Mariners’ Rest, the drinking establishment of the Royal Hong Kong Marine Police and one of the former British Colony’s oldest bars, has been restored to its former glory. Now open to the public, it serves some of the best pub grub and grog in town. There are even jail cells dating from 1881, where you can have a tipple with your mates.
The pub’s name was adopted from the original drinking establishment that served seamen and officers on the site for more than 100 years. The original Mariners’ Rest was open to all and became famous for its hospitality well beyond the shores of Hong Kong. Tradition has it that a visiting seafarer who brought a rare plant or sapling to Mariners’ Rest would be greeted with a ring of the bell. The plant would then be exchanged for a dram of rum or a mug of beer.
The gardens of Hullett House, part of the former Marine Police Headquarters building that dates back to 1881, even today are populated with more than 70 varieties of plants and trees that are not native to Hong Kong.
Mariner’s Rest is located in Hullett House, a newly refurbished boutique hotel that served as the Marine Police Headquarters before the change in sovereignty in 1997. Memorabilia and old photographs from the archives of the Marine Police now adorn the pub’s walls. Three of the original jail cells, where pirates, smugglers, and other assorted riffraff were once held captive, and are now open for everyone to enjoy.
Pictured: Mariners’ Rest, Hong Kong
Photo Credit: Hullett House