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“Understaffed, simple meal took hours”
Review of Bell Hotel

Bell Hotel
Ranked #52 of 68 Restaurants in Thetford
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed March 9, 2014

I visited with my 5yr old son recently. We came in about 2pm and asked if they were still serving food. "No" the receptionist replies. "Oh unless you want to eat in the bar?" I say that is a possibility, and enquire if it just a snack/bar menu being served. "No, the full menu" she replies. I am slightly amused by this direct contraction and having looked in the bar area, it's very much more of a restaurant than a bar, so take my son to eat in there.

We order drinks, and take a table. The barman (who seemed also to be the porter and general dogsbody) left the room, and no one came to take our food order. I looked around the bar for something to ring for attention, but there was nothing. About 15 mins later, the barman reappeared and we order a pasta dish for my son, and a steak (cooked blue) with a salad for me. He then disappears entirely again and 25 minutes later, our food arrives via a young waitress. I can see instantly my steak is overcooked. But by the time I've cut into it to confirm this (it was medium in the centre, well done at the edges) she had run off too.

I ended up going out to find the receptionist to let her know that my steak was inedible to me, and the waitress appeared about 10 minutes later to take it away. A new one came fairly quickly, it was rare but not blue in the middle, and well over cooked at the edges, I had to cut off and leave about 80% of it, but had simply lost the will to live to attempt to find someone and send it back again and it was clearly pointless to order another one as the chef was not capable. My son had already finished his too. He wanted another drink but again, there was no one there. On the plus side, his pasta was lovely.

A further 15 minutes later, no one had cleared the plates, so I had to leave the room again, and found the receptionist in a corridor, and she sent someone along about 5 minutes later. We ordered a cheeseboard for my son, and a jam roly poly for me.

Desert took another 20 minutes. His cheeseboard was not in anyway inspired, it was very "Tesco" family selection, rather than a good choice. A few grapes. He's 5, and even he said it was bland. My jam roly poly was odd... it came on an oblong plate, with a plain piece of steamed sponge in the middle, a teeny pot of hot custard to the left, and a teeny pot of cold strawberry syrup to the right. You had to sort of pour it on, it wasn't very good, it certainly wasn't a jam roly poly.

If the meal hadn't taken an eternity, it probably would have been passable, but not somewhere I'd recommend for more than a coffee or a sandwich. Décor is quite nice, loos were nice.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank NCD1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (139)
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100 - 104 of 139 reviews

Reviewed March 8, 2014

Paid extra for a superior room. The suite did come with a balcony with views over the river- but the bathroom tiles had black mould and the room needed a thorough refurbishment. The menu is uninspiring, many of the choices either battered, crispy or smothered in sauces.

Thank Janet P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014

Rooms spacious, beds very comfortable, directions easy to follow, plenty of room in the car park. Banging on the door at midnight from some drunked fool who had lost his way, although I can't blame this on the hotel. Good breakfast but lunch and dinner average, with a reduced selection of wheat-free options (obviously this won't bother everyone) compared to other English Inns.

Thank Mike H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2014

Myself and a team were investigating the hotel and thought we would go for a spot of lunch i must say i ordered steak and salad another ordered chicken curry and the other the chicken burger.It all was hot and amazing food the best steak i have had in a really long time so much so i want to go back just to have the steak again we will be returning with a party of 16 lovely food and cant wait to go back

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank 834joanneh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014 via mobile

Three 'tapas' style sharers to start followed by wild boar and chorizo toad in the hole. Great food at good prices but service was superb all round. Will return for the service alone.

Thank Muncher1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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