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Yet another list with Aqualung on the Pub Forum

The Bell, Walthamstow, E17

617 Forest Road
E17
E17 4NE
Phone: 02085232277

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


Rex Rattus left this review about The Bell

This is a magnificent Victorian pub dominating what predictably is known as Bell Corner. The Victorian pub builders certainly knew how to make their pubs stand out from the surrounding businesses. Inside it's been pretty thoroughly gutted of course, with perhaps just a bit of panelling remaining from what must surely have been a magnificent Victorian interior. But, from a modern perspective, it's actually quite comfortable inside, with mainly normal tables and chairs, some that would accommodate larger parties, with much being recycled dining room furniture, and with its fair share of armchairs and sofas.

The emphasis seems to be on food, with several family groups enjoyng a meal when we visited on Wednesday afternoon. As an example, the Bell Burger, with Tudges (?) bacon, caramelised onions and fries is 10 (or £10 to you and I). The ale selection was reasonable, with Doom Bar, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Ringwood Razorback, Great Newsome Outfoxed, and Elland Brewery 'Ell and Back all on. There was also a draft cider on, and a couple more pumps were unclipped. Dimpled mugs seem to be the default here, but being the awkward sods my chums and I are, we asked for, and were given, straight glasses.

This is a pub definitely worth visiting; I would certainly make a return visit if in the area again.

On 28th October 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2406 recommendations about 2331 pubs]


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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Bell

A very impressive looking large Victorian corner pub offering a decent selection of seven varied ales on our visit. So we went for the Franklins Brewery English Garden and the Black Edge Brewery Platinum, both were excellent. The pub is also friendly and has a jovial atmosphere, so it wasn't too long until we were having a bit of banter with a couple of the locals. Good pub to include on a crawl and can also be used as a good single destination pub.

On 22nd February 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2531 recommendations about 2531 pubs]


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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Bell

Two very good reviews below nail the detail.Large,open plan and very popular I was impressed with the ale range from Rudgate Brew 15 and GrainCheck,Acorn Madness,TT Landlord,Hogs Back TEA,360 Degrees Pacific Pale and Redemption White Star.My visit was part of an extensive crawl of the area but I would be tempted to stay much longer on my next visit and get involved with their ale.A fun pub to visit as well with a wide cross section of punters.

On 23rd March 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1795 recommendations about 1795 pubs]


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Alan Winfield left this review about The Bell

The Bell is a large grand looking corner pub.
Once inside there is a large irregular shaped room which is bare boarded,the seating is a mix of leather settees and normal tables and chairs,there is a raised area to the right.
There was a very good choice of real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Rudgate Grain Check which was quite a nice drink,the other beers i noted were Rudgate Brew No 15,Acorn Madness and 360 Pacific Pale Ale.
The pub was packed on our Saturday afternoon visit with a good mix of customers.

Pub visited 21/3/2015

On 21st March 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]


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Steve of N21 left this review about The Bell

First time to visit this large corner pub since its make over and also have to say I think they have done a good job to appeal to a varied audience. Quite a few in with mainly drinking in the front section and dining in the back section.
Yes I agree it is now more gastro style than traditional pub with its with dark floorboards, neutral paint scheme and modern floral wallpaper described below, but I thought it had a lot more about it then several of its more bland contemporaries
The attractiveness is obviously added to by having a very decent ale offering and alongside the usual suspects of Timothy Taylor Landlord and Doombar, Ilkley Brewery Gold, Dark Star Pale Ale, Acorn Brewery Thunderstruck, Bath Ales Special Pale Ale, Signature Brew Backstage IPA and Clark’s Brewery seasonal Must Dash were all available as well as a decent local Craft beer offering from the likes of Meantime and Camden Brewery as well.
The two Ales I sampled were in good condition and well served by a knowledgeable bar keep, so totally agree with the comment that this is one of the better pubs in town and makes a good double header with the nearby Rose and Crown.

On 22nd December 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1514 recommendations about 1466 pubs]


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Pub SignMan left this review about The Bell

The Bell is a vast, landmark pub on a busy junction in the middle of Walthamstow. You enter through a corner door into a smart, gastro style pub with dark floorboards, neutral paint scheme and modern floral wallpaper. The bulk of the large front section has been filled with standard tables and chairs ideal for diners, whilst a couple of sofas under the front windows offer the chance to relax and enjoy a bit of people watching. The servery runs along the back wall and has a bare brick bar back decorated with a huge mirror in an elaborate gold frame. To the right, a fairly large section of partitioning wall remains, dividing the pub into two distinct sections. This wall also has a chimney and fireplace built into it, although whether the fire is still in use was unclear. Behind is a wedge shaped area with some nice wood panelled walls, muted lighting and a good deal more seating. This area in turn leads out to a garden area, unexplored on this visit. A DJ was stood at one end of the bar on my Friday evening visit playing some fairly obscure tunes at a level that was thankfully quiet enough to still allow for conversation.
A long row of handpulls offered Taylor Landlord, Lytham IPA, Sharps Doom Bar, Wharfebank White Goddess, Brains Dark, Mauldons Midsummer Gold, Redemption Trinity and B&T In the Mood. This was supplemented by a fairly standard keg range including Symonds Cider and a limited craft/US bottled beer selection. I tried the Brains Dark which was a bit below par to be honest, which was a shame.
This place has clearly had a lot of work put into it to make it into a respectable venue that appeals to a wide range of customers. I'm prepared to accept that I got a bit unlucky with my dubious pint and would suggest this is one of the better pubs in town and a good double header with the nearby Rose and Crown.

