The knowledge: Alanna Smith’s guide to a day out in Portsmouth & Southsea
Pie and Vinyl in Southsea

When she’s not blogging about fashion, beauty and food & drink on her blog, rubyxredxheart, Alanna Smith is out and about sampling the best of Portsmouth and Southsea.

We asked her to tell us about her perfect day in the city, taking us from early morning through to the wee small hours and stopping off at some must-visit places.

I love my city and really feel that it’s an untapped source for a great day out.

Many people look at it and think of the obvious: Navy, Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays shopping and as that’s where the final stop is on the train, that’s where the fun starts and ends.

Oh no my friends! Let me take you on a magical, mystery tour of this great city we live in, and if you’re thinking of visiting or are new to the area then get involved.

This is just a small snippet of the delights Portsea Island has to offer.


After the usual, get up, get washed, brush teeth yadda yadda it’s time to put on my exercise garb and head out, but before I go to my class I like to stop by The Juice Parlour for a protein smoothie (vegan friendly).

This is an excellent energy boost, tasty delicious and sets me up before my morning workout.

Then it’s off to my favourite exercise digs Everybody Pilates, which is only a stone’s throw away from The Juice Parlor (well, five mins walk, but convenient, eh?).

The classes are small with about a maximum of ten people, so you get the attention and care needed rather than being in a massive gym and tying yourself into knots unbeknownst to the instructor.

Everyone there is really friendly and welcoming, plus it’s in a basement so you feel like you’re being buzzed into some secret Pilates club.

Then, it’s time for a proper breakfast. Now there are loads of places I like to go, but one of the best places in Southsea for breakfast is Shenanigans.

They have a variety of breakfasts available ranging from Irish to Scottish, veggie options and boxtys.

Everything is made fresh, the Guinness is the best in town and the staff are always welcoming.

Midday – afternoon

What next? Well, I’d probably go and take a nice long stroll along the seafront to walk off all that food. Another bonus of being a seaside city is that you feel like you can take a break from it all by embracing the fresh sea air.

A fantastic place to scope out some views of the Isle of Wight (only ten minutes away via Hovercraft) and surrounding areas is at Southsea Castle. Built in 1544, it’s said to have been designed by Henry VIII himself.

There are also tearooms there if you fancy a quick beverage. Take the stairs and look out to sea; if you’re lucky you might spot a seal or a harbour porpoise swimming by.

If you’re feeling up to it and fancy a longer stroll, I fully endorse heading up to Tenth Hole Tearooms. Their cakes are the most spoken about in the city and some of the most delicious.

Their prices are fair and you’ll get a slice of cake the size of your head for about £4. This place really isn’t to be missed.

I know this is a lot of food (I’m the daughter of a chef and sometimes feel indulgent), so at this point I’d most probably head home to go catch some zzz’s and get ready to head out for dinner and meet my friends in the evening.


Dinner time. One of my favourite places to hangout both in the day time and the evening is Pie & Vinyl. They reside in the quirky street of Castle Road, Southsea which is home to some cool little shops, restaurants and the aforementioned juice bar.

Pie & Vinyl does what it says on the tin; It sells you vinyl and will feed you pie at the same time. This unique record cafe hosts numerous live in-store events, has awesome merchandise and plays great tunes which you can listen to whilst eating pie and supping root beer poured from a vintage teapot.

They also have the winning factor that you can take your veggie/vegan/gluten free buds there as they cater for all.

Then it’s off for some beverages. Portsmouth and Southsea seems to be forever growing its popular culture of ale and beer joints. I’d recommend you stop by HUIS and see what they have to offer.

I’m not really into partying so much these days, though if I did fancy getting my groove on with my friends I’d probably walk two minutes from HUIS to The One Eyed Dog. The drinks are a good price, the music is fun and on a weekend night the tunes are usually spun by Gentle Bren or Charlie Longlive.

When the clock strikes midnight, and if I’m feeling the dance vibes, I’ll make sure I don’t miss out on all the fun at The Wedgewood Rooms for It’s a Sin. This night has been running for a while now by local DJs Spikey Mark and Carl Lemon, who have earned the reputation of hosting one of Portsmouth and Southsea’s most entertaining nights out.

They’ve played at massive events such as the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival. These guys promise to let you party like it’s 1999, with classic dance floor hits that will make you want to shake your money maker. It’s a Sin runs every other Friday after comedy club, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.

There’s also a second room playing a different vibe of tunes, giving you option to float between the two.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my whirlwind tour of this amazing place I call my home – let me know if you have any questions over on Twitter!

Discover more from Alanna on her website and on Facebook.

Main image: Jon crel / Flickr / CC