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“Such a disappointment - missed opportunity”
Review of The Olde Bell

The Olde Bell
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Ranked #6 of 7 Restaurants in Hurley
Price range: US$7 - US$66
Cuisines: British
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: The Olde Bell’s kitchen team serve simple, rustic, fantastic quality food making sure you’ll experience some of the finest eating and drinking in Berkshire. Much time and effort has gone into sourcing and building relationships with local farmers and producers of the best organic ingredients, creating seasonal and constantly changing menus. Wherever possible we use ingredients ripe from our own gardens to keep our menus fresh, appealing and honest. We’re thrilled to announce that The Olde Bell has been awarded 2 AA Rosettes from the AA Restaurant Guide.
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Now this pub is in a wonderful location in the beautiful village of Hurley. It has a stunning garden, which extends into a further garden, planted for herbs & vegetables and leads after this to a tennis court. The pub itself is very lovely, though the bar area is a little tired and needs some work to bring it to modern standards - either rustic or contemporary.

To the food...I can only comment on the pub food and the service from a couple of visits. In the summer, there's a BBQ outside, which is a great idea. Sadly, it stays at just being a great idea because it's not a great BBQ. It is done without imagination, without thought and certainly without value for money. Today's what a choice of a lamb steak, salmon steak or poussin (chicken). They have a nice "big green egg" BBQ and a big gas BBQ. The house rules dictate that the food has to be cooked on the gas BBQ and only the bread buns can be done in the green smoker. How pointless is that? The steaks are so thin that it's impossible to cook them to get any kind of crust without over-cooking the interior. They are served on metal plates with a few leaves (or spoonful of coleslaw) alongside as the complete meal. No thought whatever about offering anything else, of presentation, etc. So - two lamb steaks, two glasses of white wine and a bottle of water came to £42. That's not funny. I can get two good, free-range lamb steaks in the supermarket for about £4 for the two of the same size, so we're not talking about prime rib of beef.

The service was basic, with the waitress not knowing anything about the food, that bringing the drinks together would be a good idea and wasn't aware of what made up the bill "because the printer wasn't working".

My previous experience was similarly disappointing. Extremely slow service, very basic and uninteresting food and a barmaid who was complaining to me that it was very stressful because another member of staff hadn't turned up. With respect - not my problem. Besides - the bar service was slow, the bar quiet and there was nothing that appeared stressful. It's the attitude that made it slow.

So, despite it being in a lovely setting with a wonderful garden and having a BBQ area, I will not be going back to eat. For a quick drink in the garden - fine, but there's clearly noone with imagination or responsibility directing the kitchen, which is a terrible shame and a real wasted opportunity.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank KarlPK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (235)
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163 - 167 of 235 reviews

Reviewed 21 May 2014

Great food, friendly place with a lovely garden + it's in a lovely spot.
We had a simple pub lunch and it was good, they have a large bbq section in the garden which looks as though it would be good on a summer night.

Thank Rvrman21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014 via mobile

I have been to the Old Bell on numerous occasions but due to such a dreadful experience about a year ago we haven't been again until now. I afraid to say nothing has changed. Awful service and even being informed we can order a take away as they won't serve us, no even a BLT when they were aware we were there to eat. Please make this pub good again it has such a beautiful garden and the building is stunning!

1  Thank verity h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

My wife and I arrived for a pub lunch. 45 minutes later, our order for food was finally taken. Arrangements for serving changed three times during our stay. The bar and kitchen staff had no knowledge of what each other was doing. Staff disposition was chaotic.
We complained to the manager. The day before they had had a gas pipe to the outside barbeque break and had to shut it. The visible decay to the building indicated a very low level of routine maintenance, so this was not a surprise to the visitors, but it was to him. The manager said he was new in post.
The people I really pity were the soon-to-be-wed couples being schmoozed by hotel sales staff for their forthcoming nuptuals. If that is you, I am so sorry that I did not call out to warn you.
The pub oozes olde-worlde charm from the outside. It is in a beautiful village with a fine garden. We were one of the few who stayed long enough to eat. They must be losing a fortune in trade through basic incompetence.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank WH_Newbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2014 via mobile

Nice place, good food but service is terrible! What a shame in a such lovely restaurant. Need some improvements

2  Thank Alban T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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