If you like your pubs and hotels traditional with a warm glowing feel with comfy armchairs, a decent country drinking atmosphere and a menu crammed with Cromer crab and venison the Gunton Arms will be right up your street. We are talking big hearty portions of home cooked locally sourced produce with selections of deep rich wines and the kind of lighting and ambiance where it is probably polite to fill your face and then collapse on a sofa with the papers. The Gunton Arms is situated in the thousand-acre deer park which surrounds Gunton Hall near Cromer in Norfolk. The park was created in the early 18th century by the Harbord family and was comparable in scale to the great estates to the west, Holkham and Houghton. It's within striking distance of the coast and the Norfolk Broads, and there is the potential to play golf at some nearish courses. But this is not the type of place for strenuous activity, more a place to relax. The hotel has eight rooms, and the location slap-bang in the middle of a deer park gives it a reassuring country estate feel. The clientele reflects that - nobby Londoners can rub shoulders with the locals and talk football and fashion and neck decent beer at the same time to be hammered home with some decent bottles of wine. What is great about the menu is that they understand that people get hungry strolling around the countryside. So instead of crisps and nibbles you can order bar snacks like sausages, mussels and Yorkshire pudding with gravy. The main courses pay homage to an earlier time with choices of beef, lamb and loads of venison dishes plus plenty of locally sourced fish from nearby. Vegetarians may well struggle. Desserts are remarkably restrained if you call Cinnamon doughnuts and chocolate tart modest. The main feature of the restaurant though is the French open fireplace where head chef Stuart Tattersall cooks portions of meat the size of a small elk. Not for the faint-hearted or those who just want to toy with a green salad. This is a perfect proper country pub that has a style and easy feel. The truth is though that a fair amount of money has been spent on the place and you can have a rare old time gawping at the genuine art that adorns the walls. There are works by Tracy Emin, Gilbert and George and it would be no surprise to trip over a Damian Hirst creation as you stagger to your room.
Double rooms from £99, minimum two-night stay at weekends.
Open all year.
Eight comfy rooms. all different, some with views over the estate park.
Gunton Arms, Cromer Road, Thorpe Market, Norwich NR11 8TZ
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Rated ★★★★★ over 1 reviews