I was relieved to get back to Pompey; foreign travel is all well and good but I clearly haven’t got the stomach for it.

Back at Southsea Common I stocked up on proper French apples at the lovely greengrocer on Clarence Esplanade, and admired the Queen’s.


Stately Edwardian, looking a bit like a Salford Holt pub, first destination for the booming Pompey tourist trade.

Portsmouth may look rundown in parts, but Southsea seems forever on the rise.


It looks more like Cambridge’s Mill Road by the year, but of course has rather better pub tiling, if not beer.


On Day 3 I sought that ultimate confirmation of Southsea’s status. A vegan cafe.

Shoreditch in Southsea

Why spend £78 on the train to Waterloo when you can have your potato and kale rosti under empowering sack motifs.

Sack cloth and (possibly) ashes

Note also a new way of displaying prices using commas, “Chrcoal Latte” dispensing with those troublesome vowels, and the loudest dub version of Pink Floyd you never wanted to hear at 9.30in the morning.


Yes, I loved it.

My vegan conversion for the morning

But it was time for the pub.


  1. I was going to go to Portsmouth on my recent visit to the New Forest. Thing was after discussing my disappointing trip to Southampton a local told me that (apart from the historic dockyard) Portsmouth was just like Southampton, only worse. Believe you me, it’s pretty grim down there folks.


    1. I was in Pompey in March for a couple of days for the first time in about 20 years. It hasn’t half improved. All the formerly rough council housing in Portsea has been really smartened up and Southsea and Old Portsmouth are positively cosmopolitan now. And I even quite enjoyed a wander round Gunwharf Quay despite being allergic to shopping centres. Only the £5 for an average pint in the Fullers eateries was disappointing. A far cry from Southampton.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Fullers really have no idea about prices, do they?” – but if customers will pay “£5 for an average pint in the Fullers eateries” can you blame Fullers for charging £5 ?
        Tim would probably charge £5 a pint if he could get away with it.


      1. I used to find Costa/Starbucks etc a bit confusing -no longer because I am a (rather poor ) Barista these days.must visit some vegan cafes to familiarise myself with the offerings

        Liked by 1 person

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