I don’t like wasps very much and if they try to involve themselves in my food I swipe them away with whatever I have to hand: in this case, the pub menu. It all happened so slowly, to be honest we should have seen it coming as we were both sat on the same side of the park bench. There I was wafting the wasp away getting more and more ferocious with each swish and before I knew it I was harnessing my inner gymnast as I realised the bench was falling over. We were both desperately trying to stay afloat of the bench and at the same time stopping our drinks from tumbling to the floor. We must have looked ridiculous as somehow, when the bench was righted, it immediately fell over with us on it. I grabbed my cider as it flew towards my face but the beer, most unfortunately, covered us both.
The menu is quite considerable; sandwiches, baked potatoes, pizza, pub grub and daily fish specials on the blackboard. One thing I noticed was the real lack of vegetarian food, if you’re a vegetarian and don’t want a cheese and pickle sandwich or a four cheese pizza then I’m afraid it’s crisps for you. Carnivores however have a wide choice of classic pub food like a burger, steak and chips etc. and also some more bistro-y fish and meat dishes.
I’m not sure what they do to their chips but they are probably the best chips I have ever had. Gloriously golden on the outside, almost sweet with a wonderful crisp outer and fluffy middle; these were excellent chips. The fish batter was lovely and crisp but the fish was a little dry. There was ample tartare sauce which is great for someone as caper obsessed as me. The mushy peas were tasty but had pretty obviously been microwaved because they were far too hot and also quite dry. The burger was a good size; not that ridiculous skyscraper tall style but a burger with a lot of meat and generous accessories. I think their deep fat fryer has a secret because the onion rings are as immense as the chips.
There was a wide selection of puddings with quite a few ice-cream or sundae based choices. I opted for a Mr. Whippy ice-cream, how could I not? Due to the ubiquitous nature of the Mr. Whippy there’s not much I can tell you about it that you don’t already know. It was nice to have something sweet that wasn’t too filling and gave you a chance to embrace your childhood again.
Overall I think that The Bell is a nice place to be. It’s a sweet little pub with all sorts of knick-knacks decorating it and a fireplace which I’m sure will be lovely in the winter. The food was good pub food and there were some interesting choices that I would try if I went again. There is some room for improvement on the menu and a few glaring spelling mistakes but a good choice of things to order. As I mentioned, not a great place for a vegetarian but somewhere which is not too expensive, with friendly staff and a nice atmosphere. You never know, if you time it right you might even get some spontaneous outdoor entertainment if you see two people on the same side of a park bench.