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THE AGE OF RAIL Exploring our county’s heritage railways

RURAL RETREATS Two countryside hotels sure to steal your heart

WELLS & HOLKHAM Picturesque havens for both locals and tourists

SIR MICHAEL PARKINSON You’re invited to a special evening with Parky




WHAT’S NEW? Local interest stories to whet the appetite




OUT & ABOUT Fairs, festivals and carnivals not to be missed!

11 | CELEBRITY INTERVIEW We’re a little bit in love with this national treasure

15 | TOUR NORFOLK All aboard for a trip down memory lane – by train!

19 | TOWN FOCUS Head to Wells for guaranteed fun in the sun

26 | 3 OF THE BEST A visit to Norfolk is not complete without hiring a boat



28 | HARRY’S BLOG Our resident chef sings the praises of locally-sourced buffalo

37 | TRAVEL GUIDE Two charming countryside hotels with masses of wow factor



43 | STYLE FILE Personal stylist Sarah Morgan advices on summer holiday packing

50 | THEATRE TIME Jodie Prenger stars as our favourite housewife



53 | COMPETITION! Win a luxury spa break at Belton Woods in Lincolnshire


37 To advertise call 01953 456789



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Jonathan Horswell @JonathanHorswel



Daniel May @danielmaydesign


Luke Keable


chool’s out! So, if you’re at home with the kids this summer, we’ve got plenty of inspiring ideas to keep them entertained, from free food festivals (p10) and heritage railway rides (p15), to Broads boat trips (p26) and buckets and spades on the beach (p19)… We’ve got it covered! One of our county’s prize possessions, Holkham Hall, is open to visitors until the end of October, so why not discover the secrets of the Earl of Leicester’s family home (p22)? It really is a remarkable building, and steeped in history too.

SALES POSITIONS AVAILABLE To apply, call us on 01953 456789

Our cover star this issue is none other than broadcasting legend and national treasure, Sir Michael Parkinson. Sharing some of the most memorable moments from his illustrious career when he hosts a special evening at Norwich Theatre Royal in September, you can read our exclusive preview feature on page 11.


From Parky to Great British Menu guest judge and chef-proprietor of Benedicts in Norwich, Richard Bainbridge provides his summery Fraisier cake recipe on page 30. It’s sure to put a smile on your guests’ faces, and packed to the rafters with juicy, freshly-picked strawberries… What’s not to love? Plus, we’ve got chef Harry Farrow’s take on the traditional Sunday lunch (p28). Who would have thought that locally-sourced buffalo meat could be a great alternative to beef?

Thomas Dick

Sue Huckle

David Morris

Liddy Goodrum

Harry Farrow

Sarah Morgan

Richard Bainbridge

Tim Barnes-Clay

Malcolm Duffey

John Bultitude


Queens House, Queens Square, Attleborough, Norfolk NR17 2AE PHONE

Going away on holiday? Personal stylist Sarah Morgan shares her top tips on suitcase packing with ease (p43), while we bring you two countryside hotels oozing charm in abundance (p37). Who needs to venture far afield when we have such wonderful destinations for bed and breakfast, bang on the doorstep? And, as always, we’ve got a fantastic competition prize up for grabs! How do you fancy winning a luxury spa break at Belton Woods Hotel near Grantham..? Yes please! Enjoy the issue

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Spider Creative Media

Disclaimer All rights reserved. No part of Norfolk On My Mind may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any other form, or by any other means, electronic, mechanic, photographic, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the owner of Norfolk On My Mind. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of material published in Norfolk On My Mind. However, the owner cannot accept responsibility for the claims made by advertisers or contributors, or inaccurate material supplied by advertisers. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Editor. Although all reasonable care is taken of material, photographs and transparencies submitted, the owner cannot accept responsibility for damage or loss.

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To subscribe to Norfolk On My Mind (five copies per year), please write to Norfolk On My Mind Magazine, Queens House, Queens Square, Attleborough, Norfolk NR17 2AE. Please enclose cheque made payable to Norfolk On My Mind to the value of

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Photos by Matthew Usher

Owners of The Brisley Bell, Marcus and Amelia, were both patrons before they decided to take the plunge and purchase the pub that they had sadly watched go into decline. After having bought it, the painstaking work began, spending months nurturing their vision and transforming it into a reality. It is now a friendly place to meet, eat, drink and chat – an experience that was on most people’s doorsteps not more than a few decades ago. Set in a beautiful, rural location, it has the hallmarks of a traditional English country inn, combining Marcus and Amelia’s passions for engaging with one’s neighbours and enjoying great food. Having been restored to its former glory, there is hope that this old-fashioned inn has all the qualities to become a proper pub again, where generations will congregate for years to come.

OPENING DOORS East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) opened its latest charity shop in Fakenham last month, with 10 items of clothing donated by EACH ambassador and Suffolk singing sensation, Ed Sheeran, flying off the shelves. The new premises includes a fantastic book room on the first floor, overlooking the market place, as well as a kids’ entertainment zone, so mums and dads can shop while the children are kept busy. EACH Retail Area Manager, Sarah Throssell, said, “We were delighted to see so many people from the Fakenham community coming out to support us. Ed Sheeran clothing is always popular, and some lucky shoppers managed to buy a piece of celebrity memorabilia. It is fantastic to be here in Fakenham, and we are grateful to everyone who has dropped off donations over the past few weeks.”


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Offering second home owners peace of mind We are here when you can’t be

PUPPY LOVE Ever wondered where Pooch’s Dog Treats is based? Established in 2009 as a home-based business, it has since relocated to a stunning 1,700sq. ft. barn on the Sandringham Estate. The handmade dog treats are individually baked by a dedicated team of four, passionate about the quality and provenance of the products. With the aim is to keep the treats low in fat without compromising on taste, the meat used in them is collected weekly from a local supplier, then prepared and trimmed in-house. With a meat content of at least 40% (which is hard to beat!), the way Pooch’s make the products means they don’t have to use any nasty additives, preservatives, flavourings or colourings. Very popular with four-legged friends, Pooch’s Dog Treats can assist with training... Maybe that’s why owners keep returning to buy some more!

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01493 701444


Photo by Julia Holland


Make the most of the last remaining days of summer!



Showground Arena, Brandon Road, Watton, Norfolk IP25 6NG. Tel: 07789 796937. Sunday 6th August, gates open at 10am. Adults (£15), children (£5), under 5s (free).

