Saturday, 24 January 2015

REVIEW: Ebb & Flow, Southampton

Last weekend I met a friend for a long-awaited catch up over good food and drink. Much to my delight, she suggested we head to a new restaurant in the centre of Southampton: Ebb & Flow.

I've often found that the city centre is in need of more unusual coffee stops and cafes - there are a few, but it's always good to have a few more places to stop by for a light bite and tasty coffee between grabbing a bargain at your favourite shops. When I heard that somewhere new had opened up, I knew I had to try it!

As soon as I stepped through the door, I immediately fell in love with the place. Inside, the cafe bar is just gorgeous - quirky decor, with oversized floral lampshades, a beautiful bar with copper taps, so many different chairs and tables...I could go on. It's pretty spacious too and has plenty of seating. At 1pm on a Saturday it was busy, of course, but I settled on a little table for two near the back. Despite being fairly open plan, it still felt cosy, welcoming and just so friendly.

The menu is a long list of delicious-sounding all-day brunch options, flavoursome flatbreads and tasty main meals, so I had a tough time choosing! It's a casual 'order-at-the-bar' service, which reaffirms Ebb & Flow's laid-back, friendly nature. 

After a lot of dithering and deciding (the sign of a great menu!) I finally settled for their Bubble and Squeak, which was served with a poached egg, hollandaise sauce and pancetta, accompanied by a Wild Berry juice.

Upon ordering we were told that it would be a 40 minute (or so) wait. This was fine with us, since it was peak time on Saturday and the place was packed, and it gave us plenty of time to catch up over our delicious juices! I don't mind a slight delay with food when it's fresh, tasty and the restaurant is cute!

Oh...let me tell you about those juices! They were served, to my delight, in a large jam jar with ice in, and a cute glass, and were so, so fresh. It was sweet, but naturally so, and incredibly refreshing. I loved the quirky presentation (perfect Instagram material, of course!) though there was a lot of ice in there, which watered it down a bit if you left it for too long. I will definitely head back for one in the summer months to cool and refresh myself after work!

My meal arrived hot and very well presented on a beautiful plate - I swear this place will be my interior inspiration! I always like to be polite, and wait for my company to receive their meal too, so that we can eat together. There was quite a long wait between both of our meals being brought out however, and while I really appreciate food being brought out hot and fresh as it comes, it would have been nice not to have waited so long to eat together. I didn't want to eat my whole meal before my friend had even started hers!

Thankfully though, her choice arrived and we both tucked in with relish. My meal was delicious and it was so nice to have something a little different! My poached egg, unfortunately, wasn't runny as advertised on the menu, but it was still really tasty and I'd definitely order it again. I heard many great things about the open omelette too (mostly in the form of yummy noises from my friend!). 

Everyone around us seemed to be enjoying themselves too, and all of the food looked and smelled amazing! I wish I could have tried more from the menu but, alas, we didn't have the time. I suppose I'll just have to return to try more! I have my eye on the flatbreads next...

I left Ebb & Flow with a huge grin on my face - how better to spend a Saturday afternoon than in a gorgeous new cafe bar with great food, very friendly staff, and lovely company? Its the perfect place for a mid-shopping catch-up  with friends and, I imagine, post-work cocktails.

I'll be honest - I didn't care about the longer waiting time - it was a busy Saturday, and it meant the the food was fresh to order. It was a shame it took a while for us both to get our meals, but the staff were great about it,  food was really worth it, and there's a pretty relaxed atmosphere, so it didn't bother me for too long.

I'll definitely be back for more food and to try their sweet treats - they even do afternoon tea too, which I am very keen to try. I'm so pleased to see another unique eatery pop up in the city. Welcome, Ebb & Flow - you'll be seeing much more of me this year!

Ebb & Flow can be found on Above Bar street, near other restaurants and not too far from all of the shops, including West Quay.

If you want to read another (rather fab) review, Tammi of Tammingtons got there before me (and she eats Gluten Free, so perfect for other GF foodies!)

There's nothing like a pretty, friendly and tasty cafe catch-up to start the weekend off well. Let me know if you've been and what you think in the comments!


  1. Aw thank you for the link through lovely!

    That place is fantastic, and I totally agree that the city centre needed a new quirky place for food and drinks. The decor is amazing and the staff are great and oh the food! That bubble and squeak looks delicious.

    I also found out that they do 2-4-1 cocktails every night from 5 and you can book a table even in a Saturday.

    Definitely think this place will be a frequent haunt over the summer.


    1. No problem! Loved your review. I loved it there and will definitely return for those cocktails! Maybe I will see you there - I can't wait for a cooling fresh juice in the summer sun! x

  2. This looks lovely :) My Dad was born and grew up in Southampton so I still have a lot of family there. We plan to visit some day (long way Newcastle to Southampton but luckily there's flights!) so will make a note of this!

    The problem with poached egg is you have to stick your fork in it the moment you get it. Otherwise it carries on cooking, it probably went hard while you were waiting for your friends food :(

    Chloe x

    1. If you ever come down you'll have to let me know what you get up to! There are a lot of hidden gems and afternoon tea haunts for you to try! And as for the egg yolk tip - of course! I hadn't thought of that! It's probably my fault. I won't be waiting next time ;) x

  3. Replies
    1. If you're ever in Southampton you must check it out! I see you're from Kent - that's my home county :) x

  4. This sounds amazing, I definitely need to go here! The decor looks so cute too.

    Beauty and Lifestyle Blog


    1. It's really cute and friendly. I hope it's there to stay! x