Sunday, December 11, 2016

Portsmouth weekend (#2)

Good value hotel
Nice to take a couple of days out of London particularly when it's by train and to as pleasant a city as Portsmouth is.

Getting in the Xmas  spirit 

We were curious, after a summer visit to find out how the shopping and general activity was during the lead up to Christmas - well restaurants were doing well  with Office and works 'does' and retail didn't seems to be struggling too much (but with discounts of up to 50% I guess it shouldn't).

The 'Quays' had certainly pushed the boat  out  (please forgive the metaphor) with their decorations and as before the Holiday Inn Express   offered good value - helped by the deals in nearby eateries like Café Rouge (French themed, we sued to have one in Ealing sadly no longer)  and Azzurro (Italian themed - with just 4 locations - so far).

what was good about both our evening meals out was that although they were busy they made sure that customers were happy and we were pre-warned at Azzurro that as a result of large party booking there could be delays (happily there weren't any real delays).

[I liked the breakfast there too - and some of the talk from nearby tables was worthy of Alan Bennett]

I like the straightforwardness about the place - it doesn't (to my mind) have pretensions - lots of history but it keeps its feet on the ground.

Nice Christmas feel to the area around the station too with singers like the Pompey Pluckers and talking reindeer.

Great Pluckers

Another nice illumination
Our Nautical Past

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