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Bell Inn, Outwood

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user reviews of the Bell Inn, Outwood

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

fantastic pub .
nice garden . good drinks food okay .
pub100pub - 9 Feb 2014 11:24
Last time I visited this place I wrote a raving review. Not this time however. I was flying out of Gatwick and staying close by I thought I would revisit. A big mistake. Got to the pub and was informed that they had a curry night. Not so bad as I quite like that food. But was told that it was after last orders for food and they would have to ask their manageress if this was okay. It was but it took nearly twenty minutes to find them. She didn't seem at all interested that we were there, we were more of a hindrance. The curry was on a buffet style set up and looked less than appetising. The chef was stood at the bar and was noted to go outside to smoke. Disgusting. The price was okay for what you could eat but I felt we were rushed and I can really say that I won't be coming back to what it a very nice pub. The staff seemed to be in a mood and there was a lot of swearing from the people at the bar. A very unpleasant experience to the start of my holiday.
LondonSTN - 27 Oct 2012 01:43
Went to this pub last night for a family meal - FANTASTIC - what more can I say, great food, great staff, superb beer. Definitely worth a return visit or two...
delves - 10 Oct 2012 20:02
Once upon a time this was a great Free House and still has the potential to be but, almost invariably, with managed houses they drift down with standardised food and ales. I visited having eschewed my usual pub when in the area for a little change. Can't comment on the beer as I waited, patiently, until I realised that the single barmaid, who was, whilst largely ignoring her customers, chatting to a grubby "chef" as she pulled beer and was unlikely to notice me gasping for one: I left. The wait had drawn one thing to my attention and that was that the pub smelt dirty. At 6.30 on a Friday evening one would expect there to be more staff and the one on duty to exhibit something other than tepid torpor.
Insearchofthebestpint - 18 Jun 2012 10:08
Used to go here once a month for meeting as it is vaguely in the middle of where all my team live

A nice quite pub with plenty of parking at the back and generally cheery staff. You may be a bit put off if you dont like dogs as there is a massive brown one called Fudge that barks at you as you walk in but is as daft as a brush in reality.

The lasagne is AMAZING and is the one thing i will truly miss as we have now changed venues (not due to anything this place did wrong - just location nearer motorway)

Only thing that i didnt like is the little country lane you drive down to get here - nearly run off road a few times by idiot lorry drivers tearing down it so if you dont have sat nav to help you predict the road make sure you take it slow!
Mel2012 - 25 Jan 2012 14:13
The first pub visited in Outwood turned out to be easily the best of the three in the village. Really old (17thc) oak-beamed pub with plenty of space inside. Separate dining area at the back but we could take lunch anywhere in the main bar areas. The pub had been an independent until six years ago when it was taken over by Fullers, however it has managed to retain its individuality, and that includes the menu which has a very varied choice and not the usual standard Fullers' fare. We ordered the steak & kidney pudding with seasonal veg. This was soon served, nice and hot, and was an old fashioned suet pudding. It tasted very good but I personally wasn't keen on the winter vegetables of swede, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. I would have preferred peas, runner beans, sprouts or cabbage, but the new potatoes were excellent.
Beers were good but here we were limited to Fullers products, namely; Jack Frost, ESB, and London Pride.
We found the two young bar staff friendly, helpful and giving a very good customer service. The Bell is well worth a visit.

