I swung by the Coastguard last week to take in the latest CAPUG pop up and came away inspired, invigorated and deeply thankful to live in such a creative place as Southsea, with so many exceptionally talented artists.
There’s a conversation I have on a regular basis. It’s happened ever since the day I started Southsea Bathing Hut on a market stall in 2015. Today, happily settled into our skincare lab and shop on Albert Road, people ask the same. It goes like this:
A customer pops in looking for a gift (let’s say Valentine’s Day is coming up). They ask me, ‘Have you got anything for guys?’
They know he’s into skincare. But they’re not sure what he likes just yet.
What’s new at the King Street Tavern? Well the 18th-century pub that is famous for being a genuine smokehouse and passionate about bringing smoked, BBQ meats to the heart of Southsea, mixed with a wide range of craft beers and ales is mixing things up a bit. If ribs are your thing you must go and try them here, but the new menu offers so much more now and I for one am really pleased!
Just before Christmas, a new florist Green Hands of Southsea opened on Castle Road which is when I first met Monika Wood. The outside was being painted green which has been a favourite colour of mine for about 3 years and I wanted to venture in when the doors opened to see what kind of style and focus this new florist had to offer.
Walking in the door of Hunter-Gatherer I expected to see a 50-year-old Italian there to greet me for my pasta class which I was going to be part of for the evening. I don’t know why I had this idea in my head! Spending a few weeks talking over Instagram gave me these preconceptions and I always think of someone who has such a passion for bread and pasta to be Italian but this is not true. Instead, Lorin who is smart, handsome and is only 29 years old stood before me with a whole world of knowledge and has crammed so much into his life already!
Travelling to Southsea for a day trip with my little boy, I ventured down to Hotwalls in Old Portsmouth and there, in the last studio was Kendal. A total whizz at Hama Beads, my son sat for an hour making his own Mario that he could take home and I never thought I would see Kendal again. Then we moved to Southsea and on visiting the Crafts in the Tower (back at the beginning of 2018) I saw Kendal again and discovered how much she offers to the creative scene in Southsea and Portsmouth.
“We need to respect the oceans as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.” Sylvia Earle We are drowning in plastic – and as much as it is quite a daunting claim to start with, it’s important to realise we need to act on it and we need to act now.
Opening on Friday 12th April at the Coastguard Studio is the King Ship Tattoo exhibition of contemporary Japanese motifs. Called ‘Mark Of The Orient’ with around 100 pieces of work for sale, it showcases the work and vision of Aaron Willet – owner of the Kings Ship. His style draws inspiration from ancient Japanese tattooing and culture with the exhibition pieces being created in watercolour.
The walls are bare brick and industrial fittings. The tables and lockers are lit with neon and hanging light bulbs; local artwork is splashed across the walls and ceiling whilst the industrial sauce dispenser fits perfectly alongside the custom bar. It’s one of those places that oozes cool and feels like a backstreet New York joint you only know if you know … y’know?
When you look at where we live, with such a fantastic open space right next to the sea, it makes sense that a lot of exercise takes place along this stretch of Southsea. Come springtime you see groups playing sports on Southsea Common with bikes, scooters, rollerbladers and runners using the wide stretch of interesting public spaces. It starts from Clarence Pier and heads right up to Southsea Parade Pier, so it was inevitable that a company would want to start training in this beautiful setting we have.