We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Ratings and reviews

Travellers' Choice2023
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
£8 - £20
CUISINES
Bar, British, Pub, Gastropub
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
View all details
meals, features, about
Reviews (498)
We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
Filter reviews
496 results
Traveller rating
250
103
65
36
42
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageEnglish
Traveller rating
250
103
65
36
42
Show reviews that mention
All reviews burger lamb shank pudding scampi ice cream sunday roast salad the pub big cat sanctuary lovely old pub booked a table staff were attentive lovely lunch food was lovely kent pint
Sort and selected filters
Sort FilterEnglish
Updating list...
Reviewed 6 December 2023 via mobile

I took my father here for lunch today. It was our first visit and won't be the last. I feel bad as I have driven past this little Gem more times than I can count and always said to myself, "Oh, I must try it...one day," what a fool I have been. I had been cheating myself from a great place to stop. Firstly a classic old style country pub with great character and traditional interior. From the stone tiled floors to the lower duck your head doorways and log burners in the fireplaces at this time of year its all you could want. So firstly the staff. Exceptional helpful and pleasant with good conversation. Secondly but it should be first the food was very well portioned, fresh and enjoyable to eat. A couple of pints of Christmas Ale to wash it all down during my time there made for a very good afternoon which will be repeated again. Thank you for hosting us. See you again.More

Date of visit: December 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 24 October 2023

We had such a fabulous meal at The Bell today. My friend and I both had our children with us and we felt like we were welcome in the pub. There was plenty of food choice to suit vegetarians and fussy kids. Everybody cleared their...plates and puddings were yummy as well. The staff were friendly, attentive and fabulous with the kids. Such a lovely atmosphere, this truly is a family pub. We will be back and next time we will bring the dog!More

Date of visit: October 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Zoe De jager, Owner at The Smarden Bell, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2023

Thank you for review. We look forward to your return visit with your four legged friend who now even have their own menus including ice cream!

Reviewed 23 October 2023

Visited this pub for a family birthday lunch arriving at 12.30pm. It is a very attractive looking pub with a lovely beer garden and well decorated interior. It was a hot day so we chose to sit inside as it was a bit cooler. We...were disappointed by the menu choice, a few things weren't available, but everyone found something they could eat and we ordered about 12.50. The starters arrived at 1.45 and those of us who had chosen not to have one had to wait until 2.30 to eat anything, 2 HOURS after we arrived! Sadly all the vegetables were cold, even the mash and chips. Nobody came to ask if we were happy and we were so hungry we didn't go to complain. It was mentioned to the waitress when she came to clear the table but she just shrugged her shoulders. She hadn't really listened so mayonnaise never arrived, ginger beer was ordered as a soft drink option but an alcoholic variety was served and not identified as containing alcohol. If you use the wash hand basin tap in the ladies expect to get soaked! No acknowledgement of the birthday was made. This was supposed to be a special lunch but everything about it was disappointing. We will not return.More

Date of visit: August 2023
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Zoe De jager, Owner at The Smarden Bell, responded to this reviewResponded 24 October 2023

We are sorry that your experience was not as you expected.As you said it was a hot day & your visit was in August which was at least 6 weeks ago. If you visited us when the local cat sanctuary was open throughout August we...More

Reviewed 13 October 2023 via mobile

After giving this an excellent review earlier in the year, we were extremely disappointed with our most recent experience a couple of weeks ago. Firstly, there were no ales! Just lager or Guinness! We then ordered our food, 2 burgers and a bottle of Malbec....The waitress returned to say they had no Malbec, but gave us a couple of alternatives which she confirmed were similar in price. The food arrived, the burgers were drowned in bbq sauce, probably because the burgers themselves were tasteless, greasy and raw in the middle. I have never known my other half leave food on his plate before. We didn’t even ask about desserts, having overheard the waitress on the next table that there was very limited choice. The bill arrived only to find that the bottle of wine suggested was £6 more than the Malbec! After some discussion, they agreed to refund the £6 difference-the best part of the evening. We certainly won’t be in any rush to return here any time soon.More

Date of visit: September 2023
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 October 2023 via mobile

