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Reviews of Bell Inn, Tong

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Review by Denny Jones on 2nd September, 2013

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Pre-booked a table for four, arrived on time, however waited over an hour for the main course (had 15 meal deal for two) small portions. Finally when it arrived it was taken away, as one out of the two meals had no meat on the plate. It was cold and the food and the vegetables were undercooked. We did complain and got a discount, however the customer service was poor and fake apologies did not make up for what should have been our first family meal together. Even a fire alarm went off to end the meal.

Date visited: September 1st 2013

Review by karen greenway on 21st February, 2013

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On arriving , lots of tables reserved, only table for 4 , was by kitchen , sounded like there was a disco in the kichen , music that loud, waiter took our order, drinks arrived about 5 minutes later , food never arrived for a good 40 minutes , were never told there was a wait .. when it did arrive 3 fish & chips peas were really cold , sent back to kitchen , when it arrived back , about 5 more minutes , fish wasn't very warm at all , seemed they had taken fish off and microwaved peas and chips , asked for more tartar sauce never arrived, fish was more like a big fish finger , no flakes of fish ????? We also had. Shredded pork fahitas, never found any pork, more like vegetarian some wedges burnt others not brown at all ,,,, these meals must be some of the worsed I've had for many years , and would never step foot in the place again

Date visited: 19/02/2013

Review by Mrs E Richards on 3rd September, 2012

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We have been many of times to the Bell in, an have been very happy with the service and the food that we have received, until yesterday. We decided to go and have a family meal with our 1 yr old, in which we found a table with no problem and this was just gone 12.35pm. I asked for a high chair and i was told to go and look for one as the host was to busy on the floor. I evenually found one, an upon operning it, it was full of manky old food, in which some of it was going moldy, and it was not until the high chair was in the light, you could tell that it had not been cleaned for god, knows how long. I then went on the hunt yet again to find another one, to be greated with a much worse sight. I managed to find someone that worked there to say how disappointed i was with the lack of cleanlyness. This person took the chair and 10 mins later brought it back. Granted she had took the food out from the seat bit, but still did not clean the chair. To top this perlarvour we ended up making 3 food orders, as each time we made an order an thought the food was being cooked, a different person from the kitchin came out and said that they did not have the full ingrediants, in which to complete our food order. An hour later we finnaly had our food an could not get out of there fast enough. On leaving i went to the bar, in which to speak to the manager, to be greated with, the manager is busy at the moment and i not to disturbe them, sorry. It will be a very long time before we will go back there again.

Date visited: 02/09/2012

Review by Louise C on 5th June, 2011

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After passing the Bell at Tong on many occasions and always thinking what a lovely place to go for a meal, my partner and I decided to give it a go to celebrate our anniversary. Well, what a mistake to make! We went to the bar to order drinks and ask for a table. We were told there was a wait for the table but nothing was mentioned about a wait for food. After asking 3 times, we were eventually put on the waiting list! Whilst waiting at the bar, one of the waitresses came storming up to the bar man, tearing a strip of him for the delay on the drinks - albeit justified, not really something customers should witness! We were eventually shown to our table but it was at least 20 minutes before anyone asked for our order. After another 10 minutes the waiter came back and read our order back to us "to make sure he had got it right". At this point, we should have realised that something was amiss. Well, people were seated after us, served before us and received their food. After an hour's wait, we had finally had enough and asked the manager (resumably Sarah Parker) to cancel our order as we had been waiting so long. Her reply was one that utterly disgusted me. Not once did she apologise or offer to find out what was going on with our order but refused to believe that we had been waiting long and went to get the food ticket as proof. She came back and said we had only been waiting 42 minutes!! I replied that that may have been the time that the ticket was put through to the kitchen but we had certainly placed our order over an hour ago. I was also told that the reason that others had been served before us, even though they had only just arrived, was because they had ordered starters and we had not! Presumably you have to wait for everyone in the whole pub to have their starter before they start cooking main courses, even if they are not in your party! To this day, I still don't understand her reasoning for the delay! I was not even offered an apology, let alone a complimentary drink or discount. On the contrary, I was asked to pay for the drinks I had ordered whilst waiting!Her whole reasoning and demeanour was very blase and defensive and quite frankly, if that's who's at the helm, it's no wonder that the rest of the staff were running round like headless chickens! The reason it always looks so busy is because it takes an absolute age to be fed! It's such a shame because the food that was coming out of the kitchen looked absolutely gorgeous and I could see myself and the family making the short trip most weekends for sunday lunch but sadly the only other custom I will be putting the Bell's way is a strongly worded letter of complaint to the brewery.

