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Barnham Broom Hotel & Spa

Away from the city stresses, Barnham Broom Hotel is great for girly weekends away, celebratory meals with family and even a fine dine experience with a cheeky overnighter!

THE LOWDOWN 

red brick hotel countryside trees

Only a 25 minute drive from the bustling city of Norwich, Barnham Broom is an unusual collection of red brick buildings and home to a 4-star hotel boasting 46 bedrooms, spa and leisure facilities, an award winning restaurant and a golf course.

If you want an affordable, peaceful stay location with everything under one roof – then Barnham Broom certainly won’t disappoint. From golfing events and weddings to spa breaks and theme nights, this is a well run multi-purpose hotel.

Muddy ladies looking for a venue for a girly get together, hen or spa – the hotel is very welcoming and I recommend it as the place to start and end the night. Spa treatment, afternoon tea, prosecco and dinner before heading into the city for some nightlife and back to a comfy bed.

If you’re looking for a romantic break away or travelling with kids, my Muddy tip is to check what’s on before you book to make sure you get the weekend you’re looking for.

 

THE VIBE 

There’s no escaping that this is a golfing hotel first and the large ‘Sports’ Bar (always my first point of call) has a very traditional male feel to it. But that’s OK, we left the golfers to it and rather enjoyed the smaller, more intimate Valley Bar. The views over the fairways and Yare Valley are incredible and you could easily lose an afternoon relaxing in the comfy chairs, drinking tea and eating cake!

The decor is traditional and neutral – suitable for anything from a working lunch meeting to a multi-generational celebratory meal. This is not to say it’s boring, simply that it’s not going to raise eyebrows or cause any offence.

The sunken terrace is perfect on a summer’s evening for an Aperol Spritz and we ended the night with a nightcap on a comfy sofa by the fireplace in the lounge.

The spa treatments are some of my favourites in Norfolk and the award winning brasserie serves up a deliciously creative menu in a warm and sophisticated environment.

SCOFF & QUAFF 

Lots of lovely local produce on the menu and we started the food fest with Norfolk Asparagus and Parma Ham and Cromer Crab with avocado, crab mayonnaise and crispy crab bon bon. The portions were perfectly sized and delicious!

For the main, ‘Tuscan Chicken’ – a rather cute little Mediterranean dish with tomatoes, garlic and olives served with crispy parmesan polenta. The Sea Bream with sautée potatoes, pak choi and potted brown shrimp butter tasted much better than it looks – blame the photographer.

I have an incredibly sweet tooth but I have a little issue with so many over complicated desserts. I recommend a couple of old favourites for us traditional pudding lovers and for heaven’s sake stop deconstructing crumbles! Rant over.  In the interest of my loyal Muddy readers, I ploughed ahead with this Chocolate mocha fondant with orange mascarpone and candied hazelnuts. It looked and tasted beautiful.

The cheese board was self service which for those who like a LOT of cheese can be a good thing. I rather like a chef selected platter, especially in a fine dining restaurant.

The great thing about my job is that I’m often pleasantly surprised and Barnham Broom restaurant is definitely a place I’d recommend if you’re looking to escape the city for a fine dining experience. Be warned – the prices do reflect this but I felt the quality of the dishes completely justified the price.

PILLOW TALK 

We stayed in a Junior Suite which certainly passed all the Muddy must haves – a large comfy bed, quality linen, a good shower with fancy smellies (The White Company), a good selection of magazines plus we were spoiled with a plate of chocolate dipped strawberries that didn’t last five minutes!

The room decor is very traditional, again designed for mass appeal rather than the more quirky style you might find in a smaller boutique hotel. It was very comfortable and tasteful – heavy wooden furniture, neutral walls, sofas and soft furnishings. Plus larger suites are available for families if you’re travelling en masse!

 

AND RELAX

The Spa has five spacious treatment suites, each with their own private shower facilities. They offer a wide range of traditional and holistic treatments using  lovely natural ESPA products which will help soothe the most manic of minds and tightly wound of bodies.

The anti-ageing 30 minute facial didn’t work miracles (should have gone for the hour) but I left feeling totally relaxed and restored.

If you’re feeling active and golf’s not your thing, there’s a swimming pool with sauna and steam plus a large gym, squash courts, tennis courts and fitness classes. These are more on par with leisure centre facilities than spa hotel and with a public membership they can get quite busy. If you’re looking for a relaxed vibe, best to visit early morning or take a twilight trip.

 

OUT & ABOUT 

Barnham Broom is incredibly central, making everything a relatively short drive which is great. Norwich is only 25 minutes away and here you can shop, eat and drink to your heart’s content. Picked by the Sunday Times as one of the best places to live in the East of England, read our guide to all the best places to visit HERE.

You’re also close to the market town of Wymondham with a selection of nice little boutiques and eateries popping up including winners of our Muddy Awards 2019 Best Women’s Store – Little Boutique.

Best pubs in the area for me – The King’s Head in Bawburgh with its low ceilings, cosy dining and great Sunday lunch. Also worth a drive – The White Hart in Hingham serves up a tasty dish or two.

For the kids you’re not far from ROARR Dinosaur Adventure – where they can run about in the woods spotting dinosaurs and flying down zip wires.

It’s a great base to reach both the beautiful beaches and the Norfolk Broads – where you can walk for miles, go crabbing, rent a boat and even see the seals.

 

MUDDY VERDICT 

Good for: An accessible girly weekend with nice treatments, occasional meals with friends/family and fine dining romantic dinners away from the city.

Not for: Anyone wanting a luxury boutique spa & stay experience. The nature of the hotel means it is appealing to a broad audience.  While the beauty rooms and restaurant are brilliant, your stay could be affected by other things going on around, such as themed events and golfing days. It’s simply a case of being aware and setting expectations.

The damage: Starters range between £8.95 – £11.95; Mains range between £13.95 – £24.95; Desserts range between £5.95 – £9.95. Standard double rooms (inc. breakfast) from £197 and junior suite from £242.

Lots of special spa break breaks are available and worth investigating such as an overnight stay, a three course dinner in the Brasserie, cooked and continental breakfast, a 50 minute treatment, and complimentary use of The Edge Health & Fitness club from £145 per person, per night, based on two sharing.

Fancy winning the above Spa Break? Visit our Readers Treat section here!

Barnham Broom, Honingham Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR9 4DD. Tel: +44 (0)1603 334 157

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