Venue to Visit : The Bell Inn, Caerleon

Sometimes the best pubs are the accidental finds, or the chance recommendations, or the you-sorta-knew-about-them-but-never-went-there-until-now ones.

The Bell fits all of those. Tucked away in a street on the Newport side of the river Usk in Caerleon, to get to this 17th Century coaching inn from the village itself you have to walk past two other pubs, over a bridge, down a lane and round a corner. (See the "Mapped" page for exact location)

Or you could do what I do and cycle there. Caerleon is reachable from Newport by the excellent new Route 88 cycle route which skirts the river Usk and the Marches rail line before depositing you at Caerleon football club.

The Bell was initially a casualty of the pandemic, closing in September 2020. 

We are making this announcement with heavy, heavy, hearts; 
Due to the financial strain of the pandemic and with no help from our brewery with full rent and bills being charged without hesitation or remorse or any help for reopening, Charly and I will be unable to continue here at The Bell 

It sat vacant until the new year of 2021 when a couple of local chaps took it on. After a refurbishment during Lockdown Three, it reopened in April 2021, with takeout food cooked by part-owner and head chef Ricky.

Like all venues in Wales, it reopened for outdoor/takeaway service on April 27th and then fully in May. 

The pub has a proper traditional feel about it with the merest touch of the modern and contemporary. There's plenty of exposed stone and brick walls, ornate light fittings and beautifully dark wood to set the mood.

On the bar there are two regular cask ales - Landlord and HPA - and one cask cider, Thatcher's Stan Cheddar Valley. Guest casks occasionally appear such as Adnam's Bitter or Wye Valley Butty Bach.

Pefectly poured cask pints from Timothy Taylor and Wye Valley

Keg offerings come in the form of the usual macro options, including Carlsberg and Guinness.

An exquisite food menu presents many exciting options such as cider-infused Scotch eggs, sourdough with Marmite butter, one of the juiciest burgers I've ever had and chips that are so thick they could almost stand for political office.

Outside there is an enclosed beer garden terrace with plenty of seating - both covered and open - and behind that there is plenty of parking. Overhead fly sparrowhawks and pigeons. Despite being yards from a main road there is relative silence here, the only noise coming from the chatter of the patrons.

Through the gate lies an expansive beer garden and, in the summer, sun terrace

One of the outbuildings has been converted into "The Shed" - a quaint and welcome seating area with its own cask bar which came in very handy during the Bell's recent Beer and Bacon festival.

Booking is recommended if you want to eat here - the combination of great food in a lovely location make this reborn, renovated, historical hospitable venue a hit with the locals - and those from further afield too.

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