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A Visitor’s Guide to the Port City of Southampton

Southampton, England’s Southcoast city, is the biggest cruise port in Europe. It’s maritime, Roman and medieval heritage is sprinkled all across the city.  The Titanic set sail from here and you can follow along the Titanic trail to visit the monuments dedicated to its history.

Related: A Guide to a Day Out in St. Albans

Modern architecture and buildings have been built around its famous medieval walls. You can learn all about these famous walls on a tour with See Southampton.  Southampton is a great mix of history, modern retail (loved Westquay!), college town and harbour restaurants and bars. Of course, you can’t miss stopping by the Ocean Village!

I was pleasantly surprised to discover just how many brilliant restaurants there are in the city. A cool example… The winner of the 2012 edition of the TV show Masterchef has a restaurant in Southampton’s Bedford Place – Lakaz Maman. More on our experience there below.

During my time in Southampton, I managed to tuck into some classic British dishes, an Indian takeaway (which is pretty much another British tradition haha), some trendy Italian fare, Mauritian, and Thai Tapas.

Related: 5 Day Trips from London You Have to Take

Places to Eat:

Dancing Man Brewery

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Lakaz Maman 

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Eating at Lakaz Maman was about more than just the food. Despite me having not yet visited Mauritius, I imagined that this is what it would be like. The walls were bright sea-blue/turqois, with some chairs the same colour. Other furniture was either a pale, natural shade of wood, or painted white. This made the place bright and airy with an island feel. The family portraits and photographs from Mauritius on the wall, cook books on the shelves and mauritian songs coming from the speakers, all made this feel like not just an authentic Mauritian experience, but also an intimate one. And I haven’t even gotten to the food yet! 

As expected, the food was delightful. From octopus, chicken, and king prawn, each dish was high in quality, not overly seasoned, yet served with delicious, rich sauce. Some dishes had a good kick of spice. 

 

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Mango Thai

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Mango offers a great mix of Asian dishes with varying styles. There are classics on the menu, such as Pad Thai noodles (which we enjoyed), however the real attraction to this restaurant was the Thai-Tapas menu. We went for the crispy squid chunks with a spicy Thai sauce, the coconut-batter covered chicken strips with a sweet plum sauce, and some pork & prawn dim sum. 

Platform Tavern

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The Platform Tavern is a divey-bar with hearty food. The place is brightly coloured, yet dimply lit, with old-style furnishings and fireplace. Pub classics and pizzas are on offer. The fish and chips doesn’t just come with any beer batter, but London Pride batter. The pork & chorizo burger was different, indulgent and tasty. Everything seemed very reasonably priced.

 

Bacaro (great dinner choice if you are in Ocean Village)

Coriander Lounge 

La Regata

Piecaramba!

That Lovely Little Café

The Pig in the Wall

Rockstone

Oxford Brasserie

The Rockstone

White Star Tavern

Olive Tree

Boulangerie Victor Hugo

Tooti’s Gelato Bar

Fusion Noodle Bar

 

Coffee/Tea

The Art House Gallery Cafe

Afternoon Tea at Gatehouse 1833 

Coffee Lab – London Road & Bargate

Mettricks – Guildhall & Woolston

Cafe Thrive – Hanover Buildings

Mozzo Store

 

Day Trips:

New Forest  (Brockenhurst station)

Isle of Wight

 

Nearby:

National Motor Museum

Netley Abbey

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens (entry £11)

Things to Do:

Museums/Historical Attractions

 

See Southampton Walking Tours

See Southampton offer walking tours for groups and individuals. I was lucky enough to be invited on the “Hidden History” walk on the hottest day in July!

Southampton is a very walkable city and these tours are a great addition to any trip to Southampton. I learned so many cool, historic facts that you won’t even find on Wikipedia 😉  My tour guide Geoff had so many stories and facts which made for an awesome experience. Many of the stops throughout the walk are entertwined into the modern part of the city and it was wonderful to learn about it all. The tours are offered at such a great price point, and are worth way more. This team is fantastic and I wish I could’ve taken part in some of the other tours. They offer themed tours such as “Vaults & Vino” and “Ghastly, Grim and Gory.”

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The Bargate

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Tudor House and Garden (£5 entry)

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St. Michaels Church

 

Medieval Merchant’s House (£4.50 entry)

Calshot Castle

Medieval City Wall

Sea City Museum

Southampton City Art Gallery

The University Botanical Garden

Walk the Titanic Trail 

Southampton Old Town, The QE2 Mile

Solent Aviation Museum

Mayflower Theatre

 

Parks & Gardens

Royal Victoria Country Park

Southampton Common

Mayflower 400 Southampton locations

Hawthorns Wildlife Centre

Westquay

Riverside Park

Other:

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The Phoenix Cinema Club

Peter Rhodes Books

Beatnik Emporium

 

This post is sponsored by See Southampton but all opinions and views are my own.

Explore England with These Posts:

5 Easy Day Trips from London By Train

Brighton Travel Guide: Where to Go & Where to Eat

A Weekend Guide to Ramsgate, Kent

A 3 Guide to the Cotswolds

 

 

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