Posts Tagged ‘Harris + Hoole’

Cappuccino in Harris + Hoole

May 2, 2017

Shock horror, Harris + Hoole sold to tax dodging Caffè Nero.

Shock horror, Harris + Hoole no longer source their coffee beans from Union hand-roasted coffee, now source from tax dodging Caffè Nero.

Damning reviews on TripAdvisor.

Not good news.

Does this now mean, coffee in H+H no different to tax dodging Caffè Nero?

It was with trepidation I set foot in Harris + Hoole. Was I to be disappointed, never to cross the threshold again?

Same friendly staff. Always good sign.

Quiet downstairs, which was a big improvement.

Upstairs very busy, more like a working office, even a  couple holding a business meeting.

But first set the record straight.

Tax dodging Caffè Nero have not bought Harris + Hoole. They have bought the minority Tesco stake, which always was an anomaly.

Were Caffè Nero to buy the company, I can see they would find difficult to not resist the temptation to turn into Caffè Nero Plus.  At the moment Caffè Nero are operating at arms length, and let’s hope it remains that way.

Harris + Hoole have set up there own roastery in Neal Street in Covent Garden, the beans single origin, direct trade.  I was told today, the beans from Peru.

My cappuccino was excellent. I expect no less from the team at Harris + Hoole.

The damning reviews on TripAdvisor are complete and utter garbage.

Usually fake reviews are easily detected, no resemblance to reality, usually the only review. These are different, several reviews, which makes me curious.

The negative comments on the staff are not true. Nor on the quality of the coffee.

The staff are always friendly, time permitting, willing to inform the clientele about the coffee, but most importantly, they take huge pride in the coffee they serve.

The cakes are not the factory cakes found elsewhere.

Yes at times, dirty dishes are piling up on the tables. This is a management issue, too few staff. Two busy floors, only two staff, one taking orders, one serving the coffee, who clears the tables?

It merely serves to once again emphasise, reviews on TripAdvisor are worthless.

If you think they serve coffee in Costa, then do not review coffee shops, as you know nothing about coffee.

Similarity, if you eat in McDonald’s or KFC, then do not review restaurants.

As soon as they are able, H+H should get get rid of all their coffee shops in Tesco.

Wherever possible, transfer all the Caffè Nero coffee shops in Waterstone’s to Harris + Hoole.

Waterstone’s is kicking Costa out of their bookshops. In Lincoln, Costa has gone, to be replaced by W, their own in-house coffee shop. Same in Brighton, now W. In Lincoln, one bookshop has Caffè Nero. This could change to Harris + Hoole.

Maybe sell Standart. Though its sale may be restricted to indie coffee shops, certainly the top end of the coffee market.

I mentioned to the guys free coffee books and that James Hoffmann is crowdfunding his writings, to be published as The Best of Jim Seven.


Cappuccino in Harris + Hoole

November 1, 2016
cappuccino in Harris Hoole

cappuccino in Harris + Hoole

cappuccino in Harris + Hoole

cappuccino in Harris + Hoole

After a cold grey day at Guildford farmers market, I visited Harris + Hoole for a cappuccino.

Why no indie coffee stall on the farmers market, maybe with Surrey Hills Coffee providing and selling the beans? They are a local coffee roaster thus eligible to be on the market.

It is not acceptable that Costa and tax-dodging Starbucks serving undrinkable disgusting coffee are allowed to dictate what happens on the High Street.

Cappuccino in Harris + Hoole. I could have popped in one of the indie coffee shops, sadly Harris + Hoole now owned by Cafe Nero, but they all close early, and in Harris + Hoole I am guaranteed a constantly good coffee.  Unlike Caracoli, where the manager knows nothing about coffee and makes himself a laughing stock.  It is a tragedy the indie coffee shops close early, as in the summer they are turning away a constant flow of customers.

I was served an excellent cappuccino, but then barista said no, you deserve better.

Then when I left, served another two coffees.

Very impressed.  A barista who takes a pride in his work.

Two coffee places vie for No 1, depends who is serving, FCB kiosk on Platform 2 at Guildford Station and Harris + Hoole. Surrey Hills Coffee comes in at No 3.

Which again begs the question, why oh why, no quality coffee stall on the market, other than objections from Costa and Starbucks?

