11th January 2023.

A dreich day, as the Tand would say, turning to torrential downpour in the afternoon,

Perfect for exploring three new Guide entries in Portsmouth from our Southampton base, before seeing City march into the League Cup semi-finals that evening.

A long wait at Southampton Central allowed me to bring you EXCLUSIVE photos of the new Upper Crust Katsu Chicken baguette, which I know will make your Wednesday.

Here you go darlin’ ” says the lovely Upper Crust lady, which eases my frustration at the continued lack of a Southampton Tap at this grim station.

The Great Western carriage rumbles oh so slowly through Hampshire interminable coastal towns, and there’s no fold down tables to put your coffee on, so goodness knows where all this rail modernisation they use to justify fare increases is.

Anyway, I get time to complete my pre-ticking research. Here’s a 2019 extract from an excellent blog I found where the writer discuses the lack of Guide entries in central Portsmouth.

Two new entries in the historic centre this year. Sadly the third Pompey tick would elude me, despite these incredibly generous hours at the Urban Tap;

I reckon ten (10) hours a week may win a prize in this year’s GBG awards.

Trundling into Portsmouth & Southsea Station, I decided to jump off there rather than the Harbour, so gorgeous was this clock on the wall of the Matalan.

I’ve literally just spent 10 minutes of my (presumably) limited time on earth researching Portsmouth Matalan, just for YOU.

Having been distracted from the task of ticking pubs by Portsmouth’s grimy centre, the downpour started.

And STILL I paused to take photos, while my umbrella was blown inside out, broke entirely, and got dumped in that bin above.

So I only had my overcoat to protect me while I noted that Portsmouth were already setting up a stage ahead of the 2023 GBG tickers AGM. Clearly expecting a large crowd after the success of Chesterfield.

The rain stopped, then cruelly started again, on the dash to the Dolphin, opposite the lovely Cathedral.

Old Portsmouth is an underrated gem of an area, lacking the fancy pub tiling of Southsea but high in Dickensian atmosphere.

Did Dickens (born up the road) ever pop in the the Dolphin for a pint of Doom Bar ?

Don’t be silly; Charles moved to London when he was 3.

I quite liked the Dolphin, cosy and welcoming with a simple food trade. As is traditional, a pub proclaiming itself the “oldest” fails to actually look that old.

To be honest with you, I would have had the Flower Pots again but I’m forever cursed to pick Doom Bar so I can see if it can ever achieve the heights of the Eclipse (as it were).

It’s certainly drier than in Spoons, any Spoons, but lacks a bit of condition. Whatever that means.

And it’s also £4.85. Nearly a fiver for something that would cost me under £2 in Spoons. All cask £2.95 on Tuesday proclaims the sign, still on display on Wednesday.

There’s modest pubby action. A toilet (top) inspection, and two Pompey blokes explaining Stephen King plots. And that’s about it.

Oh, and a pleasingly eclectic soundtrack included this classic from the Spring of 1990.

How young we were, how young.

4 thoughts on “NEW LIFE IN OLD POMPEY

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