Various locations in Cromer. Saturday 12th to Friday 18th August. Free admission (donations welcome).


elcoming visitors, exhibitors and competitors for another year, Wayland Show is back for 2017 with a fabulous line-up of events and attractions, such as the new family fun dog show, vintage tractors and classic cars, the Imps motorcycle display team, sheepdog and duck display, The Lamb National, livestock competitions, pony rides and a home crafts and baking marquee… Perhaps we will have a Mary Berry among us? Sit back and unwind with a cold beer overlooking the main ring, or feast on the many food outlets around the showground. And don’t forget to stop off at the shopping village marquee for a spot of retail therapy!



Sandringham Park, Sandringham, Norfolk PE35 6EN. Tel: 01283 820548. Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September, 10am to 6pm. Adults (£14), senior citizens (£13), children (£4).

Various locations in North Norfolk. Tel: 01328 730357. Tuesday 15th to Saturday 26th August. Ticket prices vary.


ast Anglia’s premier game and country fair promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with three main arenas displaying the best in exciting equine sports, country pursuits, and the wonderful world of dogs. There will also be a huge steam and vintage area, have-a-go falconry, fishing and field-sports, together with lots of things to do for families (and their dogs!). Food remains a very important part of the show, with fine food stalls and the country kitchen demonstration area. Meanwhile, there will be loads of fantastic shopping opportunities, from incredible basketwork and beds for your dog, to unique presents of all kinds... A great countryside day-out!



traditional seaside celebration featuring fun for all the family, Cromer’s annual carnival combines both free and ticketed events over one week in August. There will be darts competitions, a fancy dress dance, children’s activities, a carnival quiz, skate park competitions, a fashion show, a bake-off competition, a novelty dog show, a mini beer and cider festival, treasure hunts, dance classes, a race night, a display from The Red Arrows, live music, a Carnival Day parade, a fun run, an illuminated procession, crabbing, fireworks and much, much more! Check out the events section on the website for full details.

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ow in its 13th year, North Norfolk Music Festival’s 2017 programme offers something for everyone, kicking off with two films about the life and work of Sir William Walton and his wife Susanna to set the scene for a performance of Façade the following day. The festival will then end with a performance by singers from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden including soprano Haegee Lee, mezzo-soprano Monika-Evelin Liiv, tenor Luis Gomes, baritone Jihoon Kim and pianist David Gowland. Be sure to pick up a programme and contact the box office to book tickets for your favourites.

Photo by Josh Jaggard

NORFOLK GARDEN SHOW Norfolk Showground, Dereham Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR5 0TT. Tel: 01702 549623. Saturday 26th to Monday 28th August, 10am to 5pm. Book online for advance ticket prices; adults (£7.50), senior citizens (£7), children (free).


his year’s Norfolk Garden Show is packed with flowers, plants, trees and shrubs, with expert growers on hand to give you advice on how to keep them in great condition, as well as local garden designers, tree surgeons and paving specialists to help you in your quest for the perfect seasonal garden. Visit the indoor plant village to purchase quality plants for your home, or relax and enjoy refreshments in the cream tea pavilion… Scones, clotted cream and jam anyone? Plus, there will be music and entertainment for the children, along with a craft and gift area where you can shop for handmade jewellery, furniture, fashion and artwork.

Turn to page for 21 for further information on Wells Carnival and the Wells Pirate Festival.

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FOOD FESTIVALS If you’re a self-confessed foodie, get yourself down to one of these fabulous free events.

NORTH NORFOLK FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL Holkham Hall, Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk NR23 1AB. Tel: 01328 713111. Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September, 10am to 4pm. Free admission.


eaturing an ever-growing team of local food and drink producers who grow, rear, supply and sell their wares in North Norfolk, head to the spectacular setting of Holkham Hall over the first weekend in September for a dazzling array of meat and game, vegetables, cakes, artisan beer, bread, tarts, juices, cakes and chocolate.

PORKSTOCK Norfolk Showground, Dereham Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR5 0TT. Saturday 14th October, times tbc. Free admission.


orkstock is a celebration of Norfolk produce, with an emphasis on all things pork, of course! A family-friendly food and drink festival with live music throughout the day, chef demos, producer stalls selling lots of tasty things to enjoy, wonderful local beers and ciders on tap, a sausage eating competition, and a range of activities for little piglets!

CHILLI FIESTA Felbrigg Hall, Felbrigg, Norfolk NR11 8PR. Tel: 01263 837444. Wednesday 2nd August, 11am to 5pm. Free admission.


ello hot stuff! It’s the 10th anniversary of Felbrigg Hall’s annual Chilli Fiesta, so if you’re a chilli lover, don’t miss out on Norfolk’s hottest summer event. Selling all things chilli, from sauces to sausages, cheese to chocolate, there’s bound to be something to tickle your taste buds. And if you don’t like chilli, there’s lots of other fab regional food too.


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STAND The nation’s favourite interviewer, Sir Michael Parkinson, is set to host a special evening on stage at Norwich Theatre Royal, reliving historic and iconic moments from his illustrious career.

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Photo by Jane Brown


true broadcasting legend and certified national treasure, Sir Michael Parkinson is one of the most recognisable and widely sought-after interviewers of the 20th and 21st centuries. In a career spanning several decades, he was responsible for interviewing over 2000 of the most important figures of our time, including Nelson Mandela, Marlon Brando and Mohammed Ali, to name a few. Universally known for his inimitable demeanour, Sir Michael Parkinson’s gift for drawing insightful and often revelatory information from his subjects became addictive viewing, his conversations consistently reflecting the true personalities of all those with whom he came face-to-face. From those famously awkward situations to poignant and emotional unveilings, Sir Michael’s theatre show will see him both recount and breathe new life into these critical junctures, as well as turning the spotlight on to himself, highlighting his relationships with friends, family and colleagues along the way. In conversation with his son Mike and showing highlights from the Parkinson archive, audiences will be given a unique opportunity to get an intimate, entertaining and informative look at Sir Michael’s remarkable journey from humble upbringings in a Yorkshire mining town, to becoming one of the most familiar faces on television, whilst reliving the greatest events from a show that, for many, defined their Saturday night. An Evening With Sir Michael Parkinson will be a night of reflective and celebratory entertainment, which will undoubtedly bring audiences the very best of a man who has shaped the perception of showbusiness and popular culture for years to come.


