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Bell, Walthamstow

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user reviews of the Bell, Walthamstow

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

We popped in here after the Old Rose and Crown. It is a bit of a hipster pub. I was not impressed with their £8 ploughman's lunch, which probably cost about a quid to produce. I think that minimalist is the word which describes it. Still. a nice selection of beers. We had the Ay-Up and Salopian, which is well kept.
HornchurchJohn - 24 May 2018 16:37
I was back in the Bell last night. Similar to the Olde Rose & Crown, the Bell was not as good as I remembered. Ales were St Austell Tribute, Long Man American Pale Ale, Fuzzy Duck Pheasant Plucker, Three Castles Gatehouse, Pig & Porter Dance First, Salopian Darwin's Origin, Titanic Lifeboat & Kent KGB. When I asked the barmaid what real ciders there were, she asked what a real cider was. Apparently they no longer stock them. My Dance First was ok. But I'm definitely downgrading my score for this place. Going downhill. But still a solid 7/10.
blue_scrumpy - 14 May 2018 19:20
There's some pretty good pubs in Walthamstow these days. This is definitely one of them and it was my favourite pub of the day. It's on the corner of a busy traffic junction. But the customer flow inside was equally busy, with a mixture of diners and drinkers. It's fairly spacious and had an outdoor area. Families are welcome. The ale selection was good - Sharps Doom Bar, Timothy Taylor Landlord, East London Cowcatcher, Black Edge Port Stout, Phoenix Arizona & Saltaire Elderflower Blonde. A couple of other ales had just gone off. I believe one was a Salopian. There were also 2 ciders from Thistly Cross - Whisky Cask & Elderflower. They didn't seem to be to everybody's liking. But I'm always partial to a Thistly Cross Cider. I had one of each and a stout as well. There is a good bottled selection too. CAMRA discounts are offered on ales, but strangely not on ciders. This was apparently because CAMRA is all about real ale. I did protest that they represent real cider too. But it fell on deaf ears! It's not too far to walk from here to the Olde Rose & Crown, which also looked like it was doing a roaring trade as I passed by it on the bus. Now you can do a really decent crawl in E17.
blue_scrumpy - 18 May 2015 19:05
It's been 6 months since I feist set foot in this pub and here it is 6 months later and the place is now my weekly hang-out. I come all the way from Ilford to have a couple of nice pints in a relaxed atmosphere and (sometimes) a cool DJ spinning some rather fine tunes

Love it
BeeBee69 - 7 Mar 2015 23:54
Popped in this afternoon after visiting the excellent Wm Morris Gallery. Son had the MoBro Burger for which £2 is donated to the Movember Prostate Cancer appeal. At £11.90 it was a bit pricey, but delicious nonetheless. He also had an organic ginger beer from Luscombe Drinks of Buckfastleigh which was good too. I had a chorizo and red pepper sandwich with salad for £5.90. The range of beers was excellent, and I decided on a porter from Bridestone "smokey" @ 4.6%. Very good. The Bell itself is an old Victorian pub on the corner of Forest and Chingford Roads, looks great from the outside, and although large, there are enough sofas and chairs to make it feel homely. Plenty of tables and chairs, and wooden panelled walls. They`ve made a nod to Walthamstow`s most famous son, with some Morris-esque wallpaper on one wall and elsewhere a black and white photo of the great man. Toilets were clean. The staff are friendly and attentive and the food is good. The music being played was Nu-Soul and some light Dub, and generally down-tempo beats. Nice.
anarchobeer - 12 Nov 2014 17:41
I haven't been in here for years. Not since it was all crap lager, big screens showing sports, and pool tables.

Decided to give it another try one Saturday evening before heading up to the Ye Olde Rose and Crown and was pleasantly surprised. The place was busy, but not rammed. My wife and I had no problems finding a table and the selection of ales was brilliant. Over the course of the night we tried 6 of the ales on offer and all tasted amazing. Well kept drinks in clean glasses.

The interior of the pub is well laid out and clean (including the loos). The bar-staff were friendly and helpful, and worked hard to keep up with a rush that occurred at about 8ish. The beer garden was both roomy and intimate at the same time.

The atmosphere was further enhanced by a DJ playing downtempo experimental music that was interesting, and yet not too obtrusive. The inclusion of a bouncer meant that you had the additional feeling of safety from anyone that may want to spoil peoples Saturday night.

