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“good food, rude staff” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Bell Inn

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The Bell Inn
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Roger Penny Way, Brook, New Forest National Park SO43 7HE, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Brook
South West
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“good food, rude staff”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2011

Had driven past here a number of times and it always looked so inviting, so we decided on the spur of the moment to stop for lunch and see what it was like.

The building is lovely and clean with lots of parking available. We were largely ignored by the staff, who were very unfriendly. We ate in the bar, and were 'served' by the most dour faced bunch imaginable. My husband went to order at the bar, and the 3 staff members just stared at him. It was most bizarre. The food was tasty, but the amount of mashed potatoes for the sausage and mash was laughably small.

Overall it was very disappointing. The food was good, if slightly overpriced, but the welcome from the staff and the way we were treated was so awful we won't be returning.

Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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373 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2011

Staff gave attentive service but did not hurry us, the food was in the bar and it was good all-round , my friend chose especially well and had a terrific soufflé starter followed by a lovely looking homemade pie. I will go again and would like to try the restaurant for dinner.

Easy to find just off J1 of the M27, on the way to Bramshaw. Pretty typical New Forest Setting with donkeys ambling past.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chichester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2011

Friendly and attentive staff, perfectly adequate room, outstanding food (and the Merlot was not at all bad). Looking at some earlier reviews all we can say is that someone has turned this place around, because now it can hardly be faulted. Even better if you're a golfer (which we aren't). Very convenient for the New Forest: only a mile from the M27, but you can't hear it, and the Times-recommended Fritham walk is only a mile or two up the road. We stayed for a highly affordable weekend and would certainly return.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2011

We went for a golfing weekend. Unfortunately torrential rain in the days before meant that the Forest course was closed and the Manor course open for 12 holes on the Saturday and 16 on the Sunday Despite this we enjoyed the course and intend to return in better weather - the setting is really attractive. We found the hotel excellent. The staff were all very friendly and helpful, and the food - both breakfast and dinner - was very good indeed, with a very good atmosphere in both the bar and restaurant. The bedroom was comfortable. I would thoroughly recommend the Bell

Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Sydney
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2010

My husband and I decided to return to the Bell for dinner after a three year absence - after all, it said outside (in not so many words) that it was now a oasis for fine dining, and therefore it surely must be an improvement on what it used to be?? We ordered the same main course from very friendly staff and after 20 minutes or so, it was delivered. However, after trying it, mine was not as good as my husband's so I quietly called over the waiter and explained that my steak was over-cooked and chewy whilst my husband's was medium rare and delicious. The waiter took it away and returned to say that the chef had tried my steak and could find nothing wrong with it. The chef told the waiter that it was off the same cut of meat and that the reason my husband's was medium rare whilst mine was well done was due to the fact the his was thicker than mine. Clearly, the chef was incapable of cooking the thinner one for less time. The restaurant was rather busy and I was extremely uncomfortable to be given the third degree by some slip of a boy and I calmly pointed this fact out, asking did he really think that I had intended to come to The Bell with my husband and eat at a completely different time to him? In fact, by the time I did get another steak - 20 minutes later, my husband was thinking about what to have for his breakfast!! I noted that all the staff at The Bell that night had been told about my complaint and kindly had my welfare at heart - much to my embarrassment, I was subsequently asked by no less than 4 waiters/waitresses within 30 minutes if I had enjoyed my meal, which the second time around I had. In the end (and the final straw), we were disappointed to find upon checking the bill that we had been over-charged for a glass of wine we did not have. We couldn't be bothered to go back and request a refund.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Banbury, Oxon
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2010

We were married on Sept 4th. We hadn't planned a honeymoon as we had my step daughter with us. Her plans changed so we dropped her off in Poole and started to think about having a nice lunch out..

Driving along the M27, saw a sign for Brook, went to a house party there years before and remembered it as being a charming visit. Drove into the village and arrived at the Bell. Following a lovely steak lunch, we decided to stay over. Why not it was our honeymoon after all !! Receptionist was charming, directed us to the village stores where we bought essentials (toothbrush, hair brush..) then back to the hotel fro drinks in the garden, followed by amazing cocktails and then a truly toothsome and unusual supper (veal sweetbreads, duck confit, thai mussels, slow roast belly pork..)

Off to an early bed, clutching our bouteille de vin (on honeymoon after all !!!) woken at 8.00 by the charming spanish (i think) waiter who brought us a luscious breakfast..

The bad, the spider in our bathroom was big enough to have a title of its own.. e.g sir ! but otherwise cannot fault this hotel

Special thanks to the evening barman who was 100% professional and can make a mojito which rocks !!

PS don't know who booked the horses, but they too were charm personified & deserve a mention in desptaches

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2010

Called in yesterday for a baguatte and beer only to be informed that chef doesn't like doing sandwiches and prefers to talk customers into omlette! Ordered sandwiches anyway Mr Edwards had cheese and chutney (pickle as it turned out) a rather limp affair of grated tasteless cheddar and I ordered BLT which was OK except the lettuce was limp and some peices actually decayed and black! At £6 a sandwich that is obscene and chef needs to rethink his priorities!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Bell Inn

Address: Roger Penny Way, Brook, New Forest National Park SO43 7HE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > New Forest National Park > 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Bell Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dating from 1782, The Bell Inn combines period features with contemporary style. We're located in the heart of the New Forest National Park in the tranquil hamlet of Bramshaw, yet we are only one minute from the M27! We specialise in looking after small numbers of guests, whether a golf group, a few friends on a short break, or for a business meeting. Our reputation for quality cuisine and wines is growing all the time. Our chef's are dedicated to using locally sourced food and follows the principle of sourcing a significant amount of our produce from within the New Forest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Bell Hotel New Forest

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