A HEREFORDSHIRE village pub is delighted to be voted Hereford Times Best Pub 2022.

The Bells Inn is in Almeley, near Kington, in the heart of the Herefordshire countryside.

It has been named Herefordshire Pub of the Year runner-up for two years running by the county’s Campaign for Real Ale.

On winning our award, landlady Lisa Hudson said it was fantastic news that her pub had come out on top.

She said: “I knew we were up against some good pubs. We were hoping we were going to win, but it is fantastic news that we have.

“It’s nice to know we’ve got that support out there to vote for us.

“Our customers are really great. We’re really appreciative."


The pub offers a lunch menu three days a week and goodies from the deli two days a week.

Lunches are served at the Bells on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am until 2.30pm.

Mrs Hudson and her husband Jason are approaching their 15-year anniversary at the Bells, after moving to Herefordshire from East Sussex.

Mrs Hudson said: “When we started looking for a pub we found this one and it looked like a really nice area to settle down with a family. I was pregnant at the time and we were looking for somewhere we could make a home.

“We fell in the love with Herefordshire straight away, and everyone was so welcoming.

“Our kids went to Almeley Primary and then Weobley High School so are definitely as Herefordian as you can get.”

The pub also has its own deli shop offering a wide selection of goods, including homemade quiche, charcuterie and cheese.

Want to stay up to date with all the latest Leominster news? It's easy, just sign up for our weekly email newsletter here and all the important stories that matter to you will be delivered straight to your inbox.

The award-winning shop and deli is open from Thursday to Saturday.

Mrs Hudson said that the shop was a godsend during the Covid pandemic and helped the pub keep its head above water during an incredibly difficult time for the industry.

She said: “The shop certainly helped us cement our place as a hub for the community – somewhere for people to meet in a small place that’s quite isolated.

The pub ran a food delivery service during the Covid lockdown which proved so popular that it has carried on to this day.

Mrs Hudson said: “We’re only a small pub, so running a full-time restaurant with the pub isn’t really a viable option. The weekly food delivery was an idea that did really well during the lockdown so we carried it on.”

Mrs Hudson has been quick to praise the pub’s loyal customers that have kept the Bells Inn going through difficult times.

She said: “We’ve seen quite a few rural pubs go by the wayside in recent years.

“It has not always been smooth sailing for us, we have had to constantly adapt.

The last few years have been challenging to say the least with the recession, pandemic, and now energy and food prices, but through it all, we have kept going.

“We can assure our customers that we are continuing, and hope to go from strength to strength in the future.”


The Bells will get a trophy and certificate to display behind the bar to mark its win. After a call for nominations, we held a readers’ vote and the Bell came top.

What you said about the Bells Inn, Almeley

Here is a selection of the comments left when Hereford Times readers nominated the Bells Inn.

Nico Mitchell said: "Fantastic village pub, a great little shop selling local produce.

"Just what a village pub should be. Jason is a super friendly landlord."

Julian Williams said: "Cost country pub with a great selection of beers and good home-cooked food."

Natasha Holder said: "The staff are always friendly and helpful. Such a lovely atmosphere to come into and it’s in a beautiful area and can clearly see that the owner a have put a lot of effort and time into both the pub and the shop.

"The food in the shop has all the essentials, so once you’ve been in the pub it’s so quick and easy to grab some food!"

Guy Wilkinson said: "Jason and Lisa at the Bells offer everything and more that a village pub should have.

"There is a public bar and shop, an outside terrace and a tearoom. The shop stocks everything you could want and is the only shop in miles; the pub is a free house and stocks the selection its customers want.

"The public bar hosts groups from darts teams through the bowls teams (played outside) to hosting wedding receptions and funeral wakes with the delicious meals that Lisa cooks - as well as for individual patrons.

"During the pandemic, they went out of their way to look after the community supplying and delivering what everyone needed. The Bells is at the heart of our village community and offers a warm welcome for regulars and occasional visitors alike."


Mark Wiles said: "Great village pub, excellent well-kept real ales and ciders.

"The pub has a cosy yet lively atmosphere and serves wonderful homemade food that's plentiful and delicious. Jason and Lisa always offer a warm welcome and friendly chat over the bar. They have a lovely garden to sit outside in the summer and a fire inside in winter keeping the pub lovely and warm.

"They host the village Cribbage and Petanque teams. The pub is also the village shop and deli and it's always handy being able to buy a pint of milk or a loaf of bread at the end of an evening!"

Rob Rimmer said: "Jason and Lisa and Carol really go out of the way to be helpful to anyone that comes by whether locals or visitors, and the deli/shop is really well stocked with just what you need plus you cant beat your local village shop having pub opening hours!

"Ideal for a pint when you buy your pint of milk and the food is fab too. We are really lucky to have them as our local."

Gail Greenwood said: "The Bells is the epitome of a true village pub, catering for all the residents' needs and more. Plus welcoming people from other communities.

"We are so proud of our village pub and would love Jason and Lisa to win this accolade there is no one more deserving!"

Martin Williams said: "What a fantastic local. Great beer, great atmosphere, great pub food.

"We are so lucky to have Jason and Lisa running this place. Long may it carry on."