Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Spa – Retford, Nottinghamshire
Ye Olde Bell is a former 17th-century coaching inn halfway between London and Edinburgh with some splendid surprises in store. Things have moved on from the time when Ralph Thoresby became lost on horseback on his journey to London, while looking for a drunken companion, and begged a room. Today, in the committed ownership of Paul and Hilary Levack, the hotel blends striking reception rooms, luxurious bedrooms, AA Rosette dining and one of the country’s most impressive spas, with all the character you’d expect from a historic building. The 59 bedrooms, suites and lodges have all been individually designed – think oak panelling, antique furniture, gorgeous fabrics, grand beds, plus 21st-century comforts. Downstairs, the stylish art deco Restaurant Bar 1650 and lively St Leger Bistro specialize in fresh, seasonal food, and, in a modern annexe, the spa offers exceptional, personalized treatments. Go for the world’s only ‘Snowstorm’ experience, a stonebath steam, indoor sunlight therapy or a reinvigorating spell in the indoor/outdoor vitality pool.
The nearby The Welbeck Estate is a great destination for art and food lovers. It features the Portland Collection, The Harley Gallery and The School of Artisan Food.
Sunday lunches are renowned at Ye Olde Bell and the menu always includes a speciality local roast sirloin of Nottinghamshire beef and an extensive range of tempting sweet treats from the bespoke dessert trolley.
Locally sourced produced at the nearby Welbeck Farm Shop. The ‘Made at Welbeck’ range, includes the famous Stichelton cheese.