Legend has it that William Shakespeare, having been drinking here with dramatist Ben Jonson, contracted fatal pneumonia after returning to Stratford-upon-Avon in the pouring rain. It’s a matter owners Colin and Teresa Ombler leave others to debate, while they focus on providing quality drink and food at this early 16th-century pub. For example, there are always four real ales and 16 wines served by the glass. Starters and light meals include avocado and smoked crispy bacon salad; and crispy fried whitebait dusted with cayenne pepper. Main courses include Thai vegetable curry with basmati rice; or oven-roasted cod, creamy asparagus penne pasta with crispy Serrano ham. Don’t miss the banoffee sundae dessert. Each distinct space in the Bell displays its own character, with flagstones in one, and oak flooring in another; there’s antique wood panelling in the bar, and three open fires, one an inglenook.