I don’t often blog about my experiences eating out, but there are times when I’m so surprised (either positively or otherwise) by what I’m eating I can’t help but give it a mention. This is one of those times.
I have recently had the pleasure of dining — twice, in fact — with Gaz at The Bell Inn, in Cross Houses, Shrewsbury. The Bell is not one of those pubs that looks ridiculously pretentious from the outside — although it has recently had new signage — it’s just a typical “friendly local” type pub. This ‘theme’ continues inside where the decor is cosy and clean.
The pub is split in two halves as you enter, with the main bar through a door on the left and the dining room on the right. I’ve not been in the bar, but I imagine it’s probably full of local gentlemen nursing their pints and talking about how things were back when they were a lad. (Isn’t that normally what happens in local pubs?) The dining room is quite small, but there has been room for Gaz and I on both occasions we’ve visited.
I am fairly predictable in that, when I go out to eat, I generally always order sirloin steak (rare). I am generally always disappointed because very few pubs and restaurants manage to deliver a truly rare steak. In fact, having eaten in upwards of 15 pubs and restaurants in Shrewsbury and Telford I can only count two who have actually delivered what I’ve asked for. Some pubs seem to think it’s OK to slip a rump steak onto your plate (and assume the diner won’t notice) and some just can’t seem to grasp the concept of what rare actually is.
The Bell is an exception. On both occasions eating there my steak has been deliciously, perfectly rare. Seasoned “just right”, those steaks melt in the mouth and are full of flavour. What’s more, they are served alongside the best chips in Shropshire. Yep! I’m making the extraordinary claim that The Bell Inn serves the best chips in Shropshire (but I’m happy to be proved wrong if anyone knows of better!) Alongside the steak and chips is a nicely dressed crisp salad complete with croutons, which are a nice (and often over-looked) touch and fab onion rings.
I think we’ve definitely found a well kept secret in The Bell, but I can’t keep this one to myself. If you’re local to Shropshire I definitely recommend checking it out.
The Bell Inn is located in Cross Houses, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY5 6JJ and has a large car park, bed & breakfast facilities, as well as space for caravans and campers.