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Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

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Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

Does anyone know what happened to the lovely Bell Inn on the London Road in Aston Clinton. On our first visit in 1985, there was a lovely elderly man running the place with his son. Subsequent visits we saw only the son, who had a limp. My husband and I spent our !0th anniversary there and several New Year's Eves in the 1980s. Would love to return but cannot find it.

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East Sussex, United...
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for West Sussex, East Sussex
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1. Re: Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

Don't know the place, but looks like it was renamed "the duck" and turned into a chain restaurant for a while :

beerintheevening.com/pubs/…Aston_Clinton

Mike

Buckinghamshire
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2. Re: Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

The Bell did indeed become The Duck In, but had now reverted to The Bell complete with the famous bell proudly in the front by the old A41. The restaurant had its opening night last night and we went to eat - we had to book the table first. The main difference, apart from the upgraded furnishings, is that it is now waitress service instead of 'stick a wooden spoon in a bottle' It was a little slow which we didn't mind as the food was well worth waiting for. I had crab cakes to start, and venison, and my partner had king prawns, then shoulder of lamb, all served with veg on the plates and extra fresh vegetables in a bowl. As far as I understand, much of the food is now prepared in the kitchens though some may still be brought in from outside as it IS part of a chain. Having eaten there many tiems in the past, it is a huge improvement.

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3. Re: Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

Thank you so much for the report. We shall have to go to the Bell on our next trip to the area. So happy the big old bell is by the front door again.

Greater London...
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4. Re: Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

I would agree with radiofan, we ate there last week and the food was excellent. However on what was a half-busy night the service was distinctly slow - eg 20 minutes after ordering a jug of water we asked where it was, to be told "i'll see how they're getting on". There's not much "getting on " to be done in pouring a jug of water!

Having said that i would summarise as fabulous food ( and at very good prices), slow service; and yes, i would go again. What's more the excellent little West Lodge Hotel (see reviews) is three minutes' walk down the road.

London, United...
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5. Re: Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

Eat there yesterday. Unfortunately the sunday roast was not hot nor was the strudel. Fruit and vegetables retian their heat longer than meat so it was obvious neither had been cooked to a high enough temperature - a perfect place for bacteria to multiply. Cutlery had not been wiped clean from being in the dishwasher. Service was slow, especially in obtaining a drink. There were too may different waitresses. One took the order, another bought the alcoholic drinks (after about 15 minutes from ordering) another bought the water (later). The original waitress took the coffee order, another bought the wrong ones. On saying that I did not want a milky coffee, another bought the fresh cup and asked whether I wanted milk!

We will give it another go as long as food is served hot.

Wendover, United...
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6. Re: Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

well you managed to get in then! We have been there three times now and been told there are no tables available and asked if we have booked!!

We went there yesterday and got told the same so left and on the way out three other groups of people had been turned away, and there were empty tables everywhere with 'reserved' on them!!! Thats four meals they sent away, and...... never seen before..... empty car park spaces in the car park on a sunday!!! Shame that i hear the food isn't that good anymore as it was the best sunday roast dinner in the area!!! I think they need to go back to the old routine of back to back seating at tables, grab a table while you can or have a drink to wait for one to come vacant!! I'd love to know how they know how long people want a table for? Do you book one for the whole of the afternoon or do they ask you to leave after a couple of hours as someone else has that same table booked??? beats me!!!

jane

Villepot
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7. Re: Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

Without wishing to spoil 3Granny's possible return to The Bell at Aston Clinton, I would earnestly suggest that it might be best to just hold onto the wonderful memories because it is nothing like The Bell of old. Twenty five years ago it retained much of the elegance and high standards that the 'elderly man' - almost certainly Gerard Harris - had achieved. In the 1970s The Bell was regarded as one of the top venues in the south of England.

Even after Gerard Harris died and the mantle passed to his son Michael, it was still one of the better hotels and the restaurant highly regarded.The traffic accident suffered by Michael Harris (which caused him to walk with a limp) maybe signalled the beginning of the end. The competition was in the ascendcy and eventually The Bell was sold off to a chain operation who were aiming at a totally different market.

USA
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8. Re: Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

Thank you for the update on the Bell Inn. The names Gerald and Michael Harris ring a bell (no pun intended).

I think we shall heed your advise and just keep our wonderful memories in tact.

Thank you for this good suggestion.

Aston Clinton
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9. Re: Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

Hi.

Unfortunately, a disappointing experience for me. I took my wife and kids there for her birthday in December. I will not be eating there again which is a shame because I practically live next door.

Service was awful, our wine arrived unopened, food was cold and pork was as dry as a bone, the fillet steak was more like a rump and the water and ketchup we requested for the kids turned up when we had all finished.

I may be getting old (36) and grumpy but when I am paying good money to eat good food I don't want to see the waiters underwear. Every time I turned around all I saw was the staff running around with their pants hanging out over the top of their trousers. For the love of god get a belt! If I want to see adolescent twerps running around with their arses hanging out I would go to Aylesbury on a Saturday! Calm calm….

And to finish the night off I was presented with a bill that was £100 to much and had to declare what we had consumed - this took an extra 20 minutes when we really wanted to leave to get the kids to bed.

Happy birthday wife )-:

Tring
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10. Re: Bell Inn in Aston Clinton

It is back to being called the Bell Inn but is now a pub with restaurant and rooms - so not the same restaurant that you remember

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