Restaurant review: The Walpole Arms, Itteringham, 01263 587258
PUBLISHED: 10:43 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:02 20 February 2013
Our food detective visits a classic Norfolk inn with two stately estates as neighbours for that vital family walk.
Reviewed: The Walpole Arms, Itteringham, 01263 587258
To celebrate Mothering Sunday, our food detective visits a classic Norfolk inn with two stately estates as neighbours for that vital family walk.
Mothering Sunday the day you should be spoilt, which for most mums means going nowhere near the kitchen.
A near perfect place for such a treat is the Walpole Arms, an 18th century inn deep in the north Norfolk countryside with both Blickling and Mannington estates nearby for gorgeous post-lunch walks.
The Walpole shows that if you get it right, people will travel. It really is tucked away but its appeal is easy to see, with oak beams, roaring fires, local ales and fab food under the direction of head chef Jamie Guy, who is passionate about local produce and so-called real food such as rabbit and game.
You can eat in the bar or restaurant but its the bar for me every time as its a fun spot, somewhere for a good chat over a glass of decent wine (the wine list is one of the most sophisticated in the county) while you browse through the papers. Its all very relaxed, with friendly, confident staff who seem to know most of their customers.
The menu offers classics with a twist, plus the odd item to really excite. Theres always a good few veggie options above and beyond the norm, and their mussels and soups are among my favourites look out for the pork dishes, too.
We were quite a family gathering when I visited children, family friends and grandparents and I was confident all would find something to please. The men liked their pints of Woodfordes Wherry and my gin and tonic got me in a good mood! Buddy the dog was happy, too, as thankfully youre allowed to bring your four-legged friends into the bar area.
I had one of my favourites fish and chips with a goodly bunch of watercress for a spot of much-needed greens! The coley fillet was firm and the beer batter not too overpowering. I really liked the look too of the salmon and leek fishcakes, and the butternut squash risotto was another hit.
The childrens menu has all the usual favourites, such as pasta, chicken, burgers but all of a high quality, certainly not fast food nonsense. And my fussy two managed to tackle their own version of fish and chips and good old sausage and mash with gusto.
The puddings are a strong point here so make sure you keep space for one! In the summer, their Eton Mess ranks as my number one pud, but on this occasion I went for the calorific sticky toffee pudding with a dollop of ice cream. Delicious. Others tried the pear and blackberry trifle, while the children had ice cream included in their meal deal.
So, feeling quite pleased with ourselves, we enjoyed a brisk and much needed stroll around the lake at Blickling in crisp, clear conditions.
The Walpole is starting its own cookery school this month so you can learn a few tricks of the trade. Get booking now!
What we ate
Beer battered coley fillet, hand cut chips, homemade tartare sauce and watercress, 11.25
Butternut squash risotto with Parmesan, rocket and vegetable crisps, 11.25
Salmon, leek and herb fishcake with
leaf salad and lemon chive butter
Childrens menu 5.95 (including lashings of ice cream)
Pear and blackberry trifle with Pedro Ximenez custard, vanilla cream and candied orange, 6.25
Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream, 6.50
Wherry 2.80 per pint
Glass of House white wine 3.50 (175ml), 4.45 (250ml)
Gin and tonic 3.40
Food and drink 10/10