Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 09:30 ’til 23:00; Sun 10:30 ’til 23:00
Built in 1966 to replace a pub by the name of the Middleton, the Raven draws it custom mainly from residents of the surrounding Somerstown housing estate. Built in a typically austere ’60s style, the pub was originally under ownership of Brickwood’s until being swallowed up by Whitbread in 1971 before becoming a free house under the ownership of current licensee Tony Winfield in 1992. Winfield installed a microbrewery at the rear of the pub in 1996, producing a number of low gravity milds, bitters and stouts for sale exclusively at the pub. A curious policy of discouraging ale drinkers from ‘outside’ to visit the pub meant that the brewing operation ceased within two years.
Nowadays, the interior of the pub is comfortably furnished, with a mix of leather sofas, high tables and bar stools. A pool table stands at the front of house and there is a jukebox, television and gaming machines. Live music is sometimes hosted on Saturday nights and a meat raffle is drawn on Sunday lunchtimes. There is a pleasant patio garden to the rear of the pub.
At the bar, a good range of big-brand keg beers, lagers, wines and spirits is stocked (including single malt whisky), with Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter being the sole cask ale.
Pub Owner/Operator: A Winfield (Free House)
Reviewed 26th February 2015 (updated 13th February 2017)
Photographs: (above) 9th November 2015 (below, left to right) 30th September 2006; 13th September 2008; September 1998 (by Ray Scarfe); 18th February 1990.
The Red Lion
023 9238 2041
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00 ’til 23:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 22:30
This spacious, smartly furnished hotel bar stands on the former Portsmouth to London stagecoach route. Two cask ales are served (at very competitive prices) – Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter being the permanent fixture, with the ale changing periodically. Courage Directors and St Austell Proper Job have both been found during visits in 2015. A range of keg beers, lagers, wines and spirits is stocked, plus a small range of speciality bottled and canned beers, such as Innis & Gunn Original, Grimbergen Blonde and Pistonhead Kustom Lager.
A large food servery can be found to the rear of the pub, where there is also additional seating. Food is served all day, with pizza being the house speciality. Piped music is played and there are television screens showing news or sporting events via BT Sports. Gaming machines are available. A patio can be found at the front of the building and there is also a car park for customers’ use (entrance on Spur Road).
Hotel accommodation consists of sixteen en suite rooms to the rear of the property.
Pub Operator: Orchid Pubs
Reviewed 6th January 2015 (updated 28th February 2017)
Photographs: (above) 11th March 2007; (below, left to right) October 2000 (by Ray Scarfe); August 2003 (by Ray Scarfe).
The Red White & Blue
150 Fawcett Road
023 9235 0971
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 12:00 ’til 23:30; Fri 12:00 ’til 01:00; Sat 11:20 ’til 01:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 23:30
The Red White & Blue has traded under the same name since the Victorian era. Occupying a small corner plot a short walk south from Fratton Bridge, the pub was originally owned by Brickwoods before being bought by Gales and now forms part of London brewer Fuller’s estate.
The pleasant, single bar room has a homely feel and is bare-boarded around the bar counter area, with carpeting elsewhere. An upright piano stands against the far wall and there is a dart board across the room. A large decorative Fuller’s mirror is a focal point on the back wall of the pub. Elsewhere, the half-boarded walls are adorned with framed, retro advertising posters and old local maps. Piped music is played and live sport is shown on television. Furnishings consist of a mixture of upholstered pews, bar stools and traditional tables and chairs. A small courtyard can be found at the rear, which includes a smoking shelter.
A quiz is hosted on Mondays at 8pm and a meat raffle is drawn on Saturdays.
Fuller’s London Pride and HSB are the regular cask beers, together with a standard range of keg lager, cider, wines and spirits.
Visiting football fans wishing to find a suitable pub before walking to Fratton Park can be assured of a warm welcome here.
Pub Operator: Fuller Smith & Turner
Reviewed 29th January 2015 (updated 2nd February 2017)
Photographs: (above) 14th August 2005; (below, left to right) November 1998 (by Ray Scarfe); 16th May 2011; June 1990; 13th July 2008.
