The Six Bells is a 15th century Saxon longhouse situated in the quiet village of Preston St Mary in the beautiful Suffolk countryside. We are only 2 miles from the wool town of Lavenham or ‘wonky town’ as it is known locally for all it’s colourful, unusual buildings, 4 miles from the National Trust property of Melford Hall, Long Melford whilst Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Ipswich are all close by and it is only a little further to the Suffolk coast.
We, that is George and Vanessa, only arrived and re-opened the Six Bells on 1st April 2009 but have previously been licensees in Worcestershire for 8 years before taking a ‘senior gap year’ (well 4 years actually) and going travelling in a motor caravan around Europe and the UK. George is the front man as well as the cellar man whilst Vanessa is the cook and paper shuffler. We have lived and worked together for the past 17 years so we think we’ve got the hang of it now.
There has been a public house on this site for some considerable time and it has evolved over many years to an establishment that now offers a bar, lounge and sun room conservatory along with a very large beer garden with ample parking. Inside the bar and lounge have kept their traditional beams, low ceilings and open fires whilst the conservatory offers a great view of the garden and further paddock. The garden has plenty of space for children to run around in and you can sample the peace and quiet of the surrounding countryside, children aside, along with the songs and calls of the many birds we seem to attract. If you’re really quiet you might get to see a muntjac deer. You are also welcome to bring the dog as long as he is kept on the lead and under control.
We are ideally situated for walkers and cyclists as there are numerous footpaths surrounding Preston which travel in all directions and we are on the Suffolk South cycle route A1 which is over 30miles long.
Because we are a free house we offer a range of real ales from the many breweries that abound in the surrounding area including Greene King, Adnams, Woodfordes, Maldons and the Humpty Dumpty Brewery. We also have the usual array of lagers, ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks along with a range of Fairtrade teas and coffees.
Food at the Six Bells is traditional home cooked fare with ingredients sourced locally wherever possible. Please see our sample menus. You don’t need to book unless there are 6 or more of you but we do ask that you book for Sunday lunch by Saturday morning at the latest please.
We also have a small self-catering barn for let. It can sleep 4 (1 double bed and 1 king size bed settee) but ideally for stays of more than a weekend it is probably best for 2 only. If you don’t want to cater for yourselves it can be hired on a bed and breakfast basis. Please see the accommodation page for further information.
If you are motor caravanners, like we were, you are welcome to come and stay with us and pitch up in our car park. Please see the accommodation page (via Info) for further details.
In 2011 we will be offering full caravan and camping accommodation with electricity available if required along with washing up facilities and toilets and hand basins. Showers will hopefully be available from 2012. Keep checking the website for further developments.
1st to 5th February – Chinese New Year
Chinese food available every evening including crispy duck pancakes, spring rolls and Chinese spare ribs. No booking required but preferable on Fridays and Saturdays
Saturday 12th February – Pre-Valentine’s Day Evening
Meal deal available of a sharing starter or dessert with either 2 Steaks or 2 Pies or 1 Steak and 1 Pie with a bottle of wine and coffee
Steak option - £40 per couple/ Pie Option - £35 per couple
Mixed option - £37.50 per couple
Booking essential including which option required
Choice of starters, desserts and pies on the night. Wine upgrades available
Wednesday 23rd February from 7.30pm Beetle Drive
Ask your mother, or grandmother, if you don’t know what this is, but it’s good fun and there’s prize money up for grabs
50p entry or £5.50 gets you entry and chilli or curry at half-time
Bring along your competitive spirit and maybe some family and friends
Booking preferable especially if you want to eat
Tuesday 8th March – Shrove Tuesday
FREE sugar and lemon pancakes with all main meals ordered from the evening menu
Also available to order as a dessert for the rest of the week (lunchtimes and evenings) along with filled pancake options
NOT to be used in conjunction with the Pie offer below
8th to 12th March – National Pie Week
In celebration of the Pie we are offering a wider than usual selection of savoury homemade pies with choice of potatoes and fresh vegetables along with a pint (Wherry or Fosters) or a glass of wine for £10 per person (Evenings only 6-9pm)
Sweet pie options also available if you want to double your pie intake
No booking required unless there are 6 or more of you
NOT to be used in conjunction with the above Pancake offer
Thursday 17th March – St Patrick’s Day
Irish stew and a pint of Guinness for £8.50
No need to book and available lunchtime and evening
28th March to 3rd April – National Cask Ale Week
We will be increasing our range of cask ales for this week to try and tempt you over to the dark side so call in and try a pint of the real stuff
Look out later in mid March for events in April when
we will be celebrating our 2nd Birthday on 1st April
Easter weekend 22nd to 25th April
St George’s Day 23rd April
The Royal Wedding 29th April
May Day Bank Holiday 2nd May
Our philosophy here is not to waste resources and to support the local community. Consequently we try and source the fresh ingredients for our menu as locally as possible to cut down on food miles and the majority of our menu, especially in the evening, is home cooked.
