The Five Bells, Wickham
The Five Bells is an unpretentious country inn, offering a menu of comforting classics, open fires, microbrewery and a large beer garden. It's pub heaven.
Wickham is not just the home to the Great British Bake Off tent – Welford Park, for those of you who didn’t know West Berkshire’s baking claim to fame. There is now another foodie attraction – The Five Bells. The pub’s been overhauled by Duncan Jones, ex group head chef at The Bel & The Dragon, and a man who has cooked for the Queen, Prince Phillip and the Queen of Sweden. How fancy is that? Don’t expect gastropub fine dining, the menu here is a crowd-pleasing list of British comfort classics, using local ingredients.
The Five Bells is about creating those home from home vibes – minus the hours of cooking and cleaning up. It’s a dose of ‘there there’ comfort that we could all do with right now. The 17th century thatched pub is a gem and ticks all those country inn boxes with love: roaring fires, countryside views, original features and ‘mind your head’ low beams. Plus it has rooms too. This is very much a place loved by locals, that welcomes families (Duncan has two kids, so knows the drill), it’s a lovely escape for couples and business people alike. All dietary preferences, intolerances and allergens are catered for and the on-site microbrewery will be also be offering homemade ales.
It’s also a place that champions local, so expect to see beers from nearby breweries and produce sourced from Berkshire suppliers. Since lockdown, the Five Bells has even launched a produce shop. Now the world is back to panic buying, you’ll be able to do your weekly shop here too.
There are four rooms to book here too in case you want to scoff, quaff and stagger to bed. Despite its rural location, it’s very easy to get to from the M4 and is 10 minutes from Newbury and Hungerford. It’s a great base for Bake Off fans who fancy roaming the grounds of Welford Park, but you’ll have to wait until 2021 – just in time to see their famous carpet of snow drops.
Five Bells, Baydon Road, Wickham, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8HH
Wednesday: 12pm – 3pm / 5pm – 10pm
Thursday: 12pm – 3pm / 5pm – 10pm
Friday: 12pm – 3pm / 5pm – 10pm
Saturday: 12pm – 10pm
Sunday: 12pm – 10pm
follow The Five Bells, Wickham on