I knew there was a reason to support the independent coffee shops…. And then, I met Simon

Generally I try and avoid the large chain coffee shops. I practice what I preach and try to use the independents.

now i remember why that is. We Popped out for a trip to”Whiteley’s” a local shopping village to us. Great shops, all the main brands and a few Halloween things for the little oldmanleslie to do

Also a Costa coffee. So in I went. 6 minute wait for a coffee, people holding tables still waiting for drinks, so no where to sit. Dirty trays. And in my opinion, not nice coffee. This could be down to me because I said I would try the new blend. But when I mentioned this to the guy here. He could not sort it out quickly enough.

So Costa, although your venue was dirty. And you need more tables. You need to ensure that”Simon” at this store gets a mention for service as he is polite, smart and managed to get a normal blend latte to me in half the time of the original

Top service from a face in a multi national. Well impressed as this was week outside the norm for Costa

Deli express -Bognor Regis

10/12/16 Update on the blog, Unfortunately  this wonderful deli is No More , Such a shame, however there is always  ” the tank” for great coffee in town.

 

 

 

So those that know my Blog will know that I have many times sung the praises of a business that for all the right reasons is no more….but for once,it’s a success story…

The team behind the sandwich factory have moved into the high street into bigger cafe / restaurant premises…still offering the great selection of baguettes and cakes. Great coffee aswell helps.

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And of course my BBC baguette which was just a nice and tasty as always

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I know my picture doesn’t do it justice.this is cos the half I ate already was gorgeous.

Not too pricey and with all the usual face book and email so you can order for local free delivery
I am sure it’s going to do well, so if you are here for  Holidays,butlins,a day out,shopping. it’s a great place to stop for lunch or a snack
Good luck deli Express

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What a success story

And just for the record this is NOT a sponsored post

May 2016 update
Such a shame there was not enough support .this business is no more.it has closed

 

Look & Sea Visitor Center Surrey Street Fisher mans Quay, Littlehampton – such a great place for a coffee, a meal and a base for a day in town

As a family  we a ” wheel chair  relation ” we found recently  and have used many times  the look & sea Centre  as its fairly local  to us. It has facilities for disabled access. good food at reaEpilepsy explained's photo.sonable prices , a great view over the river and down  to the sea , friendly staff, in fact all that you would want in a restaurant. always best to book a  table in advanLook and Sea Centre's photo.ce as  because its so good , it can get busy on sunny days. I am  not a blogger that has taken pictures  of the food I eat here, but as  I have never had a meal that was anything less that  lovely it  shouldn’t need pictures of the food

Full details of the look and sea  center  can be found on their page  here  Just for the record, i have not been paid for this blog, its just that I believe if a place or business offers good service then you tell people  about it

 

Trying a new place..and a new question

Popped into dunelm today..just for a sneaky latte when the ” Old man Leslie” clan. Went shopping. Like everywhere else like this it has a coffee shop. Unlike a lot of other places the Barista was up to the question” can you make me a nice coffee of your design that you haven’t made before”

A strange request, but the result is gorgeous.

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Although you can’t taste pictures….

Any how,if you are out rainy day shopping in this part of the world, Brunch, coffee, lunch or otherwise  i would say  it was worth a visit

Can comment on prices as MrImage of stores ” oldmanleslie ” was treating me , but when its good, you tell people.

 

I cant even tell you what it was i had as i forgot to ask, its just to say that  it was refreshing to find a person  that was ” up for the challenge ”  and knew enough to make  ” a nice cup of coffee ”

I wonder if on the board one day they might put  ” awkward customers mystery coffee ” .

If its good, you keep going back – London road coffee shop. Bognor regis

The whole idea of a loyalty card I guess is that eventually you might get some thing free if you keep the card long enough….it seems that for this independent coffee shop I have handed many cards over so they must be good

For the record I have never asked  for freebies. I’m just the annoying guy that comes in asking for ” a nice coffee”..

