57-59 Bell Street Henley-on-Thames Oxfordshire RG9 2BA 01491 576 554
The Bull on Bell Street was completely refurbished in 2013, a makeover which transformed this town-centre place from a likeable, average boozer, into a spacious and comfortable pub and restaurant. The relaxed atmosphere is so agreeable that many visitors happily spend all afternoon drinking cappuccinos by the fire, or settling down with a pint of Brakspear Special in big leather armchairs to play Scrabble. Weekend evenings are busy and buzzy, especially on a Friday when live music usually draws in a good crowd. The main bar is an attractive wooden-floored and leather-chaired affair, with an open fire, shelves of old books and little nooks and corners to hide away. There’s a bright conservatory off to one side for drinks and bar food, and beyond the bar is the more formal restaurant area, with a mix of tables and booths. We’ve not sampled the food (the restaurant menu features dependable ‘new British’ dishes for around £15–£20 a main) but drinks-wise the selection is good. There’s a micro-brewery on site, producing eight barrels a week of different Brakspear ales; there are usually at least four cask ales to try.
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Restaurant mains £15-£20; pub lunches £8-£13
Mon–Thurs 10am–11pm, Fri & Sat 10am–1am, Sun noon–10.30pm.