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Sir Michael himself shares his take on his forthcoming tour… Q. This is a show that you’ve done before, so you know it works, because you’ve tested in out on the Australians? A. Yes, I did. I played the Sydney Opera House. It’s terrifying, three and a half thousand people there, on or off. When you are doing a TV show, you don’t think about that at all. But standing on stage and seeing this crowd disappearing up the back, I was thinking I am on my own here against this lot! But I enjoyed it. We played about six nights. It did very well around Australia. Q. Have you performed your show on home turf before? A. Here, I tend to do it for charity rather than do a speech, which I hate doing. I would do this little one-man show for charity, and then we thought we’d go on tour. We went to Dublin and Belfast recently. Michael, my son, who produced my shows on BBC and ITV,


does it with me. He interview me, so Mike interviews Mike, and it works very well. It’s more controlled with Mike doing it, and it relaxes me more as well. Q. When you went to Australia and tried it out, which bits did they like most? And did you cut anything out because it didn’t go down so well? A. I didn’t tell too many cricket stories because we won The Ashes that time when we were there. I have been to Australia for 20-odd years – it is my second home – so I don’t have to temper the speech at all. I’m one of them, they think now, so that’s OK. It’s an entertaining show, and a look back at an extraordinary career. Not extraordinary in the sense of being full of glory, but extraordinary in the sense of the longevity of it, and the kind of people I was lucky enough to meet. When you look across the board, starting off at James Cagney, that’s the span of it. Q. This love affair you have with Australia and it has with you… If they closed Yorkshire down, would you be straight for Australia? A. I would, yes. It is my second home. I love it! An Evening With Sir Michael Parkinson is at Norwich Theatre Royal on Sunday 24th September. For further information, call the box office on 01603 630000 or visit

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t Wiltshire Farm Foods, we love the light and tempting flavours associated with summer. Fresh, delicious mains and hard-to-resist desserts, bursting with summer berry and citrus flavours. That’s why we’ve launched our new menu, so now you can enjoy the great taste of summer straight from your freezer. Consisting of 17 carefully-selected meals, the menu includes a mixture of classic dishes, as well as eight new, bespoke limited edition meals. You can enjoy roast chicken breast in a pepper, tomato and basil sauce, or macaroni bolognaise, followed by raspberry panna cotta or lemon profiteroles. If you can’t make up your mind, you may want to try the Summertime Selection pack containing seven delicious mains and four desserts, all for just £34.99 (with every pack, you’ll also receive a free cream tea comprising two scones and two portions of jam and tasty clotted cream). To see the full range of meals in the summer promotion, call 01362 699049 or visit summertime


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THE AGE OF RAIL Written by Thomas Dick

Feature writer Thomas Dick traces our county’s historic train lines.

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rom the Norman invasion in 1066 through to mediaeval times, East Anglia was the richest place outside London, Norwich was the second city of England, and the coast thrived with important ports, from King’s Lynn to Great Yarmouth, exporting Norfolk’s agricultural produce to the continent. However, the industrial revolution resulted in the northern mill towns growing in importance, sea trade migrated to the ports of Liverpool and Bristol, and Norfolk became a quiet backwater, struggling to exist on an agricultural past. Then came the Victorian times, and a new development was set to restore Norfolk’s prosperity – the building of the county’s rail network. The first inter-city rail link was built in 1830 between Manchester and Liverpool, and the first railway to appear in Norfolk came only 15 years later when the line from London to Bishop’s Stortford was extended to Norwich. In 1849, this route was joined by a new line, built by Eastern Union Railway (EUR), which


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extended its line from Colchester via Ipswich to a new terminal in Norwich. Journey times to the capital were much faster on this route, and it soon became very profitable, thus overtaking its predecessor. King’s Lynn had already been linked in 1846 to the country’s ever-growing rail network, and in 1862, this line was extended to Hunstanton and Wells. Further expansion forged a new main line from the midlands and the north into Norfolk, creating an important hub at Melton Constable. The village became a major junction for lines heading west to the midlands, north to Cromer, Sheringham and Holt, and east to Great Yarmouth. During the height of the railway age, there were over 100 stations in Norfolk, connecting virtually every major town to the rest of the country, which lead to an economic boom. The late Victorian period and early 1900s saw a tremendous increase in the number of holidays being taken by the well-off

middle classes, as well as the working classes, and Norfolk’s coastal towns, such as Great Yarmouth, Cromer, Sheringham and Hunstanton, soon prospered as a result. The original rail link from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton passed through possibly the most famous station in England in its heyday – Wolferton Station. It opened in 1862 to serve the local village, but in the same year, Queen Victoria bought the nearby Sandringham Estate as a private residence for the Prince of Wales. Wolferton became the station for Sandringham, and in 1898, the line was made double-track from King’s Lynn to Wolferton, and the station was refurbished with a new Tudor-style waiting room complete with oak panelling, couches and easy chairs. This small local station, serving a population of 234 in 1901, soon became busy when there was a Sandringham house party or state visit. Between 1884 and 1911, 645 royal trains called at Wolferton. The station also saw at

“TODAY, ONLY 30 WORKING STATIONS REMAIN IN NORFOLK, WITH NORWICH USED BY AROUND 2.5 MILLION PASSENGERS EACH YEAR” least three royal funeral processions; Queen Alexandra (who lived at Sandringham after her husband died), George V, and George VI. The station closed in 1969, following the last royal train visit in 1966. Nowadays, when the Queen visits Sandringham for Christmas, she travels first-class on the scheduled diesel service from King’s Cross to King’s Lynn, completing the last leg of the journey by road. The former station is now privately owned and is constantly being remodelled as a museum. So, from mid-Victorian times until the middle of the 19th century, commuting by train to Norfolk from all over the county was easy. However, post-war Britain saw an increase in road use, and a misguided politician threatened to destroy our county’s railway, namely Lord Beeching. A small number of non-profitable rural lines had been closed, and the Minister of Transport commissioned a report in 1962 on the future of railways by Lord Beeching, who

