Posts Tagged ‘Guildford’

Guildford upper High Street empty shops

November 30, 2021

A continuation of last week in the High Street, photograph the empty shops in the upper High Street.

This is not at the level of Aldershot, but no other town centre I have visited has this number of empty shops. It only serves to highlight the failure of Experience Guildford and why it must be wound up.

I only noted from Jeffries Passage upwards. The upper High Street where I rarely venture, I did not count, found as many empty shops as North Street.

What can only be described as perverse, Experience Guildford fly post many of the shop windows of the empty shops to highlight the scale of retail devastation.

Experience Guildford and Town Rangers hide behind a faded red door in Tunsgate.

What must be a very rare sighting, as Town Rangers are very rarely seen, a Town Ranger was spotted mid-afternoon in Tunsgate headed for the faded red door. If spot one, please take a photo of a rare sighting and post on social media.

If Experience Guildford is not wound up, which is the preferred scenario, then there must be reform, board removed, senior management fired, town rangers fired, and one vote one business.

Are the local community aware Experience Guildford place a levy on every local business in the town centre, a levy in today’s harsh retail environment which local businesses can ill afford, a levy for which they see no return? Are the local community aware of how votes are distributed based on rateable value, corporate chains have more votes even though they have no interest in Guildford other than the wealth they suck out of the town centre? This is like a rigged election in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, fair elections are held, only Putin decides who the candidates will be. Should HSBC have a seat on the board when they finance fossil fuel companies which is contrary to the declaration of Guildford as a green borough?

Not recorded last week, empty shops in Swan Lane.

Atto

November 30, 2021

Atto, a new Korean restaurant in Swan Lane where once Costa. Hanki in Jeffries Passage closed Tuesday lunchtime, give atto a try.

Lunchtime busy, but not too busy, about half full, a steady flow of customers taking their lunch out.

Staff pleasant and helpful, described all their dishes, food was good, reasonable portion size if not generous, I had to stop the girl piling more in my pot. I had sweet and sour chicken on a bed of rice. The juices from the sweet and sour, seeped down into the rice.

Unlike disgusting Pick A Bap in Farnborough, the food looked fresh. The girl said they empty after three hours, clean out the tin, bring out fresh food. Whilst I was there, chef added fresh food, stirred the tins.

Only too happy to give me a drink of water, filtered water.

Not sure what to do when finished. Are we meant to clear the tables? There was a box for cutlery. I did what others did, tidied up, left on the tray.

Covid biosecurity good: Tables clean, staff wearing masks, hand sanitiser. It could be improved still further by making Deliveroo wait outside and handed their delivery, if enter, wear mask and remove crash helmet.

Guildford cold damp last day of November

November 30, 2021

A cold damp day, 10C not as cold as a few days ago, but nevertheless felt cold.

First day mask wearing mandatory in shops and on public transport. Nowhere 100% compliance.

Shop displaying sign mask wearing personal choice. No, it is mandatory, £200 fine.

Illustrates yet another Experience Guildford fail. Could they not have gone round and advised all the small businesses mask wearing mandatory, £200 fine? Even better, run off posters, Mask Wearing Mandatory, £200 fine?

Lunch at atto, new Korean in Swan Lane, formerly Costa. Staff pleasant and helpful, described all their dishes, food was good, reasonable portion size, if not generous, I had to stop the girl piling more in my pot. I had sweet and sour chicken on a bed of rice. The juices from the sweet and sour, seeped down into the rice.

Unlike disgusting Pick A Bap in Farnborough, the food looked fresh. The girl said they empty after three hours, clean out the tin, bring out fresh food. Whilst I was there, chef added fresh food, stirred the tins.

Only too happy to give me a drink of water.

Not sure what to do when finished. Are we meant to clear the tables? There was a box for cutlery. I did what others did, tidied up, left on the tray.

I followed up last week, photographed the empty shops in the upper High Street.

On my way to Krema, a very rare sight, a Town Ranger. What are they for? No one knows.

Cappuccino at Krema. They now even have guest coffee.

Look in M&S.

Wait at Costa, before cross over to my train.

Yobs in my carriage, feet on seats, no masks.

— to be continued —

Zero

November 23, 2021

Zero, a community hub cum zero waste shop with focus on climate.

ReSpace in action, a large empty retail unit, recycled on behalf of the local community, run by volunteers, lots of little areas suitable for informal meetings, a small stage to host talks, a little eatery (but by no means a coffee shop), a zero waste area (but so far no stock), a seed bank, books, visual displays.

Very much work in progress, my thoughts should therefore bear that in mind.

