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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Walker

A Perfect Norfolk Sunday Walk x Blakeney House

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

Norfolk was made for Sundays. Leisurely strolls, surrounded by nature, working up an appetite before devouring a delicious Sunday roast and then snuggling up by the fire.

Strangely though, pairing all these things together is something we’ve struggled with since moving to Norfolk. Sounds odd, I know; Norfolk has loads of beautiful walks and loads of great pubs and restaurants. So what’s the challenge?

Finding an amazing Sunday roast!!

Don’t get me wrong, Norfolk’s foodie scene is incredible. It’s one of the reasons we moved here. But as a Yorkshire wo(man) by birth, the bar is set pretty high when it comes to a Sunday roast. The meat needs to be moist, roasties crispy on the outside but deliciously fluffy on the inside, Yorkshires perfectly formed, beautifully cooked root vegetables that aren’t overshadowed by everything else and gravy, thick gravy….with the option of LOTS of it!

It’s been my mission since we moved here to find the perfect Sunday roast and pair it with a beautiful walk….and we’ve finally gone and done it!!

So if you’re yearning for the perfect Sunday like me, here’s a perfectly curated day (or even long weekend if you book yourself into one of Blakeney House’s stunning rooms).

The walking route is a relatively easy one. It's 4km long, flat, buggy and dog friendly, on a purpose-built coast path; so bring along the whole family and make a day of it.

Walk length: 4km

Duration: About 1 hour

Route: Cley Windmill to Blakeney House via the North Norfolk Coast Path

Sunday Roast Booking: Blakeney House - https://www.blakeneyhouse.com / 01263 740561

N.B. We do advise booking in advance

Starting point: Cley Windmill, NR25 7RP

There are a few public parking spaces at Cley Windmill but if the carpark is full, head to Cley Village Hall (NR25 7RJ) which has loads of free parking and you get the extra treat of a stroll through the beautiful village of Cley-next-the-Sea to get to your starting point at the Windmill.

The route is signposted with way finders (you’re heading to Blakeney on the North Norfolk Coast Path) but with your back to Cley Windmill, the River Glaven on your right and the Windmill carpark on your left, follow the board walk closest to the river past the charming houses of Cley, taking in the stunning fields of reeds as they sway in the wind.


Once you get to the end of the board walk, you’re heading right out of Cley on the North Norfolk Coast Path that sits adjacent to New Road - A149. Walk along here for 0.1 miles (about 2 minutes) until you see the fence, small car parking area and the way finders directing you right (away from the road) and onto the main North Norfolk Coast Path towards Blakeney.


The North Norfolk Coast path will then take you on a stunning horse shoe shaped walk along the beautiful marshes and open expanse of the North Norfolk Coast. The walk is a bird lover’s dream but for those who just love nature in general, it’s one of the best walks for taking in all the incredible beauty that Norfolk has to offer. I’ve done this walk probably at least 50 times now and every time, it never fails to take my breath away.

At the end of the horseshoe shape walk, you’ll get to beautiful Blakeney Quay. In summer, kids line the quay fishing for crabs whilst parents sit on blankets drinking wine, eating fresh seafood from the food vans and taking in the joy and sense of calm and tranquility in the air. In winter, dogs run up and down the waters edge as owners sip coffee from the local delis, wrapped up warm in scarfs and hats. No matter the time of year, Blakeney is always beautiful. It’s a haven from the hustle and bustle of life and couldn’t be more picture postcard perfect.


Time your booking at Blakeney House right and you’ll have time to meander along the quayside at Blakeney, sitting on one of the many benches, giving your feet a little rest and taking in the beauty of this wonderfully quaint village.


Once you’re ready, Blakeney House is only a 5 minute walk up Blakeney High Street (NR25 7NX), on the right opposite the Harbour Rooms.


It’s perfectly tucked away from all the hustle and bustle and with it’s beautifully huge garden, is an oasis that you just wouldn’t expect in such a small coastal village.


From pictures of Blakeney House’s food, you could be lulled into think that you’re booking somewhere fine dining where muddy boots, jeans and jumpers would look amiss. But you’d be mistaken. There’s two sides to the restaurant, a lounge bar type room that’s fitted out with beautiful arm chairs, cozy nooks, beautiful Farrow & Ball-esque deep, sumptuous wall colours and a roaring open fire. Perfect if you’re wanting a chilled hideaway and are bringing your furry friend with you. If you’re wanting an area with a slightly more ‘restaurant feel’ (and dog free) book into the main restaurant, but again, there’s no clinical feel here. The modern, luxurious Soho members club type feel runs through to the restaurant too and there’s no stuffy atmosphere. In reality, there’s no space at Blakeney House that requires dressing up (unless you want to of course).


You’d be right in thinking the food is fine dining though. Well, I say that. It looks and tastes like Michelin quality food but it certainly isn’t priced that way and the service is casual, friendly and welcoming. No airs and graces needed here. To me, it’s the perfect mix of cool* yet chilled - from the decor, to the staff, to the atmosphere and the food; and it really is the perfect place to spend a Sunday.

