The Painters Arms
18 Lake Road
023 9282 6056
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 ’til 23:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 22:30
Despite its location a stone’s throw from Commercial Road’s shopping precinct, the Painters has an almost exclusively regular clientele sourced from the surrounding housing estates.
The pub reopened in February 2018 following refurbishment, with a new licensee at the helm. The interior is furnished with a mixture of banquette seating, traditional tables and chairs and stools arranged around high tables. The front of house is carpeted, with synthetic flooring used toward the rear. Darts is played both BT and Sky Sports are offered on television.
The drinks range tends to be a little limited compared to most pubs, with big brands dominating. Fuller’s London Pride and Draught Bass were the cask beers on offer during a visit soon after the pub reopened.
Piped music is played and a meat raffle is held on Sundays.
Pub Operator: Craft Union Pub Co (EI Group)
Reviewed March 2018
Photographs: (above) 15th July 2007; (below, left to right) 18th February 1990; 13th July 2008.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 ’til 23:00
The Park Tavern is one of four pubs that until a decade ago were open for business on Edinburgh Road. Originally the Battle & Breeze, the pub was once owned by Brickwood’s before later becoming part of the Burton-based Ind Coope estate. Latterly it was owned by independent pub company Spirit Group before being sold in 2015 to a local business.
The interior of this old naval pub has changed little over the years. The single bar room has a scrubbed floor and there is a raised seating area at the front of house. Shelves, on which drinks can be placed, run along the walls opposite the pub’s island bar. A heavy bronze rail with decorative brackets in the shape of elephants’ heads encircles the edge of the bar counter. An attractive, intricately-carved bar-back is surmounted by a number of barrels, from which a unique lighting system is attached by metal rods to illuminate the servery. Cast iron pillars support the ceiling of the bar room.
To the rear of the pub is a dart board and a pool table, separated from the bar area by a balustrade. A jukebox is attached to the left-hand wall and a television (used to show sporting events) is suspended from the ceiling. Karaoke and discos are regularly held.
The drinks range is fairly standard, with a small selection of keg products, bottled lager and canned beer, plus wines and spirits. The two handpumps on the bar are unused, as the pub no longer stocks cask-conditiioned beer.
Pub Owner: Y Jones
Reviewed 26th February 2015 (updated 13th February 2017)
Photographs: (above) 14th August 2005; (below, left to right) 13th July 2008; July 1999 (by Ray Scarfe); 18th February 1990.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 12:00 ’til 23:00; Fri Sat 12:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 22:30
Built in 1887 in brewers tudor style to a design by prolific Portsmouth architect A E Cogswell, the Pelham Arms was originally built as a hotel for the Pike Spicer Brewery. It eventually passed into the hands of former national brewer Whitbread and was given a major refurbishment in the 1980s, leaving one very large comfortably-furnished L-shaped bar.
The rambling interior is these days divided into distinct areas. Mainly traditionally furnished, though with the addition of some leather upholstered settles, the pub also includes a small, pleasant family room, with adjoining doors separating it from the main bar room. There is a bookcase in the front bar area and a selection of board games is available to drinkers. At the opposite end of the pub, a pool table and a pair of dart boards can be found. BT and Sky Sports is shown on television and live music is hosted. A quiz is held at 7pm on Wednesdays and karaoke is hosted on the first Saturday of each month. The pub is available to hire for private functions.
The well-stocked bar offers a good range of beers, cider, wines and spirits, including three cask ales – these being Sharp’s Atlantic, Sharp’s Doom Bar bitter and Dartmoor Jail Ale. Single malt whisky is also sold. Home-cooked food is served Tuesdays to Thursdays 5pm-8pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm-7pm and Sundays from 12pm-6pm (when Sunday Roasts are served, from £6.95 (£4.50 for child’s meal).
The Pelham also has a surprisingly large, lawned beer garden and patio area to the rear. Limited off-street car parking is available.
The pub underwent a substantial refurbishment in May 2016, which revealed remnants of the original Brickwood’s fascia along with 1960s era signage (see right-hand photograph below).
Pub Operator: Punch Taverns
Reviewed 24th January 2015 (updated 13th February 2017)
Photographs: (above) 29th November 2015 (below) 15th July 2007; 14th August 1988; unknown date; 2nd May 2016; 2nd May 2016.
