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.

“BRILLIANT FOOD, MICHELIN SHOULD FOLLOW”
Review of The Bell At Sax'

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
The Bell At Sax'
Ranked #7 of 23 Saxmundham B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 May 2014

If you are going to Aldeburgh, Snape, Walberswick or Southwold take a short detour and head to the little market town of Saxmundham. It is well worth a visit because of the Bell at Sax, the former Bell Hotel. It is now a restaurant with rooms.
The food is brilliant and the choice is excellent. Mostly local produce which is cooked with flair and care.
I had the new seasons asparagus with Cerano ham and poached drizzled with balsamic vinegar. This was followed by the local caught lemon sole, again with asparagus - well it is in season and too good to miss - and buttered baby new potatoes. All washed down with some Pinot Grigio.
I left very full with a wallet that was'nt empty. Do try it. Its a little gem. Their draught beer is also good.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
3  Thank bazzagiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (207)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

176 - 182 of 207 reviews

Reviewed 6 May 2014

Just returned from a lovely weekend. It was a special deal and therefore extremely reasonable. However, nothing was stinted. Very comfortable room and brilliant breakfast, dinner and service. The nearby Suffolk coast is beautiful and the fantastic weather made it a great break.

Room Tip: Ours was Room 1 but didn't see others.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Pinoccio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014

First time at the bell and it will not be our last, we both had asparagus for starter and that was excellent, I had the lamb steak and my husband had aged rib eye steak but he didn't like what came with it so the staff were more than happy to give him a choice of other side dishes, my husband managed a sweet call Jaffa and that look,amazing but I just could manage any more food, the portion where of good size, THe staff were very pleasant and helpful nothing was to much trouble, It was a very pleasant evening and will be back again soon,

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Andy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2014

first the carpark is at the station and gets very full.too far away to drag cases at our age. the room 2 was small and hot and noisy as below was the smoking area and a very loud freezer that ran all night.the windows were small and couldn't be opened wide, one would not stay open at all. the toilet top was cracked and the kettle was plugged into an extension cable, Next morning feeling shattered we asked to be moved. So we were moved to the family room 4. a big room with a very good bathroom, the bed was the noisiest I have ever slept in and properly the oldest, Every floor board creaked so this made it impossible to use the bathroom in the night without waking each other up. I left a fashion top in the wardrobe of room 2 but it was never found. I hope the person who found it has as much pleasure wearing it as did I. The food was over priced and very over rated, It was the worse cooked breakfast we have ever had in all the hotel deals, Never have we seen streaky bacon or fried eggs with a burnt crust.the tea sat stewing in a pot for all to serve yourself. at these prices each person should have a tea pot,
Sorry but we cannot say a good word, The management looked exhausted as the restaurant worked late and was busy.

Room Tip: try a different hotel
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank herinspalding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2014

The Bell is an imposing, grey painted Georgian inn in the centre of Saxmundham,in a street full of antique shopfronts and pubs (a few sadly empty), Waitrose and Tesco closeby. We enjoyed a 2night stay early April on a kgbdeal, chosen because we wanted to revisit Southwold and Aldeburgh. They were great of course and so was this hotel. Impressed and pleased with the standard of the cooking - the chef sources very good meat, esp local pork and sausages, is generous with ingredients. I had very well made spiced parsnip and apple soup, a rich cassoulet and did not say no to a lovely panna cotta, full of lemon zest. We ate there the 2nd night too, husband delighted with his steak:Cromer crab also on the menu. Breakfast excellent - I had omelettes, brilliant yellow fresh eggs.: could have had smoked haddock with poached egg as well as the full English. The restaurant was full (Thursday) which shows word has got around: chatted to interesting local couple the previous night. The other impressive aspect was the attitude of the staff,charming, helpful people (went to some trouble to obtain missing TV remote). It was also noticeable how well-trained and motivated the younger ones were - a real team and service like this creates a wonderful atmosphere. The new owners must have the gift of managing people as well as their skill in the kitchen and the place really deserves to do well.
Only slight negatives were the lack of parking but it would be the same in any comparable town. Room was spacious, décor OK but not up to the standard of the cooking: good shower.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank EGDM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2014

My partner and I had a deal booked for 2 nights. There were not any double rooms available so we had a twin room.
The Hotel is full of character and looks good from the outside. It definitely had quirks, we were in room 8, the wardrobe door only stayed locked by inserting a piece of wood at the top, there were little steps in the room leading up to the fire exit door in the room. The chest had seen better days but suited the room although both the chest and the wardrobe could do with a good wash with hot soapy water and a polish. There was rusty water in the kettle and there was no coffee, milk or biscuit portions in the room. The bathroom was in what you would think to be a wardrobe, how very lovely. Clean with fresh white towels and some shower gel etc in a dirty rusty box with discoloured doilies (yuk, this really spoilt the bathroom's look)

We ate in the restaurant, wow.. amazing food, cannot fault the food at all.
We were not offered to taste the wine, it was just poured and not really cold enough.

