Strong Island Co.

Food & Drink

Dangerdogs Freedom Party for Save the Children

Got plans on the 5th of November? They don’t matter, change them. Instead get yourself down to The Old Barn in Milton at 7pm for a night of fundraising brought to you by Southsea’s hottest new food truck Dangerdogs. Here is what they say;

Since the beginning of the conflict, Syrian children have been the forgotten victims of the horrific war. Today, over 5 million children are in need of assistance, including over 1 million Syrian children who have sought refuge in neighboring countries. These children are at risk of becoming a “lost generation” and cannot be ignored. We must save Syria’s children.

This is where you come in – all you have to do is:
Come to The Old Barn on Thursday 5th November and eat hot dogs and listen to awesome live music to help raise money for this incrediblly worthwhile cause.

Dangerdogs UK will be serving up bacon wrapped or faconwrapped meat / veggie and vegan hotdogs and music will be supplied by banging local acts.

Tickets; £6.50 on the door which will include a #Dangerdog of your choice and give you free raffle ticket (more raffle tickets available for purchase). We can’t wait to see you there.

Amongst the acts are You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons / Jalou / Pimpernel Jones / Moosehead International Airport / Bluegreen / Udy + Surprise Special Guests.

For more info on the event, check out their FB page here.





The Wave Maiden Present… I Think I’m Turning Japanese

From 7pm on 23rd October The Wave Maiden will be hosting a special artisan Sake tasting event.

Tickets for the event cost £50 per person however you get good value for your money! Your ticket entitles you five course Japanese taster menu, seven types of speciality sake, a premium bottle from the Kiuchi Brewery to take home with you. If that sounds like your idea of a good night then you can purchase your tickets from the Wave Maiden in person or by email at

Co-founder Ali Lees explains that “There will be some staff in kimonos as well as Japanese music making for a fun and authentic evening. As part of the ticket price you can take home one of three really special 8% Hitachino Nest Beers from Kiuchi Brewery: XH or Extra High, Commemorative Ale, or Real Ginger Ale.”

This is the first of hopefully many beer tasting events that the Wave Maiden team are aiming to host in the future. Being a lover of them and their beers I for one am excited by the prospect of even more of these events!

You can find out more about this and future events on their Facebook, Twitter @TheWaveMaiden and Instagram @thewavemaiden.

Wave Maiden

Pie & Vinyl – Winter Menu

Pie & Vinyl are ready to launch their new winter menu this weekend which includes their new roast dinner pie named ‘Sunday Best’ after Rob Da Bank’s famous record label.

The meat used in the pie’s will vary from week to week but will be served up in a giant Yorkshire pudding, filled with creamy mash and minty mushy peas that you can then top it off with onion gravy. Veggie, vegan and gluten free options will be available too.

For more information on the menu options visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter @PieandVinyl.

Pie & Vinyl

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Pie & Vinyl Menu

Bestival 2015 Review | Saturday

My Saturday morning began with a trip to the press tent where I exchanged Bestival stories from the night before with the folks from Trapped Magazine and Capital South. Afterwards I nipped back to the tent and got kitted out in my tie dye ready for Saturday’s fancy dress day.

This years theme was ‘Summer of Love’, Bestival organiser Rob da Bank explained that the simple theme was in order to be a positive message in light of all the bad news and downright evil goings on in the world. The theme was a great idea and it was awesome to see large numbers getting involved and spreading the love, but I have to be honest I found that this years festival costumes lacked the ingenuity and creativity which I’d come to expect from previous years. This years Fancy Dress Award went to worthy winners, the Love Hearts.

I spent most of my Saturday with the lovely Victorious Festival crew who were letting their hair down after a busy August. House of Pain were the special guests on the Main Stage followed by Little Dragon but for me Saturday was really all about the evening’s entertainment.

Annie Mac kicked things off on Main Stage and did a top job getting the crowd warmed up for The Chemical Brothers. Fresh from headlining the Pyramid stage at this years Glastonbury Tom and Ed didn’t disappoint. Their set included classics such as ‘Hey Boy, Hey Girl’, ‘Galvanise’ and ‘Go’. Their performance was accompanied by first class visuals, it brought back memories of their 2007 set which I was at the front for!

