The Wiveton Bell Pub with rooms in Holt, Norfolk

Prices from:
£90 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Stunning makeover; rustic-chic style
  • Off-the-beaten-track – sleepy village
  • Menus champion local produce
  • Rustic-chic rooms with French feel
  • ‘Tuck Box’ breakfast delivered to door
  • Lanes lead to the Norfolk Coast Path

PerkInn Places Perk

Complimentary Glass of Prosecco on arrival and a £30 Voucher to spend in the pub when you stay two nights or more Monday to Thursday

Good for WalkingCandlelitClose to WaterGreen FingersVisit a Stately Pile

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Call this inn 01263 569121

Overview

The Wiveton Bell Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7TL

The personal touch

Sleepy Wiveton stands just a mile inland from bustling Blakeney and the glorious coastal salt marshes and the stylishly spruced up Wiveton Bell overlooks the peaceful village green and church. Having owned a cottage on the coast for well over a decade, Sandy Butcher and Berni Morritt snapped up the faded free house in 2007 so they had a good reason to spend more time close to their Blakeney bolthole and Bernie’s boat. Expect a chic interior, with earthy Farrow & Ball hues, stripped beams, chunky tables and oak-planked floors. Further character is provided by the bold, contemporary oil paintings by local artists (for sale) that line the walls of the cosy bar and the airy conservatory dining room. Add a clutch of gorgeous rooms upstairs and in adjacent cottages, then the Wiveton Bell becomes the perfect base from which to explore the stunning beaches and marshes on the doorstep. Expect a huge, smiley welcome and friendly and efficient service from Sandy, her excellent managers Rosie and Sam, and the team of young staff.

Muddy paws

Dogs are very welcome in the bar but are not allowed in the bedrooms.

Sticky fingers

Children have their own ‘Young Adults’ menu of freshly made dishes, including haddock and chips, steak burger with salad and tomato sauce, linguini with bolognaise sauce, and sticky toffee pudding.

Alfresco

The sunny south facing garden becomes an extension to the conservatory dining room on warm summer days. The sheltered box-edged decked and grassed area, replete with posh cream brollies, smart garden furniture and patio heaters, is very popular, so be sure to book your alfresco table early. There are baskets of cushions by the front door for alfresco drinkers and diners to savour the food and church views from front benches in comfort.

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles: £90 – £160

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to bar & dining room

Gongs
Waitrose Good Food Guide; AA 1 Rosette; Michelin Pub Guide

Sleep

The Wiveton Bell Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7TL

Do not disturb

Sandy’s real passion has been developing and furnishing her gorgeous rooms, lavishing time and money to ensure they are super comfortable and kitted out with every conceivable extra to make a stay memorable. Somehow, she managed to find space to add two new rooms in 2015, with Library, White Room and Panelled Room above the pub (two with private balconies), and Garden Room, Starlight Room and Old Store occupying adjacent cottages, all with alfresco seating; Garden Room has it’s own private terrace. Expect contemporary styling and a French shabby-chic feel, with ornate mirrors, painted furniture and antique French beds with Egyptian cotton, goose down duvets and pillows, and cosy quilts. Two have Victorian claw-foot baths, others are fully tiled wet rooms with under floor heating, rain showers, quality fittings, bathrobes, and posh Ren toiletries.

Creature comforts

Complimentary glass of Prosecco; lifestyle magazines & morning newspaper; bathrobes & slippers; Ren bathroom products; under floor heating in wet rooms.

Gadgets

HD TV & Blue Ray DVD (& media library); i-pod dock; free wi-fi.

What’s for Breakfast?

Fresh bread and warm croissants from Blakeney Deli are delivered daily between 8.30am – 9am and placed in the ‘Tuck Box’ outside the door (remember to leave it out!) and each room has a toaster, fresh coffee, and a fridge containing butter, milk, orange juice and jams. So, enjoy breakfast at you leisure on your private terrace or balcony (except Panelled Room). During the summer months, if you prefer to head out for cooked breakfast at Blakeney Quay or at the Wiveton Farm Café, £7 will be taken off your room bill.

