The Brisley Bell, Brisley

Thirty mins from just about everywhere in Norfolk, the multi award-winning Brisley Bell is found halfway between Fakenham and East Dereham. It manages to be both a proper pub serving superb rustic food and a stylish boutique retreat with dreamy decor. Not forgetting the two acres of lovely gardens.

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From the outside The Brisley Bell is a handsome 17th century village pub, but walk inside and you might be surprised by the wonderfully stylish interior. It’s a clever blend of oldie charm – gnarly beams, wide wooden floorboards and inglenook fireplaces – with striking modern and eclectic details.

Named Great British Pub of the Year in 2021, this sizeable country pub has a variety of spaces to eat and drink, including a large traditional bar room that’s very much in keeping with the original pub, a more formal dining area and a light-flooded garden room bursting with books. There’s also a quieter relaxed snug – the rich colours, heavy drapes and textured wallpapers the perfect accompaniment to a fireside glass of red.

Gastropub it most certainly is – in fact, it’s one of the Top 50 Gastropubs in the UK – but don’t expect fancy, fussy fare. On the menu is honest, simple and rustic food, meat-led with a focus on local produce, prepared by Michelin-trained chef Hervé Stouvenel and his team. Whilst offering a wide choice of cask-conditioned ales and local guest beers, this is not a pub that skimps on its vino offering, with most wines also available by the glass.

As stunning as it is inside, step outside and prepare to be wowed all over again. Set at the edge of a conservation area, the pub has a beautiful two-acre garden with gazebo eating area, croquet lawn, herb garden and a meadow for the kids to explore. It was recognised as the UK’s Best Beer Garden at the Great British Pub Awards 2021.

If you fancy stopping over, you can take your pick from six individually designed rooms, two of which are dog friendly and lead straight onto the garden. Named phonetically after Norfolk towns (Windum, Troose, Stewkey), the large rooms continue the eclectic design with a lovely mix of high-spec modern features, antique furnishings and wow-features like roll-top baths in the bedroom and striking headboards – one made from a vast piece of elm. Thoughtful touches like eco-friendly toiletries, complementary sloe gin and homemade shortbread make your stay extra special.

Mindful of its rural setting and the environment, the pub makes every effort to buy local, purchase eco products and was renovated in 2017 with many environmentally sustainable ideas.

Because everywhere you want to visit is approximately a 30 minute drive (from North Norfolk’s beaches to Norwich’s medieval streets), this is a great base from which to explore the county away from the busy tourist hubs.

At a glance

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The Bell, The Green Brisley, Norfolk, NR20 5DW



01362 705024

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