Covering the coast, Burnham Market, Wells, Holt & surrounding villages

Fresh air and food!

27th May 2024

Whatever you fancy – a cool beer, a barbecue or just some great seafood – Sarah Hardy has the lowdown on where to enjoy them in the sunshine!

If you’re after…

A pint

Try the Dun Cow at Salthouse which has two great outside areas – one, at the front, gives uninterrupted views over the salt marsh, whilst there’s also a lovely enclosed garden round the back which is home to some great blooms. It’s the perfect spot for a pint of Wherry.

Fresh crab

Rocky Bottoms at West Runton is just the place. With a pot-to-plate philosophy, daily catches come straight from the family’s own boat, the Anna-Gail, so you can be sure of super fresh seafood. Their crab dishes are hard to beat – the straightforward crab salad is my favourite. The restaurant, situated in an old brick kiln (plus extensions), stands proud on the cliff tops and there’s plenty of outside seating, with great views out to sea.

A chilled glass of wine

The Wiveton Bell has a very pretty alfresco area, right at the front, which overlooks the village church. It’s just the spot for a cool glass of vino after a hard day on the beach! The wine list has been compiled by Norfolk’s Peter Graham Wines and includes three East Anglian wines, with my eye caught by Flint Vineyard’s amazing sparkling wine, Charmat Rosé. You can never have too many bubbles!

© Emma Cabielles

A seafood platter

The market leader is The White Horse at Brancaster Staithe where executive head chef Fran Hartshorne continues to work her magic. Their platters simply groan under the weight of all your favourites, from oysters to smoked salmon and more. Head to either the alfresco terrace behind the main building or to the seasonal Marshside – both offer outstanding coastal views out to Scolt Head Island.

A barbecue

Well, new this year to one of our favourite summer spots are Saturday afternoon barbecues at the Brisley Bell. The gardens are delightful, with tumbling beds and mature trees including a huge weeping willow, and local produce is always on the menu. Head chef Herve Stouvenel is a very steady hand and has great contacts so you are assured of the very best produce. We’re keen to see how his barbies shape up so watch this space!

A ploughman’s

Everyone loves a ploughman’s, right? Especially if it features a great Norfolk cheese. The one served at Sculthorpe Mill is highly recommended as it comes with pressed ham, a devilled egg, pork pie, Norfolk Dapple cheese and more. Sit by the River Wensum, in the pub’s very attractive gardens, and just tuck in. All will be well, particularly if you add a pint of Moon Gazer ale from nearby Hindringham.

© Sam Scott-Hunter


The Elk Room at The Gunton Arms is a place to behold as meat is cooked over an open fire which somehow makes it all the more delicious! In the warm weather, head outside to one of the tables in the surrounding deer park where you can enjoy ribs or perhaps a South Creake pork chop, all served with goose fat roast potatoes. Head chef Stuart Tattersall continues to excel.

A decadent pudding

The Victoria at Holkham is rightly well known for its Estate produce – especially, when in season, its venison. But head chef Michael Chamberlain is a superb pudding maker, too, and has all that lovely produce from the Walled Garden to go at. If there’s anything with plums in it, grab it quickly. Outside, the gardens are smart, with a lovely courtyard area, and views stretching to the coastline.

Summer berry jelly with raspberry sorbet © Holkham Estate


Back to the Garden at Letheringsett has ramped up its brunch offering this year, with lots to appeal such as mushrooms on sourdough toast or Eggs Benedict. The garden at this stunning 200-year-old barn is delightful as it is sheltered and home to vines, alliums, lavender, hops and wisteria.

© Simon Finlay Photography

A strong coffee

The Two Magpies Bakery empire goes from strength to strength – there’s another new opening in Framlingham if you’re out and about in Suffolk. But, at this time of year, the deck at Blakeney is the place to kick back with coffee and pastries. Did we mention almond croissants to accompany your cortado?

A fish finger sandwich

Tides Bistro on Cromer Pier is about as close as you can get to eating by the sea as you are literally above the waves. The outdoor area has been much improved and has a little bit of shelter now, too, as it can be blustery! And their battered fish finger sarnie is hard to beat as a lunchtime treat.

A proper burger

Head chef Jake Garwood is working wonders at The Three Horseshoes in Briston and nearly always has an interesting burger on the menu. The smoked brisket burger recently was terrific! Add in lovely, Mediterranean-inspired gardens, very thoughtfully landscaped with lots of seating and even a garden Pavilion, and it’s just the place for a meal in the sunshine, surrounded by sweet smelling herbs and seasonal flowers.

Afternoon tea

Heydon Village Tea Room has delightful cottage gardens where you can sample delicious cream teas and more – do try the lemon cake if it’s on the menu. There are numerous teas and coffees available, and everything tastes so much better when served on pretty vintage china! There are tables out the front, overlooking the village green, which is a great place to sit and watch the world go by – with cake, of course.


There’s a garden menu at the Rose & Crown at Snettisham which is available from the Beach Hut Bar so you don’t even have to go indoors to order. Think chicken wings, dirty fries, and lamb koftas. The walled garden is beautifully looked after and a real blaze of colour in the summer months, with the roses particularly lovely.

A cocktail

No Twenty29 Bar & Restaurant in Burnham Market has a festoon-laden courtyard which is a stylish place to enjoy a cocktail or two. How about their version of a Daiquiri or classic Cosmopolitan, loved by those Sex and the City girls! It’s the place to dress up and enjoy yourself!

A super salad

Wiveton Hall Café overlooks the marshes and out to sea, with numerous tables simply tumbling across their spacious grounds. Head chef Mark Anderson offers up colourful salads, with the signature Wiveton Salad a thing of beauty. It’s all very laid back here, with the dreamy Jacobean manor providing a dramatic backdrop, too.

Where else?

With two acres of gardens, The Pheasant Country Hotel & Inn at Kelling ( is delightful for everything from casual lunches to afternoon tea; Morston Hall ( has well developed gardens that are perfect for pre-dinner drinks; The Duck at Stanhoe ( has a popular garden where they serve little nibbles with flair, and the newly rebooted Golden Lion Hotel at Hunstanton ( has an outdoor area with views out to sea, with their small plates said to be good.

Do check with each venue for opening times, the need to book and if dogs are welcome. While this guide highlights just one thing, the majority offer much, much more so enjoy finding out – and let us know what you’ve tucked into!

Details correct at the time of going to press, but may be subject to change.


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