Hidden among Southsea’s bustling one way streets and student housing lies a small ‘record’ café aptly named Pie & Vinyl after the two things it sells. The café combines one of Britain’s very own comfort foods; pies with vintage style music; vinyl to create a unique experience that fits perfectly into Southsea’s historically founded location.
With an assortment of locally sourced drinks and food, Pie & Vinyl sells its pies individually or as part of a ‘meal deal’ which consists of the pie you have chosen with creamy mash, gravy and minty mushy peas which will turn any mushy peas despiser into a regular (myself included). A popular favourite among the Portsmouth University students is the Moo & Blue; a pie filled with British beef steak, red wine, gravy and aged stilton which makes my mouth salivate just writing about it. Unfortunately, I cannot claim what the pie tastes like as they have run out of stock by the time I’ve visited proving they must be as delectable as I imagine. However, vegans and vegetarians rejoice! Pie & Vinyl have not forsaken you! There are a number of options available to you as well which are lovingly made as much as any other pie name on offer with an interesting such as the Heidi; a pie comprised of goat’s cheese, sweet potato, spinach, red onion and roasted garlic. You will not feel as if they have made these pies simply to avoid criticism but rather they have created them to fully satisfy their vegan and vegetarian customers. However, I would suggest that to avoid missing out on your favourite pies, it is best to visit the record café outside university term times. Moreover, the café’s cosy interior comes with a price, although it creates a lovely atmosphere as if in a second home, it does limit the number of tables they can feed.
With this in mind I can begin to hear the odd pessimistic reader complain that pie shops seem a little old fashioned for our economy nowadays. With only 60,000 pubs still open in the UK today and four on average closing each day what chance does a humble pie shop have when pubs do similar dishes plus more. Well let me tell you: Pie and Vinyl prides itself on its originality and its kooky (if not obscure) dishes such as the seaside inspired Fish and Chips Pie which, I have on great authority from my partner, is not at all a culinary monstrosity as it sounds. Its oddness doesn’t stop there either, Pie and Vinyl takes the pie theme to the extreme when thinking pudding as well, Pie & Vinyl sells (yes you’ve guessed it) sweet pies as well.
Enough about food however, I’ve only discussed half of what makes up Pie & Vinyl. The music shop may not have the largest collection of music but they try to cater to most genres of music and will order any you ask for with only one exception, they only sell vinyl (as the name suggests). It is rare to find a place where there is the mix of old records with the newly released vinyl records which major chain stores such as HMV have only recently decided to sell. However, what makes the store what it is today is in fact the live music events that Pie & Vinyl plan on occasion, ranging from artists such as Frank Turner and Band of Skulls.
If you are looking for somewhere in Portsmouth that is a little out there then Pie & Vinyl’s Heston Blumenthal-like dishes are for you. It is an odd mix that works by exemplifying the already apparent alternative style seen throughout Southsea as well as allows those seated and waiting in the café area to enjoy some retail therapy by buying an album or two or if you are lucky a live performance from a band you might just find you love.
For a full menu of this establishment please visit the their menu