The one thing my home town does impeccably well is breakfast. There are so many unusual, quirky cafe’s around Southsea that I find it increasingly difficult to pick which one I want to try next.
As a self-proclaimed brunch fiend – who isn’t? – a friend of mine recommended Jam and Bowler – a cosy little place hidden between Albert Road and Elm Grove.
So, on a seemingly overcast Sunday afternoon I took their advice and decided to give the cafe a visit – convincing Jess that brunch really was the only logical thing to be doing on a cloudy Sunday afternoon.
We arrived just in time. The café closed at 3pm, and we walked through the doors just after 2. It was completely empty, but the staff welcomed us eagerly.
The building itself was light and airy, with tall white walls and big clear windows, giving off a slight vintage vibe with paisley accented walls, quirky trinkets, mismatched furniture, and exposed copper pipes – which amusingly seemed to lead nowhere in particular.
Unusual art covered the walls, including a painting by local artist My Dog Sighs. My favourite piece however was the periodic table of Portsmouth Slang, which was a fun addition to the already amusing café.
Appealing to my geeky side, there was one of my favourite Lewis Carroll quotes scrawled on the wall, and I loved the pair of superhero pictures hung up in the bathroom – go check them out.
We sat at a huge table right in the centre of the venue, and picked up our menus which were packed full of breakfast goodies served all day – lots of vegetarian options too.
I would have happily ordered so many things off the menu, but as a bit of a cheese addict, I settled on the Mac and Cheese breakfast burger – minus the bacon. Jess ordered the full breakfast, whilst we both opted for a pot of tea each.
The food came quickly on mismatched crockery, and was undeniably delicious. My burger was made up of a brioche bun, filled with a fried egg and a slab of mac and cheese. One of the buns was smeared with even more cheese. It was basically my version of heaven.
Jess lucked in too. He got a plate full of bacon, herby sausages, scrambled eggs, beans, tomatoes, and fresh bread with butter. I quickly stole his eggs, which were that perfect yellow you only get from Free Range hens.
Jam and Bowler offered up one of the most varied breakfast menus I’ve seen, at really reasonable prices, in an interesting environment. It was everything I look for in a café, and I can definitely see myself going again to try the rest of the menu. I already have my eye on the avocado.
Check out their Instagram page if you’re planning on visiting. They’re always adding new things to their menu, and occasionally have offers on there too.