“A quartet of chic self-catering cottages (each sleeping 2-4), set near the watery beauty of North Norfolk's glorious coast”
The décor of each cottage echoes a different aspect of Norfolk’s land- and seascapes, but all epitomise rustic-chic, with beamed ceilings, huge hearths and wood-burning stoves.
We stayed in slate- and charcoal-hued Seal, the only 1-bedroom cottage. It's a wonderfully cosy couples’ hideaway, with a fireside loveseat in the open-plan living area, a table for 2 flanked by black 'Panton' chairs, and a spiral staircase twisting up to a bedroom with a four-poster, an in-room tub and a chaise-longue. There’s also a separate shower room.
The 2-bedroom cottages are ideal if you're coming with friends or older children, but reduced rates are available if there are only 2 of you. Shell is the largest, with an elegant taupe and oyster-pink scheme, conch-encrusted mirrors and shimmering shell-like lights. There’s a big kitchen-diner with a chunky wooden table, a separate lounge, and a landing with a window seat. One bedroom has a four-poster and double doors opening to an ensuite with a cast-iron tub, the other has an ensuite shower room and a super-kingsize bed that can be set up as 2 singles on request.
Similar in size is Sky, which comes in a spectrum of pale blues, moody greys and deep indigos. We loved the spacious lounge with its Starck ‘Ghost’ chair, L-shaped sofa and dip-dyed cushions, and the calming colours in the bedrooms (one a kingsize with a shower, the other a super-kingsize/twin with a tub). Be aware that there are open doorways between the bedrooms and their ensuites (one without an enclosed loo).
Decorated in the delicate grey-greens of the local salt marshes is the smaller but equally enticing Samphire. It has an open-plan kitchen and lounge, 2 bedrooms (one a double, the other a super-kingsize/twin), and a shared bathroom with a tub and separate shower.
All cottages have iPod docks, WiFi, flat-screen TVs and DVD players, plus flower-fringed terraces with a table and chairs. There are lots of littles luxuries, too - scented candles, hot-water bottles, Ren toiletries and brand-new bundles of fluffy towels.
The hand-built wooden kitchens have everything you need for taking advantage of Norfolk’s fantastic local produce - Belfast sinks, range ovens, hobs, dishwashers, fridges, snazzy kettles and toasters, cafetières, crockery and cutlery, and utensils galore. There’s also additional freezer space, together with shared laundry facilities, in an outbuilding (particularly useful for guests in Seal, which has no freezer of its own).
On arrival you’ll find tea and coffee for that all-important post-journey cuppa, together with a bottle of wine and basics such as washing-up liquid, dishwasher tabs and bin bags, but you’ll need to stock up on everything else. Just a mile along the road to Holt is a wonderful deli and farm shop called Back to the Garden, which has a huge range of organic meat, cheeses, fruit and veg, plus artisan pasta and sauces. In Holt itself you’ll find a cavernous food hall at family-run department store Bakers & Larners, as well as all the normal butchers, bakers and greengrocers. And in summer you can wander up the lane to Sharrington Strawberries for jams and just-picked fruit.
There’s no shortage of options for dining out within a short drive, either, and Steve and Katie provide a helpful list of their favourite eateries in every cottage. We headed 10 minutes up the road to gastro-pub The Wiveton Bell, where we feasted on freshly plucked Morston mussels, towering gourmet burgers and hand-cut chips in front of a crackling fire. If you’re here in warm weather, it’s worth making a beeline to The White Horse in Brancaster Staithe for local ale and deep-fried oysters, served on a lovely deck with views across the salt marshes to the sea.
Only children aged 10 and over are accepted, but any of the 2-bedroom cottages (Shell, Sky and Samphire) would make an excellent base for a family with 1 or 2 older kids. All have bedrooms which can be set up as twins on request, and North Norfolk’s sandy beaches and seal colonies are sure to appeal. Note that no extra beds are available, so each cottage can accommodate a maximum of 4 people.
Teens (over 12)