GBPA Best Pub Garden: The Brisley Bell

By Ed Bedington contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Great british pub awards, Pub, Award, Beer garden

There’s been a lot of change at The Bell in the north west Norfolk village of Brisley since co-owners Amelia Nicholson and Marcus Seaman came on board, and that has netted them the title of Best Pub Garden in the Great British Pub Awards.

The pub’s public area footprint has expanded with a reconfigured bar area and a light and spacious dining room extension.

The result is a pub that manages to be both the local village inn and a destination gastropub, with a proper drinkers’ bar area complete with dart board, and a side room in the original building serving as an additional Green Room dining space.

But perhaps the biggest transformation has been in the garden which has been remodelled to become a brilliant asset with both aesthetic appeal for visitors and commercial benefit to the business.

Wow factor

The results are very impressive and it has bags of wow factor. Immediately outside the dining room extension is a small but attractive terrace with sides that can be closed in inclement weather, and a brace of “secret” tables tucked away in an adjacent hedge. The terrace leads on to a lawn with tables under a willow tree, and there’s a second grassed area with more tables, bordered by a huge variety of flowering pants and shrubs.

There’s also herb garden that provides a secluded space for guests staying in the pub’s rooms and supplies ingredients for the kitchen.

Head away from the pub down a short path and you come to a meadow area, with wild flowers and long grasses for children to explore and dogs to be walked in. The whole garden experience is immaculately presented and maintained, with local wildlife encouraged by the positioning of 30 bird boxes onsite, alongside bat boxes and beehives.

“The garden’s important to as a business,” says Nicholson. “We have almost two acres, so we can hold events here, and it appeals to holidaymakers staying here and to locals coming for a drink on a sunny day.”

Related topics: Events & Occasions

Related news