Established in 1798 the Blue Bell on Fossgate is York's smallest, quirkiest and one of its loveliest pubs. Landlord John Pybus tells us what makes the pub special:

What drinks do you serve - and do you have any specials?

The Blue Bell specialises in cask conditioned real ale. The Master Cellarman is particularly proud of the Blue Bell House IPA brewed by Brass Castle in Malton. It is exclusive to the pub and widely regarded as one of the best ales in the country. The pub also boasts a carefully-sourced wine selection and full range of gins, rums, single malts and soft drinks.

Do you serve food?

York Pie Co Pork Pies are freshly available every day but hurry - when they're gone they're gone!

What makes the Blue Bell stand out from other pubs?

The Blue Bell is York’s smallest pub and the only pub in York to boast an untouched Edwardian interior unchanged since 1903. The Landlord and Landlady in 1903 - George and Annie Robinson - refused service to large or rowdy groups and enforced a strict ‘no swearing’ rule that is still in place today. The pub also requests that mobile phone conversations are held outside of the public rooms, all adding to an atmosphere of jovial conversation, friendliness and an all-round 'old fashioned' drinking experience.

How has the pub adapted during the Covid-19 crisis?

The Blue Bell was hit harder than most pubs in the country. Due to it’s size it was impossible to trade through most of the COVID ‘tiers’ and only managed six weeks of trading in 12 months. When pubs were allowed to only trade outside The Blue Bell took over most of the top end of Fossgate and made the very most of a bad situation. It is now wonderful to have happy customers sitting inside a warm and welcoming pub!

York Press:

The bar at the Blue Bell

Has the pub won any awards?

Many, including 2016 CAMRA Town Pub Of The Season; 2017 CAMRA Town Pub Of The Year Finalist; 2016 and 2017 Visit York Pub Of The Year Finalist; Timothy Taylor’s Champions Club, 2019-present ; and 2019 Within The Walls Pub Of The Year:

What is your favourite anecdote?

In 2018 I was serving behind the bar when a Canadian couple came in for a glass of wine. They were visiting York, London and a few other English cities on their travels. The Blue Bell captured their hearts and they promised to return the next day. On doing so they met our Tuesday regulars and had a spectacular night meeting folk from around York. They cancelled their trip to London so they could meet the Wednesday regulars! After a few days of deliberation they cancelled all their trips just to stay in York and experience more of The Blue Bell. After a week we waved them off back to Canada with tears in all our eyes.

A fortnight later Paula and Craig walked back through the doors, this time to stay. Such was their experience in The Blue Bell that they sold their house and emigrated to York!

The Blue Bell, 53 Fossgate, York

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