“ Address: Mercury Gardens, Romford, RM1 3EN / Essex / Tel: 0870 197 7220 „
THE LIBERTY BELL ROMFORD I recently dined at the Liberty Bell which is a pub and restaurant in Romford Essex. I had spent a pleasant but tiring Saturday afternoon shopping in Romford market (in Essex) and the Liberty shopping centre with my husband, son and his girlfriend. By the time we had bought what we needed we were all feeling somewhat jaded and so, rather than go home and cook our dinner we decided to treat ourselves and dine out. I have tried many restaurants and public houses which offer food in this area, but hadn't yet eaten at the Liberty Bell pub/ restaurant. This is a fairly new building by my standards, as I remember often driving past whilst it was being built. Although a friend had recommended The Liberty Bell it had taken some time for my husband and myself to visit. On approaching the pub I noticed a pleasant outdoor seating area which was partly occupied by smokers, as many pubs seem to be nowadays since the smoking ban in the United Kingdom came into place. The sun was shining and the exterior looked pleasant. Next to the restaurant is a Premier Inn hotel with car parking. The Liberty Bell belongs to Table Table, which are part of the famous Whitbread chain. The pleasant interior is based on a traditional pub with seating and a restaurant area. The food served here is of a pub type variety. INTERIOR Inside the restaurant was kept cool and pleasant. It was light and airy and offered a decent amount of space between tables and some were set in alcoves, giving an overall feeling of privacy. Many tables were reserved with signs stating this placed upon them. I believe so many tables being reserved this was due to guests at the Premier Inn reserving tables for their evening meal. SERVICE Our visit took place in the early evening and, although several tables were occupied, there were available tables. We were quickly shown to a table which had already been set for four people and asked if we would like to order a drink. We asked to look at the menu before we ordered a drink. The waiter kept at a polite distance while we looked at the menu but when we were ready to order he was there and promptly took our order and then read it through to double check. We felt the service was quick and polite. Our meal was served in about twenty minutes. MENU/PRICES I thought the food on the menu was of a reasonable price. I could have dined cheaper in the area but I thought the Liberty Bell was superior to most other pubs in the area from the perspective of aspect of cleanliness and the quality of food. Romford varies in its pubs and it is advisable to choose carefully. I have entered a few in the hope of a revitalising drink after shopping (with my husband) and have decided to quickly leave due to the rowdiness. This is certainly not true of all pubs in the area though. I noticed there was a separate children's menu which I thought was a nice touch. I wasn't impressed with the vegetarian option as it was limited although a vegetarian lasagne and also cannelloni was on the menu. There was a good selection of more snack type fare such as jacket potatoes with various fillings (including a vegetarian quorn chilli choice) and baguettes and sandwiches. Nothing seemed too expensive but if we had been dining on a weekday we could have chosen a main meal for £4.99 instead of the £7.49 we paid for the fish and chips. I chose battered fish and chips with garden peas, as did my husband. This was served with tartar sauce and a wedge of lemon. I like cod and chips but this seemed tom me to be an inferior white fish. It tasted okay although nothing wonderful. The chips were oven cooked, I would think, which I don't really like. It was an okay meal and about what I expected. My son chose a 6oz beef burger, garnished with salad; served with chips and coleslaw. This looked the best choice although not for me as I don't eat meat but it looked tasty and he tucked in. The fourth member of our party wasn't particularly hungry and so chose a starter instead of a main meal. She chose dough balls which were of three different varieties; two of chilli, two cheese and two garlic with accompanying dips of salsa and garlic butter. These looked nice and according to my son's girlfriend they were very nice and she liked the different flavours of dough used. We all thought our meals were nice and of a good quality for the price but then again, not anything special. The servings were adequate in size although not large. If we had had a starter then the meal would have been of a more pleasing size. We all had a drink; one pint of Carling lager, one half pint of shandy, one glass of cola and a large glass of apple juice. Altogether our meal came to £33.08. TOILETS I found the ladies toilets with its two cubicles very clean and well equipped. My husband said that the Gents was clean also. EASY ACCESS The pub and restaurant area is on one level and there is room for wheelchairs access and disabled facilities. LOCATION The Liberty Bell is well situated, being close to Romford over ground rail station and with buses nearby travelling into London or further out into Essex. A London black taxi rank is close by. There are several car parks in this location both on ground level and multi storey. OVERALL I feel this pub/restaurant is in a good location for guests who are staying at the Premier Inn to dine within before travelling the short distance into London's theatre land or perhaps enjoying an evening out at Romford's own theatre or entertainment venues. Although I didn't think it was anything wonderful it was of a good standard with decent service. Levels of cleanliness a were very good from what I could see and the restaurant section was pleasant.