The Old Bell Hotel

4.2
93 reviews
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£26 to £40
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Modern European
The Refectory Restaurant is located in the centre of Malmesbury in the heart of the historic Old Bell Hotel.
Join us to experience the cosy charm, delicious food and personal hosting. Our talented one Rosette, Head Chef JP McAuley offers a wide range of Modern British Classics with a European Twist. We’re always looking for fresh, local and seasonal produce.

Enjoy drinks with drama from our extensive range of expertly mixed cocktails, fine wines and champagne by the glass available at The Bar. Plus a wide selection of gins and spirits, hand picked beers & ciders, soft and hot drinks.

The Refectory Restaurant serves full English Breakfast, Set Lunches and and all day Dining with an A la Carte Menu in the evening
What 93 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.1
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GC
London
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great fine dining experience. Beautiful setting and friendly staff, finished off with excellently presented and delicious meal and wine.

DH
Bath
1 review
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely place to celebrate my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. Welcoming and friendly staff, very good menu and food. Drinks reasonably priced and offer good pairing suggestions with each course and deals on cocktails early evening. We e been several times since our first visit on Christmas Eve last year and always been impressed. The daytime menu is completely different to the evening one, which is quite unusual for many places where there are often just a few changes, if any. Sides aren’t listed on the evening menu so ask if you fancy any.

DB
Gloucestershire
1 review
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

As a reasonably regular dining customer I'm starting to find the menu repetitive with very small number of choices. I think only 5 starters and 6 mains. Once you have been two or three times none of the options excite the palate. A monthly? change of menu would maintain dining interest. Also pricing is on the high side especially the steak.

TP
Norfolk
6 reviews
Dined on 28 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We booked on the day for an early Sunday dinner for four, one being vegetarian.

Service was attentive. Drink and food order was taken quickly and we only had a short wait before the food arrived.

Starters, main course and pudding were all of good quality.

So I would recommend the Old Bell on the basis of this experience.

a
Surrey
3 reviews
Dined on 26 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great place to eat and staff young and keen. Location in Malmesbury very atmospheric near Abbey and had an enjoyable lunch and dinner with good food and friendly staff / service. Would plan to visit this again if in the area as a go-to place.

AB
Gloucestershire
1 review
Dined on 26 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely relaxed atmosphere, food freshly prepared so lots of time for conversation. Waiter was great, very helpful and friendly

C
Gloucestershire
1 review
Dined on 14 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A perfect lunch with old friends. Great gluten free menu selection! Great service, delicious food and ambiance! Will definitely return soon.

ET
1 review
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Excellent venue for lunch with friends, only slight problem is parking.

W
1 review
Dined on 9 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love the old bell, not the cheapest place to have a Sunday Lunch but certainly one of the best I have tried in Wiltshire! Food is exceptional, staff are friendly and the music isn’t bad either!

KS
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

Great food but service is slow, thought we had been forgotten about after we were seated but 20 minutes later the waitress came with the menus, after that all service was slow but generally the staff are very attentive, the food is excellent, its well worth going and enjoying a meal out but service is slow so enjoy the wine and a chat while you wait

DB
Gloucestershire
2 reviews
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Menu a bit limited if you are a regular customer. Some staff are a bit inattentive but some are great.

A
Kansas City
4 reviews
Dined on 30 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, some of the best we’ve had in England. The service was great and the staff was very personable. The building is beautiful also

JR
1 review
Dined on 20 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely hotel, nice restaurant, good food and service.

LR
Kent
1 review
Dined on 19 May 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

A disappointing experience. A shame as the place is beautiful. The staff need lessons on good service however.
Wasn’t the nice treat for my friend and I that I had wanted.

J
London
4 reviews
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Pleasant surroundings. Good food. wine good but lager selection poor.

AM
London
12 reviews
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Very nice pub with excellent quality food at a descent price.
Would recommend if you are in the area

A
Gloucestershire
1 review
Dined on 8 May 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Overpriced, poor food and very slow service. Would not return.

A
London
10 reviews
Dined on 19 April 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Good choice if you’re staying in Malsmesbury ; not worth the detour otherwise
+ nice selection of pairing wines with each meal
+ fresh and quality ingredients are used
+ friendly service
- while the central piece of the meal was satisfying, the trimmings were somehow lacking taste/energy in comparison (cucumber vs salmon, potato vs lamb...)

G
Gloucestershire
2 reviews
Dined on 19 April 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

First visit for us on Friday , lovely place very good food and service will definitely be back

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 14 April 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Great service but disappointing with the food

AD
Gloucestershire
2 reviews
Dined on 10 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent set lunch which provides a good choice of high quality selections at a great price.

JM
Gloucestershire
3 reviews
Dined on 7 April 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was very tasty and well presented. Although the veg could have been hotter the temperature of the plate made up for that!

OB
Gloucestershire
8 reviews
Dined on 31 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just a short note to say how much we enjoyed our visit to the Old Bell yesterday. The food was excellent, the Mothers Day gift, a lovely gesture and much appreciated, the ambiance comfortable and welcoming and most of all the members of staff who greeted us and served us were friendly, attentive and highly professional.
In other words, thank you for a lovely occasion.

