UPDATE: see bottom of post.
Everyone who lives in Portsmouth knows of The Tenth Hole tearooms in Eastney and has more than likely been there at least once. For years I used to visit at least twice a week in it’s heyday and would have the same thing each time. Tuna & mayonnaise sandwiches on white bread, with tortilla chips, cream cheese dip and a mug of excellent coffee with cream. Oh, and more than likely a slice of cake. My husband used to play pitch & putt there before it was even a tearoom. Back then the owners, Brian and Ann introduced tea and cake and it went from there, gradually expanding. I think we stopped going towards the end because it was getting increasingly difficult to get a table (and there was nowhere else nearby at the time) and if you did, you’d usually end up having to share it with others, plus we felt that as soon as we finished eating they wanted us gone in order to free up the table for the many people queuing, so we got a bit fed up. We did pay a visit once or twice after it had been taken over but it wasn’t quite the same. However…
The Tenth Hole had a bit of a makeover at the beginning of the year I believe, so we thought we should return and see what it was like now. It has changed slightly, there are more tables and even a lovely large, light conservatory. As you enter the main entrance room – this contains the counter and cakes – the doorway is now wider and is divided with a roped barrier so that on one side you enter/exit to find a table and then on the other you queue up to order. Years ago it was just one normal-sized doorway and people would be coming and going all the time squeezing past with trays whilst others jostled to look at the cakes.
Off this central room there are three areas in which to eat. The small original room which has no windows, only a glass-less ‘window’ looking into the old ‘new’ extension (this was the first extension Brian and Ann added) and now the large conservatory. Outside there are lots of tables and chairs with rugs supplied for cooler days. We arrived around 2pm and found a table easily but there weren’t many free. The menu isn’t extensive, but there are a few things on there that I liked the sound of. On this occasion I chose the toasted sourdough with hummus, pesto, haloumi, roasted peppers topped with a bunch of fresh rocket.
It was lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Everything was fresh and I would certainly recommend it. There’s not much else on the menu I fancy from the ‘something else’ section but I can see several things on the ‘brioche rolls and sandwiches’ and the ‘brunch’ section. I suppose keeping it to a smaller selection means that everything’s fresh and there’s less wastage and keeps it easier for the kitchen staff.
The coffee was as good as it always used to be. We ordered a large pot between us and we had several cups each. Geoff was happy as there were newspapers to read.
Geoff enjoyed his breakfast burger made with sausagemeat, with bacon and fried egg on a muffin.
Of course, there was a huge selection of cakes. It was quite difficult to choose as they all looked so good.
I finally settled upon chocolate fudge cake. It was a huge slice with gooey chocolate fudge in the centre, on the sides and top, with a piece of Cadbury Flake, mini marshmallows and white chocolate buttons with hundreds & thousands on.
I had cream to pour over (which was also for my coffee) and although the cake was fresh and really good, I couldn’t quite manage the whole lot…by only one bite mind…
Geoff didn’t need to look at the cakes, he always goes for fruit cake. He said it was very nice. He’s a man of many words is Geoff.
Shown above is one area of outdoor seating leading towards the entrance halfway down. At the far end is the putting green.
So, after returning and remembering all those lovely times way back in the past did we enjoy it and would we return? The answer is most definitely…yes.
Take a look at our website for reviews of tearooms, restaurants, chocolates etc., and Helen’s backpacking adventures around Asia.
Living life, loving cake
UPDATE: I’m writing this over a year later since my last visit. We were very disappointed. As you arrive there is a sign asking you to wait to be seated, there were lots of seats inside but we were seated at a small table for two away from the window (we moved ourselves to a table for four by the window when no one was looking as it wasn’t busy). Billy’s breakfast burger wasn’t very nice and repeated on us all day long (sorry if that’s too much information 🙂 ), looking back at the photos above, the burger on this occasion was half the width. The coffees weren’t great either and I left mine. Needless to say, we haven’t returned. Perhaps we just caught them on a bad day? It’s a place which generally is very busy (like The Parade) and I can’t be a***d to queue.