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 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.
Paul Playford has recently been announced as the General Manager of the Queens Hotel, Portsmouth. Paul has gained a wealth of experience working in hospitality at major venues across Hampshire.
A former City of Portsmouth Boys School pupil, Paul began his career with major hotel brands Marriott and Hilton. There, he learned the ropes and worked his way up in the kitchen. He then became Sous Chef at the Solent Hotel in Whiteley. From 2006, he was Head Chef at the Royal Beach Hotel.
Queens Hotel Managing Director, Farid Yeganeh, said: ” I have known Paul for many years. I welcome his hands-on experience, attention to detail and ability to lead a team.
“He joins the Queens Hotel as we open our re-designed garden and continue our refurbishment programme.”
Looking ahead, Paul said he is keen to ensure a consistent standard of service for guests and visitors to enjoy.
“My aim is to take the Queens Hotel to the next stage of her journey. I want to ensure she is a vibrant hotel delivering a good quality service. A happy team means guests will receive the best service and enjoy a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
“We have a unique offering. We are an independently owned hotel in a beautiful, characterful building and we want to be recognised as offering a really good, four-star experience,” he said.
The Queens was one of the first hotels in Southsea. She has been the place families have chosen to celebrate for more than 150 years. Since 2017, £5.2m has been invested in the hotel and it is an on-going project with future plans, including the creation of a spa.
Seen as being at the heart of Southsea, this summer the Queens Hotel will sponsor the massively popular Southsea Food Festival. We will also be announcing a new partnership with Portsmouth Pride.
We were delighted to be the recipients of the Freedom of the City. This was in recognition of the work we did to support our community during the first lockdown, when we cooked hundreds of meals for vulnerable people. To learn more, please click here.
Southsea Food Festival is fast approaching and the Queens Hotel is an official sponsor of the event. Therefore. we spoke to Chloe Barter, our Head of Pastry, who will be preparing afternoon tea tasters on the day.
Chloe loves the alchemy that results from mixing simple ingredients to create mouth-watering teatime treats.
“Afternoon tea is the perfect meal. It’s fancy but not too over the top,” confided Chloe. ”Afternoon tea is something you can look forward to and a great excuse to get together with friends and family. It’s very British and the perfect mix of sweet and savoury.”
Since Chloe joined the Queens Hotel, her afternoon tea has earned multiple plaudits and ecstatic reviews. Every element of the tea is created from scratch, with only the clotted cream and jam being bought in.
“And I’m looking at making my own jam too. I love that everything is baked here and you can taste the freshness,” explained Chloe.
The Queens Hotel is sponsoring the Southsea Food Festival on July 16 and 17. Visitors to the hotel’s stand will be able to sample our ‘afternoon tea in a box’.
Chloe explained: “We wanted to give visitors to the Southsea Food Festival a taster of what our afternoon tea is all about. I’m hoping to spend some time on the stand too.”
For more information about Southsea Food Festival, please click HERE.
Chloe’s passion for pastry is palpable – and when you ask her to explain, the reason becomes clear.
“I love the fact you can take simple ingredients like milk, butter and flour and depending on the way you mix them, you can create so many different things. I love the variables.
“To me choux pastry is a beautiful thing – and then there’s a macaron. Simple ingredients and together they make something incredible,” she declared.
As a child growing-up she learned to love baking. This was largely as a result of watching her Mum create extraordinary celebration cakes for family and friends.
Skills she learned at home were further honed over three years studying at Highbury College in Portsmouth specialising in pastry. She then bagged a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on an all-expenses paid year in America.
“It was the most extraordinary year. I spent four months in Nantucket and then the next eight months in Florida working in the restaurant of a country club.
“It really helped me learn my trade. I learnt everything from bread-making and confectionery to desserts and cakes.
“We even got to do sugar-sculpting which was amazing. The display I worked on had a sea theme and I got to make a rainbow parrot fish just like the ones I saw when I went snorkelling,” she said.
Her love for baking runs so strong, Chloe even boasts a cupcake tattoo.
Looking to the future, Chloe has just put the finishing touches to a festive afternoon tea offering that will take Christmas to a whole other level.
She’s also working on a strawberry custard tart that promises to be a pink perfection on the plate.
“The colour is so beautiful and it tastes sublime,” she added.
Chloe’s Afternoon Tea Top Tips
Chloe’s favourite Victoria Sponge recipe
8oz butter or Stork margarine
8oz caster sugar
4 medium eggs
1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract or paste
8oz self-raising flour
3 splashes of milk (tablespoons)