The Boulangerie Victor Hugo is located at 50, High Street, Southampton, just a short distance away from the centre and well worth the walk. It is part of a group. However the other three locations are on Guernsey, so are a bit of a trek.
It is what the name implies: a French style boulangerie, but with an excellent café. The choice is very French: petit dejeuner, salads, pastries. The coffee is good, though I like a huge mug or cup. We have only tried the galettes, which are yummy: savoyarde (with potato, bacon, cheese etc.) and complèt (ham, cheese, etc.) We liked the galettes so much the first time we visited that we had exactly the same the second time. The pastries are great, too. Daughter number 3 says the pains au chocolat are lovely. Sorry, we haven’t tried the bakery side of things, but the bread looks fine.
The atmosphere is lovely: it’s large, roomy, with a galleried upper section, a nice mixture of furniture and original paintings around the place. It’s the sort of building that has you speculating as to what its original use was. The staff we have encountered seem to be largely French.
There is a piano and a bar for evenings; they put on live music. One day, when we are at last independent of children, we will be able to sample such things.
This is a very welcome alternative to the mind-numbing chains in Southampton and on every high street. Thanks to daughter number 1 for suggesting it.
(I cannot find a copyright free picture of this café and have instead posted a flyer. By the way, can anybody tell me a short way to do a grave accent like this: è? I can only do it by copying and pasting.)