Ye Olde Bell still ringing out

On a wet and windswept lunchtime recently I was in urgent need of sustenance and decided to check out Ye Olde Bell at Barnby Moor.

The imposing, traditional hotel and restaurant is difficult to miss from the busy Retford to Blyth road.

I was greeted by a waiter as soon as I walked through the door and found a comfy leather chair to sit in while I perused the menu.

The waiter also took my drinks order and a Coke with ice and a slice of lemon quickly arrived.

There were a host of different options on the menu for lunchtime.

The starters included crab and prawn cocktail and mussels cooked with white wine, garlic and shallots. But given the weather I opted for soup of the day, which was sweet potato (£5.50).

Choosing a main course was more difficult given the variety of options, whether you fancied seafood, meat or a vegetarian dish.

These included sea bass, tempura fried salmon, rack of spring lamb, pan fried duck breast, cashew nut and pea curry or spring vegetable and saffron risotto.

I had been told to look out for their new handmade pizzas so opted for the Pizza Napoli. This was priced at £12, which was fairly typical of the prices for main courses.

The waiter soon returned to take my meal order and showed me through to the dining area.

My sweet potato soup arrived after only a brief wait and was beautifully presented.

The soup was thick and delicious, and came with two crusty bread rolls and a pot of butter.

I was already fairly full before my pizza arrived, but it looked so tasty that inevitably I found a second wind.

It had a thin crusty base with tasty chunks of chorizo, slices of pepperoni, olives and basil pesto.

The total bill for the drink, soup and pizza came to £19, more than your average pub lunch, but reasonable given the quality of the food on offer.

I would recommend Ye Olde Bell to anyone who fancies dining from a varied menu in surroundings with plenty of old world charm.