I live in Portsmouth for a while, well Southsea to be exact and I often wanted to find somewhere chilled and casual to spend an afternoon with friends. So I was really interested to hear about the Belle Isle from friends, so when the opportunity came for a visit what better excuse to pop in for lunch and perhaps a cheeky jug of Pimms?
Welcome to The Belle Isle, a relaxed cafe/bar/restaurant full of fresh produce and fresh ideas! Open day and night, seven days a week. Pop in for a leisurely coffee or full dining experience. Soak up the atmosphere of a locally run bistro, offering freebies, loyalty schemes and discounts all year.
I laugh as my friend calls it a place for trendy hipsters, a large contrast to the unknown venue that was there before its changeover, however I cant deny that it certainly has charm.
My first impressions of the place were good, it is a nice airy feel to it with lots of natural light coming in through the wall to ceiling glass front panels. The attention to detail of all the branding was impressive and definitely helped give the place a laid-back retro casual feel.
The menu itself I would probably describe the menu as pre-dominantly Mexican but with a selection of various other dishes from around the globe and a couple of fresh seafood dishes. The prices were more than reasonable and the portion sizes generous. (Never go for the large plate of nachos unless you are feeding a family of 4!) A great place for a quick catch up lunch with a friend or perhaps a more casual first date perhaps. They do serve drinks and cocktails as well as although they aren’t of any high standard I an image how delightful a jug of a nice summer cocktail would go down perhaps after work during the summer considering you are just a small walk from the seafront and Southsea common.
If you looking for kooky charm, good hearty quality food without the formal dining experience this is a lovely casual place to go and would certainly be more preferable than the large chain’s of restaurants at the nearby Gunwharf.