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Bear and Billet, Chester

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user reviews of the Bear and Billet, Chester

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

Just round the corner from the hotel, eating there (again on recommendation). It was busy (England game) but got a table with no problem and there's extra seating (and bars I think) on two floors above.

Tried the Okell's beers as they're quite hard to find on the mainland, both were good as was the food.
ellisref - 9 Jun 2019 08:11
Visited here on a recent Monday afternoon. There were 6 hand pumps of which 5 were available. One real cider, at least one Okell's (think both Bitter and MPA were available) plus a couple of others including the Victorian Porter (4.6%) by Heritage Ales that I went for at £3.35 for the pint.

The ale was pleasant, not sure if my glass was stained or whether my porter had just marked it, so shall reserve judgement there.

There is a small bar area at the front of the pub with a separate area to the rear. In the front there was a real fire, and tables round the edges of the room. A couple of pillars with shelves cater for the stand-up drinkers. They could probably do with another table or two in this front area as it looked a bit empty, but I guess there is seating in the back room and upstairs to go at too.

Food looked pleasant though did not have any myself. There was a random middle aged gent trying to converse with the table of four female diners next to him, and took great delight in telling them a joke. Perhaps this is the kind of establishment that attracts "local characters".

The interior is perhaps a bit bland compared to some of the pubs in Chester that feel more traditional inside, but not unpleasant.
RealAleRobUK - 26 Feb 2015 16:31
Always looked really busy but we managed to squeeze in on the 4th time of passing whilst in Chester for a weekend away.

Decent pint of Orkells. Nice enough pub.
Mappiman - 8 Dec 2014 17:15
Pleasant enough place with character. Decent selection of real ales on my visit. The only disappointment was the lack of outdoor seating - just a small smoking area to the rear of the pub. Worth a visit, like so many of the pubs in Chester.
RealAleRobUK - 16 Jul 2013 10:15
Reasonably good pub right next to the bridge in Chester. It had a good range of ales on our Saturday afternoon visit - Okells MPA & Bitter, Grafton Mumsie, Brains Touch, Paws, Engage & Phoenix Hopsack. Cider was Thatchers Cheddar Valley. My main criticism was the lack of seating in the bar area. There may have been more in a room to the rear.
blue_scrumpy - 14 Jul 2013 21:19
Interesting range of ales in light and friendly surroundings
PoorBeerHater - 6 Nov 2012 16:58
Friendly, comfortable, good food and interesting begian and german beers.
robamy - 13 Mar 2012 10:26
snug, wide screen tv (fortunately off), dogs, kids, no carpet - felt like a pub - good selection of ales 15.50 for 5 ales which included Phoenix Wobbly Bob 6% and Titanic Iron Curtain also 6%
kernott1 - 30 Dec 2011 09:37
Decent ale (Wibbly Wallaby) and a reasonable modernised old building. Quite busy and somewhere that isn't the greatest of places if you aren't in a group ( more than 4 or 5 of you that is ).
anonymous - 10 Dec 2011 00:31
superb okells pub with a great atmosphere and delicious smelling freshly cooked food,i was slightly disappointed that there was only one okells ale on though that being okells bitter of which i had a pint(2.95)8/10
fat_beer_badger - 3 Oct 2011 19:36
I visited this pub for the first time on Saturday and was not disappointed. They had 5 ales on tap but as it was very hot outside I went and ordered a pint of Thatchers Gold. Suprisingly, despite the pubs location and its historical features, my pint only cost 2.90 which is 10p chepaer than the two Okells pubs in Liverpool, Rigbys and the Fly In The Loaf, that I regularly go to.

The barman was friendly and polite and the other clientele where a mixed bunch of young and old, but definately no riff-raff! It's a lively pub but in a nice way and one that I will definately return to. The Thursday "steak night" looks tempting!
mattbeer - 1 Aug 2011 12:24
Friendly staff. Good food, tv's down and upstairs. Plenty of space to sit. No loud music. Cosy atmosphere.
jason007 - 31 May 2011 17:51
Range of beers was a bit limited on a visit we made in April especially after a visit to The Brewery Tap up the road. However not to detract from a lovely pub and well worth a visit.
Steamer1 - 13 May 2011 08:19
Visited this pub recently on a walking trip round Chester. Had a sandwich that I thought would be a light lunch and it turned out to be the biggest and best butty I have ever eaten. The beer was spot on, the staff were very friendly and helpful and to top it all, this is a lovely building. Would recommend this pub to anybody, drinkers or not.
beerface - 4 May 2011 11:39

