Do you like Firkins, O'Niells and theme pubs? You are probably not the ideal customer for The Bell then. However, if you are a down to earth type of person that appreciates good beer and nice surroundings then read on!! The Bell is located in the historic village of Harborne, about 3 miles south of Birmingham city centre. It is on St. Peters Road right next to St. Peters church. You can get there on the 22 or 23 bus from Birmingham city centre. It is in a quiet area which is characterised by lots of trees! The pub backs onto an old graveyard, so don't be too noisy when you go there. It is a tiny pub with only one room, and only two people can stand at the bar at one time. From the outside it is a very attractive whitewashed Victorian building, with a large bell hanging off one wall. There is a large beer garden at the rear of the pub, with a bowling green you can play on (if you are that way inclined that is!) It is very pleasant to sit out in the garden in the summer with a pint and watch the bowls. There are plenty of picnic benches to sit on. The toilets, male and female are located in outbuildings also as they would not fit into the pub! The drinks prices are average, not bargains but not atrocious either. Expect to pay about £2.20 a pint. The only drinks they really stock are beers, lagers and spirits, so ladies if you want your girly drinks, go to the Vine or to Broad Street! As for clientele, the majority are local people, in general middle aged or older. In the summer though many people visit the pub to sit out in the garden, of all ages. At lunchtime a lot of the teachers from the local schools pay a visit to the Bell for a quick drink. The interior, as mentioned, is very small and is normally occupied by several old men, usually smoking pipes! (always the way!) As a result the inside can become quite smoky and it is also quite dark in there. At Christmas the owners always put a full size
Father Christmas on the front of the pub, to look as if he is climbing up the wall, with a sack over his shoulder. The kids (and the big kids amonst us) always love to go and take a look at that site! Regarding children, they are welcome in the garden but not really so inside. There are no childrens facilities so it is not really suites to children apart from on warm nights when they can run riot in the gardens (much to the utter delight of the other customers-not) There are just a few staff working in the Bell and in my experience are always friendly and helpful, even when the queue for the bar goes out of the door (which does happen especially on warm summer nights). If you are in the area, I would recommend paying a visit as it is a lovely old pub, as yet unafflicted by the big chains of O'Neills or Firkins..if this ever changes I for one will be a sad man as many others will be I am sure. It is not a pub you would go to to pull, or go and dance, but for a summers night drinking and chatting, you can't go wrong....See you there then.