Britain’s café culture has exploded in the last decade, with coffee shops and tearooms now present on high streets around the country.
Big name chains may dominate, but consumers are also faced with an increasing number of smaller independent café, offering a fresh experience for those looking to enjoy a cuppa with friends.
Southsea has its fair share of quirky cafes, leading us to take a closer look at five of the best.
— Garagelounge (@garagelounge1) September 21, 2015
Those looking for a buzzing local hangout should seek out this garage-turned-café on the corner of Albert Road. Popular with students, its bohemian vibes, late opening and free wi-fi make it an attractive alternative to a traditional pub. Food is restricted to the brunch variety; highlights include eggy tiger bread, salted caramel ice cream shakes, and artisan pizzas. Come for the people watching, but stay for the turbo charged lattes.
1 Albert Rd, Portsmouth PO5 2SP, twitter.com/garagelounge1
All About Tea
A tearoom within a working tea factory is a clever concept, where you can literally try before you buy, while a light menu offers smoothies, and the obligatory cakes. Browse from over 170 loose leaf and teabag varieties including herbal teas and the famous ‘Portsmouth Tea’ blend, suitable for the harder local waters. Gift ideas include customised teapots and strainers, and for the dedicated lover tea tasting classes. There’s a delightful old fashioned colonial charm in sitting lost amongst the tea leaves and bone china teapots, listening to jazz while the resident spaniel Bertie keeps watch for stray cake crumbs.
56 Middle St, Southsea, PO5 4BP, allabouttea.co.uk
Southsea Beach Café
Surf and turf night for America's Cup celebrations thurs, fri and sat eve reserve your table now!! ☀️ pic.twitter.com/Llft9mGfig
— Southsea Beach Cafe (@SouthseaCafe) July 20, 2015
It’s all about location with this new addition to the Southsea seafront; simple locally sourced seasonal food and drink served against a stunning backdrop of crying seagulls, crashing waves and pier vista. Sample eggs benedict on bubble and squeak, or go for the more traditional beer battered fish and chips, while a licensed bar means a cheeky glass of prosecco can take the edge off a busy week in style. There are local acoustic nights in the warmer nights, indeed its versatile covered wooden decking can cater for all weathers, but be warned though it gets very busy, especially at weekends and booking is advisable.
Esplanade, PO4 0SP Southsea, southseabeachcafe.co.uk
The Parade Tearooms
The opening of this converted electricity substation is a great addition for the city, showcasing uninterrupted views of the corner of Southsea Common in a light and airy 100 seated modern brick exposed tearoom. The menu is extensive and reasonably priced, the food and service generous and hearty. Try a deep filed club parade chicken and bacon sandwich or a comforting chilli jacket potato for the colder weather, with a pot of tea to wash it all down. For that special occasion or just for ladies that love to lunch, afternoon high tea for two can be booked served on tiered plates that Grandma would approve of.
Western Parade, Southsea, facebook.com/ParadeTearoomsSouthsea
The local success story within Portsmouth from the team behind Little Johnny Russells and Victorious Festival; this café/bar/bistro caters well for both day and night crowds, located on the busy Osborne Road thoroughfare. It has an international theme which is reflected in its food, drink and suitcase wall décor. The exciting menu consists of such culinary favourites like Jerk Chicken, Mussels or Alabama Hotpot, with a wide choice of lagers and cocktails served at the bar. There are regular beer and burrito nights, and free tea and coffee for all loyalty card holders.
39 Osborne Rd, Southsea, PO5 3LR, thebelleisle.co.uk
Main image: Parade Tearooms on Facebook