redbarrel - 20 Jan 2012 23:58
any so called review that is a one off posting starting with wow has to be a load of old bollocks,read the review below and make your own mind up.
laughingduck - 29 Aug 2011 07:48
WOW, Myself and some friends popped into this pub today as we were passing and I can say I was 100% impressed. We were a party of 8 and were accommodated immediately by the barman who humorously said we should have booked. I liked this gut straight away. Was happy that they has esb on tap and they had london pride and chiswick as well. Once he had finished our round he then proceeded to promote a beer called brewer reserve 3. I said I would have one when we left. We then took our seats and were explained what specials there were as well as wine offers. The meal was extraordinary and the price reflected this. After paying I then bought some of the reserve and the barman once again proved his worth when he said he still had some of the previous lot. I left with some of number 2 and a load of number 3. A brilliant experience which you don't get much these days. The pub was fantastic with staff taking there time out even though they were busy.
Will definately be back.
LondonSTN - 29 Aug 2011 02:02
Wife's firm had a special party and barbecue here once. We had a really great time.
tommo5 - 8 Aug 2011 22:10
Had lunch here last week and found it to be much more welcoming than others had led me to expect. The food was good and well presented, plenty of choice on the menu including smaller portions which is great if you don't have a large appetite. The bar staff were very nice and extremely helpful. I didn't think it was over priced in comparison with other pubs in the area, all of which I have lunched at with friends. I would go again for sure. Plenty of car parking bays to the rear of a very attractive pub with nice area outside half of which was covered which helps if you fancy sitting outside and not sure what our weather is going to do.
sackvillemum - 6 Aug 2011 16:08
popped in for lunch on a thursday- barmaid tells me I can't order food (yet) as they have a party in..she can serve me beer tho'- then is told she can in fact take my food order. Not a good start. Order the tuna steak with mash & veg, asked how I want it cooked- medium rare. It turnes up cooked to death- I point this out and with no apology am then in exchange given a piece of almost raw tuna- the manageress asks if it is Ok and offers to put it under the grill a bit longer- it comes back almost as bad as the first attempt. Tasteless mash and simply boiled carrots, courgettes and leeks complete the experience for 13 quid! seasoning consists of slice of lemon.
lancelotspratt - 17 Mar 2011 15:13
Visited this pub, weekend just gone. Been here a couple of times but after reading reviews on here i wanted to give my opinion.

Myself and my wife visited for Sunday lunch around 12.45, for those who don't know the pub has an old charm about it, exactly as you would expect from a traditional country pub. We were greated by smiling staff who were all to happy to seat us down and take our drink orders even if the pub was busy by now.

A full menu was offered aswell as sunday roast options, plenty to choose from and suitable for all price ranges. The Beef was perfectly done, i asked for medium beef but my wife prefered well done, the chef was happy to cater for this which we appreciated. Hot food on a hot plate and plenty of trimmings.

The beers made the meal perfect and we had a great Sunday out, all in all we were very happy and will be coming back. For those who feel the price is steep, i would just like to say that for the quality and service we recieved we are more than happy to pay what we feel is the going rate
Ronson85 - 14 Mar 2011 14:25
not great i have to say, never again!
jon26 - 18 Nov 2010 16:38
I reported my findings to Fullers Pubs and eventually received a letter of explanation and apology from the Manager of The Bell, Sian.
Her explanation was as follows.
"I welcome your comments regarding our prices when you visited The Bell the other day for coffee. We have a large and diverse menu offer for lunchtimes ranging from bar nibbles at £3, fresh baguettes at £5.95, hot filled Jacket Potatoes from £5.95, pub classics around £9 and a chefs creations and a specials board around £13.95. We review our prices on a regular basis and I am sure you can appreciate that prices do fluctuate with certain ingredients and seasonal produce. Further to your comments, we have since reviewed the pricing of our lunchtime offer again.

On another note, the day in question that you visited we had had an operational error and the chalk boards had been re-written with the wrong price for the Jacket potatoes, whilst our tills were charging our usual price of £5.95 for a Jacket Potato. The staff member who had written the board had copied the price of our ploughman's lunch by mistake, a genuine error for which I apologise."

HHGTTG - 12 Oct 2010 17:06
Well, where do I start? We had been to the Red Lion in Bletchingley for lunch, for the first time (excellent) and then decided to cover some old ground by driving south and passing the Dog and Duck (now closed of course) and then turning left into Miller's Lane and passing The Castle that was covered in scaffolding but presumably functioning as a pub. We ended up at our old stomping ground - The Bell. We had not been there for about 2 years but decided to go in for a cup of coffee.
This was about 1-45pm, or thereabouts and the place was not overly crowded, for a Friday, compared to where we had just lunched.
We sat drinking our coffee and scanned the various chalk boards and were flabbergasted to see the price of their jacket potatoes, the dearest being a prawn jacket for £7.95!! How can any establishment justify charging this for this ubiquitous filled potato? Absolutely ludicrous and off-putting.

I'd like to put this pub back into our regular visits but could not do so at these prices. I do recognise that on Tuesdays they have some good lunch offers but that day is out for us.

