Here at the Queens, we love the colourful world film director, Wes Anderson has created and we were beyond overjoyed to discover we are part of the Accidentally Wes Anderson phenomenon that has taken social media by storm.
Photographer Tom Benjamin submitted us to the site way back in 2019. We are delighted to feature on the map of 1,821 places highlighting the most beautiful, idiosyncratic and interesting places on earth.
Brooklyn-based husband and wife team of Wally & Amanda came up with the idea for AWA to develop a personal travel bucket list. First established on Instagram, their personal project quickly developed into a wide-reaching resource, providing inspiration for travellers and creatives across the world. Today their site has two million followers and there have been books and postcards produced.
With their puppy mascot, Dexter, by their side, the adventurous couple’s mission evolved from curating and researching interesting locations to bringing the Community along on virtual Adventures around the world. Their mission remains the same from the start – provide a daily dose of delight and inspire a sense of adventure and curiosity for all that wish to participate.
A viral online phenomenon, AWA has encouraged millions of people to view the world in a different way, celebrating a gorgeous colour palette and composition.
We are so proud to be part of this global phenomenon that inspires more than one million adventurers.
We love this legacy art project from this year’s Portsmouth Pride and wanted to share a bit more information about the eye catching magenta coloured hoardings.
This year’s ‘Everybody’s Pride’ mural is a collaboration between Portsmouth based artist and trans activist Mister Samo and local creative studio FORM+FUNCTION – whose work in the city looks to connect communities through creativity.
The 45+ foot long hoarding close to the Queens Hotel car park, was beautifully positioned to be visible for attendees of the Pride Main Day Event.
And now it will be a prominent (hot pink!) legacy artwork – emblazoned with Mister Samo’s iconic ‘YOU ARE LOVED’ message – for residents and visitors to the city to appreciate.
The mural and its messaging demonstrates the power of collective, creative collaboration in support – and celebration of – Portsmouth’s wonderful, growing and PROUD rainbow community.
Portsmouth Pride 2023 was full of colour, fun, laughter, happiness and lots and lots of love.
It was such a joyous day and we were extremely proud to once again be the official hotel of Portsmouth Pride. This exciting partnership allows us to celebrate love and promote inclusion and kindness.
The main Portsmouth Pride event was held on Southsea Common. There was also a parade around the city to kick off the celebrations.
Here at the hotel, we officially opened our garden for the summer on the day of the Pride celebrations. We also served up our exclusive Pride cocktail – the Rainbow. £1 from the sale of each cocktail went to Portsmouth Pride.
What’s more, we were lucky enough to host the VIP Meet & Greet, which saw lots of Pride goers coming to the hotel to meet their favourite acts – Black Peppa and Danny Beard, both of whom were both friendly and hilarious.
The garden was kitted out with Pride décor, including a fabulous balloon arch from Boujee Events Hire and some Pride signs from Victory Events. The sun shone all day too, which certainly helped provide a fun, summer atmosphere.
What a day it was. We’re looking forward to next year already!
Our wonderful event coordinator, Irene Garcia, has recently gone for the chop and has donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust.
The Little Princess Trust is a charity that provides free real hair wigs to children and young people, aged up to 24 years, who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other conditions.
Belinda Cleary from Medusa Hairdressing (just along Osborne Road in Southsea, near the hotel) kindly did the deed and gave Irene a lovely new summertime look.
It’s not the first time Irene has donated her hair – over the past seven years she has donated nearly two metres of hair.
“Back home in Spain I have donated my hair on several occasions and I was more than happy to support the Little Princess Trust.
“Thanks so much to Belinda for generously giving her time to cut my hair – I really appreciated it,” she said
Well done, Irene.
We are delighted to work with talented typographer and designer Sarah Fisher, who created The Portsmouth & Southsea Colouring Book.
The moment we saw the wonderful vector illustrations she created for her book, we knew we wanted to be able to offer children the opportunity to colour in Sarah’s delightful depiction of the Queens when they visit Restaurant 1865.
General Manager, Paul Playford, said: “We like to keep our younger guests entertained as they wait for their meal. Having such a great illustration of the Queens for them to colour in is just the icing on the cake.”
Sarah explained she had previously created colouring books for designer Cath Kidston and really enjoyed the process.
When she moved to Portsmouth seven years ago, Sarah had the idea of creating a colouring book for the city. In the process, she got to know her way round the landmarks and iconic buildings we all know and love.
