Love your local@ The Manor House, Cosham

FRIENDLY The Manor House in Cosham.  Picture: Sarah Standing (121611-3089)
FRIENDLY The Manor House in Cosham. Picture: Sarah Standing (121611-3089)
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Tucked away in a north Portsmouth housing estate, the Manor House doesn’t attract a lot of passing trade.

But if you do venture down Court Lane in Drayton you’ll find a pub that really lives up to its name.

The huge stone building towers over nearby houses and gives the impression of a structure that could happily weather a storm.

And landlord Martin Chandler is happy to admit he was drawn straightaway to the traditional, sturdy feel of his establishment.

‘I immediately liked the look of the pub,’ he said. ‘It’s very traditional looking – imposing and impressive.

‘I also liked the name, I think I would feel silly saying “Hello, Sir Loin of Beef” over the phone all day.’

But far from being intimidating, when you step inside the Manor House the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, which Martin said is just how it should be.

He said: ‘It is very much a community pub. I run it for the local people around here and we are very family friendly.

‘I want to make sure we do something for everyone, no matter how old or young they are.

‘And people come in regularly from quite far away, places like Waterlooville and Paulsgrove, where they have closer pubs but they make the trip over here.’

There is certainly plenty going on to pull in the punters.

The Manor House has regular live bands, family fun days and uses its large pool bar for functions and parties.

This has allowed it to weather the tough financial climate which has seen many local pubs close.

‘We’ve been doing well,’ said Martin. ‘It was looking very tired when I arrived but we refurbished it two years ago.

‘Food takings have increased 100 per cent since we took over.

‘I realise it could have gone the other way. I could have come here and completely failed.

‘But we put in a lot of work organising functions and events to get people through the doors.

‘I’ve got Greene King behind me, but we are very much left to run the pub as we see fit.’

Regular customer Andy Lewis, 42, from East Cosham Road, in Cosham, said: ‘Me and the lads go out riding on a Tuesday and always come here afterwards.

‘It’s got a nice relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff and it’s family friendly too.

‘We’ve been to see bands and had a few birthday parties here as well.