Southsea pub is officially named as the best in Portsmouth

A SOUTHSEA pub has been officially crowned the best boozer in the city – and says its winning formula is down to old fashioned values.

Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 2:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 2:28 pm
The Lawrence Arms in Lawrence Road, Southsea. Picture by Google Maps.

The Lawrence Arms, in Lawrence Road, Southsea, was named as Portsmouth and South East Camra’s Pub of the Year for the second year running. 

A special presentation was held at the pub, which also won the branch’s Cider Pub of the Year title for a second year, last week. 

The pub is believed to the only pub in the country to have won both titles for two years consecutively. 

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The Lawrence Arms in Lawrence Road, Southsea. Picture by Google Maps.

Landlady Ali Wearn runs the business with husband Dev. They have been in charge for more than eight years, after taking over from Ali’s family. 

She said: ‘It is great. We always say how lovely it is to be recognised. It is lovely for everyone as it’s our staff and our customers who make the pub so great. We are very proud.’ 

Ali said the secret to the pub’s success is its focus on ‘old-fashioned values’. 

She said: ‘We go on the values of a good old-fashioned community pub. We have a nice atmosphere, it is friendly and fun and we try to do things a little differently from everyone else. 

Dev and Ali Wearn celebrate after their pub The Lawrence Arms in Southsea won the Portsmouth and SE Hants CAMRA pub of the year award. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (200419-3)

‘We keep everything nice and fresh and clean – and we keep our beer well.

‘We keep the traditional values but at the same time we keep on top of what is popular.’ 

The pub, which is owned by pub group EI Group, is part of the Society of Independent Brewers, which represents British brewers. 

This means that it can stock beer from any of around 830 British brewers.

Dev and Ali Wearn celebrate after their pub The Lawrence Arms in Southsea won the Portsmouth and SE Hants CAMRA pub of the year award. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (200419-1)

Ali said: ‘We use small, local breweries. We offer lots of choice. 

‘We take care of our beer and we take pride in making sure that our beer is good. If it’s not right, then we don’t sell it. 

‘It is a massive passion of Dev’s. He takes pride in keeping on top of what ales are new and seeing what’s out there.’ 

The Lawrence Arms, which became a pub in 1887, has featured in Camra’s Good Beer Guide since 2014. 

The Campaign for Real Ale is an independent voluntary consumer organisation which promotes real ale, real cider and the traditional British pub. 

Martyn Constable, chairman of Portsmouth and South East Camra, said: ‘They have a nice range of beers across different styles. They have good staff, good management and there is a nice pleasant feel to the pub.

‘There is always something going on and there is a nice mix of people.

‘It is well run. The staff are pleasant and the beers are in good condition. 

‘They also have a good range of ciders. As far as we know they are the only pub in the country to have won both Pub of the Year and Cider Pub of the Year from a Camra branch for two years in a row.’