Plenty of bus stops nearby means it should be hassle free for most people to get to and from.
BeeBee69 - 31 Aug 2014 09:04
The previous poster has pretty much encapsulated all that needs to be said - the ale is good and it is a very family orienatated eatery on the whole although i did notice that the kids were pretty wellbehaved and not squawking and running about. It is pretty much a dining establishment though and not a pub.
anonymous - 27 Apr 2014 21:27
Only visited this place once when I lived in Walthamstow a few years back, and was enough never to entice me back.
So, was pleasantly surprised when I visited last Saturday.
It's pretty gastro, and at 2pm was filled with families with young children, the aforementioned hipsters from the previous review and dogs and their owners, who have obviously come from nearby Lloyd Park.
Still, you can't fault what they are doing if people are fighting for tables at that time of day.
Decent range of ales on, and the one I had from the Box Steam Brewery (following tasters) was spot on. It was £3.60 a pint and I was also offered the choice of a handled or straight glass.
Food was good too. At the top end of what I would pay for pub grub, but the pie was excellent, ditto my wife's burger, and obviously home-made.
Toilets were clean, tables cleared regularly and staff friendly.
Can't argue with all of the above, and can understand why it gets so busy.
duchyjim - 21 Jan 2014 14:53
decent pub bordering on being a bit poncey, eight beers when i went, seven dark including two porters and one blond, wtf? pint was £3.60, food is superior albeit pricey, £9.90 for (a very nice) sausages and mash.

My main objection on the night was a clientele that was 99% Walthamstow hipsters, you could count any other type of person on one hand but I suppose that's not the pub's fault.

I had a very good beef Sunday dinner a while back
MickyTheHippo - 24 Oct 2013 15:25
Love the new Bell! They have done a fantastic job with this. The ale selection is great - I had one of the best beers I have ever had here on Saturday! Keep it up.
jules1974 - 19 Aug 2013 19:01
Used to be bit of a dump , vastly improved and clean. Quiz night on Tuesdays a must but gen up on 80's music and films quiz master stuck in time warp , good prizes normally about £80 for winner with a roll over jackpot usually busy very few free tables. Ate there for the first time the other night very impressed with food quality and good portions.
flatout - 29 Mar 2013 16:37
Popped in for a swift one Saturday lunchtime. First time I have been in for 15 years - blimey what an improvement. Friendly staff, very decent beer will definitely go back for a more extended visit.
wumpus - 10 Mar 2013 08:25
blimey, what a lovely pub, i never got the chance to step in when it was dodgy,
having just read the old reviews i'm glad that i didn't.
my new local for sure.
guzler - 1 Mar 2013 12:49
I have been to the refurbished Bell four or five times in the last couple of months and it is now one of the best pubs in Walthamstow (though a lot of the competition isn't great, to be honest). It is nice looking, large but cosy and has been quite busy the times I have been.

The staff are very friendly and there is a decent selection of beers on but could do with a few more wines by the glass - the nicest ones are bottles only. The kitchen is not yet open (apparently they are waiting for their gas supplier to do something), will expect the pub to be a Sunday lunch destination once they get it sorted.

There is a very popular pub quiz on Tuesday nights (28 teams entered this week) which for our team was just the right level - difficult enough to be challenging without being totally impossible.

In summary a really nice pub with great atmosphere and friendly staff.
Damasia - 22 Feb 2013 20:30
great work by the new owners and a good crowd of locals seem to be keeping it nicely busy... I had feared the punters would disappear after the opening fuss but it seems to be going from strength to strength.

8 ales on whenever I'm in at the weekend. all interesting and well looked after.

once this place gets a kitchen it might be standing room only. can the site delete the old ratings this is no longer a 4/10 pub
mralistair - 21 Dec 2012 18:06
Wonderful start by the new licensees - a sensitive and stylish refurbishment has turned The Bell into a comfortable and welcoming pub.
A good selection of beers on offer, too.
The new licensees promise more in the future, including a food menu when the kitchen's been upgraded.
It was standing room only on opening night, with a friendly crowd who all looked delighted to have this venue opening locally. National PubCos should take note: this is what happens if you invest cash and thought into pubs in E17 (and I'm sure in other neglected parts of Zones 2-3).
davidb - 9 Nov 2012 15:15
Re the opening hours, NB it doesn't open till 4 00 most days. Makes sense given the location, but bear in mind if planning a visit.
E17Bee - 4 Nov 2012 15:41
Now reopened under new management and what a transformation! Deliciously kept beer, lovely stripped down decor, this is a great example of the "modern urban London pub" style which is increasingly appearing in Zones 2 and 3, and the first pub of this kind in the E17 area.

