STANDING proudly in the shadow of Portchester Castle, The Cormorant is a pub steeped in history.
The popular pub – known widely for its fresh home-made food – has been around since 1650.
But the majority of it had to be rebuilt 90 years ago after an earthquake caused major damage.
Over the years the pub has played host to royal courtiers, tradesmen and, in more recent years, visitors to the castle, which dates from the third century.
But, at its heart, it is a locals’ pub and its trade comes from people who live nearby who love going back time and time again to soak up the friendly atmosphere of the watering hole, in Castle Street.
Run by Carol and Mike Frewing, the pub has built up a reputation for great food.
Each morning the couple take delivery of the catch of the day from the fish market at The Camber, in Old Portsmouth – with plaice the dish of the moment.
‘It is served fresh to punters who come in after work for a tasty home cooked meal.
Russ Moore has been a regular for almost a quarter of a century.
The 45-year-old property developer said it’s the friendly faces and delicious grub that keep him coming back.
He said: ‘I come in fairly often – much to my wife’s disgust.
‘But I also come in with the family on a Sunday for a nice roast.
‘Over the years I’ve made absolutely loads of friends from drinking here.
‘What I like about it is that it never changes.
‘It’s always stayed traditional and you don’t get yobs drinking themselves stupid like you do in the big chains.
‘I can heartily recommend the mixed grill.’
The pub is a popular venue for parties.
Mrs Frewing said: ‘It’s the kind of place people feel comfortable and we have lots of family parties and even funerals. People of all ages enjoy it here.’