A recent addition to the city of Southampton is the new multi-million pound development West Quay Watermark. After a busy day of shopping, this should definitely be on your list if you’re looking for a bite to eat. It has plenty of choice and it’s handily located right next door to the main West Quay shopping complex. Whether you’re after burgers, noodles, Greek food, Brazilian or Thai, this place has you covered.
Enjoy a cheeky cocktail (or three)
Another relatively recent development to the city centre is the arts complex, north of the high street. You’ll notice there’s been plenty of regeneration in and around the city and it’s made an amazing difference – there’s almost nothing Southampton is lacking in now! Whether you’re after a few cocktails in the evening while celebrating with friends, or just fancy sipping on hot chocolate with a slice of cake, head to Guildhall Square. Turtle Bay, Neighbourhood and Tapas Barcelona are all great choices for evening drinks, with excellent atmosphere and a walk away from the buzzing nightlife around Bedford Place.
For a more laid back affair of coffees and cakes, there are a few excellent independent cafes here – The Artisan, Mettricks ore The Art House. The latter is a great community-run cafe that offers organic and vegetarian food, as well as hosting small art exhibitions and performance poetry.
See something on stage
While in Southampton you simply must find the time to catch a show. The Mayflower is a wonderful Grade II listed theatre a short walk from the city centre. Featuring UK tours of West End musicals such as Wicked, The Lion King and Billy Elliott, as well as comedy, drama and ballet, The Mayflower has a wide choice. Upcoming shows include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Jimmy Carr, Jane Eyre and Ricky Gervais – it’s a jam-packed schedule and you’ll be sure to find something you’ll enjoy.
If you’re visiting Southampton, I highly recommend making the most of the city parks. There’s a lot of green space and many of the parks are adjacent to the main shopping areas. East Park, Watts Park and Palmerston Park are all great places for a cosy picnic. There’s also the poignant Cenotaph War memorial in Watts Park, and though the parks do get busy in the summer, there’s certainly enough space to find your own quiet spot. If you’re after an even bigger space to let off some steam, Southampton Common is a large open space north of the city centre. Head here if you’re after woodland, nature trails and wildlife spotting.