Upcoming Beer Festivals

Kitchen Maintenance: New Course

We’re pleased to announce a brand new course that champions hygiene and maintenance in the kitchen.

In order to keep up with the rigorous Health & Safety and Food Hygiene standards expected of a professional establishment we’ve all learnt how to keep a close eye over everything related to kitchen maintenance.

Here at the 8 Bells we believe firmly in the notion that domestic kitchens should run on the same guiding principles as commercial kitchens. Personal hygiene should, of course, be a paramount concern for the person cooking, but attention also must be paid to your kitchen itself. Cooking decent restaurant standard food requires more than just quality ingredients and techniques – if your kitchen isn’t up to Health & Safety standards, the end product will not be worth eating.

So let’s break down the topics that we’ll be covering in our upcoming course, taken by our chefs Abdu and Leena:

Personal Hygiene

The first thing we teach any of our new starters here at the 8 Bells is basic Personal Hygiene. It sounds condescending, but you’d be surprised how many people have a fundamentally flawed understanding of how hygiene should be implemented in the kitchen environment. We believe that it starts and ends with the individual, so we’ll start our course by showing you how to best prepare yourself for cooking professionally.

Cooking Clean

Once you’re done learning about how to keep yourself clean, the next job is to learn about how you can keep your kitchen clean. Any chef worth their salt will know that performing a thorough clean down of their station is imperative should they wish to guarantee that their food remains bacteria-free. We’ll show you how we prepare our surfaces and teach you how to stay on top of bacteria in your kitchens at home. It’s worth investing in these practical skills now so that you’ll be able to reap the benefits, when it comes to giving your oven a proper deep clean.

Kitchen Maintenance

The kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in the home, so it should come as no surprise that it’s also the room that is most likely to break down. Whether it’s an oven that won’t heat up or a dishwasher in need of a new part, these are the appliances that receive the most abuse which is why we perform regular checks on all of them. We’ll show you how to perform basic repairs so that malfunctioning appliances can be fixed, whether it’s a Belling oven door or simply a gas hob knob. Don’t forget that the walls and doors of your kitchen should be in good repair too, your kitchen should be a safe place to work so having clean, wipe-friendly walls and contemporary interior doors is a priority.

Food Safety

Of course, the meals you cook are only ever going to be as good as the food that you keep. Beyond looking at the best before date, the average person is often ignorant of how to properly store food. There are different rules for each food group, so we’re going to spend some time going over each of them so that you can be confident in preparing the most diverse ingredients for your friends and family. We’ll even give you an insight into how we keep our food, so that you can emulate our best practice back at home.

Keep an eye out on our events board to see when we’ll be holding our next Kitchen Maintenance course and make sure to book early as the spots are bound to go quickly!

June’s Food & Beer Pairings

We’re firm believers in drinking responsibly.

That means drinking water after each pint, taking your time and eating constantly.

We’ve already given our regular customers a little sneak peak at what we’ve got in store for summer and the feedback has been uniformly excellent, then again who doesn’t respond positively to free food?! As ever we’ve ensured that our new food offerings have been developed with beer-drinking in mind. We’re a beer lovers pub and (although our bar stocks all other kinds of booze) all of our food is intended to be nibbled on with a pint or two as an accompaniment.

Matt has dutifully spent the Winter previewing the Summer beers selection, a task we know he’s relished. He’s visited beer festivals, taken ‘business trips’ to America and has spent many an evening brainstorming food combos with Neil. After months of work, he’s ready to reveal the first 4-beer lineup which will be rolled out at the start of June, along with our brand new summer menu.

“For me, summer is all about making the most of those long days and by making the most of them I mean settling into some serious all-day pub sessions. We have some truly excellent beers to get summer started at The 8 Bells including some well-established English beer and even a couple of Yank brews that are sure to call your taste-buds to attention. Neil and I are really happy with the food pairings we’ve created to go with these stellar drinks, we hope you enjoy exploring them as much as we enjoyed creating them!”

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Most beer enthusiasts have heard of Brooklyn Brewery, their Brooklyn Lager is often cited as one of the beers to have popularised American beers internationally, however many people haven’t tried their Chocolate Stout. Traditionally brewed and drank during the winter, our Neil reckons this beer deserves a place in the sun for a change. Best drunk after a big meal, this 10% ABV beverage packs a real punch and is best served with our new and improved Strong Cheese Board.

Otter Ale

Head to the bar at Glastonbury or the Reading and Leeds festivals and you’ll probably see the friendly Otter logo poking it’s head up – Neil first sampled this timeless ale at Beautiful Days festival in Devon, just a stone’s throw away from where it’s brewed in Ottery. He fell in love with this beer so much that he ended up taking a barrel back to the pub with him that weekend. Try a pint or two with our new Scotch Pickled Egg to see what all the fuss is about.

Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale

A good quality blonde ale should balance smooth maltiness with a bitter tang that ensures a crisp clean finish.

That’s exactly what Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale does and at a strength of 5% it can be slowly sipped throughout the day without the need of a medical team on standby.

