#42: Bennetts Bar, Leven Street, Edinburgh

Bennets Bar, Leven Street, Edinburgh (exterior)

The interior of Bennetts Bar is amazing, virtually untouched since the early 1900s when it got a revamp around the same time the King’s Theatre next door opened (according to their website). It’s all ornate carved wood and mirrors, fireplace, brass fittings, chandelier and stained glass windows. There’s even the original “jug bar”, where you’d get your carry out, though it’s now unused. The notes I’ve been passed also mention “Authentic tile features relevant to the theatre next door. Extensive timber bar (including working clock).” It’s really impressive, and the photo below doesn’t do it justice, so it’s worth a peek next time you’re in the area.

This is the first of 3 weeks worth of me doing the writeup with the notes handed to me by the rest of the crew. Doug went to the bother of drawing up a pro forma so they got all the essentials written down. The very first thing the notes for Bennetts say is “‘Time of your life’ on entry (10/10)”. I assume that this means that as they walked in, the finale song in Dirty Dancing, Time of My Life, was on the stereo, and not Green Day’s Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life). I wouldn’t give either song ten out of ten, myself.

Amongst other things this (and every subsequent pub while I was on holiday) gets a big tick for “NO DAVE”. Well, thanks very much.


There’s a good selection of cask beers, though nothing very adventurous: Harviestoun Schiehallion and Bitter & Twisted, Inveralmond Inkie Pinkie, Caledonian Deuchars, 80/- and their new Three Hop Lager. On keg there was also Caledonian Best, Tennent’s Lager, Staropramen, Guinness, Magners Golden Draught cider.

They appear to have an extensive whisky selection too, and it looks impressive in that magic old wooden bar.

The round was £10.85 for 3 pints, so around £3.60 per pint.


The notes say “Brekky served til 2pm!! Some Scottish classics. Nachos but no beef (boo) but haggis (yay). 5 types of pies served til 10pm. DIDN’T SEE ANY FOOD.”

I’m not sure what brought on the shouting at the end there, but possibly they only serve food through the back in the restaurant, a.k.a. “Skean Dhu”, which has its own door onto Valleyfield Street. That’s actually down on our list as a seperate bar, so it brings the total down to 246. I’ll go and correct Open Street Map soon.


Ornamental snug / jug bar that seems inaccessible (even “mysterious” according to the notes), but is probably one of only a handful left in the centre of town.

The notes also say “Toilets” in this section of the form, all on its own on one line. I should hope there are toilets, yes, well spotted lads.

Castle View



Website: www.bennetsbar.co.uk
Facebook: Bennets Bar

Bennetts Bar, Leven Street, Edinburgh (interior, bar)


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