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Bel and The Dragon - Kingsclere, Kingsclere, Berkshire

Bel and The Dragon - Kingsclere

4.1
4.1
170 Reviews
£26 to £40
British
Nestled between chalk hills and springs, Bel & The Dragon at The Swan, is a beautifully restored country inn situated in the historic village of Kingsclere, Hampshire.
The country inn emulates Bel & The Dragon's distinctly cosy, classic manner, offering nine beautiful en-suite bedrooms and an extensive selection of fine wine and British food.
Group Head Chef, Ronnie Kimbugwe, has created a series of menu’s, full of twists on an array of classic British dishes, and with a focus on local, sustainable and above all, quality ingredients.

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Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    £26 to £40
  • Cuisines
    British
  • Hours of operation
    Mon–Sat 12:00 pm–3:00 pm Mon–Sat 6:00 pm–10:00 pm Sun 12:00 pm–9:00 pm Breakfast Daily 8:00 am–10:30 am
  • Phone number
    01635 299342
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Smart Casual
  • Neighborhood
    Newbury
  • Parking details
    Public Lot
  • Public transit
    Nearest bus stop St Mary's Church
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine

What 170 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.1
4.1 based on all time ratings
  • 4.1Food
  • 4.1Service
  • 4.1Ambience
  • 3.6Value

NoiseModerate

170 Reviews
  1. OpenTable Diner

    Indiana

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 2, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful staff and very accommodating for a last minute pop in on a Saturday lunch.

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  2. TrishH

    Berkshire

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 25, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We often go to the Bel and Dragon in Kingsclere and have an enjoyable evening, the restaurant was busy but the service was still very good, food on the whole was good, one friend had the muscles which were very small and disappointing. The menu is changed occasionally but as we are frequent diners we are now getting to the point of going elsewhere ! Please change the menu more frequently and we'll stay!mthe house red and white wine is very acceptable, portion sizes are fine for us. Overall we had an enjoyable evening.

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  3. JanS

    Berkshire

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 24, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Lovely staff at the bar and waiting. Tasty beautifully cooked food, not over massive portions. Vegan bourguignon could have been enhanced with some crusty bread. Lovely real wood fire much appreciated. Furnishings could do with an update, armchairs look like they have been attacked by a tiger! But overall a very pleasant venue for a tasty lunch.

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  4. PamR

    Berkshire

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 18, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    We had lovely lunch lovely staff nice ambiance celebrating our wedding anniversary which staff were aware of

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  5. RobS

    Berkshire

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 18, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Had a great team lunch here. 6 of us with a mixture of tastes. Everybody was able find a great meal. Great house wine and nice ambiance.

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  6. LucieW

    Hampshire

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 15, 2019

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a lovely experience yesterday! The breakfast was delicious, service very good and on top of it our 2 years old was loving the scribble tables. Will be visiting again for sure!

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  7. LindaC

    Berkshire

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 7, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Excellent food and a very reasonably priced set mid-week lunch menu. My only gripe is the temperature in the main dining area as it was a little cold despite there being a couple of portable heaters.

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  8. Julian

    Northampton

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on January 5, 2019

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Incredibly helpful staff (given the complexity of our needs (allergies, special diets and general fussiness of children) and excellent service. The food was good and tasty although a little off here are there (e.g. the winter vegetable bourguignon (while tasty) didn't appear to have had much to do with red wine and the chickpeas were peripheral despite being billed as centre stage). but overall this was an excellent place to stop for lunch on our way home on a long drive and we left very well fed and happy.

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  9. TrishH

    Berkshire

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 3, 2019

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Food was lovely and service good, we ate in the bar, big mistake as it was cold! They do have a fire but it wasn't lit!

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  10. JaneA

    London

    7 reviews

    2.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2018

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 2
    The guy that served us was very pleasant. But they’ve just got too few staff to cope with the volume so the service is appalling.

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  11. EdBw

    London

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 17, 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Lovely menu and food, service was very good as was the beer and drinks. It is pretty pricey for the area but the quality is high.

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  12. madelinel

    Berkshire

    12 reviews

    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on December 16, 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    We eat here quite often on a Sunday night as they do a great roast dinner. Expensive for a 'roast' but great quality

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  13. Cocopops

    Berkshire

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 8, 2018

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 1
    We live locally and have in the passed enjoyed some good meals here but they haven’t changed the menu in several years (apart from the odd ‘seasonal’ dish) and it’s boring, uninspiring menu. For an evening pub supper it is very £££ with very little atmosphere or service. We won’t be returning for food, but maybe a drink in the bar, possibly.

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  14. Esme

    London

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on December 8, 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Very cosy pub with great food and drinks. Food seasonal and lots to choose from.

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  15. TopKat

    Berkshire

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 7, 2018

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    Room temperature was cold unless you were lucky enough to have a table in the room with the fire. Very very expensive wine list. The food was ok but you have to pay £4.50 for vegetables that should be with the food at the cost it is. I would not recommend this venue unless you have lots of money to throw away on very ordinary food.

