John Leslie

Edinburgh & The Lothians - Edinburgh

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: B

45-47 Ratcliffe Terrace
Edinburgh
EH9 1SU

Tel: (0131) 667 7205

Email: info@johnlesliesbar.co.uk

Real Ale: Yes

Public Transport: Near Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

A magnificent pub of 1899 set in a tenement and the work of architect P. L. Henderson. Immediately on the left on entering is a small snug, separated from the lounge by a low panelled screen with semi-circular stained glass panels. However, the unique feature at Leslie’s is the gantry-like structure on the left-hand side of the servery, with its series of small ticket booth-style windows for service into the lounge. This arrangement is akin to snob screens in Victorian pubs in English cities which allowed customers a sense of privacy. At the far end of the counter is an elegant mahogany gantry with display cabinets. Other original features include an ornate plaster cornice and decorative ceiling. The dado panelling is said to have come from a neighbouring house during a restoration in 1958. At the rear of the lounge is another snug, also of 1958.

A magnificent island-bar pub built in 1899 in a four-storey sandstone tenement by architect P L Henderson. Similar to the Abbotsford, it is well worth going out of your way to visit. It is unique, having a gantry-like structure on the top left-hand side of the bar counter and a series of low, ticket booth-style windows for service, which are numbered on the inside. This arrangement is akin to snob screens in Victorian pubs in English cities which allowed more affluent patrons of the lounge bar to obtain their liquor through low serving hatches and preserve some privacy from public bar customers. This is one of only a handful of pubs selling its own whisky, a fine blended whisky distilled by Inverary. On the left as you enter is a small snug separated from the lounge by a low, panelled screen with a door and semi-circular stained glass panels. Note the hinged section of the bar counter in the snug for which nobody has been able to provide an explanation – any help on this matter is most welcome.

At the far end of the counter is an elegant mahogany gantry with original Bryson clock. Other original features include a Lincrusta frieze, an ornate plaster cornice and highly decorative ceiling. The dado panelling came from a neighbouring house during a restoration in 1958. At the rear of the lounge is another snug with a wide doorway, half-height panelled walls, and ceiling also from 1958. In 1971 a former shop was absorbed to become a sitting room and has a wide doorway and dado panelled walls that match the 1958 wall panelling. The window screens date from 2005. John Leslie was the second licensee, from 1902 to 1924.

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