The Old Customs House
Portsea, PO1 3TY
023 9283 2333
Actual Opening Hours:
Mon Tue 09:00 ’til 23:30; Wed Thu 09:00 ’til 00:00; Fri 09:00 ’til 00:30; Sat 09;00 ’til 01:30; Sun 09:00 ’til 23:00
Housed within the former HMS Vernon customs building of 1790, this Grade II listed pub was opened by former Horndean brewers Gales in 2002. It is now part of London’s Fuller Smith & Turner estate. Despite the claim on the exterior that the pub is ‘traditional’, the interior bears little resemblance to what a traditional pub looks like. Expensively furnished with a variety of leather sofas, arm chairs and more standard tables and chairs, the pub is split into around half a dozen small rooms, each of which reflect a specific period in the history of the building. These are connected by a central corridor in which can be found the main bar counter. Items of modern art and naval memorabilia adorn the walls. There is a terrace at the front of the pub for al fresco drinking and a small area towards the rear of the building. A selection of good quality cask ales is on offer, plus various bottled ales from the UK and overseas, including Sierra Nevada, Meantime and Leffe. A good selection of other beers wines and spirits is also stocked. Food is served all day.
Pub Operator: Fuller Smith & Turner
Reviewed 15th January 2015
Photographs: (above) 3rd January 2005; (below) 13th July 2008.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 12:00 ’til 23:30; Fri Sat 12:00 ’til 01:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 22:30.
Situated in what is popularly known as Milton village, this large detached pub has a sizeable public bar at the front and a separate lounge to the rear. The public offers no less that five dart boards, a pool table, gaming machines and a jukebox, as well as a large wall-mounted television, on which Sky/BT Sports is shown. A real log fire is a focal point on the left side of the room. Furnishings consist of standard tables and chairs as well as upholstered bench seats in the window bays. The walls are half-boarded and the back wall is papered with numerous pages of sheet music. Live bands regularly perform on Friday or Saturday nights.
The attractive, wood-panelled lounge bar is only open at busier times and can be reserved for private events. It is traditionally furnished and includes a small bar servery in the northeast corner of the room. Three cask ales are sold nowadays – these generally being Ringwood Fortyniner, Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter and Adnams Ghost Ship. There is a good selection of keg beers, wines and spirits. The pub’s large beer garden proves especially popular in summer, when outdoor events are hosted, including live music and a beer festival. The children’s play equipment keeps the young ones entertained.
Live bands perform every weekend and a meat raffle is drawn on Sundays.
Pub Owner: EI Group
Reviewed 5th March 2015 (updated 2nd March 2017)
Photographs: (above) 2nd March 2017 (below, left to right) 4th February 2007; 18th March 2008; 11th May 1989; April 1999 (by Ray Scarfe).
Actual Opening Hours: Mon 16:00 ’til 23:00; Tue-Thu 12:00 ’til 23:00; Fri Sat 12:00 ’til 23:30; Sun 11:00 ’til 23:00
Rebuilt to a design by A E Cogswell in 1930, this pub replaced another of the same name which had existed since the 19th century. A former Portsmouth United Breweries pub, it was later owned by Whitbread and has since become part of the vast Enterprise Inns estate.
The interior is largely unaltered, with the large L-shaped public bar having herringbone block flooring, an open coal fire and some interesting, upholstered bench seats running around the periphery of the room. A dart board is mounted on the rear wall, above which is a display of trophies won by the pub’s teams over the years. A pool table stands on the right side of the room and there is also a jukebox and quiz/gambling machines. Sports events are shown via Sky and BT Sport. A collection of football team pennants adorn the bar-back and there are items of maritime memorabilia hung on the walls.
The pub’s former lounge bar, to the rear, is now used for dining on Sundays (the only day of the week that the kitchen operates). This small room features an original fireplace and has its own bar servery. Roast dinners and other popular main courses are served. Additionally, the pub hosts a Sunday meat raffle at 2:30pm and there are also weekly snowball and bonus ball draws. The pub has a sizeable patio garden.
On the bar, three cask ales are sold – these being Ringwood Best, Greene King Abbot and a guest, which on a visit in March 2015 was Ringwood Fortyniner.
Pub Operator: EI Group
Reviewed 5th March 2015
Photographs: (above) 4th February 2007; (below, left to right) 15 October 2007; 11th May 1989; 1976 (by Ray Scarfe).
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 16:00 ’til 00:30; Fri Sat 16:00 ’til 01:30; Sun 16:00 ’til 23:30
Converted in the late ’90s from a restaurant, this pub was opened by the former licencee of the Wine Vaults on Albert Road. Originally the Green Goose, the pub later changed its name to the One-Eyed Dog. A second pub, by the name of the Duck, was opened in 2005 by the same company and was connected to the One-Eyed Dog by a pair of connecting doors. It was relaunched in the spring of 2008 as the Cider House, featuring a selection of around twenty draught and bottled ciders. Unfortunately, the rebranding failed to live up to expectations ans the house reverted to the name the Duck the following year. The pub has since been completely absorbed into the One-Eyed Dog.
The pub’s interior is dominated by wood, with scrubbed floors and boarded/panelled walls. A large collection of enamel advertising signs are displayed on the walls. Furnishings are made up of basic tables and chairs and church pews. There is plenty to keep drinkers amused, with no less than four pool tables, pinball, quiz/fruit machines and table football all available.
Rather surprisingly, only one cask ale is served – this being the ubiquitous Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter. An interesting range of bottles beers is stocked, with Goose Island IPA, Anchor Steam Beer and Guinness Dublin Porter and West Indies Porter all available. A range of keg beers and cider is sold, plus a choice of wines and spirits, including single malt whisky. Mondays sees selected pints sold for £2.50, with a £1.00 reduction on bottled beers. On Wednesdays four-pint jugs of selected beers are £10.
Reviewed 12th March 2015
Pub Operator: Wine Vaults (Portsmouth) Ltd.
Photographs: (above) 9th November 2015 (below: clockwise from top left) 16th March 2015; 26th May 2011; 19th September 2004; 7th February 1999; 6th August 2005; 26th May 2008; 26th May 2008.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 11:00 ’til 23:00; Fri-Sat 11:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 11:00 ’til 23:00
This premises was originally a shop until converted to a public house by the name of the Palmerston in 1948. In 1981 it was renamed Owens, in tribute to Thomas Ellis Owen, who was responsible for much of the planning and design of 19th century Southsea.
The pub consists of one very large, split level, bar room, with a boarded floor around the servery and carpeting/laminate elsewehere. Furnishings consist mostly of upholstered seating and standard tables. Two pool tables are located at the rear of thr pub, together with a dart board. Gaming machines are available and the televisions are used to show football matches and Six Nations rugby fixtures via BT Sport. A quiz is held on Thursdays at 7pm.
The pub serves a single cask ale – this being Greene King IPA. A standard selection of lagers and other keg products is offered, plus wines and spirits, including a choice of single malt whiskies.
Owens is rather the poor relation among the various pubs and bars that stand on Palmerston Road and this is reflected by the interior’s rather neglected appearence. With a little investment, the pub could become rather more appealing.
Pub Operator: Orchid Pubs (Thames) Ltd.
Reviewed 7th March 2015
Photographs: (above) 9th March 2017 (below, left to right) 6th August 2005; 13th July 2008; May 2003 (by Ray Scarfe); April 1999 (by Ray Scarfe); 11th May 1989.