Thoughts of Romeo and Juliet

The Bristol Bar
Photo by Avril Knight

It was the balcony that did it! Perhaps thoughts of Romeo and Juliet (being a romantic). Having spied it from the top of the road, I was gone, with a yell to my huband. At the bottom of the road was this charming building with the amazing balcony, ornate and large. What a delight to find it was a pub, so we could actually go inside. There, a happy, busy two-bars-in-one, with a strong nautical flavour, wooden plaques of boats on the walls, some cosy alcoves and, to my joy, seats free at the large windows with views of the quaint, little seafront.

Comments about this page

  • I used to meet my parents in the saloon Bar when I came down to Brighton on leave in 1947 – one of the regulars was Max Miller

    By Ken Brown (15/07/2004)
  • The building housing the bar, a block of flats, was called Bristol Court. We lived in 3, Bristol Court West from about 1944-50. In the photograph on this page, we are looking down Paston Place towards the seafront, obscured here by a hedge and [invisible] a small lawn. just out of the picture is a service door which led up to the roof, on which was an Air Raid Siren. We crept up there sometimes but would have been deafened if it had gone off when next to it. No chance of sleeping through it in Bristol Court ! Our flat looked down at the second-floor balcony shown here, but in the part [not visible] facing the seafront. Wonderful view of the sea and frolicking people on the front but – even with binoculars, to high and distant to watch sunbathers on the beach. The beach was mined and barred until 1945 but I shan’t forget our first swim on a hot autumn day in 1945.

    By Andrew Holmes-Siedle (26/11/2005)
  • I’m living here in this great second floor flat overlooking the sea, and would love to hear from anyone who has lived here in the past.

    By Stella Knight (16/08/2006)
  • Used to deliver papers to Max Miller in the mid to late ’50s when he was living just over the road from the Bristol. (From Alberta, Canada)

    By Ian Hunt (21/12/2006)
  • I used to drink in the Bristol Bar when I stayed in 8 Eastern Terrace, it was a good pub. The students halls of residence were in Eastern Terrace

    By Andy (18/01/2007)
  • My uncle Fred Penfold used to own and operate ‘The Bristol’ with his partner, my aunt Peggy Penfold. He let me tend bar once and I have great memories of playing snooker there all afternoon. I’d love to hear from anyone that remembers Fred or Peggy.

    By Jason Maher (27/11/2007)
  • I remember a silly parrot who used to be perched at the bar in the late 60s. A good student pub. Many a happy hour spent in this watering hole.

    By Steve Redhead (12/02/2008)
  • My late Father-in-law, Thomas Saxby Farncombe (known as Tony) lived in Eaton Place. He and his cronies used to sit in the Bristol -up the steps and facing the Sea- planning the days betting. They called it ‘Tattenham Corner’. His long suffering friend Maria used to act as runner, putting on her own flutter too. We love to go and sit there a wonderful place to be, especially when the sun is setting.

    By Ann Farncombe (01/06/2008)
  • Simon and Alan now run the Bristol and have given it the TLC it needed to restore the charm of this wonderful seafront pub. Great food, views and drinks with a warm welcome.

    By Alan (23/04/2013)
  • Hey Jason Maher, I knew Fred and Peggy when I was a teenager – they were best friends with my mum and stepfather Jimmy and Joyce Heal. My step-dad owned Peter Pan’s Playground and the Aquarium Amusements. The Heal family would often go to the Bristol. Peggy and Fred gave my dog Minton a home in 1981 when I unfortunately had to rehome him when my marriage failed and I had to go into rented. My step-dad and mum died many years ago now, Jim’s been 30 years and my mum 25 years and I often wondered about Peggy and Fred and other people that they were all friends with.

    By Jelli (19/05/2013)
  • Jelli – I just saw your response. That is so cool! I kind of remember Peter Pan’s Playground – right on the beach if my memory serves me. I also remember Uncle Fred having a dog in the 80s. I wonder if that was Minton. I’ll have to ask my Mum and see if she remembers. Thanks so much for leaving your comment.

    By Jason Maher (05/07/2013)
  • Yes, you’re right Jason. P P was right on the beach down at the end of Madeira Drive. You used to be able to get the lift down from the top esplanade of Marine Parade, which was just a short stroll from The Bristol.

    By Jelli (13/08/2013)
  • I worked at Peter Pan’s during school holidays and after school in the snack bar and remember the Heal family. I also knew Peggy and Fred very well and went to stay with them in their apartment in Benalmadena about 20 years ago. I used to bump into Peggy from time to time after Fred died, but I haven’t seen her for about 5 years so not sure what has happened to her.

    By Louise (07/01/2014)
  • I remember Fred and Peggy (Margaret) very well, Peggy was my Nan’s sister. Peggy is still alive and well.

    By Chris (24/12/2014)
  • I know Peggy (My Aunty Margaret), Fred and Peggy use to have a big pub in Battersea, London before they move to Brighton, Uncle Fred died a long time ago, Aunty Margaret, was my Mum sister and Peggy still lives in Brighton 

    By Leita Williams (24/12/2014)
  • Hi Jason, I remember Peggy and Fred very well, they were good friends of my parents, John and Gladys Hills. I think from their time running pubs in London in the 60s/70s. I used to stay at the Bristol in the early 80s and I remember Minton being there. I was in the Bristol on the 31st of October with some friends, it has changed a bit. I hope Peggy keeping well she was always very good to me.

    By James Hills (02/11/2015)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *