Romantic escapes in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 February 2016
Coastal walks, cosy firesides, the lap of luxury or close to nature – our loved-up county is rich in romantic retreats for couples. One of these will surely win your heart
For something new
This month The Assembly House in Norwich launches its new rooms. It will be opening 11 spacious and stylish bedrooms, six with their own secret gardens, four with lounges, and an opulent bridal suite. There are marble bathrooms, drench showers, antique furniture and top-of-the-range luxury. Enjoy an oasis of calm in Georgian splendour at the heart of the city and awake to a spectacular breakfast made from locally-sourced, seasonally-inspired ingredients.
The Dial House, in Reepham, is a luxury hotel, tea shop and restaurant, interior design shop and a community of new homes too. At the heart of the old building, which dates back to 1728, are beautifully designed hotel rooms. The concept is the Grand Tour which young aristocratics once took, to see the world and complete their education – a kind of luxury gap year for Georgian gentlemen. The glorious bedrooms are themed around the places visited - The Orient, Days of the Raj, Parisian Garrett, The Italian Palace, China, The Print Room, Africa, and the Natural History room, hidden behind a wall of museum-like display cases.
www.thedialhouse.org.uk For love birds
Try a night or two perched high in the branches of a tree – but safely cocooned in the luxury of a tree house. There are four beautiful tree houses in the grounds of a private estate at West Lexham, near King’s Lynn. Named Sunrise Tree House, Ash Tree Temple, Tinker Tree House and Owl Tree Temple, they each have their own character and rustic chic style, including stained glass windows and colourful bedspreads.
The Ingham Swan, at Ingham, near Stalham, is ideal for a romantic dinner and overnight stay. The thatched coaching inn, dating back to the 14th century, has four luxury bedrooms in its stable house, and guests are treated to lavish contemporary furnishings in historic surroundings – and a gourmet dinner and breakfast too.
The Crown Hotel at Wells and The Ship Hotel at Brancaster, on the north Norfolk coast, are both part of Chris Coubrough’s Flying Kiwi Inns. With the television chef at the helm, they both offer fine dining and luxury accommodation in an idyllic coastal setting. The Crown is a former coaching inn, tucked away on the edge of a tranquil tree-lined green, while The Ship is also close to the beach, with a cosy bar and lovely gardens.
As well as being just a short wander from the Norfolk coast path, Morston Hall is ideal for star-struck romantics. The beautiful night vistas of millions of stars shimmering over marshes, sea and land, are supplemented by the Michelin star for Morston Hall’s famous restaurant. Run by Galton Blackiston, the hotel and restaurant is ideal for romantic and gastronomic breaks, with traditional bedrooms in the hall and lavishly equipped modern garden rooms in the grounds.
Sugar Beat Eating House might be hard to beat. Take your sugar to the bed and breakfast, and pub and restaurant, at Swainsthorpe, near Norwich, which was so good it triumphed in the series Four In A Bed on Channel Four last year.
Voewood, near Holt, is one of the great Arts and Crafts houses of England, and the entire stunning butterfly-shaped house and its glorious gardens can be hired by big-hearted romantics for family gatherings. More than a century ago Country Life said of it: “Everywhere there is sweetness and light.”
A windmill – at Cley Windmill the tower has been turned into a circular sitting room and cosy dining room on the ground floor and then a series of wonderful bedrooms with views over the marshes and sea. Right at the top is the Wheel Room with panoramic views from four windows, a four-poster bed and a shower room up a ladder at the very top of the mill.
An RAF control tower - The Control Tower, at Egmere, near Wells, is converted from a 1940s air control building. It has been transformed into a modernist masterpiece, run as a vegetarian bed and breakfast.
A water tower – Appleton Water Tower, near Sandringham, has lofty lodgings fit for a king or queen. The regal residence has wonderful views across the countryside, and some great walks nearby and is let by the charity Landmark Trust.