Passion, authenticity and quality: three things we at Farer believe in strongly, and three things present in spades at Pie & Vinyl, the UK's only 'record cafe'. Based in increasingly-bohemian Southsea, a part of Portsmouth once a little run down but now full of like-minded independent businesses, the idea of Pie & Vinyl is simple.
We hot-footed it down to the south coast, the Frobisher appropriately placed on our wrist for the journey towards the sea, to find out more. Two great passions of a large portion of the British public are combined in beautiful fashion at Pie & Vinyl: music and pies; comforting sounds and comfort food, in other words.
As the name suggests, the music comes in its original and arguably best format, vinyl. New music and old lines the walls of this artfully ramshackle cafe, the artwork brought to the fore by the sheer size of the sleeves. Vinyl has enjoyed a real renaissance recently, with sales up across the world, even in the face of quicker means of consuming music.
Music-lovers, so the owners of Pie & Vinyl are hoping at least, still appreciate the timeless quality and sense of craftsmanship that music on vinyl offers. We certainly do. We leave with a couple of albums and some show posters for the journey home. We left, too, with full and satisfied stomachs.
The pies are rich and warm and stuffed with inventive fillings; the cafe itself is welcoming and pleasingly hand-assembled, and the pies follow the same template. Far from being pretentious or stuffy, Pie & Vinyl has all the ambience of a good friend's front room. If we lived a little nearer, it might quickly become a home from home.
In the evening, musicians regularly come through to play intimate shows in the cafe too. The clientele is eclectic - from Southsea's knowingly bespectacled designer types, to families who probably don't know too much about the new Mogwai record, but enjoy the grub all the same.
Full to bursting, we took ourselves for a quick walk along Southsea seafront, in a vain attempt to burn through a few of the delicious calories we'd just piled on. We watched as the Solent, on a typically brisk and windy day, rolled and sighed before us. We feel a little like the man whose deeds inspired the name of the watch we're wearing.
True, he travelled a mile or two further than the south coast, but our trip to the new frontier of Pie & Vinyl has seen us, like Frobisher, discover something remarkable, and seen us heading for home laden with treasures. If you like music or pie - and let's face it, who doesn't enjoy at least one of those things - Pie & Vinyl is a must.