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recommended the closure of hundreds of miles of track, since trains were no longer deemed necessary in the age of the car, and Norfolk suffered badly from this drastic cut. Many of the former track-beds were turned into pathways, which remain open to pedestrians and cyclists. Stations were sold for private use, and many are now private homes. What remains is the link between London and Norwich, the line between London and King’s Lynn, a line from Norwich to Great Yarmouth, and the Bittern line from Norwich to Cromer and Sheringham, which passes through Wroxham. The result of the Beeching axe was that several volunteer rail enthusiasts took over segments of the former tracks and converted them into heritage railways, the most notable of which is the North Norfolk Railway from Sheringham to Holt. This line has now become a vital part of the area’s tourist industry, particularly during the 1940’s

weekend in September when the towns of Sheringham and Holt are abuzz with thousands of visitors resplendent in period costume, enjoying the delights of steam railways. Other heritage railways are the Mid-Norfolk Railway, which runs over a preserved 15-mile route between Wymondham and Dereham, Bure Valley Railway between Aylsham and Wroxham, and the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway. Today, only 30 working stations remain in Norfolk, with Norwich used by around 2.5 million passengers each year, providing services to London, Ely, Cambridge, Liverpool, Sheffield and Manchester. There are plans in the pipeline to link the North Norfolk and Mid-Norfolk Railway, forming a Norfolk orbital railway network. Such a development would be a wonderful addition, bringing our county’s once-thriving railway back to its former glory.



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One of the most attractive towns on the North Norfolk coast, this picturesque hotspot is a haven for tourists and locals alike.

Photo by Daniel Tink

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Photo by Daniel Tink



beautiful and historic seaside resort, Wells is renowned for its long, sweeping beach, bordered by pine woodland, a short walk from the town. The iconic, colourful beach huts adorn many a postcard found in the charming gift shops lining Staithe Street, with not a chain store in sight. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Wells provides plenty of opportunities for making the most of the great outdoors, from watersports and bird-watching, to country walks and crabbing on the quayside. An unspoilt holiday destination, this popular coastal town has lots to offer visitors, whether it’s a relaxing drink in one of the quaint local inns, or fish and chips on the harbour wall whilst enjoying the magnificent views out to sea.



rom fine restaurants, coffee houses and welcoming country pubs, the options are endless when it comes to dining out in Wells. For a unique experience, why not visit The Albatros, an 18th century sailing ship that’s now permanently moored at the harbour? Famous for its authentic Dutch pancakes, you can take a seat on deck or head downstairs into the cosy former cargo hold, where there are even B&B rooms for those who wish to prolong their stay. Being close to the sea, there are plenty of fab seafood restaurants, such as Wells Crab House, Season Seafood & Grill and Sands Restaurant, or if you feel like pizza, you can’t beat The Golden Fleece’s fresh handmade pizzas, straight from the pizza oven!




holiday in Wells will be sure to please all the family. Pinewoods Holiday Park lies at the edge of the beach, linked to the town by its own miniature railway, which the kids will adore! Whether you’re staying for a few days or a week, there are plenty of hotels, B&Bs (such as Bang! on Staithe Street, a café bar with rooms), holiday cottages and camp sites, so take your pick. Glaven Cottages even offer guests the use of their own private beach hut, fully equipped with everything you could need for a fun day at the beach including deckchairs, a windbreak and toys for the children. If you prefer the luxury of a boutique hotel, The Buttlands is home to both The Crown Hotel and The Globe Inn. These two Wells gems offer perfect places to relax and unwind in their beautifully decorated, gorgeous rooms. But, which will be your favourite?


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or independent shopping galore, look no further… Wells has a traditional butchers, fishmongers, deli, bakery, chandlery, sweet shop, florist, bookshop and much more! If you wish to pick up a souvenir of your trip, what could be better than a bottle of locally-brewed ale? The Real Ale Shop, Cellar by the Quay and Whin Hill Cider stock a great range of locally-produced beers, wines and ciders, and you can try before you buy. Or, for the budding artist, the town boasts a thriving local gallery scene, so be inspired! Check out Gallery Plus on the Coast Road for contemporary artist Trevor Woods’ latest work, or drop into The Staithe Gallery in town. It’s home to a stunning a collection of uniquely individual pieces to treasure for years to come, whether it’s a painting, ceramic or wildlife sculpture that catches your eye.



hroughout the year, you’ll find fairs, fetes, exhibitions and gallery shows to keep you entertained. An event that’s not to be missed is the town’s summer highlight, Wells Carnival. Held over the first week in August (the dates for 2017 are Friday 28th July to Sunday 6th August), this annual extravaganza promises fun for all ages, with a teddy bears’ picnic for the little ones, a raft race and fun run for the energetic, plus painting and sandcastle competitions for the artistic, together with various workshops, live music and the much-loved carnival parade. Then in September, the mighty Wells Pirate Festival sails back into town on Friday 15th. Dig out your cutlass and join Blackbeard and his crew for three days of swashbuckling shenanigans!

Photos courtesy of

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This well-known visitor attraction is the family home of the Earl of Leicester.


n 18th century country house, Holkham Hall is one of England’s finest examples of the Palladian revival style of architecture. It was built for Sir Thomas Coke, the first Earl of Leicester, by the architect William Kent, in his vision of an Italian villa on the windswept North Norfolk coast. Sir Thomas bought Neales Manor in 1609, though never lived there, and many other purchases of land in Norfolk to endow to his six sons. His fourth son, John, inherited the land and married heiress Meriel Wheatley in 1612. They made Hill Hall their home, and by 1659, John had complete ownership of all three Holkham manors. The Earls of Leicester have lived in Holkham continuously since the 1750s, though at Holkham since 1612. 1940 - 3rd Earl & Surridge the butler carving a roast


The Saloon

in fact, made of Staffordshire alabaster, which is softer and more translucent than marble. The stone was transported to Holkham by barge along the River Trent to Gainsborough, where it was transferred to a ship and carried by sea to Wells. The splendid colonnade was copied from that of the Temple of Fortuna Virilis in Rome, while the statues in the niches around the hall are predominantly plaster copies of ancient Greek and Roman gods, brought home from Italy for the first Earl of Leicester. Stairs lead to magnificent state rooms, displaying superb collections of ancient statuary, original furniture, tapestries and paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Claude, Gaspar Poussin and Gainsborough. The most impressive of these rooms is the Saloon, which

Boasting a stunning location and at the heart of a thriving 25,000-acre estate, Holkham Hall is described as an exceptional place, rich in history, architecture and wildlife. The interior of the hall is opulent, but by the standards of the day, it is simply decorated and furnished. Ornament is used with such restraint that it was possible to decorate both private and state rooms in the same style, without oppressing the former. The principal entrance is through the Marble Hall, with its 50ft pressed plaster dome ceiling. Contrary to its name, it is,

Exterior view ofIssue Holkham 58 Hall showing the South elevation and the surrounding park Š Holkham Estate

Fallow Deer in Park

The Marble Hall

has walls lined with red velvet, in deliberate contrast to the hall. The crimson wall hangings are somewhat faded now, but are nevertheless original, made from a mixture of wool, linen and silk, known as caffoy. The Saloon is still used today for entertaining large numbers of people, the same purpose for which it was designed. At Christmas, a large fir tree that reaches almost to the ceiling is placed in front of the west windows, forming the centrepiece of the room for Christmas celebrations. Traditionally, the family gathered around the tree on Christmas morning to open their presents.