Grab a cold pint of this refreshing Oregon-made beer and enjoy it with either our new Thai Sharing Platter or a bowl of in-house Bombay Mix.

Activities & Courses For All

It’s all happening at the 8 Bells this summer…

We’re ramping up the events this summer – so come on down and see what you could get up to!

When Matt and Neil bought the 8 Bells, they wanted it to be more than just a pub. They yearned to run a pub that could be the focal point of the local community, much like pubs used to in decades gone past. The challenge they faced was a tough one, they had to find a way to engage the people living in the local area, that included the old folks who were no doubt suspicious of two young men attempting to shake up the status quo of their favourite local, as well as the dozens of families that were looking for a place within walking distance where they could relax with a pint whilst their kids were kept busy, but within eyesight.

Although it’s taken some time to set up, we’re now pleased to announce that our schedule of courses and activities have been set for the summer. We’ve tried to fill our schedule with the kinds of activities that will enrich individuals and (hopefully) bring people together.

Check out what we’ve got going on this summer:

Small Business 101 with Neil

Have you ever fancied opening up your own shop? How about setting up a fashion label? Or maybe you’re thinking about an oven cleaning franchise? Regardless of what type of business you’re thinking of setting up, Neil is on hand to offer you some simple, sound advice that should help you turn your dream into a practical action plan that you could turn into a successful business! We’ll supply the pen, paper and coffee – so all you need to bring is your brilliant ideas!

Jam Night

Build your improvisation confidence in a safe environment as local guitar teacher Rod Clapham carefully arranges and guides you into playing with complete strangers. It doesn’t matter what instrument you play or how long you’ve been playing for, Rod will find a way of incorporating your skills into the group arrangement so that you can gain an understanding of what it’s like to play with others. Best of all you’ll be able to make music and friends along the way!

In the Kitchen: Snacks & Platters

Keep an eye out on the events board to see what kitchen workshops we’ve got spaces for. Our first course, Snacks & Platters, offers eager cooks (age 18+) the opportunity to step inside the kitchen to see how we prepare our popular bar snacks and platters. Once you’ve learnt how to prepare them we’ll give you the chance to prove yourself during a lunchtime service – don’t think you’ll be getting your hands on any of the tips though!

Sketch’n’Colour for Families

There’s a minor crafting revolution taking hold of the world at the moment. Empowered with the sharing capabilities of social media, ordinary folks are now feeling more comfortable with shouting about their achievements, no matter how big or small. In today’s age, if you can hold a pen and scrawl on some paper then that makes you an artist – so why not grab a pint, work on your skills and keep the kids busy at the same time!

The Big Events of Summer

We’re ready to host some huge events this summer!

Thanks to our recent renovations we’re going to be able to host some great happenings this Summer, including coverage of major international sporting events, music festivals and even our very own series of movie marathons.

Neil and Matt’s intention for the 8 Bells was always a place that would be more than your average pub. For them that meant stepping outside of the boundaries that were usually put in place on pubs and making a concerted effort to surprise pub-goers with food that bursts with flavour, drinks from all four corners of the globe and events that enlighten, as well as entertain.

Along with the raft of new changes that we’ve made to the pub in the last few weeks, we’ve also been able to invest in a couple of high-end sound systems and state of the art projectors which should effectively transform the spaces in our humble pub into auditoriums for viewing some of the biggest international events happening this year.

Here’s a quick run down of what to look forward to this summer at the 8 Bells:

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

14th June-15th July 2018

Putting aside the gossip, rumours and drama that inevitably crop up with every international football tournament, this year’s World Cup is shaping up to be one of the most thrilling. Not only do we have some of the most iconic players performing in the shape of Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo Christian Eriksen – with Harry Kane in such good form, England might even stand a chance of winning!

With two screens operating simultaneously we’ll be able to offer football fans choice as to what game they watch – as well as some footie themed specials on the menu.

Biggest Weekend

25th-26th May 2018

With Glastonbury festival taking a break this year, there’s a big international music-sized hole left in many people’s social calendar. Thankfully, Britain’s pride and joy (the BBC) have stepped up to fill the void with a four-pronged music extravaganza that promises to please everyone. Events will be taking place in all corners of the UK with a truly diverse line-up set to play.

Festival goers will have to decide which line-up is best for them before travelling to Perth, Coventry, Belfast or Swansea. We’re taking out the hassle by showing the coverage of all the events live at the 8 Bells. You’ll be able to catch the likes of Father John Misty, Florence + The Machine, Billy Ocean, Ed Sheerhan and many more, all whilst sat in our glorious pub garden!


2nd-15th July 2018

For most British people Summer means a few things: mowing the grass, drinking Pimms, eating strawberries and pulling our hair out over Wimbledon. Andy Murray will be returning once more to win his third Wimbledon title, whilst the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will be amongst the few looking to deny him.

We understand that tennis can often be a pretty long protracted affair, that’s why we’re going to be on hand with the kinds of refreshments and food that you’ll need to keep you going throughout the day. Expect strawberries, cream, Pimms and some inventive combinations of the aforementioned…

8 Bells Outdoor Cinema

See Events board for details

Finally, we’re proud to announce that we’ll be holding a series of movie nights here at the 8 Bells, giving you a chance to get out of the house during the week and enjoy some of the (hopefully) glorious English summer weather. Settle yourself down outside, grab a pint and get an eyeful of some our all-time favourite movies.

