The Bell Inn
Pubs and Bars with Restaurants
Believed to be the former haunt of the famed author J. R. R. Tolkien, The Bell Inn holds such character and warmth that I challenge you to find a more charming village pub this side of Middle Earth. Allegedly the inspiration for The Prancing Pony - the pub in the canonical Lord of the Rings novel - the establishment is steeped in history, having served the inhabitants of this quaint market village for nearly 200 years. Fashioned from Cotswold stone with ivy and hanging baskets decorating the exterior, The Bell Inn looks as pretty as a quintessentially English picture, and is just as welcoming as you would expect, greeting visitors from both near and far. Fresh, homemade fare is the name of the game here, with a selection of pub favourites, bar snacks and light bites available alongside the tempting main menu. From a mix of classic and Continentally inspired creations, starters of juicy lamb kofta with sweet chilli dip, and rich chef's paté with sweet onion marmalade set the standard for the meal ahead. If you're feeling adventurous follow this with the succulent Barbary duck breast, glazed with exotic hoisin and accompanied by vibrant stir-fried vegetables. Those with more traditional tastes can enjoy dishes of homemade fresh fish pie, or Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages with smooth mashed potato and onion gravy. The sweets selection celebrates the best of British, with seasonal fruit crumble and syrup sponge, alongside a host of other familiar favourites. Not content with just satisfying stomachs, The Bell Inn also provides comfortable bed and breakfast accommodation. Choose from standard and luxury rooms, or stay in the adjacent cottage - if you're looking for somewhere as a base from which to explore the Cotswolds, I couldn't think of a better place to lay your head. All rooms are en-suite and complete with wireless broadband, providing a country get-away with all the modern conveniences. As this cheery inn is at the heart of village life, expect lively events all year round. These include live music almost every Thursday evening, quizzes, barbecues in the pretty garden and beer festivals. The Bell Inn is all it promises and more - I guarantee your first visit won't be your last. In the words of Samwise Gamgee, 'it's a rare good ballast for an empty belly'. The Bell Inn is also family and dog friendly (children are welcome until 9pm).