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“Beautiful setting, exquisite food, a real New Forest treat!!!”
Review of The Bell Inn

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The Bell Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Brook
Reviewed 23 April 2013 via mobile

I dined at The Bell Inn last night a fully recommend it. Having sampled the cuisine at many New Forest hotels and restaurants, I have developed quite high expectations of what can be done using the local produce. The Bell Inn have got it exactly right; fantastic flavours, substantial portions and plenty of creativity (without over-complicating things!) The owners have clearly gone to some length to compliment the food by a fantastic varied selection of wines which was appreciated. The hotel and restaurant are both decorated beautifully, exactly how you'd want a New Forest retreat to look.. Which adds to the whole experience.

Will definitely be returning soon to sample something else on the menu, and hopefully will stay too as I've heard the rooms are beautiful too!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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2  Thank JS-Hampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier C, Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2013

Dear JS-Hampshire,

I would like to thank you for having taken the time to post a review following your recent visit to the Bell Inn. you obviously had a good time with us and this is exactly what we always aim to provide. I have passed your compliments to the entire team. They all play a part in delivering this experience and are always genuinely pleased to see our guests happy.

I hope we get the opportunity to welcome you again in the near future.

Regards,

Didier

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599 - 605 of 772 reviews

Reviewed 21 April 2013

This hotel bar has a lovely quiet and relaxed feel to it, after trying to park in a couple of popular new forest pubs on a sunny Sunday, we gave up and on the way home saw that the Bell Inn had loads of spaces so we thought we'd give it a try. We were welcomed and seated in the bar/restaurant (not sure, all eating areas looked the same). There were plenty of empty tables which was strange considering we couldn't get in to the other places we visited, but it was 14.00 by now. So, not particularly busy, you have to ask - why did we wait over 20mins for our meal to arrive? Why did the waiter need reminding to bring horseradish (which arrived just in time for the last mouthful of beef)? why did the waiter need reminding that we had ordered coffee that hadn't arrived? The service was slow and commented upon by other tables as well. However, all 4 of the staff that dealt with us were friendly and pleasant.

Such a shame that the service was so slow as the food tasted excellent. The roast beef was lovely as was the 1 yorkshire pudding, the veg portions were small though - 1 small piece of each veg (broccoli, cauliflower, parsnip), 2 small potatoes and one big whole carrot.

Value for money and service is better in a number of the other excellent pubs in the area, £37 was far too much for a 1 course meal for 2 with coffee/tea and no alcohol. I did not leave a tip as the service was not good enough to deserve one. An apology was given when I explained this on paying the bill.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Kayleigh123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier C, General Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2013

Dear Kayleigh123,

I am sorry to see that you were not fully satisfied with your visit to the Bell Inn on that sunny sunday afternoon. From reading your review I guess you did not have any starters. Therefore 20 minutes is, I believe, an acceptable amount of time to wait for a freshly cooked dish to be prepared and served. I agree with you that you should not have to ask twice for horseradish or for your coffee to be served. We are reviewing certain aspects of the service we provide and this is being addressed. We all have certain expectations of how much a meal should cost. On this occasion you found our prices too high. The roast beef you describe, we offer it at £14.95. We also have on the menu classic dishes such as sausage and mash or the traditional fish and chips both available at lunch or dinner on any day for £11.50 each.
Finally you mentioned that the members of my team you entered in contact with were all pleasant and friendly. this is also something we always try to deliver and it pleases me to see we can.

regards,


Didier

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Reviewed 18 April 2013

Disabled elderly mother, aunt, sister and I have just returned from three nights at The Bell Inn. Very enjoyable stay - excellent staff always helpful and cheerful.Mother and I had Forest Room which is larger and has own parking place. It is across the carpark away from the main hotel and was extremely comfortable. Breakfast was good as was the quality of the evening meal. Just one negative - the very small portions, particularly vegetables. Maybe we have larger than average appetites but I am pleased that my husband did not accompany us!
Despite this we had a great time but would probably not dine there in future. We had a mid week offer which included a reduction in the price of the evening meal so we felt obliged to eat in.Would suggest that they provide larger portions of vegetables which, after all, are not the expensive part of the meal.

