a weekend in hurley {the olde bell}: part two…

a nomadic abode

there’s a point at which, having had so many things go awry, a given situation can turn from infuriating to comical…

i’m pleased to say i got there by day three of our stay at the olde bell

i could eventually see the humour in punting on the success rate of various things we ordered actually turning up {with some startling accuracy on my part dare i say!}…

& hearing a plethora of fellow guests muttering under their breath in exasperation eventually brought a smile to my lips instead of further fuelling the flames of anger that were ferociously flambéing my own innards…

there was even a point where my disappointment turned to compassion because, at the end of the day, i get what they’re trying to achieve here &, quite frankly, it’s commendable…

creating the ultimate country idyll takes a lot of work & the attention to detail at the olde bell is not lost on me…

a nomadic abode

from the home-made breads on the breakfast table accompanied by a cylindrical slab of butter, to the bottomless cups of coffee replenished at your table by apron-clad staff…

i even have it on good authority that winnie the pooh readings are piped through the washrooms of the main house…

seriously, these are the things dreams are made of…

but what i will say is that the fundamentals have to be working tickety boo first otherwise such splendid details ultimately get overlooked in the chaos…

also not lost on me this weekend were the efforts of most of the staff who worked tirelessly to try to accommodate each & every random request {unfortunately what seemed like a shortage of hands, ineffective systems & labour-intensive practices meant they spent the majority of their time & efforts placating angry guests & firefighting}

it actually made me feel really rather sorry for them in the end: once i was smugly ensconced on my picnic blanket devouring my rotisserie chicken with a side of slaw & a glass of prosecco, that is!

& finally, we cannot forget to consider the very reason i came to the olde bell in the first place: the interior design…

this is what ultimately sways the decision for me to give this place a second try…

a nomadic abode

because the olde bell not only looks good, it feels good…

ilse crawford‘s lightness of touch, sensitivity in approach & ability to embue warmth & welcomeness into her interiors is evident throughout: particularly in the communal areas which really do serve as the heartbeat of this establishment {just like the brochure says!}…

herein hundreds of years of history have been respectfully considered, sensitively embraced & expertly overlaid with an armful of restraint & an abundance of carefully curated layers…

a nomadic abode

upholstered settles are finished with nail head trim & swathed in woollen welsh blankets which are, in turn, kept in place with pristine leather tiebacks…

painted wooden chairs sit harmoniously alongside panelled walls upon which a host of decorative ceramic plates rest seemingly precariously…

thick linen curtains, bare wooden tables & glass wall lanterns combine to complete the scheme…

a nomadic abode

these are honest materials & simple palettes that speak of warmth, comfort & home…

so much so i feel like i’m in my grandma’s kitchen, but that my grandma’s kitchen never looked so good!

& that, for me, is the sign of good design: when it can transport you, evoke a reaction or a memory or instill a sensation…

& better still, as i suspect is the case with the majority of people who pass through these doors, when it can achieve this without your even being aware that it’s doing so…

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6 thoughts on “a weekend in hurley {the olde bell}: part two…

  1. Well, good on you for seeing the bright side. I think you’re totally right that they need to focus on the big picture of running the place before spending SO MUCH time on all those amazing details, but those amazing details will really make it in the long run, won’t they? And you’re right, the design elements are stunning, but what’s better is how effortless *that* feels.

    • honey i bet on the days when this place run smoothly there is nowhere like it on earth… but when it goes wrong, it seems to go horribly wrong… a shame because it’s such a gem of a place!

  2. I really hope they read your review because you make entirely valid points – and from the sounds of it, you weren’t the only ones upset over them missing out on the great BIG details – not the finer ones. That balance has to be righted really – perhaps send them this post and say you’d like to come again in a few months’ if they would consider your issues – you might get a night’s free stay outta it 😉 (ooh she’s such a negotiator!!) xxx

  3. Oh no I feel so responsible!
    There was Winnie the Pooh and the ancient mariner when we went! I’ve not stayed there though. And come to think of it we queued for ever to get a cider last time as there was only one barman.
    I really think you should send it to them though Sue. They only know if you tell them. Your review is balanced and fair so they would rather know, I’m sure.
    Don’t let it put you going to Stoke Place though as the service there was excellent. xx

    • no, no, no… fear not, i’ve wanted to go here for years now so don’t feel responsible at all… besides, on balance, we had such a lovely weekend… sunshine, beautiful surrounds & lovely food! i tweeted a link to this to the olde bell but heard nothing in return so they’ve had ample opportunity to read this if they want! &, as always, a right of reply! 😉

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