H O T B E V E R A G E S
They’re at the heart of every true brit and it amazes me when I come across the minority that respond with ‘I’ll just have a squash’ – I live with one, it’s painful. How can you get the warm fuzzy feeling from squash?
Not only do tea & coffee come high up on the happiness and social spectrum, but they seem to be the only resolution to every kind of mood. I don’t quite know why we are so psychologically involved with a bag of dried leaves or little tiny beans of energy but we are, so best embrace it. It’s a little bit of pleasure you can experience every day.
Last weekend’s cause for tea came in the form of birthday celebrations and it’s favourite companion – cake. I love it when the family gets together and indulges over conversation, drives and trips out with well..lots of tea. On our adventures over the weekend I visited a few new spots for me, despite their local location and also introduced my mum and sister to a nice little cafe spot they’d never tried before. I’m a big lover of recommendation, so if anyone has any favourite locations/restaurants/cafe’s/hotels in Norfolk and the surrounding area, hit me up and I’d love to test them out. But for now it got me thinking about my top gems that I count on to entertain many return trips and those i’m so wishing to try in the near future following countless recommendation and positive reviews. Who knows, maybe this is the first time you’ll have heard of them and fancy giving them a go :). Let me take you on a little trip from am to pm around the beauty that is our countryside.
Wake up to; Cafe 33. With perfectly brewed coffee and stacks of pancakes and bacon or an avocado alternative, look no further than this foodie lovers brunch spot.
Walk around; Blickling Estate. There are plenty of beautiful walks and stately homes to visit around Norfolk however i’ve chosen to list one that’s great for all the family. With vast spaces, beautiful bluebells at this time of year and a walkers/picnic paradise this is guaranteed to make you wish you owned a lot of land, drove a range rover with your dog in the back on your way home to your wisteria covered farmhouse. If your spending a day here, stop off at The Buck Arms to wet your whistle.
Shop Local; Some of my favourite times are when I head over to pick my mum up and take a drive out through the country back lanes (usually on our way to a garden centre) and stop off at a few local homeware stores that you can’t find in the city centre, including the Hamptons for unique lighting, mirrors, trinkets & furniture along with homemade cakes and tea & Holt Interiors & Antiques for something a little quirky, garden gadgets, signage or selection of country style paint.
Stop For Lunch; Roots Cafe in Norwich City Centre. Serving gooey brownies & frothy coffee, huuuge sausage rolls, a tipple from the upstairs bar or a yummy main meal all locally sourced, this is a perfect two-storey cafe in an ideal location for a busy day shopping. (All pictures shown above are taken here).
Afternoon Drive; North Norfolk Coast. This is pretty much our go-to thing to do when we’re restless and haven’t got the money to be splashing about on social activities as the excuse that petrol comes out of the joint bills account is just too convenient. In all honesty, it brings you back to nature and to each other – you take in the sights of stone built houses with farrow and ball painted doors, traditional red telephone boxes, windmills, miles and miles of open fields or golden sand, small streams that run alongside the road with tiny walkway bridges across onto village greens. The beauty in Norfolk is endless and embarking on a trip around it gives you time to actually talk to each other and engage with your surroundings. I would say Holkham beach has to be my favourite for a long stroll, with Salthouse, South Creake, Cley and Stiffkey villages being among my favourite to drive through.
Evening Meal; The White Lodge. Sitting in this authentic cottage pub is a cosy one and despite only having visited for drink, the food looked amazing as it was being served so is definitely on my return list for date night. (See below for photo’s).
Cocktail Hour; Platform 12. After visiting for the first time on a family night out, I’ve been sure to return many a times since. The candlelit environment has the perfect mix for catching up with a group of friends and still being able to hear each other whilst the piano is being played live at the front of the bar. The layout is a little quirky also and the prosecco cocktails make for a good conversation starter before pulling out the range of free board games snuck in with a few childhood favourites.
Bedtime; Shepherd’s Huts at Godwick Hall (our wedding night choice) or Stratton’s Hotel. I’ve chosen two alternatives to suit opposing tastes. If your feeling like getting back to nature then these glammed up little huts are a complete delight with the added touch of hut-delivered continental breakfast in the morning or a full english served in the hall itself. If your more of an indulgent sleeper, then one of the boutique rooms at Stratton’s might take your fancy for a night of baths & bubbly. Either way it’s a win-win situation.