HHGTTG - 11 Sep 2010 09:13
Visited The Bell on Sunday for lunch. There was nine in our party and we were very well accommodated. The service at the bar was prompt and the Fuller's was in tip top condition. The menu is pleasantly varied, combining the more traditional elements of pub restaurant food with slightly more exotic options. The staff were both efficient and helpful. It's not a cheap afternoon out but then again I expect to pay for quality of goods and service and felt I received excellent value for my money. I would not hesitate to visit The Bell again. Thanks for a great afternoon.
Tiv - 16 Aug 2010 15:41
A nice looking pub in a lovely location. Visited late on a Sunday afternoon and the place was still very busy. It seems to concentrate on food as a lot of pubs do these days, but one look at the pretentious overpriced menu put me off. £18 for a steak? The bar is really small in a corner of the room with a total length of about 12 feet, with only one barmaid serving and about 50 plus customers you can imagine how long the wait for a beer was. The Fullers beer, when it arrived however, was really in top condition, couldn't fault it.
arfajob - 12 Aug 2010 11:17
I used to love this pub. So much so that I went there the evening before my wedding in January 2009 with our immediate family. I was very disappointed to see how this pub has gone downhill at our last visit in February 2010. The food is very expensive and of terrible quality – it is very much style over substance. For example, my French onion soup looked delicious in its cute little pot but in reality tasted bland and watery. More alarming, my husband got campolarbacter after eating here and was extremely ill for over 1 week. We realised that this was the only place he could have caught it as this was the only time we had eaten out (and he had eaten meat, I am a veggie and cook veggie at home) in the incubation period. The starter which my husband ordered was chicken livers and when he got them they were cold and bloody inside – it was either this or the staff having poor hygiene which made him ill. Our doctors surgery were forced to report this to Banstead council after tests confirming my husband’s illness so maybe the standards will have improved since then....? However, I would not take the chance and would avoid at all costs. Such as shame.
lulu79 - 15 Jun 2010 15:40
A lovely looking country pub but very dissapointing and overpriced food. I have just spent far too much on a very average meal. The fish basket was nothing more than glorified fish and chips, breaded prawns, breaded haddock, breaded etc It probaby came straight out of the freezer. Not my idea of a quality fresh fish meal. The rump steak is overpriced and there is no mention of sirloin.
This pub has gone downhill since meals I have enjoyed here in years gone by.
sjcsjcsjc - 17 May 2010 16:18
I wish that someone else would take over this pub. We've not been there much since Fullers (was it?) revamped the place.
In some ways it was better for that although the pub food on offer is unremittingly dull and over-priced in my opinion. amd wasn't always very well put togehter. Any atmosphere it once had, has disappeared.
I don't know whether Sian and her husband are still running this place?
HHGTTG - 13 Apr 2010 15:32
Pretentious prices and slow service for unremarkable food.
Familyview - 2 Aug 2009 21:56
Why charge nearly £3 for a pint of fresh orange juice and lemomade ( out of a gas tap ) ?
martins2 - 30 Jun 2009 08:29
Fullers pub, only Pride and ESB plus they had bottles of Vintage. Looked to be set up as a restaurant. Decent beer garden.

A pretty pub for a Sunday afternoon but nothing special for the beer.
GuideDogSaint - 21 Jun 2009 20:12
A well presented pub but the overpriced food and ale leave a sour taste.
The beer wasgood but I food just OK and certainly overpriced. Wouldn't go out of my way to go back but would pop in again if passing.
Old_Caterhamian - 14 Jan 2009 16:30
A very well kept range of beers and a lovely pub but, like mhartes, I do not like dogs anywhere near eating areas and consequently would never consider dining here. However, each to his or her own !!!!
peterwarlock - 5 Oct 2008 08:24
This is a lovely pub, I have been using it for many years. Food is expensive but generally rather good, great location, Dogs are really welocme which is great and becoming rare these days, there is a seperate resturant area if needed.
nicnocs1 - 23 Jul 2008 09:34
"Still nice enough" just about sums it up but that's about all.
Prawn sandwiches now cost £6.25p, which is ridiculous for sandwiches now offered with a door-step type image with not too much filling either!
Granted, the place is nice and clean and others will vouch for the quality of the beer, no doubt.

