Connect with us
canteen outside canteen outside


15 Things You May Not Know About The Canteen



The Canteen, Bristol

Canteen Banksy

Now an institution of Stokes Croft, The Canteen is most commonly known for being the place where you’ll find the famous ‘Mild Mild West’ Banksy, some unusual Stokes Croft characters and an assortment of pretty tasty music. We spoke to Jamie Pike, one of its co-founders to find out just a little bit more about The Canteen.

1. What inspired The Canteen?

The Canteen came from a need for the Coexist project in Hamilton House to have a place to eat, drink and be merry. We imagined what kind of place we would like to go to at different times of the day and night and the vision for the Canteen was born! We wanted a place where we could eat delicious, locally sourced, globally inspired food without bankrupting ourselves. We wanted a place that sold great local beers and ciders and stocked our favourite teas, spirits and wines. And we wanted to hear brilliant live music every night for free…somehow we managed to get close. 

The canteen terrace bristol

2. When did The Canteen first open?

The Canteen first opened for my birthday 30th July 2009.

Canteen before it opened

Canteen before it opened…. note the surprisingly disapproving signs

3. How many beers are on tap and what’s the best drink you have to try?

There are 10 beers on tap, whilst you need to try Sharps Cornish Lager – voted best lager in the world this year! 

canteen beers

4. What’s behind the name?

Its because Hamilton House is an old office building and it is essentially the “Canteen” for the building. 

canteen outside

5. Who runs The Canteen?

We have an amazing team headed up in the front of house by Carolyn Hegg, and Christabel Courtauld in the kitchen. 

6. Why did you open in Stokes Croft?

When I was setting up the Coexist project we needed a place to eat, drink and be merry…so more about creating a link between Stokes Croft and Hamilton House.  


7. Favourite thing about Bristol?

The high concentration of open creative souls and the way that if you have a good idea in Bristol people really want to you realise your dream.

canteen bristol map8. What inspired the decor?

My brother Matt takes all the credit for that. He is an artist at heart and wanted to create a space in which everyone would feel relaxed, at home and a part of a buzzing community. 

canteen music

9. Who was the first act to play the Canteen?

My dear old friend Jack Pescod.

10. Any famous visitors?

Roger Waters from Pink Floyd playing on a Thursday lunchtime was memorable and Nigel Slater enjoyed dinner here.

11. Favourite character that pops into The Canteen? 

Not John The Baptist! Probably the Misfits Theatre Company.

12. Best moment for The Canteen?

That’s a hard question. Every time there is a really diverse crowd in, eating, drinking, dancing and being merry.

canteen dancing

13. Worst moment?

Bleeding madman throwing furniture and threatening to cut people on the front deck? Don’t worry, he hasn’t been back!

canteen dog

Attacker probably not pictured….

14. Craziest moment?

When we had an interactive comedy dance troop called Impermanence gyrating on the tables in sequins. 

canteen impermance


15. And any other things about The Canteen that people don’t know?

We are the proud holders of a three star award from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, their highest rating. Oh and its founding directors still can’t afford to buy a house in Bristol…

A big thanks to Lilja Photography for the spectacular Canteen photos. 

Want more good places to eat and drink? Head over to bars of bristol.



Sam Gillies, the founder and editor of Best of Bristol. Purveyor of numerous Bristol posts, lists, stories, videos and Bristol photos. Sam Gillies spent years in Bath looking enviously at how good Bristol was, before moving to Bristol in 2011 and converting to a Bristol obsessive. Most likely found attempting to find interesting street art across Bristol and other cities.



