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Beer of the Week (w/e 2nd August 2020) with Thuck Phat on the Pub Forum

The Six Bells, St. Albans

18 St. Michaels Street
St. Albans
AL3 4SH
Phone: 01727856945

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Pub SignMan left this review about The Six Bells

This smart freehouse has a great location just around the corner from Verulamium Park and the Cathedral, yet seems to maintain the sense of a local’s pub in spite of the huge passing tourist trade. The main bar is a classic old-fashioned affair with parquet and terracotta flooring, dark wood beams, gnarled wooden pillars, tiny windows letting in the bare minimum sunlight and a traditional dark wood servery running almost the full length of the back wall. Seating comes in the form of pews and chairs, plus a single, comfy banquette under the front windows. The room’s main feature is the incredible inglenook fireplace on the right hand wall with all manner of brassware items dotted around and inside. Also of note were some nice black and white photos and a couple of rifles above the fireplace and it was good to se the TV screen turned off. A more modest fireplace to the left stands next to a door leading through to a side room which has similar furnishings in a smaller space. Here you can find a dartboard (with minimal room to actually play) and some interesting displays such as the tap and spile collection on one wall. From here you can head out to the large beer garden, which was packed on a warm day and I noticed there was another room to the right of the main bar which was screened off on this occasion, with tables and chairs all stacked up as it it rarely gets any use. There was plenty of food on the go and the place seemed popular with families and those with dogs.
A decent ale selection comprised Taylor Landlord and Knowle Spring, Oakham JHB, Greene King Abbot Ale, Tring Ridgeway and 3 Brewers Classic Bitter. The latter was a rather steep £4.10 a pint but it was cool and satisfying and accordingly didn’t stay in the glass very long. I had quite a wait at the bar whilst some bloke dithered endlessly over a food order, but the barmaid was very apologetic and friendly when she finally got to me.
This seemed like a really good pub with a nice community feel to it yet still able to extend a friendly welcome to strangers. The pub is well worth a look just for the fabulous main bar, but some good beer and welcoming service make this stand out as one of the city’s better pubs and it would be one I would definitely take people to the next time I’m in town.

On 13th November 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2472 recommendations about 2472 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Alan Winfield left this review about The Six Bells

The Six Bells is a really nice looking pub that is a bit of a walk from the middle of St Albans.
Once inside the bar faces in an oblong shaped room,the floor is part tiled and bare boarded and there is a beamed ceiling,there is comfy bench seating and chairs and some pew seats and chairs for seating.
There is a separate room to the left which is smaller and square shaped,this room is carpeted and has pew seats and chairs.
There were five real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Oakham JHB,which went down a treat,the other real ales were Tring Ridgeway,Taylor Landlord,Three Brewers Blonde and GK Abbot.
There was decent background music playing.
I thought this was a really nice pub and worth the wait for it to open.

Pub visited 24/6/2017

On 29th August 2017 - rating: 9
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Ian Mapp left this review about The Six Bells

Beautiful old school pub - doing everything just about perfectly.

Not often I'll turn down a TT Landlord but the Tring Brewery Ridgeway was in great condition.

Recommended.

Visit blogged at http://bit.ly/2tMDBNJ

On 6th July 2017 - rating: 10
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Steve of N21 left this review about The Six Bells

Haven’t visited the pubs on St Michaels Street for about 30 years but great to find the Six Bells as good as ever and largely unchanged in the intervening years. It’s had a lick of paint but the original 16th Century character is still there with the low dark beamed ceiling and very impressive imposing open fireplace.
And still a very good range of beers to be had as reported below. I believe the Tring Ridgeway, Oakham JHB, and TT Landlord are permanent house beers and it was good to find two from XT amongst the guests with the XT-3 being very well kept.

On 23rd August 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1699 recommendations about 1648 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Six Bells

Splendid-looking 16th-century inn, with a refurbished but still traditional interior that doesn't disappoint and a fireplace as a particular feature. Various events advertised. Six handpumps, with a fine choice of beers including the local XT3 Indian Pale (£1.95, half).

On 23rd August 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6073 recommendations about 6073 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Real Ale Ray left this review about The Six Bells

A true chocolate box scene walking along the street to this pub. This is a comfortable, traditional pub, where you might want to spend some time, enjoying some quality ales. I went for the XT Animal Screech, which was in excellent shape.

