36-38B The Boardwalk
023 9237 7422
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 10:00 ’til 22:30; Fri Sat 10:00 ’til 01:00; Sun 10:00 ’til 20:00
Originally owned by former local brewers Gale’s, this contemporary-style wine bar and brasserie was purchased in 2006 by local entrepreneur Andrew Scott. Smartly furnished and featuring flagstoned and boarded flooring, the premises is divided into a pleasant bar area and separate restaurant. Two walls made up of large pebbles set into concrete are an interesting feature, the larger of which contains a striking, open fireplace. Furnishings in the dining areas consist of small tables with comfortable, high-backed chairs, whilst the open-plan bar room contains a mixture of high tables and chairs as well as upholstered armchairs. A baby grand piano is put to use throughout the evenings. The venue hosts dinner and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights, when the area in front of the bar counter is transformed into a dancefloor. An outside patio area is popular in the summer months.
At the bar drinkers can find a choice of two cask ales (Sharp’s Doom Bar Bitter and Greene King Old Golden Hen), together with a range of draught lagers, cider and Guinness. A wide range of wines and spirits is stocked as well as bottled beers such as Curious Brew, Meantime London Pale Ale and BrewDog Punk IPA. See website for food menu.
Pub Operator: Ascott Leisure
Reviewed 27th April 2015 (updated 31st March 2016)
Photographs: (top) 26th February 2007; (below) 27th April 2015.
The Wave Maiden
36 Osborne Road
023 9217 8878
Actual Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu 18:00 ’til 23:00; Fri & Sat 12:00 ’til 00:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 22:00
This independent beer house and bistro opened at the tail end of 2014 and occupies a former restaurant premises. Refurbished at much expense, the attention to detail is evident from the outset. The long, narrow, single bar room is well furnished and includes traditional tables and chairs, bar stools and sofas. The floor is tiled and the walls painted a smart dark green colour, with some exposed brick and wood panelling. Subdued lighting lends an intimate feel to the pub. A curious wooden chair-cum-coat stand stands by the entrance, to the right, and there is a quirky selection of collectables such as an old radio, a cast iron fire and a ceramic jardiniere pedestal. A mounted deer’s head hangs on the wall opposite the bar.
The bar counter, to the rear of house, stocks a very large range of UK and foreign bottled ales and there is a range of four craft-keg beers on offer. A stillage at the end of the bar stocks four ever-changing cask ales, sourced from quality microbrewers across the country – with local producers often featured. Real cider is also offered. The bar serves a range of cheese-based dishes and there are plans afoot to open a separate dining room on the first floor. Complimentary bowls of the management’s home-made popcorn is given to customers to enjoy with their drinks. A range of wines and spirits is also stocked.
An additional, upstairs bar and dining room is open at certain times and may be hired for private functions.
Price wise, the Wave Maiden is certainly in the upper bracket as far as drinks are concerned, though with the pub’s dedication to quality and ambience, many are happy to accept this. A bottle shop and ‘biere gaarten’ is also planned.
Pub Operator: Wave Maiden Ltd. (Free House)
Reviewed 7th March 2015
Photographed 2nd February 2015.
62 High Street
023 9281 8965
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 11:00 ’til 00:00; Fri 11:00 ’til 01:00; Sat 09:00 ’til 01:00; Sun 09:00 ’til 23:30
This old tavern in the historic Sallyport area was sporadically known as the Duke of Wellington until the 1850s, by which time it had settled simply for The Wellington. Once part of the Peters Brewery estate, by the 1980s it was owned by Allied Breweries of Burton and branded as a Friary Meux pub.
Now owned by Punch Taverns, the pub underwent a significant refit in early 2016 and now styles itself as a “Lounge Bar and Kitchen”. The bar counter has now been moved rearward, though somewhat surprisingly this hasn’t necessarily given the interior a more spacious feel. The floors are uncarpeted and furnishings predominently traditional, with menus and tealights placed on each table. The walls are now a terracota shade, matching the newly-painted exterior. A series of ornate chandeliers hang from the ceiling and various potted plants are positioned around the room. Piped jazz is played in the bar and customers can take advantage of the secluded rear patio garden in warmer weather.
At the bar, two cask ales are served alongside various keg lagers, cider and stout. A visit in March 2016 found Sharp’s Atlantic and Wadworth Swordfish on the pumps, with the latter being a rather hefty £4.20 per pint. Over two dozen wines are stocked and there is also a large selection of gins, brandies and rums, though curiously no single malt whisky!
Reasonably priced food is served all day, with plenty of dishes to choice from. Live music is hosted on Friday evenings – with jazz, motown and soul being the preferred genres.
Reviewed 21st March 2016
Pub Owner: Punch Taverns
Photographs: (above) 1st May 2016 (below, left to right) 1st January 2016; 16th March 2015; 16th March 2015; 3rd September 2010; 27th January 2008; 30th September 2006; 11th May 1989.
The White Horse
51 Southsea Terrace
023 9281 8979
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00 ’til 23:00; Sun 12:00 ’til 22:30
Known as the White Lodge in the 1940s, this pub acquired its present name as early as 1953. In 1988 the pub received a major transformation that saw its size double and the toilets were, at last, brought inside the building! The pub reopened as Langtry’s – taking its name from Lily Langtry, the Jersey actress who was known to have stayed in the pub during her visits to Portsmouth. In 2005 the pub regained its proper name when it was purchased by local brewer George Gale & Co. of Horndean. A further switch of ownership has seen the pub end up in the hands of independent pub chain Merlin Inns.
