Traditional favourites like ham egg and chips are not difficult to find
But every now and again one just hits the right spot.
Which is why the Duke of Wellington in Southampton is worth a visit. It was one of the first pubs I ‘found’ after arriving in the UK and I have been back more than once.
For what is definitely one of the best pub lunches in Hampshire if not a lot further afield. Besides that, it is one of a few typically traditional English pubs where I am perfectly comfortable settling in with a newspaper.
It will never rate as a traditional English cafe.
But the bread & butter pudding at Farmer, Butcher, Chef in Chichester is a great way to end a good meal. Although I think it is only something you get to do in winter. I might be wrong but it is not always an option you find on the menu.
The table setting included a side plate and a damned good reason to make use of it. Farm baked bread and beef dripping. A simple courtesy which more often than not gets forgotten in these busy, busy times.
But since the restaurant is very much a part of one of the only self sustaining organic farms in Europe, one should expect a little honest country style hospitality.
The best places are often the most difficult to find
And Terri’s Cafe in Havant is not easy to find. Tucked away in the Truck Stop in the Langstone Technology Park it is packed full of character.
Offering a menu that is loaded with homemade options. A typically traditional English cafe. Stop for a quick coffee, cup of tea or a Truckers breakfast. There is coffee, walnut cake, jacket potatoes smothered in chilli and homemade Shepherds pie. A lorry park cafe that probably ranks as one of the best restaurants in Havant.
And if not, it is the best that I have found locally as well as a lot further afield.
Is the best restaurant in Chichester really, a humble, no frills, takeaway?
Not if you are looking for a comprehensive moderately priced wine list. Not if you are going to judge ‘best’ in terms of ambiance, chic decor and smiling ever attentive waitrons.
But if it’s flavour and originality that makes the difference, The Pass Street Food Cafe is a hard one to beat. Whatever Kacper Osmola has to say.
And if you have to look at a dessert menu there are always the bread & butter dipping fingers around the corner at the Chantry
I haven’t had much luck with Thai restaurants in the UK. They lack the vibrancy one gets when eating on the streets in Thailand.
But Noodels in Portsmouth is different. Starting with condiment sets for sweet, sour, chilli flakes and crushed peanuts.
As well as help yourself to water.
The menu is nice and simple offering typical Thai street food and Chinese noodles. The prices are reasonable and portions generous.
The beef noodles are particularly good even if as I believe, they are stewed in a wine base. I also enjoyed the crispy pork which is served with rice.
For a traditional English breakfast try the Riviera Cafe in Selsey.
Eggs are always fresh, nice big plate, great service.
Reminds me a bit of a throwback to a 60’s Diner. But that might just be because I always had a good meal at this restaurant
Another excellent meal at The Angel in Midhust
Although I have to admit that it was their three course, fifteen pounds ninety five lunch time special, that first persuaded me to take another look this old English Coaching Inn. Since when, I have been back a couple of times.
That and the crumble, on their apple crumble.
The menu has since changed. As has the Chef if I am not mistaken.
But the food is always good with options such as Argentinean steaks, Seafood Casserole, a selection of locally caught fresh seafood cooked in a rich Tomato & Herb jus flavoured with Fennel & Celery. Or Bentley Bangers. Homemade Sausages served on a bed of bubble & squeak mash. To follow tradition with English Trifle, Walnut and Honey Tart, Bentley Brulee or a platter of local cheese and pickles.
After finding Indian rice pudding at Darbar in Emsworth, flavoured with cardomen, I think, I decided to try their other restaurant, Thyme & Chillies just outside Chichester near the Marina on the Witterings road.
Despite not having had much experience with Indian food I thought their samosas were perfect. Crisp and flavoursome.
Good service, formal, attentive yet welcoming at the same time.
Not sure what I ordered other than it was a tasty mild mutton curry which I ate with a basket of different naan breads and roti. But no cardomen flavoured rice pudding on the menu. Instead I opted for coconut balls served with a pistachio ice cream
The fist time I came across a scotch egg with black pudding was when I was in Oxford. I was busy, in a bit of a rush. But paused to glance through the menu outside a pub in one of the side streets.
I couldn’t stop. Just made a mental note to pop back another time.
Which I never did.
I then got my chance to try one a few weeks later at The Croque Shop in Brighton.
And again at the Farmers Market in Chichester which is held every first and third Friday each month.
I was actually looking for the non-descript little restaurant offering a breakfast buffet that I found yesterday. When I bumped into the Little Shop in Market St at the bottom end in Brighton.
It was the soups which caught my eye. A choice of half a dozen different soups. I don’t know why it is but everyone else restricts to the ubiquitous Soup of the Day which is invariably the same as the next. This was a welcome change