The White Horse, Blakeney
A charming coastal pub with a modern and tasteful uplift. The varied menu will appeal to all ages - making it perfect for mid walk nibbles, a traditional family Sunday lunch or a cosy evening meal with friends.
Named as one of The Sunday Times best places to live in the East of England, Blakeney is a picture perfect Norfolk coastal village and a great base from which to explore the surrounding beaches.
Quaint flint cottages line narrow streets leading down to the small quay – a lovely spot for a bit of Gilly crabbing with the kids. Walk up a pretty little side street, past the Flint Gallery and the Handcrafted Company (both worth a looksie) and you’ll find the Adnam’s owned pub/hotel – The White Horse.
A traditional coastal pub with a tasteful uplift – it’s a great place for lunch and a pint or a cosy evening meal after watching the sunset over the quay.
I didn’t stay over on this occasion but there are nine ensuite bedrooms – children under 11 stay for free, and they have one dog-friendly room accessed from ground level where dogs can stay for free too!
Oozing olde charm from the outside with its cream wash and pebble dash exterior, The White Horse is the exactly the type of pub you want to relax in after a day on the beach. The evening crowd was buzzing as it was Blakeney Regatta – side note, try and check out the slippery pole event next year! Monty Python style dangerous but hilarious to watch as people run across a slippery pole inevitably falling into the quay. I love the fact health and safety hasn’t yet curtailed this brilliant village tradition!
Plenty of areas to enjoy – from the large bar with ample seating to the small lounge with two comfy sofas and a wood burning stove. The interior is traditionally stylish with lots of heavy striped and checked fabrics mixed with leather and dark wood.
Like most coastal pubs they have drawn on the beach for art and objet inspiration – I loved the driftwood horses head.
The breakfast room and conservatory are light and airy. The white washed wood panelling creates a fresh nautical feel and the bright and colourful cushions injected a little more informality. Perhaps worth noting for families with small children. The walled courtyard is bijou but perfect for a spot of alfresco dining in the summer months.
THE SCOFF & QUAFF
After a long wet day walking the Norfolk Coastal Path, I was hungry and ready to eat all of the food that 25,000 steps would allow! My favourite gastro pubs are the ones that remember they need to feed from young to old and The White Horse menu nailed it with their mix of pub classics and inventive dishes – appealing to all generations.
Starters – a baked baby camembert for him and a Cromer crab salad for me. The salad was mixed with celeriac, watermelon and a lemon gel – bit different but it worked and the flavours were deliciously refreshing.
Mr O couldn’t resist the beer battered fish ‘n’ chips (Adnams Ghost Ship naturally), while I opted for the ribeye steak with smoked dauphiniose, wild mushroom sauce and tenderstem broccoli. We were in the mood for traditional pub grub, however the apricot stuffed lamb shoulder and salmon and crayfish ceasar salad did catch my eye.
I learned that Adnams produce everything from beer, wine, prosecco and gin to chutney and ketchup. All of my favourite things covered and an easy choice at the bar – love local!
Prices are towards the higher end of pub grub but dishes do come with sides, phew – none of that needing to order extra veg or chips malarky (unless you’re extra hungry of course).
Have I mentioned I was walking the coast path – 47 miles over four days and therefore absolutely no guilt eating this plate of pure chocolate indulgence. It looked too good to eat – nah, I wolfed it down in three minutes flat and then went in for some of Mr O’s lemon meringue pie.
OUT AND ABOUT
With uninterrupted views of the nature reserve and coastline, Blakeney is the ideal starting point for the 9 mile walk to Cley (catch the Coastal Hopper bus back). Lots of local wildlife to spot, including seals, and boat trips can be taken from Blakeney Point. Crabbing off the quay is great for all ages and you can keep them energised with local treats from The Blakeney Deli.
A short drive away is Wiveton Hall, a dreamy, flint-faced, Dutch-gabled, Jacobean manor house and home to ‘Normal for Norfolk’ BBC celebrity– Desmond MacCarthy. He’s often there to offer guided tours and the eyebrows are truly magnificent. There’s a colourful café, a pick-your-own fruit farm, art exhibitions and beautiful gardens to explore. It’s also worth checking our their events calendar, self catering cottages and Amber’s Bell Tents.
Good for: Families and walkers looking for quality food in a cosy but buzzy enviroment. Perfect for tourists as the place oozes coastal charm, good service and a varied lunch and dinner menu.
Not for: A quiet romantic fine dine experience. The garden is small which is ok if you have post beach exhausted children but not hyper kids needing to burn off energy or a dog not content curling up by your feet.
The damage: Lunch menu ranges from £7 – £15 for sandwiches/salads. Dinner – starters and puddings £6 – £9 and mains come in at around £15 (ribeye steak £23).
The White Horse – 4 High Street, Blakeney, Norfolk, NR25 7AL Tel: 01263 740574
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