20 Pembroke Road
023 9282 3961
Actual Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu 10:00 ’til 00:00; Fri Sat 10:00 ’til 01:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 16:00 & 19:00 ’til 22:30
This well-run, friendly, Victorian corner house is one of the best examples of a traditional pub in Portsmouth. Originally known as the Blue Posts in the 19th century, the Pembroke has traded under its present name since 1898. Once part of the Spicer Brewery’s estate, the house later passed into the hands of Brickwoods until that company’s takeover by the brewing giant Whitbread in the early 1970s.
These days the pub is a regular inclusion in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide and offers a pleasant environment in which to enjoy a pint. The U-shaped, carpeted, single bar room is comfortably furnished with upholstered bench seats and traditional chairs, with stools aligned along the bar counter. The walls are half boarded and there are framed prints of bygone Portsmouth displayed on the walls – including some long-gone pubs. The well-built original bar counter includes an ornate pot-shelf and gives a hint as to the original layout of the pub, when it would have consisted of more than one bar room. A collection of ceramic tankards hangs from the ceiling towards the rear of the pub and there is also a number of ships badges. The pub’s original fireplaces remain in situ.
As far as drinks are concerned, the pub offers a permanent range of three well-kept cask ales – these being Fuller’s London Pride, Greene King Abbot Ale and Draught Bass (the pub being the only outlet for the latter beer in all of Portsmouth). A selection of keg beers, cider, wines and spirits is stocked and there is a good choice of single malt whiskies on offer. Filled rolls are available from the bar.
The Pembroke hosts live music at weekends and darts is played.
Pub Operator: EI Group
Reviewed 26th January 2015
Colour photographs: (above) 30th September 2006; (below, left to right) 3rd Januray 2005; 27th January 2008; 11th May 1989.
13 Duncan Road
023 9278 1055
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 10:00 ’til 00:00; Fri Sat 10:00 ’til 01:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 00:00
Once known as the Brewery Tap, the Phœnix can be found in Southsea’s residential back streets, behind the famous King’s Theatre. The pub was once complemented by the Dockmill Brewery, which later became the Phœnix Brewery, surviving until the end of the 19th century when it was closed by Brickwoods.
Nowadays, the pub still sports two distinct bar rooms, with the bare-boarded public bar furnished with traditional tables and chairs as well as former church pews. A dart board takes pride of place at the end of the room, with a display of sporting trophies above it. A jukebox is mounted on the wall close by. The half-panelled walls are adorned with photographs of the pub’s regulars and there is a framed poster listing all the businesses on nearby Albert Road, in the form of a London Underground diagram. A collection of brewery pump clips can be seen behind the counter and the top shelf of the bar-back is home to a mass of spirit miniatures. Framed photos of Portsmouth FC teams are hung above the bar.
The lounge, to the rear, is more comfortably furnished and has a large display of theatre posters of acts that have performed at the King’s Theatre over the decades. An upright piano stands against the far wall. The pub has a pleasant courtyard garden that contains a collection of enamel advertising signs and opposite this can be found a separate games room, where pool, snooker and table billiards can be played. The pub also offers a wide variety of other games, such as shove ha’penny, shut-the-box, cribbage, dominos, Scrabble and Monopoly.
As for the drinks on offer, the Phœnix serves three cask ales, sourced from both large and small brewers (local micros’ beers can often be found here), plus a standard range of keg products. A wide variety of single malt whiskies is stocked.
A popular pub quiz is hosted at 4.30pm each Sunday, when a meat raffle is also drawn. Live music is often hosted.
Pub Operator: EI Group
Reviewed 2nd February 2015
Photographs: (above) 9th November 2015 (below, left to right) 30th September 2006; 13th July 2008 (by Ray Scarfe); 13th July 2008 (by Ray Scarfe); 16th August 2011; 11th May 1989.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 12:00 ’til 23:00; Fri-Sun 11:00 ’til 00:00
This large brick corner house was constructed in 1937 and was originally opened as a hotel. Unlike many pubs across the city, the pub has managed to retain its two fully separate bars rooms. At the front of the pub is the original public bar – wood panelled and L-shaped, it features Sky Sports, two dart boards, pool and a bar billiards table. A collection of sporting trophies are on display. Cribbage is played, pub quizes hosted and meat raffles drawn each week. Live music is offered on Saturday and Sunday nights. The comfortable furnishings include high-backed vinyl-covered chairs and upholstered benches.
