Bassingbourn's The Belle reopens with Pitcher and Piano man at the helm

PUBLISHED: 15:31 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:39 26 March 2019

The Belle in Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth aims to stock more than 100 gins. Picture: The Belle

The Belle in Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth aims to stock more than 100 gins. Picture: The Belle

The Belle

The man behind some of the nation’s most celebrated bars and restaurants has unveiled a surprise addition to his portfolio in Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth today.

The Belle's menu will use British ingredients but with an exotic twist to reflect the vibrancy and flavour of the Mediterranean and also the Middle East. Picture: The BelleThe Belle's menu will use British ingredients but with an exotic twist to reflect the vibrancy and flavour of the Mediterranean and also the Middle East. Picture: The Belle

Refurbished restaurant The Belle is David Catling’s latest offering, from a businessman who counts Pitcher and Piano, the Jazz Cafe and the Reading Festival among his success stories.

“This is a fantastic moment for me,” said David, speaking ahead of Friday’s official reopening event.

“A lot of love and planning has gone into creating somewhere elegant that people will be excited to visit yet feel relaxed as soon as they arrive.”

The Belle, which will also host private events and celebrations, will include specially-commissioned artwork from world famous artist Terry Bradley.

There's new artwork at the revamped Belle in Bassingbourn. Picture: The BelleThere's new artwork at the revamped Belle in Bassingbourn. Picture: The Belle

“The finest bar in the world is regarded as the Dead Rabbit in New York,” revealed David.

“It is a beloved place and it is renowned for the Bradley artwork. I’ve had the same legend create some special artwork for us.”

The venue was keen to establish a strong identity based on the designs and was inspired by history.

“The Belle was named after the Memphis Belle,” said David.

“There was a Second World War bomber station close to the venue. The artwork at the original Belle public house was very masculine. I wanted to change this to something that reflected the spirit and link to the Memphis Belle, the painted lady icon on the front of the bombers. Terry Bradley has now created ‘Belle’ for us, a burlesque woman similar in style to the original 1940s Memphis Belle. It looks stunning and adds a real stylistic theme to the venue.”

About the food, David said: “We’ve created a menu that will change with the seasons, using the finest British ingredients but with an exotic twist to reflect the vibrancy and flavour of the Mediterranean and also the Middle East.

“Ingredient selection, using only the finest suppliers, is always crucial for me. Alongside that we’ve meticulously compiled a vast selection of beers, spirits and exotic cocktails.

“I’ve managed to secure more than 100 different gins for the bar, we boast an incredible selection of all spirits and cocktails.

“Hopefully the customers will appreciate the attention to detail in the food and drink.

“I couldn’t be more proud of what we have achieved.”

To coincide with the reopening, the Crow has teamed up with The Belle to offer one of our readers a complimentary three-course meal for four people at Friday’s launch event, which starts at 7pm at the venue in North End and will include live music.

A secondary prize of entry for four people to the opening party is also up for grabs.

To be in with a chance of winning, just answer the following question:

The restuarant’s artwork reflects which Belle?

A) Belle from Beauty and the Beast

B) Memphis Belle

C) Dido Elizabeth Belle

Email your answer and a contact number to news@royston-crow.co.uk by 5pm on Thursday, March 28.

T&Cs

Primary winners must be sat no later than 10 minutes of their reservation otherwise their table may be resold.

Secondary winners must be in the venue no later than 9pm

Winners will be chosen at random, and our decision is final.

Unless you have chosen to receive other information from us, Archant Community Media Limited and The Belle will solely use the data you provide for the purpose of running the competition, including contacting winners and the distribution of any prize.

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