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“A little bit of Scotland in South Africa” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Bell Pub, Belvidere Manor Hotel

The Bell Pub, Belvidere Manor Hotel
Lower Duthie Drive, Belvidere Estate, Knysna, South Africa
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Ranked #35 of 120 Restaurants in Knysna
Cuisines: English, Hamburgers, British
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Description: It is a quaint little pub sitauated on the grounds of Belvidere Manor
Knysna
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A little bit of Scotland in South Africa”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

The Bell is a true gem. Set in the beautifully manacured grounds of Belvidere Manor, the Bell offers delicious food and a delightful ambience. The Manor was built by the Duthie family from Scotland, and bears all the charm and hall marks of a Scottish Highland hunting lodge. This charm spills in quantity into the tiny Bell. I would suggest that anyone should book, rather than just turn up on chance to get in.

Visited October 2012
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85 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    28
    33
    16
    3
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Relaxing rainy afternoon”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Waiters are top notch- very friendly and helpful. We only had a drink there, but the white wine was fabulous.

Would love to go back!

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Such a shame”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

Having a holiday house in the area we have been able to see this charming place during off season and over some weekends. The burgers are truly amazing, but sadly my visiting were not able to have anything there.

We visited on New Years day, when one of the waiters told us in very sarcastic tone that they do serve food, but only if we're willing to wait two hours. The kitchen was clearly understaffed since all the other tables were sitting around, anxiously waiting for their food.

We decided that our money was clearly unwelcome there and took our business to Chatters Bistro, where the owners actually treated us as if they wanted us there.

We wanted to give The Bell a second chance the next day, but phoned ahead to enquire about their situation. The staff member clearly did not want us, since he just remarked we could have lunch at dinnertime and that he doesn't know whether the place is busy or not.

It's such a shame that these places with an awesome setting and great food can't cope with peak season and full capacity restaurants. Such a shame really.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“So slow...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

The food is good, when you get it. This place lets itself down every year because the kitchens cannot cope. Please Belvidere Manor find a manager who can help you adapt to the seasons!

Visited December 2012
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Hampshire
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Average”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

I've just left a review regarding the Belvidere Manor Hotel where the Bell is situated and a lot of the service issues carry through to the Bell. (we were staying on site).

The Bell has an almost cult reputation and in the village of Belvidere it's the only place within walking distance so has a large catchment area. Thus it's generally very busy in season. However, you'd think the staff and in particular, the kitchen, would be preapred for this, especially in December when the hotel is full, the holiday homes in the area are being used and tourists are in Belvidere and Knysna in their droves! It seems not and service is poor.

Instances of this:

They brought the wrong main course for my husband (he ordered curry, and got fish and chips), me and my son had our food and started so it didn't get cold The curry then took another 10+ minutes to come and we'd finished and my husband had to eat on his own. There was no apology and no consideration of the urgency....my husband says 'did you just heat this up' (the curry had the microwave film on the top) and she said 'yes, all our food is pre made and heated up'....

We ate with 4 people the next time and they bought 3 of the main courses together and again my husband (obviously an unlucky man) was waiting around 10 minutes for his meal to come....it was only sausages and mash and when it came out, it was almost like a school dinner. Again, no apology and my husband had to get up and ask where the food was. Whilst we were in there another man came in and asked if there was any service outside and were waiting a long time for their food!

The food was hit and miss and inconsistent. I had ribs twice and each time they were difference. The first they were in a runny sauce and fell off the bone and the second time they wer tougher and in a sticky sauce. However, our party also ate the steak and the steak pie which was good and my son loved the kiddies hake and chips. The chips at the Bell are the best in the area though!

It's not expensive, and is value for money. It's just pub grub but pretty poorly executed and with never an apology from anyone at how long you wait.

Basically the Bell have it wrapped up and people are always there and will always go there. So really management needs to up its game as we deliberately stopped eating there and braaied in our cottage or went to the Waterfront as we god totally fed up.

Bring back the Bell charm it's so lovely don't take advantage of its reputation!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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