We've long been conscious that we haven't uncovered too many good food pubs in Portsmouth. In an attempt to remedy that situation, we headed in to old Portsmouth, and more specifically, to The Wellington. We've been told by several people that we should give it a go, and that's what we did today.
Our first impression upon stepping inside, was one of slight surprise. Expecting a traditional old Portsmouth pub, we found ourselves in a bar come bistro, or at least that's how it felt. The tiled floor, classy fittings and gin menu, put us in mind of a trendy European/London bar. We took a seat and found ourselves looking through a brunch menu. This is available from 11:00am through the week, earlier at weekends. It was more breakfast than lunch, but if you wanted breakfast you'd be spoilt for choice. A full English is £7.95, including black pudding, fried potatoes and Portobello mushrooms, as well as all the usual suspects. There were five lunch dishes on the menu, not including salads. Somewhat lacking in options, I went for fish and chips, Dad picked liver and bacon.
It wasn't until we had ordered our food that we discovered a separate lunch time menu hidden behind an advertisement for live music. You can get yourself a main such as fish and chips or sausage and mash as well as a desert for £8.95, not bad at all.
There is also an evening menu with more choice. Meals on here range from around £10 to £20.
It didn't take too long for the food to come out. First impressions were that my chips weren't home made. I am perhaps being overly fussy, but when fish and chips cost over £12 and the fish is fresh and well cooked, it seems a shame not to go that extra potato mile and throw in some really good chips. Dad's bacon was of a good quality and well cooked and his mash was good, although the meal as a whole was rather on the small side. It came with cabbage, carrots and a red wine gravy. Again, perhaps we are becoming fussy, but we thought an onion gravy would have suited better.
We thought this was going to be a tricky pub to review for several reasons. Firstly, if you want breakfast you are confronted with a wall of options, where as lunch seekers are somewhat less fortunate. Also, we weren't sure about the pubs identity, it even feels odd saying pub. I suppose it is a pub, we just weren't sure it felt like one. On the other hand, we read through the evening menu, which sounds very good. We came to the conclusion that this is probably a place that makes more sense in the evening, if that makes any sense. It's a well appointed pub that is certainly selling good food and we can't really fault them on anything. If you fancy a late breakfast during the week, this is definitely the place to go, and probably if you want some good food in the evening. Lunch isn't bad either, just make sure you know where all the menu's are before you order.