Strong Island Co.

Food & Drink

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!

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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.

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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.

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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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Welcome Back 101 Reykjavík

On this dreary depressing day we have some great news to put a smile on your face. Strong Island are glad to welcome the return of 101 Reykjavík. They return in form of an online shop offering some of the countries finest exports which can be found at www.101reykjavik.co.uk.

Back in 2014 Chris and Lisa Whitear opened Southsea’s very own Icelandic kaffibar. They were able to provide honest food and drinks in a friendly setting that perfectly encapsulated the unique spirit of Iceland’s capital. Sadly earlier this year the premises was no longer available and they were forced to close the doors.

Chris and Lisa are now offering a range of Icelandic delights delivered to your door. Beverages available include Brennivín (known locally as The Black Death), Crowberry Liqueur and Björk Liqueur. There are also some fantastic craft beers available such as their own 101 Reykjavík dark beer with Cocoa and Icelandic seaweed, the liquorice-esque Northern Lights as well as a few lines from Borg Brewery and the award winning Gull lager.

Products available are not limited to food and beverages, you can pick yourself up a copy of Iceland’s finest musical exports such as LP’s from the likes of Sigur Rós, Björk and Ólafur Arnalds.

We hope that we will be able to see them returning to a local venue in the near future.

Stay up to date on all things Icelandic on Facebook, Twitter @101_Reykjavik and Instagram.

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101 Reykjavík a New Icelandic Bar in Castle Road

‘Dice’ Kickstarter Campaign

Local boys Lee Purslow and Rikki Parsons have launched their Kickstarter campaign to open ‘Dice’, Portsmouth’s first ever board game café.

Inspired by the rise in board game cafes in Canada and America, but more recently in the England with ‘Thirsty Meeples’ in Oxford, and ‘Draughts’ in Hackney. They want to open a place to relax with your friends or family, eat good food, drink fresh coffee and challenge each other across the table.

Lee and Rikki have invested a large amount of private capital but admit “we need some extra funding to make sure we can create our full vision. We will not be personally drawing any money out of the café, so all of your funding will go directly into making Dice the best it can be. We will use this funding to renovate the venue to the required standard, grow the board game library and purchase the necessary equipment to offer a full food and drinks menu.”

If you are not aware of what Kickstarter is, it is a global crowdfunding platform which launched in 2009. The aim of a Kickstarter campaign is to raise money for a project which could be anything from a film, games, music, art, design and technology. The project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected.

This weekend Dice will be hosting a pop-up event in Aspex Gallery, Gunwharf Quays between 11:00am til 9:30pm. The event is free and their will be a range of food and drink (including alcohol) available Aspex Cafe all day/evening. There will be several game demonstrators on hand to help teach any of the 50+ games to new players. More information is available on the Facebook Event page HERE.

Check out the link below to find out more about the the project and the full range of rewards available for anyone who wants to get involved. With donation rewards starting at just £5 please get involved and help make this original project happen!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1382631007/dice-portsmouths-first-board-game-cafe/description

Dice Guildhall

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Dice Bandstand
photos courtesy of www.pursonphotography.com

‘Dice’ Kickstarter Campaign

Local boys Lee Purslow and Rikki Parsons have just launched their Kickstarter campaign to open ‘Dice’, Portsmouth’s first ever board game café.

Inspired by the rise in board game cafes in Canada and America, but more recently in the England with ‘Thirsty Meeples’ in Oxford, and ‘Draughts’ in Hackney. They want to open a place to relax with your friends or family, eat good food, drink fresh coffee and challenge each other across the table.

Lee and Rikki have invested a large amount of private capital but admit “we need some extra funding to make sure we can create our full vision. We will not be personally drawing any money out of the café, so all of your funding will go directly into making Dice the best it can be. We will use this funding to renovate the venue to the required standard, grow the board game library and purchase the necessary equipment to offer a full food and drinks menu.”

If you are not aware of what Kickstarter is, it is a global crowdfunding platform which launched in 2009. The aim of a Kickstarter campaign is to raise money for a project which could be anything from a film, games, music, art, design and technology. The project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected.

