The Lady Hamilton
21 The Hard
023 9287 0505
Licenced Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 10:00 ’til 00:00; Fri Sat 10:00 ’til 01:00; Sun 10:00 ’til 00:00
This site was once occupied by the Nag’s Head, a 19th century tavern owned by the local Pike Brewery. By 1920 the pub had become an off-licence and it wasn’t until 1992 that the building was once again converted to a public house and named the Lady Hamilton after Lord Horatio Nelson’s mistress.
The pub was closed in recent years following the departure and subsequent death of the former owner/licensee. In 2016 the property was taken over by a local Asian family and work started on refurbishing the pub, which reopened in mid February 2017.
The interior layout remains as many previous customers shall remember it, with a series of small booths situated on the left-hand side of the pub, at front of house. Four bar stools are stood by the large front window, where a shelf allows drinkers to sit with their beer and admire the fine view of the Spinnaker Tower opposite. Elsewhere, a mixture of traditional tables and chairs and upholstered bench seats make up the furnishings throughout the pub, with the bar counter located midway along the left-hand side of the room. On the walls is a veritable gallery of framed naval memorabilia, including a number of obvious references to Emma Hamilton and Nelson. Tourist information leaflets are provided in racks on the right-hand wall as you enter the premises.
At the bar, a single cask beer is presently served – this being Fuller’s London Pride on the day of our visit. It is hoped to introduce a second real ale as trade increases. A small selection of kegged beers is stocked, including Fuller’s Frontier lager. A choice of a dozen wines is available, with these being detailed on lists placed on all tables. A range of spirits and mixers can be found on the back-bar.
The pub is open from 10am daily, with food being served from noon. The menu consists of a small range of light bites and main courses, the majority being of an Asian flavour. Prices range from £2.00 for ‘bites’, increasing to £7.50 for most main meals.*
*As of Tuesday 11th April, the pub shall be reintroducing a new version of the pub’s former dining menu, cooked by the same kitchen team as before. This shall include, from Sunday 16th April, the pub’s very popular roast dinners (served 12:00 ’til 18:00).
Bed & Breakfast accommodation is available.
Pub Owner: The Lady Hamilton (P) Ltd
Pub Operator: Ms Thuc-Tring Tang
Reviewed 18th February 2017
Photographs: (above) 30th September 2006; (below, left to right) March 1999 (by Ray Scarfe); June 1992; January 1998 (by Ray Scarfe).
The Lawrence Arms
63 Lawrence Road
023 9282 1280
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 14:00 ’til 23:30; Fri 14:00 ’til 00:30; Sat 11:00 ’til 23:30; Sun 11:00 ’til 23:00
The Lawrence Arms has traded from this street corner location since Victorian times. Originally owned by Brickwood’s Brewery, the pub later became part of Whitbread’s massive property estate when the latter company purchased the former. The house is now owned by national pubco Enterprise Inns.
A major refurbishment in 1998 sadly saw the loss of the pub’s separate lounge bar, however the pub remains a pleasant community local, consisting now of a single, L-shaped bar room with a pool area to the rear. Darts is also played and there is a jukebox and two televisions. Major sporting events are shown regularly. A bookcase containing a small library and a selection of board games can be found at the end of the bar.
An attractive original fireplace houses a wood burner and the walls are decorated with images of bygone Portsmouth. A collection of pump clips from the local Oakleaf and Irving breweries is displayed to the left of the corner entrance, as well as a growing number of additional clips amassing behind the bar. The main bar area is carpeted and traditionally furnished and there are bar stools aligned along the counter. A collection of ceramic jugs are on display and a signed Portsmouth FC shirt can be seen in the pool room.
Six well-kept real ales are sold, with local Irving and Langham’s beers regularly featured, as well as the likes of Vibrant Forest and Red Cat from a little further afield. A choice of up to six traditional ciders and perries are offered together with a selection of keg lagers, wines and spirits, including single malt whiskies. Additionally, a good range of interesting bottled ales are stocked. A meat raffle is held at weekends. All ales are reduced in price on Mondays from 7pm, with a similar offer on ciders on Tuesday evenings.
The south-facing beer garden is a welcome addition in warmer weather.
2017 PORTSMOUTH & SOUTH EAST HAMPSHIRE CAMRA CIDER PUB OF THE YEAR
Pub Owner: EI Group
Pub Operator: A Wearn
Reviewed 29th January 2015 (updated 19th January 2017)
Photographs: (above) 19th January 2016 (below, left to right); 14th August 2005; 16th April 2008; 16th April 2008; July 1990.
The Leopold Tavern
154 Albert Road
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00 ’til 00:00; Sat 11:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 23:00 (to be confirmed)
This ornate former Portsmouth United Breweries pub has occupied this plot since Victorian times and sports one of the city’s most striking glazed brick façades. Passing to Brickwoods in the 1950s, it later became part of Whitbread’s huge estate and is now owned by Enterprise Inns.
During the tenure of licensees Stuart & Mandy Ainsworth the Leopold was a triple winner of the Portsmouth & South East Hampshire CAMRA Pub of the Year award – scooping the accolade in 2010, 2011 and 2017. Sadly those days are now gone and the pub is trading with a far more limited drinks range than the pub previously did. Alongside the national brand lagers and keg beers, the only cask offerings are Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter and Adnams Ghost Ship (as of June 2017).
The single bar is divided into three main areas, mostly carpeted, with a boarded space toward the front of house. Furnishings consist of a mix of traditional tables and chairs and sofas. Piped music (radio) is played. The secluded patio beer garden is a welcome retreat for smokers and those wishing to drink al fresco during the warmer weather.
