Strong Island Co.

Food & Drink

Atrium Launch New Cocktail Menu with Fuzz Tones Night

The Atrium has always been a good spot for some cocktails and with the spring arriving they are launching their brand new cocktail menu this friday (20th March). Providing the music for the evening will be Fuzz Tones, Southsea’s only regular Psychedelic and Garage Rock night. Along with the brand new cocktail menu, the Fuzz Tones DJ’s LongDistanceDan and Martin Horn will also be giving away a free mix CD too.

The night runs from 7.30pm to midnight with happy hour from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.

Find out more at the Facebook event HERE.

Atrium Launch New Cocktail Menu with Fuzz Tones Night

King Street Tavern – Easter Gift Fair

This Saturday coming see’s the Easter Art and Gift Fair at the King Street Tavern, Southsea. From 11am a collection of artists and designers will be taking over the pub to showcase and sell some of their products.

Kendal James who organises the event introduces the artists and designers involved…

Maggie Ambler – A self taught ceramic tile artist. Maggie enjoys experimenting with styles and effects of glazes to create beautiful one of a kind art. Her tiles have all kinds of suitable home ware uses and can even be formed in sequences to create larger pieces.

Vicky Tupper – From skulls to flowers, Sewing With Screwball creates lovingly stitched goods for you, your loved ones and your home.

Stu Linfield – A recognized Southsea Illustrator that creates series of original art works by hand and digital media. His pieces are frequently nautical or geek inspired and always well thought out and beautiful pieces of design.

Debra Wallace – Southsea based handmade card maker. One of a kind superhero themed felt greetings cards and soft toys. Lots of Easter and birthday gifts and greetings will be available at this fair.

Lou Bliss – A Portsmouth based fine artist working with a variety of media, generally found natural objects and recycled materials. Presenting a collection of unique framed prints created using the spores of collected fungi specimens.

Chantelle Cheshire – A mixed media illustrative and graphic artist living in Southsea. She makes all kinds of home and office wares and specialises in creating patterns.

Kate Smith – Hand crafted from felt, embroidery thread, and the occasional sequin or two, Gingerthread House products are a soft and fuzzy way to decorate your home this Spring time.

Kendal James – Inspired by old-school computer games and today’s (cute) Japanese film industry, Kendal creates pixel art accessories and home decorations as well as designing her own ultra soft and fluffy crochet (Amigurumi) toys.

For more information about the event of the artists involved, just visit the Facebook Event page HERE.

KST Easter Gift Fair

The Champagne Bar Returns For 2015

We are really excited to inform you that the Champagne Bar will be returning to Southsea Castle from Friday 10th April. Mark the date in your diary now because you don’t want to miss live music from Big Love Soul and DJ on the night will be Civilisation of the Rough‘s Mark Persaud.

The Champagne Bar will be open from 7pm and be free entry every Friday, apart from the Victorious Festival and Americas Cup weekends.

To stay up to date with all things Champagne Bar by following them on Facebook HERE.

Champagne Bar

Results and Photos from Strong Island Homebrew Competition 2015

Earlier this month we held the 5th annual Strong Island Home Brew competition at Meat & Barrel and as always, the great and the good of local home brews were judged, tasted and enjoyed. The competition has grow and grown over the years and this year saw a total of 29 entries in total from 18 home brewers…both a blessing and a little bit scary for the judges when they realised they had to taste them all.

As well as the numbers, the quality of brews continues to go from strength to strength resulting in a difficult task to pick the city’s finest in both categories. The field was wide open with some old favourite brewers from past years through to new brewers entering for the first time. The types of brews was also diverse too. In the end, the results were:

Ale Category
1st – Dog Watch Porter (Jonathon Goulding)
2nd – Black Forest Gateaux (David Eastwood)
3rd – Artful Aprihop Dodger (Tyler Griffin, previous double winner)

Other Category
1st – Elderflower cider (David Eves)
2nd – Weirs Ginger Beer (Weir)
3rd – Medium Dry Cider (David Eves)

Check the photos below and you can see loads more on our Facebook and over on our Flickr too. A huge thank you to everyone who entered, our judges and Get Brewing for the prizes too. Our Ale category winner will now go to be brewed by Irving & Co. Brewers so keep your eyes peeled on your local pub’s taps around May time.