Today,a nutty caramel latte

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The PIC doesn’t di the taste justice….just what is needed on a hot sunny day in town when shopping

Only my opinion, but definetly the best in town

So if you are in Bognor for Butlins,a hen do,local shopping or just a day at the seaside….pop in

So when you ask……you definetly get – London road coffee shop, Bognor regis

I prefer to shop where possible at the independent stores in town, I guess if everyone did, and didn’t use the large chains all the time, we would be a better place, that s just my opinion….any way, as I have previously claimed to have found the best coffee and the best place to have it on the planet, I had written off that side of my Blog. Until this morning when me and my long suffering wife were out in town and wanted a coffee as we had a few minutes spare …Only one place for it. And its a place that never disappoints Service is always good, the staff are really friendly, and the prices aren’t too bad either

So why Blog about a shop….

Well I like  to be a challenge sometimes and I as I had my ” freebies ”  from the loyalty cards, I dimagedecided to ask  the barista  ” can you make me a nice cup of coffee that you have never made before ” . Daunting when she said she had been there for 5 years …
What can I say, the lady took the challenge and made for me what she called a Vanilla Americano with a flat white top…   simply enough I guess, but tasted lovely. My recommendation if you are in Bognor on holidays, staying at Butlin’s for a weekend, or is a local, just popped out for a few bits, in Bognor then it has to be… And for the record, although it was s freebie coffee from my  card , I wasn’t ” given it ” . Its just that this place is soooo good

The London Road Coffee Shop

 

 

 

Fish Finger Sarnies & a root beer float …….So this ones an important Blog for me, Where to spend the hard earned Pennies

Don’t worry, oldmanleslie isn’t about to go and get  all serious, well not overnight any way. For the first time in my blog, there is conflict ., ( shock horror )

I’m based in  west Sussex, and this time  of year, we are blessed with a lot of sunshine, so days out , at the shops, on the beach, an evening stroll along an almost deserted prom ,
and yes that really is our local prom and the sunsets are that good

and at the end of the prom you find

The Lobster pot.

There are many reasons to go here  on a sunny day in summer, or for a refreshing  autumn stroll. And i have blogged  about it before 

One reason to go is the Amazing Fish Finger Sandwiches, that they do. I suppose i am ” not very wellinformedoldmanleslie” but i didn’t know you could get these…. so to find them on my doorstep was  a bit of a coup

Putting the Lobster-pot  aside for a moment, I was keen to  see what the good people at sparks yard had done to improve their offering  in Arundel. Now i know some bloggers only review freebies, well that’s not the way it works with “oldmanleslie”  its nice to get freebies of course, however  why should business  have to fork out for  opinions…..Any how  Back to the loft

Mrs Oldmanleslie and I Parked ” down by the river ” in Arundel, and had a nice stroll   along the banks of the river , up through  Arundel. avoiding the  multiple coach loads of students & visitors to the castle…. and there it was, clearly visible  from the end of Tarrant street

so now the facts, Easy access to the shop , although parking in Arundel needs looking at . easy  wheelchair access to all floors of the shop  and restaurant  via their own lift,  Always  clean inside.  loftWell refurbished  top floor restaurant that we tried to just pop into. we were soon asked if ” are you Chris ”  and shown to the reserved Table  by the window that they had ” reserved for us ”  I have to say Mrsoldmanleslie liked that ”  We were served well,  quickly but not  invasively . and  we were left to order our food. After a nice chat with what turned out to be one of the owners

 

” stop, Hammer time “

for the  first time as a blogger  i should have taken a picture of something i was about to consume , ( I didn’t )  so you will have to believe me that £2.50 for a drink  was the best value in a long time. Imported root beer that you can buy in the shop , used to make an ice cream float, with a curly straw, now that’s the taste of childhood .

A quick look down the menu for food, and there it was. The fish finger sandwich….. so apologies to Andrew and the team, I’m sure that everything else on the menu was fine, and maybe we will  be back soon to try it, however that’s a favourite with all us Leslie’s, so  there in lies the dilemma

Go for what you know, and now have a choice of venues that both serve excellent  food, or risk going off “Piste ” and getting something you don’t like ?

