When you travel around cities in the UK there is bound to be a hotel you see that offers luxury and ambience but not many can carry off the grand presence of the Queens Hotel in Southsea. The way it situates overlooking the Southsea Common offering fabulous views, it really is a wonderful place to visit and stay if you get the chance!
Launching the new restaurant (which is named 1865 after the year the property changed from being a private house to a hotel) gave me an exciting opportunity to go and visit the interiors as well as check out the new food menu. When entering the lobby the first thing that hits you is the height and then the marble chequered floor standing in all its glory.
We were guided to our table in the new restaurant and this gave me a chance to have a good look around. The walls are painted I would say a kind of nutmeg colour and has an instant calming effect. The wall panelling and period features you would expect from a grand hotel are there but it feels modern and unfussy. The chairs dotted around give a mid-century twist and it doesn't feel too hectic or busy. With a mixture of texture and colours amongst the chairs, this room feels relaxing and welcoming which is a clever touch by the interior designer (Studio Kinford) that undertook this project.
Boasting 15ft high ceilings, even with a packed out dining experience this room doesn't feel overwhelming at all and carries the guests perfectly. Large foliage scatters the room and the highly polished parquet floor helps the room to flow easily. Elaborate chandeliers hang with precision but don't overpower the space and really lend themselves to the period of the hotel with that Edwardian elegant style.
Since 2017 the new owner Farid Yeganeh has made it a mission to make this abode not only a beautifully restored place for hotel guests to enjoy but also to have good quality food and offer a pleasant dining experience to hotel residents and non-residents in the bar and restaurant. Bringing onboard new Head Chef Simon Hartnett has allowed new menus to be explored which has resulted in a new range of dishes that include an impressive menu of fish! My favourite so far has to be the Tandoori Monkfish priced at £22, it offers succulent flavours with curried cauliflower and a delicate coconut curry sauce.
What I love most about visiting the new restaurant and looking at the refurbishment that has taken place so far is that it is appealing to locals as well as visitors. With a cosy breakfast on offer which allows you to eat there and then take a nice stroll along the seafront, I see the 1865 being very popular over the Summer. Bringing back the Sunday afternoon music sessions in the garden and also offering Sunday Lunch means this place can't wait to welcome you in after being closed during the pandemic. No one has enjoyed the businesses in Southsea being closed for such a long time but it has allowed Farid and his team to really focus on the attention to detail and sometimes that is what matters the most! Well done team.
Go and visit the hotel for a meal, lunch, breakfast or Sunday lunch and tell your friends about the Duke's Bar next door too while you are on the subject as that is pretty cool too 🙂
Photos by The Queens Hotel