Strong Island Co.

Food & Drink

Champagne Bar at Southsea Castle

Last Friday saw the return of the Champagne Bar to Southsea Castle. The sun was shining and the crowd was in equally high spirits.

With lighting provided by Mijaro the castle looked fantastic. On hand to provide music for the evening were Civilisation of the Rough‘s DJ Mark Persaud and Herma Puma‘s DJ Pimpernel Jones. Live music came courtesy of funk band Big Love Soul, they went down a treat and had everyone busting a move in the marquee area.

With upcoming DJ sets from Funktifino, Hipshaker, Gentle Bren, Handsome Dave Rocker as well as live music from Southsea Alternative Choir and The Smiley Campbell Band it’s clear that you are going to be hard pushed to find a better place to spend your Friday evenings this summer.

The Champagne Bar will be open from 6pm until late and be free entry every Friday (apart from the Victorious Festival and Americas Cup weekends where they will be having a week off). You can stay up to date with all things Champagne Bar by following them on Facebook.

Photo’s from James White Photography.

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Champagne Bar 2015 Poster

Portsmouth Beer Festival – May 2015

On Friday 15th & Saturday 16th May the Portsmouth Guildhall will be hosting the second annual Portsmouth Beer Festival.

The festival will feature plenty of beers brewed from all around the UK, including a variety of pale ales and golden beers which are perfect for the summer months ahead. Not forget there will also be more of my personal favourites, the darker stouts and porters. Expect to see beers from the likes of Ilkley, Dark Star and Tiny Rebel as well as local brewers The Brewhouse, Havant and Irving & Co to name just a few.

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!

During the festival the pub games room will again be open and the Saturday evening session will feature prize giveaways as well as a traditional meat raffle with a modern twist sponsored by Bransbury Park Butchers. Keep an eye out on Strong Island next week as I will be featuring some of the great live music you can expect to hear over the weekend.

Tickets are priced at £10 per person per session (some venues subject to booking fee) and include a souvenir beer glass, programme and beer token. Tickets are available online at pompeybeerfestival.co.uk, Portsmouth Guildhall Box Office, Little Johnny Russells, The Belle Isle – Southsea, The Brewhouse, Leopold Tavern and from our own Strong Island HQ at 12 Highland Road (open Thursday-Saturdays).

The festival is fast earning a reputation as one of the best events in the city. If you have never been before then I encourage you to get some tickets for yourself and some friends and check it out for yourself.

You can follow the event and receive updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Portsmouth Beer Festival

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.

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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 pompeybeerfestival.co.uk, 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:

  • TASTE
  • AROMA
  • COLOR
  • CLARITY
  • DRINKABILITY
  • NAME/PRESENTATION/LABEL

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

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Southsea Seagulls

How good was the weather on Sunday. Albeit cold, it was a belter for sure. Me and Liz hit up the seafront for fish & chips and inadvertently got involved with dive bombing seagulls. They love them chips…

Photography : Tristan

It’s going to be a Strong Movember – Join The Team

Righto chaps, keep that mighty moustache on the grow in support of Movember for The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. For 30 days of November you can help support and raise awareness through selflessly parading your top lip for charity.

You can sign up yourself, as I’m sure many of you already have, or you can join the Strong Island team and seek out sponsorship as a team. Through the Strong Island Movember page you can ask people to join the group, make donations, upload photos and post updates via the MoSpace page, Facebook and Twitter.

Head over to our MoSpace if you would like to get involved and grow a Strong Moustache to help raise awareness, or simply head over to www.uk.movember.com and sign up to personally raise money.

The funds raised in the UK support the number one and two male specific cancers – prostate and testicular cancer. The funds raised are directed to programmes run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Institute of Cancer Research. Together, these channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programmes in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.

Poster: Tristan Savage

Created Local – Caleigh Illerbrun

Old University friend Tom Hall sent me over a link to his extremely talented and prolific girlfriend Caleigh Illerbrun’s online portfolio www.caleigh-ill.com. With illustration, painting and 3 dimensional work firmly tucked under her belt Caleigh has an impressive amount of work on her site, some of which is up for grabs. Currently selling coasters over in her SHOP, Caleigh needs a little help identifying the favourites as she has an advert coming out soon in a magazine.

