No. Twenty 9
Drink, eat and sleep in the company of Hollywood royalty - this places oozes so much vintage style and glamour you'll feel like a movie star yourself!
I love surprises and when you step inside this Grade II listed building the last thing you expect is to walk into a Hollywood Hall of Fame. Don’t be put off, it’s not a tacky Italian job – No.Twenty 9 has all the style that these legends command and manages to appeal to both locals and visitors with it’s retro charm and sophistication.
Burnham Market is one of my favourite ‘grown up’ places to visit in North Norfolk. Best out of season – it’s quieter and presents a truer version of itself – this cute country village is bustling with fabulous independent businesses and eateries. Parking in the centre can be an issue but you’ll never have to walk far plus it will give you the opportunity to shop en route.
If you’re looking for a bit of adult time, an excuse to dress up and feel the glamour – this would be top of my list for fun and romance.
THE VIBE The decor is bold and I applaud the confidence for injecting some personality.
The bar is a lovely warm space, buzzing with weekend drinkers and their dogs. Fireplaces, comfy leather chairs and a central wood burner – you could easily lose an afternoon with good company and a bottle of wine. I loved the vintage vibe – the aeroplane propeller behind the bar and traditional staff uniforms all added to the glamour. On Friday nights there’s often live music and I’ll defintely be back as I imagine it’s a great place to listen to some retro tunes.
Which leads me nicely onto the music, I don’t normally register the music, background is exactly that, but I applaud the ears behind the old skool play list over dinner and breakfast. Can’t beat a bit of Tracey Chapman on a Sunday morning.
The restaurant felt sophisticated yet relaxed. Exposed brickwork, rustic wooden tables and chairs blended nicely with gilded mirrors, large candles and elegant tablewear.
Lots more fabulous Hollywood pictures which make for a great conversation starter. Mr O and I spent ages trying to decide who the blonde was attempting to upstage Sofia Lauren before we reluctantly had to ask the waitress.
Pop upstairs and you’ll find the impressively stocked wine room (private dine for two available), two more equally sumptious dining areas and a private party room.
Sadly it rained from the minute we arrived but the good sized courtyard garden with tables and chairs, outside bar and BBQ would be perfect for summer drinks after a long day on the beach.
Even the toilets are worth a mention – check out the cheeky wall mural of Bob Marley on the way to the loos!
THE SCOFF & QUAFF
Multi-award winning Executive Head Chef Jeremy Parke and wife Rachael have over 40 years of culinary and hospitality experience between them. The menu is wonderfully diverse, made with all the best local produce and prepared in full view with some great culinary theatrics.
No.Twenty9 specialise in cooking with fire, not to be mistaken for cooking over fire. Food is grilled over embers, smoked, dipped into the fire, iron branded and bespoke to them – ‘flambadou’ – which involves using burning fats. It all creates a very unique dining experience and a wonderful attack on all your senses.
For starter I had the wonderfully light and fluffy Barrata on a tomato confit, basil and crouton and Mr O had the Scallops with parsnip puree, chorizo and parsnip crumble. Both were light, tasty and perfectly proportioned.
Oysters and mussells are central to the menu, but the special Sea Bass with saffron infused risotto caught my eye – just look at those colours and it tasted as good as it looked! Mr O opted for the firepit roasted monkfish with curry cauliflower, pancetta, cauliflower purée, bombay potatoes and green beans. Both were beautifully presented, not at all pretentious and were incredibly wholesome.
For dessert I resisted the ‘crack’ pie but it did make me snigger, I loved these tiny nods to naughtiness (malt icecream, cookie crumb and vanilla milk jelly just in case anyone was wondering). Both the Lemon Tart and Pear & Vanilla Almond Crumble were delicious and ended the meal perfectly.
There is an extensive wine list, a creative cocktail menu (Pornstar Martini or Painkiller anyone?) and 101 types of rum – ahoy sailor.
Breakfast was wonderful and so relaxed it nearly merged into lunch as we hid from the rain and drank endless cups of coffee. A great selection on the menu including steak with mushrooms and egg for meat lovers. Open to the public for breakfast too!
Six stunning boutique bedrooms – Marley, Brando, Newman, Monroe, Armstrong and Reed. Each is unique to their namesake with high spec furnishings, mod cons including underfloor heating, flat screen TV, Nespresso machine and outdoor patio areas. Three of the rooms have free standing roll top baths in the bedroom and lucky ole us got to stay in the Newman room with it’s own bath mezzanine!!
I loved the continuation of the theme and it added a element of surprise to check in. Of course you can request a specific room but to be honest how do you choose between Newman, Brando and Reed???
The rooms are in a seperate building to the bar/restaurant and the private garden for residents allows for a peaceful escape. King size wrought iron beds in every room with organic mattresses, crisp linen and fluffy bathrobes. I do become accustomed to certain things so for me the devil is always in the detail and for No.Twenty9 – the home made 29 biscuits, the cowhide leather chair and the umbrella got a big Muddy tick!
Who could resist that roll top bath? Not me – I spent a good hour gazing into Paul Newmans eyes (nice positioning).
There is one family room (but seriously leave the kids at home and enjoy some adult time) and dogs are welcome in some of the rooms, they even have their own menu.
OUT & ABOUT
There’s a surprisingly large number of independent stores in Burnham. Make sure you check out Collen & Claire for some great designer pieces and Aurina for some lovely gifts and homewear.
Burnham Overy Staithe is my beach of choice and definitely more of a locals hideout. The estuary is great for dogs and kids to play in and the pretty little harbour is full of small sail boats and canoes which make the long walk/paddle up the estuary to the beach much easier.
Unleash your inner child and jump in the mud – it’s incredibly therapeutic and great for the skin.
It’s about a forty minute walk to the beach but well worth it as you’ll be rewarded with miles of deserted sand. If you fancy a slightly longer walk (2 hours), turn right and continue to Holkham – past the nudist area if you fancy a skinny dip!
Holkham Estate has tons of stuff to do from tours of the hall itself to the ropes course, boating lake and Victoria Inn. It’s worth checking out their all year round events calendar for live music, theatre and fairs.
Head West to the lovely villages of Brancaster Staithe and Thornham. The White Horse in Brancaster Staithe has one of the best views in Norfolk over Scolt Head island and the marshes and Nelle DK is a hidden boutique in Thornham full of fabulous Danish designer clobber.
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good For: Perfect for couples wanting a little sophisticated romance; friends wanting to hang out in a cool bar and enjoy a few cocktails; dog lovers needing a daytime pint and snack; out of towners nervous about being totally countryfied!
Not for: Young noisy pups wanting to party loudly; families with small children, I’d personally worry they’d ruin the lovely ambience for everyone else plus the space is not really designed for kids to be wandering around.
The Damage: Breakfast £6.50 – £14.95, Snacks/Lunch £4.50 – £16.00, Dinner: starters £9.00 – £14.00, mains £16.00 – £30.00 and desserts £8.00. Kids menu – £7.00 and Sunday Lunch £16.50
Rooms £180.00 – £220 (roll top baths) and include breakfast.