On 9th August 2015 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Quinno _ left this review about The Six Bells

Internally it’s pretty much the same as my 2009 review, however it is now a freehouse and the ale range has significantly increased; six pumps and an excellent selection - XT3 and Animal Screech, TT Landlord, Oakham JHB, Shotgun Wedding and Tring Ridgeway. My Ridgeway was in good shape and served up by a friendly, efficient barmaid. Busy on our Friday afternoon visit and the atmosphere was pub-like rather than the foody-fest described by me below in 2009. Seems to be doing well and worth prioritizing when in the city.

July 2009
A low black-beamed timber interior with three cosy (ie small) different drinking areas (not quite rooms) with an open fire for the winter months (with muskets above), decorated with sepia pictures of Olde St Albans plus an intriguing old bar tariff from the 1920's - there's some drinks on there that have long gone! However I felt that it was a bit too food-focused for me - space is at such a premium that can be off putting and I felt that I was a bit squashed onto a small table by the TV (sports) whilst the foodies took priority on my Saturday visit. Five ales were available which were fairly mainstream in choice - Deuchars/BlackSheep/Pride/Abbot/Landlord - nevertheless the quality was good, no complaints there. Dart board, inglenook fireplace and decent garden also feature. Worth a stroll to get to on a sunny day from the station but perhaps not worth the inclusion if you're pressed for time or it's raining. Rated 6

On 1st August 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]


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Moby Duck left this review about The Six Bells

A good looking old 16th century pub,low ceiling-ed with plenty of black beams giving a nice olde worlde feel. A decent selection of beers and the Animal Screech was particularly good.
A must visit pub when in town.

On 28th July 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1327 recommendations about 1313 pubs]


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Blackthorn _ left this review about The Six Bells

A traditional pub located a short stroll from the town centre beyond Verulanium park, it consists of a couple of bars along the front of the pub and a small snug off to one side. Décor wise, it’s quite traditional with thick black beams on the low ceiling and parquet wood flooring in the central bar area with quarry tiles off to the right. A large brick fire-place was at one end with a number of trophies and copper tankards on a shelf above it as well as a couple of rifles. A plasma screen was showing the golf although fortunately the volume was off so this was not too intrusive. A snug off to the left had tartan carpet on the floor and wooden pews around the perimeter.

There was an extensive choice of beers on tap which on this occasion were Shotgun Wedding from Country Boy Brewing, Tring Ridgeway, Oakham JHB, Timothy Taylor Landlord along with XT3 and Animal Screech from XT Brewing. After the eclectic selection of beer, ciders were a bit disappointing with just Addlestones and Carlsberg’s Somersby. The barmaid was friendly and efficient, starting to pull the pints for the next round whilst still taking payment for the previous one.

On 20th July 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1748 recommendations about 1683 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Bucking Fastard left this review about The Six Bells

A charming old building close to St Micheal's Church in this historic part of lower St Albans.The interior is quite small with a low ceiling and beams,the bar room with a mix of quarry tiles and parquet floorings while to the left is a cosy snug area with two refectory tables and a darts board,although you would have to remove a dining table to play arrows.The furniture throughout is traditional wooden with settles and there was no sign of TV,fruit machines or quiz terminals.The musak was a little loud but offset by the fact that the selection was drawn from classics from the last 50 years ; no modern rubbish.Although all tables had a set of condiments and cutlery in a jar,there was no problem just sitting down for a beer .
Besides an impressive inglenook fireplace there are six handpumps with a real cider,regular ales in the shape of TT Landlord,Tring Ridgeway,and Oakham JHB while the guests comprised two from Buntingford on my trip,an excellent Polar Star (£3.30) and Ruby Red.The general ale policy here seems to include beers from Oakham,Tring and Buntingford ,which seems very enlightened to me.Oversized glasses are used,another tick in the box.
Food is a big draw here and most customers on my lunchtime visit were eating both inside as well as in the attractive outside area behind the pub which also includes an awning.
This pub should be on your itinerary if crawling around the City,it full deserves it GBG listing and does offer the possibility of an excellent pint or three.

On 13th July 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2057 recommendations about 2057 pubs]

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