Posts Tagged ‘The Village’

Afternoon in Guildford

December 8, 2017

A very cold afternoon. Made even colder by cold wind and wind chill.

it is official, The Village is to close, to close costing the local taxpayer £1.2 million.

To put £1.2 million in context, it cost £1 million to relay the setts in the High Street.

Walking through, as always deserted.

The ice rink being dismantled. Have they gone bust, or merely pulling out? No one knows. I am told it is busy. Not true, and if it was, why pull out? And why pull out when leading up to school holidays?

Pret a Manger are looking at how to reduce their use of disposable cups. I looked in, but no information, no reusable cups for sale, the only information, 25p off takeaway coffee if bring your own cup.

In Food for Thought, reusable coffee cups made from bamboo, that I had not seen before, but with plastic.  Or what I thought was plastic, food-grade silicone, still not good.

Co-Founder  Pukka Herbs Tim Westwel:

There is a growing interest in herbal teas and we are really enjoying being able to help bring people closer to nature through a cup of delicious organic fruits and herbs. As people become more interested in how nature can benefit our health, we feel we have a responsibility to ensure that we are also benefiting nature.

Single-use plastic is a problem for the environment and one we are keen to minimise. Our new bamboo cups are a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic cups, bringing the goodness of nature in every cup without damaging nature at the same time.

Odd, sourced from a herb company.

Lunch at Bamboo Shoots.

When I leave Bamboo Shoots, the temperature has dropped.

Last week there was not a craft market in the Old Town Hall. Today there was. I had hoped to find the man with his poetry stall, who I talked to a couple of weeks ago, but he was not there.

Catch train at half past four, only running late

Afternoon in Guildford

September 22, 2017

This morning clear blue sky from sunrise. Afternoon sunshine and clouds.

It has been several weeks since I have passed through The Village. It has now all but collapsed. Many of the businesses have pulled out. I was sorry to see the ice cream shop had gone, about the only success story. Those that remain and new businesses are a classic case of self-delusion.

If it was not a success in the summer then it is not going to be a success as the nights draw in and it gets cold and dark.

Sticking outdoor heaters is not the answer. There is no better example of crass stupidity than trying to heat outdoor air. If it is too cold to sit outside, do not sit outside. These heaters should be banned. Or does no one still get it over global warming? How many more destructive hurricanes do we have to see? it is also to throw more good money after bad. How much longer is the local council going to pour public money into this black hole?

There is to be a street food festival at The Village. Not the best location. The High Street would be a far better location. But I can see why The Village want it, in the hope it will pull in the punters.

Excellent lunch at Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage, honey crunch chicken with brown rice. Very tasty, generous portion size. A new Chinese girl working in Bamboo Shoots. Very pleasant personality.

Bambook Shoots is one of the best places to eat in Guildford.

The Thai restaurant next door closed. It says closed for staff holidays. Rumour has it that it has closed.

I am not surprised. It is always empty. It used to be an excellent place to eat, but the staff have done their best when the boss not there to destroy its reputation.

In Food For Thought, the young guy I sometimes talk to about coffee, told me he had spent three years at Lincoln University.

A sign outside Wairose directing to Canopy Coffee for eats. Unlikely to wish to eat, on the other hand directing to a coffee shop for coffee would make sense. I wonder how long before either Waitrose or the local council effect its removal.

A cappuccino at Canopy Coffee. I have spent several weeks visiting top class coffee shops. How does Canopy Coffee compare? It does not. Not to say bad coffee, but not in the same league as the best coffee shops. I picked up a bag of Santa Lucia from Honduras roasted by Origin Coffee. Strange not shown on the Origin website.

It was then a cappuccino at Harris + Hoole. Which is always consistently good, and today was no exception.

Afternoon in Guildford

July 21, 2017

Coolish start then turned very warm.

Jazz musicians in the High Street giving it all they had. Very good. Never seen before. No idea who they were.

It has now been several weeks since The Village opened, still a disaster, still devoid of visitors.

This afternoon a play. What I glimpsed, looked interesting.  Depressing an audience of only three, and one of them appeared to be a performer.