Please no, the sweets, the only stock in the zero waste zone, focus on quality, loose nuts, cereals, grains, muesli, rice etc. In addition, washing up liquid, shampoo. Never loose coffee beans. They oxidise.

Olive oil and rapeseed oil is a possibility, but I have reservations. It very quickly goes rancid. I would rather see high qulity cold pressed, extra virgin, rapeseed oil and olive oil in bottles.

I buy green olive oil in Athens, it is the very first pressing, and it will have a provenance of where it came from.

A visit to Hisbe in Brighton to check out what they do, is a must.

Serious thought needs to be given to an in-house coffee shop. But not easy. Needs a crowd funder to buy or lease a decent espresso machine (cheap machines a waste of money). Then need a skilled barista or baristas. Would there be baristas in Guildford willing to put in a few volunteer hours? They in turn could show others how to, a valuable life skill. Next it would need planning consent for A3 use. Currently a bean -to-cup machine, a stop gap but by no means ideal.

ReSpace: We recycle materials, why do we not recycle people and buildings? A planning designation, owner pays no businesses rates, peppercorn rent, building brought back into productive use. For the owner, if the building in use, it does not deteriorate.

Guildford High Street empty shops

November 23, 2021

Walking up the High Street, I did not count, but shocked by the number of empty shops.



This is not at the level of Aldershot, but no other town centre I have visited has this number of empty shops. It only serves to highlight the failure of Experience Guildford and why it must be wound up.

I only noted from Quarry Street to Jeffries Passage. Had I wandered further up the High Street where I rarely venture, I would have found many more empty shops.

Experience Guildford and Town Rangers hide behind a faded red door in Tunsgate.

Sightings of Town Rangers are very rare, if spot one please take a photo and post on social media.

If Experience Guildford is not wound up, which is the preferred scenario, then there must be reform, board removed, senior management fired, town rangers fired, and one vote one business.

Are the local community aware Experience Guildford place a levy on every local business in the town centre, a levy in today’s harsh retail environment which local businesses can ill afford, a levy for which they see no return? Are the local community aware of how votes are distributed based on rateable value, corporate chains have more votes even though they have no interest in Guildford other than the wealth they suck out of the town centre? This is like a rigged election in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, fair elections are held, only Putin decides who the candidates will be. Should HSBC have a seat on the board when they finance fossil fuel companies which is contrary to the declaration of Guildford as a green borough?

Tunsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre rarely a soul to be seen, useful short cut during inclement weather.

Maybe next visit, North Street.

Damp cold November afternoon in Guildford

November 19, 2021

Misty, cold and damp.

Annoying I can no longer walk along the river into the town.

A new coffee shop Black Sheep Coffee due to open bottom end of North Street. Yet another crap corporate chain. Do not waste your hard earned pennies boys and girls. Visit Krema end of Tunsgate.

Fruit and and vegetables off the top market stall.

Cheese off the excellent cheese stall.

A stall selling coffee. Avoid. A plastic pout over gadget Stall holder had no idea what it was or how to use. It is a cheap rip off copy of existing pour overs. He did not even know need a swan neck kettle and there is a skill in pouring, or need correct filter papers. He said pour straight out of a kettle. Er no. A Del Boy to be avoided. Buy coffee from reputable vendors. Try coffee from Krema or Coffee Gems in Farnham.

Empty shop unit, sticker from Experience Guildford. Beggars belief, could not make it up, parasitical Experience Guildford preside over destruction of Guildford town centre then highlights the empty shop units.

Is this why they have changed their name to Experience G’ford, they now have such a bad name? Why will they not answer questions on their finances? Why is the useless failing Reach Group turning a blind eye to a scandal under their very nose.

I was going to eat in Hanki, Korean in Jeffries Passage., until I noticed the time.

Headed to Krema, a bowl of soup, sausage roll and coffee before they closed.

Cheese shop end of Chapel Street.

Looked in zero waste shop cum community centre due to open bottom end of North Street. Very depressing, will be serving cheap crap coffee. There are more than enough greasy spoon cafes serving cheap crap coffee in Guildford. If they really cared about climate change as they claim, they would be sourcing coffee from reputable roasteries, direct trade, not promoting the Fair Trade scam. People who mean well too often do more harm than good. They open Saturday. I will pay a visit next week.

Gail’s bakery Guildford

October 5, 2021

No lunch, no breakfast, with reluctance I decided to eat at Gail’s bakery in Tunsgate.

Could it be as bad as Gail’s in Farnham? Sadly yes, they must be vying with each other as disgusting places to eat and drink coffee.

I asked for a sausage roll. I asked that it be heated up. Girl serving refused, on the grounds out of the oven, it is hot.