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  16. Jehla

    London

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 2, 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Food was fantastic and friendly staff. The only thing that let it down was the temperature -the restaurant was very cold.

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  17. Leigh

    Berkshire

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 1, 2018

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 2
    Service was not great. Took 20 minutes to get a jug of water and take our drinks order even though there was only 2 other tables in the restuarant area. You are then charged a 12.5% service fee. There was only 1 vegetarian main course on the menu so very limited for vegetarians. It was my partners birthday and the restaurant didn't offer any kind of birthday gift or even acknowledge his birthday. Other places we have been too offer a free shot or glass of wine or bring out a small desert cake for example. I would reccommend the restuarant for a normal evening meal but wouldnt reccommend it for special occasions or vegetarians.

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  18. madelinel

    Berkshire

    12 reviews

    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on October 28, 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    We ate here in a Sunday night and they were still producing excellent roasts. Amazing! Good value. Staff really friendly. Not very warm in the restaurant. They had one fireplace working

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  19. JMAB

    Berkshire

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 24, 2018

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 1
    This was our second visit to Bel and the Dragon. The first time was before the Fullers take-over, and it wasn't a great experience, but we thought we would give them another chance. We were warned in advance that Fullers pubs could be expensive for beer, but this turned out not to be the case. A pint of London Pride and a Coke came to £5.10 at the bar, which seemed about right. Unfortunately the restaurant was nearly empty and was uncomfortably cool. The starters were fine. I enjoyed my scallops, but they were quite small and so quickly devoured. The white bait was enjoyed by both my wife and my brother's partner. My brother chose the chipolatas off the nibbles menu. There were plenty, perhaps too many for a one person starter and we thought maybe they were meant to be shared. There was some confusion with the main meal menu. It stated that vegetables were extra, so we ordered a few extra dishes between us, but I had roast spuds with my pork and so didn't need the mash I ordered. My wife ordered spinach and expected it to be cooked, but it was a salad. Her choice of vegetable goulash wasn't very tasty and had too many lentils for her taste. She described it as "gloopy". My suckling pig wasn't very tender and my brother said his duck was only just warm and also not very tender. My passion fruit tart was tasty, but the topping on my brother's crumble was dry and dusty. The ice creams were fine. The drinks at the table consisted of one pint of London Pride and one pint of Good Old Boy. The bill came to around £180 - which seemed rather expensive for four people. We all thought that we would have enjoyed our own home cooking considerably more. I doubt we will go again.

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  20. madelinel

    Berkshire

    12 reviews

    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on October 14, 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    We always enjoying eating in the restaurant. The food is such good quality with plenty of options to select from

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  21. JaneJ

    Berkshire

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 24, 2018

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    We all enjoyed the food which was excellent, however we waited 30 minutes before someone took our order.

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  22. LizN

    Berkshire

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 15, 2018

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    My Partner loved his food, I found mine ok but the lamb was very tough. Considering sides were extra and portion sizes on the small size I thought value for money was very poor. The waitresses were lovely.

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  23. DarrenH

    Berkshire

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 9, 2018

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    Very expensive, run out of roasts by 5 .. yes it's later in the day but didn't mention when booked. £180 for 4 people with average food and and an entry bottle of wine is not great

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  24. Gastricgeorge1

    Berkshire

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 9, 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    A tad expensive, but we knew that before we went. Wondered whether cost put others off....it was very quiet but we are not complaining. Service was very good and the young man who appeared to be in charge will go far in the industry. He was ably supported by the other waiting staff. We did not like the 10% service charge. OK, it was optional but it is not a preferred way of remunerating staff. All in all, we paid a total of £80 approximately. We normally pay £50 or less for comparable fayre on a Sunday. The food and experience was not £30 better than other gastropubs that we frequent for Sunday lunch. All in all, pleasant enough and we will probably call by again in the future. However, the costs are too high, particularly when you have travelled 20 miles to get there. This gastropub needs to be significantly more competitive to warrant the prices it charges.

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  25. DebbieLerigo

    Berkshire

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    lovely meal well served enjoyed relaxed atmosphere

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  26. StuartH

    Frankfurt

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 1, 2018

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Staff very nice, good menu but food doesn’t meet expectations.

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  27. Tonyc

    Derbyshire

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 28, 2018

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Food was ok but rather bland and my bubble and squeak was dry

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  28. MarkS

    Berkshire

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 26, 2018

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    We tried this restaurant based on previous review, but was very dissapointed. Dispite making a reservation, We were seated at a very awkward table for start. It took ages for someone to take our order, we went for Sunday roast as we were too tired to cook after a long week. I am not the worlds best cook but I can make a better roast at home. We didnt even stay for desert as the atnmosphere was cold and we didnt feel welcome.

