The ultimate luxury in life is spending the night away in a hotel. Why? Who cares! Because you deserve to treat yourself, that’s why! So get away from Bristol this summer and take the 45-minute drive to England’s oldest hotel: The Old Bell Hotel.
Set on the edge of the Cotswolds, in the chocolate box town of Malmesbury, The Old Bell Hotel first opened its doors in 1220. The same year as the coronation of King Henry III and the about the time Genghis Khan was uniting feuding Mongol clans under his leadership. That was over 800 years ago now and was originally used as a guest house for visiting monks to the neighbouring Malmesbury Abbey.
Today, the hotel is still going strong ─ maybe stronger than ever. It received a complete makeover back in 2021 but retains much of its original charm. The Old Bell Hotel stayed stylistically true to its history but is completely unique thanks to its eccentric interiors. Making it still a one-of-a-kind stay.
Quirky antiques and treasures, from the owners’ travels around the globe, fill the hotel. (Co-owner Whit Hanks, along with his wife Kim Hanks, is a renowned antiques dealer and collector.) While the hotel also boasts 34 individually designed bedrooms, as well as two bar concepts – the 1220 bar and the terraced aviary-like Tyger Bar.
Feeling a little peckish? Head to the onsite dining restaurant, Abbey Row. The hyper-seasonal menu from multi-award-winning Executive Chef, Leigh Evans, relies heavily on local ingredients. In fact, he works directly with The Old Bell Hotel’s gardeners who grow much of the kitchen’s produce at Abbey Garden. (In keeping with the quirky design, the dining room ceiling features 8000 hand-painted gold stars!)
Guests can expect dishes such as beetroot gazpacho; chicken liver parfait; Thai green curry with halibut; crispy squid with squid ink couscous; and crème caramel with pickled nectarines and a blue cheese croissant. You can also tuck into some afternoon tea too. To visit the restaurant or book a stay at England’s oldest hotel, head to The Old Bell Hotel here.
Find The Old Bell Hotel at Abbey Row, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 0BW.