After successfully opening and developing a well-loved coffee shop on Osbourne Road for 10 years, the husband and wife duo of Southsea Coffee (Martyn and Tara), set their minds to open a small deli and takeaway that would give us independent produce, offering fresh fruit and veg, bakery delights and goods to wow our shelves at home! Welcome to Marmion Road, Southsea Local which is based opposite Strong Island Clothing. Creating a takeaway that offers tasty sandwiches and toasties is something of a neighbourhood pleaser and being able to stroll past and purchase some freshly made bread makes you feel you are in the heart of what Southsea is all about, Independents!
Chatting to Martyn, he said that he completed all the renovation and design himself and with the interior of Southsea Local being easy on the eye, it makes you feel that it has actually been there for 5 years and not the one week it has been open. With a soft green focus and natural wood along with scaffolding shelves, it has a calming effect which is great as you instantly focus on all the food around the shop. Looking at the shelves and seeing all the displays, Tara said that the food suppliers are all independent and predominantly South Coast based. From the milk which comes from Northney Farm on Hayling island to Rubies in the Rubble ketchup which is a cool brand that focuses on using ingredients from farms where the fruit and veg might get rejected from the supermarkets for being too big or too wonky, there is a great choice. Being a well-focussed brand, they take the rejected produce and turn it into amazing relishes, ketchup and mayo. The coffee on the shelves comes from Bubblehead Barista, a brilliant local and well-loved coffee brand and also River Coffee from Winchester, who pride themselves on sourcing unique and exquisite coffees from real people and communities through direct relationships.
Being a foodie, I love that there are cool foodie things to buy and know in my heart that I am also supporting a South Coast supplier on a mission to bring good quality food and produce to our table!
If like me you are a wine and nibbles kind of person, then you will love the shelf range that has chilli jam, chutney and drinks biscuits which consist of parmesan, basil and pine nut for £2.30. I feel that the prices are very reasonable and I like the way the shop has been curated. With local cheese in the fridge, you could make up a very nice picnic and head over to Crushed and Cured or Wines By The Sea to add a bottle of something alcoholic to your hamper.
Open from 7.30am means there is always fresh baking on the counter with nice sourdough loaves to Hoxton Bakehouse cinnamon buns. I tried the Mocha Bun which is such a treat. The coffee hits your taste buds first along with the wonderful texture of the pastry and then the surprise of chocolate in the middle really brings a wow factor. I also loved the Spanish crisps on display priced at £1.80 and think they are a perfect choice to have when socialising with friends or for a Friday night nibble!
Highlights for me so far are the Utta Nutta peanut butter, the Sicilian lemons, the bakery delights on the counter and the Spanish crisps. Pop along to support your local independent and wish Tara and Martyn well. Have a try for yourself some of the excellent quality food on offer!
The fact there is some fab produce to buy that’s so fresh like the Sicilian lemons, fresh figs and edible flowers really lends itself to a recipe so I have a recipe for you here where you can purchase your ingredients from Southsea Local and then make something to wow your guests over the warmer months.
Honey Roasted Fig Tart
500g pack shortcrust pastry at room temperature, thawed if frozen or make yourself if you have time.
8 ripe figs, stalks trimmed (Southsea Local)
Finely Grated zest of one large juicy orange. (Southsea Local)
1 tbsp clear honey. (Southsea Local )
200g softened butter.
200g golden caster sugar.
200g packet of ground almonds.
2 medium egg yolks.
Edible flowers for topping of tart. (Southsea Local)
Preheat the oven to fan 180c/conventional oven 200c/gas6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a shallow loose-bottomed 25cm flan tin or dish. Make sure the pastry come above the rim as it may shrink in baking and the filling could spill. Chill for 30 mins.
Meanwhile, cut the figs in half lengthways and sit them cut side up on a roasting tray. Mix the orange juice and honey in a bowl, pour over the figs and roast for 10-12 minutes until just soft. Drain off any juice into a saucepan and reserve.
Prick the base of the chilled pastry case all over with a fork, then line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to fan 130C/conventional 150C/ gas 2. Leave the pastry case to cool slightly before filling.
Cream butter and sugar in a food processor or with an electric beater until smooth and pale or mix in a bowl by hand. Tip in the ground almonds and zest and whizz briefly to combine. Add egg yolks and 1 tbsp of the reserved fig juice and whizz again until smooth. Spread evenly over the pastry case.
Gently press the figs cut side up into the almond mixture. Bake for 11⁄4 hours or until it’s golden all over (don’t worry if the centre still seems soft – a little gooeyness is good). Leave in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove sides and transfer on its base to a wire rack to cool.
Before serving, take the tart off its base and transfer to a flat platter or board. If you have juice left from roasting the figs, bring it to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes until sticky and syrupy. Brush this over the figs and serve as soon as possible, while the syrup is still glossy on the figs (it will start to seep through into the filling if you leave it too long).
Serve with a nice ice cream or cream.
Recipe taken from BBC Good Food.