After a trip around the Spitting Feathers Brewery our party arrived at the Bear and Billett for an evening meal. The pub is large and plenty of room, we ordered a main meal (lamb pie) and a pudding. Prices were very reasonable, the meal was good value and the traditional puddings come with a coffee included in the price. Staff were very friendly and helpful, I would recommend this pub. The range of beers were good and we all enjoyed our visit.
wendywolf - 27 Mar 2011 10:38
I really liked this place & its certainly worth a visit. Black & white Tudor exterior. Inside its been modernised but still retains the low beams & classic period look. An Okells pub there was also Phoenix - Hopsack on my visit. At first the building seemed quite small until I realised that there is a large area upstairs.
happytyskie - 18 Mar 2011 13:56
Brilliant my wife and I arrived here whilst a football match was being televised and the pub was packed. It was a thursday night and the thursday special deal was on. Two steaks and a bottle of wine for-------------20!. It was served with fresh onion rings, fresh mushrooms and hand cut chips and veg and a sauce of your choice it was great. The wine would normally cost 12.50 on its own.
All this and great service served by the landlady despite being busy
The beer was good as well
Certainly a must
Genieal - 28 Nov 2010 21:04
Good beer selection and well kept, but the place seemed souless to me.
rpf1955 - 5 May 2010 19:52
Good selection of well kept beers. The pub is full of character both inside and out with additional seating upstairs. Something for everyone here -with a good choice of real ales, cider, etc and decent wine (a first in Chester for me!).
Deb1 - 4 Apr 2010 15:03
Visited on a Sunday night when the quiz was on. Excellent beer and beer selection, nice atmosphere, overall very good. Looks like it's been done up recently. Brewery Tap just up the road, Albion around the corner.
lill1971 - 11 Mar 2010 17:23
The beer here is always spot on. Sometimes call by during the afternoon and if you're lucky you can get a seat by the log fire - very nice.

One gripe - they don't welcome people who call by on new year as it's ticket only which is a shame. Why charge people to come into a pub?

Food is good value and the staff are very friendly and helpful.
stevewarrentours - 8 Mar 2010 16:08
We visited on a Saturday afternoon, the pub was busy, the Wales - Scotland rugby match was on the TV. We had no trouble finding a table however, the dining room upstairs looks very nice. I had a pint of Thin Ice which was nice. We had the fish and chips and the gammon, both about 10 each. The food was very good and plenty of it. The fish came with a lot of chips, and it was a shame that neither of us could manage to eat them all. The staff were very good. It may be a pub for eating in rather than just drinking but I will be going back to try some more real ale. It must be one of the best pubs in the city.
CanalWalker - 13 Feb 2010 19:29
Renowned pub in the city centre, just next to the city walls and in an area of improving pubs. It's handsome tudor exterior hides an interior that is rather more modern and nondescript. Nevertheless there are various points of interest, including the beamed ceilings which look original.The pub has an upstairs and downstairs, the downstairs is basically open plan but seperated into two areas, front and back. The back was busier on my visit, with TV screens showing football. The front has a roaring and impressive real fire and comfy seating.
It's popular with tourists for good reason, serving very good home cooked food at reasonable prices- a cut above the usual tourist tat too.
The pub comes into its own on the beer front, with 5 guests and a real cider, Cheddar Valley. The beers were Cottage Gold Rush, Okell's Bitter, Harviestoun Lager Beer, Phoenix Pale Moonlight and Holden's Golden Glow. Tried the Cottage which was OK but Holden's was superb.
Although tourist-oriented the Bear has lots of character and a great beer range, and is one of my favourite Chester pubs. You should endeavour to visit alongside the nearby Brewery Tap and Albion. Just off the city wall so easily reached on a pleasant wlak.
Carlurmston - 25 Jan 2010 12:13
I called in here as the Albion was closed. It was very quiet for a Friday afternoon. Only had time for one beer, Okell's Bitter, which was OK.
southdown12jack - 9 Sep 2009 11:21
Enjoyed an Okells and a Coastal beer when we visited while in the area in May. It is one of the pubs not to be missed when in Chester. Upstairs seating area too when it gets busy.
gillhalfpint - 10 Jul 2009 16:44
I visited back in May.Okells IPA plus 4 others also Cheddar Valley cider on handpump.I tried the cider,very tasty.I may be wrong but my impression was the focus is food.