TS
1 review
Dined on 27 March 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Lovely old fashioned hotel with comfortable quiet lounges to relax and chat. Excellent set lunch menu; really great value for money. We all particularly enjoyed our various mains. The hake and risotto were especially good. One of our party went for the pheasant on the main menu and praised it to the skies.The only disappointment was the service. We had to ask for a drinks menu and it was only with prompting that we got them before finishing our mains - the wine waiter preferred to chat rather than serve. Food waitress was fine though and we were served swiftly. It was our second visit and we would certainly return to try other dishes.

DE
London
1 review
Dined on 23 March 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent food and a nice place to take visitors to Malmesbury to feel the history of the town. The staff were very friendly.

CH
Gloucestershire
1 review
Dined on 20 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food here is excellent - tasty and well served - the soup plate was huge and the soup very tasty. We all had the chicken from the set lunch menu and this was done perfectly. The young people who served us were well presented and polite. We'll come again !!

B
Gloucestershire
2 reviews
Dined on 14 March 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

The lunch was excellent with a good choice of vegetarian options.
However, the service was not good. We were a party of six, at a table set for six, but were twice asked ( by different waiters) if we wanted to wait for our other friends to arrive before ordering. Also, the waiter who eventually took our order asked two people to repeat their choices, then laid extra cutlery at the wrong places. We also had to ask for dessert forks.
But the food really was delicious and well presented.

SB
Gloucestershire
1 review
Dined on 2 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely hotel.very historical and great location.the cosy room we stayed in was exceptionally clean with comfortable beds .
The location was great for visiting sites such as the westonbirt arboretom.

BW
Kent
10 reviews
Dined on 20 February 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 4

The first impression was very good,the SPANISH lady in the Bar was lovely and ambience excellent.
However the food was very poor,firstly they got my starter wrong and then when the tortellini starter arrived it was hard pasta and and the Parmesan Crisp was not Crispmbut chewey and not nice.
My main of Cod with Chorizo and Beans was dry and skin of fish was soggy not crisp, too many beans and not enough sauce.
My wife's Gnocci was also bland and Artichokes were chewey.
We will not return and they need to sort out a decent head Chef as some of that food should have never left the Pass.
The Maitre D'e was clearly embarrassed, and removed my starter and one pre dinner drink from our bill, but that doesn't change how bad the food was.
Very very disappointed.

AD
Gloucestershire
2 reviews
Dined on 15 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely venue for a great value , high quality lunch.
Good choices on the set menu that suit veggies and meat eaters alike.

c
Gloucestershire
1 review
Dined on 10 February 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

This is the second time I have gone for Sunday lunch recently. Both times the roast beef was absolutely superb as were the veggies and roast potatoes. Excellent! I would vote it best Sunday lunch in the area. However, not impressed most tables had crumbs left from breakfast on and both times we had to ask for a spoon to serve the cauliflower cheese with which was a shame.

SE
Brighton
1 review
Dined on 8 February 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Friendly and helpful staff, interesting menu, comfortable dining room. Splendid location in centre of delightful old town, next to the Abbey.

JW
Gloucestershire
1 review
Dined on 4 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was fortunate to have both lunch and evening meal there for my birthday. Both great meals, service excellent, great choice ina beautiful environment!

OT
Gloucestershire
1 review
Dined on 2 February 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Really enjoyed the evening. The staff were lovely and friendly and the food really enjoyable. The menu wasn't too over the top and just enough choice .

CN
Shropshire
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Another very good Afternoon Tea with the family. The food is good quality for the price and always well presented. What makes this special, however, is the cosy setting - in our case with soft sofa's and a big log fire. Just what you want in Winter. Staff are helpful and friendly but keep a respectful distance. Will go back.

RA
London
6 reviews
Dined on 4 January 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The restaurant within England's oldest hotel did not fail to impress - great food, friendly service and a relaxed ambience !

OT
Savannah
6 reviews
Dined on 3 January 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 4

The restaurant at this hotel seems to go through constant iterations - one moment “fine dining” next more casual, then a focus on steak. At the moment it’s back to fine dining style. The first course of scallops with bacon and black pudding was quite good, I’d hardly original and lacking in sauce (a cauliflower purée was just a dab). Main courses were poor. Stringy pheasant, overdone and under seasoned lamb and bland, squashy gnocchi. Service pleasant but not refined. The hotel itself is a lovely old venue in a lovely old town. Would not rush back until the next kitchen change.

E
Bath
4 reviews
Dined on 24 December 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Very Enjoyable lunch with family. Great surroundings. lovely staff.

b
Gloucestershire
11 reviews
Dined on 24 December 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Had a fantastic lunch here on Christmas Eve. Delicious food and service could not have been better.

JA
1 review
Dined on 23 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very nice for Sunday lunch. The roast beef was cooked to perfection and served with a selection of vegetables. The wine list is extensive and I enjoyed a particularly nice French red. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a traditional Sunday lunch in stylish surroundings. The fact that when we arrived the sign said 'fully booked for Sunday lunch' is indicative of just how good this place is. You need to book!

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