You could eat like a lord at Horne’s

Horne's dining rooms about 1910
Horne's dining rooms about 1910

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There’s something about this establishment which I find alluring. It looks like the sort of place into you could pop into at lunchtime, find a discreet table in a dark corner and eat like a lord – very cheaply.

Perhaps there are a few of you out there who might remember doing that very thing? Just.

For this was Horne’s Dining Rooms in long-gone Russell Street in the heart of Portsmouth, photographed here about a century ago.

With ‘all English meat’ guaranteed in its hot ‘dinners’ (lunches served from 11.45 until 3pm says the sign in the window), John Horne appealed to the patriotism of local people.

This came to the fore during the First World War when he offered soldiers who were home from the front discounted, wholesome meals.

Horne’s had another branch in Commercial Road next door to Mrs Eliza Judd’s hotel on the corner of Station Street.

John Southey’s building business (seen here, left, on the corner of Salem Street) was established in 1893 and rapidly expanded to include warehouses in Sussex Street, showrooms in nearby John Street and a branch in Somers Road.

The company was taken over by Holt Ltd in 1919, but continued trading under the Southey name in Portsmouth for many years.