The Bell Inn

  • Bar
  • Gardens & Grounds
  • Restaurant
  • Wifi
  • Car-free option
  • Walking
A terrific Essex village pub with boutique rooms and great food.

There's nothing like staying in a cosy country inn, and we reckon we've found one of the best in the Bell Inn, situated in the sleepy village of Horndon-on-the-Hill, high above the Thames estuary on the way to Southend-on-Sea. It's a lovely old pub, no question, and that's one of the things we like about it. But it's worth knowing too that it was way ahead of its time when owner John Vereker re-launched it as one of the UK's first gastropubs in the 1970s, and it remains a terrific place to eat, serving the same great food as always. Ably assisted by the third generation of the Vereker family, John has also added 26 guest rooms, making it into the perfect venue for an easy-to-reach and affordable foodie escape if you're based in London or the southeast.

The rooms are very comfortable and well equipped and range from characterful beamed affairs above the pub to more contemporary rooms in High House, a few doors up the street, which are generously sized and have large bathrooms with walk-in showers and separate baths. There are also a number of rooms in Hill House, in between the two. All the rooms have good wifi, 'eco-friendly' water, tea- and coffee-making facilities with homemade biscuits  – and fresh milk if you want it; some of them have Smart TVs and a few are dog-friendly. High House also has a book-lined guest lounge for guests, with sofas and a television.

Rooms

26 guest rooms in the three locations on the high street, consisting of Small Doubles, Doubles, De-Luxe Doubles and Suites - plus the two-level 'Stable Room.'

Price

Double rooms and suites in High House £100–£145 a night; double rooms and suites above the pub £80–£120 a night; doubles in Hill House from £90 a night. Rates include a continental buffet breakfast but hot dishes cost extra.

Opening Times

Open all year.

Location

Contact Website The Bell Inn, High Road, Horndon-on-the-Hill, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex SS17 8LD

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