Accidentally Wes Anderson

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.



Who is behind AWA?

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.

Proud to be part of the community

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.


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.



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When it comes to being bold with colour, Southsea stylist Roxanne Morris certainly isn’t afraid of making a statement.

While most of her time is taken up with styling for magazine shoots and music videos, Roxanne loves nothing more than working with businesses in her hometown to create colourful content for her social media.

She recently came to the Queens Hotel and used the public areas as a stunning backdrop for her own personal fashion shoot.

“I really want to encourage people to have fun with colour and to not feel daunted by it. I’m hoping that I can share ideas of how they can wear the clothes they already own and inspire them with a bit of a fashion boost,” said Roxanne.

Roxanne Morris – stylist

Roxanne is a former accountant who decided to turn her back on figures in favour of a life of fashion. She ran ran Rokii in Albert Road for several years before taking the business online.

She has always loved colour and the psychology behind how colour makes us feel.

“I do have a few items of black clothing but I don’t wear it much. If I do, I use it as an accent. At one time, black was only worn for mourning. I think it’s a shame that so many women hide behind wearing black.

“Life is too short to always wear black. We’ve got a whole spectrum of colour out there and I want women to have fun with it,” she said.

Talking about returning to Portsmouth to live, Roxanne explained. “I love being able to spread my time between London and Southsea, especially as I became a mother and my daughter was 9 weeks old when we went into the first lockdown.

“I am 41 years old and I want to show women they can have fun with fashion whatever their age. I don’t use any filters – what you see is what you get.

“It’s important to make what you see on social media more real so people can relate to it.”




Apprenticeship programme

With so much talk about the hospitality industry struggling to fill thousands of jobs, we are delighted to welcome apprentice chefs, Ketan Dixon-Whiteaway and Jack Breach to our kitchen.

The youngsters are being supported on their career path thanks to a new apprenticeship programme offered at the Queens Hotel.

General Manager, Catherine Austen explained: “We are keen to promote the career opportunities that are available in hospitality. We want to develop the skills of our talented team.

“By offering an apprenticeship programme, we can develop the talent of the future. We can also help to retain team members who are gaining work experience at the same time as learning.”

Our apprentice chefs

Ketan,21, explained he has been working in local restaurants for a number of years. However, being supported to do his Level 3 qualification (the equivalent to an A Level) as part of a day-release at HSDC South Downs College means he can take his cooking skills to the next level.

“I love cooking and this will give me a chance to gain even more understanding as well as new skills.

“It would be great to be able to progress at the Queens and do more qualifications. Ultimately, I would love to run my own restaurant,” he said.

Jack,17, joined the kitchen team as a Kitchen Porter. Executive Chef, Simon Hartnett, soon spotted his potential and let him know about the apprenticeship programme.

“I enjoy doing different styles of cooking. I’m doing my Level 2 and loving it,” he said.

Simon said: “The great thing about working in a kitchen is that you can literally start as the pot washer and go all the way to the top. You just need a bit of determination.

“By offering the apprenticeship programme, we are helping people to progress in their career and providing the right structure for them to thrive.”

The Queens Hotel is developing more apprenticeship opportunities. Please take a look at our social media for more details.


The founder of Mystery Guides, local author, Jack Wells, has chosen to set his latest book in Southsea. The book, which is something the whole family can enjoy, includes many landmarks and historical events.

Jack, recent winner of the ‘Start Up Business of the Year’ in the Business Excellence Awards 2021, was inspired to create the book based on his love of history and the place he calls home.

Mystery Guides – Southsea edition

“I’ve created a fictional story that is based on fact and incorporates local history. I was born here and the history is something that I love about the place.

“You will find reference to the Spithead Mutiny, Mary Rose and the Battle of Southsea. People can learn a lot about the place as they walk round Southsea picking up clues.

“This definitely isn’t a history book but it is full of historical snippets that I hope people will find interesting,” he said.

How Mystery Guides were born

Having studied history at university, Jack put his love of the past to good use by leading guided tours of Old Portsmouth. This further developed with a treasure hunt element.

“I ended up developing an app because I wasn’t always available to conduct the tours. Then, I wrote my first Mystery Guides book.

“The book ended up being more successful than the app. From there, I’ve gone on to write a whole series,” he said

Jack will be launching his Southsea edition of Mystery Guides at the Queens Hotel on Friday August 6. Characters from ‘Southsea Mystery Adventure’ will be brought to life and there will be the chance to meet the author.

The Queens Hotel in Southsea Mystery Adventure

The Queens Hotel is featured in the book and is supporting Jack’s venture. Everyone who buys a copy at the launch event will be entered into a prize draw. One of the prizes is a family ticket for the final Kids’ Party of the summer on August 23. A grand prize of an overnight stay for two will also be on offer to the family that solves all the clues in the book and reveals the mystery. Participants need to tag the hotel in photos as they travel around Southsea.

General Manager Catherine Austen said: “We love the idea that Jack’s book is something that families can follow to find out more about Southsea. It’s an activity that kids and parents can do together in the summer holidays.”

For more details follow the Queens Hotel on social media.

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