The Duck Inn Pub with rooms in Stanhoe, Norfolk

Prices from:
£110 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Culinary gem close to coast
  • Book for Ben’s fabulous food
  • Menus brim with local goodies
  • Cosy, cottagey interior
  • Two contemporary-smart rooms

Sticky FingersGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsCandlelitVisit a Stately Pile

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Overview

The Duck Inn Stanhoe, Norfolk, PE31 8QD

The personal touch

Having plied the stoves at some of the best pubs and eateries along the Norfolk Coast for nigh on 25 years, talented chef Ben Handley realised his culinary dream of running his own pub when he and wife Sarah were given the keys to this unassuming pub in sleepy Stanhoe. Peacefully tucked away from the coastal throng, they have worked wonders with the place, sprucing up the bars and two bedrooms and transforming it into a fabulous foodie haven, yet it remains a relaxing, country-smart pub with tip-top Elgoods Cambridge on tap in the slate-floored bar. The draw, however, is Ben’s delicious food served in the three cottagey dining rooms; wood-burning stoves, old farmhouse tables, and bold local artwork on the walls. Passionate about sourcing top-notch seasonal produce from artisan suppliers, his menus bristle with local goodies, perhaps aged Norfolk beef sirloin with pepper sauce, and locally landed cod with Brancaster mussels, brown shrimps and potato beignet. Memorable Sunday roasts and open sandwiches complete the picture. The two contemporary upstairs room are great value and super comfortable, with big beds, relaxing sofas, real coffee, homemade cakes, and vast bathrooms with showers and a bath to soak in after a day walking the coast path.

Sticky fingers

Children are made very welcome throughout the pub; they have their own menu and can be accommodated overnight with z-beds and cots available (no extra charge)

Muddy paws

Dogs are allowed in the bar and garden but not overnight in the bedrooms

Alfresco

The sheltered suntrap side garden, replete with flower borders and picnic benches with fresh flowers and posh brollies is the perfect spot for a summer alfresco lunch. If it rains, retreat to the open-sided wooden cabin

What’s the Damage?
2 doubles/twin: £110-£170. Dinner, Bed & Breakfast £165-£225

What Else?

  • Credit cards accepted (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar & dining room
  • Parking

Gongs
Good Food Guide

Sleep

The Duck Inn Stanhoe, Norfolk, PE31 8QD

Do not disturb

With the Duck drawing discerning diners from far and wide, it’s best to book one of the two contemporary bedrooms well in advance, so you can indulge on fine food and wine before climbing the stairs for a great night’s sleep under duck down. Rooms are great value (the dinner B&B is a steal) and super comfortable, with big beds, relaxing sofas, added touches like real coffee, fresh milk, homemade cakes, and vast bathrooms with showers and a bath to soak in after a day walking the coast path.

Creature comforts

Au Lait toiletries; mini-fridge with fresh milk, mineral water & juices; fresh coffee; homemade cake

Gadgets

Freeview TV; digital clock radio

What’s for breakfast?

Stewed fruits, yoghurt & granola; porridge, maple syrup, dried cherries; honey-baked ham, fried egg; Brancaster smoked haddock, poached egg; Letzer’s smoked salmon, scrambled eggs; ‘The Duck’s Full Bill Breakfast

What’s the Damage?
2 doubles/twin: £110-£170. Dinner, Bed & Breakfast £165-£225

What Else?

  • Credit cards accepted (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar & dining room
  • Parking

Gongs
Good Food Guide

Eat & Drink

The Duck Inn Stanhoe, Norfolk, PE31 8QD

Mastering the menu

Chef-patron Ben Handley started cooking at the age of 15 when his parents owned the iconic Lifeboat Inn at Thornham, just a few miles away on the coast. Other than an inspirational spell working in Australia, his 25-year cooking career has evolved on the glorious Norfolk coast, a place he loves, working the stoves at some of best pubs and eateries, including the White Horse at Brancaster Staithe. He is passionate about sourcing top-notch seasonal produce from artisan suppliers and his menus bristle with local goodies, such as Brancaster crab & cockles, steaming bowls of Norfolk mussels, locally smoked salmon with gingerbread. His black pudding scotched quail’s eggs, served with mustard and tarragon mayonnaise, are famous and the Sunday roasts of local pork and Holkham Estate beef are widely regarded as the best along the coast.