On entering the pub, the customer approaches the counter between two central pillars within the original bar room. The walls are half-boarded and the decor is predominantly pale green and blue, with the upper section of wall to the right of the servery painted a terracotta colour. Here can be found a bar billiards table. The pub has two fireplaces, facing each other across the entire width of the building. The pub consists of two main rooms, the left-hand area including a conservatory overlooking the large front garden. Furnishings consist mainly of fabric upholstered armchairs and bench seats. Black and white yachting prints are displayed on the walls, together with small framed photographs of notable local architecture.
The bar area has a pair of wall-mounted televisions, on which BT Sports is shown and there are gaming and quiz machines on offer. Piped music is played throughout the pub. Food is served Monday to Friday lunchtimes and evenings and all day at weekends.
At the bar, three cask ales are sold, these mainly sourced from large independent breweries such as Marstons (Wychwood) and Wells & Youngs. A hand-pulled real cider (often from Mr Whitehead’s) is also stocked. A good selection of single malt whiskies is sold and there is a wide range of keg products, plus wines and other spirits.
The aforementioned garden proves especially popular in summer, when barbecues are sometimes hosted.
Pub Operator: Merlin Inns
Reviewed 2nd March 2015 (updated 28th October 2016)
Colour photographs: (above) 16th March 2015; (below, left to right) 16th March 2015; 13th July 2008; 14th August 2005; April 2002 (by Ray Scarfe) September 1998 (by Ray Scarfe); 14th August 1988.
The White Swan
(Brewhouse & Kitchen)
26 Guildhall Walk
023 9289 1340
Actual Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat 11:00 ’til 23:00; Sun 11:00 ’til 22:30
This ornate, Grade II listed Edwardian pub, designed by A H Bone in 1906, features six ornately carved caryatids flanking the entrance doors and is of similar design to the former Air Balloon on Mile End Road. Being located on Guildhall Walk, the pub used to be busy with young clubbers most nights, whilst daytime custom was more thin on the ground. After a short spell as a pseudo-American-style sports bar called Pitchers in the late 1990s the pub later thankfully regained its old identity, though never seemed to be able to attain similar levels of custom, mainly due to the multitude of other bars that opened on Guildhall Walk at that time.
After a period of closure in 2008, the pub was rescued by national pub company JD Wetherspoon, who reopened the house following an extensive refurbishment in June 2009. However, by mid 2012 the company had decided to offload the pub as it was not performing to expectations.
In early February 2013 a new company, Brewhouse & Kitchen, secured the lease of the pub, carrying out a full refurbishment and installing a microbrewery. The pub reopened on 4th March 2013, serving a choice of up to six own-brewed cask ales, as well as foreign craft keg beers on draught. The pub has since become deservedly popular with beer drinkers, keen to sample the wide range of products available. Five litre mini kegs (costing £25) of some of the cask ales are available to take home. A traditional, hand-pulled cider is also often available.
The pub’s food is well presented – with the Sunday roasts proving especially popular. Also worth mentioning is the collection of board games that is available to customers. An internal refurbishment in September 2015 left the pub layout essentially the same as before, though the bar servery has been reduced in size due to an open-to-view kitchen having been installed where the rear bar counter was previously located.
Spring 2017 saw the opening of a rooftop beer garden at the rear of the pub.
Pub Operator: Brewhouse & Kitchen Ltd
Reviewed 17th January 2015 (updated 26th March 2017)
Photographs: (above) 9th November 2015 (below, left to right) 15th July 2007; 13th July 2009; 13th July 2009; 13th July 2008; 11th May 1989.
Actual Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 16:00 ’til 23:00; Fri 15:00 ’til late; Sat Sun 12:00 ’til late
The Winchester Arms was built around 1880 to a design by A Hudson for the Pike Spicer brewery. By 1910 the pub had become part of Brickwood’s extensive estate which in turn was swallowed up by Whitbread in 1971. By the mid 1990s the pub had fallen into decline and seemed to be a prime candidate for closure. Its fortunes changed later that decade when the pub was bought by Geoff Hartridge of Winchester Ale Houses and reopened in 1999 after a major refurbishment, complete with its own microbrewery.
The pub has since ceased brewing and is now in the hands of Punch Taverns, but remains a pleasant ale house – a CAMRA Good Beer Guide regular, the interior has a bare-boarded floor and there is much dark wood in evidence. Furnishings are traditional, with upholstered bench seating running around the perimeter of the main bar room. There are televisions in the bar, plus gambling machines and traditional pub games. A large collection of pewter and ceramic tankards are on display throughout the pub. High shelves house a variety of small bottles and books. In the ‘tap room’ area adjacent to the former brewery is a display of World War II ARP memorabilia. To the rear of the pub is a second room, complete with its own small bar counter and original fireplace. A dart board hangs on the wall. Outside is a patio garden area, with a large mural on the wall depicting Portsmouth landmarks.
The Winchester sells up to four cask ales, sourced from independent breweries, both local and further afield. A standard range of lagers, cider, wines and spirits is sold.
Regular open mic nights and acoustic live performances are hosted.
Pub Operator: Punch Taverns
Reviewed 19th February 2015 (updated 13th February 2017)
Photographs: (above) 29th November 2015 (below, left to right) 3rd July 2005; 13th July 2008; 18th February 1990.
The Wine Vaults
41-47 Albert Road
023 9286 4712
see The Vaults