69 Palmerston Road
023 9281 5498
Actual Opening Hours: Mon Tue closed; Wed Thu 11:00 ’til 23:00; Fri Sat 11:00 ’til 02:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 19:00.
Housed in the former Villiers Inn (see Lost Pubs section), this wine bar and bistro stands in one of Southsea’s most popular drinking and dining districts. The modern, contemporary interior extends over two floors, is bright and airy, with a spiral staircase at the front of house being a prominent feature. The rear section is split level, with a dining area at mezzanine level. The frontage of the property is opened up during warm weather and lends a very cosmopolitan feel to the premises, particularly on Sunday afternoons when live jazz is hosted. DJs perform from 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The premises is available for private function hire (see website).
At the bar is a wide selection of wines and spirits, as well as a choice of beers and lagers, including Czech Pilsner Urquell and cask-conditioned Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter. Service is welcoming and friendly and diners are able to choose from three menus throughout the week, offering a good selection of competitively-priced starters, main courses and desserts.
Reviewed 23rd April 2015
Pub Operator: S-J Elliott (Free House)
The Rose In June
102 Milton Road
023 9282 4191
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 12:00 ’til 00:00; Fri Sat 12:00 ’til 01:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 00:00
This sizeable pub on Milton’s northbound one-way system has existed as the Rose In June since the 19th century. Once part of the local Jewell Brewery’s estate, it later ended up in the hands of national brewer Allied before transferring to Gale’s of Horndean. Now under the ownership of Enterprise Inns, the pub retains its traditional two bar rooms, with a comfortable lounge on the right side of the pub and a less sumptuous public bar to the left.
The public bar is simply furnished and includes a pool table, dart board, jukebox and gaming machine. A television is mounted on the wall at the far end of the bar, on which major sporting events are regularly shown. A collection of sporting trophies is displayed above the dart board and there is a display of Portsmouth FC memorabilia on the walls, including a signed shirt. A small number of naval ships’ badges are also displayed.
The lounge bar is a quiet sanctuary, smartly furnished with banquette seating.
Six cask beers are sold, with a choice of ales from local breweries. Langham’s XXX is a permanent fixture – this being the only pub in Portsmouth to sell cask mild as part of its core range. Up to five real ciders and perries is also stocked, along with a range of keg beers, wines and spirits – including ten varieties of gin.
The pub hosts a winter beer festival in February and a summer festival in June, when the pub’s very large, lawned beer garden is put to good use. Curry nights are hosted on the first Wednesday of the month and live folk music can be enjoyed every second Sunday. Pub quiz is Thursdays at 8:30pm.
Pub Owner: EI Group
Reviewed 4th February 2015 (updated 2nd December 2017)
Photographs: (above) 4th February 2015; (below, left to right) 4th February 2007; 29th June 2008; 28th April 1991.
87 Elm Grove
023 9275 5944
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 18:00 ’til 23:00; Fri Sat 18:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 22:00
This well-established wine bar has stood on Elm Grove since 1982 and has gained a reputation as a well-run, high quality restaurant and jazz venue. The immaculate interior consists of a split-level ground floor, a basement seating and dining area, plus a rear conservatory and secluded garden. The premises is bright and airy, with a Mediterranean feel. The walls are decorated with numerous framed wine-related posters as well as photographs of jazz performers. The bar is bare-boarded throughout and there are plenty of potted houseplants, both floor-standing and in hang baskets.
Suffice to say, Rosie’s offers one of the largest selection of wines in Portsmouth, as well as serving a good number of spirits including Talisker and Glenfiddich single malt whisky. Draft Grolsch lager and Sharp’s Doom Bar cask ale is also stocked.
A comprehensive food menu is available at all times and live jazz is performed on a regular basis (see website for details). The conservatory may be hired for private functions, with wedding parties also catered for.
Pub Operator: Wine Vaults (Portsmouth) Ltd.
Reviewed 9th April 2015
Photographs: (above) 9th November 2015 (below): 9th April 2015.
