Frequently asked questions

What is The Art House all about then?

We are a not-for-profit, Community Interest Company, a gallery, arts venue and cafe which has been running since January 2008 in Southampton, UK.  The Art House was founded by the four directors, Bik, Jani, Ziggy and Nina and is staffed mainly by volunteers.  We have three main aims:

– To promote the Arts.
– To enhance our local and global community.
– To encourage positive, healthy & sustainable living.

Who comes to The Art House?

In short – anyone looking for something out of the ordinary.  We welcome people of all ages, genders, lifestyles, nationalities, political affiliations and backgrounds here.

The things our community have in common go deeper than the first things you see.

We are a place for people who love creativity and art, people who care about the planet, people who care about things in general.   Many of our visitors and crew may not feel all that welcome or comfortable in many other places – but will feel welcome here.

We don’t treat diversity as a box we have to tick but as something that is integral and valuable to our space, and we are willing to face the challenges and do the learning and growing that being truly inclusive involves.


What are your opening times?

We are open

Tuesday 9am – 10pm
Wednesday 9am – 10pm
Thursday 9am – 10pm
Friday 9am – 10pm
Saturday 10am – 10pm
Sunday 12 – 5pm.

Lunch is served 12 – 4pm and supper is available 6 – 9pm

We are CLOSED on Mondays, to give our busy full-time crew a day off, however look out for Bank Holiday Monday opening as we do this quite often.

Are children allowed at The Art House?

Oh yes!  We have a toybox, a kid’s menu, baby changing facilities and are a very welcoming space for families.  If you do bring your little ones, please be aware that it’s not OK to bring your own food for them unless they are very little babies, and if you do bring baby food we ask that it be vegetarian.  Also, remember our crew are volunteers so be aware of the mess your small companions may be making and perhaps have a little tidy before you leave.

What about dogs?!

Well behaved canine companions are very welcome, please ensure that they’re kept on a lead and don’t bother other customers, though.  If you need water for your doggie, please ask.

Where can I park?

We are in a city centre and we’re not going to tell a lie, parking can be tricky at times.  Please see here for the best parking places and allow a little extra time if you are coming to a workshop or event to find parking.  Please don’t park in the depot behind us as you may get clamped!

Do you have WiFi?

Yes, we do!  The Art House also has quiet space, especially during the day, so is ideal for people who want to work.

I’m a bit nervous, I don’t know anyone and I’m coming on my own.  Will I be OK?

This is a totally understandable worry and we get asked this a lot.  If you are coming on your own, we can assure you that other people also come on their own to visit us, so you won’t feel out of place.  Our crew are very welcoming to new faces and the atmosphere here is very relaxed and friendly, so please don’t be worried, just come on down!

I’m worried about walking back to my car late at night on my own.

We would suggest sticking to the roads rather than walking through the parks to get back to your car when you leave after dark.  It’s also likely that somebody else at the event/workshop will be walking your way, so please feel free to ask if there’s anyone you can walk back with.  Since we moved here in 2009, we have had no reports from customers of dangerous incidents as they leave.  We’re sorry but our crew are not able to escort people back to their cars.


What food do you serve and when?

We serve our full lunch menu including daily specials from 12 every day, until 4pm Tuesday – Saturday.  We serve our Twilight menu from 6 – 9pm Wednesday – Saturdays.  Sunday veggie roasts are served from 12.30 -3pm or until we run out!

Can I book a table?

Indeed – we can book tables for parties of up to 6 people during our opening times – for larger parties please get in touch, we are a small place so usually take a deposit for larger bookings.

Is it vegan?

Our kitchen is 100% animal product free and all our cakes, main courses and salads have a vegan option, so you have lots to choose from.  We do currently offer dairy milk and some cheese, but are looking into plant-based alternatives to replace these.  It’s mostly organic, too!

Can you cater for gluten-free and other diets?

Many of our dishes are made with gluten free ingredients and we pride ourselves on being very good at catering for special diets.  Please be aware, though, that all of our food is prepared in an environment where nuts, dairy, gluten, sesame seeds, soya and other allergens are present.  Also, a lot of our food contains soya.   See here for our full menu.

Can you cater for my outside event?

We take our ‘big red art tent’ to a limited number of events in the summer.

Our kitchen is pretty busy making food for the cafe, so we don’t do catering very often, but can come to community events with cakes and snacks. We can also usually make small numbers of cakes with at least 3 days notice – drop us an email if you want one.