After the Chems came another of my all time Bestival highlights (I’ve picked up a few of them over the weekend so far). As you saw from my Bestival preview I am a huge Future Islands fan and I was fortunate enough to see them the photography pit. Not to long into the set disaster struck when my camera battery ran out! Not to be beaten I took a couple of quick snaps with my iPhone, I know it’s bad etiquette for gig photography but I was able to capture some cracking silhouettes of lead singer Samuel Herring. Next time I will pack my spare battery!

Future Islands

Afterwards we stuck around in the Big Top and checked out Duke Dumont although the crowd were packed in so tightly that I don’t think I could have got out even if I’d wanted to. The rest of the evening/morning is a little bit of a blur but I do know that I took myself to bed about 3:30am.

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Rob da Bank by Victor Frankowski
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By Tom Martin
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Annie Mac by Carolina Faruolo
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Chemical Brothers by Carolina Faruolo
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Future Islands by Victor Frankowski
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Duke Dumont by Victor Frankowski

The Portsmouth Beer Festival Christmas Sessions

Summer is over. Deal with it yeah? But as one door closes another one opens; cue chunky knitwear, log fires and the Portsmouth Beer Festival Christmas Sessions.

Returning for it’s second year at Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday 18th & Saturday 19th December 2015, festival Organiser Ben Miles says, “We’re proud that The Portsmouth Beer Festival is back after another sell-out weekend back in May 2015 and we are looking forward to presenting our “Christmas Sessions” again after a great success last December. A celebration of craft beers and cask ales, alongside a selection of ciders, mulled wine, mulled cider and festive street food all set to the backdrop of more fantastic live entertainment – line-up to be released soon, so watch this space!”

Beers will be featured from local breweries as well as from around the UK. A large variety of darker beers will feature to suit the season, but fear not there will still be a fine selection of pale ales and hoppy craft beers on offer. Expect to see beers from the likes of Ilkley, Dark Star and Tiny Rebel as well as local brewers The Brewhouse, Staggeringly Good, Oakleaf, Havant and Irving & Co amongst many, many more.

Again the event will be raising money for two fantastic charities in the extremely popular Pub Games Room hosted by Austen ‘Danger” McLean, for the Thunder Foundation African Schools Charity and the SamuelsFund.

Ben adds “We’re looking forward to getting many people’s Christmas festivities off to an enjoyable start at the Christmas Sessions 2015. It will be a great for social gatherings, work parties and generally catching up over a Christmassy pint!”

Tickets are available online at: Portsmouth Guildhall Box Office, Meat & Barrel, Little Johnny Russells, The Belle Isle – Southsea, The Brewhouse & Kitchen and Leopold Tavern.

Tickets are priced at £10 per person per session and include a complimentary souvenir glass, programme and beer token.



Craig Finn Acoustic Set at Pie & Vinyl TOMORROW

Tomorrow Pie & Vinyl welcome The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn in store for a special acoustic set. Craig will be releasing his second solo album, ‘Faith In Future’ on September 18th – but you can exclusively pick your copy up two days earlier at this show and have it signed by the man himself!

Get yourself down there for 12:45pm with the doors opening at 1pm. The event is free but limited to the first sixty people. For more information follow Pie & Vinyl on Facebook and Twitter @PieAndVinyl.


FoodCycle Portsmouth Fundraising Pop Up Dinner Now Sold Out!

Here is some great news from the FoodCycle Portsmouth team, their pop up community fundraiser (as you first saw here) officially sold out in just over a week. What a great response to what will be a really unique dining experience at the Watkins & Faux Pavilion Cafe. However the fight doesn’t end here, FoodCycle Portsmouth still need help to continue this work and are aiming to raise £2,500 by the 1st Dec 2015 (in time for Christmas). For every £7 donated, they can buy the extra ingredients needed for a three-course meal for 40 people who are struggling to get by – making sure their meals are as tasty and nutritious as possible.

The three-course ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’-style vegetarian dinner held this evening, will be created from surplus food by a team of committed volunteers and served to the paying public to raise much needed funds to ensure FoodCycle Portsmouth can continue its work for the foreseeable future. In addition to putting food in tums, patrons will also be treated to live music from Tom and Caitlin; Southsea’s finest bluegrass duo, and artwork by local artist, Joe Munro. No wonder the 60 capacity venue was sold out shortly after tickets were released.