334A Commercial Road
023 9282 4146
Licenced Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10:00 ’til 01:30
Named the New Inn until 1987, this pub dates from around the 1870s, with a degree of alterations having been carried out to repair damage following World War II. Now named the Royal in memory of the Royal Hospital that once stood opposite (on land now occupied by Sainsbury’s supermarket), the pub was sold by Whitbread to Wadworth in 1991. The Wiltshire brewery sold the pub’s freehold in 2013 and the Royal is now run as part of a small chain of independently owned Portsmouth pubs.
Inside, visitors are confronted with an Aladdin’s cave of military memorabilia, with a large White Ensign and Royal Marines flag hung pride-of-place. Ships’ badges and photographs are displayed on the walls and there is a small fish tank at the end of the bar counter. The island bar separates two seating areas, with a pool table, darts board and DJ station in the right-hand area. There is a payphone to the right of the corner entrance. A television and gaming machines are also provided. The bar rooms include a small number of comfortable leather bench seats and there is a coal effect gas fire at hand. Above the fireplace is set a commemorative stone, rescued from the Royal Hospital before the site was demolished in 1987 (see bottom right-hand photograph). There is a small car park to the rear.
Drinks offered are standard keg beers, wines and spirits, plus a single cask ale (Greene King IPA). Wychwood Hobgoblin is available in bottles. Food is limited to roast dinners, served on Sunday afternoons.
Pub Operator: Free House
Reviewed 17th January 2015
Photographs: (above) 13th July 2008; (below, left to right) June 1990; 6th August 2005; 17th January 2015.
The Royal Albert
115 Albert Road
023 9273 6627
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 10:00 ’til 23:00; Fri Sat 10:00 ’til 01:30; Sun 10:00 ’til 00:00
Dating from 1897, this pub replaced one of the same name and was owned by Portsmouth United Breweries – later becoming part of the Whitbread chain. Originally a two-bar pub, it was knocked into one large bar in the 1990s and in 1999 suffered the indignity of being renamed Bar Metro. Thankfully its old name has since been restored.
The pub spent a number of years as the poor relation on Albert Road, struggling to attract a more desirable clientele and as a result finding itself having considerably less footfall than its neighbouring pubs.
The summer of 2015 saw the pub undergo a substantial, much needed, refurbishment, in an attempt to breathe new life into the house. The floors are laminated throughout and the walls half-boarded. Furnishings include high tables and chairs, leather banquettes, bar stools and traditional seating. An original fireplace can be found to the right of the bar counter. Prints of old Portsmouth adorn the walls. The small right-hand seating area now includes a small full-view kitchen, with food consisting of pub favourites, such as burgers, pies and Sunday roasts. No food is served on Mondays or Tuesdays.
The bar room extends to the rear of the pub and leads to a pleasant patio garden which includes three colourful ‘beach hut’ seating areas capable of accommodating around eight people each.
On the bar, two cask ales are sold – these generally being Sharp’s Doom Bar and Cornish Coaster. Keg fonts dispense a selection of national brand products. A range of bottled ales include Robinson’s Trooper, Charles Wells Dogfish DNA, Guinness Dublin and West Indies porters. A good variety of cocktails are served, as well as a standard range of wines and spirits. A ‘real’ cider is also sometimes available.
Free wi-fi is offered and games machines are at hand for those who fancy a flutter. Piped music is played throughout the pub. A meat raffle is held at 3:30pm each Sunday. Entertainment, in the form of DJs, karaoke and open mic nights are held regularly.
Pub Owner: EI Group
Reviewed 2nd September 2015 (updated 28th February 2017)
Colour photographs: (above) 9th November 2015 (below, left to right) 30th September 2006; 13th July 2008; June 1998 (by Ray Scarfe); 11th May 1989.
The Royal Marine(s) Artillery Tavern
58 Cromwell Road
023 9282 0896
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 18:00 ’til late; Sun 14:00 ’til late.
Located opposite the former Royal Marines Barracks, this large corner pub started life in the late 19th century and was once owned by Blakes of Gosport – later transferring to Brickwood’s and then to George Gale & Co. Recently sold off by London brewer Fuller’s, the pub now has one large, single room dominated by a stage opposite the bar counter.
