Pub didn't ring my bell
FRAMPTON-ON-SEVERN was buzzing on the day we visited.
The charmingly old-fashioned Giffords Circus had taken up its annual residence on the village green, reputedly the longest in England, attracting pre and post-show walkers and picnickers.
Plus it was the hottest day of the year.
We were among the crowd going to Giffords' Lucky 13 show, and decided to eat in The Bell beforehand.
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The Bell enjoys one of the most picturesque settings of any Gloucestershire pub.
It's right next to the green and the village's celebrated cricket ground.
It's part of the small chain of Quality inns, which includes The Pepper Pot near Dursley, Fagin's in Brookthorpe and The George in Cambridge.
At The Bell, there are plenty of outside tables to enjoy the surroundings as well as a great children's play area round the back and even a few farm animals to say hello to.
And it serves food all day from 11am to 9pm, which makes it a great destination for those who, like us, have children and need to eat early or at odd times.
We were having an early tea at 4pm, ahead of the 5pm circus show.
But we were clearly not the only ones who had decided to enjoy the summer afternoon at The Bell.
Staff seemed stretched and it took a while to get served at the bar or order food.
There's a full menu of traditional pub dishes, plus an extensive specials board with more unusual gastro pub-style options.
I ordered the chicken fajitas from the main menu (£11.95) which was an enjoyable dish, plenty of chicken in a salsa sauce, some wraps, sour cream and sweet chilli dips.
Indeed my daughter preferred it to her sausage and chips from the children's menu and helped me finish it.
I wasn't surprised she was diving into mine since the chips, which she wasn't keen on, had been a last minute substitute for mash.
An embarrassed waiter told us they'd run out of mash, which seemed a little odd at 4pm.
A starter plate of mixed tapas including anchovies, olives, feta cheese, garlic croutons, chorizo and bread (£4.95) arrived at the same time (we were keen to eat our meal on time ahead of Giffords) and provided tasty nibbles.
My partner's red sea bream served with samphire, courgettes and new potatoes (£13.95) from the specials board was a good plate of quality food.
Sadly we didn't have time for desserts. The circus was calling. We'll have to save that for another visit.