HOLKHAM HALL IS DESCRIBED AS AN EXCEPTIONAL PLACE, RICH IN HISTORY, ARCHITECTURE AND WILDLIFE” The house today is little altered from the first Earl’s original ideal. During the 1850s, the second Earl installed central heating at great expense, and added the vestibule on the north side of the house, the stables, offices, orangery, buildings to the east, and the terraced gardens to the south. He also installed plate glass windows, a less desirable development, and tinkered with the picture-hangs and furnishings. His successor, the third Earl, installed electric light, using a private generator, and updated the bathrooms, WCs and heating, as well as tinkering further with the furnishing of the rooms. It has been the great achievement of the seventh Earl to reverse the more unsympathetic changes of his ancestors, notably by reinstating the correct 18th century glazing to the windows, and returning the state rooms, as far as possible, to their original appearance. In a bid to move with the times, the estate has also expanded its enterprises to include a holiday park, several shops, property development, and the popular Victoria Inn. There is a great line-up of regular events and

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exhibitions throughout the year, including open-air concerts attracting such big-name artists as Sir Elton John, Jools Holland and Status Quo, as well as hosting theatre shows, country fairs, music recitals, cycling festivals, cricket matches and deer walks. Holkham Hall’s current exhibition, What The Butler Saw, tells the story of the only person who is allowed to go into every room of the hall. Delve into the lives of the staff who lived and worked at Holkham, find out what it takes to lay a table

properly, and put yourself in the shoes of a kitchen boy. Using unseen photographs and original uniforms, alongside historic documents, you will explore the colourful lives of the people who helped to keep this great house running over the last 200 years. The Hall is open on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, until Tuesday 31st October. For further information, call 01328 713111 or visit



YOU SHOULD GET OUT MORE! Written by David Morris

Photographer David Morris loves to come home after a trip overseas.


f you really want to appreciate Norfolk, you should leave. Well, for a couple of weeks anyway. Go abroad. They do things differently there. Hopefully, you won’t come back just rested and relaxed; if you exercise your eyes, you’ll marvel at all the things you take for granted in your home county. Take our famous windmills and wind pumps, for example. They are everywhere in Norfolk, loved by tourists, but mostly ignored by the locals. In Spain, like Norfolk, they add a vital point of interest to the scenery. There are large areas of Spain where nothing appears to be happening, no sign of human life (you see the similarities obviously). But, the Spanish windmills are a different design from ours, clumped together on wind-favoured ridges, servicing small towns and communities. A plainer, simpler version of what we are used to. If Spanish windmills are puritan in style, their churches are more exuberant. A celebration of life, art and the environment. Inside, they are dark, mysterious places, rich with incense. Norfolk churches, on the other hand, favour a more austere exterior, with the delightful touch of the odd round tower. Inside, they are all gloriously lit from huge, elegant windows, so that nothing may escape the light of the world.

The more we have in common, the more differences you can see. Take the way we live. On the continent, they favour open windows and balconies. Here, we favour wall-to-wall carpets. OK, that’s unfair, they have the weather for such things, we don’t. But, lots of warm weather means folk live their lives more outside than inside, and you can see this in their love of exterior design, and in their use of vibrant colours. The French will take any opportunity to show off stylish design, from clothes to cars. It’s all there for the taking, a feast for your eyes. Nobody loves or breathes the sea more than the tribes of Norfolk (or so we like to believe), but once you are abroad, you’ll find the passion for all things nautical is pretty much the same everywhere. The only difference is how we shape and colour anything that floats. And it’s not just the floaty stuff that looks different. From lighthouses to beach huts, you are going to be in for a surprise. French beach huts along the Normandy coast seem to stick to a rigorous colour code, and we are supposed to do the same here, except the British cheerfully

Spanish Windmills


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Green Lighthouse

Spanish Church

Very French

“SPANISH WINDMILLS ARE A DIFFERENT DESIGN FROM OURS, CLUMPED TOGETHER ON WIND-FAVOURED RIDGES, SERVICING SMALL TOWNS AND COMMUNITIES” ignore any rules or regulations. We favour beach huts in any colour or design you fancy. But, just take a look at this French beach hut. The regulation here obviously is to stick to plain white, except for this individual who cheekily declared his independence by flagging up a blue door. It’s not just what you see, the interesting bit is more often what you are being told. So, take yourself off to another country with a camera and a sharp set of eyes. You’ll come back refreshed, and hopefully with a keener appreciation of just what makes your county tick.

You can view more of David’s work at

Shutters France

To advertise call 01953 456789



BOAT TRIPS Experience the magical waterways of the Norfolk Broads first-hand.


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Photo by Daniel Tink



e captain for the day and discover some of the 125 miles of meandering waterways that make up The Broads National Park. Herbert Woods has been offering boat hire since 1926, and the fleet of day boats and self-driver cruisers are both easy to handle and include everything you could need for a relaxing break on the water. Or, why not try one of the well-equipped picnic boats with on-board catering facilities? Simply moor up and tuck into lunch! And for those with a sense of adventure, you can hire one of the Canadian canoes, and cruise along at your own pace. A must-do for any day-tripper, there’s no better way to admire the beautiful scenery and escape all the stresses of day-to-day life. Broads Haven, Bridge Road, Potter Heigham, Norfolk NR29 5JF. Tel: 0800 144 4472. Boat hire costs from £20 per hour.