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  29. PaulineC

    Hampshire

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 25, 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We have been to this restaurant before but not for some time as we had been away. We wanted a small meal nothing fancy just didn’t want to cook at home. Small chipolatas with a maple syrup, 1 portion was plenty to nibble on before our meal arrived, they were delicious. I ordered the special, Salmon with spinach and a cream and white wine sauce. My husband had the chilli crab linguine, both were excellent and filling. Our waitress was delightful, water provided and replenished, the wine perfect. Very relaxed atmosphere, we ate early so just a few people there, but it gradually filled up so a nice atmosphere.

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  30. DMcD

    Berkshire

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 17, 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Very good food and service. Excellent evening - we would all return

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  31. Frankie

    Berkshire

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 14, 2018

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 2
    There was clearly not enough waiting staff on duty on our midweek evening. Those on duty worked really hard but were pressurized and understandably a tad grumpy. Although we ordered a "nibble" it was a bit late - it would have been nice to have it (squid) as we were choosing our mains. Admittedly we were not in a hurry but even so the gaps between courses was too long. Food quality was generally good although the duck was slightly on the tough side but its accompanying vegetables were excellent . All factors considered prices were high-ish and for me not good value for money - the £18 pasta with crab tasted great but was overpriced, ditto the lemon tart at £7 . The in-built 12.5% service charge for me was a problem. Yes I know it's discretionary but I'm English not American; I shrank with embarrassment at the thought of challenging the charge and in any case the service did not warrant my usual maximum of 10% in cash. I am working on my assertiveness but I suspect the wording on the menu - "We are very grateful for any feedback. If we have not lived up to expectations, the Service Charge will be removed and every effort will be made to redeem ourselves" - would in any case, make a challenge an uphill struggle. So for the most part good but pricey food, hard pressed staff and a killer service charge.

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  32. Mark67

    Berkshire

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 13, 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We were recently celebrating our silver wedding anniversary, having married in Kingsclere and spent the night at The Swan on our wedding night in 1993. I booked an evening meal, bed and breakfast for a Monday to Tuesday stay and we were not disappointed. We moved away from the area many years ago but very little has changed and The Swan is a still a beautiful building with lots of character, the restaurant is very cosy and welcoming and the bedroom beautifully furnished. There was complimentary sloe gin, whiskey and coffee in the room and adjoining lounge and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Both the evening meal and breakfast were exceptional. We would certainly return and would recommend to anyone seeking a romantic break with excellent cuisine.

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  33. JoanJ

    Berkshire

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 12, 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent service and food contributed to a special family get together

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  34. EdNo

    Berkshire

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 9, 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Generally very good. There are three things that could be improved upon. A sign to the restaurant rather than entering the bar. Clean your glasses properly, every glass we had was heavliy watermarked, it’s a big thumbs down for me at any bar/restaurant. I thought the ribeye steak was expensive for what it was.

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  35. AliceR

    Surrey

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 8, 2018

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Fabulous food, amazing desserts and delicious gin sling cocktail! Great place to spend an evening with friends!

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  36. DawnB

    Devon

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 28, 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Relaxing evening with good food and great service. Always enjoy eating here there’s a varied menu and some nice wines. Pleasant rooms and you don’t feel you’re sitting on top of each other.

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  37. pollypuss

    Berkshire

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 14, 2018

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    The food was very good, the restaurant was a bit noisy, tho’ not full. The staff were all very attentive. It was reasonably priced, though the wine £27 for a run of the mill Merlot was a little expensive. We would go again and have recommended to family.

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  38. ValerieH

    London

    5 reviews

    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 30, 2018

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    it was a hot day and fortunately we were brought an umbrella which improved our meal enormously. Nice touch a bottle of water before we ordered our drinks.

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  39. Izzy

    Hampshire

    5 reviews

    1.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 23, 2018

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    One word. Shocking. Staff were untrained. Ended up leaving without ANY food. Ordered 2 meals that we were told 15 minutes after each order that those meals were now not available. Ordered 3rd meal, waited ages and meal did not appear so we gave up. Never again! Understand restaurant in process of being sold to Fullers. Looks like this restaurant has given up already!

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  40. Richesca

    Berkshire

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 17, 2018

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Have visited here before and it was excellent, a little disappointed this time. Bit expensive for what we had. Waitress was lovely but food not up to the standard of our previous visit.

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FAQs

Bel and The Dragon - Kingsclere is rated 4.1 stars by 170 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing
Google Map for Bel and The Dragon - Kingsclere

19 Swan Street, Kingsclere, Berkshire RG20 5PP

Additional information

  • Neighborhood
    Newbury
  • Hours of operation
    Mon–Sat 12:00 pm–3:00 pm Mon–Sat 6:00 pm–10:00 pm Sun 12:00 pm–9:00 pm Breakfast Daily 8:00 am–10:30 am
  • Price
    £26 to £40
  • Cuisines
    British
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Smart Casual
  • Parking details
    Public Lot
  • Public transit
    Nearest bus stop St Mary's Church
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Mastercard, Visa
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
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