We are really pleased to be welcoming back our Twelve Days Of Christmas Competition. Twelve of our local favourites have donated twelve awesome prizes for one lucky Strong Islander to win. Over the next twelve days, I will be asking a question each day that relates to the prize on offer. At the end of the twelve days, you are invited to submit your answers and one lucky winner will win the whole package for themselves, just in time for Christmas!
Opening up the competition is going to be ourselves, we are going to be giving away one of our 2022 calendars.
Each A4 fold-out calendar is ring-bound with antique brass, hole punched for hanging and printed on 300sgm Fedrigoni Arcoprint. This wood-free paper has a high-tech, cool white base guaranteeing excellent printability and is held in very high regard in publishing and printing industries. The guys at RIPE certainly delivered with this paper stock. It not only looks amazing as the print finish is second to none, but it feels really premium. Using an in-house HP Indigo 7800 digital press sets the standard for premium quality digital print. Using liquid ink rather than dry toner powder, the print quality is on par with traditional lithographic printing with the benefits of less waste, which is of course great news for the environment.
Our 2022 calendar features photographs from the following:
@markbutler_photography / @maddalena.jade / @themistertall / @hellbeerski / @fivearchitects / @southseasister / @gemma_butterworth / @vick.b_88 / @howardhurd / @southseahoops / @ourshadowswillremain / @instagram.com/tom8enjamin / @jonneilphotography / @mmm.creative / @ijpears / @maxwilliamsphotography /@gemmagrace_photos / @sarahmarston13 / @richard_malec / @northbeachphotography / @portsmouth_photographer / @southofalbertroad / @southseascape / @louisstacey / @angusrosier / @shesees73 / @davetbythesea / @sue_woodbridge_photography / @jon_tyrrell / @photogenicpompey
If you haven’t yet visited the No. 6 Cinema then I highly recommend it. You will find a mix of thoughtful art house cinema, vintage Hollywood classics and new blockbusters all within the historic blockhouse in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.
It’s a beautiful setting to watch movies and we always recommend heading down early to grab a drink and a light bite. I’m a big fan of the Fallen Acorn beers that they have in stock. You can find out the full listings linked below, alternatively every month I share my recommendations in Stu’s Picks For No. 6.
The lovely folks at No 6 have offered an apt six tickets to a showing or showings of your choice, depends how generous you’re feeling. To be in with a chance to win the prize then you must correctly answer the question below.
Q2 – What is the best Christmas movie of all time?
The company first appeared on my radar when they launched their micro-brewery within Southsea Castle. The company is run by Daniel Tonkin and couple Lorna and David Eastwood. The trio has guided the company from strength to strength establishing them as one of the best breweries on the south coast and have opened up their own bar taproom, The Brewers Tap.
My local is better than your local! As a resident of Milton, I was over the moon when I saw that in October 2018 they’d been granted planning permission to open up the Tap Room. While Southsea has some great pubs and bars they are all very central to the city so it is great to have such a high-quality venue on the outskirts of the city and one which is within walking distance from my home.
Seadog Print Studio’s James Mankiewicz has created some absolutely fantastic labels that beautifully capture the city’s maritime heritage. It’s hard to pick a favourite but Low Tide‘s must be up there.
Lorna has kindly donated two tins and a teku glass gift box. I’ll be picking them up and I promise to choose a good pair. To be in with a chance of winning you’ll need to answer the following Sun’s Out Guns Out inspired question.
Q3 – In total, how many guns are on HMS Victory and HMS Warrior?
If you don’t want to risk missing out and you want some Christmas beverages then they offer free local delivery on Thursdays until January with no minimum spend, available via the website and directly from The Brewers Tap. Also, you can catch them at this weekend’s Love Southsea market.
Bubblehead Barista was born from James Shell’s time performing his role as a serving member of the Royal Navy Mine Clearance diving branch. James describes, “I know what it means to have good coffee – it makes the best days brilliant and the bad days bearable. But getting good coffee at sea proved difficult, which is why I set up Bubblehead Barista, Bubblehead because that’s what they call us divers in the Navy, and Barista because I wanted to supply my boats with the good stuff.