ased in Wroxham, the gateway to The Broads, Broads Tours provide both day boat hire and guided river trips for those who would prefer to sit back and do it in style, with entertaining live commentary, light refreshments and a licensed bar. Alternatively, if you want the freedom to do your own thing, a standard day boat is just the ticket. Simply pop down to the boat yard, pick up your boat, and the world’s your oyster! Be sure to stop off at one of the fantastic riverside pubs for refreshments, then when you get back to Wroxham, there’s plenty more to see and do. Seating up to eight people, day boats operate on a first-come-first-served basis, so don’t miss out! The Bridge, Wroxham, Norfolk NR12 8RX. Tel: 01603 782207. Boat hire costs from £18 per hour.



hoy there! Spending time on the water is one of the quickest ways to slow down and unwind, so whether you’re looking for a few hours’ relaxation, a full day’s break or a short holiday, Richardsons will help you find the perfect boat for your Norfolk Broads adventure. With two marinas, one in Stalham and one in Wroxham (day boat hire operates from the Wroxham marina only), there’s a range of day launches available including five-seaters, six-seaters, eight-seaters, 10-seaters and 12-seater day boats, as well as fishing boats too. Full instruction is given prior to departure, so novices need not worry! Appealing to families, couples and groups of friends, a Richardsons’ boat trip guarantees a fun day-out for everyone. Richardson’s Marina, The Staithe, Stalham, Norfolk NR12 9BX. Tel: 01692 668981. Boat hire costs from £20 per hour.

To advertise call 01953 456789



FOOD OF LOVE Written by Harry Farrow @HarryFarrowChef

Chef Harry Farrow of The Anchor Inn, Morston and The Hero, Burnham Overy Staithe knows how to do a traditional Sunday roast, so gather up the family for lunch.


or me, the provenance of the meat that we serve our customers is key, so that’s why we have built relationships with local Norfolk butchers who share the same traditional values as we do. It’s all about high quality meat with as few food miles are possible, ensuring a product that won’t be beaten on taste. E. H. Prior & Sons is a fourth generation family butcher, founded in King’s Lynn in 1930. With three butchers’ shops to their name, conveniently located in Dersingham, Creake Abbey and Knights Hill, they are passionate about keeping it local, sourcing their meat from Norfolk farms where the animals can graze on grass. Their ethicallyfarmed buffalo results in a joint that just melts in the mouth! When it comes to the quintessential Sunday roast, you can’t beat a rib of Norfolk beef (ours is sourced from Norfolk butcher Arthur Howell), served with a heap of seasonal vegetables, homemade Yorkshire puddings and gravy. For something a bit different, E. H. Prior’s water buffalo reared on the nearby Sandringham Estate is a fantastic alternative,

and can be cooked in a variety of different ways. If the weather is looking good, go for some buffalo mince, make your own juicy burgers, and fire up the barbecue. After all, Sundays are made for spending quality time with the family, rain or shine! For the vegetarians among us, local farmer Jonny Cubitt supplies both our pubs with lovely, colourful marrows that can be diced and roasted, or stuffed with feta and pomegranate, then sprinkled with nuts, for a delicious veggie meal. They also make a great side dish for meat eaters. Because they are quite mild, marrows work really well with strong flavours such as chilli, garlic, herbs and spices, and you even turn them into a chutney to accompany your cheeseboard. The fruit of the moment is the gooseberry, so be inspired to round off your Sunday lunch or barbecue with an old-fashioned gooseberry fool. Perfect for the last days of summer, this timeless dessert can be ready in minutes, so you can escape the kitchen to make the most of the remaining sunshine. Bon appétit!

“WHEN IT COMES TO THE QUINTESSENTIAL SUNDAY ROAST, YOU CAN’T BEAT A RIB OF NORFOLK BEEF” For further information on The Anchor Inn, call 01263 741392 or visit For further information on The Hero, call 01328 738334 or visit


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The Anchor Inn is open from 9am until 11pm daily, serving food from 12-3pm and 6-9pm. We serve high quality local fish, game, meats and vegetables, cooked to perfection.

01263 741392 The Street, Morston, Norfolk NR25 7AA

We are hiring! Visit our website for details

CONTACTS E. H. Prior & Sons Tel: 01485 542589. Creake Abbey Tel: 01328 730399. Knights Hill Tel: 01553 670697. Arthur Howell Tel: 01328 710228. Jonny Cubitt Tel: 07853 875713. To advertise call 01953 456789



THE WOW FACTOR Written by Richard Bainbridge

Richard Bainbridge, chef-proprietor of Benedicts in Norwich, shows how to make the most of this season’s bounty‌ Freshly-picked strawberries.



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he Fraisier cake is a modern-day classic, what patisserie dreams are made of! A true celebration of juicy English strawberries, combined with lashings of thick cream, this

classic French cake will go down well at birthday parties and summer gatherings. Guaranteed to impress your guests, it is tricky to achieve, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get it right.

FRAISIER CAKE INGREDIENTS FOR THE GENOESE SPONGE 250g plain flour 8 medium eggs 250g caster sugar 60g melted butter


FOR THE PASTRY CREAM 100g egg yolk 120g caster sugar 50g cornflour 500g milk 50g salted butter 1 vanilla pod 8 gelatine leaves (hydrate the gelatine in cold water) 200g firm whipped double cream

FOR THE VANILLA SYRUP 2 vanilla pods 320g water 150g caster sugar


1-1.5kg English strawberries

FOR THE GLAZE 100g apricot jam

METHOD Pre-heat oven to 190oC. To make the sponge, place the eggs and sugar into a Kenwood bowl and whisk for about 12 minutes, or until it has doubled in size and leaves a thick ribbon trail. Lightly shower the flour in, delicately folding it in with a plastic spatula. Then add the melted butter. Pour the mixture onto a lined baking tray (20cm by 30cm), and spread your sponge mix out over the whole tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes. When cooked, remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooking rack. Place a cloth on top and allow to cool. For the pastry cream, place your egg yolks, sugar and cornflour into a bowl and whisk until pale in colour. Place the milk and vanilla pod onto a medium heat and slowly bring to the boil. Once your milk is boiling, pour into the bowl over the egg mixture and whisk continuously. When completely mixed, transfer back into the pan and place on a low heat, whisking all the time. You are now looking for the custard to start to thicken. Allow the flour to cook out. (It is quite hard work at this point to make sure you don’t let the cream stick to the bottom.) Once cooked out (about 5 minutes), squeeze your gelatine leaves of any existing water and add to the cream mixture. Keep whisking until the gelatine is incorporated. Place into a bowl and allow to cool. Once cooled, slightly fold the To advertise call 01953 456789

whipped cream into the cooked cream and mix well. Place into a piping bag with a piping nozzle. For the syrup, place everything into a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. To build the Fraisier cake, place the 24cm dessert/ cake ring on a clean tray lined with baking paper. Now cut the sponge out to fill the dessert ring and place on the bottom. Pipe a layer of the diplomat cream all over the base. Brush well with the vanilla syrup. Using your halved strawberries, line them around with the cut side against the mould. Continue to fill with the diplomat cream until three quarters of the way up the strawberries, then add another layer of strawberries, and finish with a final layer of the sponge. Brush the vanilla syrup on top. Completely cover the top of the cake with the cream and smooth all over. To finish, arrange the last of the strawberries on top, and using the warmed glaze, lightly brush all over. Place your cake in the fridge and allow to set. Bring out from the fridge and remove the ring. Place onto a cake stand and leave to sit at room temperature for at least an hour prior to serving.