Tables dirty, no one has bothered to clear the tables, let alone clean the tables.

I sit at a table, push dirty crockery to one side.

We are in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic, not only should tables be cleared, they should be cleaned before next customer sits down.

Reputable places that care about their reputation, care about customer health and well being, do no allow to sit down until a table is cleared and cleaned, and would never allow tables to be piled with dirty dishes.

I return for cutlery and serviettes.

In Farnham, dish ordered is brought to the table piping hot.

In Guildford, serve yourself, including clearing and cleaning the table.

My sausage roll cold and disgusting. I leave half eaten.

I contrast with sausage rolls from Redhill Farm Shop, excellent, piping hot, a fraction of the price, but then they take a pride in what they are doing.

I watch a fellow customer, clear his table, then get cleaning spray and cloth to clean his own table.

I catch him as he is leaving. He said not somewhere he has eaten before, I think he had a coffee. He said he found the place disgusting.

Staff not wearing face masks.

Only one toilet for a quite large greasy spoon café.

Lack of ambience.

It must be a trade mark of Gail’s, disgusting food, appalling service, tables groaning under dirty dishes.

This must be one of the most disgusting places to eat in Guildford. Maybe there are worse, but they would be very bad.

I did not try the coffee. That in Farnham undrinkable, clueless on coffee. Why even sample when Krema across the street serving excellent coffee, plus the worlds smallest coffee shop serving from a red telephone box. I regret I did not eat at Krema.

A chain and it shows. No one cares, certainly not the staff.

Coronavirus biosecurity very poor: Staff not wearing masks, tables not cleaned between customers.

Gail’s best avoided.

The world’s smallest coffee shop?

October 5, 2021

On my last visit to Guildford some time end of last year, Krema had drawn to my attention a red telephone box serving coffee. I had noticed as walked past, but thought nothing more of it.

Today, visiting the farmers market in the High Street, I thought I would investigate further.

Quite literally, a red telephone box functions as a coffee shop, a few tables and chairs outside.

I was offered Brazilian coffee.

Brazilian coffee is usually poor quality from mechanised plantations, but there is an awful lot of coffee in Brazil and there is some good stuff.

I try an espresso. I was happy with what I was served. An espresso a good test.

We had a chat, coffee from Brazil, coffee in Greece, I learn the guy is Greek, though no Greek accent.

Caffe Nero lack of social distancing

January 4, 2021

Tuesday of last week, two days before tier 4 on New Year’s Eve, lack of social distancing in Caffe Nero, top end of Lincoln High Street.

Half a dozen people lined up at the counter. Half a dozen people putting themselves and staff at risk. This is an example of why covid-19 is out of control and why a highly infectious strain B117 is spreading like wildfire.

Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, it spreads person-to-person, it spreads through people touching contaminated surfaces.

Not only Caffe Nero.

I think it was the previous week, a family butcher a notice on the door, people not able to count, I counted seven inside, the notice said three.

A local baker, limit of three people posted on the door, people take no notice, often there will be three people stood in the doorway, blocking the way as leave the shop.

Guildford, first Saturday after the second lockdown, first Saturday of December, the town was packed, too many people on the street lack of social distancing. Looking in coffee shops, no social distancing as customers queued for a takeaway coffee.

It is not difficult to form an orderly social distanced queue outside.

Coffee Aroma in Lincoln sets a standard that others need to follow:

  • one customer
  • form an orderly queue outside not blocking the door
  • contactless payment
  • takeaway coffee cups
  • no reusable cups

We prevent spread of covid-19 by avoiding other people, keeping our distance, avoiding overcrowded enclosed spaces.

From midnight, England goes into lockdown. Will remain in lockdown until at least mid-February. England should have gone into knockdown Christmas Day.

takeaway coffee Canopy Coffee

December 15, 2020

Canopy Coffee I arrely visit, out of the way from the town centre and clsoes early.

Today, visiting Waitrose early, noticed a light on, popped over and found open.

For forseeable futurre akeeay only. Tooo smak to pen asn would not eb viable with social dsitancing.

I ordereda cappuccino.

Not graeta nd not wort going out of my way gfor.

The coffee sourced from Monsmout Coffee in Covent Gaden. I am no great fan, pioneers of specuality coffee in the 1070s, but then lost their way.

Today surpisingly busy, a steady stram of customers. Whenever I ahv visited in the apst nevr busy. Cafe clsoed in Wairose, no free coffee, may help. Too far out from town centre to make a soecial trip.

I aked they ddi not accept reisable cups. Sn unneessary diseas vetor.

— tp be continued —-


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