The Five Bells pub in Salisbury reopened yesterday (1st November 2021) after being bought by TV chef and sandwich connoisseur Max Halley.
Max is the resident sandwich and condiment expert on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and in 2014, he opened Max’s Sandwich Shop in London. Now, after moving out of the capital and residing in the quiet village of Hindon, Max has decided to open his idea of the best pub ever.
With a speedboat in the garden, cold pints, and hot pies, the pub keeps to the simple joys of a British boozer. We caught up with Max Halley to find out about how he feels being the owner of a Salisbury pub.
“It is a dream come true to own a boozer. I moved down here about four years ago and became friends with Ethan Davids who has pubs around the area including The Grosvenor Arms in Hindon and The Pembroke Arms in Wilton.
“Like many of us, I have always wanted a pub, and Ethan is an extremely sensible person to open a pub with. So we are an excellent pairing, he knows how to run a grown-up business and I know how to enjoy myself,” explained Max.
Speaking about his plans for the pub, Max says he wants to serve good food and nice drinks in a venue that’s for everyone.
“My idea is to just have a boozer with a speedboat in the garden. I have learnt from running a restaurant for a long time that if you try too hard to figure out what everybody else wants you lose touch with what you like, and then the identity of a place becomes a bit confused.
“I am just trying to open what I think is my favourite pub, and I hope that all of us as people share an idea of the things that make a pub a great pub”.
While Max won’t be bringing his famous sandwiches to the Five Bells, he will be serving up English pub classics including pie, mash, scotch eggs, sausages, pickled eggs, and crisps.
“I felt that if we did sandwiches here then it kind of becomes a spin-off of my sandwich shop and I really do genuinely want a boozer. If the sandwiches were here it becomes all about the sandwiches, and I want to avoid that.
“I asked myself “what does the best pub in the world have?” Beer, a speedboat in the garden, prices that aren’t a rip-off, and pie, mash and gravy”.
Even before the pub opened its doors to the public yesterday, Max told us that the people of Salisbury have been “ridiculously welcoming”.
“We have Rory from Naked Bagel making our scotch eggs, Pritchetts are making us our own sausages – it’s already a real local effort. I have come into Salisbury really only about three months ago and so many people have come in, said hello and introduced me to other people. To feel so welcomed into a place is wonderful”.
You can find the Five Bells at 28 Salt Lane, Salisbury. Open seven days a week 10am-11pm.