Date visited: 3rd June 2011

Review by willacy on 19th February, 2011

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Four of us went to the Bell for lunch and were less than impressed.We were told to find a table and our order would be taken.Having got our drinks, after some time we did order our meals. After at least a half- hour wait we enquire how long our food would be, the waitress went and brought them straight away, so they must have been standing on the side, as both food and plates were cold, the chicken was like a piece of cardboard. Nevertheless we ate most of it and when we complained were told 20% would be taken off the bill. It wasn't until we got home that we realised although there had been a deduction, they had charged us for three drinks we hadn't had. Needless to say we will not be going there again or recommending it.

Date visited: 2 weeks ago

Review by Douglas Burgoyne on 22nd December, 2010

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A table had been booked by my brother in law for a celebration lunch for the 21st birthday of my niece for 1.00pm we were seated at around that time and we sat there for in excess of 20 minutes before our order was taken. 3 of our party ordered starters, but although what they ordered was on the menu 2 of them had to have alternatives being told that they were only available on the Xmas Fare menu, a fact not stated on the menu. It was a further 45 minutes before the starters arrived and by the time that they had finished we had been seated for almost an hour and a half, and despite complaining to the assistant manageress still no main courses were forthcoming When they did finally arrive most of the meals were cold, 2 guests had Cajon Chicken which was so hard as to be uneatable, my wife had her beef dinner served without gravy, and when she asked if there was any gravy the waitress replied "did you want gravy then?" despite the menu stating that the roast was served with LASHINGS of gravy, one of our guests ordered the pork shank but did not get a meal brought out at all and when she complained, the meal she got was not what she ordered and was just a straight pork lunch. This was taken back and a message sent out that it would take several more minutes to cook the correct meal, so she asked for the other meal to be returned but was cold and uneatable, one of the meals was chicken based but only contained 3 tiny pieces of chicken and was cold. All of the plates were cold when the meals were served to us, and so were most of the vegetables which rendered all of them uneatable. All of the meals were returned to the kitchen and the assistant manageress was informed that we did not intend to pay for them for 2 reasons, namely the length of time that we had to wait, and the fact that they were uneatable. My niece and her boyfriend had travelled down from Yorkshire for this celebration dinner for a special moment in one's life but this was a huge disappointment and an embarrassment to all of us We had given your staff a birthday cake and when this was brought out we had to ask for plates and cutlery, and then had to ask again for serviettes. Personally speaking we have had in the past many very good meals with excellent service prior to the re furbishment, and this was our first visit since you re opened, and whilst I accept that you were busy if this is the quality of food that you are serving coupled with this level of service, that will be my last, and this sentiment was shared by other members of our party. It was stated that we were the only people who had complained but speaking to friends of ours that were also eating they said their meal was not very warm but did not complain because they would have to wait even longer, and upon leaving we spoke to another person who was eating there who was also dissatisfied with the prolonged wait together with what had been served up for him and had complained, and his comment to me was that he had received a better meal in Asda which cost £2.99 I would also state that during our wait 2 other parties were seated and to our amazement both were served with their meals before us I did not book the table but the person that did received a message from the assistant maageress via a waitress that there was nothing to pay and that we were free to leave at any time, which to me indicates that they just wanted us out of the way. I have complained to the brewery that owns the pub and was sent an e mail that I would be contacted by the area manager responsible for the pub within 7 working days, but guess what, despite another e mail to them informing them of my intention to write this review still no reply. That to me indicates that they are not bothered about their customers or customer satisfaction

