A number of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be able to check out the new Hotwalls studios and the Canteen eatery which from part of it. Previously known as the ARTches project, Hotwalls Studios has been a long time coming. This small corner of Old Portsmouth has always been an unofficial art space of the city; a series of arches which formed part of what I believe used to be old military barracks (please correct me if I am wrong). Occasionally, in the summer time, you could spot an artists sat in front of their easel painting away, other times you would have painting sales. But as nice as they were, the space was never fully maximised. However despite the protests of the token NIMBYs, this new art installation got the go ahead.
Alongside Ben Ainsley Racing the Hotwalls Studios have really consolidated the area, making Old Portsmouth even more of a destination. Nestled amongst the galleries and wonderfully incorporated into the historical landscape is our new waterfront eatery The Canteen. Brought to you by the team behind The Tenth Hole, The Canteen specialises in deli style food, freshly baked goods and high quality coffee. Inside and out it stays true to the surrounding architecture (a great achievement in itself) and offers perhaps one of the best terraces in the city; virtually on the water in the mouth of the harbour. Whilst the complimentary snacks and drink were great, until a proper visit is scheduled in the jury will still be out on the overall (and all important) quality vs price ratio.
What I do know though, is that cycling by during the America’s Cup and seeing the Hotwall area buzzing was brilliant. Here are to many more summers down there.