On 13th September 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2149 recommendations about 2149 pubs]


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paulof horsham left this review about The Bell

On approaching, The Bell takes the whole corner plot and inside, there's no shortage of space, with a variety of seating options. Large windows don't offer a great deal of people-watching round here, but do illuminate the interior effectively.

At the bar, 8 pumps offer a varied range including, on my visit, Landlord, 2 from Titanic and Triple fff's Pressed Rat & Warthog, as well as some I was less familiar with. Next to these is a tall font for Meantime Pale Ale and, a little further to the right, 5 taps for the standard lagers and cider. Card-carrying CAMRA members can get themselves a handy 10% discount on the £3.60 price of a pint of ale.

Kinderphobes should note that this pub is very popular with local families on a Saturday lunchtime. An enthusiastic local had a high opinion of the food and there was certainly no shortage of diners.

A few national newspapers were available and I'm firmly of the opinion that this is always a sign of a confident, quality operation. I'd have been more than happy to linger for a few hours more (and would no doubt do just that quite regularly, if I lived in North-East London).

On 28th January 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 229 recommendations about 226 pubs]


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Malden man left this review about The Bell

This is an imposing edifice dominating the corner of a busy road junction, clearly an old Victorian gin palace but now more or less opened out into a single space, albeit with some division due to a fireplace and chimney. Externally the pub name and bell designs feature high up on gables although there is no hanging pub sign as such. Inside the bar is along a back wall, stripped wood counter, exposed brickwork behind, boarded flooring, the main room has some William Morris style wallpaper whereas the slightly raised area to the side, beyond the fireplace has some preserved wood panelling as well as leaded obscure windows above the doors. Seating is mixed, pretty crammed in, mostly at recycled domestic dining tables of varying size suiting groups of varying number but also a couple of small high tables and some sofas and armchairs in a corner. The fireplace mantle and a shelf have a few bits and bobs on top, including various bells, otherwise décor is mainly mirrors and a few brass trays and plates.
There is a decent choice of beer in here, eight handpumps, seven operating on Saturday afternoon with one reversed. Tim Taylors Landlord, fff Alton's Pride, Box Steam Derail Ale (£3.60), Hanlon's Port Stout, Titanic Full Steam Ahead, Hop Back Summer Lightning and Black Dog Rhatas. Meantime London Pale Ale appeared to be the highlight of the keg fonts. Food is served, I didn't read a menu as there wasn't one on my table but I saw a couple of blokes tucking into some decent looking home made burgers with proper chunky chips.
The pub was busy and buzzing with music playing at a sensible volume, no signs of a TV, however one comment, the pub is clearly very child friendly with loads of young kids and babies in, apparently allowed until 8pm. While they were all in the main well behaved one was dashing about which in a busy pub with people carrying glasses could be a problem. Having said that when mine were little there wasn't really anywhere to go unless it was a warm afternoon and you could sit in the garden so fair's fair I guess.
The pub has occasional live jazz and there is a Tuesday quiz.
This is a warm and welcoming pub with a great range of ales, I believe it has been transformed from a bit of a dive so congratulations to the current incumbents for that, worth the ten minute walk up from Walthamstow Central and the 357 bus will take you down to the William IV in Leyton for a good double header.

On 19th January 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1664 recommendations about 1642 pubs]


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Aqualung . left this review about The Bell

I popped in today en route to the Brodie's Bunny Basher festival. All eight pumps were going with three bog standard beers (Tribute, Summer Lightning and TT Landlord) and an interesting mix of more obscure guests (O'Hanlon's Diablo, Cotleigh Honey Buzzard, Bristol Beer Factory Bristol Sunrise, Kent Brewery Enigma and Green Jack Orange Wheat).

I tried the Enigma (£3.50) and the Diablo (£3.60). Both were in excellent condition and the 10% CAMRA discount made the (for me) high price more bearable.

Despite the "retro" gimmicks (the dimple mugs and the junk shop furnishing) I really like this place. It's great to see NE London gradually becoming an area worth visiting for pubs other than just the Spoons outlets.

On 30th March 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2052 recommendations about 2047 pubs]


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Wumpus . left this review about The Bell

Popped in for a swift one recently as I'd only just heard about the refurbishment - this pub had got so bad over the last few years that I usually just ignored it, however no more. My visit was brief but I was very pleasantly surprised by the transformation and I can only agree with (most of) Aqualungs review - will definitely be returning.

On 11th March 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2 recommendations about 2 pubs]