We are going to have to go back and find out i guess, it certainly wont be a hard choice and when a place is just that little bit too far away  to walk to, it makes it all the more special to be well looked after  by them.

So I can’t take credit for the images ( taken from the www)   and i cant  take credit for the effect on the waistline ( that’s  your responsibility
however Either way, if you are in west Sussex for holidays and looking . Just remember 
On the beach in Felpham = The lobster-pot
Shopping and  touristy things in Arundel  = Sparks yard  / The loft 
Either way ” the fish finger sandwiches are excellent,” and the root beer  just seals the decision  for me 

Free coffee…..always good

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And it tastes good…..usually does.

So if you are in sunny Bognor Regis…..forget Costa or maccy d….head for  “the London road coffee shop“….

And with a buy 6 get one free….even better

Just for the record….vanilla cappucino. Made from kimbo beans

Absolutely Lovely

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…yum. With a bbc ( Bacon Brie & Cranberry ) sarnie to finish..

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Coconut latte…..this is going to be a new one on me

So yes,I like my coffee at the weekend….
Yes we have gone back to sainsburys as opposed to Tesco….
So I can sneak a coffee in while Mrs oldmanleslie shops….

Never tried coconut latte….

But its lovely…not sickly,not too sweet.

Just right…… Well done sainsburys ….and I only stumbled across is as they had run out of boring vanilla

 

Sparks yard – Arundel – West Sussex – update, its just gets better

And then, just when i thought i had seen all the good things at this place, they advertise

20% OFF EVERYTHING THIS WEEKEND ONLY!!
The weather is looking all over the place this weekend so to tempt you out of the house on a wet Saturday and out of the garden on a sunny Sunday we are offering you a fantastic 20% off your shopping bill all weekend! We have tonnes of fantastic new stock and we want you to come and see it!! JUST QUOTE ENGLISH SUMMER at the till to receive your discount.

T’s&C’s – Discount not available on food or drinks from our coffee bar. This offer may not be used in conjunction with any TLC discount and TLC stamps will not be issued for discounted purchases. This offer is only valid on 07/06/14 & 08/06/14

 

 

So on a dismal  bank holiday Monday,  In normally Sunny Sussex,  when  you are tired , and just looking for that little lift / Sparkle  in your day. you decide on a little retail therapy, Asda,Tesco,sainsburys, seem to sell everything, just the same as each other…..

So you look for the Independent ” curio ” shop. some where  that you know you Sparks Yard will  be appreciated, and there will be Nice things to look at, gadgets to buy, gizmos to  think ” why do i need that ”   and  up on the first floor ( until the work is done on their new place ) Great  coffee & cafe facilities. These are the facilities at the moment.  its gonna be good to see how they improve , apparently  its about a month or so off

 

So what added Sparkle to my dull afternoon, a root beer ( proper american )  float  with extra marshmallows, and a yummy Big Old Slab of cake… other gorgeous things that ended up on our  Table, Big old slices of toast & peanut butter ,  a  smoothie that  apparently was lovely, so lovely i didn’t get  to try it , and for the little oldmanleslie, a smartie cookie that filled him up so he couldn’t eat his brownie.

So yes, I like the independent, I  generally go back to what i enjoy, and if it’s this good ,then I tell people about it.

Add to that the imported food section , and  i think the expression is OMG . I came out with  a butterfinger bar, not sure why i had to share it but  all liked it,  space dust that i havent had for years, so i felt like a child again,  and some squeezable candy( the like of which i have never tasted ) 

So in summary, if you are in  arundel for a day , for a holiday , or just for and hour or 2 and you fancy something a LOT different then  Sparks yard is definitely worth a visit

 

Just for the record, NOT a sponsored blog, we paid for what we had, it really was THAT good

 

 

 

Another nice one

Just while I was waiting for the clan to do their shopping….in the time I saved not getting a haircut.

Popped into London road again, just for a nice sneaky coffee

I guess its good to go where you know its good…..

Pop in if you are down this way

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Its worth a look

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Such an Inspiration ……………………

Just a bit of catching up on the Blog to do this morning, so  a few things that have been  on my mind this week, Shall i clog up people’s emails with individual Blogs, or just drop it all into one Blog ?