HHGTTG - 17 Jun 2008 15:06
Still a nice enough place to visit but it's former excellent reputation for eating seems to be on the slide whilst it's prices have stayed on the high side. I'd still pop in for a few beers and something to eat if I was in the area but the castle would be my preference. I don't want to sound negative as it is still a very nice place and way above the usual standard for the area, well worth a visit.
BrianBlessed - 21 Jan 2008 01:23
Nice enough Fullers country pub, nice beer, pleasant atmosphere and location. I had sunday roast which was pretty good. staff friendly and helpful. Food a bit on the expensive side but thats the way things are going nowadays. My only complaint is I dont like loads of dogs around in the eating area, makes me want to heave. I am a refugee from the Skimmington Castle (Reigate Heath) and The Dolphin (Betchworth) which have both gone downhill over the past year. So you see I have to travel further and further to a decent pub! Well done The Bell, keep up the high standard !
mhartes - 24 Dec 2007 11:33
Was at the Bell on Monday night - 3rd September. When I walked in I was surprised at how busy it was. A member of staff explained it was their curry night, an event they hold on the first Monday of every month. Was happy to wait for a table and me and my companion thouroughly enjoyed our curries. Will definately be back on the 1st October for the next one. Well done Bell.
Biker37 - 5 Sep 2007 23:22
Went to the Bell, yesterday after many months absence due to having gone off this place for various reasons. Today the place has not appeared to have changed much other than the prices of the pub grub on the table menus and on the Fish and pub 'specialities' seem extortionate in contrast to what I usually pay elsewhere. Additionally, there is nothing special about the food as it does not seem to have been prepared with love, so to speak.
My jacket potatoe was warm rather than piping hot and the whole presentation was very average considering the price paid - did want a prawn jacket but objected to paying nearly £7 for the privilege.
The coffee too, at £1.75 is nothing special and is only served up with a jug of milk and not cream - mind you a mint cream is included.
No, this place is now far too expensive for what you get and either Sian or Jason should take this to heart if they ever get to reading these comments.
HHGTTG - 1 Jun 2007 19:25
Well out of the three pubs in Outwood the Bell is the only one I would visit for various reasons. It's staff are well trained and always know what they are talking about. Sian the manageress has been there for nearly 15 years now with her husband Jason the head chef. I'm sure that tells you something. The guy behind the bar definately knows his stuff about beers and will offer you a taste if you ask. The staff are exceptionally friendly and always willing to help. As for people being upset by its refurb, well I say this is the best the Bell has ever looked. Also take a look at the awards it has received in the past couple of years. Don't see any in the other two. I love this pub. It is genuine and has the best ambience of any that I have been to in a long time. Well done Bell. Keep it up. The other two have nothing on you.
anonymous - 26 May 2007 02:04
Oh dear, what have they done to this beautiful old pub. They cant resist fiddling around with the design, ripping the guts out of it and messing it up. This pub used to have a fantastic public bar with flag stones. Put it back as it was..I say !!
mhartes - 27 Mar 2007 10:27
Used to visit The Bell a lot and found it a lovely comfy and homely pub but since that takeover it, to my mind, seems to have lost something.

The food, too, is rather a disappointment in that the bar food is very expensive and lacks the finesse that I know see elsewhere. However, it is always served by friendly staff, nevertheless.

I'm not a beer drinker and so cannot judge the pub accordingly although I believe that it has won awards for the quality of its real ales.
HHGTTG - 6 Feb 2007 16:07
I visited this pub for Sunday lunch in a fairly large group. Our waitress was absolutely brilliant, however I thought the food was expensive for what we had, especially as the chef served DEEP FRIED potatoes with the roast - rather like chips but the vague shape of a roast potato - instead of proper roast potatoes, yuk!

My lamb shank was served in an incredibly sweet sauce (I was wondering whether I had jumped to the pudding for a minute). Summary food transport cafe standard, central London prices. The beer was fine, however (like to end on a positive note)!
cookian - 15 Dec 2006 19:40
I first visited this pub in the early '80s as a boy - in the good old days when they wouldn't let kids run around pubs causing havoc. It became a semi-frequent fixture on my drinking circuit when I cam of age, and despite the changes of hands, and of owners, I am pleased to say the Bell remains a worthwhile experience. Albeit that the ales are now from the Fuller range, they are always well-kept, and the food is of a decent quality, if a little pricey (probably no more so than most rural Surrey hostelries). It does somehow lack a little of the organic charm it had pre-refurb; Fullers were reasonably sensitive (I suspect listed status meant they had to be), but it is a little bit more "towny" now than before. Still, the same people run it, and along with their pleasant staff, they present a friendly face to any visitor.
TWG - 10 Oct 2006 15:26
this pub has got excellent beer outstanding food and the service is always with a smile. the layout is fabulous and i think fullers are a great brewery.
anonymous - 9 May 2005 14:09
Recently taken over and refurbished by Fullers. Now more pubby than it was, less emphasis on prissy food. 17 Century building that didn't need a refurb, but they can't resist it can they? Worth a run out.
nickdavies - 9 Feb 2005 13:15

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