There’ll be something for everyone: Sci-fi in the shape of two classic Luc Besson pics, a martial-arts double bill and even a couple of rom-coms for those looking to get a cheap date-night in at their local boozer.

Update & Renovation Time!

The time has come for us to throw on a lick of paint and smash through a few walls.

Before the summer season begins in earnest we thought it would be a good idea to make a few alterations to the pub, so that we can best deal with the increased demands of what we’re expecting to be our busiest season yet.

When the pub was first purchased 2 years ago, Neil and Matt barely had enough cash left over to buy any booze in. Since then they’ve tried their very best to invest back into the 8 Bells, but that’s often taken the form of creating new events or training staff, rather than making any real changes to the building itself.

Whilst we’re well aware that our regular clientele visit us for the beer and food rather than the decor, but there comes a point in every pub’s life when it can no longer be described as ‘shabby chic’. Although we’ve tried our very best to dress the place up over the past two years, the truth is that we’ve been putting this off for a while.

To minimise disruption to service as much as possible we’ve ordered work to be completed over the course of the next Monday to Thursday, so we should be back up and running by the weekend.

Here’s a run down of what’s changing so you can compliment us on how well we’ve done the next time you’re in:

Kitchen Upgrades

Participants in our kitchen maintenance or cookery courses will notice the fancy black non-slip flooring tiles as well as the handy serving hatch, allowing our chefs to serve food straight to the pub garden and saving our waiters’ legs.

A new dedicated charcoal grill will also save us the trouble of setting up a BBQ outside, so we can invite more people in to the pub garden and make it safe for your pets and children – this has also meant that we need to install a brand new kitchen extractor fan.


We understand that there’s a long-running heritage associated with upholstering pubs like ours in traditional leather, but we are anything but
traditional and do you know how expensive leather is?!

Anyway considering the tatty state of a lot of the seating we’ve decided to opt for a washable plain-brushed flat weave that should provide a cosy comfortable seat during winter, whilst avoiding the stickiness that leather so often gives.

Pub Garden Improvements

Speaking of our pub garden, we’re proud to announce that we’ve made some big changes to our outside area that should make drinking and dining there much more enjoyable. We’ll be burning our nasty old furniture and replacing them with rows of smart rugged picnic benches that will provide this area with more seating and a community-friendly vibe, perfect for making some new friends and sharing some of our tasty new food!

We’ve spent a long time working up the courage (and saving the cash) to do these renovations and we really hope you enjoy them once they’re done.

Please bear with us whilst we close our doors for the next few days – we’ll be back up and running very soon!

New Food Coming Your Way

We love Summer grub more than anything else…

For a few precious months we can cram happy drinkers into our tiny pub garden, the beer flows steadily and we can get more adventurous with our food offerings.


During winter our menu tends to give the customer exactly what they want. We’re talking rich, stodgy goodness that delivers on comfort and certainly doesn’t skimp on calories. By the time the Summer comes around we understand that our food needs to reflect the changing demands of the customer. Just like no one likes the idea of pulling a woolly jumper on when they hit the beach, no one wants a steaming pile of sausage and mash on a hot summer’s day.

Last year we made a big splash with our sharing platters, providing drinkers with enough variety to allow them to eat around the world, all whilst avoiding the kind of stodge that only serves to bog down an afternoon’s drinking session. This year the sharing platters are coming back, but we’ve taken on board your advice and can now offer them for 2, 4 or 6 people. In addition to adapting the quantities of our platters we’ve also developed a couple more concepts that we can’t wait to show off to you.

Get yo snack on.

If you’re not quite up to tackling one of our platters, but find that you’re getting a little peckish whilst you’re here then you’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve got a whole new range of bar snacks for you to smash into your gobs. Part of Matt and Neil’s original vision was to offer affordable pub snacks that were a cut above the average. You’ll still be able to get a standard pack of crisps, but we’re also happy to offer our own blend of Bombay Mix, an in-house Scotch-Pickled Egg and a rather special Sausage Roll that is sure to be a daily sell-out.

Our bar snacks have been designed to work in tandem with the selection of summery brews that will be gracing our bar this summer. Matt’s been hard at work scheduling the ale deliveries for the upcoming weeks, ensuring that each and every keg blends seamlessly with the Specials board and bar snacks we’ll be introducing in the coming weeks. Come on in during the next fortnight to get a free taste of what’s to come.

Involve yourself.

Fancy trying your hand at recreating our dishes this summer? We’re opening up our kitchens to the public for a string of workshops this summer giving budding cooks the opportunity to see how we create our popular platters and bar snacks. Once we’ve shown you how, we’ll turn the kitchen over to you and see how you fare sending a few orders out yourself, just be warned: our head chef will beat the pass and won’t be sending out any food that’s below standard!

Keep an eye out on our events board to see when we’ll be holding these events and don’t hesitate to book early as these spots are bound to disappear fast!