Check out the link below to find out more about the the project and the full range of rewards available for anyone who wants to get involved. With donation rewards starting at just £5 please get involved and help make this original project happen!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1382631007/dice-portsmouths-first-board-game-cafe/description

Dice

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One Eyed Dog Mural by Jack Mitchell

Many of you will have seen the One Eyed Dog has undergone a facelift recently. The brilliant new mural comes courtesy of local boy Jack Mitchell.

After graduating from the University of Brighton and several stints at small companies in London Jack returned to Southsea and joined premier design outfit ilovedust. After a year spent travelling the world Jack returned and is now the senior designer based in the Brighton branch of ilovedust.

I love the mural and how detailed it is, you can spend a long time surveying all of the awesome (and slightly random) images. Jack describes “I really wanted to design something striking and that will stand out.” The pressure was on to make it good because Jack lives nearby and will be passing it on a daily basis. Jack stated that he “created small scenes featuring characters and local landmarks to highlight the quirky nature of the pub and some of the colourful ‘shanters’ in and around the Southsea scene.”

If you like what you see then you can follow Jack on Instagram @jack_mitchell1 and on Facebook at Jack Mitchell Design and Illustration.

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

One Eyed Dog Artwork

The photos come courtesy of Howard Hurd, you can find more of his work on Instagram and Twitter @HowardHurd.

Spring Onion – New Sushi and Asian Bites Store in Southsea

Over the road from Strong Island Co we’ve been seeing the progress of our new neighbour Spring Onion with anticipation. In the last few weeks the new sushi and asian bites store has been developing and over the last week or so the store has opened up to the public. Tomorrow sees the official opening of this fresh, tasty asian street food store which is fast becoming our favourite local lunch spot.

Spring Onion has a wide range of freshly made (daily in store) sushi, with a variety of nigiri and rolls all packed with clean flavours. salmon with avacado and spicy chicken sushi katsu are already favourites and looking forward to trying the many other options, with new options all the time. As well as sushi there are homemade curry, rice pots (awesome by the way) and so much more. All really reasonably priced, cleanly packaged and come with chopsticks and soy plus ginger & wasabi if you want it.

Be sure to check the store tomorrow when it officially opens, for more information visit the Spring Onion Facebook page.














Blissfields Review 2015

It has taken a few days to process the whole of last weekend, but now the majority of Blissfields festival is slowly coming back to me. We were blessed with glorious sunshine, high temperatures all weekend. On Friday night we even witnessed a lightening storm aluminate the night skies without a drop of rain following behind, proving that it really never rains at Blissfields.

I arrived on site Thursday afternoon with some of Portsmouth’s finest. Some lovely faces from Blissfields past were on hand to greet me and that fellowship and community spirit can be felt all over the festival.

Another local band Popobawa were the first band booked for the festival so it was only appropriate that they officially opened the festival on Thursday lunchtime. This was the first time I’d seen Popobawa since they played their first ever live show together as a band at the Road To Blissfields 2014. They didn’t win on the night but were booked for this years event on the strength of their debut live performance.

Portsmouth was well represented over the weekend with performances on the Thursday evening from ska and reggae band Bigtopp who had the large crowd dancing and even demanding an encore which the band enthusiastically delivered. Big Child Man Child continued with the dancing theme and even surprised the crowd with dancers of their own to entertain the audience.

On Thursday night two large tents turned up next to mine belonging to Brighton based band Mok. They all seemed like a nice bunch so I went to check out their set in the Now and Den tent. They put on a top show performance with a style that I wouldn’t know how to describe, Lee from the band explained to me they like to think of it as New Wave Rap. It’s always nice to come back from a festival and finding new musical gems. Hopefully they will come join us in Portsmouth in the near future!

The Larch Stage had familiar faces taking over on the Friday with Floella Grace, Sam McCarthy, Luke Ferre, The Boy I Used To Be and our Strong Island Recording’s Curxes performing. It was great to hear Sam’s rendition of ‘Deep Blue Sea’ which he admits was inspired by our tee of the same name. Floella opened the Larch Stage and put on a mesmerising performance. Later on in the day she met her namesake and fellow singer songwriter Flo Morrissey who had on a lovely performance opening the Singularity (Main) Stage.

