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“A terrible disappointment”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of The Bell

The Bell
Ranked #1 of 7 Restaurants in Ticehurst
Price range: US$6 - US$45
Cuisines: Bar, British, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Child-friendly, Groups, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: The Bell is a truly quirky pub with rather marvellous rooms in the heart of the village of Ticehurst, East Sussex. Warm and comfortable with extraordinary events and intuitive hospitality, weddings and celebrations a bit of a speciality.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
131 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“A terrible disappointment”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2012

Review of hotel and restaurant - stayed Sunday 23rd December 2012
I really wanted to like this pub/restaurant/ hotel. I loved the website – it said all the right things. Quirky English decor – regionally sourced ingredients for the kitchen but I have to say our one night stay on the Sunday night before Christmas was a very very big disappointment.
If you were only going to come here for the pub I think you would really enjoy it. The large open fire and little quirky details like the pillar of books and in the summer a large sitting area at the back.
We unfortunately booked the hotel because of the mention of the restaurant in the Michelin Guide. I don’t think the people from Michelin came on a Sunday night. I was not told when I booked that there would not be a chef in the kitchen on Sunday nights nor that the menu would be so limited. I had been told that we could chose from a Christmas menu but were told on the night that this was not available.
We waited ¾ hour when the waiter came and informed us that the venison we had ordered was not available any more. We had by then consumed most of the red wine we had ordered. There was only one other meat dish on the menu that we didn’t fancy so we were told we could order the Sunday lunch roast that sounded good. After another 1/5 wait , with no offer of bread, we received the starter. A child could have made a better dish. It was goats cheese (soft out of a pot) smeared onto a plate with tined fruit dotted on it and a couple of leaves of chicory. We thought it was a joke at first.
When the main meal came it was the most disgusting meal I have ever seen in my life. It was obviously been made from warmed up left overs from the lunch. I have never in my life send back food but I would even have given this to my dogs. It was an utter disgrace. Even though they didn’t charge us for it – it had already spoiled my night.
Luckily you cant do much wrong with warmed up sticky toffee pudding so at least we had something to eat.
Our room – Stranger than truth – was nicely decorated and as I say I did my best to like it here but when at about 7oclock in the morning you have loud and i mean load reggae music blaring up through the floor boards – you just want to get out as fast as possible.
We had been really looking forward to our stay and we came all the way from the Netherlands to visit. They managed to ruin our first night of our Christmas holiday. This place get a big fat 0 out of 10 from us.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank GLJDavies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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449 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Thinks it's something it's not!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2012

After previously passing The Bell and thinking how lovely it looked I went for a meal last weekend with my partner and unfortunately won't be visiting again. The menu is so limited - only five main courses on offer and only one meat dish other than a burger which was already off the menu by 8.30pm.......which was possibly not a bad thing as at £18.75 then £6 extra for two sides it would be highish end prices rather than gastro pub! Several people were complaining as the leftovers from Sunday lunch (which is not usually served in the evening) was being regurgitated as a substitute.
The service was ok if a little lacklustre but we've been put off visiting again due to the high prices and lack of choice.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Sash B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A perfect Christmas treat...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2012

This pub/restaurant is a favourite of ours as the decor and vibe suit us perfectly (something a bit trickier to find in more rural places). The menu does sometimes frustrate me (a little on the rich side - more salads and oil/butter free veg please) but I cannot ever fault the meal I settle on - just fabulous, a real pleasure. The welcome from the staff is always warm and I always feel relaxed and at ease which is such an important part of the evening. We were asked to move seats (for reasons possibly beyond the Bell's control - someone needed wheelchair access), but we were thanked profusally by the staff and given a complimentary bottle for the inconvenience. I found the service impeccable and we had an evening that was even better than our last. It was Christmas eve, it was very busy and the staff were possibly stretched so this was even more commendable.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Romananddylan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Quirky..but more than worth our visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 December 2012

We live in Suffolk which I suppose is approximately 120 miles from The Bell and stayed there in July 2012 for 3 nights which included breakfast and dinner. Why,well our choice followed very good reviews in the National Press and also we were interested in visiting a number of National Trust gardens and houses and others in the area. The accommodation was very good. Our room was spacious at the rear of the building and included a veranda. Evening meals..service very pleasant and food was good. No problem....however, whilst breakfast was more than adequate guests had to share the same long table seated on benches without back support. Remember this if you have a back problem or if you are not very good in the morning!

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Davidcook6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Such a disappointment :(”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2012

Was very excited when this place was refurbished in the village as an old pub again. Yes quirky and yes, nice snug and other areas, but I'm afraid I will not be returning.
Had had mostly bad reviews from friends but like to make my own decisions and give it the benefit of the doubt. Trust your friends, they are right!
Decided to treat our staff for a meal: mistake.
5 out of 6 had the chicken liver parfait. What a disaster. It was served in a ramekin with a creme brulee sugared topping. It was as runny as soup. I know that a parfait should stand alone on a plate much like a mousse, as I make them myself! Complained to one waiter, no response so again to another, who duly told the chef, and his response was, that is how it's supposed to come! Seriously, you don't dip your bread/brioche in, you spread your parfait onto it!!
Can't remember what the rest of the staff had, but I went for the pork. OK but a bit dry! We did not have dessert, we couldn't wait to leave.
Very disappointed we were not offered a discount or at least a free drink. Overpriced anyway.
Will not go back.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jukebox44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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