Posts Tagged ‘tea’

Cappuccino at International Bomber Command Centre

February 11, 2018

Last visits to the International Bomber Command Centre were a couple of weeks ago when not yet open to the public, press day and a preview for veterans, I was curious what it was like now open to the public, what better way to find out than to drop in for a cappuccino.

Sunday roast dinner at the Butcher and Beast at Heighington, then on to the International Bomber Command Centre for a cappuccino.

I was pleasantly surprised on arrival to find how many cars parked in the car park, almost full.

Shocked to find have to pay £3 to park. This was a planning condition imposed by the local council. The money will go to the centre, but only I assume after covering the cost of the parking machines.

How to access by public transport I do not know.

There needs to be access from South Common, otherwise quite a trek if on foot.

Speaking with the Director, previous weekend, the first weekend open to the public,  was even busier, I think she said 1100 visitors.

Excellent news, as they need visitor numbers to make the centre viable and provide cash flow.

On entering the open plan reception area, I noticed cabinets arranged corralling a central area, books on sale, souvenirs, including bags of coffee and tea.

The range of books quite limited. I assume not long open, hopefully a wider selection in the near future.

My cappuccino, too hot, weak and insipid. Classic mistake to serve piping hot.

The coffee served, Bomber Command blend, is a blend from Brazil, supplied by Stokes, exclusive to IBCC.

The Bomber Command beans are on sale, but already ground. For freshness, beans have to be whole, ground on demand. Also essential when supply beans, the roast date, best by or use by is meaningless.

Information on the bag about a Bomber Command pilot from Brazil, but nothing about the beans, where sourced from in Brazil, Q grade, not even if Arabica or heaven forbid Robusta.

Also on sale Bomber Command tea, again exclusive to IBCC supplied by Stokes. Disappointingly, in tea bags, not loose leaf tea.


The Little Cafe Co

August 5, 2017

I came across The Little Cafe Co at Staycation Live.  An improvement as last year some ghastly franchise coffee van serving overpriced undrinkable coffee. I was pleased to see an effort had been made to invite a quality coffee truck.

At first I thought it was The Hobo Co and was about to say hello, but as I drew nearer, I saw it was not.

A row of syrups lined up is like raising a flag, we serve shit coffee.

Home made cakes.

I decided to try a cappuccino. It was not great but reasonable, I have had far worse.

Catering supply beans.

With decent beans, a skilled barissta, it would be serving great coffee.

Based in Guildford they intend to move to Brighton.

They will be in for a rude awaking, as Brighton is coffee mecca, with many wide and varied choice of high quality coffee.

If they do relocate to Brighton, back to square one for a choice of quality coffee truck for next year at Staycation Live.  Of those I have suggested in the past, The Hobo Co is the only one that may be available, as one no longer seems to exist, and the other is not interested too far away.

Changing Perceptions

June 21, 2016
Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions, what a  delightful surprise.

Tea room cum coffee shop, wide choice of teas and cakes.  A tea shop that sells paint and furniture. But there was even bigger surprise in store. Wander through the back and it opens out into a workshop where furniture is restored.

I had a flapjack and a pot of tea. I did not have a coffee because I still had the foul taste of the coffee from the Godalming Food Company.

I suggested they check out The Hive in Daltson, attend one of their conferences.

Also check out FairCoin, as it would link then in with social enterprises worldwide.

Changing Perceptions is a social enterprise owned and run by Meath Epilepsy Charity.

Social enterprises are part of the sharing, collaborative commons, the fastest growing sector of the economy.

Downing Street Deli

April 16, 2016
Downing Street Deli

Downing Street Deli

Last week, only a few days open, Downing Street Deli was more like a coffee shop cum tea shop in a parlour masquerading as a deli. Today more like a tea shop in a corner shop.

Guy on deli side, very knowledgeable on what he is serving. Coffee bloody awful.

It has taken them a long time to open, weeks if not months behind schedule.

Very much a labour of love. It is as though one has gone back in time to a vintage shop.

An old coffee machine, a very old meat slicer.

They make their own fresh pastas and sauces, buy in bread and cakes from a bakery.

The cappuccino, I am sorry to say was awful and undrinkable. Served scalding hot.

Young barista, very keen and enthusiastic, but cannot make coffee.

It proves once again, you cannot train a good barista. Training only takes so far. It is a  skill and an art. Only learnt by working alongside skilled baristas.

That is not to put the young guy down, far from it.

He would be well advised to go and work somewhere like Harris + Hoole or Surrey Hills Coffee in Guildford, then come back as an asset to the family business.

Barista only part of the problem, they need to buy in better quality beans. I sampled some of the beans bagged. No aroma. Try Horsham Coffee  or Surrey Hills Coffee. They can also then as a deli, sell the freshly roasted beans, with roast date. As Krema sell Horsham, to offer an alternative, go for Surrey Hills.

Outside tomatoes and other salads and fruit and vegetables. Not sure if for show or sale.

With the excellent greengrocer now closed, there is a market. Or take over his shop.

With three coffee shops one also a deli, selling coffee, tea, cakes and bread, I cannot see Loaf surviving.

Loaf serves very poor quality tea and coffee, overpriced  bread and they close early.

At the end of the day, if Downing Street Deli has cakes, bread, sauces or fresh pasta left, they ask customers if they would like it for free.

A nice gesture, food does not go to waste, and customers get to sample what they may not otherwise buy.

Loaf by contrast bins its unsold bread at the end of the day. Disgraceful behaviour.