  1. Pingback: The Ultimate Guide To The Bristol Hipster | Best of Bristol

  2. Pingback: Bristol Crocodile Appears at The Canteen | Best of Bristol

  3. Pingback: 5 Pub Crawls to Conquer Bristol | Best of Bristol

  4. Pingback: 50 Things To Do In Stokes Croft | Best of Bristol

  5. Pingback: 7 Places to See Free Live Music in Bristol | Best of Bristol

  6. Pingback: The Student Guide to Bristol Nightlife | Best of Bristol

Leave a Reply

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


Most popular

bristol calendar bristol calendar
Featured4 days ago

Bristol-based businesses bare all for cancer charity calendar

Bristol calendar released to raise money for Cancer Research UK A total of 26 local women and men, all of...

the killers bristol the killers bristol
Featured3 weeks ago

The Killers Announced For First Ashton Gate 2020 Gig

The Killers will be playing in Bristol for the first time in 2020 Following on from this year’s gigs that...

bristol film festival bristol film festival
Featured3 weeks ago

16 Awesome Films You Can See In Unique Locations In Bristol

Bristol Film Festival is hosting loads of awesome films around Bristol Bristol Film Festival has been running in Bristol since...

bristol eats bristol eats
Nightlife1 month ago

Things To Do In Bristol This Weekend

Looking for the best of Bristol this weekend? It may be cold and blustery, but there is still plenty of...

Best bristol instagram accounts Best bristol instagram accounts
Bristol Guides1 month ago

60 Bristol Instagram Accounts You Need To Be Following

The very best Bristol Instagram accounts you need to be following in 2019 Do you ever get tired of cycling...

old bristol photos old bristol photos
History1 month ago

16 Awesome Old Photos Of Bristol Throughout The Years

Old Photos of Bristol 1. Bristol Centre before the fountains 2. The Centre from the roof of the old Bristol...

sausage dog sausage dog
Things To Do2 months ago

A Pop Up Dachshund Cafe Is Coming To Bristol

Bristol Dachshund lovers get ready We’ve got a cat cafe, a cat pub and in a few weeks time Bristol...

Vegan burger and facade of Three Brothers Burgers Vegan burger and facade of Three Brothers Burgers
Burgers2 months ago

Three Brothers Burgers Launch New Vegan Menu, & It’s Epic!

Three Brothers Burgers join the growing list of plant-based menus in Bristol. Three Brothers Burgers, one of Bristol’ elite burger...

3d street art 3d street art
Bristol Street Art2 months ago

Amazing 3D Bristol Street Art

Bristol has one of the best street art scenes in the country, and this 3D piece from the Athenian group,...

harry potter harry potter
Bars2 months ago

There’s A Harry Potter Themed Bottomless Boozy Brunch Happening In Bristol

Accio all the brunch please We love a good Bristol bottomless brunch at Best of Bristol, and when it’s combined...

Bristol Guides2 months ago

8 Places to See Free Live Music in Bristol

Live music for free in Bristol Bristol has many places to see live music in Bristol pubs for big bands and DJs but it...

the bank tavern the bank tavern
Places to Eat in Bristol2 months ago

The Bank Tavern Wins The Observer’s Best Sunday Roast

The Bank Tavern smashes it again One of Bristol’s best boozers, The Bank Tavern has won the best roast in...

things to do on gloucester road things to do on gloucester road
Bristol Guides2 months ago

129 Things To Do On Gloucester Road

There’s just so much see on Gloucester Road It’s time for the 2019 addition of what to do on Gloucester...

bristol plant shops bristol plant shops
Bristol Guides2 months ago

9 Awesome Bristol Plant Shops

The best plant shops in Bristol Whether it’s a cheese plant, succulent or an out of control spider plant crawling...

black rock bristol black rock bristol
Bars2 months ago

Bristol’s Biggest Whisky Bar Is Opening Next Week

Black Rock Whisky Bar set to open in Bristol on Monday 21st October The Shoreditch based whisky bar, Black Rock,...

bristol pub quizzes bristol pub quizzes
Bars2 months ago

Bristol Pub Quizzes

It’s time for a good old fashioned Bristol pub quiz There are endless places where you can find some good...

History2 months ago

10 Awesome Things That Were Filmed In Bristol

The best things are filmed in Bristol Do you ever look at the TV and think ‘isn’t that Park Street?’....