It is early days, but the first indications are excellent. Friendly staff, wide range of ales o, good music and also great opening hours (until 1am Fri and Sat).

If I were to suggest improvements it would be to include more small local brewers (e.g. Brodies, Redemption) and less of the big national brewers (Doom Bar, Timothy Taylor) - it would also be great to see some more interesting draft lagers (e.g. Camden Town or Brewdog), but what a fantastic start. Cheers!
walthamlab - 4 Nov 2012 14:35
Well revamped in stripped-down trendy-bar style (not unlike Red Lion in Leytonstone) - bare boards, quirky wall decoration, mixture of squishy sofas and distressed wooden furniture etc. Eight handpumps, of which about five seem to be in use at any one time. Very busy on reopening night - predominantly young Stokey/Hackney type crowd plus a few curious locals who'd wandered down from the Rose to check it out. Excellent beer range and quality (esp the Titantic Choc n Vanilla Stout - yum!); upper end pricewise (around 3 50 a pint) and they need to watch the measure (they were very busy so I'll let 'em off this time). Friendly and efficient bar staff (and plenty of them), overall good vibe and nice atmosphere. The following night there was a healthy-size crowd in early on, ranging from groups to one or two parents with (well behaved) babies/kids. Be interesting to see how trade holds up and develops once the initial excitement has died down, and the acid-test will come on a wet Monday night in a couple of weeks' time, but a very promising start and a welcome addition yto the Walthamstow pub/bar scene. Good luck to all involved!
E17Bee - 4 Nov 2012 13:10
The Bell is due to open on Thursday 1st November.
absdabs - 30 Oct 2012 15:11
Re-opening was due for this week but the new owner has said on his Twitter feed and Facebook page that things have slipped. No new opening date yet, but fingers crossed.
He seems to be doing all the right things and ran an excellent managed house in Stoke Newington before going it alone with this place.
davidb - 17 Oct 2012 13:10
Not a review as such. The pub is under new ownership and is currently undergoing a refurb. Opening time should be around early October 2012 so look out for some new reviews around then.
tonyhrx - 11 Sep 2012 21:47
We went there for the second time in four months on December 17, 2011. We had returned in order to see a four piece band of mainly older guys who are really very good but were disappointed to see how small the turnout was (on a Saturday night). They were called something like Outcast (no, not them!), fronted by black guy with a good voice and stage presence, along with him was an older white lead guitarist who sometimes wears a Disraeli Gears t shirt, a black bass player (apparently has a mellifluous voice but is too shy to show it off) and a young drummer at the back. I do hope they return soon. The pub manager as of Dec 17 was saying he was getting a website promoting bands up and running etc etc. If anyone knows anything about what's been happening music wise at the pub since and who this band are I'd be pleased to hear
dubainikolai - 18 Feb 2012 18:08
The pub is a beautiful building with great character, and would be a great venue for music and the like, shame about who is left to run it. It has had several managers in as many months, and the most recent is taking it back to it's dark days which gained the venue its bad reputation. He has been conning entertainers into doing gigs there, getting them to do his dirty work (making up his posters, doing all the advertisement where he does none etc) and then refusing to pay them at the end of the night. A pub to avoid until the brewery get the message and put someone respectable and honest in place. It will continue falling into ruin until it is turned into flats and lost forever unless it cleans up it's act. Warning to all Dj's and musicians, either don't work there or make sure you get paid upfront first, he WILL try to get out of paying
nic811241 - 19 Nov 2011 15:03
I visited this place for the first time last week and thought it was quite decent. I only went there because a couple of bands who are friends of mine were playing over the weekend. The venue has a new manager and the pub certainly didn't seem like the same place mentioned in many of the earlier reviews here. Nice looking girls behind the bar and I always got served quickly, although to be fair it wasn't busy. Real ale for under 3 a pint was a bonus - particularly for somewhere with live music. The new manager has plans to turn the pub into a more serious live music venue - particularly with the forthcoming closure of the legendary Royal Standard later this year. There was a wide mixture of clientelle on the couple of nights I visited, but I didn't notice anyone particularly dodgy so hopefully this place is putting it's dubious past behind it. The gents toilet was a bit small and cramped for a pub of this size, but apart from that no complaints and will be happy to go there again.
DarkLordOfBarnet - 1 Oct 2011 14:46
Let's not give up on the place just yet! New manager has introduced St Austell Tribute - well kept and reasonably priced - plans guest ciders during the summer, and has started putting on gigs. Its best hope for the future would be to become a full-on music pub - the Plough has closed and the Standard is set to follow suit in December, so there's a definite gap in the market there and the building is ideally suited to it.
E17Bee - 17 Jul 2011 17:03
I just wish a housing developer would put the beautiful building out of if misery and refurb it into some flats!
godson - 29 Jun 2011 21:36
Reopened again, reportedly under a temporary manager while Enterprise Inns look for a new tenant.
E17Bee - 18 Apr 2011 11:43
Currently closed yet again. Nobody seems able to make a success of this place.
E17Bee - 30 Mar 2011 17:26
The bell has a new management since 2008 all the reviews about pub are in correct. I was there last night (wednesday) the place was packed, so if it was sh1t, according to most of u guys, then explain what were 70-80 persons doing in the pub.
There 16 restaurant seetings as well!!!
I rate this pub quite high.
Guys go and visit it before u post another review.

