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* Prices are based on a two course meal
for one person excluding drinks.
 
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The Bell Inn

High Road - Horndon on the Hill - Essex - SS17 8LD
Add Your ReviewTel: (01375) 642463Website: www.bell-inn.co.uk
 

Horndon on the hill is a charming and tranquil village just over half a mile east of Orsett and the same distance west of Stanford Le Hope. Situated towards the end of the high road that runs through the village, is The Bell Inn & Hill House; a 15th Century Coaching Inn.

The Bell has gained a long established reputation for providing excellent food, an extensive selection of well chosen wines, and a variety of well kept real ales; many of them local. The establishment has been owned and run by the same family for over 50 years and there is an evident and justifiable pride in all that they do.

The Bell has all of the character and charm you would expect from a true, aged, traditional Inn; timber panelling, wall to ceiling beams, and an open brick fireplace. A striking feature in the saloon bar, are the rows of hot cross buns hanging from a ceiling beam; the tradition for the eldest (available) member of the community to hang a bun at 1.30pm on Good Friday started in 1906 and continues to this day.

The main bar is separated into two areas. The first, as you walk in, is primarily where you can sit down, have a pleasant drink and read a newspaper, or chat with friends by the open fire. The second is set for relaxed dining, where no booking is necessary. However, if you want a table, I would recommend that you get there early – as near to opening time as possible at weekends – as although 28 covers are accommodated, this area does fill fast.

The main restaurant area is set back from the bar, allowing for a more peaceful, yet vibrant dining setting. The tables are sophisticatedly dressed for up to 40 people. Upstairs, an additional dining/board room is tucked away, with dining seating for a further 26; making an ideal setting for private dining, business meetings or small parties.

The daily changing menu offers a selection of fresh seasonal produce, much of it sourced locally, which is carefully crafted into sumptuous dishes. The combination of the modern and traditional styles and flavours, make for some wonderfully imaginative and memorable repasts. The prices are reasonable and the quality is high. I have regularly dined at The Bell for the past fifteen years and have never been disappointed.

The wine list is beyond extensive, with a superb choice of over 100 International wines, from a crisp, fruity Muscadet Sur Lie Chateau La Noe, 2005, at £14.95, to a ripe, robust and exquisitely well-balanced Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Saint-Julien, 1982, at £175.00. There is also a good choice of wines by the half-bottle and 16 by the glass. As you may ascertain, good wine is a passion at The Bell.

Accommodation is also available in 10 individually styled rooms and 6 luxurious suites.

Our Summary
A wonderful traditional Inn and restaurant that is renowned, and justifiably so, for providing excellent food that is carefully created from high quality, fresh seasonal produce; an extensive well balanced wine list and a good selection of real ales and regularly alternating guest ales. The service is professional and friendly. Highly Recommended.

Fact File
Cuisine: Modern British

Average price per person for a two course meal, not incl drinks -

Lunch: £21.00
Dinner: £21.00
Specials: Bar meals are also available at a reasonable price.
Restaurant Hours -
Lunch: 12 - 1.45pm Mon to Sat &
12 to 2.15pm Sun.
Dinner: 6.30 to 9.45pm Mon to Sat &
7 to 9.45pm Sun.
Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Major Credit Cards Accepted? Yes.
Children welcome? Yes - High Chairs available.
Wheelchair Access? Yes.
Specialist Diets Catered For? All dietary needs are catered for on request.
Al Fresco Dining? A picturesque courtyard at the rear provides seating for al fresco diners.
Deposit Required? £10 deposit per person for groups of ten or more.
Car Park? Large customer car park to the rear.
Group Bookings
The Bell has a long established reputation for hosting successful functions within it's two function rooms; The Boardroom and Hill House. The venue is a popular choice for private dining, cocktail parties, corporate seminars/meetings and weddings.
Function Rooms:
Hill House, adjacent to The Bell, seats up to 35 people.
The Board Room, above The Bell, has seating for up to 32.
Both function rooms can be set up for private dining, buffets, cocktail parties and boardroom/classroom style meetings.
Catering Arrangements:
The function co-ordinator and head chef at The Bell will liase with you, by appointment, to understand and fulfil your individual function requirements. There are a choice of delicious banquet menus and buffet selections available. For further details please contact The Bell or visit their website.
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Sample Menu
The menu at The Bell changes regularly to reflect the best of seasonal produce available. Below is a sample of the menu from when we visited.
Starters -
Potted Duck with Spiced Cherries and Carpaccio of Essex Wood Pigeon.
Black Tiger Prawns Filled with Cornish Crab, Orange and Grapefruit Salad with Pea Shoot.
Main Course -
Honey Roast Priors Hall Suckling Pig with Sauté Greens and Bramley Apple.
Lime and Ginger Marinated Salmon Fillet with Seared Scallop and Butter Spinach.
Dessert
Poached Peach with Champagne Granite in Marzipan Basket and Raspberries.
Summer Berry Gazpacho with Vanilla Panna Cotta and Strawberry Sorbet.
Drinks
The Bell offers an extensive and well balanced wine list and drinks menu to suit all tastes. Wine off sales are also available.
Wine -
Wine by the Glass: £2.95 - £3.95
Bottle of House Wine: £10.95 - £11.95
Bottled Wines: £12.95 - £175.00
Champagne & Sparkling Wine -
A very good selection of Champagnes and sparkling wine available.
From: £15.25 to £160.00
Spirits & Liqueurs -
An excellent choice of spirits, English and European liqueurs, aged brandies, whiskies and ports.
Coffee & Tea -
Fresh Filter Coffee & speciality teas available.

Map & Directions

Reviews

Ambience: 5/5     Service: 4/5     Food: 5/5
We had the good fortune to stumble across this pub for a quick bite after taking a drive one afternoon. Have to say we were very impressed. The building itself is wonderful, full of old world charm. Pleased to see good selection of beers and wine but most of all the food was outstanding. We just had a main course, leg of venison which was excellent and will definitely go back again very soon for the full works. It was also heartening to have the kids readily accepted with no qualms!
Ambience: 4/5     Service: 5/5     Food: 5/5
My friends visited from the US and I introduced them to the Bell for dinner. The food was fantastic and the service attentive and informed. The whole place makes you proud to be British - the decor, the photographs, the history. My friends loved the place as do I - a stalwart of good Essex eating.
Ambience: 5/5     Service: 4/5     Food: 5/5
I've visited here on and off for a few years, and the food and service has always been consistently good. I also think you could place a greater emphasis on the quality of the beer in your writeup for this venue. You don't just eat well here, it's a nice pub to have a drink with the Mrs.
Ambience: 5/5     Service: 4/5     Food: 5/5
The Bell Inn is a favourite restaurant of mine. The atmosphere is always relaxed and friendly. The service is good and the food is always impressive in both flavour and presentation. Very good value too.
Ambience: 5/5     Service: 5/5     Food: 5/5
I visited The Bell last weekend with my wife. We were both extremely impressed and agreed that it was one of the best meals we have had. The service was spot on and the surroundings were very pleasant. We will definitely return.
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