137 Havant Road
023 9221 5555
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 17:00 ’til 23:00; Fri 17:00 ’til 00:00; Sat 12:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 22:00
This cocktail bar and tapas restaurant opened its doors in December 2014 and offers a wide choice of drinks and Indian dishes. The bar welcomes non diners and serves a range of draught beers. Live music is regularly hosted.
Owner/Operator: Red Restaurants Southern Ltd
Full review pending
Photographed 9th November 2015
The King Street Tavern
70 King Street, Southsea
023 9307 3568
Actual Opening Hours:
Mon Tue 17:00 ’til 23:00; Wed 11:00 ’til 15:00 & 17:00 ’til 23:00; Fri 11:00 ’til 15:00 & 17:00 ’til 00:00
Sat 12:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 19:00.
This lovely, Grade II listed Victorian street corner tavern is a perfect example of traditional pub architecture. Known as the Diamond for 150 years, the ornate frontage is courtesy of Portsmouth pub architect A E Cogswell, who was commissioned in the late 1880s by Brickwood’s Brewery. In 1991 the pub was sold by brewing giant Whitbread to the Wadworth Brewery of Devizes and an internal refit followed soon after.
In 2006 the pub was renamed the King Street Tavern, with the interior given a somewhat continental feel, with wicker chairs complimenting the more traditional furnishings. The walls are wood panelled and the bar is softly lit, with candles placed on the tables. A small collection of ceramic flagons are stood on the herth of the fireplace to the right of the bar counter. A patio garden stands on the south side of the pub.
A temporary closure and change of licensee saw the pub given a full refurbishment, reopening in June 2016. The pub’s ambience is largely unchanged, however the original, ornately carved wooden back bar was removed and replaced with modern green tiling – a great shame. The walls are now decorated with images of Americana and portraits of US musicians from the world of blues and rock & roll. Furnishings are a mixture of traditional tables and chairs, plus upholstered bar stools and high tables.
The bar now offers a wide range of drinks, including eight cask ales – six of which come from the Wadworth range, plus two guests from independent breweries, sourced nationally. A selection of ‘craft’ keg beers and lagers is also offered, plus a good selection of wines and spirits.
Major sporting events are screened on television and food is served (see website for serving times). Live jazz is performed at 14:00 on Sundays.
Pub Operator: Wadworth & Co.
Reviewed 26th February 2015 (updated 13th February 2017)
Photographs: (above) 20th June 2016 (below, left to right) 30th September 2006; 9th November 2015; 13th July 2008; 22nd July 2007; April 1999 (by Ray Scarfe); 18th February 1990.
39 Albert Road
023 9282 0557
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 15:00 ’til 23:00; Fri Sat 12:00 ’til 01:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 23:00
Opened in 1910, replacing the Clarence Tavern that previously stood on the site, this imposing red brick building stands opposite the theatre of the same name on busy Albert Road. No longer a hotel, the Kings now consists of a single, split-level bar room, with an ornately-carved counter running along the left-hand wall. The house is bare-boarded at the front, with chequered tiling around the servery and carpeting to the rear. Traditional tables and chairs are complemented by a pair of leather armchairs arranged around an original fireplace. Framed photographs of bygone Southsea adorn the walls and there is a small collection of sporting trophies displayed on the bar-back. An unusual feature is the large, attractive, stained-glass recessed ceiling light that can be seen in the centre of the bar room. Gaming and quiz machines are available.
On the bar, three cask beers are offered – these being Fuller’s London Pride, Seafarer’s and Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter. A standard selection of keg beers, lagers, cider, wines and spirits are stocked. Food, in the form of pizza, is served all day.
The pub also features The Loft – a first floor function room, with its own bar counter, available for hire and also used to host live music.
Pub Owner: Punch Taverns
Reviewed 9th April 2015
Photographs: (above) 23rd February 2017 (below, top row) 9th November 2015; 19th May 2011; 19th May 2011; 13th July 2008; 13th July 2008.
(bottom row) 30th September 2006; 11th May 1989; August 2003 (by Ray Scarfe); November 1998 (by Ray Scarfe).