So here it comes, a mixed up Blog  :

Firstly and most important to me , its  only a month  until me and my Boys go out for our annual  trip to good wood for a bit of a skate .  this year  we have been offered  help by  quite a few  people , all skating, Scooting  & wheeling in support of  littlehamptonshopmobility.co.uk.  we will be trying to live Blog  on the day , but I’m not promising , as it’s all about the Skating for me for one day  only.   And also that for the first time in a long time, there are 3 generations of ” oldmanleslie” including the proper one out for the day, doing good things, and having  fun

Like every thing else, there is of course a button  to if you want to support us  financially. Just click-through here 

Second thing for the week.

We  all think that our dad is the best  in the world, they are always special to us for many reasons. Just because  “it’s all about the Sharing ” i am going to share with you  a little secret, My Dad IS the greatest in the world, I have absolutely  no doubt about that, But I’m pretty sure that i can tell you  who the Number 02 best  dad is as well,  This dad is a TRUE  inspiration , and if you dig around a little on the web  you will see why

Then , during the week i had a bit of a downer ,Nothing too serious , i just heard on local TV news about  thegooddeeddiary. this is a positive thing  that a guy in the UK  is doing and it is to be praised, the downer was the thought that followed, ” isn’t it a shame that this isn’t the ” norm ” any more ”  and wouldn’t it be good to get back to it . Possibly Luke Can Keep it going and inspire others around him. Good deeds don’t have to cost money, we can all do them , just even 1 a day

But i ended the week on a positive, and it wasn’t  a sneaky latte, or  a free day out, it wasn’t  even something that i had been sent from a  PR /company to review. it was because i went  last weekend  in the pouring rain to see  the boys and girls at malpass meats. I will send them a link  to  the blog, however i just thought it was worth  a mention that  the steak we got was  Mouth watering” cooked of course by Mrs Oldmanleslie” and  over the last 20 years of  buying from them  i have always had great  meat,  cracking service . you might in fact call it ” legendary ”

 

 

Great food, fair prices, & a nice surprise at the end of it

Just back from our “Mothers day ”  meal out, when  we asked Ma what she wanted for Mothers day , it was simple …”Italian ”  now as we have one of our group in a wheel chair, we need to make sure a place has good facilities, is child friendly, has decent food, and looks good.

 

I have to say Carluccios in Chichester fits the bill and ticks all the boxes,

 

One small point is that  there were 2-3 occasions where things we had asked for we had to remind the staff, but I would recommend the place to any one.

We arrived a little early so me and ” My Oldmanleslie ” had a coffee while they sorted the table ( nice gesture they didn’t charge us for it )

Al the usual things with an Italian, good selection of breads, the Anti Pasto courses where great, the main meals were lovely

11 out of 10  for the Thinly sliced char grilled rump steak, served with rocket leaves and shaved Parmesan, rosemary potatoes and tarragon mayonnaise.

All in all , well worth the Money, and most importantly  “both Mums ” enjoyed it

Oh yes, and the surprise  at the end, ” rose chocolates for the mums ”  , a nice finish to a nice meal

Another example of Not Good service…..but at least they changed the cup

so as  the sun decided to come out today , i guess like everyone else , the ” oldmanleslie” clan decided to go out for  a little retail therapy .

So off we went  to Haskins which is a regional Chain  Garden centre.  It was recently revamped to  basically be about 5 different types of restaurant  & coffee shops  and a place to buy plants and related things for the garden.Haskins Garden Centre

All i have to blog is that the service from the staff at  the tills, wasn’t good. I have never had the misfortune  of actually having some one  give me a discount because ” they haven’t answered when i have rung them , and i cant be bothered to check ”  when  as customers we had dared to pick up what was a plant that wasn’t part of the offer that  it was marked as….

Surely, the staff in  these places ” should be  bothered “.

The lady that was serving in the coffee shop wasnt, when she served my  coffee in a dirty cup,  but the lady that changed it for a fresh one in a clean cup was.

