The King’s Head, Letheringsett
One of my favourite Winter bothole escapes and there's nothing traditional pub grub about this creative menu.
Only a 40 minute drive from Norwich and just down the road from the lovely market town of Holt, you couldn’t do much better for a base to explore North Norfolk. Set just off the coast road and surrounded by parkland, The King’s Head has that sumptuous bolthole feel to it.
There are four individually designed rooms, each with lots of lovely personal touches creating a wonderful homely warmth to the upstairs. I stayed in the India themed room with retro cases for bedside tables, lamp stands made out of thick ropes, old postcards meshed together for wallpaper and wooden shipping boxes – all reminiscent of Imperial yesteryear.
The room was small but ticked all my muddy stay boxes; comfy bed with great pillows, walk-in shower and tea &coffee facilities. Plus I woke to a beautiful orange and pink sunrise, sea mist on the grass, cows in the field and a feeling of pure tranquility that lasted right up until the minute I walked in my front door – “Muuuuuuuum!”
The real draw for me is the bar which is wonderfully cosy with lots of nods to the rustic farming community – a big squishy leather sofa, newspapers, shelves of books and a big roaring fire.
I arrived in early November – a chill was in the air and it was already getting dark, which meant only one thing – a bottle of their finest Rioja and a good old girly catch up on the sofa with one of my bessie mates Sarah.
The simple whitewashed stone walls and log burner in the restaurant area create a relaxed and understated vibe. We came on a midweek evening so the crowd was grown-up and mostly locals but weekends you’ll find the large wooden tables filled with families. If you fancy a little bit of privacy/romance, ask for one of the two window seats where you can enjoy a meal, read a newspaper or simply take in the view.
In the summer months there’s a large established garden with a great outdoor bar and play area for kids. Plus – The King’s Head hosts a varied calendar of events during the year, including pub quizzes and food themed nights.
SCOFF & QUAFF
Two menus to choose from, a set course option and the daily menu – both offering a wide choice of winter warming fare. Nothing traditional pub grub about this food – lots of creative dishes using local produce such as the Cley Smokehouse salmon, beef cheek and venison pie, pot roast pheasant and kedgeree spiced bubble and squeak.
I’m terrible for a salty morsel and these little sticks of pork crackling with apple sauce certainly hit the spot.
I then moved onto the game terrine served with a pear and cider chutney and chicory salad while Sarah got stuck into some local Brancaster mussels in white wine cream, bread and seaweed butter.
Both were delicious and set the path for a highly calorific meal but boy it was worth it.
The pork rib eye with cider and apple mash, savoy cabbage and bacon was hearty plus it came with more crackling – eeeek!
Sarah’s pan fried hake with clam linguini, spinach and pine nut pesto and parmesan crisps was equally delicious.
The portions are generous and I’m afraid for once I was unable to manage a dessert – I blame the crackling! There were plenty of sweet treats to tempt though – salted caramel and chocolate truffle torte, sticky toffee pudding and spiced cinnamon and cardamom crème brûlée with pistachio granola.
OUT & ABOUT
Tons to keep you busy from stretches of lovely coastline to country parks and traditional seaside towns.
Seal trips are popular and can be taken from Morston Quay.
Ladies – take a mosey around the upmarket towns of Holt & Burnham Market – both bustling with great cafés, shops and art galleries. Collen & Claire in Burnham Market is one of my favourite boutiques in North Norfolk!
Check out my pub winter walk guide to see the best of the best in the area!
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Families, couples, dogs and groups of large diners looking for creative British food in charming surroundings, come summer or winter.
Not for: I honestly can’t think of anybody that The King’s Head couldn’t cater for.
The damage: Starters from £6.00; mains from £14.00; desserts from £6.50.
The King’s Head, Holt Road, Letheringsett, Norfolk, NR25 7AR. Tel: 01263 712691. kingsheadnorfolk.co.uk