The Lodge, Old Hunstanton
Head to the coast this Valentine's for a romantic meal and cosy pillow talk. Stylish and relaxed - The Lodge's plush new restaurant certainly had me swooning.
The Lodge is an impressive site to behold as you drive along the coast road into the quaint village of Old Hunstanton. This is the type of place that beckons you with it’s warm and inviting glow, especially at night. Since 1542 it has variously been a hideout for Smugglers, a retreat for wealthy Londoners and a First World War army billet.
Perfect for families or large groups, the dining area is extensive and includes a newly refurbished conservatory with cosy sofas offering a relaxed eating space. There’s a nice sized garden for alfresco dining and wooden play area opposite the pub for the kids as well as plenty of off road parking.
There are 16 rooms ranging from standard to rather gorgeous and they are divided between the main hotel and the courtyard. The Courtyard rooms have access to a pretty outside area and are all dog friendly. If you fancy even more luxury, ask for the room with the rolltop bath and sea view.
The beach is a mere pebble’s throw away and you’ll find lots to do in the area – great walks for the grown ups, amusements (in Hunstanton) for the kids and some of the best stretches of coastline in Norfolk to explore.
The Lodge is bursting with history, warmth and character. The decor is classic yet styish, marrying the old with the new perfectly to create an incredibly relaxed and laid back environment. There are four main areas offering a range of options depending on your group dynamic.
As you enter you’re welcomed with big sofas, armchairs and a fireplace – perfect for warming up after a walk on the beach with a drink and a slice of homemade cake (dogs are welcome).
The bar/restaurant is bright and open plan with no pretentiousness and is a nice place to kick back with friends. The cosy conservatory with its wood burner is a great place to hunker down for the evening with a bottle of red and a gossip. They also have a busy calendar of social events and music – so worth taking a look if you want a night with a bit of a buzz.
If you fancy something a little more intimate – the ‘posh’ restaurant has been newly decorated with funky wallpaper, upholstery and some fabulous local art. The high ceilings, original wooden floors, exposed brickwork and mood lighting are all conducive to a romantic night out.
THE SCOFF & QUAFF
The menu is extensive and offers something for everyone including traditional pub classics, slightly more gastro culinary options, sharing platters and stone baked pizzas. Plus a great kid’s menu – not a nugget in site. We had a couple of Vegan friends join us and they were incredibly impressed with the seperate plant based menu – the best they’ve seen to date!
I tend to ask lots of questions about the menu/produce and always ask what they would recommend. Big shout out to the staff as they certainly knew their food and were passionate about the dishes.
Chicken Liver Parfait and Whitebait for starter – both dishes were generous and delicious. I opted for the curry main which came with all the trimmings and had a fabulous kick to it. Mr O had the Grilled Calves Liver with Chargrilled Scallions, Smoked Pancetta, Cavolo Nero, Creamed Potatoes and Rosemary Jus. Beautifully presented and sliced like butter.
Our Vegan friends shared a platter to start of Marinated Olives, Crudites, Hummus, Olive Tapenade, Guacamole and Hot Pitta Bread. For mains they both went for the Chickpea and Vegetable Loaf with Roasted Potatoes, Mixed Greens and Redcurrant Gravy which was full of flavour.
Great wine list and gin menu – we probably had a little too much of both as it was Christmas and were the last to leave the bar, whoops!
A big hearty breakfast menu with a table full of pastries, cereals, fruit and breads. Once again – the staff were incredibly accomodating and the kitchen put together a tasty vegan alternative. (Walk ins welcome)
The Lodge offers three types of rooms – comfy and cosy, superior and suites.
We stayed in the Loft Suite which can accomodate a family of 4/5 (they’ll happily pop up a Z bed) which makes it an affordable option if you’re travelling en mass but want all the Muddy prerequisites. Full of character with sloping ceilings, exposed brickwork chimney breast, wonky floors and exposed beams. Just remember to duck! However, the hotel staff had placed velvet cushions on the beams just in case you don’t.
The suite had two main rooms – bedroom and living room with sofa bed and two chairs. The decor was neutral blues, creams and browns with oak furniture and the biggest and most comfy Bedknobs and Broomsticks bed.
All mod cons – flat screen TV, mini bar fridge and Nespresso coffee machine. Two good sized storage closets (just in case you’re lugging a car full of kid’s paraphernalia) and sea views. The bathroom was spacious with a walk in shower – room for two (wink wink).
OUT & ABOUT
Hunstanton is your typical seaside town – great for the kids with its beach, amusements and fantastic Ice cream/fish ‘n’ chip shop – East Coast Gelato. For more adventure – Pensthorpe Natural Park is a 40 minute drive away and has lots of fun trails and play areas to keep the little ones amused for an afternoon.
The Royal West Norfolk Golf Course is just up the road in Brancaster and you’re not far from the lovely stately piles – Sandringham, Houghton and Holkham Estates. All of these offer exhibitions, tours and kid friendly activities. Holkham has recently opened its High Ropes course, which we reviewed in the summer, and is great for all ages – full review here.
Shopping – head to Burnham Market or Thornham for some lovely independent boutiques.
History and film buffs – Kings Lynn has been the location for many a period drama and don’t miss out on a drink in the Bank House and Wafflopolis for a sweet treat.
Miles of beautiful coast line to explore and pubs to frequent. You can pick up the North Norfolk Coast path in Old Hunstanton and head towards the village of Thornham for lunch in the Orange Tree or Chequers Inn.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: People wanting a stylish and relaxed coastal stay/dine in a hotel with loads of history. Plus the plush restaurant is perfect for a cosy romantic meal on the coast.
Not for: Mmmm tricky – those looking for a fine dine experience with guaranteed peace and quiet maybe?!?
The Damage: B&B Cosy and Comfy £130/Suite £170 per night. Supplements for children (aged 4-12) £25 and dogs £20. Starters from £6.95, Mains from £10.95 and Desserts from £6.50. Breakfast £11.75.