Fifteen minutes (jay)walking later, Paul and I were at Bennets Bar, our second Edinburgh classic of the day.

23 minutes ?  Pah !
No apostrophe
Good start

I’ll be honest. I know the capital has dozens of ornate bars; they’re beautifully detailed in the CAMRA Scottish Heritage Pub Guide I got Paul for a bargain £3 at the AGM.

In general I care little for heritage; give me a scruffy “all human life is here pub” over a pub that tourists come and gawp at.

But, wow !

Beat that for pub seating
Rare “beer in stained glass” scenario

More cathedral than pub. It gleams, doesn’t it ?



Like the Abbotsford, more shiny fonts and beers you’ve actually heard of.


Not many notes taken here, it was that good.  A couple of other drinkers, one a young lady whose surreptitious photography could have taken some lessons from an expert like BRAPA or myself.

I think we’ll conclude we had the Dark Island.

Comparison of that 80/ with the first two pubs in St Andrews revealing

Another NBSS 3.5; cool rich and complex.

Proper head on the beer


Any sensible person would have stayed for more than one. Or tried the Stewart 80/, my new bellwether Scottish pint.

Actually, looking at these photos, there’s Paul up at the bar again.

Paul in profile

And this isn’t the Dark Island, is it ?

Marginal lacings on this one

It is of course possible that Paul was simply checking for the Hallowed Autovac, saviour of beer quality in the Lothians and beyond.

That clock must be wrong

Anyway, Paul will know.  He writes all this stuff down.

Ah.  The lacings are back

I just marvel at his company, four pints in.

Surely a quick look in the Bernard’s mirror and time for flat whites ?




14 thoughts on “BENNETS BAR – NOT BAD, IS IT ?

  1. The absolute beauty of pubs is they can be national heritage treasures, and still be proper locals. In fact I can’t think of a single CAMRA national heritage inventory listed pub that isn’t a proper, “what heritage sonny?” local with proper “Eh Mick, look at the foolin’ tourists takin’ photos” locals.

    …except when a CAMRA AGM is in town and they all stay away for the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a few that leave something to be desired as pubs, as opposed to pieces of architecture.

      Edinburgh is full of “but wows”, though.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Mark,
      Yes, the absolute beauty of pubs is they can be national heritage treasures and still be proper locals and of several Scottish heritage pubs I got round that weekend only the Café Royal was full of gawping tourists rather than ordinary drinkers.
      I had the Stewarts 80/- in Bennets Bar with Martin and the previous day their Pentland IPA. Over the weekend I enjoyed 5½ pints from Stewarts, slightly more than Belhaven but less than Caledonian.
      Martin’s photos catch this absolute gem wonderfully and the Scottish heritage pubs book he so kindly gave me is a far nicer memento of the weekend than the tiny jar of marmalade we all had.
      Other than the previous day this was my first visit to Bennets Bar since 1984 when three visitors from Bristol got talking to me. We’re still in touch.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The best thing about autovac dispense is not that it makes Timothy Taylor beers taste wonderful in the Fighting Cocks Bradford (do they still have them? It’s been a while), but that it drives the geekier end of the beer geek spectrum absolutely wild with indignation and bansturbation, which is no bad thing…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Is bansturbation a Mudgie word? Sure I read it on his blog first.

        Edinburgh CAMRA kindly tell you which pubs to head for to enjoy Autovac, the purest and most economic of dispense method.

        Not sure that Bradford CAMRA carry out that public service, BUT I had to report the two Tim Taylor beers I had there before Christmas were a bit lacking in condition by my standards, so who knows. Wonderful pub though.


      3. In Ilkeston’s Dewdrop on Tuesday I was talking to two beer buffs from Bradford who spoke highly of the Fighting Cocks.


      4. It’s a wonderful pub, though (I thought) noticeably quieter on my last visit than 15 years ago and with a lot more beers on. I may well pop back soon as the B&B there was so good.


      5. Came into common usage around the time of the infamous smoking ban. I predict its blogging renaissance in time for the forthcoming Gourmet Burger ban.

        Yes, almost certainly a Mudgeon-missive.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s