New Bell Inn, Harwich
It was no surprise to many Harwich drinkers when this pub quickly became the local place to go because the then new owners had a superb track record of building up community pubs, having previously excelled at the Alma just down the road.
If there is a formula for success it seems to come very naturally to Richard and Sue and their staff and their hard work has created a place where people go to enjoy excellent beer, food, conversation, music and even art, indeed many community events are planned in the pub.
The pub consists of a reasonably-sized front room with stools around the bar and tables and chairs arranged around. A door leads to a staircase which goes to the function room and back over to the right shelves house a collection of reference books and the pub's impressive collection of snowglobes.
A door adjacent to the bar leads down to the rear bar and seating area, toilets and on to the rear door with access to the small garden.
The beer range consists of one regular (Greene King IPA) and a constantly-changing number of guest beers. The number depends on the season and day of the week but there are always 3 beers on and one is always a mild on handpump in the rear bar.
Having a permanent mild is an interesting policy decision as Harwich was once "mild country" according to the once all-powerful Tolly Cobbold brewery as they sold more Mild in Harwich than any other town. The beer style went into serious decline and by the end of the 1990s it had all but vanished in the area. The New Bell Inn started by buying pins of mild (36 pints) from Nethergate and slowly trade returned to the point where the pub now buys firkins (72 pints) and features milds from right across the country.
Food is only available lunchtimes but is wholesome, hearty and excellent value. The soups are absolutely superb and a prawn huffa goes down beautifully with a pint of mild!
The pub was voted Tendring CAMRA's Pub of the Year in 2007.
The New Bell Inn
Drivers should drive to the easterly end of the A120 until you emerge on Harwich Quay. Follow the road round by the Pier Hotel and through the streets until you see the town mural. The pub is located up a small street just before the mural.
Train passengers should travel to Harwich Town station which is also the Bus Terminus. The pub is reached by walking up West Street, through Church Lane, up Church Street and down Market Street.
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