Flo Morrisey and Floella Grace
The Flo’s – Photo by Si Gross.

Later on the Singularity Stage Blissifelds veterans the Dub Pistols were greeted by the kind of boisterous crowd we have come to expect during their performances and they loved the Pistols typical high energy performance. For me the main stage was the place to be for Friday evening because of performances from Ghostpoet, Public Service Broadcasting and the Horrors who headlined the evening with a cracking performance and an equally impressive lightshow.

For me Friday night was a late one spent at the Blisscotheque with the lovely press team who took a rare moment off work to let their hair down.

Most of the festival goers were up and about nice and early, mainly because by 7am most tents were already turning into mini saunas! The previous evening I was blown away by the Original Fry Up Material‘s burgers, so I thought that I would try their breakfast muffins and I was not disappointed, they were equally awesome and just what I needed to prepare myself for the day. This van was certainly the culinary highlight of the weekend, keep an eye out for them at a festival near you.

After spending some time with friends relaxing in the craft area I witnessed Cosmo Sheldrake work his magic on the Singularity Stage. I was lucky enough to meet him afterwards, they say never meet your heroes but on this occasion that expression was proved wrong, what a nice guy! During his set you would struggle to find someone in the crowd who wasn’t tapping their foot or nodding their head to Cosmo’s infectious tunes.

Local highlights of the day were the boys from the Kassassin Street who battled through technical difficulties to wow the crowd with signature anthems ‘Centre Straight Atom’ and ‘To Be Young’. They were followed by Isle of Wight band Plastic Mermaids who succinctly proved why they are the most exciting band on the planet at this precise moment in time!

While everyone was being wowed by the Plastic Mermaids in the Now and Den Stage, Grandmaster Flash was playing some classic Hip-Hop on the Singularity Stage. He was followed by DJ Will Chump who continued the hits playing with great aplomb after suffering a nightmare journey getting to the festival. The perfect way for me to end the festival was with Glass Animals and John Grant. Glass Animals are a band I’ve only recently been introduced to and in my opinion their new album ‘Zaba’ is one of the best the year so far. If you are a fan of the xx and Friendly Fires then I suggest you get involved!

Over the weekend I was asked to curate the Spoken Word event in the A-Z Tent. If I am honest I knew very little about spoken word at first but the more I researched and the more I spoke to those involved the bigger fan I became. I would like to thank Selby, Craft D, Rex Domino, Blizzard, Roya Shadamand, Toby Campion, Spike Zephaniah Stephenson and the A-Z stage team for helping to make the event a huge success. Special mention has to go to Rex Domino, the general consensus of the audience was that he was arguably the strongest performance of the whole festival and if that isn’t a statement to do Portsmouth proud I don’t know what is.

Last of all I wanted say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making Blissfields the best small festival on the festival circuit! Now I will be resting for a few days before I start getting excited and beginning the Strong Island build up to Victorious and Bestival.

Dub Pistols Blissfields
The Dub Pistols
Ghostpoet Blissfields
Ghostpoet
Horrors Blissfields
The Horrors
Blissfields Craft Area
Blissfields Craft Area
Grand Master Flash Blissfields
Grandmaster Flash
Glass Animals Blissfields
Glass Animals and the above photos by Tony Jupp

Kitsch N D’or, Eldon Street

Kitsch N D’or is a family run restaurant in Eldon Street, Southsea. The restaurant and it’s owners specialise in provincial French cuisine and believe that the key to their success is good food at affordable and realistic prices, that everybody can enjoy.

All ingredients used to create their dishes are sourced locally. Where possible ingredients come direct from France, using small, independent companies to enrich a sense of community and authenticity.

The menu includes delicious options including, slow cooked pork belly, served with butter mash and a French cider mustard Jus and Harissa baked cod fillet with chorizo Migas with a hot, green pepper salsa. All can be enjoyed with a flavorous bottle of wine.