The menu changes weekly but when we went there was a choice of:


Starters

Turnip Veloute - Smoked Almonds - Bloomer £6

Burrata - Romesco - Grelot Onion - Hazelnut £11


Mushroom Pate - Truffle Honey Nuts - Sourdough £8


Sand Carrot - Tahini - Harissa - Burnt Onion £8


Mains

North Sea Brill - Cauliflower Puree - Baby Turnip - Norfolk Peer - Brill Jus - Chive Oil £18

Martins Farm Chicken - Duck Fat Roast Potatoes - Sand Carrot - Seasonal Vegetables - Yorkshire Pudding - Cauliflower Cheese - Gravy £18


Swannington Beef - Duck Fat Potatoes - Sand Carrot - Seasonal Vegetables - Yorkshire Pudding - Cauliflower Cheese - Gravy £20


Desserts

Apple Crumble - Almond Crumb - Vanilla Ice Cream £8


Baron Bigod - Malt Loaf - Quince - Rye £11


Chocolate Delice - Bran - Coconut Sorbet £8


Rhubarb & Custard - Ginger Crumb - Gel £8


Selection of House Ice Creams & Sorbets £2.50 (per scoop)


We went the whole nine yards and got 3 courses (of course we did) and honestly writing this is making me so hungry and I want to go back again tonight to do it all over again.


I like to think I’m a good cook and one of my specialities is a harissa hummus that’s always in our fridge, ready to be slathered on sourdough or crackers as a snack. After tasting the harissa hummus that comes with the Sand Carrot for starters at Blakeney House though, I now feel rather humbled about my cooking ability. Safe to say my starter was out of this world. Something so simple, yet so incredibly delicious.


Matt (my husband) went for the Turnip Veloute. It takes something special to make turnips the star of the show but this felt indulgent and creamy, perfectly complimented by the crumbly smoked almond topping.

We normally don’t get starters when we go for a roast as I want to save my stomach for the main event. But I’m so pleased we did. Both starters were not just delicious but incredibly light. Perfect for setting you up for the roastie delights that are to come.

For main course, as the whole point of us being there was to try the Sunday roast, we opted for one chicken and one beef. The beef was beautifully cooked, slightly pink in the middle with a melt in the mouth type texture and the chicken was perfectly moist. But that’s not all…..the root vegetables were bursting with flavour, bringing the plate alive with their bright colours and textures. There was the creamiest cauliflower cheese I’ve ever tasted (I liked it so much I had to spoon the cheesy remains out of the bowl at the end so I could devour every last drop). But there’s 5 key things in a Roast and in my opinion you have to nail ALL 5 to be a winner. So what about the roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and gravy I hear you cry?



Blakeney House NAILED THEM!! E.X.C.E.P.T.I.O.N.A.L in every sense of the word. The fluffiest potatoes with the crispiest (but not greasy) outside, beautifully light and perfectly formed Yorkshires and a delicious gravy with the perfect consistency, delivered in a jug so you can pour your own (with the promise of more if you wanted it).

I was in HEAVEN!


We were perfectly full by the end of the roasts but no food reviewer should ever turn down dessert so I went for the Chocolate Delice (which was highly recommended) and Matt went for the Apple Crumble. I’m so pleased we did! I’m a huge fan of chocolate desserts but often find they’re too rich or too heavy for my taste. Not this one. Wow. I’d go so far as to call it a masterpiece if I’m honest. Matt (a “I’m not really into desserts” kind of man) devoured his Apple Crumble as quickly as I devoured my Chocolate Delice and we were both doing happy food wiggles by the end.

For me, no Sunday (especially a walk and a roast Sunday when you’ve burnt most of the calories off before you arrive) is complete without some beautiful red wine to accompany your meal and Blakeney House delivers here too. We had a small glass of the Pinot Noir each and it was stunning…and you don’t hear that a lot from me when it comes to wine…I’m pretty picky…shock!




If you’re not designated driver for the day (or you’ve made the excellent choice of deciding to stay over at Blakeney House for the night) their beautiful bar area should 100% be your next port of call. Think plush velvet barstools, sultry blue lighting and excellent cocktails that are made onsite (no pre-made bought-in cocktails here). Sitting in the lounge or bar, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in one of Soho’s best Cocktail Bars. Great news though….you get that vibe, without paying London prices (and the beauty of the Norfolk Coast on your doorstep).




Imagine having this perfect Sunday and then not needing to go home either! We took a sneak peek at a couple of their rooms and honestly, they’re gorgeous. The plush, luxurious yet laid back decor continues from the main bar and restaurant into the rooms and they look like a perfect haven for an evening relaxing after the most delicious Sunday afternoon. With huge standalone baths, separate waterfall showers, huge comfy beds and snuggly armchairs under the main windows that look out onto the private lawn, these rooms couldn’t be a more perfect way to end your already perfect Sunday.


BLAKENEY HOUSE

HIGH ST.

BLAKENEY

NORFOLK

NR25 7NX


Tel: 01263 740561


Sunday Roasts served 1pm - 7pm


*I say cool, I’m a 34 year old women who mainly lives in yoga leggings and walking boots, loves nothing more than a stroll on the beach with my dog during the day and looking at the stars next to a fire pit in the evening with a glass of red wine in hand. Take from this what you will 😂

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