“Personality-packed rural pub with 12 rooms, stunning food and contemporary art, on a historic estate in north Norfolk”
There are 12 rooms, four of which are in the converted coach house next to the pub.
The Coach House Rooms are newer and benefit from being further away from the noise of the busy pub. We enjoyed staying here during our last visit. Our room, Walpole, was beautifully decorated with an enormous antique bed and a vast bathroom complete with rolltop bath and separate shower. Nothing is standard or rolled out en masse - it’s all been carefully chosen. You’ll find Chinese bedside lamps, pretty patterned wallpaper, prints of butterflies, DAB radios, mahogany side tables, elegant bathrooms and cheery antique runners. We loved the in-room guide to the art in the pub - a fascinating read from the art collector owner.
All bathrooms are stocked with luxurious Noble Isle products and we found a fluffy robe tucked into the wardrobe. The Small Standard and Standard rooms have shower bathrooms; the Superiors have rolltop baths, and a couple have showers, too.
Superior rooms Ellis and Parkin were our favourites in the pub itself: both are quiet and a good size with nice views. Ellis has a kingsize four-poster bed. Standard Thurston and Superior Ward are also peaceful and a good size. Superiors Langtry and Harbord have good views but are noisier, being above the bar.
As well as being a fully functioning pub with local ales on tap, the excellent restaurant is the main reason to visit (it's vital to book ahead). In the warm and characterful dining room, there's wooden furniture and open fires. The seasonal menu often includes their home-smoked venison and salmon; the wine list is extensive. If food miles are an issue, you'll love that the Gunton Venison has travelled under a mile, and fish is from the coast 4 miles away. You might also see the likes of nettle and leek soup, linguini with Brancaster mussels and clams, and steamed treacle sponge with a shot of sloe gin jelly.
The pub is a curious place, collecting a mix of people and furniture. A 13th-century coffin table sits alongside modern pine, 17th-century wood panelling, silver plated cutlery and original modern art. All the more to talk about over dinner!
In the morning, the buffet breakfast table has Dorset cereals, homemade granola, potted yoghurts, juice, bread to cut and jams and marmalade. Coffee or tea is made to order, as are a selection of hot items: kippers, full English, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. During the day, guests have use of the tea and coffee facilities in the pub (there are none in rooms).
There are also bar snacks and sandwiches available all day, including a Gunton venison sausage roll and parsnip crisps.
Children are welcome; it probably wouldn't be considered overtly family friendly but there are provisions such as high chairs, baby changing facilities and a kids menu.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Two of the Superior rooms can interconnect, unfortunately they're above the bar so what you gain in space you might lose with a little noise in the evenings... Extra beds and baby cots are available in the larger rooms.
The pub has highchairs and a kids' menu, adapting dishes from the main menu where possible. Our son had delicious homemade pollock fish-finger butties with minted peas and chips when we lasted visited.