Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30 ’til 23:00; Sun 11:00 ’til 23:00
The Eastfield has one of Portsmouth’s most ornate pub exteriors, designed by prolific pub architect A E Cogswell and constructed in 1906 for Portsmouth United Breweries. The pub later became part of the expansive Brickwoods estate before being swallowed up by national giant Whitbread in the early 1970s. The house is Grade II listed.
By the late 1990s the Eastfield was in the hands of pubco Enterprise Inns and still retains two distinct bars – a public bar at the front of house and a comfortable, wood panelled lounge bar at the rear (accessed via the side door from Eastfield Road). A separate pool room is located off the lounge bar. The pub also sports a sizeable beer garden. The carpeted public bar includes darts, pool, a television and jukebox.The pool table and jukebox is free all day on Fridays.
Sunday roast dinners are served and a meat raffle is held at 5pm on Sundays. Filled rolls are offered on weekdays.
A pair of cask ales are generally offered. These being Palmers Copper Ale and an offering from Langham’s Brewery. Handpulled ciders (usually Weston’s Old Rosie and Rosie’s Pig) are generally available, together with a standard range of keg products, wines and spirits.
Pub Owner: EI Group
Pub Operator: Portsmouth Pubs Ltd
Reviewed 22nd January 2015 (updated 22nd March 2017)
Photographs: (above) 4th February 2007; (below, left to right) 30th September 2006; 13th July 2008; 11th May 1989.
The Eastney Tavern
100 Cromwell Road, Eastney
023 9282 6246
Actual Opening Hours:
Mon 17:00 ’til 23:00; Tue-Thu 12:00 ’til 15:00 & 17:00 ’til 23:00; Fri 12:00 ’til 00:30; Sat 12:00 ’til 01:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 22:00
This Victorian pub occupies a prominent corner plot at the junction of Cromwell Road and St George’s Road and is well-used by the local community. Once owned by Portsmouth United Breweries (as seen in the black and white photographs below), the original interior was gutted by Whitbread in the 1980s and what we have today is a large single bar, with separate restaurant area to the rear.
The pub is well appointed and features two interesting, large stone fireplaces, positioned back-to-back in the left-hand seatings areas. Beyond these can be found an attractive raised area with wood panelled walls and an unusual display shelf, housing a collection of ceramic bottles, books and a vintage sewing machine. Also here is a pair of seating booths, divided by wooden screens inset with stained glass. Note too the stained glass shield in the external window. Numerous framed prints adorn the walls throughout the pub and Sky Sports is shown on television. Live jazz is regularly hosted.
The pub has long been known coloquially as the Shell House owing to the rear of the premises being covered in sea shells (see bottom right-hand photograph), where a secluded patio garden can be found.
At the bar, three cask ales are sold – sourced from both large and small breweries. A good range of keg beers, wines and spirits is stocked and the pub offers a popular and comprehensive food menu (see website for menu). The Eastney Tavern is deservedly popular and well worth a visit.
Pub Owner: EI Group
Pub Operator: J C Honore
Reviewed 5th March 2015 (updated 23rd January 2017)
Colour photographs: (above) 9th November 2015 (below, clockwise from top left) 4th February 2007; September 2004 (by Ray Scarfe); 11th May 1989; unknown date (by Ray Scarfe); 11th August 2011.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 12:00 ’til 23:00; Fri Sat 12:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 23:00
This attractive bay-fronted pub in a conservation area of Southsea dates from 1899 and was one of a small estate of Eldridge Pope houses in Portsmouth. The former brewer’s name is still displayed prominently on the ornate glazed tiled fascia.
The original pub has been extended into two adjacent cottages, providing a surprisingly spacious split-level bar with a number of separate drinking areas. The pub is carpeted throughout, with laminate flooring around the bar counter. The walls are half-boarded, with the remainder being covered by high quality embossed wallpaper. There is an extensive library of books in one corner, along with an upright piano. The walls are decorated with an assortment of framed advertising and film posters. A collection of brewers’ barrels, ceramic flagons and copper jugs is displayed high above the right-hand seating area, where a fireplace with an ornate surround can be found, surmounted by a large, attractively framed mirror. Furnishings are traditional throughout the pub, save for a pair of sofas situated by the library.
A pool table and bar billiards table are located at the left-hand end of the bar. There are quiz and gambling machines positioned about the room and a pair of televisions are used to show rolling news or major sporting events. Piped music is played. Darts is also offered and there is a pub quiz on Wednesday evenings. Live music is sometimes hosted on a Friday or Saturday night. A range of tourist information leaflets are available from a rack close to the entrance, along with daily newspapers.
The long, mahogany counter is complimented by an ornate bar-back and pot-shelf. Historically the Eldon has served a wide range of beers wines and spirits, though following the departure of the pub’s manager late in 2016, the drinks range has sadly decreased somewhat. Fuller’s London Pride and Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter are now the sole cask beers. There is still a fairly good choice of other kegged beers, wines and spirits. It is hoped that the cask beer choice may return to its former level once a new permanant manager has been appointed.
The pub has a secluded patio garden to the rear.
A campaign group of regular customers applied to the City Council to have the Eldon listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) in January 2017.
Pub Owner/Operator: EI Group
Reviewed 23rd February 2015 (updated 6th February 2017)
Photographs: (above) 30th September 2006; (below, left to right) 30th September 2006; 13th July 2008; 18th February 1990; 26th May 2011.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 15:00 ’til 23:00; Sat Sun 12:00 ’til 23:00
Dating from 1924, the Electric Arms was designed by A E Cogswell for the Young Brewery and replaced the earlier Fratton Cellars and Old House At Home pubs that previously occupied the site. Until recently the pub continued to sport its Friary Meux signage (see photograph below), despite the company name ceasing to exist in 1999.
In late 2014 the pub underwent an impressive refit at much expense. The attention to detail is second to none, resulting in a striking recreation of a traditional tavern interior. Unsurprisingly, the bar is furnished traditionally, with the flooring being a mix of laminate and tiles. A large television hangs on the wall opposite the bar counter and there is a very large collection of old photographs to peruse. To the rear is a separate seating area (once the lounge bar) with half-boarded walls and a coal effect fire. Portsmouth Football Club memorabilia is displayed here, along with a collection of old ceramic bottles. A second television is also present.
Beer at the Electric Arms is sourced from Staffordshire brewer Marston’s, with Pedigree being (surprisingly) the only cask ale sold. A good range of other beers, lagers, wines and spirits is stocked, including single malt whisky.
Pub Owner: MJM Inns Ltd
Pub Operator: J F Molloy
Reviewed 12th February 2015
Photographs: (above) 29th November 2015 (below, left to right) 29th May 2016; 4th February 2007; September 1992 (by Ray Scarfe); 18th February 1990.