The Olde Bell

UK England South East England Berkshire Maidenhead

  • Restaurant

Tucked down a cul-de-sac between Maidenhead and Henley, the village of Hurley is the Thames-side bolthole of many a stockbroker’s daydream, all weathered Tudor piles and weeping willows. At its heart is this 12th-century coaching inn, refurbished in 2010 by design maven Ilse Crawford in the shabby chic mode. Downstairs, a crackling fire warms a proper pub bar (where couples nurse pints over games of Scrabble), and beyond it a handsome restaurant looks out through leaded windows onto clipped lawns, a kitchen garden and a tennis court. Apart from the raucous parakeets in the trees, it would be hard to imagine a more English idyll. Spread across five buildings ­– the main inn, plus assorted barns and a malthouse – the rooms vary considerably in size and feel (the pick of the bunch are rooms 2, 9 and 10). At the top end, you’ll find king-sized beds, Ercol rocking chairs, freestanding baths, a Roberts digital radio – plus a red anglepoise lamp I’m sure I last saw illuminating my Lego technics collection in the mid-1980s. The beams sag and the floorboards are wonky and scuffed (as is some of the furniture), but it all adds to a homely and nostalgic atmosphere.



Doubles from £139.



The Olde Bell, High Street Hurley Berkshire SL6 5LX

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