By Rachel Ducker
With over 45 miles of stunning coastline, it’s easy to see how North Norfolk pulls in so many visitors. Just north of Norwich is the Georgian town of Holt, full of gorgeous flint stoned buildings and plenty of galleries and independent shops.
Home for the evening was ‘The Feathers,’ an ideal place to stay with our two boys under three – along with our “first born,” a Norfolk Terrier named Archie. If you follow me on Instagram, you will notice how much I enjoy doing things with my family, so we love anywhere we can escape to with the ‘whole’ gang.
Upon entering, although recently renovated, there was still an olde worlde feel, maintaining the buildings character and charm.
We stayed in one of The Feathers family rooms, which had the addition of bunk beds and a little extra space. Though what really stole the show for our two-year-old Leo, was a cuddly monkey left on his bed, I am not sure every guest gets one of those! As well as the two-family rooms, there are a selection of other rooms and just a two-minute walk away are the Lawns Rooms, ideal for larger groups.
FOOD AND DRINK
The one thing you can always be sure of at a Chestnut restaurant is that you will never be disappointed in the wining and dining department. Menus are seasonal and full of original ingredients. There is also a creative cocktail menu, I am sure most mums will join me in saying when you get to 6pm, nothing beats a Negroni (or two)!
Whilst Indie our 10-month-old isn’t quite old enough to order from one yet, two-year-old Leo couldn’t wait to place his order for Fish and Chips and whilst we enjoyed our starters, he kept himself busy chomping on some soughdough, whilst watching Peppa Pig (I know I always said I wouldn’t be one of those parents – but needs must)!
I kicked things off with the ‘BBQ Tenderstem Broccoli, Whipped Soya, Smoked Cashew Hummus and Garden Herbs’. Although it sounded amazing, and was full of my favourite ingredients, I didn’t expect it to be delivered quite so well, the tempura Broccoli really stole the show. My husband selected the Cromer Crab Tian, with Cucumber, Radish, Lemon Balm, which he said was fresh and delicious, also being near to Cromer - how much more local could you get?
As a vegetarian, I was also delighted to see an alternative roast option for non-meat eaters like me on the Sunday Roast menu. The ‘Bubble & Squeak’ - Potato Cake & BBQ’d Hispi Cabbage and Veg Gravy was an adventurous and original take on a veggie roast.
My husband went all out on the fish dishes on this evening and selected the ‘Market Seafood, Parmesan & Chive Gratin, Leek, Fennel and White Wine’, this one was quite large, so I think he was feeling quite full. He probably didn’t need the extra side of chips! Meanwhile Leo tucked into his kids’ fish and chips and somehow managed to finish the entire plate.
We finished with a selection of desserts, (chocolate ice cream for Leo) – and headed up to our family room for bath time and an early night, gone are the days of late night drinking at the hotel bar… for now.
FAMILY THINGS TO DO IN THE AREA
One place I would highly recommend a visit to is ‘Doodle Pots’ just around the corner from The Feathers. Here you can get creative and messy at the same time, the kids will love it and you will get to take home unique gifts for all the family. We enjoyed some hand printing so we could take away a keep’s sake and remember this particular weekend away in Holt.
Another draw for me personally was the independent shops. I am a massive fan of Fairfax and Favor and Holt just happens to be home to their Norfolk shop. There are so many shops in Holt, not only is the high street lined of stores but there are also little nooks to explore – this might be a good idea for dad to take a separate walk with the kids. On the note of exploring Holt in the evening was good fun. Its full of so many beautiful Georgian flint houses. It was quite nice just taking a good look around and getting to know the area.
A trip wouldn’t be a trip to North Norfolk without a visit to the beach. We stumbled across one called Salthouse beach, which was stony (kids and sands don’t mix well in my opinion) and absolutely beautiful. It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend.
The Feathers made a wonderful family friendly base for our stay in Norfolk. Its ‘Chestnut charm’ has given The Feathers a new lease of life. I highly recommend checking it out.
Rachel Ducker, Chestnut Brand Ambassador
Rachel is an award winning entrepreneur, journalist & model. Follow her on Instagram here.
To book a stay at The Feathers, or to read more about all there is to explore in the area, click here.