“I illustrated 52 original drawings of scenes around Portsmouth for The Portsmouth & Southsea Colouring Book. I did this by working from photographs that I had taken. Then, I turned the detailed vector illustrations into an 80-page colouring book for grownups. I raised the money to self-publish the book via Kickstarter in Autumn 2017.” she said.
Copies of Sarah’s colouring book can be purchased from the reception team at the Queens. You can find out more about Sarah here.
On Saturday 18 March, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang paid a flying visit to the city of Portsmouth.
The Kings Theatre is proudly presenting a community production of the show (11 – 16 April). To celebrate, the magical car came to visit some of Portsmouth’s iconic landmarks.
The car and its owners, Nicholas and Carolyn Pointing, headed over from the Isle of Wight courtesy of Wightlink Ferries. They landed in Gunwharf Quays in the Centre Courtyard at 8.am, where the crowds had already started to arrive.
There was an overwhelmingly affectionate response to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. People came from far and wide to see it and to have their photos taken with this beautiful vehicle.
Members of the cast were there, including: Paul Clements and Georgia Deboise (playing Caractacus Potts and Truly Scrumptious), Cohen Bates and Ben Greenfield, (playing Jeremy Potts), and Jemima May Rees and Olaya Martinez Cambon, (playing Jemima Potts). All were in costume and posed for lots of pictures with the car and the public. Plus, a whole troupe of the ensemble cast were out and about answering questions and handing out flyers.
After a photo opportunity with the Spinnaker Tower, a popular Portsmouth photo backdrop, Chitty headed over to Portsmouth International Port. There, they were escorted to the jetty to say au revoir to Brittany Ferries Mont St Michel, much to the delight of the staff and ferry passengers.
Next, the cast and car were welcomed by an amazing crowd that had gathered at The Queens Hotel. Caractacus Potts and Truly Scrumptious were treated to the hotel’s Chitty themed cocktails – a Toot Sweet and an Old Bamboo. They looked and tasted delicious and will be available at the hotel for pre-theatre drinks during show week. Highly recommended!
After a leisurely drive along the seafront, the car arrived at the Hovercraft where it lined up next to the launch area for some iconic photos of these two classic modes of transport.
As the sun began to set, the crowd waved a fond farewell as Chitty headed back to Wightlink for the journey home.
Watch the short film below.
Photo and video credit: Gabriel Worsley for The Kings Theatre
Our General Manager, Paul Playford, is swapping the comforts of a warm bed for a night sleeping under the stars at the CEO Sleepout, Portsmouth.
In his day job, Paul can be found looking after some of the top bedrooms in the city. However, on Thursday April 27th, he’s stepping out of the hotel to spend a night sleeping at Fratton Park, and it’s all for a good cause.
He is taking part in the CEO Sleepout at Portsmouth Football Club to raise funds for local charities tackling homelessness in the city.
“This is such a great cause and when I heard about the CEO Sleepout I was keen to get involved.
“I hope businesses we work with will support what I am doing, as well as family and friends,” said Paul.
CEO Sleepout has raised £3.5 million for more than 100 charities working to tackle homelessness in cities across the UK.
“I would really appreciate any sponsorship that people can give me. It will certainly be an experience sleeping at the football ground in a sleeping bag.
“But I am the lucky one as it is only one night,” he added.
To support Paul, please go to his Just Giving page here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-playford
Stephen Tennant stayed at The Queens Hotel!
As the official hotel for Portsmouth Pride, we have thoroughly enjoyed the LGBT+ History month posts from Portsmouth Pride celebrating key figures.
Accordingly we’d like to add our own favourite queer icon, Stephen Tennant.
A British socialite known for his eccentric lifestyle, Stephen was a member of the so-called ‘Bright Young Things.’ They dominated the headlines in the 1930s due to their extravagant behaviour.
In the post war years, he was a regular guest at The Queens Hotel. He was well known for holding court in the lobby, cutting quite a dash with his stylish flair.
In his book Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant, celebrated local author Professor Philip Hoare, described how Stephen was a much loved guest at the hotel.
“The hotel was Southsea’s best, with its impressive marble pillared hall, and stained-glass domed ceiling. It had, like all of Stephen’s favoured hotels, a quiet hushed air of untrumpeted luxury.
“He would take one of the first-floor rooms, with a balcony looking out over the promenade and green of Southsea, its castle and cannons and strolling sailors.
