Back to Pompey, or more properly Southsea, one of the great pubbing areas in the world, along with Stockport, Bewdley and the Amber Valley.

Oddly, Portsmouth itself is looking like a GBG desert, as this extract from the GBG App shows.

pompey gbg
Where have all the central Pompey Fullers GBG pubs gone ?

Yes, Southsea must have one of the highest concentrations of GBG pubs per head of population (Duncan has the stats). And plenty that aren’t in the Guide are great.

The customary three new GBG entries are all in Southsea, so I’m staying a night or two at the Burrito bar near the Phoenix, neither of which I graced with my custom this time.

Great pubs

A nice little stroll through the underrated suburbs and occasional street art to Apsley House in Auckland Road.


Better than some pub signs

On that little Google map you can follow yourself as a little blue dot approaching the pub.

Ah, yes, the Auckland.



This looks like a pub from a fairytale.

I’d walked past it before and assumed it must be keg or sell Doom Bar or not offer CAMRA discounts and sandwiches to not be in the Guide (joke, Pompey CAMRA).

Who wouldn’t want to sit there

Gorgeous outside, marvellously pubby inside.

Bit late for Si’s birthday
Plush bench seating

Two Old Boys and a cheery landlady said hello.  Some cheery banter came from a back bar somewhere.

I asked which beer I should go for, in the manner of someone who has never had a beer before. I rejected her kindly offer of tasters.  “A pint’s a taster” I said, predictably.

The Irvin is very popular with locals, and it’s from just up the road“.  Top answer.  10/10.

Normally I start on halves but this was pint territory.

Beermats and an entertainment schedule.

What a great pub.  Proper seating, “Breakfast In America” and “Rich Girl” on the radio, the banter pleasant and civilised. The glitterball suggests things change as night falls.

And a lovely pint, cool and frothy.

I got my GBG out of my man bag to give the Auckland its pink marker and two ticks (NBSS 3.5).

Bombardier and two Locales by the look of it

It wasn’t in the Guide.

I’d stopped 10 feet short, and confused my Apsleys with my Aucklands.  An amateur error, but a pleasant one.

I savoured my bonus pint, the chat about impending operations (“Don’t worry, they’ll knock you out) and “Take Me Home, Country Roads“, as you must.

BEER.  And much more.

A chap on crutches put his head round the door, just to say hello. You don’t get that in the Brewhouse & Kitchen.

I walked the 10 yards to the Apsley.




  1. Longs Brewery in Southsea was acquired by Brickwoods and closed in 1933 so that colourful tiling is probably older than any of us on here.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow indeed, great tiling on a pub I have somehow managed to bypass to date, rather annoyingly, it’s now on the Itinerary next time I’m in Southsea. The Phoenix ,which I have made a couple of times is a cracker.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well it made for a delightful blog post, so I’d say it was a fortunate mistake all the way around! How often do you find two pubs right next door to each other? I’d think business instincts would make it a pretty unlikely thing.


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