One wet and miserable Saturday Geoff and I tried to get into Southsea Coffee Co in Osborne Road, Southsea but to no avail. It’s very popular and on Friday’s and weekends we find it almost impossible. So we thought we should try somewhere different and I thought I knew of a place a bit further up the road. But before we got there we came across Tea Tray. We didn’t have time really to look for the place I was thinking of as Geoff had tickets for the Pompey match later that afternoon, so we bit the bullet and entered. And I’m very glad we did.
Inside is quite spacious, tables aren’t too close together and it has a feel of the 60’s with the furniture and decor. We sat next to the biggest angle poise lamp I’d ever seen. At the rear are some more comfortable seats with lower tables and it all feels quite relaxing with ‘chilled-out’ music playing in the background.
The guy who runs it is very nice and friendly. It has been open for 4 years and I can’t quite believe that we’ve never been there before.
A nice simple menu is written on a large blackboard with an English breakfast, sandwich, soup of the day and a couple of other dishes. Geoff went for the soup of the day which was tomato & basil with or without chilli on top. He went ‘with’ and although he said it was very nice and tasty he ended up sweating and at the end he was sitting with his mouth slightly ajar. It was quite funny.
I had the homebaked ham, fig & honey mustard sandwich on granary bread with pickle and rocket. The ham was lovely and there was plenty of it.
Of course we had to try their cakes which are all home-made either by the owner’s wife or his mother-in-law, who makes the Earl Grey tea loaf (and she won’t disclose the recipe). Geoff had the tea loaf which he said was very nice indeed.
I had the toffee apple cake. I’m not overly keen on appley kind of things but this was lovely. A light, moist and fresh sponge with soft apple pieces topped with a lovely toffee sauce and small chunks of fudge. We also took a brownie home to share later that evening.
The following Saturday we returned – it was another awful rainy day – and were warmly welcomed, in fact, we were asked how we were. Geoff hadn’t been well all week and was feeling a little sorry for himself so he said he wasn’t good. Oh I don’t know what to say about that says the guy to his colleague. How about a song and dance to make you feel better? he asked. And so they did 😀 Geoff still looked rather miserable though 🙁
Geoff had the tomato & basil soup again ( it had been popular all week so they kept it on) but he asked for a little less chilli this time and said it was very good.
I had the thyme roasted mushrooms on toast with onion relish. I love mushrooms! Granary toast topped with whole closed cup mushrooms and sliced flat ones too, garnished with rocket leaves.
We took our cakes home to eat later that afternoon. This time I went for the clementine cake which had ground almonds in and crushed pistachios on top. The cake was so fresh and moist that as I bit into it – I was at home so didn’t need to be posh and use a fork – you could almost hear the air escaping!
The owner(s) are graffiti artists who do things around the town – I’m guessing legally 😉 On the toilet doors are some lovely drawings and the takeaway bag also has a nice little drawing on it.
Return? Yes, we have and will do again. This is somewhere I shall be taking Helen on her return in a few week’s time.
Living life, loving cake
[…] Osborne Road, just along from Cheese & Cheers, almost opposite Southsea Coffee Co., with the Tea Tray just up the road a bit and lots more eateries but if it’s a simple burger at a good price […]