Simple  questions from this  are :

  • Is it wrong to expect proper service from retail staff  in ” brand ” owned shops
  • should it only be what appear to be the older staff that actually try to help

Having once again tried Costa  Coffee, and  still not had a good one, i think i will Stop trying.

I’m going to become a Starbucks Bunny, as although it costs a little more, its always nicer. And  for those  that follow my blog, you will know that if im local , it’s the London road coffee shop ( bognor  ) Sparks yard ( arundel ) and Lulamaes. all of which as far as i know are independent

Just kicking back….

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Having a milk….

I know in a few years it will be a bud at £10 a bottle….but the sentiment will be the same.

And especially when its sunny…

Weekends are for relaxing..

Can’t quite believe its march already,summer just around the corner

Oh yes, and just for the record, this  was the London Road coffee shop in Bognor Regis , Excellent food ( again) and  great coffee.

Its Independent, and owned by the same people that own the Lobster pot Image  just up the road .

 

Been to both loads of times , and NEVER had a bad meal yet

Possibly the nicest coffee i have ever had …..

So I like a sneaky latte, there’s no issue with that , I and I will continue to hunt down the best  one on my travels. I MAY have stumbled across the perfect recipe  though so I thought I would share…..

A Big old Mug ( with a nice big circumference  that takes to hands to hold ) for that warm  fuzzy feeling…. A big old slug of  ” THE MAGICAL INGREDIENT  FOR ANY COFFEE “ In this case lemon Meringue   syrup. And yes, im sorry i didn’t measure exactly ,

A good old fashioned Tassimo  coffee pod, run twice through the machine  just to getCARTE NOIRE Expresso  the extra strength  for the Mix , With a large Latte  portion , again run twice  through  the machine

I don’t know  if it was just the ingredients, or the Delicate way  I stirred it (  who am I kidding )  but  it was lovely, and  for a large coffee with syrup, I worked out it only cost about 60p

Tassimo & Monin are 2 names that definitely go well together and I will be telling them so

 

Coconut latte…..this is going to be a new one on me

So yes,I like my coffee at the weekend….
Yes we have gone back to Sainsbury as opposed to Tesco….
So I can sneak a coffee in while Mrs oldmanleslie shops….

Never tried coconut latte….

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But its lovely…not sickly,not too sweet.

Just right…… Well done sainsburys ….and I only stumbled across is as they had run out of boring vanilla

It just wasn’t very nice …..

Bairds New Entrance!

Just up the road from us  on the A259 at a quaint little village call Clymping is  Bairds farm shop, Its been there for a long time. and it sells all the nice  things that you would  expect. www.bairdsfarmshop.co.uk/ is the web site and as i say you will find all sorts of nice things in the shop,  There is also one of the best Butchers in the area in there as well.bairds145

My review is not in a section called ” is this a great place to shop “,

It’s all about the sharing, and yesterday when  me and 2 of the Leslie Clan were passing we thought we would try the coffee shop out which is now billed as a restaurant. I have been in there as a coffee shop on a few occasions, for work with clients as its near the seaside , I have been in there as ” thirsty” customer and enjoyed a ” sneaky latte”

This time MRS oldmanleslie was with me, that’s easy , a pot of tea  & a slice of coffee cake ( that she didn’t finish ).and it certainly didn’t look like  bairds078 as  shown on their www

“Little- est ” Leslie  had his current favourite  of Burger  and chips.He did like that he could have as much Tommy sauce as he wanted

The issue I had was that once again I seemed to  be able to find the Most ” card board” burger  in the count.  It was as the menu card described a lamb burger , and it had all that it said it would  in it. It Just was not Nice , it wasn’t  moist.

So here is my question. and  I guess you can answer in comments if you see this:

Should a business do all that it does  very well, and do more of it ?

Or

Should all businesses try to be all things to all people and hope that customers accept adequate

In summary, Baird’s  @BairdsFarmShop1   is great for shopping, gardening stuff, BBQ and the like, and its a nice place to sit  and have a sneaky  coffee….. i will add that i was asked if everything was Ok  but this was ONCE i had paid.

But as a restaurant, It wasn’t good yesterday