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Bell Inn, Harborne

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user reviews of the Bell Inn, Harborne

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

Now this is a bloody lovely pub. A bit out of the way but well worth the walk. Traditional feeling pub with wooden beams on the walls and ceiling.

On entering the bar is in the small corridor, with the main room to the right running the length of the pub, and a smaller room to the right behind the bar area.

At the bar there are 4 pumps, though 2 are a bit hidden so escaped my attention at first! On offer was Long Blonde, Exmoor Gold, Sadlers Thin Ice, and Ghost Ship.

I went for the Long Blonde at £3.60 - service was friendly and swift. I perused the menu while I sat quietly with my pint and decided to stay for food. I ordered the calamari starter followed by the lamb shank - and another pint to wash them down of course (think it was Thin Ice).

The food was absolutely lovely, both pints in excellent condition and really tasty and refreshing. Very impressed and I would be more than happy to pay a return visit.

It seemed a bit of a locals pub - but not in an unfriendly or intimidating way, just people enjoying themselves in a nice pub.
RealAleRobUK - 27 Nov 2015 18:46
Very busy last night as there was a 60s band playing. As you walk in, there is a corridor running from front to rear and here is where you will find the tiny serving area. Butty Bach, Bombardier and Jennings Cumberland Ale were the handpulls available, the latter at £2.85 and well-kept but rather bland in taste. There is a large room to the right and a nice snug at the back but we had to sit outside given the number of people there....fortunately it was mild enough!
paul_d102 - 16 Dec 2012 20:28
Lovely place but shame to say dreadful ale.
swa - 19 Sep 2011 16:04
its ok, nice building i guess, but the ale selection is lacking a bit, id say a bit overpriced but it is a lovely location right but the 15th century church etc, with a rural feel, I just feel it is missing that zing to make it from a good pub to an excellent pub, visit yourself and see if you agree with me?
jerome_uk - 16 Jul 2011 02:03
Went here for the first time in years on Tuesday night. As others have said below this is an attractive old pub in what appears an almost rural setting, but is of course enclosed in the salubrious Birmingham suburb of Harborne. Was pleased to see the bowling green was still in situ (although looking a little bit scruffy). This pub should be a real gem with its setting and old world charm, but has always, for me, failed to make the most of itself. THe bar area is tiny and that can make it difficult to get noticed/served, even when there are ample staff on duty. Beer selection (beyond the usual lagers, iced guiness and whatever else appears for mass consumption everywhere these days) was Brew XI, M&B (I think) Mild, Courage Directors, Old Speckled Hen and Black Sheep, the latter was what we had and very nice it was to; however, it would be good to see some more local real ales being sold here (as our Black Sheep was served in Purity pint glasses I'd guess that might often be the case). Also pub was open till midnight so as it was a late start there was no need to hurry the two pints we had. As I'm now back living in the area I'm sure I'll be back again soon.
GuidoMerry - 16 Jun 2011 11:50
I've always had a soft spot for The Bell - it is a country pub in an urban setting. Unfortunately on our visit last night there was only Bateman's Victory Ale on the pumps as they'd just run out of Adnam's Lighthouse, and Victory is hardly a session beer. I'm sure that with a little ingenuity and revised use of space on the bar counter they could slot in one more handpump? More choice would make a pleasant pub even better.
scoobybooze - 25 Mar 2011 14:46
Charming, friendly little pub with pleasent staff and a cosy atmosphere.
Beer could be better though.
HPAppy - 27 Jan 2011 12:08
Was left quite impressed with this place. It's a country style pub with an old fashioned serving hatch in the corridor, with a lounge and another bar off the corridor. Continue through the corridor and you'll reach the outdoor toilets. The lounge is now carpeted. But everything is uneven. Normally I wouldn't notice. But this was my first pub of the day. So my senses were still in good working order. Music was being played. Although there was no visible TV. A games machine was switched off. The pub was filling up quickly on my early Saturday lunchtime visit and the Brew XI has been replaced by Deuchars IPA and Ubu. A pleasant pub in a leafy Birmingham suburb.
blue_scrumpy - 6 Oct 2010 09:09
I have to agree with SGA: by only sporting two handpumped ales The Bell loses points and is in serious danger of becoming just a novelty pub - ie. village-pub-in-a-city-suburb. It's got great character sure enough, a lovely place to repose during warm weather and something of a community feel, but I'm afraid relying on the hopeful attraction of Brew XI just doesn't cut it. That said I was pleased to see Deuchars on offer recently, not all that common in Brum.
ILooklikeme - 31 May 2010 16:31
Still a lovely building but poor beer now Ember Inns have it. only Brew 11 on tonight and flat Stella. Given how the competition in Harborne has got its act together recently the Bell really needs to pull its finger out.
SGA - 31 Dec 2009 21:53
Great little pub, nice ale, nicely laid out and friendly staff. The cobs are also top notch!
mattyboy - 4 Jul 2008 13:50
Quaint village pub, minutes from the dirty high street. Good quality Embers Inn menu, decent beer.

