Strong Island Co.

Food & Drink

Official Opening Party of Southsea Beach Cafe

Southsea Beach Cafe is the stunning new cafe located right on Southsea beach, just down from South Parade Pier, which for the last couple of weeks has been running a soft launch, with their breakfasts, lunches, coffees and more sold to the crowd who have discovered this new culinary asset to the city by word of mouth. The soft launch allows the kitchen and front of house staff to refine their menu and service ready for the full opening of the cafe…which happened this past weekend!

Strong Island Media have been working closely with the Southsea Beach Cafe team and Sarah Jones on the visual experience of the new cafe. The cafe logo and the branding from social media to signage through to the menus has been designed by Tristan at Strong Island Media and we have been really pleased to work on a local project such as this. On Thursday there was a special party at the cafe to launch this exciting new business and we popped along to help celebrate. Southsea Beach Cafe is now fully open and a must-visit spot in Southsea with beautiful views over the beach and sea.

Photos below from the opening are by Josh Knill, find out all about the cafe on their Facebook page at:

Official Opening Party of Southsea Beach Cafe by Josh Knill (1)

Official Opening Party of Southsea Beach Cafe by Josh Knill (2)

Official Opening Party of Southsea Beach Cafe by Josh Knill (3)

Official Opening Party of Southsea Beach Cafe by Josh Knill (4)

Official Opening Party of Southsea Beach Cafe by Josh Knill (5)

Official Opening Party of Southsea Beach Cafe by Josh Knill (6)

Official Opening Party of Southsea Beach Cafe by Josh Knill (8)

Official Opening Party of Southsea Beach Cafe by Josh Knill (7)

Official Opening Party of Southsea Beach Cafe by Josh Knill (9)

Strong Island Blissfields 2014 Review By Sophie Perryer – Day One

And so again to Blissfields, the place to be to witness some of the best burgeoning talent that the South Coast has to offer, as well as plenty of established and memorable artists besides. This year brought with it a ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ theme, five versatile stages, and the first rain at Blissfields for nine years! However, the Great British weather was no match for our Blissfields artists, who came from far and wide to deliver their burgeoning talent to an awe-struck festival goers.

The festival site had evolved since last year, this year the main arena was larger and a second camping area was created. Other welcome additions to festival were our friends from Pie & Vinyl who were there selling their trademark delicious pies, psychedelic tie dye tee’s and obviously vinyl records. Making their Blissfields debut were the Bathing Under The Sky team, with a number hot tubs, hot showers and a sauna.

After setting up camp, a tour of the site, dinner (courtesy of The Breakfast Club) it was time to check out some music. On Thursday evening The Hustle Den stage played host to the Road to Blissfields winners, including Portsmouth champions The B of the Bang; the bang delivered a powerful set, which built tension through melodic changes and contrasting harmonies. The most memorable track culminated in a crescendo, incorporating every voice, and the repetition of the words ‘We All Stand On Thin Ice’, which lent an almost prayer-like sense to the track and made for a very impressive performance, without a doubt the B of the Bang’s best to date.

Fellow Portsmouth singer/songwriter Matt Jarvis also took to The Larch Stage, once again silencing his captive audience with promising new material, a relaxed acoustic tone, and heartfelt lyrics. Matt said of his Blissfields experience: “Just as last year, it was a really nice show for me. I always find it hard to perform well in front of a raucous audience, but in the Larch everyone was sat quietly around the stage, which made for a really intimate setting. It was all very chilled. Seeing so many familiar faces in the crowd helped to quash the pre-gig nerves that set in beforehand as well, so I must thank everyone who came to see me. The rest of my weekend was just great music, meeting awesome people, little sleep, and lots of food and drink. Perfect.”

Finally, the Dub Pistols brought raucousness with them well into the night and teased Blissed-out festival goers with the promise of a (mostly) sun-drenched weekend, and the perfect soundtrack to accompany it.

Photos by Daniel O’Neill

Blissfields 2014 by Daniel O'Neill

Blissfields 2014 by Daniel O'Neill

Blissfields 2014 by Daniel O'Neill

Blissfields 2014 by Daniel O'Neill

Blissfields 2014 by Daniel O'Neill

Blissfields 2014 by Daniel O'Neill

New Menu At The Aspex Gallery

Say what? The Aspex Gallery cafe is now selling bánh mì as part of their new menu? Where else in Southsea can you get that, with free wifi, encapsulated in what can only be described as a hive of creativity? If you are yet to drop into Aspex solely for food and drink, then now is the time. More details here.

aspex menu1 copy

aspex menu2 copy




The Wave Maiden

I don’t need to say very much about The Wave Maiden. In one sentence I think they will easily do enough to grab your attention, and have you eagerly anticipating their opening in August. They describe themselves as ‘Southsea’s purveyors of Sincere Beer, we offer a unique range of micro and independently brewed beers and ciders along with homemade cheese-based dishes.’

Stay up to date with all things Wave Maiden on their Facebook and Twitter page @TheWaveMaiden.

The Wave Maiden Logo

Bemis at All About Tea

This Saturday Bemis will be playing an intimate one-off gig at All About Tea in Middle Street, Southsea.

The event itself is free to attend and begins at 7pm until 9pm. You can find out more info on the Facebook Event HERE.

The band are keeping busy as they are also playing Guilfest, Wickham Festival, Watchet Festival as well as recording a new live album and a new studio album.

