The Five Bells at Bassingham looks like a rural pub should perhaps look like, although the foliage is rapidly consuming the venue’s signage. I can’t say I’m overly taken with the pub’s opening times which are caveated with “we may close earlier on very quiet nights or open later if need be”, which don’t exactly make planning entirely easy.
Anyway, gripes about opening times put to one side, the pub felt an inviting place to visit and my hopes were high.
I was a little disappointed with this to be honest, as ideally a venue with four different real ales would have something a slightly more interesting available. No local breweries, no milds or dark beers, all just a little generic. But, at least they have a choice and if that’s what the locals want to drink, perhaps I shouldn’t complain. Although I will.
I went for the Timothy Taylor Landlord, with a food pairing of Mini Cheddars, with the beer being well kept and tasting as expected. The Mini Cheddars were delicious as ever.
The pub did have plenty of character, including the hops above the bar, and a tree. I’m reminded of the rather larger tree in the Raleigh Beer Garden, a venue I’m keen to go back to. But I digress, dreaming of the United States once again.
All very British, there was a pleasant atmosphere to the pub. Well, there wasn’t from a few drunken customers loudly announcing they were from London who were busy upsetting some locals, but these warm days seem to bring out these type of arguments. The staff didn’t seem to notice an awkward altercation between the two groups, which fortunately didn’t develop further so peace of sorts was maintained.
The pub was once owned by Highwayman Inns who in the 1980s specialised in offering steaks and seafood. The pub itself was built in 1815, although it does feel older because of how the interior has been designed.
The service in the pub was friendly and what I think was the manager asked how we were, it all seemed authentic and genuine. There’s quite a wide menu, perhaps priced a little towards the higher end of the scale, and food is what many customers were coming in for during our Saturday early evening visit. It is very well reviewed on-line, so they seem to be doing a marvellous job in serving the community and the environment felt warm and cosy. Definitely worth a little visit for anyone in the area, if time hadn’t been pressing I would have liked to have spent longer in here.