Portsmouth, on the southern coast of England, is a supremely popular domestic holiday destination for holidaymakers across the UK. Its signature sands, unique island location and centuries of historical significance stand it apart from other destinations on the coast, making for a brilliant holiday for all the family. Whether you immerse yourself in its nautical history with tours of the Mary Rose and Historic Dockyard, or indulge the inner creative with an inspirational trip to Dickens’ birthplace, your stay is sure to be run-through with cultural significance.
Not only is Portsmouth a fantastic tourist destination, but its independent hospitality scene is a jewel on the southern coast. Myriad venues are fiercely independent and there for the taking, from cafes and greasy spoons to fine-dining establishments and late-night joints. Supporting small businesses is not just an incidental joy; it is also vital, to protect a vibrant and diverse range of offerings as well as to support small business-owners in it for the love over the money. Eating independent doesn’t mean eating local either – a short train ride to Portsmouth could open you and your palate up to incredible food and drink. The following represent just three fantastic food destinations in the Great Waterfront City, as an entryway into Portsmouth’s incredible food and drinks scene.
Southsea Beach Café
The Southsea Beach Café takes the quintessential English tradition of seaside brekkie and elevates it no-end, with to-die-for toast-based dishes from breakfast hash to Eggs Benedict – and, of course, a full English breakfast with locally-sourced ingredients. A lunch menu takes full advantage of the location, with local catches on sharer fish boards, seafood grills and the irresistible fish and chips. Southsea Beach Café is only open until 5pm (4pm on Sundays), but presents the perfect daytime environment to drink in the sun – and maybe a G&T or two.
Situated on Castle Rd and a mere 500m from the seafront, Monty’s is an independent restaurant and bar serving up fresh drinks and fresher plates. The menu is simple but effective, with all the trappings of an English brasserie from perfect fillet steaks to confit pork, as well as fresh fish dishes with local sources. Monty’s is the perfect venue for a special event or occasion, with bespoke menus for events like Valentines Day and the opportunity for private bookings. Come for the fabulous food and drink, stay for the nightlife and the ever-changing flower-wall!
For a fine-dining experience like no other, MAYA is an absolute must to visit. It boasts a sleek contemporary design, making for the perfect destination to drink in the company of another – and the perfect excuse to get away from the kids for a while. Its cocktails are legendary, and its menu comprises an impressive array of small plates that make the most of the locale, encouraging the sharing of food between guests at the table.