The allusive cafe post (part one)
The Marwood (52 Ship Street)
Always a favourite to go and hide away in, The Marwood is tucked away on Ship Street so often feels like a little secret I've stumbled upon. The decor inside is enough to make you want to lose yourself in here for hours and when I took my friend Biba we managed to while away 3 hours without even realising! Although small, the whole place is filled with little wonders from toy battleships hanging from the ceiling to paintings that have been cleverly changed, my favourite being a landscape that has had spaceships added in. Usually packed with people, you are bound to find a lively atmosphere here.
Although not specifically focused on food, the cafe does have a menu which, although not the widest one you will ever find, manages to cater to the tastebuds. Everything comes to a high standard and although I only ordered poached eggs on toast the bread was perfectly selected. A good one to visit in the morning! There are plenty of more adventurous options on the menu too, with promises of a veggie hangover breakfast. Biba opted for the homemade soup of the day which was spicy lentil. Although the spiciness was definitely not in short supply and a bit too much for me to handle it was absolutely delicious!
This place seems to be best for morning eating or sitting in with a cup of tea with some friends. Plus there is a monthly stitch n' bitch held which I can't wait to check out!
Delice Bistro (40 Kensington Gardens)
A little bit more upmarket, you can expect to pay slightly more for a meal here (think more around the 10 pound mark) but with a range of lunch and dinner options this place really is a foody one. There isn't a great vegetarian range but there are a few options. I've sampled the eggs benedict and vegetarian breakfast and let me tell you, go for the breakfast every time! You get a good amount of food with fried eggs, spinach, beans, a slow roasted tomato, hash brown (always important and this one was damn good!), mushrooms, toast and a veggie sausage. I still could have eaten more but maybe that's just me being a bottomless pit. It is the veggie sausage that got me with this - I may be a newbie to the veggie world but it is the best one I have ever come across! Linda McCartney was my upstanding winner in that department but she's been forced to move over.
The downstairs here is verging on formal and that makes sense as the bistro is also open as a restaurant in the evening but with big windows it is nicely open. The tables outside, situated in the heart of the North Laines, provide the perfect opportunity for people watching. The upstairs however is the real treat - if you can manage to nab a seat up here then it's a much more relaxed vibe and even a couple of sofas for a lucky group! They also make a mean chai latte so try and grab that sofa and spend an afternoon having an overdose of hot drinks.
Come back tomorrow for part two and three more cafes!