Things To Do
We are still quite new to Norfolk ourselves so if you find any place to recommend please let us know. To get you started these are things we and our guests already enjoy...
Places to Eat
1-3 Shirehall Plain, Holt (01263 711 400)
Buzzy cafe, great deli, restaurant and ‘Posh B&B’. Tasty breakfasts until midday (Ferg loves the creamy kedgeree), lunches, and candlelit dinners. Great local ingredients. Imaginative children’s food. Early evening pizza and a glass of wine is always a good idea. Very welcoming to all ages. Go just for a drink in the evening and help yourself to spicy nuts, olives and bread from the nibbles table. In one of Holt’s oldest most higgledy piggledy buildings.
Roy Boys (Sheringham)
Great value old school caff where our mate Jez has breakfast with his Dad every Saturday. Good ingredients – no weird bready sausages, they are proper meat from the butcher over the road. Toasties, baked spuds, super fresh crab sarnies and great big fry-ups with strong dark tea. Grease is the word.
Funky Mackerel Cafe
A pebble’s throw from the beach overlooking the sea this little cafe and gallery opened in January 2010. Famed for hefty flapjacks (rhubarb, spiced apple, coconut and pineapple) and bacon sarnies. With a very relaxed arty 50s vibe, it has a play corner for wind-blasted children and welcomes dogs. They now serve a variety of toasties, snacks and drinks you can take down onto the beach. The Beach Hut shop below sells buckets and spades in the summer but we love it in winter for tea and hot chocolate watching the waves whilst staying warm.
The Wiveton Bell
Great food and relaxed atmosphere with a special memory for our family. (We realised we were expecting our third child whilst having dinner here.) Stylish garden for warm starlit evenings and cosy fire on winter nights. More a restaurant than a pub although they keep a couple of pub tables by the fire. Walking boots and dogs are always welcome. As are their owners. No high chairs here but they happily bring out a few colouring things for children so quiet arty kids are clearly welcome. Boisterous rowdies are better off steaming about the garden at The Kings Head in Letheringsett.
Wiveton Farm Cafe
Go and pick your own fruit at the farm then have lunch (12.30-2.30pm) in this lovely setting looking towards the sea over the salt marshes. In the summer it’s also open for tapas on Fridays and Saturdays between 6-8pm. Tom met Alan Bennett here whilst rescuing his map and had a good old chat about strawberries.
LETHERINGSETT (Just past Holt)
The King’s Head, Letheringsett
Great gastropub food and stylish interior. The paint names are written on the wall because they had so many enquiries from people wanting to copy the colours. The garden is fantastic for children with a wooden castle, climbing frame, slide and willow den for hiding.
Rocket House Cafe
Brilliant view overlooking the sea in Cromer. Great place for a hot chocolate on a wet and windy day or for a lunchtime glass of wine on the balcony in the sun. Also open for dinner but only on Saturdays. Good fresh menu including homemade soup and local crab – with food miles tracked on the wall! It’s above the Henry Blogg Lifeboat Museum and is accessible by lift from the cliff top and the seafront. Lots of space for buggies and smiley service from loads of polite studenty types.
Norwich Rd, Edgefield, Holt NR24 2RL (01263 587 634)
Great place for pork and fish lovers! All locally sourced and delicious. They do an ‘Iffits’ menu (Norfolk version of tapas) with lovely potted cheese, minty chickpeas, smoked sprats and crispy pigs ears and more. A new outside play area opened in 2011 designed by the people who made Bewilderwood and fantastic fun for children who like to climb and zip along wires. Ask for the table by the indoor playroom if you want to keep an eye on your toddlers and still enjoy your food. Ask for a table well away from it if you are without children or want to pretend they belong to someone else. They have old fashioned bar games, a Sunday Pudding Club and Wednesday night quiz. Winner of the Country Life and Waitrose Country Pub of the Year Award in 2009. Very popular so booking is sensible.
Cookie’s Crab Shop
The Green, Salthouse NR25 7AJ (01263 740352)
Salty gem for lovers of super fresh crustaceans and smoked mackerel. Big fat seafood salads – the Royal is superb, huge and amazing value. No alcohol and no toilet so bring your own chilled Chablis and run over the road to the pub courtyard to go to the loo (20p in the slot). Definitely book a table – in the shack if rain is rolling in off the sea (Cookies overlooks the marshes). Worlds away from a chain restaurant. A feast in a shed.
The Salthouse Dun Cow
A recent revamp has really revived The Dun Cow and it looks great – and much nicer loos! The new seasonal menu is excellent value and an imaginative take on pub food with top local ingredients simply cooked. So local that you can munch a burger whilst watching the rest of its family grazing on the saltmarsh across the road. The garden overlooks the glorious marsh and is a breezy place for a summer pint.
Morston NR25 7AA (01263 741041)
There is a sensational set dinner which changes every day. Everyone has a drink in the bar and then goes into dine at the same time (7.30 for 8pm) so all the emphasis is on the delectable food. Chef Galton Blackiston prepares a superb menu and it’s not surprising he has a Michelin star – the only one in a 50 mile radius. Not a cheap place but you’d pay a lot more for this quality in London. We went for a special treat and highly recommend you do the same!
The Buttlands, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1EU (01328 710206)
Good pub with lovely local food including samphire, crab and mackerel when in season. Bar snacks also available. Very relaxed and friendly. There are toys, pencils and colouring books in a pile in the corner. Dogs and windswept muddy types also welcome.
The Gunton Arms
Cromer Road, Thorpe Market NR11 8TZ (01263 832 010)
Opened in October 2011 and already very hard to get a table thanks to rave reviews in national press. We have been for grown-up dinner and big family lunch and absolutely love it. The chef, Stuart Tattersall, used to be the head chef at Mark Hix and it’s clear he shares Hix’s love of traditional, sustainable British cooking based on the very best local ingredients. The place is owned by art dealer Ivor Braka who spent two years restoring the building – you will spot work by Tracey Emin, Gilbert and George and the gang. And Lucian Freud’s photo watches you on the loo. Really worth booking ahead if you can. Children welcome but it’s not a run-around place. Although our son was so in awe of the huge antlers above the fireplace he could barely move.