Traditional Sash Windows • Doors / Frames • Staircases • Kitchens • Furniture • Bedrooms An experienced team, motivated by providing the best products we can for our customers and aiming to exceed their expectations every time.




If you would like to discuss your own bespoke joinery product in detail, please get in touch Call: 01353 649 830 • Email: • Visit: DA Joinery, Unit 3 Stretham Station Road, Wilburton, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB6 3QD


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was lucky enough to have been shown around a house with its own small island in the middle of a large lake. The children were learning to sail, and the owners enjoyed recreating their childhood memories of reading Swallows and Amazons. With a lovely garden, kept as a water meadow by the lake, there were birdsong and wild flowers everywhere.

With rising property prices in cities, living on a house boat or narrow boat has become fashionable; some with permanent moorings, some without. A much easier commute into the centre of Norwich if you are moored nearby! Or, you may take the option of choosing a property in the city centre overlooking the river.

We can only dream of messing about on the river, with our own little rowing boat. What could be more inviting? But, houses with gardens sweeping down to a river generally come at a high price, and keeping them in good shape requires much maintenance. In Norfolk, we have The Broads and some fine rivers, and as it’s so popular to live beside the coast, properties near the inland waterways are sometimes more reasonable.

In times gone by, settlements were beside rivers for water, transport and industry. With the advent of piped water and other means of power and transport, houses could be built further afield. But, with the shortage of building land, many houses are now being built on flood plains, and with the extremes of weather we experience today, we often see homes being flooded that have stood beside rivers for years.

We are able to spend our leisure time enjoying such riverside walks as the Nar Valley Way and the Glaven Valley walk. The Peter Scott Walk follows the old sea bank along The Wash, from King’s Lynn to the Peter Scott lighthouse at Sutton Bridge where he lived and painted. Or, you can hire a boat on The Broads and admire the old watermills... What a many and varied county we have at our fingertips!

With 35 years of experience, Malcolm operates Norfolk Property Search. For further information, call 07434 934 579, email or visit

COME TO THE NORFOLK PROPERTY EXPERTS Are you looking for a home in Norfolk and want to make it a reality? The Norfolk Property Search Team has over 35 years experience in the Norfolk Property Market. If you are looking to purchase a property in Norfolk, we are the property experts on the ground. Whether it is a dream beach holiday getaway, a village retreat or a family home, we can help you to find the perfect property. Norfolk Property Search is committed to providing a professional, friendly and reliable service for people looking to search for: Town, Country and Coastal Property Cottages

Family Homes

Second Homes

Country Houses Barn Conversions

Buy-to-let Property Executive Rental Properties

Tel: 07434 934 579

Email: Visit:

To advertise call 01953 456789



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TO UNPOT, OR NOT? Sue Huckle of Posh Plants shares her insider knowledge on designing a show-worthy garden. Written by Sue Huckle


’ve designed and built (with trusty helpers to whom I’ll always be always indebted) many gardens at various shows over the years, including the Sandringham Flower Show, an excellent local showcase for my work as a garden designer. With each garden, my knowledge and skills as a designer and plantswoman develop. A bone of contention between designers is whether to unpot or not. We always unpot the plants, as I feel this allows them to relax, breathe and be at their best. Shock horror! When being interviewed after RHS Chelsea Flower Show recently, Sarah Raven admitted that some plants were planted in their pots… Controversial! Tongue in cheek, of course.

This year, I watched Chelsea from the peaceful surroundings of my comfortable armchair, positioned so I could see out of the double doors across a meadow and over a gentle Norfolk landscape. The evenings of late have been refreshingly cool after the daytime heat, the open doors and windows allowing the occasional waft of heady scent from white wisteria… I think I’m in the right place! Maybe next year I’ll venture south and check for the telltale signs of plastic rims showing through compost! Each year, I enjoy watching many seasonal plants returning like old friends, adding colour and vibrancy to the nursery. The peachy tone

of the geranium contrasting against dark green leaves is a perennial favourite, and certainly one I’ll be planting, perhaps alongside some lavender ‘Hidcote’. This combination would be lovely in some glazed black or galvanised planters. Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’, with its delicate tracery and warm colour, also deserves to be mentioned, planted three in a pot and placed on an outside table, so the evocative scent of cloves can be enjoyed. The bright orange calendula is known for its culinary and medicinal uses, but I’m going to plant some of these in my raised bed and sprinkle some of the petals over summer salads, maybe adding some nasturtium flowers as well. I’d better get some seeds sown!

Posh Plants is at Seven Acres Nursery, Common Road, East Tuddenham, Norfolk NR20 3NF. For further information, call 07703 347014 or visit


To advertise call 01953 456789




s owner and editor, it’s a great privilege to be able to produce my series of magazines – Dispatch, FineCity, Norfolk on My Mind and Suffolk on My Mind. The hours are long, at least 70 hours each week, which means many late nights, early starts and weekends in the office. In addition to my publishing company, I have also been building an additional business in the little-known world of network marketing, where I spend just a few hours a week investing in my future. In the traditional world of work, the boss may ask you to work the occasional overtime, at which nine times out of ten we agree to do,

and they pay you the average hourly rate of around £12 per hour. In the world of network marketing, you work that hour now and get paid for it, but then the following month you get paid again, and again, and again, and again (for that one hour’s work you did months or even years ago!). This is called residual income, and I really like this concept! In addition to the money I receive, which incidentally is around £200 per hour currently, and rising to £300 per hour, I was also recently presented with the Mini, shown here, because I invested approximately five hours a week for the past few years, and reached a criteria which I could choose how quickly or slowly I achieved it. In the fullness of time, residual income will reach a point where it fulfils the average UK salary being earned, but you are still just investing your five hours each week. Invest a little more time, and do it for a little longer, and the sky’s the limit! I’d really welcome the opportunity to show you what I am doing, as you may feel you’d like to do it too. It may not be for you, but at least you will have the information to make that decision, rather than me denying you the opportunity. I just need 10 minutes to show you, plus the time to answer any questions you may have. How soon can I pop round to show you, during the day, one evening, one weekday or at the weekend, for a coffee and a chat?


