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Picture of The Five Bells
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Submitted on Monday, 12th January 2015
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The Five Bells, Chelsfield, Orpington

Church Road
Chelsfield
Orpington
BR6 7RE
Phone: 01689821044
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Reviews of The Five Bells (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Five Bells

The Five Bells was doing a good trade when we arrived late on a weekday afternoon. It is situated at the centre of this village, at a traffic intersection, which was causing much congestion. Plenty of drinkers were seated outside in the mild early Autumn temperature. There was a smattering of others inside too.

There were 3 real ales on, none of which were local - Doom Bar, Betty Stogs & Boltmaker. The barmaid was really helpful in looking at when the next bus (R7) was due for us. Unfortunately, that meant we only had 10 minutes, unless we wanted to hang around for almost 1 hour. We ended up having much more time, as the bus, despite being visible up the lane, was unable to get past a parked car. Once we'd supped up, I helped the driver get through the gap. Not something you see too often elsewhere in London!

On 10th September 2020 - rating: 5
[User has posted 235 recommendations about 235 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Rex Rattus left this review about The Five Bells

They had four real ales on - Marston's Power of 3; Doom Bar; Courage Best; and Otter Bitter (£3.85 a pint). There was a full menu available on Wednesday lunchtime, with homemade burger & chips at £9.50, plus loads of other pub grub favourites such as a ploughman's, steak & ale pie, cod & chips all at fairly reasonable prices, and with sandwiches at around £5 - £6. The burger & chips was good quality.

This seems very much a country pub, although it's still in Greater London - the Borough of Bromley in fact though it seems a million miles from Bromley in character. Their website claims that it dates from 1668. I entered through the public bar on the left, but as I was planning to eat the barmaid let me have a shortcut through the servery to the dining room - maybe she was being helpful, or perhaps it was because the door to the lounge bar at the back of the pub was not in use due to some work being undertaken there. The restaurant is a much smaller room with only a half dozen or so tables and chair, and with an old tapering bar counter, but with no handpumps as there are banks of four (beers repeated on each) sited in both the public bar and lounge. The counter and panelling look old - Victorian possibly, but certainly not 17th Century. Shame it's been painted grey.

The lounge is behind the dining room, and is presumably used for the open mic and jazz nights that I saw advertised, and has clearly been extended from the original pub in more recent years. This room leads to the garden at the back.

For me, the best room in this Grade II listed pub is the public bar. Like all the rooms in this pub, it is low-ceilinged and has black batons on the ceiling - the typical look for a country pub. This room has a dartboard and is furnished mainly with normal tables and chairs, but with a couple of tall tables (one of which is a barrel actually) and tall stools. The main feature in here, and I reckon in the whole pub, is the massive inglenook fireplace which does indeed date from the 17th Century.

When I was in during a weekday lunchtime there was only me and a handful of other customers in, all but one having a meal. The Otter Bitter was in good shape, and the food I had was good quality and reasonably priced. I guess it's probably a very different place on open mic or jazz nights, but I enjoyed my visit. It's very much off the beaten track, but certainly worth dropping into if for some reason you do find yourself in Chelsfield Village.

On 13th May 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Tony Jaglo
Chelsfield, 0.98 miles, 18 min walk (show)
Knockholt, 1.5 miles, 28 min walk (show)
Orpington, 2.19 miles, 42 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Five Bells, Orpington
10th Sep 2020, 15:17
Review submitted by Blue Scrumpy
 
13th May 2017, 11:16
Review submitted by Rex Rattus

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Beer Festivals : Yes - April - last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Car Park : Yes last updated 10 September 2020 by Blue Scrumpy
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 19 May 2017 by Rex Rattus
  • Live Music : Yes last updated 19 May 2017 by Rex Rattus
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 19 May 2017 by Rex Rattus
  • Real Cider : No last updated 10 September 2020 by Blue Scrumpy
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