Date visited: 12th December 2010

Review by elizabeth boydell on 26th October, 2010

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After reading the Previous review i strongly disagree. I came in a party of 11 plus 1 child. We were welcomed by Sarah Baker who directed us straight to a table. She was friendly, polite and introduced our waitress for the evening, Hannah. The food was great, drinks came quickly, the waiting time was none existant and all staff gave service with a smile. I was that impressed I booked for the christmas party nights on the 7th of December and was given a complimentary bottle of wine. The pub was warm and inviting and welcomed families. You MUST give them a try Elizabeth

Date visited: 16.10.10

Review by Tracey Hughes on 9th September, 2010

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A party of 16 of us went to The Bell for my cousins 18th Birthday, the waitress looked like she worked in a mortuary she never smiled or had any contact with any of us except for taking our order, we waited ouver an hour for the food to even start being served,the food was very average for the price they charge you, we had a 12 year old child in the party and he had the meatballs off the main menu I would not say it was a childrens portion and the chips were cold, when we ordered some puds we also asked for 1 pot of tea and a pint of cider and half a coke which took over 35 minutes to arrive at our table, I certainly will not be returning again this was my first and last visit.

Date visited: 08.09.2010

Review by Alison Baker on 30th September, 2009

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Having read the previos comments we were both disappointed but also intrigues as to what had happened in the previous 12 months since our visit. We know the landlady quite well and she and her staff are both professional and hospitable, we decided to visit in case the pub had changed hands. The pub was busy when we got there, but we only had to wait a few minutes to be served and the staff were new to us but very attentive. The menu was comprehensive andat least 50% of their house specials were home made. I had the chillie sizzler combo, which was perhaps the loudest main course I have ever had and certainly had the wow factor.. The childrens meals were as versatile and had such a lot of variety in the choice of accompaniament, which was pleasing for a change. The meals took about 25minutes to arrive which we were impressed by considering the number of people in the place and the staff were efficient and genuine. All I can say is that we thoroughly enjoyed our visit and next year will be calling again.

Date visited: 25th August 2009

Review by Michelle Bradbury on 24th August, 2009

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Whilst on a journey towards Kidderminster, we saw The Bell and stopped for a drink and a bit to eat, we walked in to a dingy, badly lit pub which wasn't very impressive. We were stood at the bar for about 15 minutes, while the barmaid was rushed off her feet. We were then given menus and told to sit on a table which was covered in grease, which wasn't a good sign of the food to come. We waited a further 20 minutes before the waitress had time to serve us. We were then not informed about a wait on food, after waiting 40 minutes for a fish and chips and a burnt, crispy, blackened, tasteless lasagne. The waitress was very apologetic, and assured us she was also not aware of a wait. We asked to see the manageress, who promptly arrived at our table. When we tried to complain to the manageress, we were not able to get a word in edge-ways. After discussing our issues with the quality of the service and food, she gave us a measly 20% deduction from our food. But this was not satisfactory, as infact we were only able to eat 20% of our meals, as they were either deeply fried mush or burnt. What happened to 'the customer is always right'? Avoid the place like a plague, i feel sorry for the staff!

Date visited: 17/8/09

Review by Elliot Ridge on 29th July, 2009

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Myself and my family have ate at this pub many times and have always found the food and service brilliant sometimes there is a bit of a wait at the bar for drinks but pus get busy so its all good.

