I think Southsea Coffee Co. is starting to become one of my favourite local places for lunch. I’ve been there three times now and each time is as good as the first with the friendly staff, the food and the general ‘feel’ of the place. On this occasion I took Helen along for her first visit. I know how much she loves banana bread and boy, do they do a good one here! It was to be our last lunch out and blogging together for a while as she was to jet off that very evening to sunnier climes, backpacking around Asia before finally settling in Australia – and she hadn’t even packed nor decided between the two backpacks she had bought! Like mother, like daughter we like to bury our head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening.
Upon my first visit to this delightful little place I was accompanied by my husband Geoff. There aren’t too many things to choose from on the menu which is good for two reasons. One being that it means there’s not a lot of wastage and the food would be fresh and two, you don’t have to sit there for ages trying to decide what to have, choosing, waiting for it to appear and then wish you’d seen/ordered what the people on the next table had.
Of course, there are plenty of coffees to choose from, the normal espresso, lattes etc., blends of tea and cold drinks. They do fantastic toasted fruit bread. I had a bite of a friends the other week and it was lovely and fresh. There have porridge, soup of the day served with granary bread, two types of sandwiches and of course the most amazing banana bread! They must change their menu occasionally as it was different from my first visit.
The counter has hesian coffee bean sacks stuck to it which looks great. Brickwood Coffee & Bread in Clapham, London which we reviewed recently, has the same idea but on the ceiling (they also do wonderful banana bread and are equally as friendly). Funny squiggly light bulbs hang from the ceiling.
Helen and I shared a sandwich on very fresh granary bread. Goat’s cheese with beetroot, balsamic & hazelnut. This had shredded beetroot inside with rocket leaves and whole hazelnuts. It truly was divine.
Well, we just had to have the banana bread to share for dessert didn’t we? This was thickly sliced and lightly toasted, topped with vanilla mascarpone, freshly sliced bananas with a sprinkling of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and finally drizzled with honey. Amazing.
For coffee we both had a flat white – I believe they use Jailbreak blend by Has Bean Coffee – and to take away we bought a blackberry & apple sponge cake for Geoff and two white chocolate chip brownies for our journey to the airport. These were very nice. A lot of the cakes and the peanut fudge – which I had on my first visit – are made by a local business, Purely Scrumptious. They are dairy and egg free so are suitable for vegans.
There are plenty of places to sit. Apart from the tables and chairs in the main part of the shop there are a few low stools along the front window where you can sit and watch the world go by. If you walk past the counter there is a kind of ‘snug’, a darker, cosier area with a low table/benches with scatter cushions and a rather nice mural on the wall.
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Living life, loving cake.