Fresh pasta had gone when I looked in. I am looking forward to trying one day.

I did not see today, but a friendly cat is often to be found in the deli.

El Loto Azul

February 25, 2016
El Loto Azul window display

El Loto Azul window display

El Loto Azul, is a tea and coffee shop, that is sells tea and coffee, not serves. I assumed a tea shop.

I had seen a poster, it took me days to find. Today, I found, only to find a closing down sale, today the last day.

The woman in the shop, probably in her twenties, was unbelievably bloody rude. I am not surprised it is closing, with an owner this rude, it deserves to close.

At least 15 different types of coffee beans. When roasted, does not say?

To every question, rude female refused to answer, then ordered me to leave the shop.

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.

Afternoon tea en El Limón

February 17, 2015
te y florentina

te y florentina

El Limón

El Limón

Te y florentina en El Limón.

Lunch and afternoon tea at Café Mila

October 28, 2014
pumpkin soup

pumpkin soup

Excellent lunch at Café Mila.

Pumpkin soup, followed by filo pastry tart stuffed with vegetables.

Pumpkin soup is usually an orangey-yellow. This was green. I do not know why. I meant to ask the chef, but forgot. Strictly speaking, it was spiced pumpkin soup.

A wander around Godalming, then afternoon tea and cake. Bakewell tart with a mug of tea.

Bad news, Café Mila will be closing at four o’clock, which is not good news. Indeed it is very bad news.

I would turn this around. In the winter stay open until five o’clock, in the summer stay open until at least six o’clock.

Today, and last Tuesday, it was still busy when I left a few minutes before 4-30.

When indy coffee shops close early, all they do is lose custom to the High Street chains, people then get into the habit and do not come back.

In Guildford in the summer Glutton & Glee are turning people way when they close at five o’clock. Their loss, Harris + Hoole gain.

Ginger Two

August 27, 2014
Ginger Two

Ginger Two

Ginger Two is a little coffee bar down a side street off the High Street in Winchester.

I spotted it as I was looking for Eat Drink and Be. None too impressed by the lunchtime menu, I carried on with my search for Eat Drink and Be. I eventually found Eat Drink and Be, right at the top of the High Street. Lacking in atmosphere, I decided to walk back down to Ginger Two.

I was too late for lunch, kitchen closed, but they did offer to knock me up a sandwich.

Prawns, lots if them, served in quality brown bread, with a few leaves.

I was not though impressed be served a glass of warm water. They should at least of run the tap, and most places usually drop in a slice of lemon, often ice too.

Lots of delicious looking cakes on display, which I indulged in with a pot of Ceylon tea.

They warned me their breakfast tea was very strong. The Ceylon tea I found to be very weak.

I made the mistake of drinking with milk. I drink tea with no milk, but when out, usually with milk, as never quality tea.

The tea was in a tea bag. I would have preferred loose tea leaves as alwasy better tea. But at least not teapigs which is rubbish tea from Tetley, masquerading as high quality tea from an indie tea company.

Very posh stunningly attractive girls serving. And very friendly and helpful. Knew and took an interest and pride in what they were serving. A marked difference to Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks.

I noticed coffee was on sale, both what they were serving (which I did not try), but only in 1kg bags, which is why they also sold a different sourced coffee as available in smaller bags.

Ginger Two would be a good location for BookCrossing.

Wifi? I do not know, I did not ask, but I did not notice anyone using laptops or tablets.

lack of wifi could be seen as a plus, as people were actually sat talking to each other.

Walls would be better deployed exhibiting local artists.

Open until six o’clock, Thursday, Friday and Saturday until nine o’clock when morphs into a wine bar.

Begs the question why does anyone frequent Costa or Starbucks or Caffe Nero, overpriced disgusting coffee, factory cakes and awful corporate environment? But then why does anyone eat in McDonald’s.

Diagonally opposite Ginger Gelato, an ice cream parlour. Outside, quote of the day. Suggest each day, a quote from Adultery, Paulo Coelho’s latest book.

Afternoon tea at Glutton & Glee

July 11, 2014
afternoon tea

afternoon tea

I only just made it before they closed. They were busy. Luckily they agreed to serve me.

I sat in the little courtyard out the back with a pot of tea and a flapjack.

Closing at 5pm, may make sense in the winter, but not in the summer. People are used to visiting Europe, there are many European visitors in Guildford.

To close at 5pm in the summer is bizarre.

All it means is, they lose custom to Starbucks, Costa, and then, the customers do not go back.

I initially only started frequenting Harris + Hoole because Glutton & Glee was closed, discovered they have quality coffee, pleasant staff, nice atmosphere upstairs (downstairs too noisy) and then became a regular. It is only in the last few weeks I have returned to Glutton & Glee, because too nice to be indoors (but cannot sit out late afternoon as closed).

Talking to a couple outside, who were not locals, they said it was bizarre places closed so early when people are out. They said they often have Germans visiting, and they find odd, people about money in their pocket to spend, and everywhere closed.

If you have been in Guildford all afternoon, it is pleasant to be able to relax with a drink, before setting off back home. But unless you wish to visit a pub, very limited in choice by the end of the afternoon.

The counter argument is, but we would have no customers, thus not worth it. This is simply not true. Harris + Hoole, is busy this time of day, for the very reason, people like to find somewhere at the end of the day, and they do not wish to go somewhere ghastly like Costa or Starbucks and drink their equally ghastly coffee.

Glutton & Glee are participants in Guildford Independent’s Day.