Norfolk breaks: The White House, Burnham Market
PUBLISHED: 12:22 19 March 2019
© Jake Eastham
It's a 12-room party house or a luxury B&B; either way The White House is quite special
Expectation can be a fickle mistress, especially when it comes to a holiday or a break. You read the website description, look at the photos and you then set the bar.
What often happens next is that things are fine, but slightly below what you’d hoped for. There will be something which just takes the gloss off things.
But not always. Sometimes the reality is even better than you hoped, as we found during a brief stay at The White House near Burnham Market.
It began well; we rounded the last bend of the driveway after a bit of a hunt (it is properly off the proverbial beaten track) and, like owls, gave small involuntary hoots of appreciation at the handsome Georgian house, artfully and invitingly lit on an icy winter evening. Inside all was calm, warm and softly lit, with plenty of sofas and impeccable decor.
The building was in need of love before owners Alison and Mark Thompson set about creating a high-class 12-bedroom venue for bed and breakfast visitors and for groups or families looking for a party house. With the advantage of a tranquil, remote location they have made something quite special.
Our room in the house’s turret was elegant without being intimidating, with a bed big enough to land a helicopter on. It was sublimely comfortable too and with underfloor heating February’s chill never stood a chance.
A rainfall shower and roll-top bath gleamed in marbled splendidness and the toiletries were good enough for Mrs C to spend a small fortune buying a bagfull to take away. Had we stayed longer we would have taken advantage of the temptations of the honesty bar; a proper bar with bottles in proper sizes. No miniatures here.
Nor has any other detail apparently been left to chance. Need to plug in your electric car? Of course. Bringing your dog? Fine. Bringing your horse? Certainly; Sussex Farm, home to The White House, has a neighbouring stables run by an international eventer who offers livery as well as cross country training.
After a night’s sleep disturbed only by the astonishing snoring of our smallest dog – imagine a horse with a cold blowing a trombone into a bowl of custard – we breakfasted in the light, airy dining room. And what a fine breakfast; eggs Benedict with thick Norfolk ham, poached egg and avocado on sourdough.
And then it was off to Brancaster’s wide beach, just a couple of miles away, to complete a short break which surpassed expectation.
This is a B&B in the same sense that a Rolls Royce is a car; a treat and a delight, proper 21st century luxury.
We were guests of The White House, 5-7 Sussex Farm, Burnham Market, PE31 8JY. Prices vary, but start from around £120 for a room for bed and breakfast. stayatthewhitehouse.co.uk