5th November 2015
The Opening of The Stable in Southampton.
Images and words by me
I had the pleasure of visiting the newest location of The Stable with my partner last night, as we attended the official opening party of the Southampton restaurant before the rest of the public were allowed in. For those of you that have not visited The Stable before, it's an up and coming family owned chain of restaurants located around the South of England, serving pizza, pies and cider. Was there ever a better combination? Each restaurant has a slightly varied menu including pizzas that are only available to specific restaurants, this is due to their ingredients being locally sourced. For example, one of the pizzas on the Southampton menu is named 'The Hampshire Hog' due to the cured ham being sourced from a butchers in New Milton, The New Forest. What I like about this is that not only are they serving you the best ingredients they can find to create fantastic quality food, but they are also putting money into local businesses as well. It's refreshing to see that even as the business grows they still stay grounded and look back to their roots and the communities that are helping them flourish. The chain also boasts an impressive list of ciders, once again serving locally made cider as well as a list of specials that change per week.
The Southampton location is a much needed addition to the city, bringing people out of the main city center towards the newer and much more modern area of the Guildhall square, currently inhabited by Turtle Bay and Sprinkles alike. The concept is a fresh new look on the traditional Italian pizza place as well and gives the cuisine a wholesome British feel, or as my boyfriend said 'It's practically a pizza pub' and I agree! The tables are set out in a communal dining style which means that you could be sat next to pretty much anyone and you are all sharing a bench, a table and some elbow space. It's far from being an awkward set up however and actually encourages conversation as we got to speak to a couple of the people around us and even shared a little bit of pizza with them. Paper menus adorn the tables as well as chalkboards lining the walls detailing what's on offer and recommendations.
To the left of the main seating area is the bar, containing neatly packed boxes of cider on the back wall and the actual word 'CIDER' hanging above in gigantic lit up letters. Hard to miss? Definitely not! The kitchen is located towards the back of the restaurant and is one of those open kitchens where you can see the chefs preparing freshly made pizza just for you! The building is tall as well which only allowed for more room to play with and the overall decor is fresh and urban.
Throughout the evening various pizzas from the menu where being served slice by slice and I was particularly impressed with King Canute's Catch which is made up of spinach and tomato as well as Mackerel and Salmon. I've tried tuna on a pizza before, but I never imagined that I would enjoy much stronger fish and the taste was delightful. The fish was perfectly seasoned and complimented by the earthy taste of spinach, I would definitely order a whole pizza! My boyfriend enjoyed the spicier offerings in the form of The Sotonian Scorcher and The Blazing Saddle as well as The Sandridge Sow (basically full English brekkie on a pizza!). Vegetarians are treated to a choice of traditional Margherita or Four Cheese as well as more gourmet pizzas in the form of The Barkham Blues (potatoes, blue cheese, onions and spinach) or The Billy the Kid (Goats cheese, caramelised onions, spinach and hazelnuts). Considering the high quality of the food on offer the prices are very agreeable with a Margherita coming in at £8.50 and the most expensive pizza - The Longhorn Jim - just £13.50 and there isn't much room for sides!
There are plenty of options for dessert as well, however my favourite has to be the Nutella Pizza! Yes, you heard right! Nutella pizza. It combines a soft pizza base with a drizzling of Nutella, globs of Mascarpone and a dusting of sweet icing sugar. IT's not all that sickly either and each piece melts in your mouth. If there was one thing that I would highly recommend it is this! The restaurant on a whole is pretty amazing in my opinion and my boyfriend and I are already planning plenty of date nights there to try what we can on the menu. I think that it will prove to be a thriving hotspot for lunches with friends, birthday meals and an evening catch up of food and plenty to drink! If you are looking for your next favourite restaurant then The Stable could definitely be for you!