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Admiral Benbow, Penzance

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user reviews of the Admiral Benbow, Penzance

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Amazing place.

A little like the Highwayman inn at Sourton near Okehampton but better.

Nooks and crannies, very cosy and artifacts everywhere all with a nautical theme.

I will pop back again when next in Penzance which for me surely has the bast pub crawl ever started from the railway station!

montie49 - 6 Aug 2019 18:05
Strange place that certainly wins the award for most quirky pub in Penzance. It has many different seating areas and many many naval artefacts around the walls and ceilings. But the ale selection is disappointing. The eponymous Sharp's Doom Bar & St Austell Tribute were accompanied by Treen's Essential. I went for the Treen's ale. But the seating I selected was fairly uncomfortable and it was next to a group of rugby fans who'd clearly consumed a few too many. Worthy of a visit to admire the interior. But don't expect anything special ale-wise.
blue_scrumpy - 3 Sep 2018 19:33
Has been up for sale for some time and finally sold in the past couple of weeks for considerably less than the original asking price. The main reason for this being that the building needs a huge amount of, new commercial kitchen, installing currently has none.... just for starters .

Presumably someone with very deep pockets has bought it, (its also grade2 listed), and hopefully will spend the money to bring it back to its former glory.

ridleyman - 9 Feb 2018 14:10
I walked to this pub from the station via the promenade and the nearby, delightful, Morrab gardens. It has one of the most bizarre and intensely decorated interiors I have ever seen in a pub. You almost need a guided tour to make the most of it , which I undoubtedly didn't with my one pint visit. But, a fabulous, intriguing venue and a national and regional treasure. I was delighted to find the wonderfully bitter, Dartmoor Best on sale. Which I was able to relax and enjoy as, in spite of all its historic features this is also a proper pub, where I felt instantly at home.
tarkatherotter - 18 Sep 2016 10:07
This was the main place we headed for during our holiday. Much has been said already about the maritime interior and the collection of seafaring memorabilia so instead I shall stick to the quality of the beer and also the food. Eating out here was a really good experience, okay, so you had to wait a little while for the food to arrive but when it is as good as this was you really don't mind. Average main costs about £12. Rick Stein eat your heart out. I have to admit I only drank one beer, St Austell Proper Job. This is a fine drink, (best in the country IMHO), and was beautifully kept and served. The place does get rather busy particularly in the holiday season so if you intend eating I suggest booking a table.
doctorpint - 27 Aug 2016 15:56
Yes well what can be said for this unusual gem of a place!
The interior is like narrowboat crossed with the high seas, every inch of spare space has some sort of brightly coloured sea related adournement stuck on or into it, beer tasted great and the music - one of the last albums from Donna Summer played, just happened to be a favorite so ten/ten from me, my little mermaid.
goodhead - 11 Aug 2015 20:55
This is the only pub i've been in that gives you sea sickness before drinking a pint, the facade was used for the film Treasure Island. The inside resembles a pirate galleon in every respect, my visit was on the 29th June and several men/women were dressed in fancy dress as it was the town's annual fete/parade and drunks littered Penzance but I must say that they all seemed to have had a great time and were very good natured.
slerpy - 15 Jul 2013 19:36
Visited during a holiday in Penzance. Beer excellent, food good, and... There are pubs with character, and then there are pubs where it's like meeting Ken Dodd, Lily Savage, and Muse and they are determined to overwhelm you by going over their usual top. This is one of the latter. It won't be to everyone's taste, and if you find white tiles, with scandinavian glass and steel furniture too cluttered, this place will freak you out. I love it :)
kon23uk - 25 Nov 2012 13:12
Half of the sitting area was closed off, but with only a few punters in, no need for it. Pint of Proper Job (3£) was in good condition. Standing outside, the pub doesn't look that big, but once you're in, it's like the Tardis...
Hommel - 8 Jun 2012 19:49
Every time we visit Penzance we have to come here. The beer was good quality - Sharp's Doom Bar, the daily special Hake was excellent. It seems to be organised chaos in a jumble sale - fascinating to watch the regular bar staff in action! Dick Emery's "Oooh! You are awful - but I like you!" springs to mind. Will keep coming back so don't change it!
JBGatelad - 31 Jul 2010 13:12
Superb, food is first class but a bit pricey. great pub.
ROB54 - 22 Jun 2010 23:17
Absolutely fantastic, i can not rate this Pub highly enough. Endearingly eccentric decor with beautiful, real beer and the friendliest Landlord, Landlady & clientele anywhere in Penzance.
a1ex_e1 - 29 Dec 2009 01:34
Warm welcome, exellent beer. This pub is worth a visit.
xh558 - 7 Dec 2009 13:06
Odd but good.

Have visited many times. Usually a good crowd. Food is nice but pricey.

Bar area is small and eating area is large, which indicates the priorities of the Benbow.