On the menu

(Starters: £5-£10; Main Courses: £13-£25; Desserts £6-£7)

Scotch quail’s eggs, mustard & tarragon mayonnaise; cod cheeks, vanilla velouté, chorizo, cockles, leeks; courgette, fennel & rocket soup

Baked hake, Brancaster cockle, brown shrimps, potato beignet; lamb rump, crispy braised shoulder, jus noisette; roast Norfolk beef fillet, red wine braised feather blade, wild mushroom & truffle risotto

Plum tart Tatin, clotted cream; mixed berry, Stanhoe mess, lemon curd;

Lunchtime extras & sandwiches

(£6.50-£13)

Honey roast ham, eggs, hand-cut chips; courgette, pea & mint risotto; fish finger, tartare sauce & baby gem sandwich; Old Winchester cheese & homemade piccalilli sandwich

Sunday roasts

(£14-£16)

Dry-aged Norfolk beef sirloin, duck fat roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, red wine gravy; Norfolk pork shoulder, apple & vanilla puree, duck fat roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, cider gravy

Time to eat

Breakfast: 8am – 10am
Lunch: 12 noon – 2.30pm (8pm Sunday)
Dinner: 6.30pm – 9pm.

Local, local, local

Meat – Arthur Howell Butchers, Wells-next-the-Sea

Sausages, charcuterie & Black Pudding – Fruity Pig Company

Fish & smoked salmon – Simon Letzer, Brancaster Staithe

Mushrooms – Clive Shoulder ‘The Mushroom Man’, North Norfolk

Wine – Peter Graham Wines, Wymondham

Beer – Elgood’s Brewery, Wisbech

Coffee – Butterworth & Son Coffee Roasters, Bury St Edmunds

Behind the bar

Expect to find Elgood’s Cambridge Bitter & Golden Newt on tap alongside Aspall’s Suffolk Cyder. The selection of spirits includes two Norfolk gins – St Giles’ Norwich Gin and Archangel Walsingham Gin – the latter they serve with rhubarb, orange & ginger Norfolk cordial. Kick off dinner with a cocktail, perhaps an Elderflower Collins (Tanqueray gin, elderflower, lime, soda water), or explore the good global list of wines, which offers 19 by the glass or carafe.

Bar snacks

The chalkboard in the bar lists Scotch quail’s egg, mustard mayo; lager & lime whitebait, tartare sauce; mixed fish goujons; Sicilian olives, caperberries, salami

Time at the bar

12 noon – 11pm

What’s the Damage?
2 doubles/twin: £110-£170. Dinner, Bed & Breakfast £165-£225

What Else?

  • Credit cards accepted (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar & dining room
  • Parking

Gongs
Good Food 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 Duck Inn

3

Deepdale Christmas Market, Burnham Deepdale PE31 8FB

Early December sees over 90 stalls in the market and the local church in Burnham Deepdale, where you can buy the best festive gifts and food & drink, replete with entertainment and other Christmassy activities.

6

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.

8

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.

9

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.

10

The Three Horseshoes, The Street, Warham NR23 1NL

Step back in time with local cider and ales straight from the barrel and speciality home-made pies such as wild game, rabbit, beef & Stilton. Close to the salt marshes and the Peddar's Way so a good stop off for cyclists and nature lovers.

11

The Albatros, The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AT

After your fish and chips, go over to The Albatross, an old dutch cargo sailing ship, moored up at the quay, and now a bar and pancake restaurant, for a pint of Woodforde's Wherry or a delicious dessert.

12

Thornham Deli, Main Road, Thornham PE36 6LX

While in Thornham, this is a great deli with a cafe on the side, run by Jeanne Whittome (of Hoste Arms fame). Picnic hampers, themed foodie evenings, amazing home wares and boutique fashion too.

13

Drove Orchards, Thornham PE36 6LS

Amazing fruit farm, home to over 150 varieties of apple, including 100 from East Anglia, and other tasty fruit and vegetables such as nuts, artichokes and salads. The two eating options are a rustic cafe-restaurant and a new proper fish'n'chip restaurant & take-away, Eric's, which is run by local chef Eric Snaith of Titchwell Manor.