I have visited every week, had no idea this performance was on. And even whilst performing nothing to say who they were or what was the performance, so short of interrupting the performance, no idea. Nor was there anything on the facebook page for The Village, which is very repetitive, but not informative.

As I had a couple of weeks ago, meatballs, rice and a salad off the Greek shop. It was good, which I cannot say of the Greek sausages.

Strictly speaking, The Village opened for Christmas, at a  cost of a million pounds expenditure by Guildford Council. It closed after only a  few weeks, a disaster. A further £90,000 spent on a  summer relaunch.  Nothing like a council when it comes to wasting public money, our money.

The concept reasonable, it is the ill thought through implementation that is the problem.

Last year, this was where the farmers market relocated to when the High Street was closed. It was an unmitigated disaster, wrong location. But is seems no lessons learned, or maybe no one in the council talks to each other.

Last week BBC spent hours filming at The Village. Their journalist claimed a success, but even with clever editing by BBC, can see as camera pans around, empty.

Unbelievable bullshit from Councillor Michael Illman, claiming a huge success, yes they could keep up the momentum when it turns cold and wet. What momentum?

A classic example of shoddy reporting by BBC.

I was there when the idiot councillor was interviewed. He had to be called, as he had not turned up at appointed time.

A new eating place in Jeffries Passage. Pick various salads to fill a bowl. Currently half price until the end of the month.  I would not pay full price.

Looked in Food for Thought.  As it was they who last week had told me of the new coffee shop 62 Haydon Place I thanked them. As they  had asked my advice on what coffee to stock, I suggested an informal arrangement whereby, they stocked the guest coffee, if people want to  taste, send to the coffee shop, and vice a versa from the coffee shop if wish to buy a bag of coffee.

They commented, that people they had sent to the coffee shop came back saying the coffee was bitter. I said maybe they had the guest coffee from Glen Lyon which was over roasted.

At 62 Haydon Place aka Canopy Coffee I suggested the same informal arrangement, they advised Food for Thought of the guest coffee.

Bearing  in mind that last week the coffee was bitter, I decided to stick with Square Mile, which I know to be excellent coffee. But no Red Brick. Again the coffee bitter.

Why I do not know. But at guess, they cannot tell it is bitter. Though why it is bitter I do not know.   A well crafted cappuccino should be smooth and creamy.

It was then return to The Village for an ice cream off Dylan’s ice cream.

Dark clouds forming.

I arrived home as the first heavy drops of rain were falling.

Affogato Dylan’s ice cream

July 7, 2017

An affogato at Dylan’s ice cream in The Village.

A dollop of vanilla ice cream, a single shot of espresso, Ideally a double shot, but would not have fitted in the tub.

It was excellent, though I was left with a  liquid mess in the bottom of the tub.  Maybe I should have eaten sooner, as very hot day, over 30C.

Afternoon in Guildford

June 30, 2017

A warmer sunnier day than has been of late.

I looked in Harris + Hoole. Pleased to see chiller cabinet now working and hole in the ceiling of the toilet has been patched.

Now we need Harris + Hoole to stop abusing coffee drinkers, passing their personal data to Murdoch when accessing wifi.

I spent the afternoon at The Village.

It was dead two weeks ago when it opened. It was dead today. Whoever is responsible seems determined to drive people away.  Today irritating distorted pop music from tannoys across the site.

I was looking forward to moussaka off the Greek unit. Again no moussaka. I tried the meat balls with rice and salad. This was quite good.

An ice cream off Dylan’s ice cream.

Needed, a good coffee shop. This may happen. Dylan’s ice cream will start serving coffee in about a week. They need though to source quality coffee. I have suggested Karuna Coffee.

Today, or yesterday, delivery of a brand new coffee machine. I spent the afternoon as volunteer coffee taster.

Both the Greek shop and Dylan’s ice cream, need tables and chairs. Either organisers of the village provide extra tables and chairs, or they reallocate the existing tables and chairs which are not in use.

One of the problems apart from lack of quality businesses to draw people in, the music driving people away, and the complete lack of any passing trade, is that three different organisations are responsible for The Village, Guildford Council, a private company letting the units and a third body organising events, a recipe for chaos.