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Food & Drink

5 of the best pubs in North Norfolk for hunkering down in winter


Can there be anything more cosy than settling into a squishy armchair by a roaring fire, pint of Wherry in hand, on a crisp, cold afternoon? 
The Rose & Crown, Snettisham

Brimming with quintessential English charm, think creeping roses, low ceilings, a traditional central bar, roaring open fire, endless cosy corners with sleeping dogs by their owners’ feet, local ales and great pub grub The Rose and Crown is the perfect spot to while away the crisp winter afternoons.  Settle into a table in the bustling bar and try the R&C chowder packed with locally caught fish or opt for a traditional dish of battered haddock with chunky chips and minted mushy peas, and leave some room for pud – their signature dessert is white chocolate cream, basil crème brulee with shortbread, fresh strawberry and balsamic glaze.  

Old Church Road, Snettisham, Norfolk PE31 7LX; roseandcrownsnettisham.co.uk

The Lifeboat Inn, Thornham

Set on the edge of Thornham, with views across fields and salt marshes, The Lifeboat Inn has been welcoming visitors for centuries. Old timber beams, a large fireplace and cosy nooks and crannies set the scene. Order a pint of Lifeboat ale at the oak-beamed bar and peruse the menu, which has all the classics. May we recommend the Norfolk Brewhouse battered fish with chunky chips, tartare sauce and mushy peas or the Lifeboat’s BBQ burger (chuck beef, smoked bacon, BBQ sauce, Barber’s Cheddar served with sea salt fries)? And the Thai green curry with coconut rice, pak choi and coriander is the perfect antidote to a cold, frosty day. 

The Lifeboat Inn, Ship Lane, Thornham, PE36 6LT; lifeboatinnthornham.com

The Gin Trap Inn, Ringstead

This is an inn steeped in history that’s been serving farmers, traders, fishermen and smugglers since 1668. Take a pew at the wooden bar or by the inglenook fireplace for a drink or two – there’s everything from award-winning bitters, lagers and ciders to wine, spirits and, of course, gin. The pub prides itself on having over 100 varieties to choose from. Soak it up with the local, fresh and seasonal menu where the likes of Cromer crab, Orkney scallop, Lincolnshire poacher, lamb and East coast cod make an appearance.

The Gin Trap Inn, High Street, Ringstead, PE36 5JU; thegintrapinn.co.uk

The Three Horseshoes, Warham

The Three Horseshoes is packed with character. Again, it’s a pub that dates back a few centuries (to 1725 in fact) – you can still see the traditional serving hatch (one of few surviving in Norfolk) and the pamment floor. Take a pew at one of the scrubbed wooden tables – either in the snug bar or in the cosy dining room  – and order a local ale. Guests come from far and wide for the pub’s speciality: home-cooked pies and puddings (though they do all the pub classics too). We love the Beef and Binham Blue Cheese Pie filled with slow-cooked beef and Mrs Temple’s famous cheese – while the wild mushroom, walnut and stout pie comes a close second. 

69 The Street, Wells-next-the-Sea, NR23 1NL; warhamhorsehoes.co.uk

The Hero, Burnham Overy Staithe

Just a short stroll from the harbour at Burnham Overy Staithe, The Hero is a relaxed, dog-friendly village pub. In winter, the wood burner crackles invitingly (a particularly welcome sight if you’ve just walked all the way from the stunningly unspoilt beach). The dining room with its mustard yellow sofas and deep blue walls is a lovely place to eat, though you can equally dine in the bar area. There’s an all-day food menu (the likes of Warm Gnocchi & Beetroot Salad and Hero Fish Stew) and a good wine list – the perfect reason to crack open a bottle and hunker down for the afternoon. 

Wells Road, Burnham Overy Staithe, PE31 8JE; theheroburnhamovery.co.uk

Now you have cosy pubs lined up take a look at our luxury Norfolk holiday cottages to find the perfect place to relax after a delicious meal.

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