Monday, September 15, 2008

The Bellstone, Shrewsbury

The Bellstone is somewhat of an institution amongst me and my friends.  Ever since we first discovered 'going for a coffee' or meeting for lunch on a Saturday we have been frequenting The Bellstone, which is right in the heart of Shrewsbury, and a stone's throw from our old school.

Unfortunately, the standard of food and service has slipped so much over the years that were it not for so many fond memories I would certainly have stopped going there a long time ago.  However, I haven't and one Saturday while on a trip home over the August bank holiday I met with my best friend to discuss her wedding plans and to dissuade her from putting me in a peach taffeta bridemaid's dress.  We were seated immediately in the restaurant section at the back, which is a very nice room with black marble-esque tables and sturdy metal framed wicker chairs.  It has light wood floors and lots of natural light making a very nice atmosphere for a chat and a glass of wine.  We didn't want a huge meal and both chose a jacket potato - mine with tuna mayonnaise and sweetcorn and Hannah's with coronation chicken.

I was so very disappointed.  The potato was pretty small and seemed to have been baked in the microwave as the skin was not at all browned or crispy.  The filling was fine but basic and needed a lot of seasoning.  Hannah's was of a similar quality with a bland sauce.  Neither came with anything - not even a meagre side salad.  For the price (£6.25) this seems stingy.

The service was fine, not particularly friendly or attentive.  The staff seem to constantly be talking amongst themselves and you do not get the impression that they welcome an interruption.

Will I be coming back?  Hmm... perhaps not.

One course, a soft drink and a glass of wine: £14 per head

Value: 4/10

Service: 6/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Food: 5/10

SCORE: 22/40

The Bellstone, Bellstone Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1HU.  Tel: 01743 242100.

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