Midway between London and Norwich, just off the A11, the Elveden Inn is a proper country inn, a thoroughly inviting roadside hostelry with a 6 comfy rooms and a restaurant with a large patio and garden outside. It's part of the Guinness family's Elveden Estate and as such is a complement to their impressive restaurant and retail offering across the road. Handily situated right on the edge of the edge of the large expanse of Thetford Forest, on the Suffolk-Norfolk borders, it attracts walkers and cyclists and families heading for Go Ape or the nearby Center Parcs location.
The pub reopened a few years ago after a complete refurbishment, and has been cleverly and sensitively restored as a homely, family-friendly sort of place, with mismatched furniture and bare floorboards bare in its main public areas. The rooms are contemporary but cosy, decorated in neutral browns, creams and greys: there are 2 large family rooms at each end of the building, with super-king-side beds and sofa beds and bath/shower, and 4 doubles/twins with king-size beds and showers only; and they are planning to add more next year. All the rooms are provided with flatscreen Freeview TVs, tea and coffee-making facilities, complimentary water, password-free wifi and Elveden’s own-brand toiletries in the bathrooms.
It's worth knowing that Elveden is one of the largest arable farms in East Anglia, and also one of its most environmentally responsible, so you're in good hands when it comes to food and drink. They serve a menu that is a moderately priced, undemanding affair – just what you need after a full day in the forest, with fish-and-chips, burgers, sausage and mash and game and venison from the estate. Four of the rooms are dog-friendly, and although dogs aren’t allowed in restaurant areas, you can eat the same menu in the large garden or in the bar out the front. Eating in the windowed Garden Room, as the darkness gathers outside, is really not a bad place to end any day, but is even better if your kids are looking forward to their tree-swinging in the morning or your bike is primed for the forest’s trails.
RoomsSix double rooms, including two rooms that are large enough for a family of four.
Double rooms from £90 to £110 a night, family rooms £100 to £140 a night, all including breakfast. Dogs cost £20 a night.
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