Thursday, August 21

Bank Holiday bar fest

If you’re one of the 2,500 intrepid souls making the long trip south to Portsmouth on Monday, you’ll probably be wanting a pint on arrival.

Here’s a selection of local alehouses that’ll welcome your business with open arms…and a word on those that won’t.

For starters, a decent meeting point is the Good Companion, at 2 Eastern Road, which has offered a warm reception in the past and, according to temporary managers Holly and Ben, will do so again this year.

It’s a big pub with a dining area (with three TVs) and a ‘sports’ area, which is basically the part of the pub with a big screen and a pool table, though the table will be covered later in the day.

Lager on tap is Carling (£2.50), Fosters (£2.70), Stella (£2.90) and Becks (£2.80). Guinness is £2.90, Abbots is £2.65 and IPA is £2.45. There’s also bottled lagers like Becks and Bud available.

Food wise, there’s a matchday menu, which includes sausage and chips, burgers, chicken burgers, veggie burgers, curry, scampi, fishcakes and gammon as well as desserts. A typical meal will cost you between £5.25 and £7.25.

It opens on the day from 11am until 11pm or midnight, depending on how busy it is and the pub is a five-minute walk to the ground.

If we get lucky for once and enjoy some decent weather, the Brewers Arms, at 170 Milton Road, is a fantastic choice.

Landlord Richard is not only putting on a rockin’ ska band called the Racketeers at 3pm, but he’s also laying on a free barbecue (though he does warn that the food won’t last for long).

When that runs out, there’ll be “rolls” (barms, to you and me) available for a couple of quid behind the bar.

Drinks are slightly dearer than the GC. A pint of Stella will set you back £3 as will Kronenberg and Guinness. Carlsberg and Fosters are £2.80. For ale fans, there’s London Pride and HSB. Bottled beers are Becks, Bud and Peroni at £2.50 each.

The Brewers has Sky on TVs throughout the pub and it’s open from noon until midnight. It’s a 10-minute walk to the ground.

Richard has asked reds to respect that, as it’s a Bank Holiday Family fun event at the pub, fans keep the singing to a minimum.

That in mind, it might be worth supping up in the early evening and popping down the road to the ever popular Connaught Arms, at 119 Guildford Road.

It’s arguably the most reputable away pub at Pompey, with landlady Sue offering a warm welcome to away fans, though some home fans do pop in for a quiet pint.

Carling and Carlsberg costs £2.70 a pint, Stella is £3.10 and Guinness is £3.00.

There’s two Whitbread ales and Old Rosie cider on tap, and there’s bottles of Becks, Bud, Newcastle Brown All and Magners behind the bar.

This family-run pub’s renowned for its matchday pasties, which are £2.75 and you can choose from a range of fillings, including Cornish, beef, steak and even jalfrezi.

The Connaught opens from 11.30am until 11.30pm and is a 10-minute walk to the ground. It has a pool table, though it will be covered later in the afternoon.

The best of the rest are:
The Devonshire Arms at 29 Devonshire Avenue
The Pickwick in Milton Road
The Shepherd’s Crook, at 107 Goldsmith Avenue, near Fratton train station, which is supposed to be a home-fans’ pub but, on last year’s evidence…isn’t...and reds will enjoy the outdoor seating area if it’s warm and
The Fawcett Inn on Fawcett Road.

It’s probably best to avoid the Milton Arms, not far from the Brewers, and also give the Newcombe Arms a wide berth, as they're both home fan only pubs.

If you’re short of funds, there are cash machines by the Tesco on Goldsmith Avenue (not far from the Shepherd’s Crook) and a Nationwide Building Society one at the Total garage on Milton Road.

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