Leominster – Bell Inn


The third pub of the evening was the Bell Inn, a Craft Union operated venue which Julian was hoping would be raucous as he has a penchant for those. The Bell has been a hospitality venue since the nineteenth century and there was some excitement when in 1935 the landlord of the pub, John James Ree, was charged with handling stolen goods. The goods in question were 84 lbs of sugar, which seems quite a lot to me, but apparently the landlord used it for cider production. Ree’s representative said that there was no case to answer as he hadn’t realised that it was stolen, but the court thought that there was absolutely a case. In the end they gave him the benefit of the doubt, but they added that it was a close run thing and told him not to do it again.

However, back to today. The service was friendly and immediate, although the team member behind the bar didn’t even try and serve the real ale she poured for Julian as it evident to her that it was just vinegar. It’s sub-optimal that it got to that stage, but at least she noticed when pouring it. One of the pub’s customer was making rather more conversation with me than I felt entirely optimal, so I passed her over to Jonathan and Julian, which I was thought was the best strategy. I don’t think she was as interested in them as she was with me and who can blame her?


I had the HPA from Wye Valley Brewery and I thought it was all in order, although Julian didn’t think that it was in perfect condition. They had run out of cheese & onion crisps, so I manfully managed with salt & vinegar.

The pub could do with something of a refurbishment, not least replacing the sign to the male toilets which someone seems to have stolen. As it’s Craft Union venue, the prices are towards the lower end of the scale and it is quite vibrant. However, the atmosphere was friendly and it seemed relatively busy, so it’s filling a need in the community and I rather liked the place. As for Julian wanting something raucous, I wouldn’t say that there was sufficient activity for him to be entirely delighted, but he seemed to enjoy the visit as well.