Exploring Southampton

Despite being 30 minutes down the dual carriageway for most of my life, Southampton has, for the most part, remained unexplored by me. My trips there have been limited to shopping trips at West Quay and countless hospital appointments, but I’ve never really strayed further than the walls of either the shopping complex or General Hospital.

BUT a few weeks ago, my girl Kelly made the relocation from London to Southampton, and her new base has encouraged me to explore Southampton a little more, mostly with her in tow.

Weekend before last we made plans to hang out in Southampton for the day, boys in tow, and no West Quay allowed (well, maybe a little West Quay, because, Zara). I think it was a pretty successful day and it was great to have the chance to explore.

I’d seen snaps of Oxford Street’s first Farmer’s Market in May online, and new I wanted to add it to the diary for June. So we started our day there, picking up coffees from The Docks, and ambling the stalls. It’s a small, but perfectly formed with all the essentials. Baked goods, locally sourced meats, gin, and gorgeous flowers courtesy of Puggs Meadow Flowers. We ambled happily in the sunshine, we restocked our kitchen with bread, sausages, fishcakes, and I of course bought a beautiful wildflower bouquet too.

Before we knew it, lunchtime was upon us, and we ended up grabbing the last outside table at the Oxford Street Brasserie. I’ll admit to not having high hopes, usually my experiences with these kind of restaurants are overpriced, mediocre food. I was pleasantly surprised by the food here though, the prices were reasonable (with no mandatory service charge slapped on), and my club sandwich was fantastic. Joe ordered the same and gave it two thumbs up, Kelly opted for the salad (which looked a little leafy for my tastes, but she said it was great), while Con had an impressive looking burger, which he gave extra points for the brioche bun. It was a great meal and we loved sitting outside people dog watching! It made a nice change to the usual chain affair West Quay has to offer.

ocean village marina

After a glass of wine at the Oxford Street Brasserie we were ready for another drink, so we made our way over to the Harbour Hotel in Southampton for some more drinks! It’s a gorgeous spot overlooking Ocean Village Marina, their ground floor restaurant and bar has a gorgeous outside platform, complete with cool beds to lie out on, but we chose a spot up on the roof terrace with views out over the marina for drinks.

Their cocktail menu is extensive and of course, nautical themed. Kelly stuck to Aperol cocktails and was impressed (and also infatuated with the gorgeous glassware!). I tried a strawberry lime rum concoction which was straight up gorgeous, as well as a ginger apple vodka cocktail which was absolutely gorgeous. If you’re looking for a gorgeous summer spot to soak up the sun and drink a few cocktails with friends, I can’t recommend it enough.

By this point the alcohol was sinking in nicely, so we headed back to our old faithful, The Pig In The Wall for a few nibbles before calling it a day! It was so nice to see another side to Southampton, I’d written it off as a dingy industrial town but this day changed my perspective completely. I’m looking forward to more summer days in the sunshine with friends!

Big thanks to Kel for snapping some photos of me, and also some of Con and I! We’re rubbish at getting photos together so it makes a nice change.

Are you good at exploring your hometown?