The room is simply furnished, with traditional tables and chairs and upholstered bench seats. A pool table stands at the front of the room, where a fireplace with wood burner can be found. There is a small number of notable, original etched windows on both elevations. Darts is played and a big screen is used to show sporting events (this is also put to good use during live performances, when a stage camera is used to transmit images to the screen). Live music is hosted every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, with Thursdays being open mic night (see website for full details). A separate function room is located to the rear of the pub and is available for private hire.
Up to four cask beers from the Fuller’s range are sold. A standard range of keg beers, lagers, wines and spirits is stocked.
Pub Operator: Free House
Reviewed 5th March 2015 (updated 8th February 2018)
Colour photographs: (above) 9th November 2015 (below, left to right) 31st May 2015 (by D Seall); 4th February 2007; 13th July 2008; 3rd January 2005; 11th May 1989.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 07:00 ’til 23:00; Fri Sat 07:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 07:00 ’til 22:30
Designed and built in 1887 by architect A H Bone, the Royal Standard is typical of the dozens of street corner locals that could once be found in this part of the city. Today it is a rare surviving example – possibly even unique in Portsmouth. A Brickwood’s house until that company’s takeover by national brewer Whitbread in the early 1970s, the pub has stood the test of time and has become somewhat of a Portsmouth institution.
Affectionately known as Ruby’s, after the late landlady Ruby Hardwick who ran the Standard for forty years, the pub has a loyal following and is known nationally and internationally because of its close naval ties. Saved from closure in 2013 following the departure of Hardwick’s granddaughter, the pub has since been given a sympathetic makeover and, thankfully, little has changed. Many of the pub’s huge collection of ship’s badges have thankfully been reinstated at the pub following their sale when the pub changed hands in 2013. Much of this is due to the generosity of the pub’s regular customers, who purchased them and have now returned them to the Standard for display.
The pub has a scrubbed floor and is furnished traditionally. An original fireplace can be found towards the rear of the bar. The walls are decorated with naval memorabilia and the bar’s central cast-iron pillar is entwined by a ship’s rope. The ceiling is covered by a large collection of civil and military flags, from both the UK and abroad. Darts is played and there are gaming machines and a jukebox available. A meat raffle is drawn at 5pm on Saturdays.
The pub now stocks two cask beers – these generally being Wells & Young’s Bombardier and Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter. A real cider (Thatchers Old Rosie) is dispensed on handpump and a standard range of keg products, wines and spirits is sold.
This classic tavern should not be missed by any serious pub-goer visiting Portsmouth.
Pub Operator: Punch Taverns
Reviewed 26th February 2015 (updated 31st August 2016)
Photographs: (above) 15th July 2007.
(below, left to right) 29th June 2017; 29th June 2017; 13th July 2008; 14th August 2005; November 1998 (by Ray Scarfe); 18th February 1990.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 16:00 ’til 23:00; Fri 14:00 ’til 00:00; Sat 11:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 22:00
The Rutland was built as a railway hotel shortly before the turn of the 20th century and was another pub designed in a brewers tudor style by A E Cogswell. Once located close to Jessie Road railway halt, it was originally a Pike Spicer pub, eventually ending up in the hands of Whitbread. Nowadays it is owned by national pubco EI Group.
The large one-bar interior is divided into two distinct areas, with the main bar area floorboarded and the rear room carpeted. The pub is traditionally furnished and sports an original, ornately carved bar counter, pot-shelf and back-bar. A framed print depicting the many examples of Portsmouth FC shirt designs throughout the years is hung at the end of the bar counter. Prints of bygone Portsmouth are also displayed.
Darts and pool is played and there are gaming machines and televisions throughout the pub. A quiz is held on Thursdays at 8pm and a meat raffle is drawn on Sundays at 5pm. Sunday roast dinners are very popular.
Three well-kept real ales from independent brewers are sold, with Butcombe Bitter being the mainstay. The remaining two handpumps are occupied by a beer from a local microbrewery and another from the pub company’s guest beer list (sourced nationally). There is a standard range of keg beers, cider, wines and spirits.
All in all, a fine example of how a community pub should be run.
Pub Operator: EI Group
Reviewed 29th January 2015 (updated 10th December 2017)
Photographs: (above) 14th August 2005; (below, left to right) 13th July 2008; July 1990.