An inspector calls … A review of Ye Olde Bell in Nottinghamshire


An inspector calls … Ye Olde Bell in Nottinghamshire is a & # 39; welcoming kind of place & # 39; – but please turn on the radio

  • Ye Olde Bell is a former coaching inn at Barnby Manor, near Retford
  • There are 60 rooms and people come from far and wide. to visit the spa
  • The Inspector could not very forgive that & # 39; morning & # 39; was attacked by # 2 by Radio 2 & # 39;

That charming photo of the Queen Mother and her two daughters – one of them practically cheeky to cheeky and looking infectiously happy – hangs on a wall at the entrance to & # 39; e bar by Ye Olde Bell.

Elsewhere, there are photos of the owners who purchased the hotel in 2007, surrounded by their loyal staff; a few hunting scenes (including a comic mural of a hunter trying to keep control of his nag) and at the front door is a help-yourself coffee career.

The big news at this 60-room former coaching inn at Barnby Manor, in & # 39; near Retford, Nottinghamshire, is the spa. & # 39; People come from far and wide, & # 39; says a staff member.

Welcome: Ye Olde Bell is a former coaching inn at Barnby Manor, near Retford

Inns with names that don't start with Ye Olde usually don't have spas. What they have – and this is no exception – are patterns with patterns (faded and bright in parts); wood paneling; lots of brown furniture and music from a few decades ago just played a little too loud for comfort, like Marvin Gaye & # 39; s Heard It Through The Grapevine.

Crucially, Ye Olde Bell is a hospitable kind of place. When I ask for a room with a bath, the keys are immediately switched and I'm directed to Room 5 on & # 39; the first floor.

Before I left, I was warned about a steep step to the room if you ever open the door. There are also a few steps down from a landing outside the bathroom to the bedroom, which has a carved wood headboard.

The room overlooks a flat roof and beyond the busy A638.

You will no longer find many linoleum flooring bathrooms, but here you are, complete with a triple-shaped white plastic bath. I paid £ 89 for bed and breakfast. The night I'm here, the main restaurant of 1650 is closed, about & # 39; I am told, & # 39; we have no staff today & # 39 ;, but I think it's more a case of & # 39; ; we have no guests & # 39 ;.

Instead, dinner is served in the brasserie next to the bar. My scallops followed by lamb of lamb are both delicious, much better, honestly, than I expect. At a nearby table with four women, the dessert menu has just arrived.

& # 39; No, I don't think so, do you? & # 39; Says one of them.

There are 60 rooms and people come from far and wide. to visit the spa

There are 60 rooms and people come from far and wide. to visit the spa

& # 39; Ooh, I don't know, & # 39; says another.

'I think we should look. . . & # 39; Says a third.

And they do, with the result that all four order it one way or another.

My glass of wine comes with me to my room and we watch the news together. In the past days, traveling outlets would have stayed at Ye Olde Bell instead of in a Premier Inn – and felt more in & # 39; a swim as a result.

It's a forgiving place, but I can't forgive for being attacked by Radio 2 at breakfast, complete with the traffic lap at 7.45am and that tired old jingle that I'm sure Sir Terry Wogan found annoying after 20 years or so.


Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Spa Barnby Moor, Retford, Nottinghamshire DN22 8Q. B&B double room from £ 89. For more information call 01777 705121 or visit



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