The Ten Bells
The Ten Bells
The Ten Bells
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SquareMeal Review of The Ten Bells

Changes have been rung at this renowned Spitalfields pub, though its history, both ancient and modern, is hard to escape. The first-floor dining room – a peeling, Dickensian space with louche appeal – once played host to dinners cooked by Young Turks James Lowe (now at Lyle’s) and Isaac McHale (The Clove Club). Of late, a new list of cocktails has been offered alongside the repertoire of appetising modern Brit food and the classy mid-price range of wine and quality ales, including London Fields-brewed Shoreditch Triangle IPA. The third floor now offers a lush lounge area, available for private hire only. The ancient history? Annie Chapman and Mary Jane Kelly drank in The Ten Bells before their grisly demise at the hands of Jack The Ripper.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
British

Location for The Ten Bells

84 Commercial Street, London, London, E1 6LY

020 7426 0560

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sun 12N-12M (Tues -11pm Thurs-Sat -1am)

Reviews of The Ten Bells

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4 Reviews 
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Service
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Value

W S

Shocking managemnet
03 January 2016  
Having been a customer of the 10 Bells for around 20 years as I lived locally, we visited on Saturday 2/1/2016 around 1pm having just taken my 13 yr old son to the Jack the ripper museum so could not miss a visit as 10 Bells as it is part of the history. Upon walking into the pub, be we rudely stopped by the manager stating " No. no children" shocked as his not only impolite but almost discussed attitude, I suggested that we sat outside to which he reluctantly agreed. On ordering my drinks (2 x G&T's and 2x orange juice) he once again displayed immense venom in declining the soft drinks as they were for my children. Having personally owned and run several bars/restaurants in London I'm aware of the need for good staff and the person currently managing this establishment will kill the footfall due to his unmannered approach to customers. I'm very aware of the licensing laws so appreciate that each licensed premises carries its own stipulations, but to be spoken too in such an impertinent manor is NOT acceptable. I will not only be informing all my friends whom live close, not to entertain there usual evening city drinks here, but advise all people contemplating a visit not to, as all the original features of this pub that made it so special have since been ripped out. Spitalfields and Shoreditch have so many wonderful places to enjoy food and drink just miss this one out.
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Ms/Mrs. Tanya D

Bring me here on a date
27 April 2015  
I couldnt believe you could get such lovely food in such a charming little place with really friendly service. I had serious reservations and turned up and saw the bar and wondered what I had let myself in for but as soon as you walk upstairs into the dining room, it was so olde worlde charming, unpretentious and simple but in a romantic way. I would be happy if someone bought me here on a date. The food was darn delicious and the cost of three courses is a steal!
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Ellen F

23 September 2012  
To get to Upstairs at the Ten Bells you have to battle through the Friday night drinking crowd, which is like an urban version of Wipeout, but once you've conquered that, it's just going to a restaurant above a pub really. There's no “no entry” sign I can see, the “secret” doorway is wide open, there's a chalkboard outside advertising Upstairs, and there's a crowd of people sticking in their heads in on the way to the toilets to see if there's any room at the inn. The secret, pop up vibe has well and truly popped. It may not be a secret any more, but the atmosphere is still secretive, cosy and relaxed and you could easily ensconce yourself in here for a long night. It's evidently still popular as it fills up quickly and you only get 2hrs 15mins before you'll be booted out. Turning tables might annoy me normally but we had booked an early sitting deliberately so people could eat up and get out of town early. The menu is short but sweet with a couple of meats, a couple of fish dishes, maybe a sop to the veggies, and no sides. So choosing is a quick and easy affair and we all 3 opted for the beef. When it came it had more of a stew type consistency; not what I was expecting but delicious as the meat was tender, flavoursome, fell apart on the fork and melted in the mouth. No steak knives and sawing necessary. A couple of onion rings on top added interest and a smoothly creamy swede mash soaked up the meat juices. Following a long discussion with the waiter regarding zabaione (custard or cream?) my friend agreed to try it in her dessert and scoffed the lot. I can't remember what I had but I think the verdict was thumbs up all round. We had a glass of fizz and a decent bottle of red between us and the night raced by. By the time we got the bill (a reasonable £40 a head excl service) we were discussing breeds of dogs beginning with the letter E with the waiter. It's a good job they do turn the tables as it really was time to go.
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Mr. Richard E

18 July 2012  
Rumour, as Adele might say, has it that in 1888 Jack the Ripper identified his victims at the Ten Bells. Indeed, on the wall of pub is a list of JtR’s alleged victims (although argument still rages as to whether it is six, as listed, or only five that he disembowelled). What Jack would have made of the current trend setters in this part of Shoreditch is anyone’s guess: mine is that the list would be a lot longer than five/six victims. Go up the stairs behind the door marked “no entry” and you find yourself in the restaurant. A small bar one side, some ornate chandeliers, a few tables with mismatched chairs scattered around and some a la mode art on the walls: a neon entreaty to “keep me safe” on one wall, a (frankly creepy) rendition of “Gabrielle d’Estrees and one of her sisters” with the sisters replaced by two nakedly smiling gentlemen, on another. So the place is cool. So cool that my 17 year old niece, who we took along for a late evening out of the rain, thought it was cool. And, vintage leather jackets aside, she is hard to impress in the coolness stakes. I’m not so sure about the profusion of facial hair on the staff, but maybe this is their schtick, much like the profusion of tattoos at Spuntino (again voted cool by the 17 year old who knows): to work here, you must sprout a beard. I was pleased to see that the waitress had not got that memo. White peach fizzes got the evening off well. The arrival of the food meant that it continued in the same vein: I would generally always chose a dish that has bone marrow in it, but call me old fashioned, I just don’t get meat with fruit: why put blackberries with bone marrow? It did look good mind when the next door table had it. Instead, a playful assembly of diced razor clams (another “must have” if seen on a menu) and Indian spices came to the table, to have a courgette soup poured over and around. A truly sensational combination. The poached egg, cheese and gherkin ensemble also worked excellently well. Lamb came with anchovy (always a good combination with Baa Baa), spinach and a potato rosti. The skin of the beast had been cooked to a crunch, yet the inside was beautifully pink. The best lamb the 17 year old has so far enjoyed. Smoked belly of pork was as excellent as it sounds: soft smoky meat, crackled skin, accompanied by oat groats and some sliced radish. Simple, superbly prepared and masterfully presented. The wine list is short and fairly priced and the service exemplary: friendly, efficient and unobtrusive. I am sure that the 17 year old would rather have gone on to Callooh Callay, Casita, Nightjar or one of the other uber-cool Shoreditch joints, but sensing that our old bones couldn’t handle this, she was gracious in letting us depart. We will be back, as uncool as ever, perhaps with a patina of coolness bestowed by association with hanging out with the coolest kid on the block.
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