Those of you who follow my blog or my Fabulous Norfolk reviews and features will know my passion for this glorious coastal road and its fantastic hotels, pubs and restaurants. My connection to this County dates back to my childhood where I would spend my entire six weeks summer holidays traveling up and down the A149 coastal road eating fresh seafood and local produce.
It was my mother and her “mantra” of “not to try is not to know” which introduced me to the food of the area from the age of six. By the time I was 10, I was hooked on Oysters, Samphire, Seabass, Mussels, Crabs, Lobster and pretty much everything. These memories I carried with me since childhood, returning at least once a month throughout my adult life where I now find myself providing guest reviews for Fabulous Norfolk and never tiring of the beauty of this area.
Of course I am widely travelled and I love food from all over Britain, literally from Lands’ End to John O’Groats. Food should be celebrated, local producers should be honoured and the Chefs who deliver those memorable plates of food should be knighted in my opinion. The whole of the hospitality industry works long hours, receive low pay but relentlessly provide good food, good service in comfortable surroundings. They deserve the support of all of us. This is why I do it, and I do it not for money, but for love. I take absolutely nothing from anyone!
To read more about my passion for North Norfolk, visit my Fabulous Norfolk webpage here.
Here are my Top 10 venues in order of preference;
A 27-bedroom coastal boutique hotel near Brancaster in North Norfolk, is a smart retreat for those seeking fine dining in stylish surroundings. It offers a delightful fusion of modern and traditional values with contemporary furnishings.
The hotel has stunning, uninterrupted views across open marshes to the North Sea with its golden sands, while the nearby RSPB Titchwell Marsh nature reserve is a haven for wildlife all year round.
The hotel is renowned for the quality of its food; guests can dine from a tasting menu by candlelight in the elegant Three AA rosette Conservatory Restaurant or choose from a brasserie style menu in the striking Eating Rooms. The Conversation Menu Review
The Neptune in Old Hunstanton offers upscale dining in the casual surrounds of an old pub. Chef-owner Kevin Mangeolles previously held a Michelin star at The George in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, and has earned another for his imaginative cooking at The Neptune. He and wife Jacki, who looks after front-of-house, run this small 24-seat establishment with warmth and professionalism.
The White Horse Inn is gloriously situated on the marshland coastline of North Norfolk at Brancaster Staithe, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, with its big blue skies, spectacular sunsets and lots of space to breathe. The coastline is a magical area to explore with breathtaking panoramic views across tidal marshes and endless sandy beaches.
The extensive restaurant menu celebrates the best of fresh local produce. Depending on the season, mussels, crab, lobster, oysters, shrimp, sea bass, mackerel and sea trout are in abundance. What better place to enjoy the freshest of fish delivered to the kitchen door by the village fishermen and local seasonal produce including asparagus, which is grown in beds across the road or samphire gathered from the salt marsh. Avrum Frankel, Head Chef, creates the menu to include daily specials from this local produce. The food is cooked simply but with skill & culinary flair. The award of 2 AA rosettes has reflected the consistency of the menu and service by the team for the past 4 years. The full White Horse Review.
Fans of cooking on the television will be familiar with Chef Galton Blackiston, whose Morston Hall fine-dining restaurant and hotel has a daily-changing set menu. Blackiston is vocal in his praise of regional produce and makes the most of the delights on his doorstep.
All rooms are en suite, most with flatscreen, freeview televisions and some with tilevision in the bathrooms, all have tea & coffee making facilities. Prices are on a per person basis and includes their set tasting dinner menu (changing daily) with coffee and petit fours and a full English breakfast. Standard tariff for room rates are from £160 to £190 per person.
The White Horse Hotel at Blakeney was another of the first wave of gastropubs and is still one of the best places along the coast to eat. The menu makes much of the local mussels, crabs and lobsters.
There are two eating areas at The White Horse. The bar is informal and bustling and the conservatory is light and airy. The bar has been fully refurbished in 2012 to create an informal yet stylish dining space. They pride themselves on supporting and being supported by local suppliers. Lobster, crab and mussel fishermen as the seasons dictate; butchers, graziers and Norfolk estates for meat and game; soft fruit, salads, asparagus and free range eggs from local small holders; increasingly cheeses from within the county. Rod and line caught mackerel and sea bass find their way to their door through the summertime.
Surrounded by reeds and peace, the sunsets from here are unforgettably lovely Cley Windmill dates from the early 18th Century and are a well-known landmark on the north Norfolk coast. It commands breathtaking views over the salt marshes to Blakeney Point and the sea, while nestling comfortably by the old quay, and alongside the flint-walled cottages of the village.
The chefs are making quite a name for themselves all over North Norfolk for their cooking. They cook nearly every evening and it is a very convivial affair. Their cooking is predominately old-fashioned home-made English country style, where guests dine by candlelight. The cost of the three course dinner is £32.50.
The Rose & Crown restaurant and bar menu combines traditional pub favourites with more exotic dishes using the wonderful produce of the area whenever possible. Meals may be eaten in any of the three dining rooms or in the bars and in the summer outside in the attractive sunny walled garden.
As far as possible all their ingredients are sourced locally. The chefs delight in making use of the wonderful produce of the area when in season: seafood, asparagus, samphire, wild mushrooms, strawberries, and herbs from the allotments of Snettisham, to name but a few. The Rose & Crown is still a village local drinking pub at heart and well worth a visit. Read the full Food Snob Review here
The Grove has been a family-run guest house providing high-quality accommodation since 1936. Although only half a mile from Cromer town centre and within easy reach of the main road, they are just a short walk through woods from the cliffs and beach.
Alongside a choice of ensuite rooms in the beautiful Georgian house or self-catering cottages in the adjacent barn conversions, The Grove has a fabulous restaurant serving a full English breakfast, lunch and dinner, and hosting special events throughout the year, from literary dinners to jazz tapas.
If you’re looking for a special place to eat in Cromer, serving some of the best food in North Norfolk, do try the beautiful surroundings of the restaurant at The Grove.
The Duck Inn is a traditional village pub, proudly serving a variety of local beers and a carefully selected wine list with a choice of old and new world wines.
The restaurant is proving hugely popular with locals and visitors with seating for 60 covers in three separate dining areas. Offering daily changing ‘Duck Specials’ which make full use of the seasons and the wonderful Norfolk produce. Alongside this, ‘Bar Bites’ are available which bridge the gap between a full blown meal and pub snacks. The now famous ‘Mr H’ Scotch eggs along with lager & lime whitebait are regular features. In addition to the indoor bar area The Duck also has a wonderful garden with plenty of seating.