The Fritton Arms is a beautiful hideaway, not too far from the Norfolk Broads and situated on the ever-so quaint Somerleyton Estate; a charming spot for some laid-back adventures this summer.
Around half an hour’s drive from Norwich, the Fritton Arms is a cosy bolthole that serves up seasonal food and offers nine welcoming beds to sleep off long walks and even longer lunches. It’s the kind of place that would satisfy most folk. With a cracking bar, a beautiful south-facing terrace, roaring fires in the winter and plenty of land to explore in the warmer months.
The exterior is painted in a cheering shade of lemon and its interior is elegant yet made for lounging. We were early for the 3pm check-in, so we headed straight into the gardens, where we enjoyed chamomile teas with the sun on our faces. It was a glorious day so we headed out for a walk by the lake. Soon we were ready for a snooze.
We stayed in Lady Jackson – with two large bay windows, it offers a large and light space overlooking the entrance of the hotel’s grounds. The king-sized bed was comfortable and welcoming, with a soft pink headboard and embroidered grey quilt, timelessly homely. Equally, the bathroom, with large bath and overhead shower was also bright and contained several Cowshed products for guests’ use.
The tea tray offered a great selection of Teapigs teabags, sadly no biscuits, and you will need to request fresh milk from reception beforehand. Although we lacked something sweet to go with our tea, this gave us a great excuse to order one of the desserts from the menu to share – the vanilla cheesecake, with white chocolate and strawberries. It was extremely rich and dense, perfect.
You’re guaranteed lots of fresh air and serenity at The Fritton Arms, which isn’t too surprising as it’s the centerpiece to a location surrounded by nature and overlooking the two-mile-long Fritton Lake. Nearby there are also holiday cottages, retreat holiday homes set in 250 acres of mature woodland, a campsite, and Somerleyton Hall, the stately home, open to visitors from April to September.
We enjoyed dinner overlooking the terrace; the menu was simple yet done well. The kitchen uses seasonal ingredients from the Somerleyton Estate and carefully chosen producers. There were some great vegetarian options, lots of fish and of course, plenty for the carnivores. Starters are around £7 and mains are around £16, with puddings at £6.50.
Breakfast the next day was also delicious. We enjoyed the Herbivore Breakfast of vegetarian sausages, flat mushrooms, grilled tomato, hash brown, beans and choice of egg. There was also a grand choice of fresh fruit juices, hot porridge, natural yogurt, fresh homemade breads and fresh fruit.
Service was very fast - we were not left waiting at any point!
Currently there are some unobtrusive building works taking place within part of the grounds, as there are plans for further activities including: clay tennis courts, more outdoor play areas for children, a walled heated outdoor swimming pool, petanque and croquet, some of which will be available this summer.
There are also plays for water-skiing and sailing lessons, dingy sailing, open water swimming, saunas and hot tubs. Plus, an open barn will follow serving food from a wood-fired oven and a bar with comfy sofas, fire pits, pool table, table tennis and a cinema.
The Fritton Arms is a very relaxed, friendly and beautiful spot. Its main strengths are its stunning location, delicious menu and friendly staff. The attractiveness of the rooms and the beautiful lounging areas won’t disappoint.
It’s great for a couples retreat and because it’s both spacious and naturally beautiful, it’s a crowd-pleaser - suitable for young families and older couples too.
Fritton Arms - doubles from £130 B&B, 01493 484008, www.frittonarms.co.uk
Words by Leah Larwood, Food and Travel Blogger from Roots and Toots (www.rootsandtoots.com)
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