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.
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 Brickwood’s in the 1950s, it later became part of Whitbread’s huge estate and is now owned by national pubco EI Group.
During the tenure of former 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 previously. Alongside the national brand lagers and keg beers, two changing cask ales are offered – these being sourced from large independent or national brewers. A visit in November 2017 found Fuller’s London Pride and Timothy Taylor Landlord on offer. A small selection of bottled beers such as Blue Moon and Adnams Mosaic is also offered, together with a range of big-brand wines, spirits and cocktails.
The late summer of 2017 saw the pub given an internal refurbishment and relaunched as a sports bar, complete with eight television screens showing Sky Sports, strategically placed around the pub so as one always has a view, no matter where seating/stood. The pub is boarded towards the front, with a carpeted section to the rear. Furnishings vary from high tables and stools at the front of house, with traditional tables and chairs, bench seating and armchairs located at the rear. The walls are decorated with a mixture of old prints of Portsmouth, a portrait of King Leopold of Belgium and various advertising ephemera.
A pool table can be found to the left of the corner entrance. Piped music is played (sometimes at volume) throughout the pub. A paved courtyard garden and smoking area is located to the rear of the pub. Live music is hosted some weekends (see Facebook page).
Pub Owner: Craft Union Pub Company (EI Group)
Pub Reviewed 8th November 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).
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 John Russell
12/14 Albert Road
023 9281 2584
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 11:00 ’til 23:00; Fri Sat 11:00 ’til 01:30; Sun 11:00 ’til 23:00
Dating from the late 19th century, the original 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 – a student-orientated pub run by the local Belle Isle group, which opened in 2007 and lasted a full decade before being handed back to the landlord, EI Group, in the autumn of 2017.
Following a short period of closure, the pub was reopened following a full refurbishment in early December 2017, welcomely regaining its ‘proper’ name, the Lord John Russell, in the process. The interior is much the same as before the pub’s latest name change, with a flagstoned floor and a small raised, boarded deck to the left, on which a DJ booth is located. Furnishings vary from leather sofas and armchairs to traditional tables and chairs and bar stools. The walls are decorated with 12″ vinyl discs and old album covers. A large, flat panel television is affixed to the right-hand wall. There is a sizeable patio garden at the rear of the pub.
Piped music is played and entertainment, in the former of DJs, is hosted on Friday and Saturday nights from 8:30pm. Pub quizes are held (see Facebook page for details).
Food is served throughout the day, with the emphasis on burgers, hot dogs and sausage & mash (see website for menus).
On the bar, up to four cask ales from independent brewers are served (sourced nationwide), with these changing on a regular basis. Three traditional, boxed ciders are also stocked – these being Weston’s Old Rosie, Weston’s Rosie’s Pig Flat Tyre and Celtic Marches Celtic Tiger at the time of review. A good range of keg beers and lagers is also stocked (major brands), plus a reasonable choice of wines, spirits and mixers.
Pub Owner: EI Group
Pub Reviewed 11th December 2017
(below, top row, left to right): 7th September 2017; 4th February 2007; 13th July 2008; 19th September 2004.
(below, bottom row, left to right): April 2002 (by Ray Scarfe); 18th February 1990; unknown date (by Ray Scarfe).
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.