The Bell pub, on the corner of Forest Road and Hoe street has been pretty much my local pub for the last 6 years. In all that time I think I only ventured inside once, found it to be generally quite run down and uninviting, and never went back. However, this summer the Bell closed for several months for refurbishment, and had it's much anticipated re-opening last week. The place was completely packed on opening night, including quite a large number of young trendies, which I cant ever imagine would have set foot in the old pub!
The bar area now looks open and inviting, with a wide selection of real ales and decent wines on offer. Signs in the bar indicate that they hope to start serving food soon, and I think the Bell would be a perfect place for a leisurely Sunday pub lunch.
The Bell refurbishment has been part of a very welcome series of improvements to several E17 pubs including the Cock and the Chequers on the High Street.
You can find further details on the Bell here: www.thebelle17.com