Bars, cafes and restaurants

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Jersey has many inns and taverns with long histories. A number started life as hotels but have long since stopped taking guests. There was usually at least one adjacent to or in the immediate neighbourhood of the parish churches, and those who had to travel a long distance on foot for morning service on Sundays would sit out the day in the closest inn until it was time for the second service of the day, before heading home in the dark.

Cognoscenti and literati

The hotels, inns and taverns were in many ways important centres of the community over many years. In his 1970s book The Historical Hotels and Inns of Jersey, historian Philip Ahier wrote:

"The importance of the tavern in the days when there were no halls or assembly rooms is shown in the fact that it was the focus of the 'light and learning' of the community - a venue where the cognoscenti and literati of the locality met to discuss the problems of the time. Thus, in 1835, there was a 'Hodge Podge Club' which met at the Crown and Punch Bowl at Havre des Pas. This was a sort of Rotary Club at which matters 'historical, philosophical and anecdotal' were related and debated upon. There was, too, in the parish of St Ouen in the late sixties of the 19th century, a literary movement which met at various taverns in that parish and at which lectures on similar subjects were delivered. It is also interesting to note that two island Manorial Courts were held at inns in 18th and even in 19th century days; those of the fiefs of Noirmont and of Anneville, Everat and Lempiert at St Martin, in particular."

Stage-coaches

As was common elsewhere, the inns and taverns in the country parishes were often starting points for stage-coach services to town, and in later years buses to the east of the island started their journey from the Exeter in Queen Street, while services to the west started from the Red Lion in Halkett Place.

1834 guide

The Historical and Descriptive Guide of the Channel Islands of 1834 reveals that there were 98 hotels, inns and taverns in St Helier alone at that time, four of which still remain - the Caesarea in Cattle Street, the Cock and Bottle (for a time the Cosy Corner) and the Royal Square Inn (now the Peirson) in the Royal Square, and Lido's, in Market Street, which was previously the Clarendon Hotel and, in 1834, the Old Kent Coffee House. At the time some taverns were less reputable than others. Some in St Helier, described as 'disorderly houses', allegedly harboured prostitutes, said Philip Ahier, who recalled that payment of the required licence fee enabled anyone to open a tavern. Those in Hilgrove Lane and Pier Road were among the most notorious, and the Red Lamp in Peter Street, which opened in 1844 and closed recently, he describes as openly advertising its original purpose.

Famous Jersey inns in the 1950s

Individual histories

Brasford's, Victoria Avenue Daly's Aurora Hotel Bond Hotel
Caesarea Carrefour Selous Hotel Clarendon Hotel Cock and Bottle
Don Hotel The Eastern The Exeter Harvest Barn
La Folie Inn La Pulente Hotel L'Auberge du Nord Le Moulin de Lecq
Lillie Langtry Bar Mermaid Tavern Parade Hotel The Peirson
The Post Horn Prince's Hotel Prince of Wales Tavern Priory, Devil's Hole
Prince's Tower Hotel Priory, St Clement Red Lamp Red Lion
Robin Hood Hotel Southampton Hotel St John's Hotel Trafalgar Hotel
White Horse Windmill, St Peter Wolf Cave

Reference

Philip Ahier and W S Ashworth The Historical Hotels and Inns of Jersey

Picture gallery of miscellaneous establishments

At the beginning of the 20th century ABC Tearooms, 'The Noted House for Pound Cake', had branches in St Helier at Bath Street, Cattle Street, and this one at 29 Broad Street

Click on image to see larger picture

The Baths, on the seafront at St Luke's
Cote du Nord interior in 1950
Devil's Hole Pavilion from the north
The Exeter, Queen Street
Hunt's Tearoom on the shore at Gorey adjacent to what is now Gorey Common Car Park
Smuggler's Inn 1963
Paris Plage, Anne Port
Pop's Cafe, Havre des Pas
Tams, St Brelade's Bay
Single's Tearooms, Gorey Pier
The Watersplash dance floor4
Sorel Pavilion was run by Henry Picot after the Second World War and later sold by the States to C Le Masurier for £5,000
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