We thought we’d try somewhere different this week and it’s a place I’ve been meaning to go to for a while now. As soon as you walk in to Pie & Vinyl in Castle Road, Southsea you get that cosy ‘at home’ feeling. It has an eclectic mix of almost everything, with a mishmash of old-fashioned chairs, cutlery and crockery. Standard lamp-shades hang from the ceiling upside down, old and battered suitcases and of course, record players and lots of vinyl.
Pie & Vinyl was Independent Record Shop of the Year in 2013 and they have lots of memorabilia on the walls, posters of old and new bands and upcoming gigs, some of which they hold in the cafe itself.
We were greeted by a young and friendly waitress who made us aware that the menus were hanging from the table underneath. Of course, pies are the main feature here but they also have breakfasts and a few cakes.
On the menu at Pie & Vinyl was sarsaparilla! Ever since I had a sarsaparilla in Australia on a picnic with Aussie friends I’ve been looking everywhere over here for it. Bundaberg I think was the make and I see that Waitrose have a few of their drinks such as ginger beer, but no sarsaparilla. This was a Mr Fitzpatrick cordial available with still or sparkling water and it came in a lovely old and chipped Toby jug teapot but it was a little like cough mixture and I didn’t finish it. I was so disappointed as I was sure I liked sarsaparilla and so pleased that I had finally found it, although Geoff claims that he knew all along that I didn’t! Memories are funny things. Geoff enjoyed a pot of local Portsmouth Tea from All About Tea in, yes you’ve guessed it, Portsmouth, which I resorted to in the end.
Now, I’m not a great fan of pies to be truthful. I always find most meat ones have gristle or fat in them so I went for the vegetarian option of ‘Heidi’ from award-winning pie makers Pieminister which consists of goats cheese, sweet potato, spinach, red onion and roasted garlic.
We paid £3 extra for some mashed potato, minty processed peas and gravy – or liquor if you so wish. Mine was very tasty and the minty peas weren’t too minty – Geoff doesn’t care for mint but he ate these quite happily.
Geoff had curry pie by award-winning butchers, Buckwells of Southsea which was handmade in their shop in Osborne Road. He said that he enjoyed it and when questioned on fat and gristle he said it was fine. But then he likes fat and gristle so perhaps he’s not the right person to ask. It certainly looked and smelt very nice.
For cake there were three to choose from. A caramel & chocolate cupcake, courgette & banana and a chocolate & peanut cookie, all I believe are made by gluten-free and vegan bakery, Sweetie Pie in Southsea.
Well naturally we had one of each – we took the cookie home for later. The cupcake was fresh and moist and the courgette & banana cake (who thinks of making a cake with courgettes?) wasn’t too bananary – which is good – that was our favourite.
The Pie & Vinyl has a nice relaxed feel to the place and definitely somewhere I recommend you try.
Loving life, loving cake – and pies
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