These days it’s hard to walk down any street without being bombarded with an endless stream of restaurant chains. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against them and have a few favourites amongst them, but I do yearn for something different, something that’s unique.
One fabulously sunny day last week, I was met my daughter at Southsea station and we strolled through the back streets, uncovering quaint little cobbled streets with regency style terraces, adorned with spring magnolia blooms. A far cry from the rising tower blocks of flats you only see when driving into the centre of town.
Although our destination had been previously arranged, it was a great walk and we did discover the Portsmouth Tea Shop ( allabouttea.co.uk ) which I have pencilled in for a further visit on another occasion; a factory store which creates teas, suitable for the local water. As an avid tea drinker, I’m looking forward to exploring the premises at a later date.
Castle Road in Portsmouth is a street full of independent shops and eateries, it’s a street so full of promise because unlike the town high street, you really don’t know what stores to expect.
Our destination was the record café, Pie and Vinyl, somewhere which had been previously recommended to us and had been top of the list to visit for several weeks.
On arriving with were greeted by an eclectic mix of bric a brac, which bombarded the senses. Cool music and happy chat filled the space. The walls were a riot of colour, textured with a variety of shapes and materials. And the place was full of people from every walk of life.
We were shown to our seats and having never
been before, the menu board was briefly explained, basically choose a pie, followed by a meal option. The basic premise is to enjoy and have fun with choosing your food and to enable you to have some involvement with the creation of your meal. The menu has plenty gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan offerings and is all provided with a mammoth sense of fun. For once I was spoilt for choice, I’m very often limited to one item on the menu, or worst case scenario, I have to ask. Faced with a choice often brings confusion for me, but I finally settled on Bon Pie-ver, lentils cooked in a tomato sauce topped with a sweet potato mash topping. I chose to have this with the
mushy peas, which was an excellent choice, completely delicious, although in hindsight I should have had a little of the vegetarian, gluten-free gravy on offer, because this would have counter balanced the slight dryness of the pie. The pastry was gluten free perfection and I ate in awe at the crispness and compete absence of a soggy bottom.
On completion of our main meals, an extremely helpful member of staff recommended a portion of the Jam Rock ‘n’ Rolly Polly, which we had with honeycomb ice cream, all amazingly gluten-free. I couldn’t have been happier!
Great food, great place, helpful and happy staff and great price. But top of the leader board for me was the choice of gluten-free, veggie and vegan meals.
Above all completely UNIQUE!
61 Castle Road,
Southsea. 02392 753914