Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Spa, Retford.

Barnby Moor, Retford DN22 8QS, United Kingdom
After visiting the Beech Hill Hotel and Spa in the Lake District I was delighted to be heading to a different hotel and spa to see how it compares, as well as what it has to offer.  I was kindly invited by Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Spa to experience what its like to stay there for a weekend getaway. In short, it didn't disappoint.

The Ye Olde Bell Hotel has striking and cosy interiors intertwined with luxurious modern comforts, finished off with history and character. The hotel is situated at the very north of Nottinghamshire, nestled in the village of Barnby Moor and around a 90-minute drive from my base in Loughborough. The location of the hotel itself is idyllic and incredibly peaceful, offering a real sense of the getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It does offer a wealth of attractions on its doorstep. Included in those is Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest, Clumber Park and slightly further afield is Lincoln

The hotel was easy to locate using the sat nav and once we arrived and got a peak of the interior and the site we couldn't wait to see what our stay would have to offer.

Ye Olde Bell Hotel has a flair for design and has really brought this to life with the rooms within the hotel. The hotel's 59 rooms, suites, and lodges are all individually designed by the owners to restore real character throughout. We were given a twin room that was incredibly spacious and comfortable for our stay. Features in the design include oak panelling, antique furniture, leaded windows and sparkling chandeliers. The combination of stunning original features with contemporary design is really lovely and stands out within the overall feel for the hotel. 

Our room had its own quirks and characters, along with a bright and spacious bathroom, power shower, flat screen television and free wi-fi. The room also comes with the basics you need to make a brew too! Some of the rooms even feature a roll top bath, and lovely views over the garden.

The Spa at Ye Olde Bell is situated outside of the hotel in a separate building within the same site. It is a real light and airy building that most definitely feels like a world away from everyday life. We were well looked after during our visit to the spa and the team were very attentive to us. The Ye Olde Spa offers a range of tailored treatments and you can tantalise your senses in their 10 thermal experiences. 

The Thermal Area was a particular highlight for me. They offer a collection of experiences like no other I have experienced in a spa. The experiences will offer your senses the chance to invigorate, store and liven them. To me, that's exactly what you need after a busy week at work! You can drift between the different thermal experiences, indoor/outdoor vitality pool, alpine sauna and Stone Bath at your leisure offering you the capacity to give your body exactly what you think it needs. 

The Thermal Area had so much to offer and I loved getting stuck into the different experiences. My favourites were dipping into the Saunas, shower walk and then finishing off with the footbaths. Their unique 'snowstorm' was also an experience in itself. 

We were kindly offered a complimentary 30-minute massage as part of our visit. We were both taken in a small room for a 30 minute Feng Shui inspired massage. It's based on traditional Chinese philosophy and the Sperience Elements massage is specifically tailored for you. They do this by matching one of their 5 active oils to your zodiac sign. The therapist relieves tension and negative energy throughout your body with this sensual massage. 

I'll be honest here, I didn't have the best of experiences with this. It was relaxing, definitely relived tensions in the areas of my shoulders and upper back I needed focus on. However, on nearing the end of the massage and for a few days after I've not felt 100%. I suffer from anxiety and I felt incredibly anxious/light-headed initially after my massage and for a few days after. My sister also felt slightly off, we are putting it down to the massage but obviously, not everyone will have this experience. Definitely, talk to the team at the Spa who would be happy to help you with any enquiries you may have. 

Once you've enjoyed relaxation from a treatment or within the Thermal Spa you can replenish with a range of fresh, healthy and wholesome dishes in their relaxation lounge. 

Massive shout out to Michelle, Emma, and Lizzie who really looked after us during our visit to the Spa and during the massage treatment (especially when I fell ill - it was really appreciated!)

Dining at the Ye Olde Bell Hotel is exceptional and is one of the best restaurants near Doncaster. Its unique location on the border of three counties enables the Head Chef and his talented team to have first-hand access to outstanding produce. The hotel has secured AA Rossette for its outstanding food and creativity in the kitchen so I was super excited to see what it would have to offer. 

We had a reservation booked within their Restaurant Bar 1650, a place that quickly filled up with more and more guests. Whilst waiting to be seated we had a look at their drinks menu, the Bar has a fantastic Gin Menu and I loved seeing what they had to offer. The restaurant has a contemporary art decor bar, stylish interior that sits well within the rest of the hotel's character. 

To begin with I went for the Double beef consommé, wild mushroom force tortellini. It was something I usually go for when dining out but it was really delicious but slightly bland in flavour. I got mega envy from my sister who tucked into her scallops. 

Next up I went for a Medium Rare cooked Sirloin Steak. The steak came with confit shallots, roast vine tomatoes, flat cap mushroom, Maris Piper chips and with a side of Pepper Sauce and Garlic Bread.  My steak was cooked more on the medium side, however, it was packed with flavour and the Pepper Sauce was full of flavour. There were lots to eat on my plate so I definitely struggled to finish it but a really delightful dish. The accompaniments of the dish worked extremely well too.

Of course there's always room for pudding so I tucked into the Chocolate mousse, praline, sugared hazelnuts, chocolate gel option. It was so damn good, the crack of the praline and sugared hazelnuts alongisde the chocolate mousse was really nice. Afterwards, I couldn't wait to roll into bed.  You can have a look at a sample menu from the restaurant here

We couldn't fault our experience in the Restaurant Bar 1650, the staff were extremly attentive to us and the food was served very promptly. A real 5* experience at the restaurant. 

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You can find out more about the hotel and what they have to offer you by visiting their website here

Thanks to Samantha Preece from SP Communications for organising the trip for me and a guest to head to the Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Spa for a weekend. Since returning, I already decided that this will be the place myself and my boyfriend head to for our next anniversary. The overall stay was incredible, please do bare in mind that this hotel is used to host weddings so it must be a bit noiser than usual during the weekend. Please do ask the hotel about the dates you wish to attend in case you don't want to be disturbed during your stay by the sound of the disco. We also did get woken up at 2am by a faulty alarm system within the hotel but have been notified this has been resolved since. Besides that, genuinely one of the best hotels I've visited. 

Address: Barnby Moor, Retford DN22 8QS

*complimentary one night stay with spa access in return for an honest blog review. Dinner and breakfast were included but we paid for our own extras. All opinions are my own. 

If you enjoyed reading about my stay at Beech Hill Hotel and Spa, you may also enjoy reading about my stay at Saint Pauls House in Birmingham. 


  1. I never knew this place existed! Really fancy trying out the snow storm experience now. X

    1. I know, once I found it I couldn't stop thinking about it so I need to go again very soon! xx

  2. Looks like a lovely hotel, I especially love the look of the food!

    1. Oh the food was delicious, it's such a great place for dinner! xx


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