Where do I start? This venue was booked due to convenience to family. Also due to previous recommendations. What a let down. Arrived early to a totally empty pub and shown to a massive table. Told on being seated ‘no Sunday Roast’ on a Sunday...( and why we had booked in the first place ) Ordered drinks and asked for a child’s menu ( informed no we don’t have one) ok we can work with that but maybe your staff could help a little more? Next told No Lamb Shanks! Ok what can we order then? 2 ordered the Burger,3 of us ordered Lasagne and my dad ordered the pie. The Burgers were greasy and horrible. The lasagne were cold with uncooked pasta and no garlic bread ( as advertised) some frozen bread with parsley was bought out 20 mins later ( I think it was found at the bottom of the freezer) When we mentioned the garlic bread the staff shrugged and walked away? It’s part of the meal and clearly written on the menu. It’s not difficult? When asked to speak to the manager we were told she was the Chef and came out with a ridiculous explanation for our specially planned meal for my mums birthday No customer service skills whatsoever. Thanks Smarden Bell for ruining our dayMore

Date of visit: October 2023
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 October 2023

Booked a table 2 weeks in advance for Sunday lunch for my nans 82nd birthday only to be told on ARRIVAL Sunday dinners were off the menu (which we were all looking forward to) so they were only serving their main menu. To go someone...else wasn’t really an option due to my Nan having mobility issues, I’d really wish I’d had a phone call before arrival as we could have had an option to go elsewhere for a roast we all wanted. Anyway we all sat and looked at the menu with the bare minimum on it to be told 15 minutes later there was no lamb shank available. Luckily no one to my knowledge was ordering this but should have been told when we got told there was no roast dinners.I had my 18 month year old Niece with us and no option of a children’s menu was given we had to ask for a children’s menu to be told ‘No if it’s lot on the menu then we don’t have it’ we asked if we could have a smaller lasagna which was on the menu and was told they would check and eventually returned to say yes. All of the food turned up and to be quite honest I wouldn’t feed it to a dog! The lasagne only looked like a kids portion and was hard, cold and not edible. Waitresses asked if we needed anything else and we asked if our garlic bread with the lasagne was coming to be looked at with a glum look clearly not knowing there should be garlic bread with it. 10 minutes later some bread (not toasted) turned up with no garlic on and what looked like was a quick put together as they forgot what was on the menu themselves it was tasteless bread with a sprinkle of parsley on the top. The food was diabolical and after my partner had enough of his burger he later found mud and dirt all over his lettuce from the burger. We explained the situation to the waitress to which she brought the landlady out to be told she had complaints about the menu last Sunday as it was just roast dinners so she thought she’d try something different this week she apologised and took the food of the bill. I’m not surprised she had complaints after what we had to encounter. We didn’t want a free meal we all wanted a nice family afternoon and some nice food and customer service, this place is definitely not it! Will never return. Now my nans birthday has been ruined. Think everyone needs to re value what you think your good at as cooking and customer service is definitely not one of them.More

Date of visit: October 2023
Helpful?4  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 October 2023

Was told that The Bell did good food and as my local I booked Sunday lunch and was excited to take my friend. On arrival service was poor and unfriendly and was told that the food wait would be a while as they were busy...even though I had booked. When looking around there was only 3 tables. The menu was limited no Sunday roast as advertised on website and menu was either fried or carb heavy. I chose the chicken ceaser salad. The chicken was off smelt off and noted small hairs on my dish. When complaining the waitress noted that she new as had another complaint. On payment for my friends dish which was so heavily fried I asked if the chef puts expiry dates on food the landlady was there calling me darling and was terribly rude no apology and said it was freshly cooked the day before. This chicken was not freshly cooked and was processed meat!!!! Very disappointing as lovely location and a pretty pub but will not returning.More

Date of visit: September 2023
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 12 September 2023

WHAT A FANTASTIC EVENING on Saturday evening (09.09.23) We had a private function at The Smarden Bell Pub celebrating our son’s 18th birthday & our 30th wedding anniversary with about 80 of our family & friends from 4 to 80+ years of age; from all...over the U.K., Ireland & Belgium - people who have an active ‘role’ in the ‘stuff the Duckworth team gets up to!. Everything was amazing 🤩 Zoe from The Bell & all of her amazing staff; The food, the cakes, the music, the drinks 🍹 🍺 🥤; the pub (we made full use of both inside and outside of this wonderful building & gorgeous garden) We cannot thank everyone enough ♥️♥️♥️More

Date of visit: September 2023
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 25 August 2023

Had very nice meal here,steak and kidney pudding excellent, although veg could have been hotter. Excellent service from staff but….no draught bitters ! In a Shepherd and Neame pub!