This event will be hosted in partnership with FoodCycle Bristol volunteers, as Portsmouth is the last stop on their Tour de FoodCycle.



Victorious Festival 2015 Review – A Festival For The Whole Family (Part Two)

This year’s Victorious Festival was pretty epic. Though it was my first, I am already looking forward to going back next year. Saturday may have been a washout for some, but with our brollies and wells in tow, we were not going to have our spirits dampened.

The variety of activities spread across the Kids Arena was immense. There was everything you could think of to entertain the children and some of parents who are children at heart. Every bit of detail had been covered, from children’s safety with wrist bands with emergency contact details on to baby changing areas.

In the Kids Arena, there was face painting, tennis, a disco tent (playing some absolute classics), Disney princesses everywhere, providing much excitement for the kids with plenty of photo opportunities. Magic shows and all round fun activities. What was fantastic about the Kids Arena was that all the kids actives and entertainment was all free, so there was no telling the children they can’t go on a ride because you don’t have any change!

The Kids Arena was situated next door to the main areas which was great. It meant we could escape the ‘adult zone’ and enjoy some great live music. We saw a couple of bands at the Acoustic Stage, Captain Flatcap at the Beats and Swing Tent – who were amazing! I have never seen so many people dancing so hard to live music before. The band were brilliant, clearly having fun and everyone around them was too. My five year old dragged me to the front barrier so she could get a better view and dance with everyone else. I also saw Laura Mvula, who was one of the acts that I desperately wanted to see and she didn’t disappoint. Her live vocals were incredible.

We’d built up quite an appetite just wandering around the site seeing what was on offer. There was a huge array of cuisines that all looked and smelt so delicious that it was so difficult to decide. In the end we went for a chilli from the Chilipot. If they are there next year, make sure you head over for some delicious food.

The festival was a fantastic day out for all ages, and I would highly recommend the day to anyone even those with young families, there really is something for everyone.

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Victorious Festival Princesses

FoodCycle Portsmouth Fundraising Pop Up Dinner

On Friday 11th September, FoodCycle Portsmouth and FoodCycle Bristol are joining forces to bring you a one-off pop up dinner event in Southsea, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a stunning three course meal in a beautiful coastal café. This is a meal with a twist – it will be cooked entirely from surplus food! Two great teams of volunteers will work together to collect and cook up a delicious three course meal made from surplus food (that would otherwise be thrown away) especially for you!


The evening will be jam packed with entertainment. We’ve got live music from Tom and Caitlin, Southsea’s finest bluegrass duo. Award winning artist Joe Munro will be showcasing some of his documentary driven artwork that interrogates our conceptions of existing food systems in the UK, and highlights the importance of the positive steps projects are making locally. And if that’s not enough, there’ll be street art and more to ensure this is an unforgettable evening.


This unique event offers an opportunity to support one of the UK’s leading organisations tackling food waste, food poverty and social isolation. All funds raised will go towards supporting FoodCycle’s projects in Portsmouth, Bristol and across the UK.
Join us for this tasty meal and help unite our local community through good food.

All you need to know:
Time: 7pm for 7.30pm service.
Location: Watkins & Faux, Pavilion Café, Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, PO5 3PB
Tickets: Tickets cost just £7 and must be brought in advance here. There are limited seats available so don’t delay in booking your tickets! 
Drinks and raffle tickets available for purchase on the evening – so please remember to bring a few extra pennies along!

FoodCycle runs volunteer-powered community projects across the UK – all working to reduce food poverty and social isolation by serving tasty, nutritious meals to vulnerable people. Since we started cooking in May 2009, our incredible volunteers have served over 125,000 meals made using over 146,000kg of surplus food – the equivalent saving of 657,000kg CO2 emissions.

FoodCycle Portsmouth collects food from retailers that would otherwise be thrown away, and with the help of lovely volunteers cook it up into a tasty, healthy 3 course meal for those most in need in our city. Meals are put on every Tuesday at the John Pounds Centre on Queens Street, Portsea and every Thursday at Kings Church, Somerstown.


Au Revoir Kitsch N D’or

After the news that we are welcoming back local favourite 101 Reykjavík came the sad news that we are saying goodbye another favourite the Kitsch N D’or.

Yesterday the team behind the restaurant wrote the following on their Facebook page.

