The Bell pub in Whitechapel, London, was where Cormoran Strike had his eighteenth birthday party. At the time, Leda Strike was six months pregnant with her and Jeff Whittaker’s son, Switch LaVey Bloom Whittaker. The party is where Cormoran’s two friends Nick and Ilsa Herbert first meet and fall in love.
It sounds like the party saw quite a mix of emotions: Strike’s “aunt’s face had been a mask of mingled disapproval and forced jollity and his Uncle Ted, usually the peacemaker, had been unable to disguise his anger and disgust as a patently high Whittaker had interrupted the disco to sing one of his self-penned songs. Strike remembered his own fury, his longing to be away, to be gone to Oxford, to be rid of it all, but perhaps Nick and Ilsa would not remember much about that: they had been engrossed in each other that night, dazed and amazed by their sudden, profound mutual attraction.”
The area of Whitechapel where The Bell is located is a popular tourist attraction because of its Jack the Ripper history.