Thursday, 29 July 2010

Southsea Common Art Exhibit and free Hog Roast

Portsmouth and Southsea’s skyline will be transformed this summer by the spectacular addition of Luna Park, Heather & Ivan Morison’s recreation of the accidental dinosaur Ultrasauros. Created in the style of American roadside super-sculptures and standing at 16 metres tall on Southsea Common, Luna Park will be visible from miles around.

Grand Opening: Sunday 1 August (exhibiting until 10 October)

There will be a free BBQ (hog roast) at Southsea Common 1-3pm, followed by drinks at aspex 3-5pm!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Port Solent Open Kitchen Event

This event was open to the public last Friday, Saturday and Sunday  (see my previous post on blog), and as a foodie fan of our local restaurants and all things food related I put my name down to attend 3 of the free one hour long sessions: Pizza demonstration at O Sole Mio, Wine tasting at the Water Margin and a tasting of Dim Sum at the Dragon Marina.
 On the Friday 3 out of the maximum of 5 were in attendance at O Sole Mio.  They had in store for us a pizza making demonstration where the chef explained the components and tips to making a traditional Italian pizza. Obviously techniques and ingredients vary from place to place, but there version was certainly tasty and cooked in a pizza oven too.  I am planning on trying this recipe myself this weekend.
Saturday 11am was wine tasting at the Water Margin with a  French speaking sommelier named Michael.  In an hour he managed to do a very good basic explanation and Introduction to wine tasting and what to look for.  Everyone in attendance seem to thoroughly enjoy it, and Michael despite your concerns on the language barrier you did an excellent job, we all came away with a little more knowledge.

The Dim Sum tasting session was also well supported, and they had us hands on making Dim Sum ourselves.  We then all sat down to 3 varieties of Chinese tea and they handed out information about the history of Dim Sum itself which then followed a small banquet of several different Dim Sum for us to taste all compliments of the restaurant!

I found out about this event via a resident of Port Solent, but nobody else I had spoken to prior to the event had heard about it!  Was this an intentional move to keep the publicity to a minimum due to limited spaces I wonder?
Overall it was a really great event and a superb idea, so if you missed out hopefully it will be back again next year!!!!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Port Solent Open Kitchen Events 16-18th July 2010

Port Solent are holding a three day event which promises several of their top chefs inviting members of the public backstage for an intimate demonstration of how their signature dishes are created, whilst an expert sommelier and local brewer drop by to perform some wonderful wine and beer tasting sessions. There will be family entertainment throughout the day.

The events are due to take place between the 16th and 18th of July and places must be booked in advance.
for more information visit:

See you there!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Gunwharf Quays Food, Family Fun & Real Ale Festival

This years event took place over 3 days starting Friday 2nd July with guest Raymond Blanc opening the proceedings.  This is the 6th year this event has taken place now which is good to see it still going strong.

The Food Theatre featured guest chefs cooking in a purpose built kitchen. The kitchen was located in the centre area this time, rather than last year which was over by Raymond's Restaurant.  This hopefully was done to attract more visitors to the demonstrations.  The event also boasted a 40 cask real ale marquee with Wimbledon inspired Champagne and Strawberries, and lots of local food stalls, an Italian Market and a new family area.

Personally I didn't spend too much time looking around all the stores this year, so I can't comment on how good it all was.  I went for one purpose only - to meet the legendary 2 Michelin star chef himself Raymond Blanc OBE, and what a thoroughly nice man.  He hobbled over on his crutches to have a good old chat with me and my friend, which was a real pleasure.  With the crutches and beard he's now sporting I think it took people a while to realise it was him standing talking with us!

All of the main theatre events could be reserved via a 'New for 2010 exclusive VIP packages' which were to include:

Gold Package - £40 per person 10am - 5pm
On arrival half bottle of champagne, Canapes throughout the day from Brasserie Blanc, Front row seats to see Raymond Blanc (Friday) or Richard Fox (Sunday), Entry to the Real Ale Marquee, Ticket to Spinnaker Tower, Bag drop area, all day free car parking, 2 x 20 minute rib rides around the Solent, cash bar, goody bag, souvenir programme, plasma TVs showing Wimbledon finals.


Silver Package - £25 per person 10am - 2pm/1:30pm - 5pm
On arrival glass of champagne, Canapes throughout the day from Brasserie Blanc, Reserved seats to see Raymond Blanc (Friday) or Richard Fox (Sunday), Entry to the Real Ale Marquee, Ticket to Spinnaker Tower, Bag drop area, 2 hours free car parking, 1 x 20 minute rib rides around the Solent, Cash bar, Goody bag, Souvenir programme, Plasma TVs showing Wimbledon finals.

Were the tickets value for money, and did many people purchase these tickets i would love to know?  I know one gentleman who sat behind us who had been given the gold package as a gift who was a little unhappy as his first rib ride never showed up, and his guaranteed front seat to see Raymond Blanc was just not guaranteed and he had to sit in the row behind us, and we had not paid a bean to see him!  I felt a little sorry for him, as the organisation did not seem to run too smoothly.  I am yet to ask him how the rest of his package went (as he just so happens to be a neighbour!)
Still, I'm looking forward to it again next year, please make it bigger and better than ever, as i would hate it to disappear like other foodie events do!  As a customer I would love to give some input on what would be good to see next year, so please ask your public GWQ!!