rocking around the Christmas tree

A Festive Break at Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Spa

Ye Olde Bell

A 4 hour trip from Windsor to Retford led to great expectations from all the family, for this weekend mini break.Thankfully, it was well worth the trip- and the many ‘Are we there yet?s’ as Ye Olde Bell is a stunning 16th century hotel with newly opened state-of-the-art spa bursting with character, festive decor at every turn, and importantly: truly excellent food.

Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Spa

Ye Olde Bell

Ye Olde Bell

You know you’ve had an epic break when you leave a day later feeling like you’ve been away for a week!

Check us out rocking around the Christmas tree!

rocking around the Christmas tree

Ye Olde Bell

The staff were attentive, kind and went above and beyond across the board with the waiters taking time to share stories, chat to the kids and ensure we had everything we needed (and that intolerances were catered for).

Charming, not intrusive but the cherry on the cake, the entire staff must be applauded and it wasn’t just reserved for we reviewers either, I noticed all the guests were treated as we were.

Child smiles

child in a cable knit sweater

Simply put, it was one of our most favourite breaks to-date with the perfect combination of delicious seasonal and thoughtfully curated food from breakfast to dinner, and a relaxing if not too short stay in the spa (I will need to return without the kids next time for a longer session) -oh and snow.

Ye Olde Bell Spa

spa lounge with velvet chairs Ye Olde Bell Spa

nail polishes at the Ye Olde Bell Spa

inside a room at the spa

Spa corridor

Ye Olde Bell Spa balcony with table and chairs

corridor with a mirror

Ye Olde Bell Spa with mosaics

Ye Olde Bell Spa with soft chairs

Ye Olde Bell Spa, flowers on a massage bed

Ye Olde Bell Spa

Ye Olde Bell Spa-outside spa

outdoor swimming pool at the Ye Olde Bell Spa

Ye Olde Bell Spa

outside at the Ye Olde Bell Spa

stunning Ye Olde Bell Spa

Ye Olde Bell Spa

Ye Olde Bell Spa

steam room at the Ye Olde Bell Spa

sauna at the Ye Olde Bell Spa

Ye Olde Bell Spa

Ye Olde Bell Spa

Ye Olde Bell Spa


outdoor spa

indoor heated pool

indoor pool at the Ye Olde Bell Spa

Ye Olde Bell Spa

We couldn’t have felt more festive if we tried.

Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Spa

Food-wise, I was incredibly impressed with the standard and variety on offer. It came as no surprise that every day saw the bistro and restaurant fully booked along with Christmas parties in adjacent rooms and lavish weddings over the two days we were there.

child with a toy camera

breakfast muffin


I ate so much, I waddled out of there!

desserts board
Want the proof?

We essentially ate everything on the menu over two meals spanning homemade bread with garlic butter, smoked chicken risotto, scallops, burgers for the kids, grilled salmon, pan-fried chicken with gnocci, Banoffee pie, pear tart, brownies with vanilla ice cream and champagne sorbet- Oh, and not forgetting Christmas turkey the following day with all the trimmings!


homemade bread with garlic butter

smoked chicken risotto



chips and a burger

chicken with gnocci

salmon with a cream sauce

Banoffee pie

walnut and pear tart

chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream

champagne sorbet

Aside from the mouthwatering food, there’s something rather magical about Ye Olde Bell, yes, the history contributes, but so does the passion and care the staff hold for their place of work and those who visit it. The receptionist even mentioned how much she loves working there, and it showed.


The rooms have character and the comfiest beds imaginable, with antique features but no clutter. It’s old school elegance at its best, something I personally love from boutique hotels.




fruit in the hotel room

Close to Yorkshire, I’ll be returning with my Mum in tow for a girlie break as it’s just 45 minutes from her home.

a festive weekend away

If you live further afield though, still make the trip, you won’t be disappointed!


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