The Webmaster fears that the future of the Leopold is sadly limited, with owners EI likely to run the pub down by not stocking what the customer wants. Only time will tell whether we end up losing this former gem.
Pub Owner: EI Group
Pub Reviewed 23rd June 2017
Photographs: (top) 16th March 2015; (above) 20th March 2007; (below, left to right) 16th March 2015; 26th May 2011; 14th August 2005; June 1997 (by Ray Scarfe); 11th May 1989; 1980s (by Ray Scarfe).
Little Johnny Russell’s
12/14 Albert Road
023 9282 6502
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 14:00 ’til 01:00; Sat 12:00 ’til 01:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 00:00
Dating from the late 19th century, the Lord John Russell remained a constant on Albert Road for well over a hundred years. A traditional pub, part of the Friary Meux chain, complete with upright piano in the corner. Unfortunately, everything went wrong in 1998 when the pub succumbed to the marketing men and was reinvented as a cocktail bar by the name of Liquid Lounge, in an effort to part younger drinkers with their money. Further incarnations followed over the next eight years – Easy Tiger and Blonde being two of these. However, just when it looked as if the pub had entered its twilight years it rose again in the guise of Little Johnny Russell’s, which opened in 2007.
These days, the L-shaped single bar room has a tiled floor, reclaimed furniture, a few armchairs and a comfortable leather sofa. A raised deck is found to the left as you enter the pub – this being utilised as a performance area for live bands and DJs some evenings (note that an entrance charge may be applicable for some events). The walls of the pub are a mix of exposed brick, tiling and wooden boarding. A gallery of acts tht have performed at the pub are displayed along a high beam towards the end of the bar counter. Spot the collection of old compact cameras! A number of ornate supporting columns give an indication of the pub’s original layout, when it would have sported two, possibly three, separate rooms. The two redundant entrance doors also provide evidence of this. A patio courtyard is located to the rear of the building.
Little Johnny Russell’s stocks three real ales – a visit in February 2017 found the ubiquitous Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter, Courage Directors and a guest beer – Sharp’s Sea Fury. A standard range of keg products, wines and spirits is offered. Food is served throughout the day (see website).
Pub Owner: EI Group
Pub Operator: Belle Isle Bistros (Portsmouth) Ltd
Reviewed 5th February 2015 (updated 23rd February 2017)
Photographs: (above) 4th February 2007
(below, clockwise from top left) 13th July 2008; 19th September 2004; April 2002 (by Ray Scarfe); unknown date (by Ray Scarfe) ; 18th February 1990.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 12:00 ’til 23:30
This imposing Edwardian pub in a residential district was built in a half-timbered design with glazed brickwork for the Brickwoods Brewery. The pub somehow managed to avoid being turned into one large single bar when it was owned by Whitbread in the latter part of the last century. What we have today is a large two bar local, with a lounge at the side and a public/games bar to the front.
Both bars are furnished to a good standard, with comfotable bench seats, traditional tables and chairs and leather upholstered low stools. The pub is carpeted throughout, with the area around the bar counter left bare-boarded. The games bar includes an ornately carved bar-back and the pub retains its original fireplaces. The pub still retains some of its original, etched glazing in at least one of the main entrance doors. Two dart boards and a pool table can be found in the games bar, with televisions mounted on the walls of both rooms, showing BT and Sky Sports. Live music is performed on occasion at weekends. A heated patio area is located at the rear of the pub.
A standard range of kegged beers, wines and spirits is stocked, including single malt whisky. Unfortunately, no cask ale sold.
Pub Owner/Operator: Southern Counties Taverns
Reviewed 24th January 2015 (updated 13th February 2017)
Photographs: (above) 15th July 2007; (below, left to right) 13th July 2008; 14th August 1988; 1980 (by Ray Scarfe); unknown date.
The Lord Palmerston
84-90 Palmerston Road
023 9272 8000
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 08:00 ’til 00:00; Fri Sat 08:00 ’til 01:30; Sun 08:00 ’til 00:00
The national pubco’s seventh Portsmouth premises opened its doors on 4th June 2010. This expensive conversion of the former Chicago Rock Café was Wetherspoon’s second Lloyds No.1 branded pub on Portsea Island. Offering a higher degree of comfort than most JDW houses, the Lord Palmerston has a large floorspace, divided into several distinct areas, with a raised deck towards the front left side of the pub. There is much wood panelling in evidence and the ceiling in the central area is relatively low, with subdued lighting, giving the pub a more intimate feel than many of the company’s other houses.
Furnishings consist of traditional tables and chairs, high-backed banquettes and armchairs. Large chandeliers hang from the ceiling towards the front of the pub. Here can be found a good number of framed historic prints with potted histories of the figures depicted, such as Horatio Nelson, Sir Alec Rose and, of course, Lord Palmerston himself – including a large portrait of the latter, commissioned by JD Wetherspoon prior to the opening of the pub. There are plenty of gaming machines to make use of and wall-mounted televisions show network news or pub company advertisements. There is a DJ booth at the far end of the pub, which is pressed into use on certain evenings of the week.
At the bar, eight cask ales are sold, with local microbreweries regularly featured. Weston’s Old Rosie cider is also available. Expect a wide range of bottled and keg beers, ciders, wines and spirits to choose from. Food is served all day.
Pub Owner/Operator: J D Wetherspoon
Reviewed 4th February 2015
Photographed 20th March 2011.