The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Norfolk Edition

Category: Hotels

Muddy stays: The Assembly House, Norwich

28 Mar 2017

Like a lot of buildings in Norwich, The Assembly House – a Grade I-listed Georgian manor built in 1754 and positioned opposite the all-glass, modern Forum building – doesn’t look like it belongs in the city centre. With its long, tree-lined driveway; sprouting fountain; and immaculate lawn, it could be picked up and dropped in the countryside without looking a jot out of place.

An art gallery, restaurant, wedding venue, cookery school (Richard Hughes) and hotel in one, The Assembly House may attract a whole host of different clientele but each one comes in search of the same thing: a slice of luxury.

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Muddy stays: The Kings Head, Letheringsett

15 Feb 2017

When temperatures stubbornly refuse to waiver above zero for almost a week, it’s time for a treat – and there’s nothing like a lavish hotel stay in the countryside to put the world back on its axis.

Having reviewed lunch at the handsome Kings Head in Letheringsett back in October, I was thrilled to be invited back for dinner, bed and breakfast (I must be doing something right). No sooner had the idea been mooted, I was packed and driving up to Letheringsett, just one mile from Holt, quicker than you could say “your room is ready, Madam”.

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8 of the best cosy pubs

17 Nov 2016

Winter: brrrrr. Cold, dark, damp… Despite the twinkly lights and the alcohol-fueled Christmas parties, this time of year isn’t always kind weather-wise. Thankfully, Norfolk is stuffed like a Turkey with cosy pubs to retreat to – open fires and hot cider at the ready. So, pick up a paper, a loved one and (or) a dog, and bunker down in one of these beauties.

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Muddy stays: Congham Hall, Grimston

28 Apr 2016

After a day sitting at my desk watching the rain soak everything in sight, the timing of my visit to Congham Hall Hotel is like a breath of spring air.

Leaving work on a Wednesday, I curse myself for choosing to come in the evening, fearing dense traffic and yet more rain as the sky turns dark. But as soon as I’m through Norwich, the countryside looms into view with its massive trees and bright yellow fields filled with rape seed almost welcoming me to north Norfolk with a smile.

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Muddy stays: St Giles House Hotel

7 Apr 2016

There’s an episode of Sex and The City (season 5) where Carrie has writer’s block: “The worst thing about not being in a relationship,” she explains “is when your job is to write about being in a relationship.” In this scene, Carrie bemoans her single status as the cursor flashes before her.

While sitting at my desk this week wondering what to post, I was reminded of this episode. Not that I’m short of inspiration  – have you met my boyfriend ‘Norfolk’ yet?

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Muddy stays: The Hoste

3 Mar 2016

As promised, here’s part two of my wonderful weekend away courtesy of The Hoste in Burnham Market. With the spa treatment published, it’s time to tell you about the best part: the hotel (oh and the dinner, yum, yum).

Firstly, about Burnham Market: if you could design a village that has everything (beauty, charm, intelligence), this would be it (even the maps are stylish – see below). So few hamlets have a village green these days so it’s wonderful to see a lush ‘middle’ where people sit and have a glass of cider on a summer’s day (so I’m told), happily discarding their shoes to rest their feet on the cool grass.

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Muddy stays: Cley Windmill

11 Feb 2016

One of the best things about writing Muddy is the hotel stays – and boy are there some amazing places to bed down for the night in Norfolk, so many that it would be prudent to keep an overnight bag continually packed and by my front door (it’s a tough job…).

But it’s admittedly hard to prepare you for an overnight stay in a windmill. Will it be cold, dark… noisy? Will I see Windy Miller, be able buy flour or get vertigo?

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Muddy stays: The Boathouse

11 Feb 2016

When it comes to places to stay for the night, a watery setting is hard to beat – ever wondered why Venice is so popular?

But you don’t need to get on a plane to get your dose of watery wonderland – Britain’s largest protected wetland is right here in Norfolk. Ta-dah! The third largest inland waterway in Britain, The Norfolk Broads is home to a quarter of the UK’s rarest plants and animals, and is a veritable playground for kayaking, canoeing and boating – many forming unique places to bed down for the night.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Norfolk Edition