This is a great place to lose an afternoon. All the nooks and crannies of this wonderful old hotel are the stuff of temptation, when accompanied with a properly mixed gin and tonic and the opportunity to shamelessly skive from work for the afternoon.

The Old Bell has recently reopened, having been taken over, and lushiously done up by the new Texan millionaires who now own it.

But rather than smelling of new paint, it has a luxurious smell to it. More country manor library leather with a touch of port wine than Dulux and Febreeze.

Everything about the new Old Bell is classy, and you feel almost obliged to where something in linen or some expensive Italian loafers.

There are antiques or quirky collectables at every turn, and as aforementioned, plenty of places to hide around corners.

Quite a lot of the antiques are from dealer Whit Hanks' travels to Vietnam where he has picked up a vast and intriguing array of religious statues of Catholic saints. The rather splendid interior design has a whiff of the American deep south - provided by Kim Hanks.

Once you drag yourself out of the comfy seats and head to the dining room there is a building expectation that lunch is going to be worth it.

I was already planning what drink and where after lunch on the way to it.

The dining room has those tall ceilings, wooden floors and huge windows, giving it a sense of timelessness.

And it is classy - without being flashy.

Service could not have been more friendly, and there is a sense of old fashioned Texas charm to it - laid back, easy.

The tables are marble topped, and dressed with the stiffest of white linen napkins.

The lunch menu is simple - three choices for each course - and its a good sign if you want to eat all of them. There's an option for a glass of Prosecco - which would be almost rude not to take.

Surprisingly the menu is very reasonably priced with two courses plus that glass of Prosecco for £20.

It changes regularly too, so plenty of choice for the guaranteed return visit.

I had seafood tacos with salsa verde to start. To be honest, I could have kept eating these all day long they were that delicious.

Crispy on the outside. Soft in the middle and sprinkled with peashoots.

My colleague had the beetroot and goats cheese delight to begin with - which looked like a work of art on a plate.

The half a roast chicken with chips and gravy was both our choice for main course - and again it didn't disappoint. The chicken was beautifully cooked and falling off the bone with crispy skin. the chips were - chips - but the gravy was outstanding. The silence from across the table reinforced the tastiness of that on offer, and it was a near thing not to ask the chef for the gravy recipe.

An altogether very civilised lunch was rounded off with chef's choice of sorbets, which on a very hot day was the perfect palette cleanser.

Highly recommended.