Carol Godsmark reviews Churchill’s @25 in Southsea

Churchills bar in Marmion Road, Southsea.
Churchills bar in Marmion Road, Southsea.

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Marmion Road is a popular shopping venue for those seeking independent businesses and cafés.

Reopened late last year under new management, Churchills’ spick and span space is remarkably friendly, with staff seemingly not able to do enough for their guests.

The all-day menu offers the tried and tested with nothing to startle the tastebuds.

Certainly, prices are lowish. Porridge with brown sugar and a choice of honey, flaked almonds and other toppings can be had for £2.25 (30 p per topping). The breakfast and large breakfast, including bubble and squeak, black pudding, mushrooms and the other usual suspects, come in at £4.50–£5.95. There’s a vegan option too, plus Eggs Benedict, muffins, eggy bread and bacon, omelettes, soups and sandwiches (£2.50 – £4.95).

Turn the laminated menu over to find more familiar dishes – jackets and salads. Or go for the specials board with fish and chips or a chicken and leek pie. There’s a children’s menu too – fish fingers and chicken nuggets mostly.

I chose the Eggs Benedict – a toasted muffin with smoked salmon or bacon topped with two poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce (£4.90) and a latte which came with a terrific homemade shortbread biscuit.

The muffin was under-toasted, the bacon oddly overly fried on one half of it but okay on the other. The eggs could have been runnier and the Hollandaise didn’t taste homemade.

All in all, not a sparkling version of this much-loved dish. But, with a few tweaks, it could be a major draw.

As for the latte, it just didn’t have enough oomph.

If you’re tempted by desserts, you might find a blueberry and raspberry elderflower jelly; pineapple fritters and chocolate bread and butter pudding (from £2.75).

There are cakes on the counter, including a pleasant coffee and walnut cake.

Churchills already hits the spot with many but, with a little more flair and a stronger extractor fan to reduce the fat smells, it could challenge others on Southsea’s favourite shopping street. My bill came to £9, not including a tip.

Churchill’s @25, 25 Marmion Road, Southsea PO5 2AT (023) 9273 8525

Open 9am – 5pm.

Disabled access: Fine.

How to get there: Marmion Road is between Grove Road North and Victoria Road South. The café is on the left going east. On-street parking is available.

Ratings (maximum *****)

Food ***

Service ****

Atmosphere ****