Elderly punters, are funny more than grumpy if you listen in (you can't really help it, the place is small).

Can't wait until the summer to see the bowling green in use.

Oddball - 7 Mar 2008 11:42
You'd never believe this was in the middle of a big city. Comes into its own in the summer with a huge beer garden overlooking the bowling green.
daveinbrum - 28 Dec 2007 12:31
Love this pub! Nice quite leafy area of Harborne, lovely to sit outside by the bowling green. Food is a bit 'standard pub grub', but it is quite cheap!
Ami39 - 30 Oct 2007 14:14
Enjoyed my real ale out in the garden area and it was lovely by the bowling green. So peaceful. No problems with the beer or the pub.
gillhalfpint - 15 May 2007 10:16
Oh dear. I have such fond memories of this pub it was tragic to go back last month for the first time in 10 years or so. Tatty. Smelt of stale food. Back bar full of grumpy couples unhappily toying with huge platters of dull-looking 'pub-fayre'. Garden a concrete jungle. Piped music - outside.

The beer was still good and the staff seemed chirpy
enough, but what a waste of a great pub. Really sad to see this one slip.
begpardon - 5 Sep 2006 21:55
KennyD - LOL. I know what you mean! I'm originally from Bloxwich in the Black Country, but had been living in the rural idyll of Ledbury. After that, the return to any big city/town suburb looked shabby!!
jimbosmith - 24 Oct 2005 23:27
Decent beer in a lovely setting.
TellinStories - 21 Oct 2005 22:08
A decent pub with decent beer
VERY busy so get there early if you want a seat - especially outside on a fine day
Atmosphere is good, clientele & staff are friendly enough too.

Jimbo - I wouldn't describe Harborne as "shabby"...... have you ever been to Moseley? Now THATS shabby!!
kennyd - 20 Jun 2005 10:48
Excellent pub, probably one of the best in Birmingham. It really is like walking into a classic country village pub. Nice warm fires (fake though). Very friendly staff and clientele. The two rooms are pretty small and so you almost can't help getting involved in the conversation! They serve OK beer too.
Muzthing - 7 Mar 2005 13:16
Less than a minutes drive from the High St of a shabby Birmingham suburb, you turn a corner to see what could be a typical Warwickshire village scene, the ivy clad lych gate of St Peter's church and the 300 year old Bell Inn (originally the Parish Warden's house)set back on the left. Once inside, the corridor bar and small snug to the rear are again atmospheric and redolent of a country pub. The lounge, despite its oak beams is rather boring, but the outdoor drinking area. which surrounds a bowling green is perfect on a warm summer evening.
Good beer and an eclectic clientele, ranging from students, working men and business folks, plus people obviously on their way to church, added to the pleasant atmosphere on our (Friday evening) visit.
Jimbo Smith - 8 Jun 2004 17:55

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