15

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.

18

The Jolly Sailors, Main Road, Brancaster, Staithe, PE31 8BP

Sister place to The White Horse, a near-perfect family place we agree. Muddy boots, dogs and children are all welcome at The Jolly Sailors. Great pub grub including fantastic home-made pizzas, real ale and 40 different rums on offer behind the bar.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Duck Inn

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.

5

Racing at Fakenham, Fakenham NR21 7NY

This is a popular National Hunt racecourse situated to the south of Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea. The course was established in 1905 and its racing season is between October and May.

Shopping

17

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.

18

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.

19

Holt NR25 6BW

This timeless little market town is a shopper's paradise. Explore its back alleys and you'll find an assortment of galleries, delis, boutiques and individual shops. The Mews Antiques Emporium is crammed with goodies.

20

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.

22

Burnham Market PE31 8HD

Dubbed Chelsea-on-Sea, Burnham Market has over 30 independent shops and distinctive retailers specialising in contemporary art, stylish accessories for home and garden and fashionable clothes shops for all tastes and requirements.

Places to visit

6

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.

7

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.

8

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve & Gardens, Fakenham NR21 0LN

If you love nature, wildlife and the great outdoors, then this is just the place to head for. Situated near Fakenham, Pensthorpe is a magical mix of superb nature trails, beautiful gardens and fascinating wildlife. Bisected by the River Wensum, the park covers 700 acres.

9

Walsingham NR22 6BP

Famous as a pilgrimage centre and for its religious shrines in honour of the Virgin Mary, Walsingham lies just to the south of Wells. Apart from its historic abbey, known for its dazzling carpets of snowdrops, there is a wealth of historic buildings to see and a museum. And wander through the delightful wildflower meadows.

10

Norfolk Lavender, Heacham PE31 7JE

Down the road from Brancaster, at Heacham, near Hunstanton, you'll find the home of Norfolk Lavender, where you can see the world-famous lavender gardens, the lavender oil distillery and the national lavender collection and herb garden. The gift shop has a wide range of Norfolk Lavender products and plants.

11

Castle Acre Priory PE32 2XD

Castle Acre Priory was founded in 1090 and is the oldest Cluniac priory in England and probably the finest monastic remains in East Anglia. Look for the decorated 12th century west front, 16th-century gatehouse and prior's lodgings.

12

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.

13

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.

14

Titchwell Nature Reserve, Titchwell PE31 8BB

Titchwell Marsh is one of the RSPB's most visited reserves. Follow several nature trails to spot ducks, waders, geese and seabirds. There are also avocets and terns, bitterns and marsh harriers and a visitor centre, where you can learn more about your surroundings.

23

King's Lynn PE30 1HX

Originally called Bishop’s Lynn, King’s Lynn is a classic seaport and market town with a rich and varied history of some 1,000 years. The town’s quaint streets are packed with period buildings and ancient landmarks. Look out for the handsome Custom House.

Walking

www.walkinginnorfolk.co.uk
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 desolate beaches. The region offers enormous scope for all kinds of walking – long, short and medium.

Cycling

www.dalegatemarket.co.uk
www.cycle-route.com
The North Norfolk Coast Cycleway between King’s Lynn and Cromer is an established favourite, appealing to locals and visitors alike. Just down the road at Dalegate Market, Burnham Deepdale (PE31 8FB), you can hire bikes, trailers and child seats.

Events

www.visitnorthnorfolk.co.uk
North Norfolk has a full diary of festivals and events. One of the best-known annual fixtures is the Norfolk and Norwich
Festival in May, one of the largest arts festivals in the country. The North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival at Holkham Hall in August is a celebration of all that is good about local produce.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Stanhoe is located on B1155 between Burnham Market and Docking, 3 miles south west of Burnham Market. The Duck is on the edge of the village, opposite the duck pond

By Rail: The nearest station is King’s Lynn, 18 miles south west of Stanhoe

Address:

, Stanhoe, Norfolk, PE31 8QD

Make booking enquiry

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