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“Excellent food, service and ambience”
Review of The Smarden Bell

The Smarden Bell
Ranked #2 of 3 Restaurants in Smarden
Price range: $11 - $38
Cuisines: Steakhouse, International, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Maidstone, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Excellent food, service and ambience”
Reviewed February 28, 2013

We visited this restaurant after a recent Groupon purchase. We were so impressed by all elements of this restaurant. On arrival we were greeted warmly (be careful anyone over 5ft7inches the beams are low but gorgeous). We were seated quickly with our set Groupon menu and sparkling wine. My ONLY complaint about the whole evening is that we were seated by the toilet even though the restaurant was only 25% occupied and could have been seated anywhere else away from the toilet.

We ordered Beef carpaccio and Greek koftas to start which were presented well and the flavours were excellent. For main we had Beef bourguignon and Lamb shank, which were wholesome, hearty, flavoursome, and great sized portions. We also induldged in a pudding, the apple and rhubarb crumble, which was delicious as well.The food really couldnt be faulted and was EXCELLENT value for money.

The service was fast, efficient and professional and we can highly recommend this restaurant. We had a look at the 'normal' menu, and based on that we will definitely be returning.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Amie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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290 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Kent
Level Contributor
153 reviews
92 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Fantastic meal and service - without fault!”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

We both had a first class meal and the service was excellent. The scallops were delicious and well presented with a wealth of complimentary flavours on the plate. I had duck which was delicious. Even the potatoes were cooked to perfection. My husband ate the burger which was well presented and tasty. He loved the chips! Only had room for ice cream and sorbet for puds, but a nice end to the meal and lots of choice of flavours. The menu is diverse and so hard to choose as it all sounds so nice! Really friendly service. This is a real gem, which we are ashamed to say it has taken us a while to try! Can’t wait to go back……

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TwinknChumb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sittingbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Lovely lunch, great pub atmosphere.”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

I took my Mum to the Bell for lunch using a Travelzoo voucher. A friendly welcome awaited us and the staff were attentive without being annoyingly so!
Our voucher entitled us to 3 courses from the a la carte menu, plus a nice glass of bubbly. All our courses were great- fab scallops, really tasty chinese belly pork and lovely home made sticky toffee pudding. My description doesn't do justice to the menu, the dishes were described in a far more interesting way, and each lived up to expectations!
For a Friday lunch time the pub was reasonably busy and had a good atmosphere. They offer a fixed price menu which looked great & I 'd be happy to try it sometime.
All in all, a great experience- try for yourselves!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank harveyandjemma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tenterden, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic Pub”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We both just love this great pub, we have had so many fantstic nights at the bell food is always great and just a great atmosphere in the pub , without any doubt the best steakes in kent
George kim

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Geokim503919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pluckley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
140 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Valentine surprise”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We went to the Bell on their valentines set menu deal, always a gamble on a busy night, as sometimes its not a fair reflection of the food. However I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The carpaccio starter was delicious and very well presented, and the fish was truly divine, the skin crisped to perfection on a bed of leeks, and the accompanying risotto very good. The cheese board to finish was also extremely generous. Couple of small niggles. The waiter serving us had no idea what wines came with the set menu, or that indeed that they did at all, and the dining room that we were in at the far end of the pub is lacking in atmosphere.... But overall the visit exceeded my expectations, as on a previous visit, we had been less than impressed - It seems to have settled down since then, and the staff were very friendly and helpful.

Helpful?
Thank HolidayHounds44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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