Iced tea at Harris + Hoole

June 5, 2015

I was going to have a coffee at Harris + Hoole, but decided too hot to wander the streets, but then, would I make the train, possibly not, so Harris + Hoole it was.

A freddo cappuccino would have been nice. What of a frappé. No. It was suggested an iced coffee. I settled on iced tea.

The iced tea was excellent.

I also tried the lemonade. This was excellent too. It appeared to have a hint of ginger, though I was told not.

Last year had various fruit juices. They were not good. Frozen bits of fruit, carefully measured according to a list, blended.

No skill involved, and not the way to do it.

Café Mila experimented with their fruit juices, skill involved.

Harris + Hoole not serving the fruit juices this year which is a good idea.

It would though be nice freddo cappuccino and frappé. Quality frappé as served by Sweetland (ice cream parlour next to citrus.) made with espresso coffee, not disgusting yuk made with Nescafé.

Cappuccino at Harris + Hoole

May 1, 2015


Excellent cappuccino at Harris + Hoole.

I was upstairs, the quiet area, unfortunately it was very noisy.

Cocktail party at Harris + Hoole

July 5, 2014
birthday cake

birthday cake

Harris + Hoole cocktail party

Harris + Hoole cocktail party

Earlier in the week I had popped my head in Harris + Hoole and been given an invite to their cocktail party.

After a day in Godalming at the Godalming Food Festival, it was cocktails for the evening.

A very pleasant evening, drinks, live music.

Cocktail party was to mark the first year of Harris + Hoole Guildford.

A special thanks to Jess and her team, not only for a wonderful evening, but also all their hard work, excellent coffee, over the last year.

Steph Bradley storytelling at Harris + Hoole

June 22, 2014
Steph Bradley with Alice

Steph Bradley with Alice

water meadows at St Catherine's Lock

water meadows at St Catherine’s Lock

I would love to be able to report a huge success, as Steph had travelled some distance as part of her Tales of Our Times tour but sadly not, as not a soul turned up.

Why, I do not know. Posters and flyers in Harris + Hoole, but we had not (to my knowledge distributed elsewhere, for example Guildford Library, Guildford Institute, Tourist Information, but they were made aware. Staff at Harris + Hoole, let their customers know. We made use of social media, both I and Harris + Hoole tweeted, though no one re-tweeted. Maybe it was because it was Sunday, maybe because it was outside their usual opening hours.

Guildford Book Festival was aware, but failed to pass the word on social media. Do they not like highlighting local book events? Shame on them if they do not.

For those who thought they might have come, this is what you missed.

Following a dream, Steph spent six months walking around England, telling stories, collecting stories. All of which was writ in the great book, Tales of Our Times. Tales of Our Times, is a limited edition, collectors item. Had folk turned up, they could have bought at reduced price, a signed copy. They could also have entered a raffle to win a copy.

Steph is bringing out a new book soon, maybe towards the end of this year, Flip Flop, first as an e-book on leanpub, then as a paperback.

Maybe if the Guildford Fringe Book Festival ever gets off the ground, maybe Steph will return.

Steph had for me, a signed copy of Tales of Our Times. To her great surprise and joy, I gave her a signed copy of a special limited edition 25th anniversary copy of The Alchemist.

Copies of Transition Free Press were left at Harris + Hoole, plus details of her books and how to order. Hopefully, Harris + Hoole will act as distribution for Transition Free Press.

Shock horror, on my way home, I found I no longer had my signed copy of Tales of Our Times. Where had I left it? My initial thoughts were on the train. I thought very very carefully, of all aspects of journey since leaving Harris + Hoole. Maybe, just maybe, I had left it at a pub where I had briefly stopped, sitting at an outside table. I called the pub. they checked, and yes it was sitting there. They said they would safeguard it for me to collect.

Prior to Harris + Hoole, I gave Steph a guided tour of Guildford, a walk along the river, and we were very lucky to catch a lady locking up St Mary’s Church (where Lewis Carroll preached) and we got a quick look inside.

Steph at Harris + Hoole with copies of The Alchemist and Tales of Our Times

Steph at Harris + Hoole with The Alchemist and Tales of Our Times

Cappuccino in Harris + Hoole

April 23, 2014
an eysore

an eysore

No cookie today!

