Urbanista is delighted to document the revival of West Kirby’s iconic pub, The Ring O’ Bells, and as an Urbanista writer it was my honour to attend the open evening — a celebration of the new summer menu and indeed the new Management. The Ring O’ Bells will always have a fond place in my heart due to memories of playing in the beer garden playground as a child and drinking in the sun all day there as an adult, so talk of it being restored to its former glory was music to my ears and it excites me to report the changes! The new look of The Ring O’ Bells is based upon providing top quality service and top quality food and drink whilst staying true to its roots.
The Ring O’ Bells, situated on Village Road (The Old Village), is a hidden gem and has by far the best beer garden in West Kirby. It is one of the only traditional pubs left in the area and has all the features required to provide an escape from the pressures of modern day life — with passionate and friendly new Managers at the helm, these are exciting times for The Ring O’ Bells. New Manager Ross Evans is no stranger to the pub, having attended Calday Grange Grammar School as a boy and having good local knowledge, although he has ventured further afield during his career. For many years he ran a restaurant in Aspen, Colorado (USA), before returning to the UK to marry Vicky and run The Malthouse Farm, a gastro pub in Lancashire. The pair have most recently managed The Sefton Arms ‘over the water’ but when The Ring O’ Bells became available its romantic lure captured their hearts — and I fully understand why!
I attended the open evening to celebrate the new summer menu and the new Management with my Mother and Brother — quite appropriate as we had enjoyed family meals there in the past. The place was buzzing on the Thursday evening and there was an abundance of young, energetic and attentive staff. I wasn’t sure what to expect on this evening but we were greeted with glasses of Prosecco, seated at a cosy table towards the back of the pub and tended to with a beaming smile from our Waitress, Kayleigh. She was one of the Hostesses for the night and was dressed in vibrant red to match the red banners and red balloons — a sign of new beginnings for this legendary old pub — although I felt the same cosy vibe as I have always cherished.
Throughout the night we were treated to some of the delights of the new menu. To start we sampled the Antipasti Platter (Salami and cured meat served with olives, buffalo mozzarella, hummus, bloomer bread, celery, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and oil), Crispy Chicken Strips (Strips of crispy coated chicken breast served with a BBQ sauce and dressed mixed leaves) and Baked Stuffed Mushrooms (With a white wine and cream sauce, stuffed with cheese and topped with watercress). For the mains we enjoyed Mussels & Fries (Scottish mussels served in shellfish sauce and served with seasoned fries, bloomer bread and butter) and various burgers such as the Big Porky, Gourmet Meat Feast, Mexican Spiced (V) and Southern Fried Chicken burgers. In addition to these sumptuous servings we were introduced to their Chablis and Rose wines during our experience and to finish we devoured the Eton Mess Cheesecake (V) (Individual clotted cream cheesecake with crumbled meringue, strawberries and raspberry coulis).
Urbanista : “So, what can we expect to see at The Ring O’ Bells under new Management?”
Ross : “As you know, we have just launched our summer menu and added a few new plates such as Antipasti Platter, Mussels & Fries and some new burgers too. We will always have different drink and meal deals such as Prosecco offers and 2 Meals For £10 on a number of dishes. We will be aiming to have at least 6 casks on at any one time — we will be keeping Abbots and IPA on with ales from Liverpool Organic and Peerless for example. We are also pushing our buffet menu which has a number of different price options and the bottom section of the pub is available for different occasions if people are looking for somewhere to hold an event, christening, funeral etc.
We will be running regular BBQs on Saturdays through June and July from 1pm-6pm (weather permitting) and we welcome well behaved dogs inside the pub in the top two sections and everywhere outside. We have put two TVs in the top section and bar (we’ll be showing events such as the Euros football without disturbing the middle and lower dining experience) and Wednesday is Quiz Night from 9pm. As a brewery we support Macmillan Cancer Research and will be running different events throughout the year to raise money — I am running the Yorkshire Marathon in October and will open a Just Giving page hoping to raise at least £1000!”
Here’s to the past and indeed the future of The Ring O’ Bells — a firm favourite of Urbanista for that traditional pub escape and those long summer days in the beer garden.
Find The Ring O Bells online: http://www.ringobells-westkirby.co.uk/