BLUE BELL, HULL
So you’re in Hull and looking to get cultured right up. You’ve seen the gallery and you’ve been to the museums and you’ve appreciated whichever piece of world-beating experimental performance art is being laid on that week. And now you want a sit down with a pint. Here’s a pub that almost certainly won’t be on your radar. Down an alley, running between Market Place and Trinity Market, entirely surrounded and (aside from its unique sign) invisible from public view is the Blue Bell.
Some pubs just sit there quietly being a haven for regular clientele without a fuss ever being made of them. The Blue Bell is one of those and it’s been sat, perfectly happy with its lot, since at least 1791.
It’s has one long bar, a lounge (with mysterious door bells built into the seating) and a tiny snug. It has dozens of ships’ bells and Toby jugs above the bar and is a Sam Smiths concern, so you’re already aware of the virtues of the beer and food.
Why, then, choose this place while on your cultural visit to Hull? Well, it’s because it’s probably one of the Hullest things you’ll experience on your visit. Sparsely populated with former trawlermen and dock workers, telling stories of various shades of blue and not caring if the world outside is in the EU, out the EU or even exists any more.
It’s just as much an historic space as neighbouring Holy Trinity church. It just has beer and banter instead of fancy windows and pews. It’s what Hull was like before culture and it’s what Hull will be like when the culture goes away.
Market Place, Hull HU1 1RQ. 01482 324382.