The Dolphin, Old Portsmouth

GOOD LOCAL Customers Ian Orton and Graeme Tegerdine enjoy the Dolphin pub.  Picture: Malcolm Wells (120264-6815)
GOOD LOCAL Customers Ian Orton and Graeme Tegerdine enjoy the Dolphin pub. Picture: Malcolm Wells (120264-6815)
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Customers are part of the history books when they step inside The Dolphin, in Old Portsmouth.

The pub, which dates back to 1716, proudly displays a sign above the entrance which claims its the oldest in the city.

And there’s not a widescreen TV or games machine in site, which makes the boozer a haven for real ale drinkers.

Six real ales are served on tap – and two brews from the Irving & Co Brewing, in Walton Road, Drayton, are regulars.

Bar manager Nick Nesmith, 25, said: ‘It’s a proper, traditional local.

‘That’s what makes the regulars come back day in and day out.

‘There’s something about the atmosphere and the way you can chat with people here. It’s not like your normal pub.’

To prove that point, on February 7 the 18th century pub will host a four-course dinner to mark the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens.

Staff will dress up in period clothes and perform numbers from the British musical Oliver!.

And last night locals celebrated the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scottish poet Robert Burns.

Staff dressed up in kilts and hungry customers tucked into a Scottish-inspired four-course dinner.

Local bands also performed on a stage.

Four years ago, the pub was in trouble after it closed and made way for a French restaurant.

But the building was reopened as a pub less than a year later.

Ian Orton, 41, of Warblington Street, Old Portsmouth, has been drinking at The Dolphin for 20 years.

He said: ‘It’s got a great atmosphere. The bar is clean and much tidier than other pubs you come across in the city. The bar staff are very nice and the food is fantastic. There’s always a warm welcome. It’s great to be part of something so historical. I have colleagues in America and whenever they come over I make them have a drink in The Dolphin.

‘It’s a fine example of a proper English pub, which serves up a proper English pint.’