We use the following suppliers on a weekly basis
John Coleman, Sudbury – meat and poultry
Turners, Lavenham – fresh fish
Ken Green – fish & shellfish
Hollow Trees, Semer – fruit, vegetables and meat
Sparling & Faiers, Lavenham – bread
We grow our own herbs and hopefully next year will be able to produce some of our own salad and vegetable items. We also receive donations of fruit and vegetables from our regular customers which we greatly appreciate.
We recycle as much as possible including all glass, tins, paper, cardboard and plastic and we have started a rather vast compost heap which we hope will be of benefit to our future vegetable plot. Consequently we throw very little away thereby not adding to the mounds of rubbish our local council has to collect and dispose of each week.
We are looking into the possibilities of both solar and wind power for our energy requirements but as both require a substantial investment this won’t be happening just yet.
Whilst we can’t be all things to all men we try to please as many people as possible and if you haven’t enjoyed your visit here for any reason please tell us. If, however, you have enjoyed your visit here please TELL EVERYBODY ELSE and thanks for coming. We look forward to seeing you again.
The Six Bells Barn is situated at the rear of the Six Bells pub and comprises 1 double bedroom with standard double bed with radio alarm clock, a living room with TV, DVD player and a king size sofa bed (very big and very comfortable!), a shower room with electric shower and heated towel rail and a kitchenette with fridge, electric kettle, toaster, combination microwave, double boiling ring and electric frying pan along with ample crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment for 4 people. Heating is via a storage heater in the hallway along with wall mounted fan heaters in the shower room and kitchenette and free standing electric radiators in the bedroom and living room should the weather be inclement! There is no electric meter as all heating and lighting is included in the price. Bed linen and duvets, towels and tea towels are provided. Unfortunately we are unable to accept any pets and is obviously completely non-smoking.
Tariff from 1st April 2010 - Prices are per night based on 2 sharing
Self-catering Bed & Breakfast.
Month Fri/Sat Sun-Th Week Fri/Sat Sun-Th Week
Jan/Feb/Mar £40 £35 £200 £55 £50 £275
Apr/May/Jun £45 £40 £250 £60 £55 £325
Jul/Aug £50 £45 £300 £65 £60 £375
Sep/Oct £45 £40 £250 £60 £55 £325
Nov/Dec £40 £35 £200 £55 £50 £275
Bank Holidays –
Fri/Sat & Sun £55 £70
Th/Good Fri/Sat & Sun £55 £70
Christmas and New Year Prices on request
For extra people staying or longer stays please call for prices
The Paddock Caravan Site - We can currently offer accommodation to motorhomes/camper vans only on our car park which is flat gravel. You can dispose of black and grey water, fill up with fresh water and have electric if required
Plus there is 24 hour access to toilets and wash basins with hot and cold water. Dogs are allowed be should be on a lead at all times whilst on site. A pitch per night is £5 per van Sunday to Thursday, £7 per van Friday and Saturday, plus £3 per night if you require electric. Please call ahead to check space availability.
From Spring 2011 we will be able to accommodate up to 5 motorhomes and/or caravans as well as tents, on the 1 acre paddock behind the pub. We will be able to offer electricity, toilets, wash sinks with hot and cold water, fresh drinking water and black and grey water disposal. Dogs are allowed but should be kept on leads at all times whilst on site. Prices will be posted later. Please call to book a pitch. Maximum length of stay is 14 nights.
If you would like to contact us, you can do so via phone or email.
Telephone: 01787 247440
or write to us at:
The Six Bells,
Preston St Mary