I’ve been meaning to report back how I got on in Portsmouth - well, I didn’t do very well on the beer front, but we thoroughly enjoyed it as a family trip away.
We went on the weekend of all the storms; dodged the Friday when the storms were at there worst, but it was still brutal the rest of the weekend - difficult to stand up by the coast most of the time. Our hotel’s restaurant had been written off by the storm, which was no biggy as we were going to have dinner out anyway - fortunately the bedrooms were still intact.
The Saturday was a case of hunkering down - it was too wet too walk out to the beer shops, and we spent several hours in a retro computer games place - my daughter loved this, & I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting Sonic the Hedgehog - still great even 30 years on!
Most beery eateries were fully booked both nights (astonished we couldn’t get a table at Brewhouse & Kitchen!), but the first night we managed to get a table at Croxtons. I wasn’t overly enamoured of the place (music far too loud, food served in stupid baskets, maybe I’m just too old for the venue!), but their house lager Shant (made by Fallen Acorn) was superb. Also had a Black Iris stout (my first beer from the brewery) which was very disappointing and appeared to be made of cabbage.
Second day we ate at the Belgin restaurant “Huis”, which was excellent, if tiny (booked out even on a Sunday). Food and service were excellent, and there were 70-80 beers all with the proper glasses. Didn’t feel like drinking too much, so stuck to the low strength stuff rather than the strong specials - had De Konninck, Westmalle Extra and Lindemans Peach lambic, Would thoroughly recommend this place although you’ll need to book - its tiny & was sold out even on a Sunday night.
My quest for IoW beers was unsuccessful this time - the ferries to IoW and Gosport weren’t running due to the wind. I missed the “proper” beer shops as they only opened Saturday & it was to wet to walk there then. The Southsea Deli claimed on its website that it had Yates beers, but on going to the shop turned out to have no beers at all. The only IoW beers turned out to be in the Southsea Watrose - they stocked a couple from Goddards which unfortunately I’d already had.
Nevertheless, we all had a good time despite the rough weather & lack of IoW rates, and as a bonus I bagged the highest point on Portsea Island whilst I was there!