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Bell Inn, Nottingham

18 Angel Row

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Pub Type

Greene King
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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Ian Mapp left this review about Bell Inn

Great traditional pub that is in the good beer guide 2021. Dont arrange to meet your mates here, as you will never find them. A bar to the left and right but for the full range of beers, you need to go to the large room at the back - which is festooned with booths and TV screens. The front bars are far more pleasant.

Abbbeydale Absolution in good condition.

Top pub, if you are in town.

On 23rd October 2021 - rating: 8
[User has posted 846 recommendations about 838 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

ROB Camra left this review about Bell Inn

We were refused entry to this pub on Sunday evening, in my case for the first time since I was 17

This was because we didn't have a smartphone. I pointed out to them that this is discrimination. We offered to supply the required details manually like almost all other Nottingham pubs seemed to be doing, but they said they didn't have paper or a pen.

Arseholes. The score of shame is inevitable.

Been in many times before, but it seems unlikely that we'll be going again, ever!

On 25th August 2020 - rating: 1
[User has posted 2927 recommendations about 2845 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Al Bundy left this review about Bell Inn

A decent pub. Though this is supposed to be a dead old pub you wouldn't think so once you are inside. Its a long pub that recedes backwards and there are 3 rooms that I saw. All 3 have their own servery and the rear room is the larger. 12 handpumps in the larger room and about 4 in the smaller. It looks like a Victorian era place to me rather than some billion year ago place.

On 27th April 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3434 recommendations about 3345 pubs]

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Alex Conway left this review about Bell Inn

The Bell inn along with the Olde Trip to Jerusalem and the Salutation claims to be the oldest pub in the country. A former Hardy and Hansoms pub that was acquired by Green King When they purchased the Kimberly Brewery about ten years ago. Usually this type of acquisition by Green king is Pub suicide but fortunately they had the sense to not tamper with the product as it is one of the inner city’s top traditional pubs. The pub is obviously very old and thus has a very unique layout. You enter into a long walk way that has a room on either side with its own mini bar with a few keg taps and a few cask ales taken from the main selection of the main bar. As you walk past you come to the main bar which is one very large rectangular room that is raised up a foot at the back with seating and room for a band on weekend. The rest of the room is decorated with high tables and stools with a hard wooden floor for the most part but carpets on the raised area. It is a very old-school décor that has been tastefully maintained over the years so as not to look worn and tacky. The bar runs along the left hand side as you enter and is very long and filled worth a large selection of different beers. Aside from the generic keg offering are a large number of craft beers such as Punk IPA and Gosse Island as well as 12 hand pulls. The reason why this place gets is so popular is because Greene king have not done the one thing that makes their pubs suck so bad the rest of the time, force below par Greene king products on to people who don’t want them. Because of this there were only four GK products on offer with the rests thankfully well selected microbrewery guest beers. On the bar was GK IPA (x2, there was one regular and one on those new shiny GK Hand pulls were you can choose northern or southern style but essentially the same beer which made absolutely no scene) Greenk King Abbot and a house beer called Bell Inn bitter which has a high chance of being re badged Hardy and Hansons bitter and old Speckled hen. The guests featured were Nottingham Brewery EPA, Nobbys Plum Porter, Shipstons Gold Star, Milestone Octoberfest Blue Monkey Funk Gibbon plus a couple I failed to note. The Funky Gibbon was a well-kept and very tasty bitter at an average £3.30 for town but a CAMRA discount is available. This is an all-round good town boozer that gets very popular on evenings and weekends. The beer selection and quality is of a high standard and it succeeds because Green king keep themselves at arm’s length and that’s why IU think it is such a good pub because GK haven’t spoiled it with their generic management approach yet. Well worth a pint if in the centre of Nottingham.

On 15th November 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 455 recommendations about 455 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Bell Inn

Historic pub with an iconic façade on Angel Row, unusually comprising three separate bars: two in small rooms on either side of entrance corridor, and the main one towards the back (with a further, slightly-raised seating area beyond). Very traditional furniture and decor, with plenty of wood panelling. However, its place on Camra's national inventory relates to the 1920s features of the two first-floor rooms (now the Belfry dining area). Numerous beers - both Greene King and guests - on handpump on the three counters, plus ten extra real ales on gravity dispense for visitors to the Camra AGM, including Full Mash Red Dog session beer (£3.40) from nearby Stapleford.

On 26th April 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6591 recommendations about 6591 pubs]

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Peter Rydings left this review about Bell Inn

Always call in here one of Nottingham's finest three bar operation narrow passageway bars in small rooms at the front to the right and the left of you and a large room and long bar at the back. With a selection of hand pumps

On 3rd July 2014 - rating: 10
[User has posted 948 recommendations about 917 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about Bell Inn

