A new floating restaurant is shining a spotlight on Hampshire’s thriving food scene by serving up a 1940s-style fine dining experience with sweeping views, aboard an iconic Solent landmark.
Turning the clocks back to the glamour and glitz of the forties, the former lightship has been transformed into a new floating restaurant, with a la carte dining on the mid-deck and sundown cocktails and seafood platters on the top deck.
Overlooking Portsmouth Harbour and the Spinnaker Tower, the vessel – originally built to guide ships travelling off the Hampshire coast – re-opened this summer at Haslar Marina in Gosport as new restaurant, The Lightship.
And alongside the new-look restaurant are 10 new luxury hotel rooms at boutique hotel and waterside venue, The Creek, just a few minutes’ walk away.
Boatfolk, which owns and operates the marina as well as 10 others across the country, has made a major investment into the development to create the accommodation and breathe new life into the vessel, which has been berthed at Haslar since being decommissioned in 1993.
After spending almost 50 years providing safe passage for vessels in the English Channel, the light vessel, complete with its trademark giant lantern tower, became a restaurant, which closed in 2021, before undergoing an extensive refurbishment at the end of last year.
Now back in the Marina, The Lighthouse, has a new space mid-deck offering a high-end dining experience, as well as an extended top deck.
Inside, the vessel has been transformed to bring some 1940s glamour, with a lightly retro-themed art deco and mid-century style featuring vintage nautical elements as a nod to the ship’s history.
The top deck, which can hold 80 seated guests, is designed to be a more relaxed, drop-in spot, as well as a place to enjoy drinks and signature cocktails – with a bespoke area built within the ship’s tower giving unrivalled views across the water.
Aiming to reflect Hampshire’s food heritage, The Lightship uses as many local ingredients as possible, and sells a range of drinks from local producers.
For diners who want to make night of it, the new boutique hotel, The Creek, offers super-king doubles, twin rooms and a family room, which sleeps four people with bunk beds for children. Rooms cost from £150 a night (https://thecreekhaslar.co.uk).
More details about the new restaurant are available at www.thelightshiphaslar.co.u
For general tourist information about Hampshire, see www.visit-hampshire.co.uk