bizbee - 3 Feb 2011 15:06
"Closed until further notice", for the second time in 4 months, after its last brave attempt to reinvent itself (as a pub-cum-curry house) ended in failure.
E17Bee - 25 Oct 2010 21:00
A dismal hole of a place full to the brim with violent, coke addled scummers.
WalthamstowBlade - 7 Jul 2010 16:54
After my last visit back in December, I thought I had given it enough time to improve (it could not get any worst) so i went for another visit during my lunch break, after all the world cup is actually on!!! went past but all the doors seemed closed and lights were off, I looked through the window, well the only windows that did not have the curtains drawn and could not see any movement inside. Has this pub closed down???....well maybe not because on the off chance I pushed one of the doors and to my surprise it was actually open!!! The owner really needs to get a grip!!! OPEN YOUR DOORS so that the public know your open and what is that with drawn curtains during the day???? Its nearly summer??? Are the staff allergic to sun light??? I remember this pub during the last World cup and it was packed!!!

My feelings are that although it is classified as a public House they don't really want the public in therefore how do they make their money??? It must be coming from somewhere??? Obviously not from the Pub side of things!!!

Its a real shame and a real lost to Walthamstow, its times like this that History is ignored by a company/owner that clearly does not have any experience or common sense on how a Pub should operate. I really don't want to see this place turn into a housing estate but the way things are heading I think its time is nearly up!!!

pubfighter - 16 Jun 2010 08:31
went to The Bell this thursday night for the live band and had a fantasic night. had no problems with the staff and the landlord was great fun. the band its self were amasing!!! i recomend if you like live music and a good time then get yourself down there this thursday for a repeat performance. keep it up boys! prices very good aswell!
whufanyeah - 12 Dec 2009 14:15
Very disapointed in this place!! had alot of investment pumped into it over the past couple of years. The Resteraunt looked fantastic, a real delight but the pub itself still looks like a Sh** hole.

But I must say you can't do everything all at once, hopefully the owner will now concentrate on the pub itself and give it a well deserved face lift.

What ever happened to friendly good looking staff???? They seem to be opting for the Uglest bar staff that are so un friendly and can't be bothered to actually serve or do any work!! Sorry but they actually looked like they should be living under a bridge and charging Billy Goats to cross!!!
pubfighter - 5 Dec 2009 20:44
This used to be half decent when I first moved to E17 (admitedly 20 years ago) Nowadays it's just plain nasty.
ericthered - 30 Sep 2008 13:53
seems like everyone is more bitter than the ale... every pub you will have a bad comment about without fail, the staff are friendly, courteous, and welcoming, and the DJ know's what songs to play. It seems like everyone old, pathetic, and miserable like's to exaggerate on the truth so carry on..... The Bell can do it without you, it has done and it will carry on to! Carry on sucking lemons....
smirny78 - 27 Jul 2008 21:06
The men's toilets are used more frequently by people doing drug deals than by people wishing to urinate. It is currently being 'done up' so there is some hope. It really couldn't be any worse.
pjge - 2 Jun 2008 13:23
Shock horror - they've got the builders in and half the pub is shut for gutting and refurb. Maybe this signals a long-overdue improvement.
E17Bee - 22 May 2008 21:44
This is an excellent pub for keeping local scumbags out of better 'Stow establishments - keep it up Bell enders.
Magpie - 17 Apr 2008 17:32
I am new to the area and have been trying to find a pub which I can call 'My Local'. I visited this pub over the weekend, I was totally disgusted by the way it looked and smelt, ie the mens toilets were out of use due to a urine flood that had seeped into the main pub. At this point I had wished that the smoking ban had not been in force as the tabaco smell would have dampend the horrid smell.