Built on the site of a former friary back in 1437, the Bell Inn lays claim to be the oldest pub in Nottingham, although there appears to be no clear evidence to suggest that it was actually built as a pub. It’s a Greene King house nowadays and mixes a bit of the old with some fairly modern features. You enter into a long stone corridor with two bars in rooms on either side and the main bar at the end in a large open space. This room has bare floorboards and nicely paneled walls with the servery situated on the right hand side opposite a number of high tables and stools. Dark beams and a stained glass skylight give the room a bit of character and the wall space is broken up with a number of old black and white photos and a large timeline detailing the pub’s former landlords. At the back of the room there is a raised carpeted seating area with a number of standard tables and chairs, which looked like a decent place to sit if you were planning on eating. Of the two front bars, I found the right hand one to be the more pleasant as it seemed to be the more intact of the two. It’s a fairly dark space with woodblock flooring, some nice banquettes at the front and a pleasant servery. The front windows have attractive bell motifs and the only downside was the presence of a slot machine and TV screen (turned off on my visit). The left hand front bar is very narrow, with a fairly plain servery halfway down the room. Seating is restricted to a couple of small tables at the front and a drinking ledge to the rear and the bell motif is in evidence again in the door and windows. A restaurant, The Belfry, is located upstairs and is supposedly one of the more unspoilt parts of the pub’s interior, although I didn’t get a look myself. The pub’s cellars are carved into the sandstone beneath the building and have been dated back to the 12th century. Anyone wanting to explore them can do so on one of the weekly cellar tours held each Tuesday.
For a Greene King pub, the ale selection is fairly progressive. My visit saw a fine number of hand pumps in action across the three bars, with the full range available in the rear room. The choice facing me was Greene King IPA, Abbot Ale, XX Mild and Old Trippe, Morland Old Speckled Hen, Nottingham EPA and Robin Hood Ale, O’Hanlon’s Flagship IPA, Rudgate Jorvik Blonde and the house beer, Bell Inn Bitter. I gave the Robin Hood Ale a try and was a little disappointed in both the beer and the quality.
This is an interesting pub with a good central location that makes it well worth stopping off for. There is a fair bit to explore, so I think the place would stand up to repeat visits and the guest ale policy certainly makes that a more enjoyable prospect.

On 16th November 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2620 recommendations about 2620 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about Bell Inn

Have to say I was taken by this one. I think it’s the fact that there are the three distinct different rooms, each with their own bar, so that you almost have three different pubs under one skin. The two smaller rooms in the initial older part of the pub are quieter and more relaxing, and then you have the bigger, noisier drinking barn space beyond these.
Apparently, according to the other PuG contributors who know this place better than me, we didn’t visit on a particularly good ale choice day and the usual range of guest ales was weaker than normal.
Fortunately the available Nottingham EPA was in good form because; despite their being the little seen Abbot Reserve I had to stick to my policy of ignoring anything from Greedy King if anything else is available.
Only negative was that we failed to find the said famous 1437, King Henry VI timber in the front bar to be able to touch it. And I am sure it is an illusion caused by the day’s consumption that the barmaid in the front room did not offer that we could touch her instead as she was the oldest bar maid in the pub.

On 25th November 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1770 recommendations about 1714 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Bell Inn

Another of Nottingham’s Ye Olde Ancient Innes, the main claim to fame for this one is the C15th King Henry VI timber (unfound by me) and the cellar carved directly into the sandstone (tours on Tuesdays). Much bigger inside than the outside suggests. The two rooms either side of the entrance passageway are the oldest part of the pub and come with leaded windows (with a nice bell motif) and heavy ceiling timbering. The passageway then leads to a wide open space of back bar, which has attractive wood panelling, black and white prints of old Nottingham, chandeliers and stained glass skylights. It’s now a GK pub after their takeover of Hardy & Hansons a few years back but there is at least a bit of variety on the beer front, with a couple of guests on my visit (Holdens and Nottingham ‘Bell Inn Bitter’ brewery) alongside the lesser-spotted GK XX Mild which came out well enough. There’s a restaurant upstairs but after packing a few beers in before heading here I decided against tackling the stairs. The licensee timeline on the wall of the rear room is quite a nice touch and is obviously part of the ‘oldest pub in Nottingham’ PR campaign. Clientele are bit more upmarket than some of the other Nottingham pubs and so are the prices at the bar. Not necessarily a ‘must-do’ but worth a visit on an extended tour of duty.

On 18th November 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 4200 recommendations about 4187 pubs]

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Soup Dragon left this review about Bell Inn

A terraced Georgian styled pub and eatery with a small frontage compared to neighbouring buildings and a front patio area. The façade is in white render with black paintwork, having been repainted after the lovely Hardys and Hansons frontage was considered an anachronism after Greene King swallowed it up. There is a nice entablature with a bell as centrepiece and coloured glass in the windows, but sadly, the front is now more an advertisement for the oldest pub in Nottingham.

The interior has a passage entrance, with stone flag floor. There are bar rooms to both the left and the right. This is the oldest part of the pub – with the famous 1437, King Henry VI timber. Just how this means the building was a pub then is a statement worthy of Henry VI himself. Anyhow, the side rooms are great – with their own serving bars, they are in (well, the one to the right is) cream and wood panel with, white and wood beam ceiling, as well as old photos of the pub etc on the walls. The main room is at the back. The large serving bar is to the right here and the décor sees yellow and a fantastic wood panelled room, with a raised area right at the back. The ceiling is yellow and wood beam, with some sky lights. The floor is a lovely mix of wood, tiles and red carpet. Again, old photos decorate. I didn’t note a TV and there was no music at my visits. They do food and we did eat here – the food being fine. The service was friendly and there was a busy and very mixed clientele.

Beer; the usual tap stuff with a mix over a few days that included GK IPA, MILD (which was so-so) Abbot, Olde Trip; Notts Brewery’s EPA and Legend, Burton Bridge Bitter and a decent Nelson’s Brewery MILD on handpull.

Class really and there are always guests so you don’t end up with just Greene King. I think it is a must do, but then, so many pubs in Nottingham are. The review was from May, but was back in the other day.

On 17th November 2011 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 3067 recommendations about 3062 pubs]

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