You left me in Southsea at the Auckland, having just visited a non-GBG pub in error.

As Costello sang, “It was a brilliant mistake“.

Looks better every time

So I walked the ten yards round the corner to the Apsley, a different but equally cosy looking local.

Traditional entrance

I suspect some of you are ahead of me here.

Yes, it was the back door to the Auckland that I’d just left, full of the younger drinkers escaping the strains of “Country Roads, Take Me Home” in the Public.

That’s the sort of thing BRAPA does after five pints, not one.

But in my defence, look at the three two pubs in this picture and you’ll see why I was confused again.

That one, BRAPA

Finally, The Apsley.  A rhubarb and custard of a pub.


Nothing matches Pompey pubs for colour

It’s 15:33 and, in contrast to the Auckland, I’m the only customer.

But the words “Meat Raffle“, “Cash Only“, “Food Rating 4“, and that “unexciting” (Source: CAMRA Discourse) beer range tell me I’m going to be OK.

Hoorah !

The young barman is a gem.  He tells me “Happy Hour” is at 4pm, which is when it gets busy.

Mind, it was only £3.50 a pint now, which is a quid cheaper than in Ely.

Classic line up, classic bar seats

But would it be any good ? Landlord is a real test of a landlord.  Or landlady.

The bellwether pint

I settled down in a proper seat and “Caroline” by Quo came on.  I do hate it when young staff get to choose their own hipster music.

The Landlord was superb; cool and tasty and clearly allowed to condition before serving.  If you can serve a decent Tim Taylor’s in the south you deserve your GBG place.

Come on Eileen” came on; a trio of Old Boys came in, none of them called Eileen.

Did they know they were ten minutes early for Happy Hour ?  Did they care ?

Rare 3 Headed Charity Box

So there you go.  You CAN get in the Guide with Doom Bar, Summer Lightning and Landlord.  Hurrah for Pompey CAMRA.


  1. If I were in England and I was told a pub had an “unexciting beer range”, I’d think, “For some of us, that’s the most exciting range of all.” 🙂

    Nice to know it’s still possible to get into the guide with 3 beers, most (all? Not sure about the Summer Lightning) traditional beers. From your experience, though, an increasingly rare occurrence I gather.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Aye,me too.
        I lived not far from their first brewpub The Wyndham Arms in Salisbury and their GFB was a great session beer.
        Summer Lighting was considered very radical at the time and Crop Circle had its devotees.
        Ironically my current favourite is called Indian Summer.
        But I always ask for it in a Budweiser nucleat glass to keep the head which confuses the hell out of American tourists as it’s more of an amber colour than Bud.


      2. Professor, as an American tourist my confusion would not be the glass/color combination but why anyone would want to drink Budweiser!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There is nothing better than a fried chicken supper after eight pints of strong craft beer while cross-eyed and bolloxed than watching the end of Kevin and Perry Go Large where the bouncer chins Rhys Evans who I once got trollied with in a pub on the Isle of Dogs and learning your youngest kid has just had his nose pierced .
    The great thing about drink is every single day always ends massively different than when it started out.

    Why would anyone give it up ?

    Liked by 1 person

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