The Bell at West Overton was originally built in 1812 as a coaching inn on the route between Bath and London. We have passed it many times but, until today, we’ve never ventured in. On entering we are pleased to find a healthy mix of local drinkers and lunchtime diners.
As it’s summer I start by trying the Twisted Nomad summer ale from the Twisted Brewing Company of Westbury. It’s a lovely golden ale made with American hops and a great start to our visit. Cider braised belly pork with savoy cabbage, black pudding and parsley mash soon arrives for me. It is very neatly presented and every element of the dish tastes very good indeed. Rock is having the roast fillet of sea trout with potato dumplings, samphire, peas and sauce vierge. She is just as impressed with her sea trout as I am with my belly pork.
We, and indeed the whole pub, are constantly entertained by a small dog who has come in with one of the locals. The dog is unbelievably cute, extremely well-trained and will rapidly turn a circle in exchange for a biscuit. All this excitement requires another drink and this time I decide to try the Moles Best Bitter from Moles Brewery. It is much darker than the summer ale with both malt and floral flavours – it may not be seasonal but I’m still really enjoying it.
For dessert we decide to share the treacle tart with clotted cream and rum & raisin syrup. The treacle tart is unlike any we have had before – the flavours are exactly what we expect but the texture is completely different. It is light and airy not a thick, stodgy, heavy affair. The rum & raisin syrup is sublime.
The Bell is a nice surprise. Although on a main road it almost has the feel of a quiet village pub. The beer is very good, the food is great and the bar staff and locals helped to create a really friendly atmosphere. I’m sure we’ll be back for more.