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The Bell, East Molesey

4 Bell Road
East Molesey
Phone: 02089410400

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Bell

A nice pub hidden away down a residential back street, obviously the same as described in Blackthorns review which was a couple of weeks before my visit. I probably turned up at the wrong time , early on a Saturday evening with live football just started and the place was rammed,maybe because of this I didn't notice any of the bland corporate feel described below.I had a pint of Otter Amber which was in good shape if not overly interesting. I liked the pub but must give it a go at a quieter time.

On 6th May 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1430 recommendations about 1415 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Bell

An attractive looking pub located in a quite back street near the church, buts nonetheless just a couple of minutes’ walk from the main road, it has quite an “olde worlde” appearance with various rather wonky bits of the building jutting out an odd angles. It was then something of a disappointment to get inside and find it much more contemporary than I expected, having clearly undergone a very unsympathetic “refurbishment” at some point.

It’s been divided up in to a number of different rooms internally and is now something of a rabbit warren. The only original features remaining are a rather wonky ceiling and some very old supporting timberwork which must have been a great feature at one time when the rest of the pub would have been of a similar style. The flooring consisted of tiling by the bar and elsewhere the sort of generic patterned carpet that you find in countless pubs and in fact the whole place had a rather bland, corporate feel to it. Paintwork was predominantly a shade of green/grey, whilst a few old planks of timber had been fixed to the wall in places as well as some old black and white pictures of the local area, including the high street, river and the world’s largest grape vine at nearby Hampton Court. Several TV’s were showing a sports channel, although fortunately the volume was off so this was not too intrusive and there was also a darts board off to one side. A fireplace that was clearly disused had a pile of logs stacked up next to it for some reason which I can only assume was decorative.

There were more beer pumps on the bar than might have been expected, although four were from Greene King with their Abbot Ale, Old Speckled Hen, IPA and Band of Brewer’s IPA. These were joined by Tribute and their own Bell Ale which was apparently brewed by the Twickenham Brewery. The solitary cider was Symonds Founders Reserve.

On 11th April 2018 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1771 recommendations about 1701 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Bell

Known locally as "The Crooked House", The Bell is a large rambling pub with a low beamed ceiling, dark mustard/nicotine and red walls and subdued lighting. The interior is effectively now one space but the pub's layout is such that the different areas feel separated being joined as the are by archways and a narrow corridor link. Years ago the place would have been a warren of rooms, therefore providing a suitable hiding spot for the aforementioned highwayman, Claude Duval. Whether the pub's current appearance is as a result of alterations to the internal layout is difficult to tell, but no opportunity is lost to celebrate the mix of unlikely angles and leaning gables with framed information liberally displayed inside.
Seating is mostly traditional, even rustic in areas, but there is the odd sofa. There a a few fireplaces including a large inglenook, and the clearly more recent bar has some stained glass along the gantry. There is a usable dartboard at one end, and a couple of fruit machines which seemed more intrusive than usual to me as their garish flashing displays stood out in the gloom of the interior.
There are six handpumps on the bar, but there was only one on yesterday afternoon, and that was Courage Best. One was reverse clipped but the others had nothing. It seems reading other reviews that I was unlucky but this still seems to be a poor show in my opinion.

On 28th July 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1690 recommendations about 1664 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about The Bell

Situated in the residential back streets of East Molesey, is The Bell, a pub that, for fairly obvious reasons, is known as The Crooked House, although those of us who have visited the much better known pub of that name in The West Midlands, might find The Bell a bit of a poor relation in the crookedness department. Outside, we learn that The Bell dates from “circa 1460”.

On the roof, we see a statue of a Naval Officer on the top of a weathervane looking through a spyglass and, inside the pub, we learn that this originally stood on the Parish Church opposite and represented the vicar looking for his congregation. We also learn that the famous 18th Century highwayman, Claude Duval, once used the pub as a hiding place from The Bow Street Runners.

The pub interior is very much what we’d expect from an old country pub – plenty of old wooden beams, low ceilings, exposed brickwork etc. There’s also plenty of nooks and crannies and different areas with connecting corridors and passages. Naturally, everything seems to be at an angle.

A large garden at the back has a childrens play area. On my recent Sunday afternoon visit, the sunny weather had brought people out in droves, mainly families with the usual gooby kids called Wayne or Jason running around and making a nuisance of themselves.

The pub is part of the Punch Taverns portfolio. Pleasingly, apart from the usual large sized menus, there is little of the usual Punch Taverns chain pub feel.

A blackboard by the bar told me that Black Sheep, Tribute and Marstons EPA were available but it transpired that, of those three, only the latter was actually on. Also on however, were Pride, Courage Directors and Courage Best.

This is a cosy and attractive pub and you should seek it out if you get the opportunity.

On 21st April 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Bell

What an unusual pub to find in the backstreets of East Molesy. Looking at the exterior you might be forgiven for thinking that it is likely to fall down at any time. There’s not a right angle anywhere, and reminds me of the old “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” building, or at least something out of a theme park. Inside it’s everything that a country pub should be. The layout is impossible to describe as it meanders in an out of all manner of nooks and crannies and separate drinking areas, connected by small doorways or archways. The ceilings and most of the walls are that mottled nicotine colour that you see so rarely these days. There are what look like some pretty ancient wooden beams, some with muskets adorning them. I sat in an area where there was an attractive exposed brickwork fireplace. Furnishings are a traditional mix of settles and normal tables and chairs.
There were four real ales on – Courage Best, GKIPA, Old Speckled Hen, and Tribute. The Tribute was fine, and at the reasonable price of £3 a pint. This is a Punch Pubco pub, so the food is the usual pubco stuff. But there were a fair number of diners when I was in during a Friday lunchtime, so they must be doing something right on the culinary side of things. I suppose that pubs like this are ten a penny in the countryside, but finding one anywhere near London is a bit of a result. The ale selection is not outstanding, but there is a reasonable choice and I enjoyed my pint of Tribute. In my view this is a pub of real character, and I would be very happy to pay a return visit.

On 26th April 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2585 recommendations about 2500 pubs]

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Graham Coombs left this review about The Bell

This could be a truly wonderful pub - sadly it isn't. Not sure if there has been a change of management but the food does not live up to the menu and the beer is not always best kept.

On 24th July 2008 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2455 recommendations about 2400 pubs]

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Andy Ball left this review about The Bell

Wonderful old pub dating back to 1460. Courage Best, Directors and London Pride on draught, with a further 2 guests at any time. Massive beer garden with play equipment for the kids. Three open log fires for those winter evenings. Loads of little corners for quiet times. Grade 2 listed building, so can't be changed much, and hasn't. Superb example of a little village pub. Food great also!!

On 30th April 2008 - rating: 10
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]