Southsea Beerex

A very large part of me can’t help but think that, in 2015, Portsmouth is the city to be in when it comes to good beer. New establishments such as Meat & Barrel, The Wave Maiden and Brewhouse mingle with old favourites such as The Hole In The Wall, The Leopold Tavern and The Lawrence Arms amongst many more. We also boast two great annual beer festivals, in the form of The Portsmouth Beer Festival and Portsea Island Beer Festival. Now we can lay claim to a third: Southsea Beerex.

Soothes Beerex is a collaboration between The Leopold Tavern and he Wedgewood Rooms. Bringing together real beer and real music, this event is being held on Friday 20th March and Saturday 21st March 2015. Starting with some of Britain’s most loved breweries and then adding music from some great musicians, this a superb combination that will be a great addition to the already vibrant Albert Road scene. Featured breweries include: Darkstar, Thornbridge, Burning sky, Magic rock, Tiny Rebel, Bad Seed, Irving, Oakleaf, Staggeringly Good, Vibrant Forest, Brewhouse and Kitchen to name just a few. There will also be a large range of real ciders for the non-ale drinkers. Session times are Friday 6-11pm, Saturday 12-5pm and Saturday 6-11pm. All sessions are charged at £10 and include entry, live music and a commemorative glass. Tickets available from Leopold Tavern, Belle Isle and online at Wedgewood rooms. The concept is simple real beer and real music…

You can like and follow Southsea Beerex here & here.


The Portsmouth Beer Festival 2015

The Portsmouth Beer Festival is officially back for the second year running. Cast off your Dryanuary shackles and look towards the promise of an early summer knees up of epic proportions. Co-organiser Ben Miles says, “We’re proud that The Portsmouth Beer Festival is back for a second year after the sell-out weekend in May and December 2014. A celebration of craft beers and cask ales, alongside a selection of ciders, draught beer and delicious street food all set to the backdrop of more fantastic live entertainment including the Southsea Alternative Choir, Bog Rolling Stones and Elasticated Waste Band with many more to be announced soon!”.
As always, tickets will be available online at, however if you favour physical goods, you can grab them from the Portsmouth Guildhall Box Office, Little Johnny Russells, The Belle Isle – Southsea, The Brewhouse, The Leopold Tavern and of course; Strong Island Co.

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Strong Island 5th Annual Home Brew Competition – Date Change

Ladies & Gentlemen due to unforeseen circumstances we have had to push the date back a week to WEDS 11TH FEBRUARY.  It will still be at Meat & Barrel with the same timings and formats. Huge apologies if this causes any inconvenience. If you are unable to make the revised date please contact Malcolm Irving who will be happy to take delivery of your brews and will ensure they are entered into the competition if you are unable to attend. We look forward to seeing you on the 11th.

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5th Annual Strong Island Home Brew Competition – 4/2/2015

Only a month to go until the annual Strong Island Home Brew Competition for 2015!  The rules are the same and last year we had our largest amount of entries and the strongest competition we’ve ever seen.  In a landmark 5th year we’re hoping for more of the same!

We’ve had great success in the previous four years with ALL winners going on to have their winning brews re-brewed by Irving & Co. Brewers and sold in a range of pubs in and around Portsmouth.

The judging panel will consist of Malcolm Irving from Irving & Co. Brewers in Portsmouth,  Stuart Ainsworth who is Landlord of the Leopold Tavern which is Portsmouth & South East Hampshire CAMRA pub of the year multi award winner and one other beer professional to be confirmed soon.

This year we are opting for a 2 categories again.  1st category will be the ale brew.  Whether you already are a home brewer or you really want to have a go for the first time and get involved, this is designed to make no boundaries for the brewer.  This category is made to really let the skills be shown of your home brewing talent.

The 2nd category will be the ‘Other’ category.  Lagers, Ginger Beers & Ciders for this one with same rules with the 1st category regards to unrestricted brewing rules.

Your brews will be judged on:


You can enter as many entries as you like either as an individual or a team.