Breakfast was a bit weird, we could help ourselves to cereals, fruit, toast (the worlds slowest toaster) and tea and coffee. It was odd that we were not served tea or coffee to the table.
We could chose what we wanted for breakfast, the food was, again, of very high quality and very tasty, although I didn't eat the scrambled eggs, they had an odd taste.

We were unable to lock the door from the inside, this does need to be rectified as soon as possible as I am sure a lot of people would not feel secure.

We did hear some noise, but, that is to be expected.

I didn't sleep so well but my partner did, my bed was too soft.

All in all, I would go back for the food without a doubt.
The place needs a bit of atmosphere, it just felt that something was missing but we did have a lovely weekend.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank whereissummer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2014

We stayed here three or so years ago, and absolutely loved it. So we had high expectations of our weekend break.

Sadly, we were disappointed. It's not a bad place, but it fell far short of our expectations. Management/ownership has changed between our visits, and this may have something to do with it. The location is still excellent, and parking is still easy at the station a minute away.

Previously, we'd stayed in a lovely big room full of little luxuries and charming extras such as old and local books to read. This time, our room was tiny and cramped. There was room for only one chair, so we weren't comfortable relaxing in it in the evenings but sat in the bar instead. There were no extras at all; even the hospitality tray was supplied as frugally as possible. We struggled with a shortage of power sockets (and had to put the short-cabled kettle on the floor in order to boil it), until, on packing up to leave, we found a hidden extension unit. If only it hadn't been tucked out of sight!

People who wanted a cooked breakfast were in for a treat. People who don't like cooked breakfasts had to make to with an extremely poor selection of cold items.

A bottle of fizz and a plateful of truffles were included in the Tickles deal we went on. When we checked in, we were assured we would find them in our room. We didn't. We asked, and were told they would be there later that evening. They weren't. We asked again, and were offered them at breakfast the next morning. As we wanted to drive out and about, we didn't fancy doing so on an alcohol breakfast, so asked for them to be put in our room for the evening. In the evening, we had to ask again - and got them!

We thought of eating in - the place does bill itself as a "restaurant with rooms", so we thought it might be good. But the two night s we were there, there were only two items - one meat, one vegetarian - on the menu. If you didn't fancy them, you were stuck. Luckily there is an Indian restaurant (good value) over the road.

Since our previous visit, the interior of the building has been altered a bit, and not in a good way. The cosy lounge we'd been looking forward to has gone. (It's become a second restaurant.)

So, not a bad place, and probably a lot better if you get a bigger room. But not as good as it was. And not luxurious. And disappointing for us.

Room Tip: Ask for a big room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Boraxwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Saxmundham
3.5 mi away
Satis House Hotel
Satis House Hotel
#1 of 1 in Yoxford
737 reviews
6.5 mi away
The Brudenell Hotel
The Brudenell Hotel
#2 of 4 in Aldeburgh
1,053 reviews
6.2 mi away
Wentworth Hotel
Wentworth Hotel
#1 of 4 in Aldeburgh
689 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
9.3 mi away
Ufford Park Woodbridge Hotel, Golf & Spa
7.3 mi away
The Ship at Dunwich
The Ship at Dunwich
#1 of 1 in Dunwich
767 reviews
6.2 mi away
The White Lion Hotel
The White Lion Hotel
#3 of 4 in Aldeburgh
1,519 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Bell At Sax'? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Bell At Sax'

Address: 31 High Street, Saxmundham IP17 1AF, England (Formerly Bell Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Saxmundham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Saxmundham
Price Range: £79 - £144 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Bell At Sax' 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bell At Sax' is a laid-back welcoming 10 bedroom restaurant-with-rooms, in the heart of Saxmundham, surrounded by the Suffolk Heritage Coast and the stylish destinations of Southwold, Aldeburgh, Framlingham and Woodbridge. Here at The Bell, we are all about good cooking, carefully prepared by owner & head chef Jonathan Nicholson and his team, into hearty elegant dishes, made with fabulous local ingredients from our artisan producer friends around East Suffolk. We welcome weekenders, business travellers, holidaymakers, parties and small weddings. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA, Booking.com, Expedia, Odigeo, Book Direct Rooms, Hotels.com, LateRooms, Ebookers and Evoline ltd so you can book your The Bell At Sax' reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Bell At Sax' Saxmundham, Suffolk

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing