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Bell, Reigate

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user reviews of the Bell, Reigate

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Said to be reopening this week.
randolf7 - 14 Sep 2020 08:40
This very small pub seems to have decided to stay closed - until more favourable distancing protocols are announced.
randolf7 - 25 Jul 2020 20:09
Open again - after minor refurbishment; only took a week.
croydonpeer - 15 Nov 2019 18:20
croydonpeer - 13 Nov 2019 08:54
The landlady is rarely there these days - and consequently, a very mediocre compliment of staff serve somewhat haphazardly.

Service is slow and frequently out of turn. Could do a lot better, with a pleasant beer garden not being utilised to its potential.
croydonpeer - 22 Apr 2019 14:42
Nothing remarkable. Small and narrow and a bit gloomy. I'm not a big fan of Greene King beer generally but it was ok.

terenced - 13 Feb 2018 08:47
A small narrow pub near the centre of Reigate. It has a long thin lounge with the bar to the right. Although a Greene King pub, it had 3 guest ales on the bar. It is reasonably comfortable with a small patio at the rear. Nearby is the outside Gent's toilet. A good no nonsense boozer.
boozers_knows - 22 Mar 2017 11:53
Good little boozer
tradervic - 3 Nov 2016 21:36
The beer just gets better - and just opposite my Epsom bus stop.
brewmason - 11 Oct 2016 18:59
Good beer and food - but small. Reasonable staff and management.
wealdman - 5 Oct 2016 13:27
In there tonight, great ale.

And improving...
croydonpeer - 30 Sep 2016 22:09
Excellent beer, served by people who know about it. Yes a bit of banter, but it takes nothing away from a good pub.

The wide choice of burgers is admirable, and the quality is the best in town. Also, it's the nearest pub to the fine cinema and park.
brewmason - 2 Sep 2016 14:31
Who is this prat. Nothing better to do than slag off people on minimum wage. Perhaps if he did a days work he might appreciate people who work for a living.
fozzy123 - 27 Aug 2016 09:48
Bored staff - albeit with good pub food and ale.

But - don't they (staff) love to chat between themselves!

Very similar to a staff canteen, at times.
croydonpeer - 26 Aug 2016 22:19
This is sad. Its the same moron writing all these reviews. You should get yourself a bird pal.
Mines just left.
fozzy123 - 3 Aug 2016 02:16
Often, when walking into this very small central town pub - you are met with a visually shocked staff member.

A barman/woman who awaits the shift end/start, so there is no greeting.

Joe was good, Ollie has had a personality bypass.

The landlady has lost interest. Food (burgers) are good, as are the beers - but, without a major direction change, the future is bleak...
croydonpeer - 2 Aug 2016 22:30
Whichever moron is slagging off the barstaff you had better stop or you will have me to answer to.
fozzy123 - 25 Jul 2016 12:46
yeah, i work in esure up the road

staff are the problem in this pub, including ex-staff

it's all about the fireman, rugby player, all day bloke, failed actor, thigh slapper, absentee manager etc

we don't go in anymore after one barmaid told us - i need a pee...when she was texting
dolphox - 19 Jul 2016 21:55
A talking shop for bar staff - particularly at shift changes, which can last half an hour.
randolf7 - 19 Jul 2016 18:13
To type that Hendrix is a bonus is extraordinary, as this chap is constantly very nasty to visiting canines - barking loudly and squaring up aggressively. Whilst he is not busy chasing his ball/furry friends all over the place, causing many to make detours!

Staff are friendly and courteous - but they do like to chat between themselves; this is only of concern when customers are left waiting. Burgers are a very good standard and the beer choices, and quality, are first class - the best in Reigate.
tempest - 15 Jul 2016 11:49
to those complaining about bar staff chatting amongst themselves....did it ever occur to you that maybe they don't want to get trapped into a mundane conversation with a friendless, jobless alcoholic? there's always at least one, in every pub, residing in the corner, continually bothering the staff. if you had a mate with you during your visit, you wouldn't even notice the chatty staff.

i've been here a few times over the years, with company and had a great experience every time. hendrix the house dog is a bonus, too!
v.m. - 15 Jul 2016 09:31
Right about the staff, always chatting to themselves. We ALL have to know about their other jobs, futures (!) and plans for the evening etc.

Just needs better management.
wealdman - 5 Jul 2016 23:29
Stall tend to chat amongst themselves, often at the expense of service quality. And often seem bored.

Burgers are good, as is beer quality - and choices. No sport/TV, fair enough.

Acoustic problems exist probably because of size, flooring and furnishings. Can be difficult to hear, when busy.

6 - potential 9.
randolf7 - 4 Jul 2016 15:54
I shan't dispute the previous comments as I seldom bowl-up here nowadays, but The Bell does deserve some credit for at least gaining an entry in the recently-published Good Beer Guide for '16 - the first Reigate pub to succeed in this for some while I think. The range when last visited was broad and not too-GK-based; I sampled a very nice half of Brighton Bier Red Dog for example - a rare showing in these parts. Keep the quality going folks as (besides the Stores perhaps) you are currently the saving grace for cask ales in this town.
Gamboozler - 22 Sep 2015 11:31
Often quite. And an opportunity for the staff to chat amongst themselves - loudly. Texting is popular with staff too.

Beer/food - good. Like the garden. But could do better overall.

wealdman - 28 Aug 2015 18:21
In here the Saturday before last and what a cracking little pub this is.
Quite narrow but inside it goes a fair way back.
Mostly wooden interior with soft seats. It’s early afternoon and about a dozen others are present.
They have 7 hand pulls split 6/1 on each end of the bar.
As you enter you will see the 6 with the other on at the other end of the “L” shaped bar.
The 6 were GK IPA, Golden Hen, Ruddles County, Hogsback TEA, Rocking Robin Blizzard of Oz and Surrey Hills Collusion.
I had a pint of the latter which was very nice and cost £3.60.
The pump on its own had a Abbott clip on it but it was turned round.

bjbrummiejohn - 23 Feb 2015 12:59
This is now my new local.

The selection of ales is blinding and they are well kept and at a good temp. Big Joe (manager?) behind the bar is full of ale knowledge and very welcoming but you can tell when he's not been there as the ales struggle in selection and taste.

Staff are friendly but love their iphones too much.

Toilets are a bit dingy and need a revamp.

Lovely otherwise
pmusty - 18 Sep 2014 16:33
For all the suggested faults below, this is now the best pub in Reigate for those of a cask-beer bent. Certainly much-improved on its earlier performance.

Those burgers aren't bad either; didn't need to eat for a week after I had one.
Gamboozler - 9 May 2014 13:17
Right m8. Staff think its their social club.
croydonpeer - 9 Apr 2014 21:52
The beer is good here.... and so are the burgers, the only thing on the menu. Sadly, the staff are the problem - inefficient, inattentive, talking to themselves, on mobile devices etc.

Its a small pub. Very. Asked for a G&T recently, the barmaid - just in from another job (call center she told us all) - didn't understand.

Staff iPhones and successful personality bypasses are the norm here - as the governor concentrates on her other pub.
tempest - 1 Apr 2014 22:16
Excellent range of beers since refurb with Surrey Hills and Dark Star often featuring. Decent price too at £3.40. No comment about lager as I don't touch it.
addlened - 25 Sep 2013 09:52
I think this a great pub..

I think the refurb was much needed and now I come here often with my missus.

Ales are all kept well and taste how they should unless you get the end of barrel (which can happen anywhere) and they now serve 4/6 ales (GK & Local) at a time making it very attractive to myself. Lager looks like it's lagging a bit with nothing under £4 and only real selection is Becks or San Miguel. Wine list is good apart from missing a dry rosé which my wife likes..

The one newish manager is great... He works hard, talks with customers equally, politely and intelligently. He also has good knowledge of all the beers and wines with passion you'll be pushed to find elsewhere.. The other staff are all Ok but he really sticks out to be a great genuine publican..

It can get noisy and cramped in here at the weekends but this adds to the atmosphere. The other nights are much more relaxed and make it a comfortable place to be. Probably the only pub in Reigate where I've never seen any trouble too.

The food is really nice too... Pretty much only burgers but they cater a wide variety and what comes out looks great.

