Given that the weather on this Bank Holiday Monday was typically English, Geoff and I decided to cheer ourselves up with a late lunch. I have a list as long as my arm of places to review in and around our home town of Portsmouth but as we were visiting an aunt nearby I chose Home Coffee, an independent coffee house in Albert Road, Southsea.
We received a friendly ‘hello’ as we entered which was rather nice and we sat down at one of the rustic wooden tables and perused the menu which hung on the side of it – I didn’t spot it, Geoff did.
The menu has a good selection starting at just £2 for toast up to a staggering £7 – I’m joking 😉 – for ploughmans and is served from 8am through to 3.30pm with gluten-free and vegan options. Coffees of all sorts, flat white, Americano, Cold Brew etc., The coffee is from Small Batch in Brighton. Our flat whites were smooth with little bubbles in the creamy microfoam.
I rather fancied the guacamole crostini. This was toasted sourdough with fresh home-made guacamole – avocado, tomato, spring onion, coriander, red chilli & lime. I added feta as an optional extra. It was full of flavour.
Geoff went for the ham & cheese sandwich with added pickle (without the cheese as he doesn’t like cheese) which is normally served on door-step granary bread but they only had white. No problem. The ham is from a local butcher, Buckwell’s of Southsea and the bread, along with the pastries and doughnuts are from Portsmouth Commercial Bakery.
It appears to be a hit with several regulars coming through the door and being greeted by name. Like Southsea Coffee in Osborne Road – which isn’t too dissimilar – some bring along their laptops, with plugs being provided at each table plus free wifi. The only problem we sometimes find with this, at Southsea Coffee and others like it, is that you can’t always get a table when someone’s hogging it, supposedly working and trying to make one cup of coffee last for several hours, especially when it’s a table for four, so there’s pro’s and con’s with that.
There is a little garden out the back which looks quite sweet and facing South should catch the sun, only not today unfortunately.
The Cold Brew coffee I had with my cake was delicious and served in a small milk bottle with a red & white paper straw, which brought back some memories as soon as I saw it … does anyone remember Humphrey?
Earlier in the day there had been a vegan and gluten-free double chocolate & avocado cake but unfortunately that went pretty sharpish. There was however a new ‘Home’ cake available, espresso, blueberry & pecan (again vegan and gf). Local baker, Mary’s Fairies, bake this particular cake, incorporating the café’s own blend of coffee. The gf chocolate brownies, biscotti and cookies are also made locally, just around the corner within walking distance in fact, by The Cavendish Kitchen.
My slice of cake was wonderfully fresh and very tasty. A nice home-made sponge with jam and a little ‘butter’ cream in the centre and on top, with pecans around the edges. Geoff’s chocolate brownie was equally as nice, a slightly crisp top with a soft centre.
This charming black & white mural was on the wall leading to the garden and painted by Ooh La Lapin.
Home Coffee is just along from The King’s Theatre and opened just before Christmas 2014, so it hasn’t been a year yet. Although we easily found a table there were times when there were none free but there were plenty of people coming and going, so it appears to be a busy and popular little place with very friendly service. I’m glad I finally paid them a visit and I know it shan’t be my last.
Living life, loving cake.