The Arthouse Gallery Cafe on Above Bar Street is a great little find for cheap lunchtime eats, and for pretheatre dining Joe Daflos is ideal, as The Mayflower is just across the road. For a more leisurely evening meal try Ennio’s, a great Italian on the waterfront.
Alternatively, if what you want is a truly memorable meal, then book a table at boutique inn White Star Tavern – try the succulent Hampshire pork belly in the two AA-rosette restaurant – or The Oxford Brasserie, serving fine local fare on Oxford Street.
If it’s good enough for Gordon Ramsay…
There are some great modern and trendy bars in Southampton which come alive after dark. Try the Banana Bar for top cocktails and sea views, or the Orange Rooms, which regularly wins Best Bar awards for its great atmosphere and the ability of its mixologists.
Sometimes, of course, you can’t beat a pint in a traditional British pub, and Southampton is full of them. The Grapes Inn on Oxford Street was the drinking hole of choice for many of RMS Titanic’s crew. If you visit, you’ll discover the story of the Slade brothers, crew members who missed the boat after one too many in the Grapes. Bugle Street’s Duke of Wellington pub dates back to 1494 and has a great Tudor interior, as well as a (rumoured) resident ghost.
However, the title of oldest pub in Southampton goes to The Red Lion, where the trials of a group of men who plotted against Henry V in 1415, known as the Southampton Plot, allegedly took place. Legend has it that Shakespeare visited this site before writing about the plot in his history play Henry V.
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