Hampshire SO43 7HE
Tel: 023 80812214
Gluten free: Just ask
Parking: Own car park
This restaurant is offering 10% discount on TOTAL bill Every Day for Lunch, Afternoon Tea & Dinner for Card Holder + up to 5 guests. This excludes any special events, occasions or promotions. If you don’t have a LWL Discount Card click here to find out more about many other exclusive card holder offers – and start saving!
We loved The Bell before we even entered; their swathe of mixed flowers stretching along the entrance looked so pretty. The inside is also impressive; it has a cosy country feel, sludgy colours, great open fire place, squashy sofas and dining tables in the bar. In contrast the newly refurbished restaurant is light, bright with a contemporary feel and an informal atmosphere. If it’s warm enough they have plenty of tables for al fresco dining in the large garden.
Moving on to the food… there is a specials board but as they have an interesting menu we didn’t choose from it. The menu reflects the chef’s style of cooking, modern British. He likes to use as much local produce as possible plus he has unique access to the Crosthwaite Eyre family’s country estates in both Hampshire (they own The Bell) and Scotland for glorious game, fresh fish and wild, foraged ingredients.
From the Lunch Menu, served from 12.00pm – 3.00pm, we chose starters from the Nibbles section: Spicy chipolatas prune, chilli & Dijon glaze, Today’s freshly baked bread smoked garlic butter, baba Ganoush and The Bell Inn scotch egg, homemade ketchup The chipolatas were amazing and come from Pond Head farm, the bread was lovely and enough for 4! The homemade ketchup really added a kick to the scotch egg.
I chose, from the Light Meals selection, Lymington lobster salad, mango chilli salad, baby bok choy, tomatoes, little gem hearts… the main flavour was the mango and I should have realised it would overpower the lobster. The other two choices, both much enjoyed, from the Mains section were Ringwood Ale Fish & Chips, hand cut chips, minted pea purée, crispy parsley, tartar sauce and the very generous Piggy board, honey glazed belly, potted pork cheeks, crackling, devils on horseback, apple kohlrabi walnut salad. Wow what a dish! We washed all this down with a French Rosé.
For pudding I had an absolutely delicious Pineapple Parfait coconut rum sorbet, pineapple carpaccio, this was very special! Their own seasonal churned Ice creams & sorbets, our choice honeycomb, raspberry and pineapple were also enjoyed. The third choice was the biggest Crème Brulee I have ever seen; it had a very satisfying crack as we broke through the caramelised topping and tasted excellent.
The Bell has so much to offer; good food, friendly and efficient staff, it’s situated in the heart of the beautiful New Forest National Park, it’s a pub, a restaurant, a hotel and Golfers will love it as it adjoins Bramshaw Golf Club, the oldest in the County and home to two excellent courses…. it says they are excellent on the website, we LWL are not qualified to comment! We highly recommend and if you want a real treat you could always combine dinner with a stay in one of the recently beautifully refurbished boutique bedrooms. (Mark the manager happily showed us around when we asked to see them, they are lovely.) Do check out their website for further details.
Ladies Who Lunch Scoring: The Bell Inn
4/5 Quality of food
4/5 Variety of menu
4/5 Staff and service
4/5 Ambiance and décor
4/5 Value for money
20/25 Total yummy factor. Review CJ
Ladies Who Lunch: score key
The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food and service.
The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head).
5/5 Cannot be improved upon
4/5 Very good
If you visit, please tell them that Ladies Who Lunch in Hampshire sent you!