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Ten Bells, Norwich

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user reviews of the Ten Bells, Norwich

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Dreadful refit killed all the atmosphere within this formerly wonderful pub. No wonder it's been pretty empty the couple of times I've been out this side of Norwich. Farewell old friend, you shall be missed.
Steve_D - 21 Dec 2011 15:32
I'm not at all impressed with the refurb job, awful furniture and dreadful decor. I have been in only once since the pub reopened. What a shame. Some inspired interior designers could have done much better!
dougdeep - 3 Nov 2011 11:21
been poshed up in may/june 2011, which looked corporatised and a bit sterile at first glance. now offering rotating guest ales (which are actually looked after), a few signature cocktails, and a sleek little garden. though the atmosphere is a bit yupped up for my taste, its an excellent stop for spirits - all sorts of obscure choices. loads of reasons to check it out.

kwafffroh - 22 Aug 2011 00:14
i agree it has got lazy..mostly bottled beer..students

its peak was 5yrs ago..i was in their last night dozen ppl..
the plough up the rd was packed.
strawdog - 3 Oct 2010 17:03
Has seen better days.

Poor beer selection. Needs a good clean. Grotty garden.


mancroft - 1 Jun 2010 20:37
Used to be a great pub before it went commercial and stopped bothering about real ale -paltry 'selection' of Greedy King's patehtic IPA and Speckled Hen. For the tourist nowadays - a shame.
naardge - 29 May 2010 13:25
Really great pub, very unusual interior- but in a good way! Makes such a nice change from the brigade of cream and brown bars that seem to be taking over the world. Lots of comfy seats and chilled atmosphere.
rosiekins20 - 29 Mar 2009 20:00
i think this is the pub to go to if you havent before. good beer, good staff, buzy at wkends and the stuff on the walls i just love.
erikaruth - 26 Oct 2007 22:05
lovely interior, really interesting pub
alundra - 24 Oct 2007 14:58
It's a drink pub not a food pub. They didn't make money at lunchtime. So they don't open at lunchtime.
bulky - 8 Jun 2007 13:55
I wpould have gone in here for a pint at lunchtime today but discovered it no longer opens at lunchtimes. Now, a pub which doesn't open at lunchtimes and foregoes all those possible trading hours when it could be selling beer and food is a pub on the slippery slope. Please wake up guys, you are throwing business away and that isn't a good idea!!
edchambers - 23 May 2007 21:20
Not a bad pub and well kept beer. Bit lost in it's theme, if a pub needs a theme. Few signs on the wall for streets and places, reminicent of a students room. A red telephone box in one of the rooms doing little other than being there. Whole place just lacks any definitive direction. Not that sinfull though. Decent enough place for a drink and a talk.
The_Man - 29 Apr 2007 23:59
Great little boozer. Friendly staff and punters, nice sparky landlady. No food interrupting the main business.
bulky - 30 Oct 2006 00:01
More red than an Amsterdam whore's window. And very dark. So pretty much a perfect pub atmosphere. But here's the best bit. They've got a Christmas tree up! It's feckin March. I hope this isn't forced whackiness: I think (and hope) this is just cause they couldn't be arsed taking it down. Fair play. How come a town like Norwich is crammed full of great pubs? Yet another 'cathedral town' - Winchester - is home to more turd-ridden holes than the elephant enclosure at London zoo..

anonymous - 16 Mar 2006 11:40
When I was very young I somehow managed to fall into a wheelie bin. Well, I was a playful scamp and had an unhealthy obsession with attempting to balance my fat infant school arse on ledges which, to be frank, weren’t going to support me unless God decided to do a quick DIY job on the laws of gravity. Anyway, the thing that concerned my parents the most was that I actually seemed to enjoy being trapped in the little bitch, proclaiming afterwards that it was “snug”.

It took me around 15 years to find somewhere that matched the intimacy of that council bin, and its only really half a shame that it turned out I discovered it inside the Ten Bells (TB) rather than a box containing a couple of centrefolds. The TB is after all a charming, natural, old pub removed from the city centre that uses its tight and constantly warm interior to create a vibrant atmosphere amongst traditional pictures, plush carpets and wooden fixtures. Some of the bustling nature of the pub comes from a tad hippyish attraction that stems from poetry readings and folk music nights (despite the essentially compact two or three room structure) – something which a few people will find a bit pretentious and a few more a bit on the loud side (volume control is not part of its repertoire). However, without (and sometimes with) these occasionally interesting events there is always a nice buzz about the TB thanks to its cosy environment obtaining some good and friendly characters.

The drink selection is also very good: well kept, well served and up there with the most varied in Norwich, quite something as the city has always excelled in offering a good (particularly ale) drink selection.

Downsides? Well as mentioned the theme nights can be overwhelming on the ear drums and there is a fine line between snug and “crowded like a bastard”: a line that the TB crosses when a gig is taking place across the road. I would only subtract a mark for this kind of blemish usually, but considering that we are talking about half the week nights or more being lost to this sometimes annoying bustle then really it has to be two points.

This does though mean that without the crowded nights it probably deserves a 10/10 as everything else is perfect, but the fact you cant enjoy this perfection – through no fault of the pub itself – means it really has to be an 8/10.

anonymous - 3 Mar 2006 16:40
good pint of old speckled hen and other ales. good prices and proper pub atmosphere with comfortable seating. right across the road from the art centre, convenient for pre-gig pint.
moonstomper - 31 May 2005 23:33

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