Whether you’re a city, town or countryside dweller, there’s nothing like the prospect of ‘getting away from it all’, but it’s often easier said than done. With the everyday stresses of life, the idea of a day or two of relaxation, breaking the routine and taking time for yourself is infinitely appealing, but how to make it happen with family in tow? Susie Thorne took to the Nottinghamshire countryside in search of rest and rejuvenation at Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Spa.
Amongst the rolling green fields that make up the village of Barnby Moor sits Ye Olde Bell Hotel, a quaint 17th Century inn with a selection of rooms, suites and lodges suitable for families and couples alike. Full of old world charm with contemporary touches where it matters (read: amazing power showers), the hotel provides a comfortable home away from home that feels luxurious yet cosy and quintessentially English. Retaining key features like old wooden beams and a grand fireplace in the lounge area ensure that the hotel is full of character. Both functional and stylish, rooms are furnished and decorated with traditional stylings such as beautiful wooden writing desks and wardrobes, whilst large bathrooms are blessed with with freestanding baths for that luxe touch.
After a blissful night’s sleep in a giant, comfy bed, look forward to a hearty breakfast downstairs with a continental buffet available alongside a menu of hot meals like a full English breakfast or Eggs Benedict, the ideal way to prep for a day exploring the surrounding countryside or before a restful day at the spa.
With three unique saunas, a steam room, a salt inhalation room, foot soaks and an indoor/outdoor heated pool with jets, adding a trip to the Ye Olde Bell Spa seems like an obvious way to take relaxation to the next level on your ‘get away from it all’ break. Opened in 2017, this welcome addition is modern and chic, with butlers on hand to serve you up cocktails, wine, beers, soft drinks or teas and coffees poolside. The service is impeccable and, with fresh, dry towels always readily available and multiple loungers and daybeds at your disposal and a snug ‘apple’ to relax in, the only thing you need to focus on is totally relaxing.
For lunch on your spa day, you can’t go wrong with The Herb Brasserie, the spa’s accompanying restaurant. With half- and full-day packages on offer that include a two-course meal, you can choose to pre-order your food from a concise but varied menu and book a table for a gourmet treat. The food is scrumptious, as are the wines, and it’s always a real decadence to be able to eat top quality food in a dressing gown and slippers.
The spa is usually only open to those 16 and above, but due to demand and the rising popularity of family spa breaks, it recently launched Tween Spa, held on the first Wednesday of each month, for spa-goers aged 11 to 15 (when accompanied by an adult 21+ on a 1:1 ratio). Those with smaller kids needn’t worry though, in April 2019 Ye Olde Bell Spa launch Tiny Spa events on select Wednesday evenings throughout the year. Although they won’t be able to access the two hottest thermal experiences, there’s still a plenty of choice for little ones aged five to 10.
The hotel itself has two dining options: the formal Restaurant Bar 1650 or the more casual St Leger Bistro-by-the-Bar. With an AA Four Star with a Rosette Award as recognition, you can expect an interesting menu offering yummy food made with local, seasonal produce. The food was good, although we preferred the fare at The Herb Brasserie as part of our spa experience, and there are options for those with dietary requirements. The drinks selection is vast – including an extensive gin list for the spirit connoisseur – and the knowledgeable staff can help you choose your tipple if you need a hand.
Being situated on the borders of Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and not too far from Yorkshire, means that there’s plenty of countryside to discover on foot or by car, but if you’re looking for a rainy day afternoon activity, the towns of Retford and Worksop are close by and have plenty of options for family activities.
Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Spa is an independently owned property, located on the borders of North Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. It features 59 rooms, suites and lodges.
AA Rosette cuisine is on offer at Restaurant Bar 1650 and St Leger Bistro-by-the-Bar offers more traditional fayre served with a twist.
The hotel opened its new multi million pound spa in June, 2017.
A stay at Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Spa, which includes spa time, starts from £149.50 per person.
For more information or to make a booking visit yeoldebell-hotel.co.uk.