Clarendon Hotel

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Lido's

The Clarendon Hotel in Market Street started life as the Old Kent Coffee House some time before 1834, and is one of the four oldest public houses still trading today on their original sites.

Today it is officially known as Lido's, and operates as a wine bar and restaurant. Generations of clients have known it by this name since it adopted the nickname 'Lido' given to licencee Elizabeth Jessie Ashelford (nee Ainsley) after she took over in 1905.

The coffee house, possibly an alcohol-free establishment at a time when there was a strong temperance movement in the middle years of the 19th century, was owned by a Mr Whale, and then by Edward Ainsley, some time between 1845 and 1865, when he died. The business passed to his son Thomas, then Thomas's widow Annie, and then her daughter, who married Mr C O Ashelford in 1912. She held the licence for a remarkable 55 years, and after her death in 1960, and was followed by her son Ronald.

So Lido's was in the same family for well over 100 years, before becoming a Randall's house.

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