But awful music playing is another.

Both pubs had awful music playing. No, I do not wish to have the bad musical taste of other people imposed upon me.

Again, look to J D Weatherspoon, other than when full of roudy drunks, quiet, no music.

As it was a very warm humid afternoon, iced tea in Harris + Hoole.

Lunch at the Guildford Institute

June 5, 2015
Guildford Institute lunch

Guildford Institute lunch



The lady who did the excellent Friday  lunches at the Guildford Institute has now left. I enjoyed the last of her excellent cooking three weeks ago and said a sad farewell. Yes, it is still possible to have lunch at the Guildford Institute, but I do not recommend. Today’s fare simply did not compare.

To make matters worse, a price hike.

A meal deal, main course with two salads, a fruit juice, a dessert, plus a pot of tea, was less than a tenner.

Today, meal deal, main course with two salads, no fruit juice, a dessert, a cup of tea not a pot of tea, was £10-50.

The leftovers were being emptied into plastic boxes. Does this mean to be served up another day? I hope not.

Lunch at Guildford Institute

May 15, 2015
mushroom and leek roll with salad

mushroom and leek roll with salad

banoffee pie

banoffee pie

As always, lunch at Guildford Institute was excellent.

Mushroom and spinach roll with salad.

Followed by banoffee pie.

The lady who does the excellent Friday lunches was leaving after Christmas. Every meal since then has been on borrowed time.

Sadly, that time has come to pass. Today was my very last lunch, as I learnt from the regulars she leaves in two weeks.

One of the best places to eat in Guildford, if not the best, will sadly be no more.

A new art exhibition on the walls. Not worth a special trip for. Primary school children could have mounted as good, if not better.

Busking at the bottom end of the High Street Dean Dyson. This guy is amazing, fantastic rendition of Scarborough Fair.

We had a long chat. I bought two signed copies of Street Songs. I said it was a must he be on bandcamp.

In Swan Lane, a shop that appears to have been abandoned by Guildford Council, has been opened as a pop up shop, Tea and Memories Guildford.

A wonderful idea. It was like going back to the 1940s.

They invite people to come in, reminisce. I suggested record, something they had not thought of.

A pity only there for a week, but that is the nature of pop up shops, they pop up, then they are gone.

We had a long chat. I mentioned social enterprise cafes, and suggested, if could find somewhere in the town centre, maybe set one up.

It was therefore all the surprising I found anything to eat at the Guildford Institute, let alone a choice, as I also stopped at the market to pick up some strawberries.

Then a cappuccino and cookie at Harris + Hoole. Too late for upstairs and had to make do with downstairs. It was very noisy, loud music, which was very unpleasant. Probably explains why it was not busy. Picked up some coffee beans, which were roasted early this month, I think they said on 8 May 2015, which means at their best. But why not record roast date on the packaging?

Sadly Friday lunch at Guildford Institute is not the only demise of an excellent place to eat.

Food for Thought in Covent garden is due to close 21 June 2015 after forty years in business. It has been there since the market pulled out of Covent Garden and the area was earmarked to be bulldozed for redevelopment. One of the best places to eat in London. Forced out of business by a greedy landlord jacking up the rent.

Lunch at Guildford Institute

May 9, 2015
chickpea bake and salad

chickpea bake and salad

banoffee pie

banoffee pie

Excellent lunch yesterday at Guildford Institute.

Chickpea bake and salad.

Followed by banoffee pie.

It was very packed when I arrived.

I got the last of what little was left.

After lunch I had a chat with artist Susie Lidstone who was dismantling her art exhibition.

Lunch at the Guildford Institute

May 1, 2015
chickpea bake and salad

chickpea bake and salad

As always, excellent lunch at the Guildford Institute,

For main course, chickpea bake with three salads.

Followed by key lime pie.

A rather strange and pretentious review of eating out at the Guildford Institute in Surrey Life, written by the editor.

Insultingly compares it with a canteen, drinks diet coke (welcome to carcinogenic aspartame), insults some of the regulars by suggesting they have been dining their since the building opened.

Surrey Life lunch review

Surrey Life lunch review

Local Architecture in Watercolours and Prints

April 24, 2015
R H Foster

R H Foster

Local Architecture in Watercolours and Prints is an exhibition at the Guildford Institute by Susie Lidstone.

The exhibition captures in watercolours some of the wonderful buildings on the Surrey-Hampshire border.

A pity she had not painted The Tumbledown Dick before it was destroyed for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

Each painting has a few notes about the building, who owned it and how it came to be painted.

It was unfortunate the paintings were obscured by glass, reflections from the windows and lighting.

Why, oh why, oh why, do artists not know how to display their work to best effect?

The cobbler, R H Foster no long exists. It was a shop of many generations in Downing Street in Farnham next to the greengrocer (which does still exist). The last in the line asked that the shop be painted before it closed for the last time.

Lunch at the Guildford Institute

April 24, 2015


Excellent lunch at the Guildford Institute.

Chickpea bake and salad, followed by a pavlova.

On the walls, an exhibition of watercolours of buildings on the Surrey-Hampshire border.

Two books recommended for the Guildford Institute Library, This Changes Everything and Revolution.

Lenny’s Art

December 5, 2014
Lenny's Art

Lenny’s Art

Lenny's Art

Lenny’s Art

Current art exhibition at the Guildford Institute.

The paintings were well presented, not obstructed by glass or plastic, but shame about the illegible bushiness card.

Reminiscent of Indian classical art. And of Japanese graphic novels.

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