Room Tip: Forest room is very quiet but more expensive.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Translocator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier C, Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2013

Dear Translocator,

Thank you for having taken the time to post a review following your stay with us at the Bell Inn. I have passed your compliments to my front of house team and they were pleased to see their hard work and positive attitude appreciated. The portion size of certain of our dishes is an issue that we have now addressed. I would like to think that you will re visit in the future, and hopefully have an even better experience.

Regards,

Didier

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Reviewed 14 April 2013

The food is the best thing about the Bell, so long as you're not in a hurry! It was good quality but service was very unpredictable. Had to wait 40 minutes for a steak and burger meal when it wasn't especially busy.One group just upped and left the table without being fed. A real shame because the dinner menu is good.

The bedroom was OK but being in the front (despite asking for a quiet room) was extremely noisy from about 630 every morning with traffic on the busy main road outside. Whether these rooms are reserved for internet bookers I don't know, but I would recommend insisting on a back room when booking if you're a light sleeper.

One final point is that I don't expect a buffet style breakfast and having to make my own toast in a hotel of this quality.

Pleasant, friendly and helpful staff.

Room Tip: Insist on NOT being at the front!
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank greensnapper05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier C, General Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2013

Dear Greensnapper05,
I was very pleased to see you enjoyed the food our team of dedicated chef prepared for you. I am obviously concerned by some of the points you raised. Having a group leaving without being fed is bad. At the moment I am still investigating this incident as none of the members of my front of house team to whom I have spoken to about this have any recollection of such an incident. 40 minutes wait for a steak and a burger is too long and I have raised this issue with the kitchen team. Having made a request for a quiet room you should not have been placed at the front of the building. We always endeavor to accommodate our guests requests regardless how they booked their stay with us or if they are on a special package. This is one of the ways the staff here is helpful. I hope we get another opportunity in the future to look after you.

regards,

Didier

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Reviewed 10 April 2013

My wife and I usually make an effort to stay and dine at the Bell Inn twice a year as it was where we first met, as a location to meet it is subtle and welcoming. In all honesty we usually look for a deal midweek during a holiday period but we really like it there. The rooms are well presented and very tidy. The bar is small and friendly, afternoon tea is pleasant but one scone per person is a little tight. There are 2 menus - the bar menu and the restaurant both are nice. The food is usually very good quality. They use alot of local produce - if ever there is mushroom soup on the menu, try it, in my opinion it is the best I've ever had, the same goes for the scallops, lamb and pork belly. Breakfast can be ordered to your room or you can have it downstairs in the restaurant where again this is very good.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MarcI629
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier C, Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2013

Dear Marcl629,
Thank you very much for having taken the time to write a review following your most recent visit to the Bell Inn. Your positive comments regarding the rooms, food and general feel of the place have delighted me as well as my entire team. We are constantly reviewing the experience we offer our guests and looking for ways to improve it. One of the results of this continuous self analysis is that we have come to agree with you that one scone per person for cream tea is not enough. Therefore we now offer two of them.
I hope we get the opportunity to welcome you two again this year.

Regards,

Didier

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Reviewed 9 April 2013

My husband and I had a lovely stay at The Bell Inn. We have two young children and the staff were very helpful in accommodating us. The restaurant food was excellent. Our superior room was extremely high quality, warm and cosy with a parking space outside the door which made our lives easier. We would recommend this hotel and will stay here again.

Room Tip: Worth upgrading to superior room.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Jok75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier C, Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2013

Dear Jok75,

I am delighted to see the four of you had a pleasant time with us. Almost all of our bedrooms now have been refurbished to the high standard you experienced. We believe this must be an ongoing process as we are a busy hotel who wishes to retain the warm and cosy feel you mentioned.
I hope you do stay with us again and that we manage to please you again as much as we obviously did on this occasion.

