Review of Southsea Beach Cafe
I was lucky enough to be taken for brunch at the amazing Southsea Beach Cafe for Mothers’ Day. It is in a great location, right on the beach, opposite the canoe lake, along from the pier, walking distance from Southsea shops, lots of free parking nearby.
I believe there has always been a cafe here, but previous versions have been more like cheap and cheerful cafes and haven’t lasted long. Southsea Beach Cafe (SBC) was taken over by its new owners in 2011 who have completely transformed it. In the summer, they remove the sides and roll back the roof, and it becomes a wonderful outside space to sit in the sunshine. As it is south facing, it still catches the sun, even in winter, but there is also a huge log burner to keep you toasty warm. They also supply fleecy blankets for customers who want to sit outside.
It is a cafe, not a posh restaurant, so the plastic tables and chairs fit in well with the surroundings. The cafe has some attractive features, with a bar displaying special drink offers on a chalkboard plus another food hatch. There is a display of fresh cakes, scones and pastries arranged on shelves, interspersed with attractive kitchen objects. The friendly, young staff are very smartly dressed in blue and white striped tops, they are efficient and well-trained The manageress is good at her job, and efficiently organised the queue of people waiting for tables, telling them how long they would have to wait, clearing the tables quickly, and welcomed new customers in a friendly manner.
Lots of different sorts of customers use the SBC, from older couples to families with young children. Apparently the whole of the Portsmouth football team came in for coffee the other day! As it was Mothers’ Day, there were a number of pushchairs in the cafe, including one in our group, but they never made you feel unwelcome. High chairs were available, plus pens and drawing books for toddlers.
The menu was wonderful. They serve a breakfast/brunch menu until 11.30, and then a more substantial lunch menu until 5pm. The grown ups in our party chose a breakfast brioche, a sausage sandwich and poached eggs on toast. Ted, my grandson, had a children’s breakfast with sausages, bacon and toast. Everything is attractively served, from the coffee in small glasses, to the tea in individual, coloured teapots with mini milk bottles.
After our wonderful feast, we took Ted on the shingle beach to collect pebbles and shells, then we took him to the play park, and we watched the swans on the canoe lake. A great day was had by all.