At the rear is the lounge bar, accessed via an interconnecting lobby (where an ATM is situated) and similar in appearence to the public bar, with more attractive wood-panelled walls. Another two dart boards can be found here, along with a second bar billiards table. At the rear is a patio beer garden and there is also pavement seating at the front of the building. Gentlemen customers should note the original Royal Doulton urinals in the lavatory.
The pub serves a good range of standard keg beers, wines and spirits (including Ansells Mild) plus two cask ales (Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter and Wells Bombadier).
Pub Operator: Punch Taverns
Photographs: (above) 14th August 2005; (below, left to right) 13th July 2008; 14th August 1988.
Reviewed 31st January 2015
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 12:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 22:30
Housed in three adjoining properties in what was once the popular Fistful of Tacos restaurant, Porters (formerly known as Café Verde) is one of a number of pubs owned by prolific Southsea entrepreneur Mike Hughes. The rooms of the pub are flagstoned and tiled, with simple furnishings mostly comprising basic tables and chairs, church pews and stools at the bar counter. A small number of sofas and armchairs can be found in the centre of the three rooms. There is a bookshelf in the centre room, plus a small collection of large earthenware flagons and bottles sat on a high shelf above the food specials board.
On the bar is a row of five hand pumps, with well-kept ales sourced from brewers such as Dark Star, First Chop, Otter and Thornbridge. There is a reasonable choice of keg products including Blue Moon witbier and Guinness Hop House 13 lager, as well as a good selection of wines and a choice of single malt whiskies. Food is good value and popular here, with the house speciality being Mexican dishes (a nod maybe to the site’s previous business). Sunday roasts are also served.
Pub Owner/Operator: Wine Vaults (Portsmouth) Ltd
Reviewed 2nd February 2015 (updated 7th June 2018)
Photographed 13th July 2008.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 12:00 ’til 23:00; Fri Sat 12:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 23:00
The Portland Arms has traded on this site under the same name since the 19th century. A proper local pub with a friendly welcome, the Portland now consists of one long L-shaped bar room, divided into two distinct areas, with half-boarded walls, boarded floors and traditional furnishings, plus upholstered bench seating running along the length of one wall.
No cask ale is stocked, however Blue Moon ale from Colorado is available in bottles. A standard range of other beer, lager, cider, wines and spirits is sold.
Pool and darts are both played and Sky Sports is shown on television. There is a jukebox and gaming machines, plus a secluded patio garden at the rear of the pub. Discos and live music are regularly held on Friday or Saturday nights. The Portland is a good example of a community tavern, in an area which has experiencing a rapid depletion of licensed premises in recent years.
Pub Operator: Punch Taverns
Reviewed 31st January 2015
Photographs: (above) 30th September 2006; (below, left to right) 13th July 2008; 18th February 1990; December 1989 (by Ray Scarfe).
023 9237 6653
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 11:00 ’til 23:00; Fri Sat 11:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 23:00
This large Brewers Tudor style pub close to Portsbridge roundabout spent much of its life as part of the Brickwood’s/Whitbread estate before being sold to Suffolk-based major Greene King in the early 2000s. The pub almost became home to a small brewery in 1984, when Whitbread gave backing to a revival of the Cosham Steam Brewery, but sadly the plans never came to fruition.
These days the pub consists of a single, large bar room, divided into two main areas. The area in front of the bar counter has a laminated floor, with the areas at each end being carpeted. Furnishings consist of upholstered bench seats, high tables and chairs and comfortable armchairs. A dart board can be found opposite the servery, close to the front doors and there is a pool table to the right. A juke box is affixed to the wall at the end of the bar and at least five gaming machines are positioned around the pub. The walls are decorated with a variety of items, including framed images of buildings on Cosham High Street and a print of the 1939 FA Cup Final programme, in which Portsmouth FC were the victors.
Two large televisions are located at each end of the pub, used to show a variety of sporting events via Sky and BT Sport. A pub quiz is hosted each Tuesday evening.
A covered smoking area can be found to the rear of the pub and there is plenty of outside seating on the patio area at the front of house. Car parking is also available.
The bar serves a good range of beers, lagers, cider, wines and spirits including two cask beers from the Greene King range – these being IPA and Old Speckled Hen. Food is served throughout the day (see website for menu).
Pub Owner/Operator: Greene King
Reviewed 21st May 2015
Photographs: (above) 9th November 2015 (below) 15th July 2007; October 2000 (by Ray Scarfe).