One of my favourite things about Summer is long, warm evenings enjoying a good meal – and that’s made even better with a view! We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants with a view on the South coast, and Bistro 8 on the River Hamble near Southampton has fast become one of my favourite spots.
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You’ll find Bistro 8 at Universal Marina, tucked away down a narrow lane and with views over the marina and the river. Bistro 8 is very popular with locals, and for good reason! The outside seating area is spacious and slightly shady for hotter days, and inside the restaurant itself is coastal, neutral decor and space for large parties of guests.
We visited on a sunny summer evening for an al fresco dinner overlooking the water. We chose the table furthest away from other people (standard behaviour, if you know me!) and settled down with an iced glass of Pimms.
The menu has plenty of choice, whether you’re in the mood for fish, pizza or a burger, and Bistro 8 also cater for gluten-free diets. To start, we chose the fish board to share – washed down with plenty of Pimms.
Big, juicy prawns, warm garlicky clams, fresh smoked trout and chunks of sourdough bread. This fish board alone is enough to make me want to head back immediately! The smoked trout was the star of the show for me – not too fishy, and different to any other smoked fish I’ve tried.
For my main I opted for the whole plaice, served up with buttered new potatoes and asparagus. In a word, delicious! Whenever there is seafood on the menu, I always choose it – and this plaice did not disappoint. Beautifully cooked, flaky fish and soft potatoes – simple and truly tasty.
Tom is a huge fan of crispy duck, so when he spotted a crispy duck pizza on the menu he simply couldn’t resist. A pizza base smothered in hoisin sauce, topped with crispy duck and spring onions – an excellent combination, which disappeared so quickly I didn’t get a chance to have a taste!
And a slice of lemon meringue pie to finish the meal off – mine (and mum’s!) favourite dessert, and so good when paired with tart raspberry sorbet.
Bistro 8 really is a hidden gem on the banks of the busy River Hamble. A short drive from Southampton, with plenty of parking and a fantastic view – what’s not to love?
Check out their website here and let me know if you visit!
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