oldandmild - 10 Jul 2009 08:23
My favourite pub in Chester. They serve the Manx beer, O'kells. Enjoyed the food too. Always visit when in Chester.
realalechav - 1 Jun 2009 21:09
Very nice local pub! Five real ales, apparently all kept extremely well!

Nice atmosphere, although very quiet when we went in on Bank Holiday Monday evening!
MarkISmith - 30 May 2009 16:02
Great little pub away from the main drag so the dipsticks don't go here on a Friday/Saturday. Roast Beef baguettes are brilliant. Usually has 4 or 5 real ales on tap. Usually an Okells beer and one from Spitting Feathers plus changing guests. The upstairs lounge area is very comfortable with leather sofas etc. Don't miss it when in Chester.
ROBCamra - 3 Dec 2008 14:44
Really good pub, excellent range, servive fantastic, food decent and all this on a busy day. Best pub I have been in for a while.
loveleedshatebates - 15 Sep 2008 07:47
Great to find a beer festival on when calling in this Good Beer Guide pub. Had a wander round the rooms, and enjoyed the variety of ales on offer.

Difficult to find a seat the next time we called and were driven crazy by the loud speakers for the football that is screened on all 3 floors. Standing room only and we nearly left but did secure a table to have a meal. Could do with a quieter area. Enjoyed the food, but were glad to get out despite the good ales.
gillhalfpint - 26 Mar 2008 22:38
Food ok in the week although i did not think much to the bland sunday lunch. Ale good, good range of cask.
molly21 - 16 Sep 2007 23:00
Beer ok nothing to write home about,still has a rough element that goes in there.Building is excellent and worth a look at.
davelifeis - 11 Sep 2007 22:56
Deservedly in the Good Beer Guide, the Bear and Billet has a good range of well-kept ales and is also a friendly little pub on the way down to the river and away from the tourist-thronged centre of Chester.
beeronaut - 9 Apr 2007 18:43
A bit chaotic late on a Saturday evening with a wedding reception party somewhat the worse for wear, but a sizeable pub with several ales from the Okell's range.

My friend's father was born in the pub when his own father was the landlord over 60 years ago, and he still lives directly across the road where he runs a gift shop.
Rich66 - 10 Aug 2006 21:37
Best pub I found in 3 days in Chester. Superb!
Six good hand pulled bitters and loads of european beers, friendly staff, good atmosphere, clean and plain decor suits the old building. Definitely my first stop next time I am in Chester.
AlRobis - 9 Jul 2006 16:02
Nice pub, good range of beers...though they were a little harsh about throwing us out of theupstairs because we weren't eating...despite the fact that it was packed downstairs and no-one was eating, thus there was plnty of room.
bensonby - 5 Mar 2006 18:05
Any pub that sells Okell's Bitter is a top notch pub!

ManxAle - 2 Dec 2005 11:52
Beautiful building and thoughtfully refurbished.

Great range of cask and bottled beers. Friendly stafff and fantastic food.

A welcome addition to Chester
gjs34 - 31 Oct 2005 16:00
great refurb by okells - not as good as their bars in liverpool (fly in loaf and thomas rigbys)- but is still the best bar in chester for german and belgium beer.
fivebaby - 28 Oct 2005 18:06
Another neglected old pub which has had new life breathed into it by Orkells. Excellenct draught beers great food. Great atmosphere and surroundins. Friendly staff.
billy_squibble - 18 Oct 2005 23:01
Simply charming. I'm just about the most critical and difficult-to-please punters, but it was faultless - smiling staff who know who is next in line at the bar, great range of cask beers and European lagers, clean toilets, wooden floors, candles, leather sofas, fantastic food and friendly ambience. When I was a spotty teenager, the place was a bit of a drug-den, 18 years on (oh! Where do the years go?) and it couldn't be more different. My advice? GO THERE NOW!
building.regs.boy - 3 Oct 2005 23:20

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