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The Old Bell, Derby

Sadler Gate
Phone: 01332723090

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Aqualung . left this review about The Old Bell

I thought I'd have a look at this one on the way to Friar Gate. I must admit the front bar does look over modernised but there are plenty of people who prefer that. I got the impression there may be something upstairs as well but I stayed in the front bar.
The eight hand pumps had three unused, Ashover King George Bitter, St Austell Proper Job, Dancing Duck Ay Up & Dark Drake and Bass. I went for the Proper Job (£3.50) which on a hot day was warm but OK other than that. I was fully expecting to be ripped off here but if I had known about the 40p CAMRA discount it would have been cheap for a city centre pub.
I would return here.

On 7th August 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alex Conway left this review about The Old Bell

The Old Bell is located down the trendier Sadler Gate north of the shopping centre. The outside is very impressive in an all-black and white mock Tudor style that I rather like and I was expecting good things. Unfortunate on the inside things change dramatically. The inside is very modem and sheet with pale hard wood floors and exposed brickwork, nothing like what you expect from the exterior. There was However a very good selection of real ales from local brewery’s on the bar band I noted Dancing Ducks, Dark Drake (£3.40) Salopian Shropshire gold (£3.40) Blue Monkey GB Sips. Bass Jaipur and another Blue monkey beer I failed to note. The Beers tried were both kept in a very nice condition and we sat in the stone courtyard in a protest to the interior. Overall this place gets a 7/10 because of the disappointment of the inside, there’s nothing wrong with it it just could be so much better bin a more traditional style and I don’t really like sitting in these modern type places too much.
Outside there is another much smaller building that is in the same mock Tudor style called the Tudor bar. At first me and my friend were perplexed as to what it was until entering a cosy one roomed single story square shaped pub in its own right complete with bar and roaring fire as well as long sofas and comfy seating. It was decked out in a very traditional cosy style and was much like a log cabin especially with the fire. It also had three hand pulls on the bar that I believe were different to the main bar but failed to note what they were. It is a shame that it was such a warm day as we would have gone inside and enjoyed the fire. This seemed much more like our sort of place and will absolutely be getting a visit on our next trip in derby. It seems slightly strange to have them, both as the same pub and I would probably have scored the Tudor bar an eight. Overall it still gets a 7 but would recommend for a nice beer and take it into the Tudor bar and have the best of both worlds. Worth a visit.

On 30th March 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 452 recommendations about 452 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about The Old Bell

Old fashioned outside and ultra modern in, there is a long thin room to the bar which features do not stand well with the exterior/ Bizarre clash of styles really

On 2nd December 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1276 recommendations about 1253 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about The Old Bell

This was the final stop on the PuG crawl of Derby, and having the luxury of evening digs in town and not needing to rush away to catch a train like the fellow crawlers we were able to explore the Old Bell fully. And I’m bloody glad we did because I would not have liked to have walked out of this one thinking that the fairly recently opened minimalist modern décor front bar was it.
The Old Bell is one of the 7 new Derby entries in the 2016 GBB which it achieved primarily due to the “Tudor bar” which can be found by exploring down the end of the outside courtyard. Although clearly faux and renovated the Tudor bar is still a sizeable square room of some character with its stained glass panels, Tudor beams and the main feature of the large black roaring open fire place. And the smaller bar area in this room has an additional four real ale pumps dispensing local ales which means that together with the newer front bar the Bell offers up to 12 real ales. So I can see this one staying in the GBG for a fair while.
The modern décor front bar described by others below with its light oak floors, pastel coloured walls and burgundy sofa seating was fairly lively with punters when we arrived. The eight ales available on the modern bar top were as described below and my half of Castle Rock Red Riding Hood was perfectly fine.
Strangely, when we found it, the Tudor bar was completely empty and I could enjoy another decent half of Wellback Abbey Portland Black in front of the roaring fire as if it was a private function room just for us, and I’d just about finished it before anyone else came in.
Definitely now a pub of two halves this one..

On 26th November 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1699 recommendations about 1648 pubs]

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

Looks the business from outside, but with a very heavily refurbished interior that has stripped the place of any character. Plenty of decent beer, though, from eight handpumps, including Abbeydale Wilderness (£1.70, half). Still a shame, though.

On 22nd November 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6076 recommendations about 6076 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Old Bell

The exterior looks pretty old,timber framed with a entrance door through a courtyard entrance,but the interior has been stripped out and refurbed in quite a harsh modern style.Open plan with assorted seating running below the outside windows,with a very long bar running opposite.Keg fonts dominate each end,while in between there are 8 handpumps which on my trip were drawing Bass,St Austell Proper Job,Abbeydale Moonshine and Wilderness,Derventio Cleopatra,Castle Rock Red Riding Hood,Brewster Hoptical Illusion and Dancing Duck Dark Drake (decent condition)
I can forgive the dull interior decor with that sort of line up,it may not be top of the list for a revisit but worth including on a real ale crawl.

On 17th November 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2058 recommendations about 2058 pubs]

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Al Bundy left this review about The Old Bell

The bar at the front is long and thin with a decent selection of real ales. Its not quite my cup of beer style wise but the barstaff were impeccably friendly and I found this to be a decent place for an afternoon drink.

On 7th August 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3387 recommendations about 3302 pubs]

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ROB Camra left this review about The Old Bell

Undergoing a major renovation project at the moment and the whole front of the pub looks closed. However there is an old coach entrance at the side which leads to the back bar which has been refubished in Tudor? style. There's a large fireplace with 1700 carved in it and stained glass windows and screens. There are now 4 handpumps on the bar serving Draught Bass and 3 changing guests which included one from Cross Bay brewery which was in very good nick. This is a work in progress at the moment, but it's already an improvement on what it was before. We'll call in again next time we're in Derby to see how it's coming along.

On 16th July 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2855 recommendations about 2776 pubs]

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Old Boots left this review about The Old Bell

Stumbled on this pub as a coach pick-up deadline approached and we had to cut short our crawl, just about open as it's nearing the end of a renovation. It may not be ancient but it's not without a certain mawkish charm. Only two beers on one from Marstons and a Dunkel (!) from Derby Brewing. Not one of the brightest stars in Derby but ok for a quicky and a look at the better excesses of pub architects.

On 4th November 2013 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2258 recommendations about 2097 pubs]

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Mark Barr left this review about The Old Bell

I have visited this pub a few times now. It is mainly aimed at the 'Rocker' crowd as it does play loud rock music from the speakers both inside and outside. The Clientèle are also of a similar description in regards their appearance and general mannerisms, note however that one should rarely if ever try to enter here if you are wearing sports clothes as you will get at least the brutish stares from the patrons. Inside the pub itself is a small bar serving what I believe to be overpriced drinks: £3.00 for a John Smith's that is in a plastic pint rather than glass (That alone should ring alarm bells as to the safety of the place).

There is 1 pool table with various types of stain adorning it, the inside is only a small room really and looks very scummy in places. Also of note is that as of writing there is unwashed and unclean toilet facilities, the toilet facility reeks of urine and of the two toilet cubicles one does not have a lock and one does not have a door! One can however circumvent this by using one's knee to keep the door shut, upon doing this however you will notice the various faecal matter adorning the walls of the cubicle.

Despite appearance however I have never experienced trouble here and indeed most of the patrons do turn out to be very friendly and welcoming to almost make up for the dire state of the pub.

A pub only for the most forgiving person.

On 31st January 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 9 recommendations about 9 pubs]

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