One of the features of Harris + Hoole Guildford was the back wall. A wonderful work of art. It set the tone of the place.

A few weeks ago it was destroyed. It now looks bloody awful.

An artist was specially brought in to create this eyesore. But then architects allegedly design the ugly buildings that defile our town centres. A Primary School child could have done better.

To see the difference, check out pictures on Google.

Very depessing that some corporate suit thought they knew best (and clearly did not). But then we have Philistine local council jobsworth painting over Banksy street art.

Cappuccino and cookie at Harris + Hoole

April 11, 2014
cappuccino and cookie

cappuccino and cookie

Harris + Hoole, North Street, Guildford

Harris + Hoole, North Street, Guildford

It was a pleasant afternoon, after a fresh fruit juice at Glutton & Glee I sat reading Sacred Economics in the Castle Grounds. As a result, gone six, and so I did not expect upstairs to be open. Luckily it was not too noisy downstairs.

An awful mess has been made of the back wall. A pity as it looked quite good before, now awful.

Last week I downloaded the Harris + Hoole app. I cannot see what use it serves. I will probably delete.

It does not orient itself, but apparently not all apps do.

Very bad the Harris + Hoole app provides the option of signing in with facebook. Many will be tempted, a single click, rather than sign in with user ID and password. Resist the temptation, it provides faceboook with yet more personal information to abuse, information on what you are doing outside of facebook as well as within.

Harris + Hoole should show greater respect of their coffee drinkers personal data. They should remove the facebook log in.

I am at a loss why anyone drinks coffee at Costa. Their coffee is vile and disgusting, served too hot, in coffee cups too large, factory cakes, and it is expensive, loose change from a fiver.

Or tax-dodging Starbucks.

And to add to the list of tax-dodgers, now Caffe Nero.

One of the big differences, between Harris + Hoole and Costa, apart from one serving quality coffee and the other serving a vile, undrinkable hot beverage that is claimed to be coffee, is the care, indeed pride, in preparation. No, you do not walk off and leave the milk, whilst you are making a cappuccino.

Interestingly, I can tell the difference between who is making the coffee, and the same person over time.

It is not though only the down market coffee chains. Yesterday in Waitrose in Godalming a milky, hot beverage, and no it was not a cappuccino, in looks, like what gets served at Costa. The coffee out of the machine at Waitrose is actually better. I had to ask for a drink of water to take the taste away.

Making coffee is more than installing an espresso machine and buying a bag of coffee beans. It requires quality fresh beans, freshly ground, a quality coffee machine and a skilled barista. Lack any one, and you will not get a decent cup of coffee.

Cookie and cappuccino at Harris + Hoole

March 28, 2014
cappuccino and cookie

cappuccino and cookie

Nothing like a decent coffee and cookie.

Something you will not get at Costa.

Last week, Costa at Gatwick South Terminal. The week before, Costa at Guildford Station. On both occasions the coffee was undrinkable, it was vile. It looked disgusting too. The free coffee at Waitrose out of a machine is better, and that is not saying a lot. And the cakes, factory cakes.

How can anyone drink it on a regular basis? Maybe they have never in their life had a decent cup of coffee. And, unless you say otherwise, served in a cup too large and the coffee too hot. Maybe customers think they are getting a bargain by having super sized coffee, but why would you want super size of anything that is undrinkable? But then why do people eat at McDonald’s or KFC?

A pleasure therefore late this afternoon to have a decent coffee at Harris + Hoole in North Street in Guildford.

I was pleased I was able to sit upstairs as last couple of times upstairs has closed early. Though both upstairs and downstairs was busy.

Cappuccino and cookie at Harris + Hoole

February 4, 2014
cappuccino and cookie

cappuccino and cookie

Today cookies!

Reasonably quiet upstairs, apart from an idiot, sadly there is always one, who has to conduct a loud conversation on his mobile phone. Would be even quieter without the irritating background music.

Invite storyteller Steph Bradley to tell a few stories, each table has to buy a raffle ticket for a signed copy of Tales of Our Times (they can of course buy more than one, but minimum one).

Note: I am not doing the cappuccino justice, problem is it changes within minutes.

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