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles: £90 – £160

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to bar & dining room

Gongs
Waitrose Good Food Guide; AA 1 Rosette; Michelin Pub Guide

Eat & Drink

The Wiveton Bell Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7TL

Mastering the menu

Innovative seasonal menus make sound use of local fish, meat and game, such as Cley Smokehouse haddock, Blakeney crabs, Morston mussels (all nearby villages), salt marsh grazed beef, and game from local estates. Lunch and dinner menus are similar, with the addition of lighter dishes at lunch, and evening specials at dinner.

On the menu

(Starters £6-£9; main courses £12.50-£18; puddings £7)

Grilled Wood Farm asparagus, herb mayonnaise, bantam egg, brown butter; crispy pork terrine, apple mustard, parsley, puffed crackling; Brancaster oysters, lemon, celery vinegar, tabasco

Butter poached chicken, leek terrine, garlic purée, jus; confit belly & tenderloin pork, mixed beets, trotter sauce, black pudding crumb; beer battered line-caught haddock, hand-cut chips, mushy peas, tartare sauce

Eton mess; poached rhubarb, clotted cream & ginger rice pudding, ginger nuts cheese

Lighter Lunch Plates (£8.50-£14)

Club sandwich; chicken Caesar salad; crab salad; salt marsh grazed flat iron steak sandwich, mushroom ketchup, hand-cut chips

Sunday Roasts

Paul Graves local beef sirloin with home-made hot horseradish sauce, or pork loin (with crackling) and apple sauce, both served with duck fat roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, seasonal vegetables, and Yorkshire pudding – £14.

Time to Eat

Breakfast: tuck into your ‘Tuck Box’ breakfast at your leisure…!
Lunch: 12 noon – 2.15 (Sunday 2.45pm)
Dinner: 6pm – 9pm

Local, local, local

Crabs and Lobsters: Dave and James, Briston
Mussels: Mark Randle, Morston Quay
Milk & cream: Pointens Dairy, Stody Estate
Meat: Paul Graves Butchers, Briston (www.hvgraves.co.uk)
Smoked haddock & other fish: caught by Glen off Cley Beach (www.cleysmokehouse)
Yetman’s Brewery (www.yetmans.net)
Norfolk Brewhouse (www.norfolkbrewhouse)
Salad and veg: Jonny Cubit, New Barn Farm, Blakeney
Cheeses: Mrs Temples Cheeses, Binham

Behind the bar

Despite the emphasis on dining, the bar forms the focal point and attracts a good local drinking crowd, with the tables close to the huge inglenook fireplace remaining free of glasses and cutlery, providing welcome space for locals and dog walkers popping in for a refreshing pint of Yetman’s Ale, which is brewed along the road. You’ll also find Norfolk Moongazer, Woodforde’s Wherry and Aspall’s Cider on tap, and 13 wines by the glass.

Bar snacks

Liquorice Allsorts on the bar..!

Time at the bar

12 noon – 11pm

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles: £90 – £160

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking
  • Disabled access to bar & dining room

Gongs
Waitrose Good Food Guide; AA 1 Rosette; Michelin Pub Guide

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Wiveton Bell

5

Samphire and Seafood Stalls NR25 7PG

As you drive the coast road in these parts, keep your eyes peeled for little stalls outside houses selling freshly-caught fish, shellfish (especially Brancaster mussels and Stewkey Blues cockles from Stiffkey) and crisp salty marsh samphire in the summer months.

6

The Dun Cow, Salthouse NR25 7XA

This lovely hostelry on the coast road is being revitalised with passion and interest. Don't miss the Gray family's beef reared outside the windows on Salthouse marshes and the famous local Morston mussels.

7

Back To The Garden, Letheringsett, Holt NR25 7JJ

Award-winning farm shop and cafe in a stunning renovated barn, with high quality produce, including Soil Association-quality meat counter, organic veggies and a delicatessen and of course excellent home-made meals.

8

North Norfolk Food Festival, Holkham Park NR23 1AB

A celebration in early September of all that is best about food grown, reared, caught, made or sold in north Norfolk. The best local producers attend, offering plenty of tastings and samples to tempt.