Date of visit: August 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Zoe De jager, Owner at The Smarden Bell, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2023

We are sorry that our high standards did not meet with your expectations. Real Ale which as a connoisseur you would know has a short shelf life . If it is not perfect we would remove it from sale

Reviewed 16 August 2023

The garden, food and service by the waitresses were lovely. However, when the bill arrived we were shocked to see that a glass of dry rose wine was £15.00. On questioning this we were told that we had been given the 'Posh' rose which we...were not made aware of when ordering! The landlady said the staff should have known this. She said she would amend the bill but it would be taken off the waitresses tips instead, which put us in an uncomfortable situation and felt for the waitresses who were polite, efficient and friendly. We were reimbursed but left feeling rather upset with her attitude about the situation. Her whole attitude was extremely patronising and we really felt for the staff, sadly we will not return under the current management.More

Date of visit: August 2023
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Zoe De jager, Owner at The Smarden Bell, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2023

Thank you for your review it is a shame that you felt the need to respond to us on our trip advisor site this way. We pride ourselves on offering a wide selection of house & fine wines some of which may be high end.

Reviewed 15 August 2023 via mobile

Lovely pub. Horrible land lady, she is rude to customers and abusive to staff. Should not still be there. Will not be returning.

Date of visit: July 2023
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 7 August 2023 via mobile

Shared salmon to start … perfect .. followed by prawn and salmon tagliatelle with a dainty little garlic bread on the side . .. have to say it was delicious x and garden very pretty

Date of visit: July 2023
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 5 August 2023

Gorgeous pub, such a great place to relax with friends. Helpful and attentive waitresses and delicious food. We will be back .

Date of visit: August 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 31 July 2023

Went to this establishment at 3pm on Sunday for snacks and drinks. From the moment we walked in we was met with a resentment for being there from the landlady. Under normal circumstances, given that it was a Sunday, I would not have thought much...of it. However, we was met with a very similar reception on Thursday after visit a local attraction. During our time being here we had to deal with the landlady ridiculing staff; staring not too discreet daggers at us; and a sly comments about our attire. For once it is not the brewery limiting the potential of a fantastic village pub but the landlady that occupies it. Spend the extra 5 minutes and go into the village of smarden where good pubs exist and knock our experience here out of the water.More

Date of visit: July 2023
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 31 July 2023

This is a really beautiful pub the problem is it has no. Atmosphere ..The service was horribly awkward, as if they did not want you there. The young waitress girls looked petrified taking our orders . The wait for our food was incredibly long, considering...there were only about 30.people. The food was average for its price. No vegan, options. If your a vegan only vegetarian, funeral by me but just a heads up. We were only asked about one drunk and was never offered more. When asked what the dessert menu was it. The chalk board in front of us,was merely turned round in a sarcastic way to say look at this..A selection of 4 cheesecakes. We felt like we should niot have been there or even breathed. Can't say the Landlady is the happiest person. Maybe a rethink of the staff. Retrain the beautiful waitresses and liven the place up. It would do a roaring trade if it had the right ambiance . Its a very delightful, pub otherwise.More

Date of visit: July 2023
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Zoe De jager, Owner at The Smarden Bell, responded to this reviewResponded 2 August 2023

Thank you for your response we were extremely busy due to the cat sanctuary open day . My staff did amazing under pressure . We have taken on board your comments re 4 cheesecakes on offer this was done deliberately to speed up the kitchen...More

View more reviews
Best nearby
Best nearby hotelsSee all
The Dering Arms
109 reviews
3.23 miles away
Weald of Kent Golf Course & Hotel
442 reviews
3.67 miles away
London Beach Country Hotel, Spa & Golf Club
1,187 reviews
4.54 miles away
Chilston Park Hotel
1,327 reviews
4.74 miles away
Best nearby restaurantsSee all
The Flying Horse
208 reviews
.77 miles away
Krishna
244 reviews
2.33 miles away
Frasers
252 reviews
2.35 miles away
Rose and Crown
485 reviews
2.86 miles away
Best nearby attractionsSee all
Aero Legends
211 reviews
1.02 miles away
The Big Cat Sanctuary
1,186 reviews
1.09 miles away
West End House Gallery
5 reviews
.66 miles away
UK Electric Bike Centre
147 reviews
1.25 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Jamie R
18 March 2022|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from ZoeD1214 | Property representative |
Hi Jamie yes we are dog friendly. Our bar & snug area is dog friendly. Unfortunately we do not allow dogs in the main restaurant. Our outside garden & gazabo are also dog friendly. See you soon Smarden Bell
0
Votes
Flyer26794
11 October 2018|
Answer
Response from peter12345678901234 | Reviewed this property |
come to mention it I don't think they do. try calling them
0
Votes
nicolac531
24 July 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from peter12345678901234 | Reviewed this property |
Yes
1
Vote
Is This Your Listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim Your Free Listing

THE SMARDEN BELL - Restaurant Reviews, Photos & Phone Number - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about The Smarden Bell

Yes, The Smarden Bell is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

The Smarden Bell is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4