The Blue Bell – Easton on the Hill, Stamford
English village pub meets Italian restaurant – and why not!
When we visited the Blue Bell a little while back, our house had been ravaged with Grade-A lurgy, it had been raining most of the week and we’d all pretty much had enough of each other’s faces. So, at the request of the Dixie, we found us a small village pub serving up some comforting, authentic Italian food.
Run by an Italian couple (hence the food) the Blue Bell is a proper old village pub, with wobbly walls and a rickety looking roof. Inside, is divvied into a bar side, for drinkers, and restaurant side – quite handy if you’re with smaller kids and conscious about disturbing those looking to enjoy a quiet drink at the bar. There’s also an old school games room complete with pool table and dart board, if you fancy showing the kids whose boss. But where the Blue Bell really comes into its own is the beer garden out back. It’s huge. And with plenty of benches and tables dotted about, it’ll sure be a winner when summer rolls in again. We, however, could only admire through a rain-soaked window.
As you might have guessed from an ‘Italian’ pub, the menu is largely inspired by the Mediterranean, but there are a few other dishes sprinkled across the menu with sea bass, roasted duck and steak, and traditional roasts on Sundays. We dived in for the full pasta experience and in true Italian style the portion sizes were fairly hefty.
The kids were well catered for with a handful of pastas dishes on the menu alongside the classic ‘chips with… chicken / sausage / fish’ dishes. A little heads up, the chicken (comes breaded) was a little on the spicy / peppery side for our Dixie. I, however, had no such issues and nailed most of hers after the pasta. Much like the grownup meals, portion sizes weren’t shy, so if you have kids with small appetites like ours, you’ll easily share a dish out between a couple of kids. If you’re just popping in for a drink, then the back bar is well stocked with a range of chocolate bars and crisps for the kids to enjoy.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve actually enjoyed the odd pint, or three, in the beer garden here, but never actually made it inside or eaten. Over the May Bank Holiday weekend, the pub hosts the villages ‘Annual Beer & Music Festival’. A great family event with maypole dancing, a pet show, bouncy castles, set to the backdrop of live music and a tent with loads of guest beers and ciders. There’s generally stuff for all family to enjoy. So, if you don’t get down to enjoy some Italian cuisine, then put the Bank Holiday date in the diary and be sure to on head over for a great afternoon!