From the outside this looks like any normal boozer, but when you pop in there is a kitsch, camp and sparkle tinged style about this place. You can tell its owners are glam women or at least they have heavily influenced the decor. Impressive chandeliers hang from the ceiling with shimmering veils of beads which capture the light. Opulent candle holders, columns painted in black and gold and luscious velvet curtains draped over the doorway. Interestingly, they have managed to get hold of a wallpaper which looks like rows of books/bookcases, a essentially giving it a library feel, if not a very snazzy one. Also have a look at the various pics of dogs dressed in suits and other outfits on the walls, really cool.
The ladies working the room were also giving it glamour. Not your normal service look, but I get the feeling that aside from tourists or festival revelers, that this place has its fair share of loyal locals. You could sense a little of the clique. That said, they were still friendly. Whilst I must admit the food options at the festival are great, it is sometimes good to eat sitting down. I got right back on the sauce with a glass of wine, I mean, start how you mean to go on right.
For our food, there was roasts on the menu as it was Saturday, so Adrian went for the chicken. What a portion, piled high with a massive Yorkshire pudding which could have been less on the charcoal side, the most gorgeous creamed cabbage with pancetta I had ever tasted, creamed cauliflower, roasted potatoes, peas and carrots. This was not a dish for the faint hearted. Adrian wanted to eat it all, but struggled. A nod of approval from him.
Stef went for scallops wrapped in bacon which took some time getting to us as they had written the order down originally. The recovery was good enough with apologies and the actual dish arriving. Stef gave he impression that it was an average dish, but was more than happy with the side of sweet potato fries she also had. Last but not least, I went for the lamb shank with potato dauphinoise, mint sauce and peas.I know, shock horror right! No chicken and no lobster. I am glad I went off piste and took this dish as the lamb meat was so tender and literally melted off the bone. The sauce was the right combination of gravy and mint too. Only thing to note was that the potatoes were hard. It is a hard one doing this dish, but the potato has to be cooked properly for it to work I’m afraid.
Essentially the experience was a mix of highs and lows. It is still a nice option for a bite to eat and from pics I have seen online, it looks like a good place for drinks in the evening when it really comes alive. Not too sure about this one, will just have to see if I am drawn to it on my return visit to Portsmouth.
1 Kent Road