All About Tea are importers, Blenders and Packers of fine and specialty teas and herbs, based in Portsmouth. They have an extensive range of teas from all the major tea producing regions of the world. My personal favourite is still the Lucy Rose Tea which is (two parts English Breakfast and one part Earl Grey) although the Portsmouth Tea goes down well. It is described as a strong, rich, full-flavoured tea, specially blended for Portsmouth’s hard, chalky water.

The shop and Tea Room is open every evening until 9pm Monday to Saturday (Sundays 6.30pm).


Competition – Southsea Coffee Co x Signature Clothing Tee

Over last weekend we offered you the chance to win a limited edition Southsea Coffee Co and Signature Clothing collaboration t-shirt.

All you had to do to was answer the following question. Every few months Southsea Coffee Co allow a local artist to paint a mural on the large wall in their snug seating area. To win the tee all you need to do is identify the artist who was responsible for the mural that you can see pictured below. The answer was of course… c) Caleigh Ill

The lucky winner is Adam Court!!

Caleigh Ill

You can find out more about Caleigh Ill over on her website HERE.

The Narwhal Pickler Caleigh Ill

Caleigh Ill

Caleigh Ill

Caleigh Ill

Competition – Southsea Coffee Co Tee

In this weekends competition we are teaming up with Southsea Coffee Co to give away one of their Signature Clothing collaboration t-shirts. These were limited edition and there were only fifty printed.

All you have to do to win this prize is email with your answer to the following question.

Every few months Southsea Coffee Co allow a local artist to paint a mural on the large wall in their snug seating area. To win the tee all you need to do is identify the artist who was responsible for the mural that you can see pictured below.

a) My Dog Sighs
b) Stu Linfield
c) Caleigh Ill

The deadline for entries will be midnight on Monday with the winners to be announced next Tuesday morning. We do need to add that the tee is only available in a mens large I’m afraid.

Caleigh Ill

Caleigh Ill

Caleigh Ill

The tee design can be seen below however please pay no attention to whats written on the board, the photo was taken to promote a previous competition that Southsea Coffee Co were running.

Southsea Coffee Tee

The Portsmouth Beer Festival

Now that we have all recovered a little, why don’t we sit back and enjoy some figures from the runaway success that was the Portsmouth Beer Festival. Over the course of 3 sold out sessions: 3,600 avid beer drinkers turned up to consume over 12,000 pints of ale, 3,000 pints of cider and a very respectable 1,500 bottled beers. On top of this, the fine folk of this city managed to raise over £1,200.00 for the cancer awareness charity Feel Yourself and for Samuels Fund which raises funds for local boy Samuel Deakin-Mant who suffers from cerebral palsy.

If you enjoyed The Portsmouth Beer Festival as much as we did, then be sure to visit them at Portsmouth’s main event this summer; the much anticipated Victorious Festival on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th of August (tickets available here). Finally we would like to extend a Strong Island sized congratulation to Ben Mills and his team for bringing this highly successful event to life.

beer fest 1

photo 2-2

Portsmouth Beer Festival – One Week To Go.

This is it people. The beer and cider lists are being finalised. The bands have been booked. The food has been ordered and The Guildhall is preparing to host the biggest and brightest beer festival to date. Not content with serving local beer from Irving & Co, Havant Brewery and Brewhouse & Kitchen, it has now been confirmed that Staggeringly Good will be joining the fold of homegrown talent at the festival. An emerging collective of brewers, Staggeringly Good are based right here on the island and are producing some fine beers, albeit in small quantities. Be sure to visit the bottle bar and try out this crisp, modern and refreshing IPA. The logo alone wins points.

The countdown to the festival has officially started, and the conditions have never been better to celebrate our love of beer and it’s historical relationship to the city. If you are yet to grab your tickets then click here for further information.



Pie & Vinyl Summer Menu

The motley crew at Pie & Vinyl got in touch the other day to tell us about their exciting new summer menu launching June the 1st; a lovely new selection of pies and drinks will soon be let loose on the good people of Southsea, including lighter pies (less than 440 calories) for the health conscious amongst us, a variety of fruit shakes and some delicious ice cream flavours, including knickerbocker glorys.

Their award winning pies will now be served with fresh locally produced salad, coleslaw, plus a healthy dollop of their very own Pie & Vinyl chutney. For the more traditional out there, creamy mash and minty mushy peas will be available on request. On top of this they will also be offering some refreshing Iced Teas, and an improved coffee selection for those who enjoy their caffeine fix. Roll on summer.


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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.






Created Local – Matt Howarth

Local illustrator, blogger, cyclist and member of the I Love Dust crew has just relaunched his website with a brand new design and loads of new content. be sure to take some time and give it a good look, plenty of visual gems in there.

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.



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)

Southsea Common Barbecue Zones

I’m sure a lot of you enjoyed the fantastic weather this weekend and many of you no doubt had a barbecue on The Common. I was out of town on Saturday but heard it was seriously busy down the seafront. A few of us had a BBQ on Sunday and we’re approached by some council officials regarding our position. They were very polite and let us carry on as we were already cooking and handed us some details of all the new zones.

Unfortunately the new zones now means hundreds of people are going to be packed in to single areas. The main common by the War Memorial will be extremely busy over the summer. More so than usual for sure. I fully back having these zones in place, but feel I’ll no longer be going to the common for BBQs if I can help it as they have made a lot of areas no go zones. It was always more appealing when you could spread out from other groups.

Strong Island Clothing Co.