Date visited: N/A

Review by Gary Reynolds on 26th July, 2009

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My family had travelled from Bristol to celebrate my Father's 70th Birthday and after having had the pub recommended we travelled 25 minutes from just outside of Walsall to get there (with 2 children aged 9 and 6). We sat down to eat at 7pm and after having decided to actually leave the pub at 8.30pm we were told our starters were ready. We ate these and eventually got our food at 9.15pm! Another review said the service was lukewarm - we found it frosty. Salad did not arrive on some plates and food was of a very poor standard (overcooked or poorly presented). We travel a lot and have eaten in pubs and restaurants in Scotand, England and Wales but this was probably the worst money I've ever spent on food in my 40 years in the UK (and I'm being very objective here). Apologies were made but we were told (erroneously) that we should have been informed that our food would be delayed. We left at 10.15pm with two very tired children. Positives? The manageress was very apologetic and we had a reduction on our bill for our trouble.

Date visited: 25th July 2009

Review by Norma on 15th April, 2009

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Three of us went to the Bell at lunch time. Despite there being a coach party there for lunch we were served very quickly. The two course meal available Monday to Thursday from 12 noon until 6pm at a cost of £4.25 (50p extra for tea or coffee) is excellent value for money with quite a lot of choice. The steak was very tender and mouthwatering and the chips were dry and tasty.

Date visited: 14th April 2009

Review by Rebecca Bridge on 21st July, 2008

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What a load of rubbish the other reviews were. I went to this pub the sat just been with my husband the food was fantastic not a long wait at all. When i was serving in the RAF i use to come to this pub every friday for my lunch with my colleagues, we never had a problem then. On saturday the pub was quite busy in the meal area and there was only a small table in the corner available as im disabled and on crutches the Manageress saw me and moved me to a reserve table straight away. All that night she took our orders for food and drinks. The staff were friendly and very helpfull all night towards me,one of the most helpfull places ive been to most people ignore me because im on cruthes but here i felt normal and relaxed.

Date visited: 19th July 2008

Review by christine on 21st June, 2008

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my mother-in-law arranged a meal for a family of 12 for her birthday. we had to wait just over an hour for our meals this was not good when you have 2 children who have not had any food since lunch time. the food was nice and good. this pub is not suitable for young children. if you have a meal here go 1 and half hours before you want your food. there are a lot of pubs out there cheaper and you don't have to wait so long for your meal!

Date visited: 14/06/08

Review by Sue Hudson on 13th February, 2008

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It appears that nothing has changed since the last review of 11 months ago. I had the misfortune to eat at the Bell for lunch. The place was not overly busy and yet we had to wait an hour after ordering for our food to arrive. I had ordered Marston's Beer Battered Fish and was apalled when it finally arrived to discover that there would have been more fish on a fishfinger than my portion of fish and it was completely tasteless. At £4.95 this was completely unacceptable - at Wetherspoons you get about six times the amount of better tasting fish at £5.99 for two. Needless to say give the Bell Inn a miss!

Date visited: 12 Feb 2008

Review by Jason Clarke on 10th April, 2007

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Having been to the establishment previously, and had a fine meal (pleasent experience) i expected the same again. i could not have been more wrong. On entering we explained to the staff that we wished to eat. We was then told that we could not order from the menue, as we had not booked a table. We could only have the carvery. This was not a problem. We sat down @ the table, at this time i felt the demeanour of the waitress was very stand offish. After fifteen minutes of sitting down, we had no contact of any of the members of staff. After no response we asked if it was possible to order a starter, again the attitude was unfriendly and unhelpful. Finally the starter arrived, the soup was stone cold and therefore not touched, i managed to eat my breaded mushrooms.Though this was more to the fact of 8 hours without eating than the taste. The starters were collected, no attempt was made by the staff to ascertain why the soups reamined untouched. After further waiting for the carvery, we again approached the staff. We was advised to collect a token to order. This was fine, but @ no point where we advised to do this when we arrived. This would have saved a further 20 minutes waiting. The carvery was possibly the worst i have ever experienced. The vegatables were @ best luke warm, the yorkshire pudding and the stuffing rock solid. The meat easily the best part of the meal was average. I have to say we had no problems with the desert menu. Though i declined as i was in the wrong frame of mind to try. I can only hope this was an isolated occasion, i think i would need a lot of convincing to return to this establishment.

Date visited: 17-03-2007

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