I’m loving the ‘Wood Tree’ coaster set below, and very much so the ‘Bearlamb’ acrylic & pen at the bottom. You can also follow Caleigh on Facebook and also her blog.

Transport No. 2: The Hovercraft

Southsea seafront has iconic and familiar structures and views but ever since the mid 60s we also have the familiar sound of the hovercraft engines as it repeatedly arrives and leaves for Ryde. This hovercraft route itself was the first Hovercraft passenger service in the world and Hovertravel Limited, founded in 1965, is the world’s longest established commercial hovercraft operator. The first hovercraft was first developed on the Isle of Wight in 1955 when inventor Sir Christopher Cockerell tested out his idea for a floating/flying craft by putting a cat food tin inside a coffee tin. After fine-tuning his designs, Sir Christopher Cockerell secured funding to build a hovercraft. Saunders Roe, the flying boat firm in Cowes on the Isle of Wight was given the contract. The commercial success of hovercraft was initially huge but subsequently suffered from rapid rises in fuel prices during the late 1960s and 1970s. Since the channel routes abandoned hovercraft the United Kingdom’s only public hovercraft service is now our one operating from Southsea.

In 1972 Hovertravel’s SR-N6 012 overturned off of Southsea with a loss of five lives. This was the world’s first fatal accident involving a commercially operated hovercraft. Apart from this one incident the service has an incredible safety record and is used day in day out to transfer up to 100,000 passengers a year.

The hovercraft is a wonderful and now unique form of local transport and something to celebrate and also to actively enjoy with a trip. Booking and travel information is available at the Hovertravel website.

To discover more about hovercraft we are lucky to have the Hovercraft Museum just down the road in Lee-On-Solent which houses the world’s largest library of documents, publications, film, video, photographs and drawings on hovercraft and a collection of actual hovercraft too including the last two remaining SR.N4 craft, the world’s largest civil hovercraft.

Above Western Parade

The other day I got to go up on to the roof of a house on Western parade with a great view over the common, Southsea and The Solent. Always interesting seeing Southsea in new ways. Below are some photos (click on ‘Read More’ to see more plus there are more over on Forever Circling).

Pier and Snow

Here are a few photos from a walk down to the pier on Wednesday during the snowfall. There are some more over on Forever Circling.

Whiteout #2

Pier

Walk Together

BBC Reel History Event

Portsmouth Film Society is taking part in the BBC series of events celebrating local history through archive film, in partnership with the Wessex Film and Sound Archive. Join PFS for a look back at Portsmouth and Southsea history on the big screen, with a talk from local artist Jez Stevens who will discuss his project “No Diving” on the Hilsea Lido, which uses footage from local amateur filmmakers taken at the Lido, and Portsmouth historian Dr. Dave Allen.
Date – Wednesday, November 16 · 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Omega Centre, Portsmouth.
Entry is £2 or free for full Portsmouth Film Society members.


No Diving film

For those of you that missed our post of Dave Allen’s lecture here it is below.

Super Sunny Southsea

What amazing weather we’ve been having as of late. I even rode the full 8 miles home in the sun on Friday. We all had a great weekend spent on the common, riding our bikes, skateboarding and generally eating and drinking the days away.

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Local Photographer – Marcus Hunt’s

Marcus Hunt has rigged together an amazing radio controlled camera set up with a kite which allows him to capture photos of local places in and around Portsmouth with a unique perspective. Unlike photos from aeroplanes, the kite allows for photos from low altitudes giving way more detail. To see loads more than the photos below be sure to spend some time looking through Marcus’ Kite photo Flickr set.

Old Portsmouth

Pier

Vintage Skatepark Photographs

I’ve been holding on to these truly amazing vintage photographs that Simon Tiller kindly sent in as we went through a pretty heavy skateboard period and thought we should chill back a little. Loving the roller hockey team photos too. The 1978 trophies photo is a epic and they were British Champions in 1973 too. Belated congratulations to you all.

This is just a small picking from the Southsea Skatepark website www.southseaskatepark.com. Check them out and if you see anyone you recognise or want to bring something to our attention then remember to add your comments at the bottom of this post.

Special props to the final photo and all the Southsea boys representing ‘back in the day’. Some young looking faces there. Rippers.



























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