exploring Bournemouth: Velo Domestique

Did you know that me and my friends made a map of Bournemouth?

Of course you did. The Bournemouth Scene is pretty much all I talk about.

The Bournemouth Scene is one of my favourite things to do with my not-9-to-5-ing time. It means I get to explore the town that I live in and love.

We’re making an updated map (in APP form) which means I’m in full on RESEARCH mode.

On Monday I jumped on the bus and headed over to Southbourne to explore.

Just my luck I hopped onto The Gallery Bus.


Some of the Yellow buses in town are kitted out with sketches from local artists. If you’re fortunate enough to be on a fairly empty bus you can spend a bit of time (if it’s a long journey) moving seats to see as many of the sketches as you can.

Once in Southbourne I prepared myself to chat The Bournemouth Scene chat with the businesses there (so many hidden gems)… It turns out Monday is when most of Southbourne shuts! I don’t think it’s every Monday… just the one I decided to make a special effort to visit Southbourne on. Typical.

All was not lost. I had some reading I needed to do (which I had packed for a time such as this) so I settled myself down in Southbourne’s best bike-shop-come-cafe, Velo Domestique, and got on with that instead.


It definitely helps to have other work with you when what you planned to do doesn’t work out. It could have been a bit of a waste of a journey but it instead turned into a pleasantly productive afternoon!

It was an afternoon made even more pleasant by the fact that Robin (Velo’s in-house culinary genius) kept bringing me plates of delicious food.

Like this egg, salsa and avo delight:


And this grilled apricot, mascarpone and brioche slice of HEAVEN:dessert-bournemouth

And omg this hot chocolate:creamy-hot-chocolate

Just look at it.

You’ll be pleased to know all food is locally sourced so the calories don’t count. #bonus

Velo is a pretty special spot. They were open last year in a different venue as a 3 month pop up shop and things went so well that Dan (the brains behind Velo) now has a permanent space.

Here are some reasons you should go there:

  • You saw the pictures of the food right? Wow.
  • They know A LOT about bikes and have a rather extensive Bike Repair Menu.
  • You can enjoy some coffee while you wait for your bike to be serviced (and they do a really good job at servicing – I got my bike sorted with them last year).
  • They love freelancers and to prove it they have an £8 day rate for free wifi and unlimited drinks.
  • They host all sorts of events including: night rides, bike meet ups, hip hop socials, yoga, supper clubs and they’ve probably got a few more things up their sleeves!
  • Dan and Robin are bloody lovely hosts.


So next time you’re in Southbourne, make a point of going and saying hello.

They’re at:

176 – 180 Seaborne Road. BH5 2JB.

They’re open Monday – Saturday 8am – 6pm | Sunday 9am – 3pm | Closed Tuesday.

And yes, they’re going to be on the Bournemouth Scene Map!

It’s a no brainer really!



hunting for hidden gems

HeaderI like the way I’m spending my time.

I’m writing this particular paragraph from The Larder House in Southbourne. I’ve just spent the last 4 hours walking through Boscombe, Pokesdown and Southbourne meeting owners of fun quirky local businesses and having chats about local projects about putting their businesses on the map (literally…) . It’s thirsty work, so sitting The Larder House (dangerously close to their kitchen serving hatch, wow what an incredible smell!) with a coffee is a bit of a treat.

When I quit my full time job back in July I wanted to free my time so I was more available to get involved with projects that inspire me and do something impacting in Bournemouth. Over the past 3 months I’ve been muddling my way through what that looks like. Today I’m taking the time to recognise that at the moment, I’m doing exactly that and I’m loving it.

I’m helping some good, get-up-and-go friends of mine produce an Alternative Map of Bournemouth, where you can find quirky cafés, vintage shops, interior boutiques, hidden gems and general fun hot spots. There’s so much going on in Bournemouth but unless you already know about it there isn’t really a lot of signposting you to where it all is. So that’s what we’re trying to do! So far that’s involved going round Bournemouth and talking with over 150 businesses (you can see why I needed The Larder House coffee break!) that are each unique in their own quirky way. There are loads that I could mention, when you start looking for them you spot hidden gems everywhere, but here are a few that I’ve visited that made me feel like an excited child!

South Coast Roast (Bournemouth Town Centre) – Ok so this is a bit of a cheeky mention because I haven’t actually visited it through working on the Map but instead it’s my local cafe, just around the corner from my house. Handy! They do awesome coffee and really tasty stuff on toast, and are a big bunch of friendly flirts. So all that thrown into a rather sexy industrial/mountain cabin looking space, you can’t help but feel welcomed and a little bit cool. Basically I’m a massive fan.

Mr Barbers (Southbourne) – This is one for the boys. This is a barbershop that leapt straight out of the 1920’s. Mr Barber himself has filled the space with high backed leather seats, bowler hats, stuffed animals, old movie posters and plenty of old smoking pipes. He is also turning his barbershop cellar into a cinema and whiskey lounge… So this is no ordinary barbershop!

The Attic (Pokesdown) – This is one of the many vintage shops down Pokesdown way. I could have named a lot of them here but I went with this one because it’s a little place that has a tardis feel. It’s much bigger on the inside!  It’s run as a Co-op between 4 different sellers and they are all very friendly and have a big heart for Pokesdown and it’s Golden Mile.

Totoro (Winton) – I love the anime film Totoro so I think I have a little bit of a bias towards this restaurant. I haven’t actually eaten in there yet but I will make a point of going there very very soon. Any excuse to eat Japanese food! It’s quite little and has a woodlandy feel to it, it’s a little bit like jumping straight into the film (lovely!) and I’m assured the food is excellent!

There we are, I’m feeling pretty chuffed with this little town I call home! If all goes to plan (which it looks like it is at the moment!) the Map will be available from mid December… So keep an eye out for it!

Do you know any hidden gems in Bournemouth that make your heart feel warm that we should check out?