Overall this is great place to be at the moment... Let's hope it stays
holybiscuit - 20 Aug 2013 01:00
Not impressed with the pint I had last night. Tasted off (like vinegar) Would be good if the menu had a bit more than just burgers too...
JJ69 - 31 May 2013 15:24
Reopened last evening after major refurb - looks very nice. Will serve food, other than lunchtimes; worth a try.
wealdman - 24 May 2013 10:09
The lady manager spends her time at her other pub and the Bell's barstaff (off duty and on) now use the pub as a club, loudly conversing down the coffee machine area. This is a pity and a clear example of taking the eye off the ball - service standards have lowered considerably.
randolf7 - 12 Sep 2012 09:15
Landlady now has another pub locally - standards here have slipped. A pity.
sussexfox - 1 May 2012 22:40
Popped in on Friday, busy and very hospitable.

Keep up the good work.
kevmac - 18 Feb 2012 19:39
Hmmm, recently charged 3.20 for a pint of beer which was only 2.8% in strength. The duty on this beer is minimal so why the price hike. I challenged the Landlady and she agreed to reduce the price. Have not been back to check but with GK IPA at 3.10 it is yet another Reigate pub prentending to be in London and charging London prices. The Beehive sells GK IPA at 2.30 if you like IPA which I don't.
addlened - 14 Jun 2011 12:32
Recently had a tasteful refurbishment - new toilets etc. A friendly/cosy place with good food and beer and, although its a bit small, probably Reigate's best.
randolf7 - 20 May 2011 12:55
Used to frequent this place during the mid-'00s after it shook off its 'minority' pub reputation but prior to the current incumbent's arrival. It was never destined to be an inspirational pub for cask beer lovers, as they tend towards a preference for quality and variety. Whilst the former could be found, the latter couldn't, for this was (and still is) a Greene King house, and that doesn't look set to alter any time soon.

In the 'old days' (if 2005 can count under such a description) it was always favoured more for its lively Friday night atmosphere and deliberately dated and classically corny 'disco', popularised by the straight and upstanding Uncle Alan, who used to bring along his old collection of mixed 45s and spin them in accordance with requests, and a nice little "what was No 1 on this day in history" feature (happily, 'history' to Alan was anything from 1950 to 1990 but virtually nothing thereafter, so a mixed 25-60 clientele could be found enjoying throwing some shapes - some of them decidedly stiff).

This ended around 3 or 4 years back when it changes hands, and initially I felt the new licensees had blandified the pub considerably, and so I didn't return, especially as nights out in Reigate dwindled proportionate to the number of marriages and children my old mates were accruing. However, a visit on Saturday last demonstrated that whilst it remains an inherently unexciting venue in decor, musical and ale terms, its atmopshere had been resurrected somewhat via a very lively mix of older and younger punters, who seem to have made in back to the Bell in the interim. If this is a genuine reflection of how it normally is - and I should say there was a staff member's 22nd birthday party on so it may well not be - then it is likely down to the pub still just about qualifying as a true local, which besides the Nutley Hall is unheard of now in Reigate centre.

Service was jolly enough and efficient, despite the busy throngs. Beer was very limited with only IPA remaining on, although a recent visit made by a friend did suggest a 'guest' ale was available usually - I assume that means one of GK's bastardised acquisitions like Morland or Ruddles, but better than just their own IPA I suppose. The beer we had was kept well enough at any rate.

Not a classic, and it never will be quite the same without Uncle Al laying down some phat choons in the background. Nevertheless, a civilised and pleasant enough little enclave which can serve as a temporary and welcome respite from the more 'contemporary' bars that operate in this vicinity.