Regards,


Didier

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Reviewed 8 April 2013

This was our second Travel Zoo visit to the Bell Inn at Brook. Having had such a good experience last year, we went as a party of 6 with 4 friends having told them of our great first experience. On arrival, the staff were welcoming and our rooms excellent so we were full of anticipation for the weekend. First impressions are important and sadly the cream tea did not live up to our previous experience with only one small scone per person and artificial cream - not the real stuff! - to accompany. Disappointing to say the least. Having asked for another scone, it was explained that this could be provided at an additional charge.

We were asked to provide advance menu choices for the evening which we were happy to comply with. However, nibbles of olives & bread were an additional £3 per head as were extra veggies @ £3 per portion. On questioning, the waiter assured us that veggies were provided with the meal and that this was for those requiring additional portions.

At dinner, the starter of duck confit terrine was not accompanied either with bread/toast/salad garni which made it heavy to eat and detracted from enjoyment. The main courses although delicious, were somewhat meagre with the meat carefully arranged on the plate and the 'veggies' consisting of an artful smear of mashed potato and one of spinach, leaving even those of us with smaller appetites feeling a little cheated. This was a pity as, with a party of 6, we would have expected to linger over dinner enjoying a couple of bottles of plonk and coffees and had intended to eat in again the next evening. Instead, we retired early for the night and the next night dined in the pub down the road where the food was excellent and much cheaper!

Breakfast on both days was a chaotic affair with only one hard pressed waitress to look after a busy dining room, and service the hot breakfast buffet. It also seemed as if she might be doing the cooking as well (!) because on both days, the buffet was not kept stocked and guests were unable to make a complete breakfast without waiting for more food to come. On our first morning, there was a queue of 8 guests who waited at least 10 minutes for bacon/sausages & eggs to all be present at the same time! A very poor show! On politely raising this with reception, we were assured that this must have been a one-off and was not the norm. Sadly, this did not prove to be the case with a repetition of the previous morning and we left the Bell after our two day stay feeling that having had a successful first foray into the world of Travelzoo in 2012, it appeared that they had either had a change of management or simply jumped on the bandwagon by sacrificing quality & customer satisfaction to increase profit. All in all, we had a very pleasant weekend in the New Forest but felt responsible for encouraging friends to join us at a venue which fell short of our previous expectations.

Room Tip: Rooms 15 & 16 are large and comfortable.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Carol B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier C, Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2013

Dear Carol B,

First of all I would like to let you know that I am sorry that despite your generous four star review we failed to match the good experience you had with us last year. We always aim to delight our guests. The cream tea offering when you came last month I must agree was not as good as people were expecting and this has now been rectified with every one getting two scones and clotted cream.
Regarding dinner, we constantly look at what we offer, aiming to strike the right balance between classics such as sausage and mash and more intricate dishes. Our menu evolves constantly, in the few weeks since your visit the duck confit terrine has disappeared, replaced by a chicken liver parfait, served with toasted brioche.
I must also admit that yes we have had some breakfasts when the service was chaotic. We have now put measures in place to ensure the buffet is replenished more efficiently and enough members of the team are there to look after our guests.
I hope you still choose to stay with us on your next visit to the New Forest and that you see that customer satisfaction is still our most important priority.

Regards,

Didier

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Additional Information about The Bell Inn

Address: Roger Penny Way, Brook, New Forest SO43 7HE, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > New Forest > Brook
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Brook
Price Range: £96 - £158 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Bell Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to The Bell Inn, which has been part of my family since 1782. Inside we have made stylish updates to our historic New Forest hotel without spoiling any of its traditional and rustic charm. With open fireplaces, flagstone floors, elegant reception rooms and two superb 18-hole golf courses we are unlike other hotels in Hampshire. With nature’s larder on the doorstep our team of talented chefs create seasonal specials, mouth-watering menus, and have unique access to game from our family’s New Forest estate – a true ‘Estate to Plate’ dining experience. Whether staying in one of our 28 tasteful rooms, enjoying local ale whilst relaxing on comfortable sofas in our dog friendly bar, dining with us exploring the flavours of the New Forest or playing a round of golf on our New Forest Hotel's oldest course, we look forward to welcoming you to this timeless and magical place. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Bell Hotel New Forest

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