Restaurant – with – Rooms, Good Food, Great Night's Sleep

About Us

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Welcome to The Bell At Sax’…

Let me introduce myself, Jonny Nicholson

I moved down the coast from Southwold at the end of 2013, having run the town’s award-winning Pier as General Manager for a couple of years but my career has been spent as a Head Chef in many different dining establishments from restaurants to gastropubs and more. I’m East Anglian through-and-through, growing up in north Norfolk and first cooking in Suffolk back in 1989. Whilst I feel at home up here in East Suffolk and love its ‘coast & country’ feel, London has a big place in my heart, having spent many years working with Sir Terence Conran, as Executive Chef of his famous Bluebird restaurant on Chelsea’s King’s Road and also with Marco Pierre White, culminating as his Sous Chef very early on in my career.

Previously in the early 2000s, I owned the acclaimed George at Cavendish in west Suffolk and then Carlton Manor, near Oulton Broad, both of which were rather run-down before being transformed into award-winning neighbourhood restaurants. Like the George, here The Bell At Sax’ had been sitting closed, sad and unloved, and now I’m thrilled to have re-opened its doors a year ago, giving it a new laid-back feel, and putting it back at the heart of Saxmundham, this charming historic market town on the beautiful Heritage East Suffolk Coast.

Now for a quick explanation about The Bell At Sax’, despite the ‘Hotel’ name painted across the front of this Grade II* listed building (hence we can’t remove it!), we are definitely an informal ‘Restaurant-with-Rooms’, not a hotel, nor a gastropub. Downstairs, there’s no reception, just lots of dining tables instead and the odd comfy sofa. Our ten simple bedrooms upstairs are comfortable and relaxing for a great night’s sleep.

Good food at a good price is what we want to be known for and we’re creating the kind of place we look for, a welcoming restaurant where you can relax, whatever the occasion, and not break the bank, a well-loved ‘flexible friend’, somewhere to celebrate with family and friends and equally a boltholefor a bite-to-eat to escape the washing-up at home. Much of our seasonal menu and specials will change daily as the great local produce and new ingredients arrive. Have a look at our sample selection here to get a flavour of what we offer. Our cooking might be described as ‘Modern British’, but put more simply, it’s the food we like to eat. Sitting on the site of a centuries-old coaching inn, The Bell At Sax’ itself is an early Victorian listed building, dating back to 1842. (Discover more about Saxmundham and its history here).

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