Wednesday, last day of February…
After an interesting but challenging, busy day running around for most of it, I could not wait for my dinner and theatre evening.
I’ve been daydreaming for that first sip of wine for days… I’ve been looking forward to seeing Miss Saigon since we booked our tickets a month ago… I’ve been drooling thinking of the Ravioli from the first moment I saw that Insta Story weeks ago…
It’s all about the little things, I lost count how many times I’ve been told by friends, colleagues, even people I recently met that they love how I enjoy life and make the most of it. It’s true. And I looked forward to this evening more than words can describe.
First stop Soleto, a little Italian just opposite the Mayflower. I’ve never heard of this restaurant until a couple of weeks ago. During one of my long sessions on Instagram exploring, I came across this snap on the Southampton location Insta story of the most gorgeous looking ravioli I’ve ever seen. That’s one of the ways I discover all the little gems I often blog about. I googled the place, as one does and it had great reviews on TripAdvisor.
The gang trusts my instinct when it comes to food and they were all up for trying Soleto before the theatre. I’ve made a reservation a couple of days ago and the lovely manager on the phone after hearing my name asked where I was from as my name sounded Greek. I told her I was Greek Cypriot and she had a giggle before telling me that her husband, George/Yiorgos was Greek and he is the cook, he would be the one preparing our meals. It made my day. It reminded me of my dad, cooking delicious fish every night… I almost knew the food would be amazing.
And it was one of the best three course meals I had in a while. Everyone else agreed.
For a starter we shared the Baked Camembert with Garlic and Rosemary which came with Toasted Ciabatta and Chilli and Onion Chutney. Heavenly runny Camembert, with just the right amount of garlic and herbs, warm, crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, homemade ciabatta and delicious, spicy chutney. We loved it so much we ordered a second.
I usually struggle to choose a main, but this time I knew from the moment I’ve seen it on that story that I had to try the Wild Mushroom Ravioli. Oh my lord. Perfectly cooked ravioli beautifully laid in a creamy Leek and Pine nut Sauce, with of course grated Parmesan on top.
I could not decide what to have for pudding, I love a chocolate tart but the lovely manager recommended the Creme Brulee. It was the perfect pudding to finish off this incredible meal. Light and fluffy, not overly sweet.
All the dishes were beautifully presented which makes a difference. If it looks good, it rarely doesn’t taste good!
I’m not a big wine drinker but Dave’s recommendation of red hit the spot. Light, smokey, smooth, it was the perfect choice for our meal, especially on a bitterly cold, winter night.
And for all of that we only paid £35 each, tips included! I’d definitely pay more.
After dinner, warmed up, happy with full belly, we headed to the theatre to see Miss Saigon.
I do not want to reveal much in case you are about to go and see it but it was hands down one of the best shows I’ve seen at the Mayflower.
Incredible props and sets and beautiful, colourful, authentic costumes, for a moment you forget you are in Southampton and you are transferred to 1970’s Vietnam.
The music was amazing, well done to the brilliant orchestra and the maestro co-ordinating the musicians and the outstanding cast singing.
The whole cast was stunning, especially Kim and the Engineer, but everyone was incredible.
I cried in the end not just because of the tragic ending (as one would expect of an Opera adaptation) but because of the beauty of it all, the set, the music, the acting.
Some of my friends and colleagues I’ve talked to afterwards didn’t think it was that brilliant, as they compared it to the London production they’ve seen years ago but as a first-timer I absolutely loved it.
Needless to say I’d recommend it, it’s worth every single penny. And if you decide to go, pop to Soleto for dinner first. I’m going back at the first opportunity to taste more of their dishes.
Delicious food, great company and an amazing show, definitely a night to remember.
Thank you to Solent Staff Scene for the tickets and to the Mayflower for bringing such a great production to Southampton.