The Dial House, Reepham
This Georgian guesthouse in the picturesque town of Reepham is full of curiosities - quirky dining areas, luxury bedrooms, cocktail bar and designer boutique. Plus everything's for sale. Intrigued? You should be!
An award winning guest house in the pretty little market town of Reepham, The Dial House certainly lived up to it’s reputation.
The Dial House has eight individually styled bedrooms that tell the tale of Georgian discoveries from around the Globe. My sleep buddy for the night was The Mindful Cook aka Josie Buck and we stayed in the fabulously sumptuous Italian room. Tastefully elegant with beautiful art deco furnishings, the owners really have thought of everything. From the Grand Tour Travel Journal guiding you around the property to your very own record player – it made for a luxurious and slightly quirky stay.
Let’s tick off a few of my Muddy Musts – great linen and pillows, fluffy robe, a good selection of quality tea and coffee and nice toiletries (White Stuff). I’m a sucker for surprises and there were smiles all round when we were told about the complimentary night cap and cream tea!
I love the Imperial feel to this Georgian guest house – as you move between rooms, the incredibly well designed environment takes you on a journey through different times and landscapes. I’m not kidding when I say you could easily fill a weekend meandering and marvelling at all the wonderful curiosities that fill this place. The best bit? You can buy them too! From period furniture and exquisite glassware to retro accessories, everything you see in each of the cosy dining areas is for sale.
If you’re lucky, there’ll be a pianist in the foyer as you enter which just adds to the timeless magic. There are several dining areas to choose from – the chandelier lit Restaurant for a romantic meal or perhaps afternoon tea; the sumptuous velvet Garden Room perfect for a cocktail or two; two cosy lounge rooms with fireplaces great for enjoying a bottle of nice wine or below stairs in the Pantry where you can dine privately at the ‘Chef’s table’ while watching the kitchen at work.
I was delighted to discover the cabinet room – a secret dining room behind a book case. This space is ideal for small private functions plus it’s full of curiosities to spark after diner discussion and entertainment.
SCOFF & QUOFF
We stayed mid week, it was not too busy which afforded us the pick of dining rooms. It was a cold winters night and we were drawn to the fire place and cosy lounge area.
Eating out with The Mindful Cook is always an education – you learn so much about nutrition but I can’t help but feel a little conscious about my food choices. However, it’s all about balance and luckily Josie was prepared to take one for the Muddy team and joined me in all three courses.
I started with Norfolk Quail stuffed with black pudding, prunes and toasted brioche. Perfectly portioned and full of flavour. Josie had the local mussels with smoked bacon and cream which were cooked beautifully.
For main – grilled Rump of 45 day aged Angus beef, fondant onion, sauce reform with a side of Bertha butternut squash, aged pancetta and sage. The steak was cooked perfectly to order and the vegetables were big, rustic and wholesome.
Josie had the grilled chicken breast with confit pancetta, mushroom ketchup and a side of cauliflower cheese with black winter truffle.
It all tasted as good as it looked and the cauliflower cheese was the best I’ve had in years.
My stomach has certainly stretched with this job and now I always have room for dessert. Blood Orange Posset and oat shortbread – don’t ever google how much cream goes into a posset!
Josie – Malt barley, horlicks, milk chocolate and biscuit – pure indulgence which she was still enthusing about when she woke up the next morning.
We took breakfast in the formal dining room and once again, so much to wonder at – just look at that tea pot!
I loved the healthy smoothie range and despite eating enough for a family of four the night before, I still had room for the poached eggs and avocado on sour bread toast – perfectly runny.
OUT & ABOUT
Before you even leave the property – you can book spa treatments in your room, browse around the designer seconds boutique, get your hair cut and if you fancy fine tuning your culinary skills there’s a regular programme of cookery demos with Exec. Chef Andrew Jones and Head Chef Dan Herbert.
There’s a fab ‘step back in time’ feel to the market square in Reepham with a quaint little grocery, butchers and tea room in the old train station.
The Marriott’s Way – a 21 mile former railway track and now a public bridleway starts in the town and is great for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Bikes are available for hire at the old train station café plus you can order a Dial House picnic hamper which comes with a map to all the best local picnic spots.
Norwich is approximately 30 minutes drive and has all the shops and night life you’d expect of a city – see our ‘Things to do’ section for the latest what’s on.
The North Norfolk coast is not far – check out my pub winter walk guide to see the best of the best in the area!
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Romantic nights away, girly spa weekends, afternoon tea with friends and private dining.
Not for: mmmmm this is tough – people with slight OCD who prefer clean and sparse dining environments??
The damage: Starters from £7.00; mains from £11.00; desserts from £6.00. Rooms start from £165 midweek/£210 weekend
The Dial House, Reepham, Norfolk, NR10 4JJ
Tel: 01603 879900 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org