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Bennets Bar

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Edinburgh & The Lothians - Edinburgh

Three star - A pub interior of outstanding national historic importance

Listed Status: B

8 Leven Street

Tel: (0131) 229 5143

Email: info@bennetsbaredinburgh.co.uk

Website https://kilderkingroup.co.uk/bennets

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BennetsBar8

Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Nearby Station: Haymarket

Station Distance: 1100m

Public Transport: Near Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

Edinburgh’s finest historic pub interior after the Café Royal. The pub was designed in 1891 by architect George Lyle and refitted in 1906. The main bar stretches back from the street and down the left-hand side is the servery, with a flamboyant five-bay gantry housing four spirit casks, the last to survive in an Edinburgh pub: the counter top has two still-functioning water dispensers while at the base is a marble spittoon trough. On the right, above the seating, is a four-bay mirrored and arcaded feature with tilework populated by cherubs and figures in classical dress (painted by W.B. Simpson & Sons of London). A particular delight, to the left as you enter, is a tiny snug with a hatch and a door into the servery. The glasswork is varied and interesting, such as the swirly Art Nouveau windows to the street, and door panel advertisements offering the blandishments of Jenkinson’s beers and aerated waters, not to mention Jeffrey’s lager. At the end of the bar, an enormous mirror advertises Bernard’s IPA. There have been changes at the rear, such as the loss of a small office at the end of the counter in 2002. At the rear right is the Green Room, added in 1906 (but modern fittings apart from, probably, the counter) and accessed from Valleyfield Street.
Edinburgh's second finest interior after the Café Royal and little changed since 1906. It is the last pub in the city with an original gantry featuring four spirit casks, and has an extraordinary tiled and mirrored interior, as well as a rare jug bar. It also stocks 120 single malt whiskies. The ornate gantry has niches, pilasters and scallop shell pediments. The original bar counter retains a former spittoon trough made of marble, which runs all along the front, and the bar top has two working brass water taps. Designed in 1891 by George Lyle, it has a fine ceiling with very decorative cornices and it was refitted in 1906. The magnificent interior features a tiled and extraordinary four-bay mirrored arcading all the way down the right-hand side with hand-painted pictorial tiles with allegorical figures by William B. Simpson & Sons of London. Below the arcading are red leather seating areas and tables inlaid with maps, some of the city and some of Scotland.

On the left by the entrance is the intact tiny jug and bottle dept. complete with hatch, one of the few left in the city. In 2002 S&N removed the 'Office' created by a carved wood screen perched on top of the bar counter on the right. There are superb stained glass windows as well as door panels advertising 'Jeffrey’s Lager & W & J Jenkinson's Bottled Beers & Aerated Waters, Leith'. There are a number of coloured and gilded engraved brewery advertising mirrors from Bernard's, Usher's, Campbell's, Taylor Macleod & Co and Bell's Perth Whisky. Other changes have been the removal of a small snug at the rear; while a sitting room at the rear is now an office. At the rear right is the Green Room, which was added in 1906. Accessed from Valleyfield Street, it has an ornate bar counter and gantry, but both are modern.
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