TWG - 14 Mar 2011 17:54
Closed on Sundays.
wolfdog - 21 Jun 2010 11:27
Best pub in Reigate not to watch the World Cup; they're not showing it.
sussexfox - 12 Jun 2010 09:09
Best pub in the town by a mile and whenever I'm back in the local area, I will always spend friday evening in here. When I was in the pub a few fridays ago, one poor chap lost his wedding ring. Three quarters of the people in the pub searched in unison for it before it was eventually found. Phew!
willn - 14 Dec 2009 14:00
Best pub in Reigate. Great food, great beer, great atmosphere. The couple who run the place are fantastic and they make everyone welcome.
Nikla27 - 17 Aug 2009 11:58
I've become quite fond of this of late. Hard to find a decent pub in Reigate. The one thing this place has got is atmosphere. It friendly and the bar staff are affable. Obviously it's tiny but it is reasonably comfy. However last time i went in the music was WAY too loud - in a pub this small, where people come to chat, that is quite a hindrance to actually having a conversation. The beer is patchy - i remember a middling Greene King IPA (never a favourite) and also i think a so-so Timothy Taylor's Landlord. They should try some London Pride or Sharp's Doom Bar. My favourite in Reigate though.
properpublover - 15 Jun 2009 21:52
Strange, narrow bar with an odd arrangement of seating and tables. In addition to the dreaded Greene King IPA, there was Bath Ales Gem which looked a bit hazy but tasted OK. Friendly staff, though.
rpadam - 12 May 2009 00:03
A pretty unimpressive pint of IPA and dodgy decor. Given the shape of the pub might have been better to go for the dark intimate look. Visited several times over the years and each time asked myself why I had done so.
gdm - 11 May 2009 13:21
I really enjoy this pub it always has a good atmosphere, staff are great, very busy though on weekend nights so you need to be patient for a seat, decoratively its a little bit out of the norm, more like a living room but in a good way.
nicnocs1 - 6 Mar 2009 16:46
A nice little town-centre pub with a warm welcome from young staff
Disappointing beer selection though of one guest ale (Rockin' Rudolph when we visited on Sat) and the wishy-washy Green King IPA. Used to have Scrumpy Jack on tap but is now Strongbow which is a shame.
goosegog - 4 Jan 2009 09:32
Friendly and warm little place with very good (and quick) lunchtime food.

The young landlady is up for some Surrey business/management award. Quiet right too.
mandraker - 15 Dec 2008 13:29
Popped in here on a friday night not long back. Good friendly crowd and a lively atmosphere!
willn - 24 Oct 2008 13:48
A great pub now, a change in Management 18 months ago has seen this pub get better and better. Friendly and very well run. Great for a quiet drink and a spot of lunch or a lively evening at the weekend.
FussyDrinker - 30 Nov 2007 14:15
Really like it here and the new look hasn't spoilt it. A good genuine welcome at the bar and has an atmosphere for groups or for a quiet drink. A little bit manic at midweek lunchtimes so go in the evening.
cokeinabottle - 28 Oct 2007 15:08
You are right about the fruit machine burn!
scooterroy - 28 Mar 2007 08:37
Finally Reigate has a decent pub to drink in. It's warm, friendly, and all the beer is of an outstanding quality. I am however slightly confused about the comments below suggesting that the television 'overshadows everything', as there isn't a television in here - there hasn't been for months.

I have tried the food, and that too is lovely, with very generous portions. In fact my only complaint about this place is the fruit machine. It's a thieving, addictive, light-flashing, soulless bastard.
burn - 12 Jan 2007 09:44
Been here a few times. It is a very tiny little pub but people in there seem quiet friendly.Not much of a fan of football so when the tv is on, being a small place the tv overshadows everything else so cant have a nice quiet chat to your friends.
candybabe - 3 Jan 2007 21:32
Been in here at lunchtime and if you are starving try the "Bellburger" and chips it is massive. Nice landlady but it might take a bit of something special to get it back to how it was in the mid-late 80's when Steve an Lyn had it. It was rammo then
scooterroy - 22 Oct 2006 13:06
We were delighted to see The Bell has changed hands and is now looked after by some younger folk who seem to care. It's alright, not a huge amount of atmosphere. They're trying but haven't quite got it right yet. It's a good place to visit if you want a few beers with a mate
goosegog - 15 Oct 2006 19:37
Haven't been in since it's changed hands, but despite being far from perfect under the previous regime, it was at least entertaining. The highlight used to be "Uncle Alan's Disco" on Friday nights, which basically meant this old chap digging out his scratchy 45s collection from "the best years" (i.e. '50s to '80s!) and spinning them at request, adding a statto-like comment such as "And that was the 3rd of 5 Top 10 hits for Slade back in 1973..." Utterly kitsch and about as naff as a provincial pub night can be, but still strangely compelling in an ironic sort of way. I shall miss it if the new owners don't find it in their heart to renew Uncle Al's "contract"!
Trouble is this is still Greene King-owned, and the beers, however well-kept, just aren't very interesting to serious ale lovers. Good luck to the new bods.
TWG - 10 Oct 2006 15:42
The person who said that the decor needs updating might be pleased to hear that The Bell recently changed hands and has undergone a major refurb.

