The Bell in Bath is an outstanding pub, we know this, you know this, but how they’ve turned a grumpy cretin’s one star review on TripAdvisor on its head is nothing short of genius……
Finding your apposite pub is akin to shoe shopping…. no, hear me out; I can waste time trekking a shopping centre, browse a zillion other stores, but once I’ve settled on a pair of shoes, which are usually in the first shop I visited because I bloody loathe shopping, there is no compromise, it’s those shoes or I’m walking barefoot. I never, however, feel driven to go onto ShoeAdvisor and discredit every other pair of shoes simply because they didn’t suit my tastes.
I’m game finding a suitable pub in Bath, but aware, as with any unfamiliar city, I’m likely to make a blunder and land in one which just isn’t for me. Familiarity, and want of a pint with a degree of urgency, I know full-well satisfaction will be nigh sauntering along the sunny side of Walcott Street, because for as long as I can remember, the Bell has been that stable institution with my name all over it, and then there is no compromise.
Historically The Bell has been lively, the comfy type for the hedonistic alternative. It sells pizza from a bicycle-themed hut, it hosts craft and artisan markets as well as being an upstanding music venue for musicians and DJs alike, with poetry slams and anything else which might tickle their fancy; it’s simply popular because it’s such a darn lovely place.
Their method to dealing with a bad TripAdvisor review though, tips the wanna-be Jay Rayners’ intentions on their heads. As a badge of honour, they post such reviews on their Facebook page for their customers in the know to belittle and laugh at. On this particular occasion the unhappy couple downgraded them from two stars to one, just for mocking their hypocritical review on their own Facebook page; it’s a social media thread which keeps giving!
They blamed the pub for the City Council’s lack of parking facilities, seemed to hate that the pub was popular, on its busiest weekend night, and for want of a quiet pub, with music(?) they hunted elsewhere, but their abhorrence of students prevented any success.
Laughable it may be, but it illustrates the danger in trusting opinions cast by unprofessional critics on these pathetic excuses for websites. Take me, for example, craving my pen mightier than my sword, if I wanted to slag off the Bell, or anywhere else, I would, but I don’t, because ultimately the Bell is a blindingly brilliant pub, always has been, and I hope always will be. Might take a fair attempt at slagging off the reviewer though, but to be fair, the reviewer was nice, and I’m sure on another review it would’ve suited me!
The audacity to downgrade a review simply because they laughed it off only increased the hysterical element to their hypocrisy; as they added “to be fair the place was nice, and I’m sure on another night it would’ve suited us…I am not slating the place or the people there!” But…. oh, you still downgraded your already appalling review to the lowest star rating possible? Okay, makes sense if a tavern with padded walls is what you’re after.
They had our very own guitar virtuoso Innes Sibun playing that very same night, for crying out loud; I strongly suggest he swaps his sublime guitar melodies for a cassette of whale song for want of appeasing these imbeciles, or continue unperturbed if not; of which I fancy the latter! Innes himself asked, “would it help if I offered to do a solo acoustic gig especially for them? I feel really guilty you’re getting slated for providing a night of live music which is what was promised.”
For The Bell have far from “taken it on the chin,” as suggested by the keyboard warrior, with 357 likes, laughing or wowed emojis from the original Facebook post, 140 comments to-date supporting the establishment, and equally blossoming on the latter post telling of the downgrading, rather it’s had quite the opposite effect the critic desired, and their audacity to appear fair-minded has collapsed in a pitiful heap.
Business as usual for the Bell, the Pizza Bike fired its oven and blessed drinkers with sourdough specials, Uncle Boo took to his guitar for some soul and blues grooves, and the staff prepare for a weekend of vinyl DJ sessions, an artisan and pre-loved market, and local country-rock indie from Breakfast Records’ Langkamer; much ado about nothing, but then some people can never let it lie. If your head is stuck in TripAdvisor, you’d never get the right shoes for you.
I could send you a packet of corn plasters for your blisters, but next time have faith in me, who gets or wants nothing from this or any other pub or venue, other than their continuation to support local creatives and musicians, and generate the awesome atmosphere in their establishment they always have.
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