“It is with great sadness that Paul and Jenny have to announce the closure of Kitsch N D’or after 15 years of business. Due to continued impasse with the landlords, they have had to make this decision for the future happiness of their family. From everyone here at the Kitsch we would like to say thank you to all our customers and friends for your continued support over the last 15 years. We would not have been able to do it without you all. Thank you and goodbye.”

Kitsch N D’or has been a favourite of my family for birthdays and special occasions but it isn’t just the Barker clan who are sad to say goodbye, their reputation spread far and wide with many travelling from outside of Portsmouth to sample their fantastic French inspired cuisine.

Strong Island would like to wish all of the staff involved the best of luck in the future. Vous allez nous manquer.


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By The Castle

Apologies for a little self-linkage, but I’ve added some photos from a July day down by the castle on Forever Circling (a photography, etc blog I update daily).

It’s sunny today too, roll on spring and summer.

Around the Castle

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.






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

Created Local – Carl Partridge

Portsmouth’s Carl Partridge is a local artist and photographer currently studying MA Communication Design up in that there London at Central St Martins. As well as all the awesome artwork on his website we particularly liked his Lomo Diana photos from round Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Be sure to look through the good work over at



Big Rave Night

Clearly ‘that top group from Portsmouth The Parkas’ used to rave hard at the licensed bar The Drill Hall in Camberley back in ’67. Awesome stuff for sure.

Flyer Seen : Pompey Pop Pix

Vintage Photography – Sunny Southsea

Big thanks to Khalid who sent over these vintage photographs scanned from The Images of Portsmouth (1993). We have a small selection so I’ll put one page up each week.

Love this first shot of the band stand on the common in the 1920s showing how the site was originally used before the Skatepark was built around it in the 70s. So many deckchairs, it must have been big business back then. It’s a shame they didn’t keep the bandstand as it was with the little steps and iron railing. It’s a little different NOW as Marcus’s ariel shot shows. Click the image to see the high res scan up close.

Created Local – Marc B.B

Local Light Artist & Photographer Marc B.B sent over these incredible light images taken around Portsmouth. Specialising in Night Photography, Light Painting, Long Exposures and so on Marcs pictures are created at a time when most people would be packing away their cameras and heading home. Portsmouth has a strong creative vibe, especially in the photography realm and being part of a group called ‘Portsmouth At Night’, Marc regularly meets up with like minded folk to go on weekly excursions in and around the city to photograph it, in the dark.

“Whilst some may find it a little bizarre, i think the images speak for themselves. Turning everyday objects, landmarks, even benches into works of art of their own is both exciting and a challenge. Some of my best work has been in collaberation with others and being able to pool resources and ideas has always been invaluable to me. I am always striving to find parts of the city that can be shown in a ‘good light’ as Portsmouth is such a great place to live.”

Be sure to check out Marcs website for amazing photos, and if this style night photography interests you head over to Portsmouth at Night at They meet up as a group every week somewhere in Portsmouth and simply take advantage of the night. Everyone is welcome to join, at all levels of competency. Night, night.

Rolling right Inuit part II

Following on from the previous post about the Igloo seen on Southsea Common, Khalid Saleh was kind enough to get in contact with some more information and some photos. It took Khalid and 6 of his friends 5 and a half hours to build the Igloo using what looks like icecream tubs and glow sticks were donated by passers by from the Navy.

It’s still standing today and Meridian will be doing a short interview with them. Not sure when that will air, but hopefully I’ll catch it.







Portsmouth – Not The New Malta

Do you remember our post about Portsmouth, The New Malta and the advertising campaign that has been going on? The Telegraph has written a short article in response to the campaign. Check it out HERE and follow it up in the comments. Unfashionable, now come on Telegraph.

“We probably get about two weeks of sunshine at best, and you are more used to seeing people fighting than socialising in a quaint café,” said Tim Courtnell, a life-long Portsmouth resident. “The beach at Southsea is a mixture of shingle and Stella Artois cans on most days, and you wouldn’t think of swimming in the sea.”


Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea poster

You know we love a bit of Vintage Portsmouth & Southsea here at Strong Island. Not too much info on this one, perfect for holidays though. The flickr link states the photo of the poster was taken in Eastney, but I’m not sure where.

Via : Bob Franklin

Strong Island Clothing Co.