A ‘Home Tour’ of The Bell in Ticehurst

Written by Emma Hla
Image by Saltwick Media | Press Stay.
2016 was the year we first visited The Bell in Ticehurst in East Sussex and we completely fell in love with this unique, quirky, historic inn.

Well, fast-forward 6 years and we found ourselves making our way back through the Sussex countryside for another stay, only this time in one of their updated bedrooms. I had a little read of the original feature I wrote all about our first stay and honestly, I’m not sure I can add much more so this piece is an updated version as it was, and still very much is, a gorgeous gem of a venue.

Despite the turbulence over the last few years, especially the pandemic-induced difficulties the hospitality and wedding sector suffered, I couldn’t quite believe that the experience we had at The Bell was once again second-to-none and showed no signs of fatigue or teething problems as a brand new team settled in. This is a testament to The Bell – everyone who greeted us, helped us, and served us was knowledgeable, friendly, warm, funny and just seemed to really care about their job and, of course, The Bell.

The team supporting you at your wedding venue is absolutely key, and if this incredible bunch of people don’t fill you with confidence for your big day, then I don’t know who will!


It always amazes me how stunning the Sussex countryside is and how, just five minutes outside of Brighton, I’m surrounded by meadows and fresh air. For us, The Bell is just an hour’s drive down the road and I feel almost ashamed that 2016 was our first trip out there.

Ticehurst is a small but perfectly formed village with a fabulous church just a minute’s walk from the venue. The Bell is instantly recognisable and the sixteenth century exterior has a fairly normal (but well kept) village pub vibe, but it’s the large glass coaching doors, a hint of pink neon and the recent addition of some rather on-brand hoarding (hiding a rather large and exciting extension to the venue), that give you a clue that this is no ordinary local.

The Bell in Ticehurst is a gorgeous historic coaching inn and when you step inside, the laid back friendly village atmosphere is like a warm hug. With a discreet reception area to the right, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a pub-with-rooms set up, but folks, there’s so much more to the accommodation on offer.


Our first stay was in The Love Nest, situated in the enchanting gardens along with three other lodges. Each of the 11 rooms (The Love Nest, three lodges and seven bedrooms) have a story, some even have their own tree!

Anyway back to The Love Nest; in short, we loved it.

On approach, The Love Nest actually looks like a nest, as if a giant bird has crafted it’s extra-large home on top of the lodge. This is a great room for the night of your wedding – inside it has the feeling of a super luxe yurt. What I mean by this is that the room is round in appearance with a skylight directly above the bed. Wooden floors and walls cocoon you and there’s even a wood burning stove for those chilly nights. But you soon realise this isn’t glamping… a copper bath, urban subway-tiled wet room, super squishy mattress and a wall mounted flat screen tv add a certain sinful comfort. As if that wasn’t enough, The Love Nest also has its own secret roof terrace overlooking the landscaped gardens.

The other lodges within the gardens are designed with a nod to the Oast House. Each one has its own unique style and private outside decking area with open fires. They also have little grass hats which I thought were super cute and allow them to blend into the surroundings perfectly.

Our most recent stay was in Pour L’Amour – an existing lodge given a brand new look thanks to a collaboration between The Bell’s Creative Director, Philippa King and local artist Jane McCall. The wall decoration was inspired by the painted leather panels in the dining room at Batemans, the home of Rudyard Kipling, which is a few miles away. The domestic scene painted on the cupboards, that is viewed as a work of art in itself from the bed, is of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. They were part of the famous Bloomsbury Set who lived at Charleston Farmhouse, which is just over half an hour from The Bell. They’re reading love poems to each which is pretty apt because it’s honestly a super romantic and secluded room.

The bathroom has an extra wide walk in shower as well as a bath, opening out onto a cute private patio with a fire and festoon lights. It’s completely private, and feels different to The Love Nest space. Each and everyone of your guests will be in for a surprise and a treat staying here! Other bedrooms onsite include Room 7 (aka Hush of the Trees) and I could instantly imagine this as the wedding prep room. With enough space for your party and beautiful natural light for getting ready it’s pretty spectacular. Plus it was another one of the rooms with a tree!

Event Spaces

I met up with Tessa, Weddings & Events Manager, in the reception snug; a book-adorned room with leather sofa and crackling fire. From here we set off on a look around the updated events spaces.

Upstairs is The Big Room which has had quite the makeover since I was last here; gone are the bold red and golden walls and in its place is a beautiful large-scale mural by artist Melissa White. The intricate and sometimes amusing scenes on the bespoke wallpaper relate to surrounding Sussex countryside, you can even spot The Love Nest! Large chandeliers and original wooden flooring create quite the space. The stunning windows add a flood of natural light and the whole space just feels big! Hence the name I presume *ahem*.

Everywhere you look in this venue there are curiosities – stacked books from floor to ceiling, old maps full of adventure, mismatched chandeliers, a snug full of stories and the odd bit of taxidermy. Alice in Wonderland would feel right at home here!

Exciting plans afoot

So what’s this all about then? Since March 2020 The Bell has been going through a series of updates and now the existing events space has its own separate bar, making your wedding experience completely exclusive.

There are also three new rooms and three new lodges in the making, allowing even more of your friends and family to stay with you during your celebration. Whilst your wedding feast will be held in the dedicated events space, the restaurant will also be moving into a striking new spot allowing the pub to be just that, a pub for locals and visitors alike.


Finally, I must mention the food. We were treated to dinner and it was simply scrummy. We are instantly sold when we see a list of local producers and the fare certainly matched its ethos. We of course had to share the breads with cultured butter, oil and balsamic, then I sampled the smoked ham hock & Sussex Cheddar arancini with piccalilli ketchup, followed by the braised beef pasty with butternut squash puree, hispi cabbage and dauphinoise potato. Just to make sure I wasn’t going to go hungry anytime soon, I also managed to fit in a delicious treacle tart with clotted cream ice cream. Oh and the following morning I had the best scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, quite honestly, ever.

This fabulous old coaching inn is the perfect place to celebrate life, love and happiness. You and your guests will delight in the quirkiness of this historic pub – it is a treasure trove of goodies and basically just very, very cool.

Press Stay

The Bell in Ticehurst is part of the Coco Wedding Venues directory, however we handpick each venue to be showcased and we only feature venues we adore. We were not paid to write this feature, but we were gifted an overnight stay and dinner.

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