Having seen Ali in her glory shot for issue 1 it was nice to go and hang out at the Wave Maiden on an early Friday evening and chat to her about food, beer, gin and of course all the creative things they have going on there.
In towns, there are always pubs that get talked about for being that one creative hub everyone goes to and The Wave Maiden will be that one place that generations to come will still be talking about. Movie nights, doodle clubs, poetry slams, and writing get-togethers plus a music hotspot means this is one stand out place in my eyes. Being the first ever craft beer pub in the city means it made its mark right from the start. It is the only place I have seen vegan craft beers too.
Ali being a NYC girl met her husband Paul while he was on a trip to America with the navy and they moved back to Portsmouth and settled here. Opening the Wave Maiden 4 years ago was a wonderful challenge they were both keen to accept and to transform the building that stood there before. Collecting many things to sit in this fab timeless pub you can tell that Ali and Paul have good style. Not only that but they have created a venue that looks like it could have stood here 200 years and will still have stories to tell for 200 more.
Downstairs the walls are dark with green ceilings and creating an ambience of an old timeless drinking waterhole mixed with an eclectic vintage attitude really makes this place shout individual. That is exactly what the owners wanted. Ali spent a lot of time in New York and said she wanted to feel this pub could match any of the places she always used to hang out in. It has that in volumes and I have always loved a place that feels like you could be sat in another part of the world and not actually a seaside town. The antique lights are mismatched and with very art deco style tiles dotted around it oozes a lovely eclectic style but in a relaxed kind of way. There is wallpaper that has a 70’s vibe and nothing is trying too hard when it comes to the interiors, everything just works and makes you feel chilled and that’s not the beer talking.
Ali showed me the food menu and I have to say having only ever drunk a beer here it was nice to see how cleverly planned out it was. The left-hand side has all the warm comfort food recipes that Ali always loved back home. Her mom’s home-cooked chilli recipe is on there as is Ali’s favourite, the Reuben sandwich. Everything you see on the left that has meat in it has the exact same recipe on the opposite side but vegan! This makes for a very cool menu and I loved choosing what I was going to eat. There was so much choice of good old American style recipes and I went for Poutine with slow-cooked pulled pork. A Canadian traditional dish with skinny fries, gravy and melted cheese curds. Adding to the taste buds I had a milk stout, it was a very tasty meal on an evening where it had rained so heavily that I had to get my wellies out. The atmosphere of warmth, candles and comfort food thrown in was so relaxing and just what I needed.
All that is left to do is attend maybe the Movie Monday which is the first Monday of every month, free and even comes with a free popcorn followed by a film quiz downstairs for a very small sum of money. Or try and grab a place for one of the live music evenings. All the events held here are cool whether that be a music night from top bands just wanting a comforting acoustic setting to hang out in or the writers club to get some creative flow going you can guarantee yourself a good time in this timeless, eclectic, beer heavenly hub.
Featured Image – The Wave Maiden
Ali Image – Carrie Lavers from issue 1
By Louise O’Brien