The newly opened Centenary Quay has had a host of cool independent restaurants open from the founders of super hip Hampshire coffee chain, Mettricks. The first to throw open its doors on the other side of the bridge is Vospers, a new burger joint paying homage to Southampton‘s local boat building history.
Recently I spent a lovely evening with the Southampton Bloggers sampling the new burger menu and some tasty and very glam looking cocktails. Get ready for plenty of pictures as this post is going to be full of them!I started my evening by taking a stroll around the development which has transformed Woolston’s waterfront. Having not spent much time this side of the river, it was brilliant to see the view from the new shoreline.Centenary Quay itself is a real sun trap and will be gorgeous to sit outside as we drift into late summer.The venue itself has a really lovely feel to it, the look is fairly industrial but it has lots of natural woods that soften the space. There’s also plenty of memorabilia decorating the walls to honour the old boat yard, called Vosper Thornycroft, that the site is based on. I really love this attention to detail and think it’s respectful that they are honouring such a huge part of Southampton’s history. It really makes this independent stand out from the commercial chains that have moved in on the opposite side of the water.We started our evening by making some cocktails, that are unique to Vospers. The mixologists are top notch and as a result the cocktails have a real refined vintage feel to them. They look more like something you’d find at Calooh Callay than down by Weston Shore!
Decadent golden pineapples and fancy glasses to sip your tipple from are the finishing touches you’d expect to find at somewhere like The Pig.The Vospers team had set up a small bar at the end of our table for a cocktail masterclass. We got up in pairs to learn how to make The Last Word, a Rum Swizzle and a margarita which I can’t remember the name of. Clearly I was having too much of a good time by that stage of the evening!
Here I am having a go at making The Last Word. Roger from Vospers is guiding myself and Rachel from The Illustrated Teacup through the steps. Go check out her blog that’s all about tats, cats and her beautiful bambino. Her photos are amazing and she’s absolutely stellar in real life too!
The Last Word packs a punch, once you’ve had one of those you’re definitely going to feel it! It is presented in the cutest gold edged saucer and you are going to feel so fancy sipping it on long summer evenings while the sun goes down.
Following our aperitif we tucked into burgers that were also appropriately nautically named. There’s a great selection on the menu and I’d like to try quite a few of them. This time I went for the Torpedo, a 6oz beef burger packed to the rafters with chorizo, chimichurri, manchego cheese and chipotle mayo.
The combination of flavours are well balanced and I’d certainly have this again. It was tasty, filling and for once there wasn’t a brioche bun in sight! I’m really over soggy brioche buns that fall apart when you eat them. The burgers and sides are reasonably priced so this makes it a place you can visit regularly and actually work your way through the lovely burgers on offer without breaking the bank. Next time I think I’m also going to try some of the sides like the salt and pepper squid and the mac and three cheese.
Afterwards we got to work on making the final two cocktails. The second, the rum swizzle, had to be the most popular of the evening. It took me straight back to balmy evenings in the Carribbean where these sort of rum fruit punches are king.
The margarita was the third and final installment in our cocktail experience. It was delicious, strong and rounded off the evening perfectly. I was ready to head out and party!
If you’re not into cocktails the beer and ale list is extensive. If you’re looking for recommendations here’s Vospers advice…
“We’d recommend the Pecheresse – which means peach sinner when translated into English.
It is a gorgeous young lambic that has been blended with peach juice. Which results in a sparkling golden colour with a really interesting flavour, which is both sweet yet sour. It is a drink which wants you wanting more and more!”
After such a wonderful evening, I took a walk back to where I went earlier. The sun had now set and the skyline looked spectacular. It was a brilliant end to a fantastic night.
You can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – if you live in Southampton check them out!A huge thanks to Alice Spake who heads up the Southampton Bloggers group and organised this event. She’s another with a great blog about beauty, fashion and lifestyle.
*Gifted PR experience.