“One of the porters at the Queens, Charlie Taylor, remembered Stephen sitting in the lounge, gazing at the dome. ‘When I first saw him he was wearing a long fawn camel coat and a pixie hood!’
Stephen quickly had the staff under his spell.
‘He used to have his hair done at the ladies’ hairdressers in town – brilliant blond – and he wore crocodile skin shoes. One day he was sitting in the hall, and called me over. He asked me to take them round to the shoe shop in Castle Road and get them dyed pink!’”
It was delightful to attend the Wedding Industry Awards ceremony for the South Central region – and walk away as winners.
Against stiff opposition, our events team were proclaimed regional winners. Now we go on to contest the national title in January.
Nationally, more than 1000 entries were received for the high profile industry awards. Thousands of bridal couples had their say and voted for the entrants they thought most deserved to be honoured.
Speaking after the awards ceremony, which was held at Old Thorns Hotel and Resort at Liphook, Head of Sales, Marketing and Events, Nicole Morris, said: “It is really exciting for The Queens Hotel to receive this recognition.
“We are lucky to be chosen by an increasing number of couples as the place they want to hold their wedding and celebrate their marriage. We really enjoy making their special day a memorable one.
“It is always a team effort involving every department of the hotel working together to create the perfect wedding day.”
General Manager, Paul Playford, said: “It is brilliant to be regional winners and we look forward to the national finals.
“Every couple that chooses to celebrate their wedding with us is special to The Queens Hotel team. We really enjoy working with them to ensure their special day stays in their memories forever.”
Thank you to all the brides and grooms who voted for us. You helped us to win this award. We really appreciate you taking the time to complete the feedback forms.
Positive Tripadvisor reviews from our satisfied diners have helped us to secure a major accolade for our Restaurant 1865.
Every year, Tripadvisor celebrates restaurants that consistently deliver amazing experiences with a Travellers’ Choice Award – and this year, we’ve made the list.
We really value feedback from our customers – and of course, glowing reviews always make us happy.
Executive Chef Simon Hartnett, said: “It’s always great to receive recognition for what you do and we always take note of the reviews that our customers take the time to leave.
“Our latest seasonal menu is proving really popular – and as you can see from the reviews, Sunday lunch gains plenty of plaudits.”
Here are just a few of the recent Tripadvisor reviews:
My sister and I had cocktails and dinner at the Queens Hotel on Saturday evening.
The atmosphere was lovely and there was a good vibe in the bar earlier on. The cocktails were excellent and great before dinner. The food was excellent, simply wonderful and we felt we were somewhere very special.
After our meal we had a nightcap in the bar. Honestly, the staff could not have been any more professional or friendly with superb food and a magnificent setting.
Booking again for next month. Dinner at Restaurant 1865 in The Queen’s Hotel Ports
Good range of dishes offering choices to suit all palates. The food was first class and the service matched. The staff were all attentive and friendly. I would highly recommend First Class food and service
I had friends visit for the weekend and we were looking for somewhere that served roast dinner.
We’d gone to multiple restaurants, which had all stopped serving, though it was only 7pm(ish)
I remembered the Queens hotel had restaurant 1865, so we popped in, and thankfully they were still serving.
They say things happen for a reason, it was quite possibly the best roast dinner.
I had pork, which was perfect, and my friends had the beef, which they said was delicious. Deserts were delicious too
We all loved it so much we went back the next night. We all ordered the rib-eye, possibly the best steak we’d had, the knife went through like melted butter it was that tender.
Everything about restaurant 1865 and it’s surroundings was 10/10 in every way. The staff are friendly, surroundings amazing, food exquisite, and prices really reasonable, in fact unbelievably reasonable.
I couldn’t recommend this place enough, truly well worth visiting Amazing
We had Sunday lunch and it was excellent, a nice choice of dishes, I had the pork and my Wife had Chicken, both were excellent and superbly cooked. The waitresses were fantastic, so friendly and helpful, we felt we had known them for years. Service was very prompt, but not to the point of feeling rushed. An added bonus was the excellent saxophone player, very pleasant music and not too loud.
As we were staying at the Hotel, we also had the pleasure of one of the best breakfasts I have had at any Hotel, it is worth visiting the Restaurant just to have their breakfast.
We will definitely be back we are already booked into the Hotel in September, so the restaurant is a must. Superb Restaurant
Thank you to everyone who takes the time to leave a Tripadvisor review – we really appreciate it.