9

Byfords, 1-3 Shirehall Plain, Holt NR25 6BG

This part of North Norfolk is spoilt for superlative businesses, deli-cafe Byfords is no exception. For many, an essential glamorous pitstop on any retail therapy in delightful Holt, perhaps the finest Georgian market town. Its strapline is 'a higgledy-piggledly world of pleasure', say no more.

10

Blakeney Deli, 30 High Street, Blakeney NR25 7AL

Specialist, family-owned fine food and wine emporium that champions Norfolk independent businesses, offering local treats and goodies from 18 Norfolk artisan suppliers. The on-site kitchen delivers excellent tarts, breads and pastries. Don't miss the wine tastings.

11

Picnic Fayre, Cley-next-the-Sea NR25 7AP

This award-winning deli is situated in a former forge and has an impressive antipasti bar. It's the place to come for local cheeses, fruit and vegetables and speciality breads.

12

Cookies Crab Shop, The Green, Salthouse NR25 7AJ

The popularity of this seafood shack is legendary (after three generations). It's a simple place all round, quite set in their ways about how to do things but that's how they cater for so many. Family day boats bring in flapping-fresh seafood. Get there early!

14

Wiveton Hall Café and Fruit Farm, Wiveton NR25 7TE

Outside Wiveton to the north off the A149 coast road is this a hidden Norfolk gem, full of Jacobean architecture, charming walled gardens and productive fruit farming in the grounds. PYO or buy berries and other crops in the shop. But main attraction is the farm café with beautiful views and fabulous rustic ingredient-led cooking.

15

The Anchor, Morston NR25 7AA

At the heart of yachting and twitcher country, The Anchor sits down the road from the famous Michelin-starred Morston Hall and shares much of the passion for local seafood and game. The two youthful landlords were old school chums and they are doing good things in their first pub-restaurant.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Wiveton Bell

Activities

2

Seal Trips, Morston NR25 7AA

Watching seals at home in their natural environment on Blakeney Point (also a well-known breeding ground for waders and terns), is a popular boating excursion. Boats leave from Morston Quay and the trip lasts for one hour, but if weather conditions are favourable, boats will land on Blakeney Point for an additional 30-60 minutes.

3

Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, Brancaster PE31 8AX

The Royal West Norfolk Golf Club at Brancaster is a superb links course on the North Norfolk Coast. Visitors are welcome, although numbers are limited. There’s an excellent pro shop and traditional club house, too. Elsewhere, there are courses at Cromer, Fakenham, Hunstanton and Sheringham.

4

Surfing at Cromer NR27 9HE

Between April and October you get the chance to experience the thrill of North Norfolk's spectacular tides and waves, with lessons provided by Glide Surf School. By contrast, the region's rivers offer the chance for various exhilarating adventure sports, including kayaking

5

Bure Valley Railway, Aylsham NR11 6BW

Step back in time and combine a trip by steam train with a cruise on the Norfolk Broads. Journey from Aylsham by train through picturesque countryside to Wroxham, then join a Broads Tours boat for a 1½ hour cruise around the Norfolk Broads, followed by a return trip by train.

Shopping

14

Ship-To-Shore, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AR

Expect to find British nautical clothing brand Quba & Co at Ship-to-Shore, the company's first outlet in Norfolk. Clothing, jackets, bags and accessories are all expertly crafted using traditional sail-making skills. There are even marine-themed homewares from deckchairs and bean bags to sofas and cushions.

16

Artemis Homes & Antiques, Blakeney NR25 7NQ

Everything from sideboards and sofas to tables and tea sets can be found at this antique and home-furnishings shop in the picturesque North Norfolk village of Blakeney. Themes range from Arts & Crafts to Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

17

Flint Gallery, Blakeney NR25 7NQ

Situated close to the quay in Blakeney, this charming gallery is home to an impressive range of contemporary art, including wildlife sculpture, original paintings, designer jewellery and ceramics.

18

Birdscapes Gallery, Glandford NR25 7JP

Artworks that reflect Norfolk's diverse wildlife are on display in the excellent gallery at Glandford, near Holt. Expect some striking and very distinctive pieces, including paintings, prints and sculptures.