“Then someone told someone, someone else told someone else, and somehow I’ve gone from selling a few imported kilos in the mess to sourcing my own green beans and roasting them in Hampshire when I’m back ashore.”
Their products, including their own roasted coffee can be found in a host of local venues including Southsea Cycles. You can also get your hands on a wide variety of products including beans, ground coffee, AeroPresses, hand grinders via their website. They are also open to widening their net finding other stockists across the south coast so if you’d like to know more then drop James a line.
Also, in a lovely touch, for each carton of coffee sold a donation will be made to the Royal Navy Clearance Divers Association (RNCDA).
James has kindly donated a mug and carton of coffee.
Q4 – Which football club is known for forever blowing bubbles?
I’m not normally a huge fan of too many of the chain restaurants or bars but Brewhouse & Kitchen is definitely one of the exceptions. Their first micropub nationally was based in Guildhall Walk and for me, it was a welcome addition as I’m was not so much of a fan of the other bars in the area, man of which are no longer with us, RIP Walkabout. Since then they have also taken over the old Langtry’s on Southsea Terrace and turned what was really only a summer pub into a place that is worth a visit all year round. Even more so thanks to the addition of the extra coverage in their large outdoor space.
They offer a variety of experiences including brewing your own beer. A great Christmas gift to any beer lovers, especially ones who might not have time to homebrew. The day lasts approximately seven hours and includes breakfast, lunch and a chance to sample eight different beers – including all of the beers we brew right here on-site in the microbrewery! And at the end of the day will you will get a certificate to prove your brewing prowess and a 5 Litre mini keg of your chosen B&K brewed beer to take home. Visit their website to find out more.
Our lucky winner will win Beer and Whisky Pairing Experience for two (worth £80).
Q5 – Brewhouse & Kitchen previously dedicated a Blonde Ale to a south coast based former female Olympic swimmer for Team GB but who are we referring to?
During a recent Portsmouth Creates market, I discovered Solent Wick, one of the cities newest independent businesses. On closer inspection, I was immediately blown away by their Gingerbread House candle although I was spoilt for choice and wanted to buy everything I saw. While trying to also manage a twenty-month-old on my own I opted for the Gingerbread House.
Other candles that I’ve tried are often not strong enough or I become nose blind to it. Not Solent Wick though. I’ve got the candle on my dining table and even when unlit I get a nice whiff as I pass by into the kitchen.
The company itself is run by Jayne Baldacchino with help from her partner Rob. The candles are vegan, made in small batches, hand-poured and wrapped by Jayne all from her home address. She told me, “We believe you should do what you love and love what you do! We are an eco-friendly sustainable business and completely plastic-free! Now that’s love for you right there.”
As the young businesses grows in 2022 you can expect a website with a shop to follow but in the meantime, their products are available from local markets, including tomorrow at Staggeringly Good. Alternatively, you can order through social media.
Q6 – Solent Wick’s first candle was titled Hotwalls. Name three artists that are currently based within the Hotwalls Artist Studios.
Back in late summer 2018, many of us spotted stickers popping up all over the city which was a clever take on banana stickers using common Portsmouth slang. This awesome work was created by George Bodkin, the founder of Portsmouth Banana Club. Since then the brand has gone from strength to strength and established itself as one of the leading creatives within the city, getting involved in the recent Portsmouth Creates ‘We Shine’ festival, having their designs projected onto a 200-foot high building in Commercial Road.
Over the years Pompey Banana Club has expanded its repertoire of products from stickers to include mugs, tees, towels and some fantastic wall art. All can be viewed on their online shop which can be found below.
George has kindly donated an awesome limited edition A3 holographic foil prints and some sticker packs to our lucky winner.
Q7 – What is the name of the company by which the Squinny sticker is inspired?
We have seen plenty of new neighbours move into Marmion Road over the past year which is fantastic to see, especially in such a difficult climate. One of which is Edith and Blanche, a shop for babies, children and parents. The business is run by Michelle who has a background in textiles and sustainable design. She and her wife, Biz, have a two-year-old child who has the unofficial title of product tester.
As a father to a daughter who is just approaching two years old and someone who is seeking to live more sustainably, I adore the ethos of this young business. Their aim is to provide high quality, ethically sourced and thoughtfully produced products. With as many as possible being either sourced locally from the UK, are organic and/or dyed with natural dyes.