Had a great Friday night in there though.

griffo59 - 18 Aug 2009 14:02
i like it. Was ecclectic to say the least. Space is tight in there and there was only one real ale on at the time. Still, the service was good and hospitable and friendly.
mrdruse - 19 Jul 2009 23:20
I Loved it! Great food. Good beer and excellent customer service. I was in Penzance for five days and went there everyday for supper.
chrisgd - 20 May 2009 16:18
A bit of nostalgia: Visited this pub (and quite enjoyed it!) on my first trip to Britain in 1976. At the time, the price of a pint was 19p..................a real bargain after paying close to 30p in London!!! How times have changed. Glad to hear it's still doing well. Looking forward to a return in the near future. Cheers! Army from Canada.
Rme - 15 May 2009 22:53
Good beer available. Best one I tried was "Proper Job". they also had "Admiral Ale" and "Doom Bar" available. All three ales were well kept.

The place is a little harsh on the eyes with far too much nautical ornaments evertwhere. Looks a little tacky if Im honest. Sure the kids would love it though.

The pub is more of a food pub rather than a drinking pub. Has a huge restaurant but a tiny drinking area. Not a bad pub but wouldnt go out of my way to go back again.
DixieLand - 11 May 2009 18:15
Another weekend in Penzance.
Another few visits to the Benbow.
Another great great time.
I_love_Ellie - 28 Apr 2009 13:54
If you let your colour-blind mad aunt design a pub for the tourists by the seaside, this is a pretty close approximation to what you'd get. The place has gaudy tat everywhere - and I really do mean everywhere, that bloody anchor on the left hand side of the bar is a proper Lynn Faulds-Wood botherer. I am assured that most of the tat comes from salvage from shipwrecks from the past 400-odd years. In a way it's so stupidly over-the-top it sort of works in the same weird way attempting to drink yourself sober does.

Only Doombar on when I went in (though there looks to be capacity for at least one other) which was served well enough. Food is also available, though I didn't sample as we'd already been to the Turks.

Take a moment to have a go on the proper old jukebox which plays 7" singles. Very cute indeed, so perhaps a good place to take Granny as nearly all the singles are pre-1975.

The (fictional) Admiral Benbow is world-renowned for its appearance in Treasure Island by RL Stevenson. Note that this pub isn't actually 'it'.

Overall, worth popping for the brain-melting array of colour, artefacts and getting a couple of tracks on the old jukebox.
Quinno - 14 Apr 2009 19:24
Despite being currently hidden under a mountain of scaffolding and sheeting, the pub is very much open for business. If nothing else, the place is worth a visit for the quite unique if rather contrived interior. Barely an inch of space exists where you not find a pot, pan, jug, urn, figurine, model ship, lantern, antique firearm, figurehead or divers helmet. Think of junk shop, double it and you get some kind of idea what to expect. The pub itself is quite small (unless there were some rooms lurking in the background that werenít obviously visible through the forest of memorabilia) with brightly coloured beams and pillars which all adds to the effect. There are numerous nooks and crannies, not all particularly comfortable and you may need to climb over the occasional anchor to get in. Music comes courtesy of a Wurlitzer jukebox that plays old 45ís so donít expect any hi-tec cd quality modern music. The pride of place must go to the magnificent decorative fireplace, the mantelpiece of which is of course stacked with more remnants of antique fairs, charity shops and probably local shipwrecks. The bar itself is quite small and badly placed in front of the door making it a squeeze just to get past the front door when busy. 3 hand pumps with a good quality Proper Job, the ubiquitous Doom Bar and 1 unused. The staff were very welcoming and attentive, the atmosphere genial and quite relaxed although it was frequently busy when we often walked past. To some it will appear to be way over the top but I liked the place simply for its attempt to be something different. The original Admiral Benbow was a fantasy pub and this one doesnít feel much different so I suppose it does its job.
RogerB - 19 Mar 2009 13:46
looking a little worn around edges but friendly welcome.
eankelvin - 24 Dec 2008 16:13
A locals pub by day - they were testing out the pub jukebox when I was in there - but a real treasure nonetheless. The Doombar was on top form. Chapel Street in Penzance is well worth a visit anyway but this place and the Turks' are a beer drinkers paradise...
paulio1966 - 29 Jun 2008 00:01
Excellent pub. It was my first visit there this weekend.
Cracking place. I'll be drinking again in here when I'm next in Penzance.
I_love_Ellie - 30 Apr 2008 13:23
Great pub. The amount of stuff adorning the walls an celings just has to been seen. Very impressive. Steeped in history. A must for any ale and pub connoisseur.
trekman - 18 Aug 2007 16:10
I just love this place. I think is the n.1. If i could I would relocate here :). Good beers, great food, friendly stuff and a lot of locals every evening.
marcopetraroia - 12 Jun 2007 22:21
It's a complete tourist attraction first and pub second but actually it's a really nice place. Very friendly and convivial. Worth a visit.
redboy - 26 Dec 2005 22:02
great pub to spend an avo & evening in. Staff friendly, unstairs pool table area is mint.
bron1allen - 20 Dec 2005 14:14
excellent pub for good food, service and atmosphere....a definate must see !
theresaharris999 - 15 Dec 2005 21:56
Had a convivial evening here last Friday, beer and atmosphere very good.
pipster - 27 Oct 2005 15:16
Quite a funny we pub and one with plenty of odds and ends to look at! Food wasn't great but did the job, while the upstairs was worth it's weight in gold. Pretty good to go to with a group and just have a right old riot!
Randy_Campbell - 19 Aug 2005 13:04
A slight artificiality doesn't detract from good service and good product. Dinner in the restaurant was very good.
Sandman - 5 Aug 2005 10:24

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