Castle Road has enjoyed something of a renaissance recently, with successful street fairs and the expansion of Pie & Vinyl the road has reaffirmed itself as one of Southsea’s most treasured locations.
The street is home to a number of eateries and cafe’s and it’s food culture seems to be coming into it’s own with something for everyone. From casual coffee stops, sandwiches, pies and now the reinvention of landmark bistro Truffles. The once dark and somewhat uninviting restaurant which has inhabited the same spot for decades is now under new ownership. The transformation is a thing of chic coastal beauty.
I caught up with the owner Dayne Hobbes who immediately made us feel relaxed with a coffee and a smile. As we sat down head chef Tim Trussler appeared with a basket of freshly baked bread and we began to discuss everything from interior design to Scandinavian baking.
Tell us about your journey? How did you come to own Truffles?
Truffles really is a family business, we’re all involved and between us have around 80 years experience in the restaurant business. I only moved to Southsea a year ago but first dreamed about having a restaurant on Castle Road ten years ago when we walked through here one day. I remember walking past thinking how much I’d like to own this place. It’s purely by word of mouth I came to own the restaurant. We’ve now been open 3 weeks!
Truffles has been completely renovated, talk us through the transformation?
The whole place has been completely opened up, we have re-used some of the original furniture and the kitchen required the most work. The kitchen is open onto the restaurant and Tim can easily communicate with front of house, keep an eye on what’s going on and also chat with customers. We sanded the dark wood floors to reveal light and bright boards, the walls are painted in Farrow and Ball which was a bit of a treat. The enormous mirror is a local purchase from Victoriana on Marmion Road. Overall the place has a relaxed coastal feel to reflect the locality.
How would you describe your menu, ingredients and wine selection?
We are British food with a French twist, our ingredients are sourced locally and our menu changes to reflect the seasons. Tim our chef trained under Gary Rhodes at Michelin starred Rhodes in the Square, London. Our seafood comes from Viviers and Johnson’s and as we are surrounded by the Hampshire countryside we get beautiful fresh game. We are very passionate about English wine and recommend Nyetimber a sparkling wine that easily rivals Champagne. We can match wines to your food and I do plan to have tastings (Dayne has a diploma from the Wine and Spirit education trust).
We enjoyed lunch which costs £9 for two courses or £12 for three courses. I have already booked in a birthday lunch in January and I can honestly say the food was wonderful and great value for money.
You can find more information, contact details and menus on the Truffles website.
The Creating Balance Project exhibition’s current residency at the Pitfield Pop-Up in Winchester ends today with the exhibition receiving some really great comments and coverage on websites, etc. Below are some photos by our own Claire Sambrook from a recent visit when many of the project’s artist/designer/photographer participants went up for a look. See more of Claire’s Creating Balance Project photos over on here Flickr.
The Creating Balance Project exhibition will return home to Portsmouth on the 10th of January 2014 for an extended exhibition at Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf, with an opening party and a series of other events and activities to be announced very soon. Ourselves and Anglepoise® are all really looking forward to showing the project to everyone in Portsmouth very soon!
To find out more about the project and exhibition please visit:
Kirill Sharikov is a free lance photographer and camera restorer who lives in Southsea, we recently met up to talk about his passion for restoration which also includes bikes. Kirill is the proud owner of Lightburn Camera which sells beautifully restored cameras and you can find his own photographic work at Lightburn Photo. I strongly recommend you check out both of these, the work on the photo page is glorious!
How long have you been running Lightburn?
I only started back in May this year when I worked on my first camera, it took some research and Youtubing. I wasn’t happy with the first couple of results and ended up ripping off the leather. I bought a large bag of leather off cuts and ended up making all sorts of things with it. I bought an Olympus trip 35 for myself its a really popular camera at the moment and I re-skinned that, they are quite simple to re-skin.
Have you always had a passion for making, restoration and general tinkering?
As a child my main toy was lego and before that I had a Soviet version of Lego, lots of screws and components. Then I went to college to train to be a mechanic and then I switched to building. It teaches you to look at things, improvise and find solutions. I learnt how to weld and paint and I use that when I work on bikes.
What or who inspires you?
At the moment I really like what Fuji are doing style wise with their camera and the Olympus OM-D movement a digital series based on the old style ones. I would be able to re-skin these in the future too which would be great.
Plans for the future?
I’m planning to put tutorials and things on the Facebook page to encourage others to have a go. Obviously I will be renovating more bikes and building on my restoration skills.
You can find Lightburn Cameras Ebay store here and Lightburn on Etsy. Prices start from around an affordable £30.00
Also check out the tutorial on re-skinning a vintage camera.
In October, Southsea saw the latest addition to the local cuisine scene in the form of Sweetie Pie, a gluten-free, vegan bakery located in Southsea. Sweetie Pie specialise in baking sweet pies, cookies and slices, all of which are 100% Gluten-Free & Vegan. Their current range includes lovely Lemon Cream Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie, Merry Mince Pies, Salted Date Caramel & Pecan Slices (a raw product) and Peanut Chocolate Chunk Cookies…check the photos below to make you hungry. All orders also include free delivery in the Southsea area and all orders come gift wrapped free of charge.
Sweetie Pie primarily take private orders through their Sweetie Pie Facebook page but last week fellow local business friends Southsea Pie & Vinyl also began stocking their sweet pies as part of their own expanding menu, now offering both delicious sweet and savoury pies in store. A new range of sweet pies will be launched in the new year, including traditional favourites and refreshing new Sweet Pie flavours, all 100% Gluten-Free and Vegan.
For Strong Islanders Sweetie Pie have an exclusive 10% offer for all online orders for delivery on or before the 24th December 2013. To claim your exclusive offer simply visit their Facebook page to see the gallery of photos of their menu and also their price list or you can download their price list HERE. Pick what you would like to order and then order with Sweetie Pie through their Facebook page or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting the offer code shown below.
To keep up to date with their menu be sure to follow Sweetie Pie on Instagram too (@sweetiepiesouthsea).
The 2014 Strong Island Calendar is now in stock and available to order from our online store HERE for only £10 (+ £1.50 p&p if required) with £2 of each sale going to the Alzheimer’s Society and the Feel Yourself Campaign.
Those who are looking to pick up from Strong Island HQ (at the back of Head Hairdressers, 53 Albert Road) are able to do this from today. I will be down there myself sorting through postal orders, all of which should be out within the next 48 hours. Please check HERE for opening times.
Calendars are also now available from Southsea Gallery and in Lou Lou’s on Marmion Road.
We have been overwhelmed by the number of orders that have come in! Please don’t wait too long to place your order! At the rate they are selling we expect to sell out by Christmas.
A huge, huge thank you to everyone who submitted incredible photography for this year. We were stoked with the enthusiasm for the calendar and all the images sent in really captured some unique sights of this city throughout 2013.
You can see a selection of the images from our 2013 and 2014 Calendars in an exhibition in the Wine Vaults in the snug bar (right hand side). This event is in collaboration with Southsea Gallery.
We’re really excited to say Strong Island (Paul & Tris) will be DJing at The Belle Isle with the mighty Civilisation of the Rough crew this New Year’s Eve. Tickets are only £5 in advance from the bar at the Belle and £10 on the day plus you get a free cocktail on entry. Going to be good!