Ready, Steady, BRUNCH! Local spots we love
The perfect mix of relaxed ambience and foodie fun, complete with a spot of socially acceptable day drinking - it can only mean brunch, the queen of all mealtimes.
We’ve had a good old nose around the counties to find you excellent Eggs Benedict, marvellous Mimosas and pancake perfection for your perusal.
Bel & The Dragon, Kingsclere
When old school meets new school. The Saturday brunch at the Bel & The Dragon in Kingsclere brings all the charm of this 15th-century coaching inn along with a modern dose of smashed avocado. The food here is fantastic and all locally sourced. They take the drink accompaniments seriously too, with Negronis and the house special Bel Bloody Caesar to sip as you chill. The Odiham branch opened on 15 July, and Kingsclere will open a week later on 22 July – get your booking in ASAP!
Starting off in Bishops Waltham, Josie’s has grown to have three spots across Hants – Petersfield, Romsey and Winchester – and since then they’ve managed to bag themselves a bit of a rep for being one of the best brunch spots in the county. The pancakes that come out of the kitchen are next-level drool-worthy, topped with everything from seasonal compote to buttermilk fried chicken. For those who eschew the sweet stuff, I have it on good authority their breakfast taco is top notch. At the moment both the Petersfield and Winchester branches are dine-in (no booking required), or you can order takeaway from all four shops.
The Docks, Southampton
This award-winning eatery in Southampton is known for their super pretty offerings. All the coffee served here is from the local outfit, Winchester Coffee Roasters, and they’ve also got a range of unusual teas on offer too. Their food though…O…M…G. My personal favourite is the Lemon Meringue pancakes – hello lemon curd, meringue and fresh blueberries! It’s naughty but it’s SO good (and what’s brunch without a little bit of naughtiness?). Brunch bookings are now open for Saturdays and Sundays, so head over to the website to nab your slot.
The Tenth Hole, Southsea
Blink and you’ll miss it. For many, the only clue that there’s something pretty special down on Southsea seafront is the queue that often extends out of the gate. The majority of visitors to The Tenth Hole are lured by their utterly decadent cakes (shout out to their epic strawberry and clotted cream sponge), but for myself, their brunch is my main pull. Simple, well-made and delicious – I’m gutted to see the Eggs Royale no longer on the menu (the smoked salmon was excellent), but I’m always up for a stack of buttermilk pancakes. There’s even a kids’ breakfast and treats for any visiting dogs too.
Dish. Deli and Kitchen, Romsey
This dainty little eatery sits in the centre of Romsey and has been serving the public for over seven years. The owners, both veterans of the hospitality industry, have created a menu that caters for all tastes (and time schedules – they serve brunch until 3pm), so you’ll have plenty to pick from. So, whether you fancy the full eggs treatment (Benedict, Florentine and Royale) or just a sneaky little pastry to tide you over, you’ll be able to get whatever you’re hankering for at this place. Bookings are now available for breakfast and lunch, Monday to Friday – call 01793 513663 to book.
This uber-chic juice bar and cafe in Winchester ramps up the healthy side of brunch with their super colourful bircher pots and avo toast. Here you can chow down on the freshest of fare, beautifully presented, all washed down with a smorgasbord of fresh juice options. It’s also the ideal place to grab a bite if you’re a veggie, vegan or have any dietary requirements – everybody is catered for without having to forego anything taste-wise. Rawberry are back to their regular opening hours of 10am to 4pm, for eat-in or takeaway.
Cosy Club, Portsmouth
One of my favourite chains for brunch is without a doubt quirky-cool Cosy Club, and the Portsmouth branch is open again (hooray!) – perfect for a huevos rancheros or eggs benny while overlooking the harbour. Plus, they serve brunch until 5pm, so you’re not on a time limit to get your fix.
Eden in Portsmouth channels some pretty hip vibes with its indoor greenery and neon signage, along with some gorgeous views over the harbour as well. Their Bottomless Brunch is legendary, with options like brown butter pancakes and a full British vegan breakfast (as well as bottomless bubbles and bellinis for £25pp), but at the moment we’re waiting for this to return to the menu – our sources assure us it’s any day now! In the meantime, pop along for lunch or dinner and soak up the atmosphere.
Cantina, Ventnor, Isle of Wight
This non-descript locale on Ventnor High Street may not seem much on the outside but you’d be surprised! Not only do they create some amazing baked goods to take away, but they were even named in The Guardian’s top spots for breakfast in the UK. It’s a cozy affair, with all and sundry popping in for their daily loaf as you scoff. One absolute must-try is their baked shakshuka, the eggs are cooked perfectly and its spice levels are absolutely on-point. At the moment they’re only offering takeaway freshly-baked bread and coffee on Saturdays, but the minute they re-open for dining we’ll be in there like a shot.
The New Forest is a rather quiet place at times, and for many spots the whole brunch scene hasn’t quite reached here *just* yet. However, Lymington is well-catered for thanks to cool kid on the block Greedo, which looks a little more East London than rural Hampshire. On the menu, they’ve got some cracking dishes, including that love-it or hate-it classic Smoked Haddock Kedgeree, complete with Hampshire watercress. They’ve also got their own signature Greedo Bloody Mary, complete with Black Cow Vodka – made in Dorset from milk (I know, right?). You won’t be able to book a table just yet – Greedo has yet to confirm a re-opening date – but we’ll let you know the minute their doors open.