When Margaret and Ian Snaith bought an old Victorian farmhouse in Norfolk, I doubt they imagined that 23 years later Titchwell Manor would become an elegant, award-winning restaurant with 27 designer bedrooms and a local reputation that is second to none.
Their son Eric, who grew up at the hotel, is now Head Chef, and he has already earned two AA Rosettes for his delicious and individual cuisine.
Titchwell Manor underwent a complete refurbishment last year and the hotel is now styled in a very contemporary and avant-garde manner. The custom-printed wallpaper is bold and striking, and everything in the design department makes a big, big statement.
The bar is bright and friendly, and decorated with a very “seaside” feel. There’s a good choice of local beers, and outside decking where you can sit and take in the sea view to the north. The nautical theme continues into the Conservatory Restaurant, where the roof is bedecked by triangular white sails, and there’s a good choice of seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes.
We started with delicious dressed Cromer crab in Miso mayonnaise, and scallops with white beans and fennel. Eric sources produce from local farmers and fishermen in Brancaster, and his menu is brimming over with dishes featuring locally farmed vegetables or locally caught mussels, oysters and lobster.
Our mains were a confit of duck and lamb with peas, beans and dauphinoise – both dishes cooked to absolute perfection and served with fresh, seasonal vegetables. We finished with chocolate and banana served three ways – a mouth-watering dish that could only be improved if the chocolate and banana were served four ways. Or maybe five or six.
We stayed overnight in the Potting Shed. Don’t be fooled by the rustic name. This is more than just a simple outhouse – it’s actually a very spacious, luxurious cabin in the gardens of Titchwell Manor. Furnished in a Scandinavian style, the room features a daring open plan bathroom, a super-sized bed, and a very sexy walk-in shower room.
The Potting Shed is one of 19 newly designed or converted en-suite bedrooms built around the hotel’s rear courtyard and herb garden. Each has its own distinct style, and some have views of the sweeping meadow to the rear.
It’s increasingly difficult to find family run hotels, and when you do find one you immediately notice the difference. The owners and management team at Titchwell Manor so clearly love the place, and this communicates itself to the guests in everything they do – from the service in the bar right down to the teddy bears sitting on the beds.
We cannot recommend this hotel highly enough. Treat yourself to a naughty night in the Potting Shed at Titchwell Manor. 9/10
Official web site: http://www.titchwellmanor.com/