Holkham South Lodge East - Beautifully Bijou
Published: Friday 15th Nov 2019
Written by: Matt Frost
No matter when we visit the North Norfolk Coast, Holkham Hall, is always the first place on our list of places to visit. Holkham offers so much all year round from the long Queen Anne's Drive taking you down to Holkham Beach and the vast expanses on offer to visiting the Hall itself which is set in beautiful surroundings.
We were delighted to be able to spend a long weekend in South Lodge East. Dating back to 1847, the property has recently been renovated by the estate, and we were able to enjoy inaugural stay at the Lodges to give them the seal of approval.
Whilst I am lucky enough to live and work in Norfolk, this is the first time that I have stayed overnight on the Norfolk Coast, and as we drove up to the property we were arriving with a real sense of excitement. We pulled into the gravel driveway, and headed into our abode for the weekend.
There was a warm glow from the property, as the lights led the way from the car to the already lit property. We flung open the door, and were welcomed by an already toasty property and a fabulous welcome pack of local produce from the team. The kettle chips we opened, prosecco poured and the wood burner was lit as we settled into our surroundings. The property itself is deceptively large once inside, and more than enough room for a couple, and also for a couple of furry friends, which this lodge caters for.
The entrance to the property leads immediately into the Living Room, which has a beautifully comfortable sofa, TV, woodburner, and selection of games to choose from. The little touches are well thought out with a torch available, and most definitely needed with such a rural property. The lack of street lights is so welcome, as you feel that you are miles away from civilisation!
Off the lounge is a small hallway, which has off it has a compact kitchen, which is well stocked with all you need for your stay, and finished to a high standard.
The hallway leads to a large King sized room with an ensuite shower. The decor throughout is sensitively thought out with nods to the surroundings, and we loved the pheasant theme in the bedroom.
We had pre-booked a meal at The Victoria, which sits on the main road through Holkham Village. Given the weather we decided to drive,as it is a fair walk, and leave our car to collect the next day. We took the road through the estate which is not lit but gave us the opportunity to see Holkham Hall lit up which was a stunning sight. Please be careful as there is an abundance of wildlife that becomes active at night!
The Victoria, is such a fab place for supper. We were met with a roaring fire, and a brilliant selection of beers, wines and spirits. A little early, we found a comfortable corner to survey our surroundings. The Victoria has flint walls, a great array of taxidermy and shooting memorabilia, and a great atmosphere.
Shown to our table we were presented with out menu, and knowing that it was Norfolk Restaurant Week, we knew that there was a great set menu on offer. Norfolk Restaurant Week is an initiative to bring entice people to Norfolk with the premise of great tasting local fare at tempting prices!!! The Victoria menu offered this, and being self proclaimed foodies we were salivating at the prospect of dinner!!
We weren’t let down, and quickly chose our menu:
Smoked duck breast, shallot tart and Cranberry Compote
Smoked salmon & crab tian
Breast of Pheasant, chateau potatoes, sauteed greens and pan jus
Mustard crusted trout with potato & pancetta terrine & lemon beurre blanc
Pear tarte tatin with blue cheese ice cream
Lord Leicester’s smelly French cheeses
Accompanied with this we had a beautiful New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Our evening was so relaxed, and we had such lovely service form the team at the Victoria. It is certainly somewhere we will visit again in future!
We headed back to the lodge, lit the woodburner, to enjoy the rest of our evening with a glass of our complimentary Adnams Prosecco, had a game or two of dominoes and scrabble, then snuggled up on the sofa to watch a film. A perfect end to a perfect evening.
After a great night’s sleep, we were woken by the chorus of pheasants in the woodland around us, which is a pleasant change from the daily alarm!
Breakfast taken, toast and local jam, we headed out to collect the car. We were welcomed with the most beautiful autumn morning, the sun was brilliant in a crisp blue sky, and the colours of the Holkham trees framed our walk up to the obelisk and beyond. Holkham offers so much at all times of the year, and there is the opportunity to hire bikes to explore the vast grounds, we chose to stretch our legs, and were greeted by the weekly Holkham park run.
It was fab to see such a diverse mix of participants, young, old, four legged, and even buggies! A little too energetic for us on a Saturday morning but certainly on the bucket list to complete!
As we followed the road through the estate our eyes were drawn to the imposing Hall, and the lake which was incredibly still, and perfect for collecting a few snaps! The Hall is home to a large herd of Fallow deer, and they are currently in their rutting season which was incredible to see, and had drawn quite a crowd of photographers, and spectators alike. To be able to observe this at such close quarters is amazing and definitely something to see on your own visit!
Car collected we decided to cruise along the North Norfolk Coast road from Wells out to Old Hunstanton. At this time of year the roads are pretty quiet which makes it a great time to visit. There are some lovely villages with great eateries along the route, and some fabulous beaches and walks to take advantage of. There are plenty of places for bird watchers to spend time along the Coast but on our journey we stopped at Titchwell Marsh which is an RSPB reserve.
We headed back along the coast line briefly stopping for a wander around Burnham Market, and a coffee in No.TWENTY9 https://www.number-29.com/. Burnham Market is an ever popular destination in Norfolk, offering some great shopping and eateries. It also offers great access to the coast so an excellent base to explore the area.
Our last stop of the day was a late lunch at Wells Crab House, https://wellscrabhouse.co.uk/ This is somewhere we had wanted to visit for a little while, and from our abode in Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea is only a 10 minute drive, so gave us a great opportunity to enjoy a lazy relaxed lunch. From start to finish the service was great, so welcoming, and we were presented with some fantastic local seafood. Great portion size, so we definitely would not be leaving hungry! The quality of produce in Norfolk is amazing, and this was clear from our meal, a sharing platter of smoked eel, crayfish tails, octopus and homemade breads was followed by an amazing Sri Lankan Crab Curry and Haddock and chips. All finished with a double espresso, and a salted caramel liqueur! Food Coma alert!!
Fed and watered we headed back to South Lodge East, fire on, games out, bottle of prosecco finished, and to bed with our checkout at 10 am the next day!
Our stay at Holkham was all we had hoped. The Lodge was beautiful and to a high standard. The welcome pack, and the small touches around the property made it a really special destination, and the surroundings made it perfect! With such great access to the Hall, and the fantastic Norfolk Coastline I am sure that this will become one of the most popular retreats in the area!
South Lodge East is available to book now from £790 per week through Norfolk Cottages