Expect beautiful toys, books, games and clothes for boys and girls, many of which I wouldn’t even pigeonhole into boys or girls, which is something that is important to me as I do not want to be directed by stores to dress my daughter in pink.
They have kindly donated a £25 voucher to our lucky winner and by now you must know the drill, answer all of the questions correctly to be in with a chance of winning.
Q8 – They stock an adorable book titled, ‘Tiny T. Rex and The Impossible Hug’, but how big is the biggest recorded T.Rex tooth?
Pigeon Books is Southsea’s newest independent bookshop, stocking something for everyone, from diverse kid’s books to a range of fiction, graphic novels, LGBTQ+ fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and much more. While there is already a diverse range of books already in stock although owner, Phil Davies, is more than happy to order in anything that you’re seeking. Phil has been great, often getting my orders in stock within 24-48 hours.
This time of year we’re all preparing to eat and drink well and if you are looking for inspiration then Pigeon Books has a couple that might be of use. Including, A Cheesemonger’s History Of The British Isles, Cooking With Alcohol, Fried Eggs And Rioja and The Brussels Sprout Cookbook. Well, maybe slightly less so that last one. You can browse the books in stock via the website which is linked below.
Joy Fantastic is another one of Southsea’s newest businesses that opened since the pandemic began. It is more than just an art gallery though, it is also a record shop opened in collaboration with Nothing Ventured Vinyl.
Owner, Lewis Darvill, told us. “So basically it came about because of lockdown really. I knew quite a lot of artists that worked in design for the music and hospitality sector. With it all being shut down several of them were struggling to find work or had more time on their hands. So I approached a few people about doing a small print run and the reception from artists was really positive and loads of people wanted to get involved and it snowballed from there really. We just wanted it to be something fun in a not so fun time.”
The vibe in the shop is great. I kinda want them to start serving food and drinks so I can go in and chill out for a few hours. While art is subjective there is such a wide variety of styles on offer that you’re bound to find something that you like. Lewis is careful not to price anyone out and there is work available for most budgets. Find out more in our recent interview with Lewis here or even better, pay them a little visit.
To be in with a chance of winning some of Joy Fantastic’s awesome merch you’ll need to be able to answer the following question.
Q10 – What is the name of the artist (who has worked stocked in-store) who created the famous Barak Obama ‘Hope’ poster?
Back in 2018 the Undercover Skatepark Project originally set out to repurpose land underneath the M275’s Rudmore flyover turning the unused concrete space into an all-weather skate park. Since then the plans changed and they have recently secured funding to complete the project to take over the former Sainsburys Supermarket on Commercial Road.
This project is now named Pitt Street Skate Park, in tribute to the former Pitt Street Gymnastics Centre which previously stood nearby.
While there is still some work to do to fully complete the founder’s vision, the park is open and you can join them for Christmas Eve. Between midday and 18:00 you can head down and take part in a roller disco, take your board for a skate and enjoy the market which includes food and drinks. The grand opening will be in Spring 2022 so give them a follow to stay up to date.
Q11 – What medal did Sky Brown win for Team GB in the recent Tokyo Olympics?
Wooden Wife is an independent Skateboard company hailing from Portsmouth England producing quality skateboard apparel and hardware. Wooden Wife – A term referred to by many skateboarders regarding their long-term relationship with their skateboard.
They use organic cotton and recycled fabrics throughout the range making for a premium line with a sustainable conscience. The team are a tight family-like unit that not only skates together but work on the graphics and all other creative elements headed up by founder Jacob Skinner, one-half of the founders of the Pitt Street Skate Park.
If you don’t want to leave to chance the prospect of winning some of Wooden Wife’s gear, it is available at Bored of Southsea, the home of the best skate brands in the world, but you’ll find the full range of gear over on their online shop.
Q12 – Which Portsmouth based designer created Wooden Wife’s awesome ‘Palm Rose’ deck?
You can submit your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we will not consider any entries which do not have all twelve answers so please wait until the last feature before emailing in. We are unable to send the prize in the post so please only enter if you are in a position to collect the prizes in-store or have them collected on your behalf.