Escaping the mushrooms in my bedroom at The Olde Bell

I have mushrooms growing in my bathroom at home. No joke. The offending corner where they sprout has been sprayed with just about every cleaning fluid we have, and they still pop up with a frequency entirely at odds with the rate any house plants we buy die off.


At some stage in the near future, when we’ve sorted out party wall agreements, planning permission, saving the required small fortune, etc, the bathroom will be ripped out, along with every other wall in the flat. In the meantime, the mushrooms have taken on iconic status as a symbol of what idiots like us will put up with to live in our chosen slice of North London.

They also mean any chance to have a bath in a hotel bathroom that’s fungi free and cleaned by someone else, is seized and relished. I once managed three baths in the space of 48 hours at The Pig in Brockenhurst.


The Olde Bell in Hurley does an excellent line in rooms with freestanding baths. I might go as far as to say my favourite line of rooms with freestanding baths, but Babington House probably pips it to the post. Just.

However, it’s about half the price of Babington House. Plus, dinner there included a Turkish delight ice cream that now features in my top 3 ice-cream-eating experiences of all time.

Pretty desserts and bathtubs aside, the rest of the interiors do the business. Isle Crawford has worked her magic. So, it’s sisal rugs as standard with red Roberts’ stereos and sheepskin throws over Ercol chairs. You know – the kind of thing that looks insanely easy to copy at home but never is.


There’s not a whole lot to do at The Olde Belle bar eat, drink and sit in your bath, but that hasn’t stopped us visiting twice. And given the latest plans from our architect for the London flat don’t include a bath, it probably means we’ll be back again, even once the mushrooms are banished.

Carla Buzasi