The judging evening will take place at a new location for 2015, the brand new Meat & Barrel on Palmerston Road, Southsea on Wednesday 4th February 2015 so get it in your diaries.

Drop by Elm Grove and check out Get Brewing for all your ingredients and equipment supplies.

We look forward to seeing you at the competition.

Happy brewing!

5th Brew Comp Poster WEB

4th Annual Strong Island Homebrew Competition 4th Annual Strong Island Homebrew Competition 4th Annual Strong Island Homebrew Competition 4th Annual Strong Island Homebrew Competition 4th Annual Strong Island Homebrew Competition



Quick Visit to Home Coffee on Albert Road

Paid a quick visit to Home Coffee earlier this week, the new independent speciality coffee shop on Albert Road. Home opened very recently and has a warm, welcoming atmosphere, great coffee, pasties from Bread Addiction and a great decor too. Home is open today if you are out and about and need a respite from last minute shopping.

Hit them up on Facebook for opening times, menu, etc:

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Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition Winner

Between the 1st and 12th December we have been asking a question each day relating to the prize on offer. One lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves. Being honest I have been quite tempted to keep a few of the prize’s myself, although it is Christmas and I didn’t want to risk being put on Santa’s naughty list. So it gives me great pleasure to announce that the very lucky winner of all these prizes is Sophie Cousins.

We wanted to thank every one who donated something to this awesome competition.

Day One – Made By Burbs Print

Day Two – A pair No 6 Cinema tickets

Day Three – Angela Chick gift cards

Day Four – Magpie’s Lust Jewellery

Day Five – Caleigh Ill coasters

Day Six – Bread Addiction Bag

Day Seven – A meal at The Wave Maiden

Day Eight – Mia Mai framed Print

Day Nine – Meal and drinks voucher for The Marmion Pub

Day Ten – Strong Island Calendar

Day Eleven – Custom made animal toy by Ooh La Lapin

Day Twelve – Raw & Auburn and Laura Bennett Jewellery

A bonus prize courtesy of Staggeringly Good Beer.

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Portsmouth at Night

Claire Sambrook from the sent me a link to a Flickr group called Portsmouth at Night, and let me say this, their photos are amazing. Lots of playing with lights, angles and exposures make for some fantastic photography.

Check out all the PAN photography on their Flickr.




Southsea Show 1970

Image: eBay

Vintage Southsea Skatepark

Bored Manager Tom sent us over this original Skatepark article and poster. It doesn’t get more back in the day than this really. The original proposal plan and the opening day poster. At last Skateboard Paradise. Truly amazing. The article is quite small, but I zoomed it to read back the first paragraph.

‘Skatepark plan caters for all plus band and roller skating. Fast elevated runs and steep twisting slalom – like tracks for the advanced skateboarder, are a design feature of the £60,000 skateboard arena proposed for Southsea Common’



RETROSPECTIVE – Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea

“Since Strong Island began back in 2008 we have amassed an incredible amount of historical information about Portsmouth & Southsea’s past. These articles are not only from our own interest and passion about the city, but also from readers that have sent us some amazing facts. So much has changed in such a relatively short amount of time and the fast pace of life around us can make it easy to forget the importance of this cities history.

Retrospective‘ takes a look back at some of our previous posts incase you missed them in the past or you’re one of our new readers. One day myself and Paul hope to create a stand alone archive here utilising all the books and photos we have collected that haven’t made it on to Strong Island as of yet. With permission of course! So much to do and so little time. Enjoy.”

This is one seriously awesome vintage photography collection from Pop Olive33 that I found on Flickr a while back (sadly no longer active). Check out Osborne Road and Guildhall. Just incredible. It’s hard to imagine a time when traffic flowed through Guildhall, and that was only in 1968 and the shot looking west down Osborne Road is amazing. Trams, horses, grand buildings, a traffic cop, ladies & gents. It’s all going on…

Originally published Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Ash Cloud

I took these photos the other week when the ash cloud was at it’s worst, there are more over at Forever Circling. if you have any photos online taken around the island effected by the ash cloud please pop a link in the comments and we’ll post some up later this week.

Strong Island Clothing Co.