Review: The Belle, Great Western Road

Having lived (and studied) near The Belle for a number of years without even knowing it existed, I was taken there by a friend one cold winter’s evening and it very quickly became a regular drop in. It’s possibly just as well this place isn’t in the most obvious location, situated in the less bar-heavy part of Great Western Road (smack bang between Kelvinbridge and the Oran Mor) as it’s tiny! As is, you’ll need some seriously good luck to get a seat (or standing space) on a Friday or Saturday night, but during the week this is a fantastic hangout with a great mixed crowd.

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The pub itself is small, maybe 10m squared, with 20 or so tables of all sizes dotted around against the walls and in the middle space. It’s a super cosy place, with a lovely roaring fire (which is actually used!) and rustic (but slightly jazzed up) detailing and decor around the walls. Toilets are on the back wall, and the small bar runs most of the length of the left hand wall as you walk in.

Drink selection is excellent with quite a few beers on tap, including some more interesting options like Sagres (for lager lovers) and Anchor Steam, as well as more common options like Amstel and Heineken. Their bottled selection is excellent as well, having stocked the likes of now ubiquitous Brooklyn for a lot longer than many places. Wine and soft drinks also available, as well as a great choice of bar snacks for a couple of quid including a little glass of pistachio nuts or jelly beans. Prices are a wee bit higher than average but not much and, as with most places, it totally depends on what your tipple is!

On the stereo is always an eclectic mix, and you can really tell it’s just whatever the staff are rocking to at the time. When I used to come here regularly as a student they were playing Wu-Tang and other great old school American hip-hop. When I was in a couple of weeks ago it was Daft Punk’s latest album that was on loop. The music’s great, varied, and not too loud which is perfect in this kind of atmosphere.

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