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“Food ok, awful service.”

Bell Bar & Brasserie
Ranked #35 of 55 Restaurants in Sandwich
Cuisines: Bar
Restaurant details
Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

Sorry to say, but it started bad and only got worse. From a waitress that didn't know what an aperitif was, then a broken cork in the wine bottle that the waiter was seen pouring some away to try to get rid of the bits, then the glasses were filled with bits in it. When asked if the bottle could be changed, we were told "ok but you have to the same choice" . Empty glasses were left on the table all evening. The kitchen closed at 10 without telling anybody so desserts couldn't be ordered.
This is only the worst things that happened, my advice is not to eat here. Total bill came to £100 for 2 people. It's a shame because the food really was quite good.

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Thank Pochi722
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 - 79 of 80 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2013

The Bell Hotel - owned by Shepherd Neame - is fantastically well sited in this fascinating medieval seaport, and has a spacious, modern stylish brasserie for casual drinks or meals. There is also a nice outside eating area - very continental and attractive.
Service is pretty good and friendly.
The menu was good enough to tempt us in, but we felt a bit disappointed in the experience... We shared a starter of boulangere potatoes - which was frankly boring, though the added-on tomato and onion salad we ordered was fine.
This was a bad omen - the less they did to the food, the nicer it was.
The main courses were a salt-cod fishcake on a lobster sauce, and a spinach pesto risotto... but the lobster sauce was very skimpy, the fishcakes were a bit too salty, the risotto was well-cooked but frankly dull in flavour and the promised parmesan flakes were visible but tasted of very little.
So - it was all ok, just. Nothing really dreadful, but basically a bit routine and forgettable....
I really want to learn something when I go out to eat. I want to feel I've eaten something I couldn't have done myself at home, even when it's a simple little lunch.
And this came to about £30 with a bottle of water.... so not exactly cheap.
Why not let a young chef really have their head here? Why not make it famous for its food?

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Thank Ffoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2013

You can eat outside but there is a very nice and bright conservatory which seated us comfortably. Friendly service. Starters were particularly notable and the mains well cooked and enjoyable. Reasonably priced and we would most probably return if we found ourselves in Sandwich again. Lovely town by the way and well worth a visit.

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Thank TishLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Had lunch here yesterday sitting outside. The food was excellent as was the service, all the waiting staff were happy and efficient.
We had two dogs with us and these were welcomed and even asked if they needed water.
The hotel was clean and welcoming. We did not stay over but certainly would.

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Thank Gilly H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

We found this place while en route for a weekend away and stopped for Sunday lunch. A clean, attractive relatively casual looking place - just what we wanted. We ate off the set lunch menu (the bar menu, we found out later, was available but not offered. Starters were excellent: a tasty feta and tomato salad and a delicious celeriac and apple soup with grated apple and an apple crisp). The serving of the latter was, if anything, too generous. My wife's roast plaice fillets (3 of them) was beautifully cooked and presented with roast vegetables, including aubergine (which she loathes but really enjoyed on this occasion). We asked for some potatoes with it - they were brought quickly. The roast beef was disappointing: two very thick slices of quite tasty meat with a pink centre. I like my beef rare but was not asked how I like it. The texture was like no roast meat I have ever eaten. Vegetables were all English: no mange touts with a million food miles. It was only afterwards that I realised I had not been offered horseradish or mustard. Service was quick, attentive, friendly and interested.

We returned for lunch the following day. The soup of the day was the same as on the day before but tasted even better. The salt cod and shallot fishcakes had a nice sticky texture with not quite enough fish taste. The seafood sauce with them was to die for. The restaurant was much less busy so the service was, if anything, better.

We had arrived at 2.10 pm having been refused service at another recommended place in Sandwich as we arrived seconds after 2.00 pm.

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Thank ellgee1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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