How can I support the work that The Art House does?

How kind of you to ask!  There are lots of ways you can lend us your support.  Firstly, please visit us and enjoy some of what we have to offer.  You can also volunteer, show your artwork or crafts, run a workshop or event, donate good quality clothing to our boutique by dropping it in during our opening times, donate money online, become a Friend of The Art House and please, spread the word about us too.

Can I show my artwork at The Art House?

We’d love to hear from you, but please be aware that it may be up to a year before we can exhibit your work as it’s one of the few things we do plan in advance.  See our artists expression of interest for details on how to apply.

Can I sell my crafts at The Art House?

Yes please, we love to hear from makers.  Most of our crafts come in for the Autumn and Winter, to give folks the very best chance of selling.  Please get click here for more info and an application form.

I want to play my music at The Art House?

Music is our heartbeat and lifeblood and we welcome all sorts of musicians here.  There are several ways in which you can perform at The Art House – please see our musicians enquiry form for details and get in touch with us!

Can I volunteer at The Art House?

Now, that’s the question we were waiting for.  Our volunteers cover a wide range of ages (from 14 to 80 at the moment!) and we’re always looking for cafe, kitchen and admin crew. To let us know you are interested and find out more, please get in touch here

I’m looking for life modelling work, how can I apply?

We run regular life drawing classes and are always on the lookout for new models.  Please fill in the application form here.

Do you have any paid jobs at the moment?

Although we do have a small number of paid staff, most of our crew are volunteers.  Check here for any current paid vacancies.  If you are interested in volunteering, let us know here.

EVENTS & using the space

What’s on at The Art House this week?

So glad you asked!  You can always check our what’s on page, but to make sure you don’t miss a thing we suggest you join our mailing list.

Can I book The Art House for my private party?

The Art House is a community space and in great demand!  As such, we need to keep ourselves open and available to the public, for groups and events which meet our aims.

Sadly this means that we cannot offer the space for private parties.  You can, however, book quite a big table if you let us know in advance – get in touch if you’d like to do this. We can sometimes work in partnership with likeminded groups and organisations for functions, so do get in touch if you want to hold an event here.

Can I use The Art House for my event, run a workshop for you or can my group meet at The Art House?

We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to use The Art House for your event or group, or there is a workshop idea you have.  This can be either in collaboration with us, or you can hire the space.  Please see more info about this and complete the form here.


I came in to ask about something and was told to send an email  – what’s that all about?

We understand that this may seem a little strange, but our cafe crew and volunteers are trained to work in the cafe only, so may not be able to answer any other queries about all the stuff we do.

The very best way to contact us is always by email, or using the links above, so that your question can be answered as quickly as possible by the right person.

I can’t get through to you on the phone!

Our office isn’t staffed all of the time and often the cafe crew are often busy serving customers, so you may find that it’s hard to get hold of us especially over lunchtimes.

The best times to call are when the admin crew are in the office, which is Tuesday – Friday 9.30am – 1.30pm.

The best way to contact us to make sure the person best able to help you gets in touch is always online.

We are closed on Mondays so the phone and emails will not be answered then, but our admin crew are in on Tuesday and will always do their best to get back to you!

We are unable to take payment for events over the phone, sorry.

Who funds The Art House?

You do!  The funding for all of our costs and activities comes from food and drink sales in the cafe, donations and ticket sales.

How can I save money on food & events at The Art House?

Apply for a Friends of The Art House card and make savings elsewhere, too!

Can you bring your arty activities to my event?

Again, we can occasionally offer a little bit of The Art House at your event, provided it ties up with our aims and we have enough crew!

Please see here for more information and to contact us about this.  We cannot provide activities for private parties, but we can highly recommend Craftizan, a partner company who can help with this.

I would like to give you some feedback

That’s great, thanks!  Please click here for feedback on an event, or here for feedback on our food & drink.  Or you can just us our contact form.

I am a student, can I interview you/make a film/do a project on The Art House?

We get a lot of requests from students, generally at the same time of year, so in most cases we simply don’t have the time or resources to help you, so sorry!  Generally, we will only be able to help people who are volunteers or regular supporters or people who are doing a project which we need for our own use.

If you can propose a way in which your project could benefit us as well as you, then please get in touch.

Have another question?  Please contact us.

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