Lewin's Mead Sugar House
The Lewin's Mead Sugar House, now Hotel du Vin Bristol, was once a sugar refinery processing sugar cane. A lot of alterations have happened through the years and it is quite difficult to imagine the steam and smell from what would have been a busy, but highly profitable business. The craze for sugar, at first a very expensive luxury, began in the seventeenth century, and by the eighteenth century was responsible for the massive increase in the number of plantations in the Caribbean and the huge number of slaves needed to plant and harvest the sugar. Bristol was a centre for refining sugar with 20 refineries in 1760, and an annual import rate of 378 000 kilograms of sugar cane to supply the local demand for sugar to sweeten tea, coffee and desserts as well as to produce some alcoholic drinks like rum.