Thursday, 24 February 2011

A bit more mooching around...

First, a note on Gee's in Derby, a place I visited some months ago, but didn't post anything. I went back there in early December 2010, when the snow started (remember the snow?). Well, I was staying in the European Hotel up the road from Gee's and my colleague and I decided to eat breakfast out rather than opt for the hotel breakfast. We chose Gee's and it was excellent. The last time I sat there listening to postman discuss the hung parliament situation, so it must have been May 2010, and I had mushroom omelette and chips with a mug of tea; this time I had breakfast: scrambled egg on toast and tea and there were plenty of tabloids around to read and a bit of banter with the proprietor, a cheery chappy who was always ready and prepared to be engaged in chit chat.

Gee's in Derby, a good alternative to the hotel breakfast.

We sat there reading The Sun and the Daily Star, all very droll, but nevertheless enjoyable. Later that day, with the snow coming down I tried to head back to London and managed it, just about, getting to Croydon, the slow way and emerging late at night on to the streets where I waited for a cab (they were charging double fare) to get home. Still, I made it.

If ever you're in Derby, holed up in a hotel and in need of a cheerful breakfast, head on down to Gee's as the prices are very reasonable, the atmosphere is great and the food's okay too.

Bill's, Lewes, East Sussex

More precisely, it's Bill's Produce Store in Lewes, East Sussex, a gem of place. If you're in the area, make a point of having lunch or even afternoon tea. It's one of those places that sells all sorts of stuff as well as being a caff. Perhaps 'caff' is not right – making it borderline territory for this blog – but it's great, a kind of caff/deli/fresh produce shop, very busy, wooden tables and licensed too. This is, however, a place a few doors down that this blog should be looking at; it's called something like Le Magazin, but either way, very quaint and much smaller than Bill's.

Bill's in Lewes: it's good but in danger of getting too big for its boots, ie it's getting a bit pricey!

Bill's is one of those places, I feel, that could easily become a victim of its own success. It's not cheap for a start and you do get that feeling that, while it is good, it's obviously trading on its possible 'legendary' status and charging the earth, making some customers wonder, " was okay, but not THAT good...". A Bill's unit has been opened in London too, meaning it's suddenly become a chain operation and in danger of getting too big for its boots.

The Bakery, Lacock, Wiltshire

Now this really was a find! There's only one table on which to eat, so expect to share with strangers, but the table in question is large and made of wood, a farmhouse kitchen table, and the great thing is you can choose from many different baked items, such as sausage rolls, pies, pasties and so on. I would heartily recommend the steak and onion pasty. There's also a load of 'stuff' such as jams and chutneys and old fashion sweets in those big jars; think liquorice torpedos, rhubarb & custards, that sort of thing, and the women serving wear these bonnets, making them look kind of olde worlde – just like Lacock, which, incidentally, has been used extensively in the filming of the Harry Potter movies.

We were served by this very woman! I recommend the steak & onion pasty.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Good Life actor to open Black Isle café

Penelope Keith, of Good Life and To the Manor Born fame, has finally got the go-ahead to open a teashop in the village of Avoch on the Black Isle in the Scottish Highlands. Click here for more information.
Penelope Keith – opening a caff in Avoch.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

India to be a top international market for Lavazza coffee

A recent report in the India Times states that Giuseppe Lavazza, the vice-president of Luigi Lavazza SPA, wants to focus on India as a top international market for the Lavazza coffee business. The company entered the Indian market in 2007 having acquired the Barista chain of coffee bars. Click here for more.