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“Loved it!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Blue Bell

The Blue Bell
Ranked #1 of 50 Nightlife in York
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Blue Bell is York's only Grade II* Listed Edwardian Public House. The first pint was pulled in 1798 and it's interior has remained untouched since 1903, allowing you to step back in time and experience a piece of living history first hand. Famous for it's wide selection of cask ales, pork pies, friendly service and lovely atmosphere, The Blue Bell is also York CAMRA's Pub of The Season for Winter 2016/17 and is listed in the Good Beer Guide as well as numerous publications regarding classic pub interiors. There are no TVs, music or games machines and although there is free WiFi, don't be expecting any mod cons or gimmicks. The Blue Bell is also York's smallest Public House and as such has extremely strict policies of no groups, swearing, Hen or Stag parties, mobile phones or Under 18s. At busy times you may not get into the pub - midweek afternoons are usually the quietest times if you would like to sit down. A warm welcome awaits you at The Blue Bell - but only if you follow the rules and do your part to create a warm, relaxed and (some would say old-fashioned) atmosphere of respect and friendship. It's a proper pub, for proper pub people...
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2014

Couldn't keep out of this place. Tiny and very old. Full of character and characterful people. This place just pulled us in every time we tried to pass!

Visited August 2014
Thank West66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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174 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
294 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 339 helpful votes
“Under new management - and thriving”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014

For those of you who found the old landlord and bit of curmudgeon - you can put The Blue Bell back on your list of places to visit. He still owns the place but has decided to take up a new challenge (a bakery) and employ an experienced and popular local landlady from a competitor.

The place is all the better for it. Gone are the "private party" signs that warned people off on weekends (and got the place rightly excluded from the CAMRA Good Beer Guide) and gone are the stale old stalwart beers that most people had become bored with.

There is now a much more jolly atmosphere and a regular and varied roster of local Yorkshire beers for people to enjoy.

It's great to see this jewel of an unspoilt Edwardian pub enjoying a new lease of life and hopefully the landlord will experience the same with his bakery venture. After all it was him that made the Blue Bell the popular place it became until boredom set in. Now there's a lesson for life - get out when you start affecting the business you care so much about !

Visited August 2014
2 Thank QXZWS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
154 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2014

Nice, old fashioned place including the old fashioned customer service which is dreadful.

The most miserable staff in any pub in York, which is a pity because there is usualy a good selection of beers available.

I know us Yorkshiremen are supposed to be dour but the landlord here makes the most dire hard Yorkshireman look like the life and soul of the party.

Visited June 2014
3 Thank AcombDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barnard Castle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A must for Real Ale drinkers”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2014

The Blue Bell is often our first port of call when visiting York. Truly worthy of its CAMRA listings and a true gem of a pub. When we visited on 21st March no food was available due to a staffing problem, however we were directed to the adjacent delicatessen "The Hairy Fig" (which we understand is in the same ownership as the pub) where we purchased a sandwich and what we both agreed were the best pork pies we had ever tasted.

The locals who use this pub are very friendly, and when it comes to the beer very discerning, their current favourite being Farmers Blonde from Bradfield Brewery. We were in complete agreement as it was well kept and well served. We will be back soon!

Visited March 2014
1 Thank JDC288
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nice inside, but not welcoming”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014 via mobile

Nice to see the interior has been preserved, and the ale is ok. However the service isn't exactly friendly if you're not a local. Asked for a sandwich at 2.03 and was told they didn't do food after 2. Bit tight. Drink prices were a bit steep as well. I wouldn't bother going back.

3 Thank PMLynch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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