The Bell Inn
The Bell Inn at Horndon on the Hill, Essex, had something of a chequered early history. In 1553, the ground to the rear of the Inn bore witness to the burning at the stake of a local landowner, Thomas Higbed, for heresy!
“It’s all utterly bonkers and shouldn’t work, but it does.”
The Times, James Ellis (Nov 2014)
The building’s impressive architecture includes the courtyard (awash in summer with magnificent flowers), balcony and archway entrance. The longevity of the building has clearly had an impact on the proprietors – as the Inn has been in the same family for almost seventy years. John and Christine Vereker are second generation inn-keepers, having taken over from Christine’s parents in 1970.
Accommodation has been restored, not only in the Bell, but also in two converted Georgian buildings. One of these was once owned by Philip Vincent, famous inventor and founder of the legendary Vincent motorcycles. The Bell’s John Vereker has a motor racing history, having once been British go-karting champion, but these days a more sedate pace prevails in these lovely old buildings with lovely views over the courtyard and gardens from the relaxed hotel restaurant.
Food & Drink
Renowned as a ‘real social centre of village life’, the Bell has a wonderfully welcoming feeling where old and new faces happily sit enjoying the wide selection of well kept real ales and fantastic wines. In the two bars downstairs, one panelled in oak wood with an open fire and the other set on an original flagstone floor, you will note a healthy bias toward several local breweries, and over twenty wines available by the glass that compliment a broad, high quality wine list offering exceptional value.
Booking is essential in the excellent a la carte restaurant where the bustling, cosmopolitan atmosphere usually spills over into the bar area.
- Double/twin from £55
- Suite from £125
Meet the Chef
Stephen Treadwell has recently been appointed the position of Head Chef, though he’s been a part of the Bell family for over 15 years! He’s a a driving creative force within the brigade and the team are very confident that, in his hands, the kitchen will continue to flourish and build upon what has already been created.
Using local ingredients is at the heart of the inn as it has been for decades and Sephen fully supports this as the best way of cooking quality food. The Bell Inn has been awarded County Dining Pub of the Year for the last four years and is highly acclaimed by all guests who visit.
With parts of the buildings dating back to the 16th century, The Bell Inn’s courtyard is adorned every year by a vast display of vivid, floral hanging baskets with guests enjoying fresh, innovative dishes under the shade of vibrant canopies, complemented in the evenings by the enchanting glow of hanging lanterns.
Out & About
Tilbury Fort on the Thames estuary has protected London’s seaward approach from the 16th century through to the Second World War. Today it is a fantastic site to visit, explore the historic fort and take a walk around the beautiful gardens.
Alternatively, if you are partial to a spot of golf, there are over a dozen gold courses within 20 minute drive, including the fantastic Orsett Golf Course, which is over 100 years old and often hosts Open championship qualifiers.
Or, for the ultimate thrill, why not visit the Brands Hatch race course, where you can get behind the wheel of a rally car, off roader or single seater race car? Get your heart racing at one of their exhilarating track days, before returning to The Bell Inn to relax and refuel.
- Tilbury Fort – 15 mins
- Golf – over a dozen courses within 20 mins
- Brands Hatch – 40 mins
- Basildon – 15 mins
- Intu Lakeside – 20 mins
All timings denote typical journey time by car, unless specified otherwise.
“It’s all utterly bonkers and shouldn’t work, but it does.” – The Times, James Ellis (Nov 2014)
If Phileas Fogg picked up an item in every country he visited and gave them to Lewis Carroll’s Alice to stock her ideal home, the result might be similar to the rooms of this East Sussex inn.” – The Times, James Ellis (Nov 2014)
“the beauty about a venue such as this is that you might not want to go anywhere, but instead while away the afternoon in the timber-beamed pub, sampling the selection of real ales on tap” Britain Magazine, Sally Coffey, (Nov 2014)
“cosy bolthole in a medieval village” Britain Magazine, Sally Coffey (Nov 2014)
“ticks all the boxes for traditional pub lovers” The Times, Tom Chesshyre (May 2014)
“This is a classic English inn with wood panels, crackling fires, real ales, low ceilings and plenty of chatter” The Times, Tom Chesshyre (May 2014) “This welcoming pub with rooms in the charming village of Horndon on the Hill is a great place to hide away in for the weekend.” Britain Magazine, Sally Coffey (April 2015)
“the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life” Essex Life Magazine (November 2015)
High Road, Horndon-on-the-Hill
T 01375 642 463
Map & Directions
Please click the map below for directions.
By car – for sat nav use SS17 8LD
Laindon Railway Station – 10 mins
West Horndon Railway Station – 10 mins
Southend Airport- 30 mins
London City Airport – 30 mins
Stansted Airport- 45 mins
Gatwick Airport – 50 mins
Heathrow Airport– 60 mins