Places to visit

6

Felbrigg Hall, Thorpe Market NR11 8PR

Fellbrigg Hall's splendid park is one of the highlights of a visit to this popular National Trust visitor attraction a short distance from Cromer. Here, you can explore over 500 acres of woods and miles of waymarked paths where nature and wildlife are much in evidence.

7

Mannington Gardens NR11 7BB

Expect to see a wide variety of trees and shrubs surrounded by a splendid medieval moated manor house at Mannington Gardens, situated in glorious countryside to the south-west of Thorpe Market. There are classic roses, scented plants and herbaceous borders.

8

Cromer NR27 9HE

Often described as the ‘gem of the Norfolk coast’, Cromer is one of East Anglia’s most popular resorts. The distinctive tower of the town’s church overlooks Cromer’s old fishing village and the resort is also renowned for its classic Victorian pier.

9

Blickling Hall, Blickling, Aylsham NR11 6NF

Catching sight of Blickling Hall for the first time takes your breath away. The turreted Jacobean mansion stands proud in the Norfolk landscape and surrounding it is a beautiful 500-acre park. Blickling, near Aylsham, is widely believed to be the birthplace of Anne Boleyn.

10

Holkham Hall, Holkham NR23 1AB

One of the UK's fine Palladian stately homes and estates, if not the finest, with an amazing array of things to do; foodie highlights alone include a boutique inn, wine merchants and cookware shop, beach cafe, tearooms, home-reared venison etc.

11

Houghton Hall, Houghton PE31 6UE

This magnificent grand Palladian mansion lies in picturesque parkland near King's Lynn. It's the home of Sir Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister, and has imposing state rooms, an impressive collection of model soldiers and a restored walled garden.

12

Sandringham PE35 6EN

Situated north of King's Lynn, Sandringham is where members of the Royal Family traditionally spend Christmas. The Grade-II-listed house and gardens, surrounded by a vast estate of 20,000 acres, is open to visitors.

13

Thursford Collection, Thursford, Fakenham NR21 0AS

It's probably not what you'd expect to find in the depths of North Norfolk, but lovers of musical instruments will be quickly drawn in. Among the treasured items here at Fakenham are a Wurlitzer cinema organ, fairground carousels and various barrel and street organs.

Walking

www.walkinginnorfolk.co.uk
www.nationaltrail.co.uk/peddars-way-and-norfolk-coast-path
The North Norfolk Coast has been described as a long way from anywhere and that is certainly the impression it gives, especially when you stroll its many miles of deserted beaches. The region offers enormous scope for all kinds of walking – long, short and medium. One of the most popular haunts of walkers is the region’s remote Holkham Beach, immortalised in the film Shakespeare in Love. It’s just the place to enjoy wild beauty and stunning wide skies. If you enjoy sampling long-distance paths, however, try the 93-mile Peddars Way and North Norfolk Coast Path. Following ancient tracks and Roman roads and consisting of two paths joined together to form one route, the Peddars Way and North Norfolk Coast Path offers a great blend of pastoral Norfolk hinterland and magnificent coastal scenery.

Cycling

www.cycle-route.com
www.norfolkcyclehire.co.uk
Cycling is a great pastime here too. One of the most popular routes runs alongside the Bure Valley Railway, a 9-mile trail running from Aylsham to Wroxham. Afterwards, you can return to the start by train. The North Norfolk Coast Cycleway between King’s Lynn and Cromer is another established favourite.

Events

www.visitnorthnorfolk.co.uk
North Norfolk has a full diary of festivals and events, covering the major themes. One of the best-known annual fixtures is the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, which is held in May – a flagship event for the east of England and one of the largest arts festivals in the country. Also worth noting is the North Norfolk Food and Drink festival at Holkham Hall in August, which is a celebration of all that is good about the local produce.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Wiveton is signposted south off A149 coast road at Blakeney – follow the back road towards Holt for 1 mile; pub is on the left beside the village green.

Address:

Blakeney Road, Wiveton, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7TL

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