The Kitsch N D’or is definitely worth a visit. Entertainment includes regular Jazz nights with performances that won’t disappoint you. They run a great value daily lunch time deal, you can get two courses for less than £10 between Tuesday to Friday!

The restaurant also runs some great wine tasting evenings, these are held throughout the year with the next on this Thursday (18th June). Contact the restaurant directly for more information on this and to book a table. You can find contact details on the website www.kitschndor.co.uk.

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Ben Schroeder Transfer

In the previous Ben Schroeder post I didn’t really describe the legendary trick very well, so I’ve dug out the photo! Ben frontside ollied out of the pool over the platform and in to the steep bank. Sick stuff.

Ben Schroeder, Transfer, Southsea (1991)

It’s going to be a Strong Movember

Righto chaps, it’s time to clean shave your boat race and get 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

Southsea Ramblers Association – Watership Down

We burst the bubble again last weekend for a pretty epic ramble, or should I say hike. Taking the advice of the Guardian Newspaper we embarked on a 6 hour walk across the North Wessex Downs. Although the walk is a good 45 minute drive away it’s well worth the journey and the reward at the end is one of the finest pubs I’ve ever eaten at, the Roayl Oak. Check out my Flickr for the full set.

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It’s nice to be nice!

A new reader of Strong Island recently sent us this email. Glad to hear we’re doing things right and feedback of all kinds is always welcome, as is beer. Of course.

“Hi all at Strong Island

I just wanted to email to say as a recent visitor to your site how great it is to see something that celebrates the creative, cultural and positive life of Portsmouth and Southsea (and I don’t even skate or cycle!). ‘Strong Island’ sums up the spirit of this place so well. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing the site go from strength to strength and maybe impacting on some of the decision making that goes on.”

Best wishes

Elaine

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Meg and Lynda hug it out with the help of Andy.

Southsea Typeface

When ever possible I like to do the odd piece that’s just for me, just for fun. This came about off the back of something I was doing for work. Messing around with pens and pencils, then putting it through the computer. Maybe I’ll tackle Strong Island at the weekend! Oh, and for those that know him it’s Borneos birthday this Friday. KST then on to Albert Road. Be sure to check my flickr photostream to see the carnage.

Click the read more link to see a whole variety of colours.

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Vintage Photography by Richard Baker

Richard Baker grew up in Portsmouth and Southsea with many happy memories, but limited funds. In the 1960s Richard was studying at The Portsmouth College of Art and was lucky enough to be able to print off some wonderful black & white photographs. 40 years later he dug them out from hibernation.

The series captures people in the city going about their daily lives. Shopping, resting, having fun. Great candid shots from a simpler time. Check out the huge Pick & Mix on display at Woolworths along with the rest of Richards photographs over at his Flickr.










Harbour Tour

If you’re brave enough at this chilly time of year head on down to Gunwharf and take a tour around the home of the modern Navy. With aircraft carriers, the HMS Ark Royal, HMS Illustrious and Invincible, there’s plenty to see. Oh, and they sell beer on board.

Spinnaker Tower

Soaring 170 metres above Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent, the Spinnaker Tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben and has already established itself as a national icon for Britain. Get yourself down to Gunwharf Quays and check out the panoramic views over the city and the Solent. Don’t forget your camera. Oh, and if you’re a Portsmouth resident you get cheap entry if you provide proof.

Local Photographer – David Jacobs

Based in Chichester but a constant visitor to Southsea, Portsmouth, Hayling and all of the Chichester harbour area, David Jacobs’ photos capture the warmth of the local light and and the inspiring natural views of the local landscape and coastline. To see more of David’s photos be sure to click ‘Read More’ below and check David’s Flickr.

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Portsmouth on Film – Episode 1

Jonathan & Matthew Ring recently released a book of archive Portsmouth photography that was taken by their grandparents over the years (find out more about the book HERE). As well as photographs they also found a load of footage filmed around the city and have just released their first episode of their Portsmouth on Film.

This episode has some great footage from the early 90s, including some from the Tour de France.

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