Holiday: Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight – Day 2

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Brollies at the ready!

Hopefully, a less stressful day today, after yesterday’s various ‘challenges’. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ. The weather looks a bit disappointing though!

Spot the customer!

9.25am: We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with plenty of variety on the menu. It was also very quiet, which was somewhat surprising after hearing herds of sprogs screaming in the corridor last night and earlier this morning (it’s something, increasingly, we’re both becoming very sensitive to!) ๐Ÿ˜ Maybe it’s a sign of things to come, as we just don’t do noise, especially first thing in the morning! ๐Ÿค”

Portchester Castle

10.30am: This was our first stop of the day, with our timed tickets in hand – English Heritage’s Portchester Castle.

It was built in the last years of the 3rd century, and it’s a very impressive sight on arrival. Known as a โ€˜Saxon shoreโ€™ fort, it boasts a commanding view in all directions, especially across the Solent.

There’s a lot to see here and in typical English Heritage style, there is plenty to read as you wander around the area, giving a fascinating backstory to this well-preserved fortress.

…and it was just as impressive on the inside as it was on the outside!

Just opposite the Castle was the Church – St Mary’s – again, beautiful, inside and out with its own tea-room right next to the cemetery (!!!) ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Netley Abbey

Cunningly Concealed!

12.30pm: Our next stop was Netley Abbey, just a twenty-minute drive from Portchester Castle. Mind you, it might be “the most complete surviving abbey built by the Nasturtium Cistercian monks in southern England” (English Heritage), but it was also the most cunningly concealed attraction in the world”! (Victor Meldrew, English Heritage Member). Even with the postcode, it took us four attempts along the same piece of road to find the place!

It was well worth the struggle though, as visually and architecturally at least, it made the better known Fountain’s Abbey look a bit tame by comparison! By now, luckily, the weather had improved, albeit temporarily, so it was a little easier to get the photos we wanted.

Because, like me, it’s a ‘ruin’, entry is free to all. Worth a visit, if you can find it – it’s on the right if you’re going down the hill, and on the left, if you’re going up! ๐Ÿ˜

1.00pm: Down came the rain, so it was back to the Hotel to review what’s left to do in and around the area over the next few days. Ann then tried out the Gym, whilst I didn’t! ๐Ÿ˜Š

A Good Sign!

6.00pm: Time for our meal out. Tonight, we’re trying out The Fisherman’s Rest in Titchfield – it’s just down the road, but too far to walk there and back …or even just there! (honestly!) ๐Ÿ˜

It was probably a good sign that when we got there at just after 5.45 (for our 6pm table) the place was already very busy.

An Impressive Menu
Halloumi Fingers
Chicken and Leek Pie

As things turned out, it wasn’t a good sign!

Why? Unfortunately, the Pub was suffering with the same problem as many we’ve visited recently – not enough staff in the kitchen (or at least not enough experienced staff). The food was OK, but the service was embarrassingly slow – and of course, you can only serve as fast as the food is prepared!

The table next to us got up and walked out before they’d even ordered from the menu (not a bad trick for a table ehh?!), and we could hear other groups chasing – and then re-chasing – their drinks/meals and/or bills. Such a shame! The Table staff were doing their best to keep it all going, but being ‘the face’ of the overall experience, they were frequently on the receiving end of disgruntled punters. We were hungry, but we gave up after the main course! ๐Ÿค

So, if you’re looking for positives, it was the cheapest meal we’d eaten out for a good few years! ๐Ÿ™„ – but I think we would have rather spent more!

Ho-hum! Onwards and upwards! ๐Ÿ˜Š. Tomorrow, we’re off to Weald & Downland Living Museum in Singleton – better known as TV’s Repair Shop (I better take my brain then!) ๐Ÿ˜

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