By Euan Ferguson
The Bell has been ringing the changes. Ever since Victorian times, the Bell has been a big, busy pub on one of those big, busy London crossroads. A new husband-and-wife team took over late last year and made it the sort of place it’s hard to walk past. It's usually buzzing.
The refurbishment revealed a few choice bits of nineteenth-century interior design, to which the owners have added a few sympathetic touches – there’s a wall of William Morris-style wallpaper, a nod to the museum in his memory just along the road. There’s also a pub garden. All this has produced an open, welcoming boozer, free of too many fripperies and full of seating.
On our visit there were couples tucking into the home-cooked pub grub (burgers, steaks, several more ambitious dishes), groups of pals on sofas kicking off a night out, beer buffs on barstools working their way through the excellently kept selection of six British real ales.
The Bell was amiably loud, pleasantly packed and as hard to leave as it was to walk by. To add to the general festivity, a DJ wearing one of those flat caps only DJs wear played records from a collection that seemingly contained nothing recorded since Thatcher moved into No 10. There was even a friendly doorman who showed us where to get the right night bus home. Saved by the Bell.
|Venue name:||The Bell||Contact:|
617 Forest Road
|Opening hours:||Open noon-11pm Mon, Tues, Sun; noon-midnight Wed, Thurs; noon-1am Fri, Sat|
|Transport:||Tube: Walthamstow Central|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:20
- 4 star:6
- 3 star:3
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:3
I really want this pub to be great. It's doing lots of the right things but it's not yet the kind of place you can be 100% confident about. For example, today the sausage cassoulet was tasty, but the overcooked chicken in a sauce made with sweet (rather than dry) marsala really was not. The service is excellent but the shabbiness of the exterior seems daft. Just a bit more thoughtful consistency will make all the difference.
The interior of this pub is great. Comfy sofas, old mismatched furniture, cool wall paper and an all round rustic kind of vibe. There's also a nice outside space which seemed to be a sun trap, so good for a pint in summer. The atmosphere was also good, but the food wasn't knock out for me. The roasts looked incredible but after ordering a halloumi wrap I wasn't left completely satisfied. Nice enough though, but next time its a roast for me!
Even though you can eat great food it still feels like a pub. A hard balance to achieve. Go there to eat, go to drink - you'll have a great time either way.
I go there every weekend ... The foods awesome and the ales/beer are 5 star .. This is the place to be when in Walthamstow
Food was lovely, coconut beer amazing. The garden is really nicely decorated and the pub is big and light.
I absolutely adore this pub, I've two young children and they couldn't be more welcoming. Foods very good value for money too.
Once upon a time you'd only enter this pub for a fight or drugs...but in recent years since being done up it's a great spot with fab ales, excellent food and a lovely little beer garden. Well worth a visit. I've always had a good experience here, it's family friendly and dog friendly and a great addition to the Lloyd Park area of Walthamstow.
Very disappointed as I genuinely tried hard to persuade my colleagues to give this place a try. It's a nice pub, with a wonderful beer selection but after the horrendous experience I had last night I don't think I'll be rushing back to visit this establishment again. The manager is extremely rude and has the attitude of someone that shouldn't be in this industry at all. Even while collecting the empty glasses from the table, somehow, with her obnoxious attitude, she managed to ruin everyone's mood to the point that we had to leave. We'd barely been 15 minutes inside. It's a shame but we will be happily spending £200-£300 twice a week somewhere else. Bar service with a face like a smacked a.. definitely not required.
Had Sunday lunch with friends plus 2. Good range of wine , children's menu and food okay. If you would rather a more adult focused atmosphere best not go sunday... Definitely will check out to see if less weatherspoons like during the week ....
Had lunch there today and it was lovely . Hot fresh fish & chips.my friend had the bean burger with cheese she loved it. Very good price .very good service will go back again with our hubbies.
I love to go there for drinks, not for food. There is nice cafe restaurant on forest road(la cafeteria)would rather eat there and then go have a drink in the Bell.
A proper local pub now. So nice after years of being the opposite. Lovely attentive, friendly staff, good food, reasonably priced and a good pint. A delight after years in the wilderness.... The only gripe is occasionally the music is too loud for conversation.
Agree with some of the other reviews - this is a lovely pub with a great atmosphere, good music and great selection behind the bar. The only downside is that the food is a bit hit and miss - still room for improvement!
What a lovely Sunday Roast, perfectly cooked Sirloin and the potatoes are better than my mums( sshh) Love the wallpaper and the ambience was nice. About time we had something cosmopolitan in E17
The Bell is by far my favourite E17 pub (and there are a number of good ones to choose from!) The atmosphere and decor are perfect, they've sympathetically restored the old features and the ambience is chilled. The staff are lovely, the drink selection is great and the food is good. Service for the food is quick even when they're busy. The garden is great. Worth a visit; we go often even though it isn't that near us. Highly recommended.
Amazing atmosphere... since the revamp late in 2012, the Bell has become the community hub for the Lloyd Park area of Walthamstow. Cozy atmosphere with well chosen furnishings. Always a great selection of music in the background to set the mood. As the article points out - good selection of Ales (surely more than six) - but the more important thing is that the dispensing equipment are kept immaculately clean. Great food, from snacks and pub-grub through to full blown meals and great weekend roasts. We used to grab a train further into London to get to a location of this calibre... the Bell has set a new standard.
Absolutely amazing atmosphere... since the revamp late in 2012, the Bell has become the community hub for the Lloyd Park area of Walthamstow. Cozy atmosphere with well chosen furnishings. Always a great selection of music in the background to set the mood. As the article points out - good selection of Ales (surely more than six) - but the more important thing is that the dispensing equipment are kept immaculately clean. Great food, from snacks and pub-grub through to full blown meals and great weekend roasts. We used to grab a train further into London to get to a location of this calibre... the Bell has set a new standard.
Love having The Bell just down the road, Great crowd, ambiance, and now menu! Just get there early if you're eating, as there are some teething problems around having enough food for the slightly later patron. Still giving you 5 stars, just for being awesome.