The management seemed to be a teenaged girl that took great pride in showing the public and her staff that she was in charge, unfortunatly she took credit in running Londons worse drinking establishment that I have ever seen.

The night I was in it was pretty empty, being a weekend, but it seem that the customers that were there were on their way to somewhere better.

The entertainment was in the form of a house DJ who seemed to be drinking more than the customers, Give me a laptop speakers and free drinks all night and I am sure I could do better, as thats what he had!!

No food offering avalible thank god!!! as I am sure it would be a major Health & safty risk.

The pint of carlsberg was ok but i had to drink it in the cold beer garden to avoid the smell!!

(1) get real management, NOT Children playing adults
(2) solve the toilets out
(3) use a real DJ

pubfighter - 26 Feb 2008 22:53
The bell opens late, music is very loud though !
Mollymoon - 8 Oct 2007 21:36
You hand your money in
A crap pint back
You have a little whinge and
Say 'that's cack'
You snort some okey cokey
And you dance around

And that's why this place is sh1t.

rampantwurzel - 7 Sep 2007 17:03

Could the annonymous person own up to there comments as my name has been dragged into this!

Thank You!
Ash1979 - 15 Aug 2007 13:10
Dear Ashleighne (is that how you spell your name ?). You seem to be the only one singng your own praise.....I would suggest you stop slagging off Yvonne and get on with your job. Trying to be clever with your 'anonymous' comments is not really doing anyone any favours. If you really think you would be a good manager then have a word with your boss rather than slagging off your former employer on a website.
Madeleine79 - 12 Aug 2007 03:06
Dirty, filthy, disgusting. Awful. Like Trainspotting with no street cred. Ugly people snorting things to get away from their awful lives. I remember going to this place when it had a bit of jazz on a Sunday afternoon. What happened ?
anonymous - 4 Aug 2007 13:52
This use to be a regular of mine but since it changed hands and the last landlord left, it has become a place I avoid during the weekends!! Always fights and punters who look far too young to drink!! I know that the last landlord sunny was very strict on such things and he ran a thight ship!! Unfortunatly the present owners are not following his seems to have become more about earning a quick buck and lost that personal touch. The beer also has gone down hill and the Ale is hardly ever on or cloudy when it is.

This pub needs a strong hand again, without it it will just turn into a playground for kids and dealers.
anonymous - 16 Jul 2007 20:35
Beer prices are extortionate. 2.90 for a pint of stella? Holes in the seats? For a back street pub in Walthamstow it ain't all that. Best you go somewhere else.
white_van_man - 4 Mar 2007 11:11
Quite a landmark because of its prominence - the junction is actually named after it - but a right old shabby affair.
Greshon - 16 Feb 2007 09:26
Went in last night - first time for a while. Solitary barperson (blonde stunner with limited English) looked blank when I asked for a pint of London Pride, said it wasn't on, then poured it anyway. It was undrinkable. Not sure if pub has changed management since my last visit, but whoever's running it needs to get a grip fast. Pity because it was an OK local before.
E17Bee - 18 Jul 2006 11:57
This pub is frequented by some very dubious characters with some pernicious sidelines. Not one for children.
anonymous - 16 Jun 2006 13:58
Not bad. Beer decent. Good summer pub.
patrickjsm - 29 Dec 2005 18:42
Fair selection of beers, but not great. Very grubby seats and a bit depressing and down at heel in general. Could do with a bit of a refurbish, not to change it into a horrible theme pub but just to clean it up and make it a nicer place where you would want to stay for a few drinks or even a evening. Had one beer and left.
smith32 - 23 Jan 2005 01:17
Friendly atmosphere with a twist of multi culurism. An FHM high street honey winner behind the bar and a land lady who insists on being called baby doll. Definitely an experience! I am new to the area and felt very comfotable there
Madeleine Prior - 20 Jun 2004 20:49
A fair enough pub with a touch of history behind it.
missiley belch - - 19 Nov 2003 23:34

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