For the bank holiday weekend I was on the South coast,
getting rid of dropping off the girls at one of their (three sets of) grandparents’ for the half term week. Despite the bank holiday weather, we took a trip to Southsea in Portsmouth, the draw being an outwardly unassuming tea shop next to the pitch and putt golf course called the Tenth Hole.
I should add at this point that a few days before our visit, my father called me up specifically to talk to me about what food we would have over the weekend; a conversation I found perfectly normal until a friend asked me what I’d be doing over the weekend. My response: I couldn’t tell you but I know what I’m having to eat. What? Don’t tell me you don’t plan your weekends like that?
Our journey to the Tenth Hole involved rather a lot of walking, a ferry ride across the harbour AND a taxi ride, all of which took about an hour, so as you might appreciate I was counting on this place to be pretty damn good.
First impressions are less than encouraging; from the outside it looks like a run-down sports club bar. But as soon as you walk in the door, appearances become irrelevant and you realise exactly why you’ve gone to such lengths to get there.
Displayed three shelves high and several layers deep in two glass-fronted cabinets are the most amazing concoctions of cakes and cheesecakes that I have ever seen in my entire life. Apple and blackcurrant cake, lemon drizzle cake, lemon and blueberry cake, strawberry cheesecake, victoria sponge cake, snickers cake, oreo and white chocolate cheesecake, mint aero cheesecake, chocolate lumpy bumpy, toffee lumpy bumpy, hunky chunky pie, mars bar cheesecake and many more that I can’t recall now.
Let me just say, cakes and cheesecakes made out of chocolate bars? GENIUS.
They also do a rather good line in breakfast and lunches; doorstep sandwiches, jacket potatoes and tasty salads as well as more substantial dishes all being on the menu.
But back to the CAKES. I can only review four as that’s the number we ordered but I tasted every one in the interests of accurate journalism. I know. I suffer for my art. First up is the apple and blackcurrant cake; a wonderfully spicy fruit cake that tasted of autumn to me. I’m not overly keen on cooked apple so it wouldn’t have been my choice, but it was delicious and my father managed to put away what looked like a double portion.
Alice had the toffee lumpy bumpy, which I struggle to describe. A layer of sponge, topped with two layers of creamy toffee flavoured substances, the second being like a cross between cheesecake and meringue, all covered in a toffee sauce with things mixed into it. She only managed half as it was very rich, and neither she or I particularly like creamy things but it did taste fantastic.
My wicked stepmother had the hunky chunky pie, a pastry case with a chocolatey filling covered with cut up chocolate bars and other goodies mixed into chocolate sauce. This was my favourite of the four desserts, being the chocolate freak that I am. I went for the mint aero cheesecake, which is pretty much as described; a deep cheesecake made with mint aero (you can see flecks of it in the filling), topped with mint aero segments. Although I enjoyed it, no one else was very keen, so I’d imagine it’s only for die-hard mint aero fans.
After the cakes, we all felt in need of a walk, so we headed down to the beach and walked along it to the pier, hampered only by the strong wind blowing right in our faces and the girls stopping every few seconds to pick up shells. As it was so windy we then made our way inland to catch a bus and the ferry, followed by yet more walking to get back to the house.
There were so many other confections that I wanted to try at the Tenth Hole, I can see this becoming a regular pilgrimage. And yes, this was supposed to be a more general post about my weekend but it got hijacked by food, ok?!? Sometimes I think I’m turning into my husband.