Now it is bright, clean and has a friendly new team behind the bar. If you haven't been in for a while then check it out.

I also had a great sandwich at lunch on Monday.
anonymous - 22 Aug 2006 20:29
One of the best things about my visits to this pub was the quiz machine. My friend and I had a good laugh playing it.
edrok666 - 11 Jun 2006 17:25

Eurgh, the pints weren't bad but the atmosphere and decore need updating. A lot like stepping back in time, the place is falling apart
mattyj_1987 - 7 Jan 2006 20:17
Great beer, friendly staff (lookers, too!).

Definately getting better as time goes by.
anonymous - 3 Aug 2005 12:39
The last time I went to this pub, the landlord and his wife were sitting watching reruns of Morecambe and Wise, reading the paper and having a beer. It felt like i'd mistakenly walked into someone's front room. This soon changed with the front room being turned into Wimbledon dog track, I even considered having a tenner on the German Shepherd.

Beer ok, atmosphere like Mars, decor - could do with some wallpaper, Garden - nice view of the Car Park.
RedFive - 5 Jul 2005 15:13
Nice women here (in my opinion). Not much of an atmosphere but the beer is pretty good
Will2 - 8 Apr 2005 20:52
This has the feeling of being a fairly mature pub. There are worse Greene pubs about. Wouldnt make it a regular place to go
aleman - 8 Apr 2005 11:11
Old-fashioned boozer in the heart of Reigate, with decent beer and basic pub food. Apparently "Uncle Alan" has a regular spot on Friday nights spinning his vinyl hits from the 60s 70s and 80s. Alas I've not yet had the pleasure of witnessing this event.
loz - 8 Mar 2005 13:17
I love to go to this pub on Christmas eve as it never has a cover charge. I like the fact that they sell smiths bacon rashers as well!
savage - 15 Jan 2005 11:39
Unfortunately since John has left Ray has gutted The Bell of all its character making wall and ceiling trinkets. When John took over a few years ago it was an ailing and irrelevant pub in Reigate and he turned it round into a nice little ordinary pub with good beer and seating often available except for the busier evenings. Ray seems to have different ideas for The Bell and I'm not sure what they are but I think he's saving up for something however he shouldn't have gutted the place of all its character without having the next step in place. It seems to be much emptier now. Stuart has been driven away by Ray's unique pub management concept. One day I walked past I saw him throwing a ball for his dog in the pub. He clearly had nothing better to do as there wern't any punters!
goosegog - 22 Aug 2004 20:11
well jon has left now, retired, and ray and marie-anne have taken over, they are a very nice couple, they do have some plans for the place, but i don't want to give to much away,i can say it is now open sundays and watch this space for summer bbq's.In the mean time the bell still has its lovely atmosphere, great friendly staff, (stuart is still around) good beers and sunny garden.
jen - 22 Apr 2004 16:41
The Bell is a terrific traditional and narrow pub in Bell St, Reigate and has been there for over 100 years as can be seen from historic photographs around the town. Landlord John and manager Stuart always make you feel welcome. They always serve a good pint. My only criticism is lack of house spirits and decent ciders!
Fergus - 10 Nov 2003 21:17
Good things come in small packages and the bell is no exception. Very friendly staff with large portions of food for small amounts of money
emma - 15 Oct 2003 11:15
Lovely little pub, always friendly. Despite being so small you can usually get a seat. Nice little garden too, though no light outside so it gets a bit dark towards the end of the evening! Beer is good quality but towards the pricier end of the scale. The nice surroundings make up for it. My favourite pub in Reigate.
smuj83 - 19 Sep 2003 16:12
Thinnest Pub in the world, very nice, reasonable priced beer, well stocked bar. Not bad yard out the back. Semi-outdoor gents lavs.
James - 10 Jun 2002 16:54

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