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ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY If you crave a relaxing break in the countryside, these characterful, history-soaked hotels are blessed with all modern-day creature comforts. To advertise call 01953 456789


THE SWAN High Street, Lavenham, Suffolk CO10 9QA. Tel: 01787 247477. Rooms start from £185 per night for two people sharing including a full Suffolk breakfast. Overnight guests have use of the facilities in Weavers’ House Spa.


ocated in the heart of the beautiful medieval countryside village of Lavenham, which is steeped in centuries of history, the stunning 15th century Swan Hotel brings together a deep sense of history and occasion. With its picture-perfect exterior, luxurious surroundings, oak beamed interior and cosy nooks, you’ll be swept off your feet by the hotel’s charm, combined with the friendliness and first-rate service of the well-mannered staff. Boasting 45 perfectly appointed bedrooms, each is slightly different from the next, making them all utterly individual. With timber beams, leaded windows, medieval wall hangings and the best in contemporary styling, the rooms are affectionately named after local Suffolk villages. Offering you a choice of rural sanctuaries for everything from sophisticated business stays to romantic weekend breaks, they combine all the little luxuries you would expect from one of the finest four-star hotels. With a reputation for its excellent cuisine, a visit to The Swan is not complete without a meal in its award-winning Gallery Restaurant. Fine dining is the order of the day, with

lovingly prepared dishes reflecting head chef Justin Kett’s passion for using the very best ingredients. Justin is known for his love of classical British food, which comes through in his exciting seasonal menus, boasting favourites such as trio of Dingley Dell pork, wild sea bass with crab risotto, and devilish rich chocolate fondant. If the informal atmosphere of the Brasserie is more up your street, perhaps one of the light bites will tempt you? Who can resist Adnams Broadside battered native haddock and hand-cut chips? Or, if it’s a chilled glass of wine you crave, relax and unwind in your choice of the bright and airy Brasserie, secluded gardens, or laid-back Airmen’s Bar. A relatively new addition to this charming, olde-worlde hotel, Weavers’ House Spa has been designed to offer a nurturing haven of tranquillity and calm for a truly intimate spa experience. Recharge your batteries with a heavenly massage in the hands of one of the expert therapists – the Drift Away Mediterranean massage is priced £70 for 60 minutes. Or, simply kick back in the sauna, steam room, outdoor vitality pool and relaxation lounge… Bliss! This Suffolk gem has really got it all!



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DUNSTON HALL Ipswich Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR14 8PQ. Tel: 01508 470444. Bed and breakfast is priced from around £70 per room per night.


et in more than 150 acres of stunning wooded parkland, Dunston Hall is a majestic Elizabethan-style mansion that has been lovingly restored to its former glory, evoking character and comfort at every turn. Boasting 169 spacious bedrooms, it’s the perfect place to escape, indulge and re-energise, with magnificent double bedrooms complete with heavenly four-poster beds, suites offering breath-taking views beyond the window, and original attic rooms with historic low-beamed ceilings. With a range of luxurious rooms to suite all tastes, you can be guaranteed a good night’s sleep in super-elegant surroundings. As for the recently refurbished health club, you can work up a sweat in the two-floor gym, enjoy a few laps of the indoor swimming pool, or chill out in the sauna, steam room or whirlpool. Spoil yourself with a spa treatment at The Lilac Rooms, whether it’s a facial, pedicure, manicure or massage you desire. (It’s best to book in advance to avoid missing out, especially during weekends or school holidays.)

To advertise call 01953 456789

Calling all golfers, there’s even a par 71 US PGArated course, which beautifully contours around the estate. Magnificent parkland fairways dotted with trees and strategically placed bunkers, plus a 22-bay floodlit driving range, this is golf at its best! For your dining experience, The Brasserie is all about great food served in an informal atmosphere – the kind of restaurant where you really feel at home. Plus, there’s also clubhouse restaurant, Bunkers, specialising in bistro-style light meals and drinks, or for those preferring the comfort of their own room, why not take advantage of the 24-hour room service menu? What better way to recharge those batteries than with a leisurely meal in your dressing gown? Located just a stone’s throw from the city of Norwich, you will never be stuck for things to do during your stay. So, whether you wish to be pampered, play a round of golf, or take in the city sights, Dunston Hall offers the ideal bolthole – a seamless blend of both town and countryside.



CELEBRATE! South Green Park is a versatile venue located in the heart of the Norfolk countryside, just a short distance from Norwich.


atering for all sizes of celebrations, from 50 to 250, whether it’s a small anniversary gathering or a large wedding reception, you will receive the same professional help and advice from South Green Park’s friendly team. Offering bespoke packages tailored to meet your requirements, whether it’s a fourcourse sit-down meal or a simple finger buffet, the experienced catering team is ready to help.

Whether it’s using one of the beautiful suites or a stunning fully-lined marquee, South Green Park holds wedding receptions, engagements, summer balls, charity events, anniversaries, christening and birthday parties. Set in a beautiful rural location with lots of free parking for your guests, South Green Park promises to provide an occasion you and your guests will never forget. Call 01362 857100 for further information.

It is important to celebrate those special moments in life, whether you are young or just young at heart! At South Green Park, Mattishall we have the facilities to help you make memories. Speak to our staff and see how we can really make your event one to remember! Wedding Receptions • Engagements • Birthday Parties • Anniversaries • Summer Balls • Celebrations • Christenings

South Green Park Limited. South Green Park Mattishall, Dereham, Norfolk, NR20 3JY Tel: 01362 857100 Email:


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RAISE A GLASS Written by Liddy Goodrum @littlehorsebox

So, you are getting married, you have your venue, the dress, the flowers, the cars – but what about drinks? Liddy Goodrum, owner of The Little Horse Box mobile wine bar, has got it sussed.


eddings are a celebration and a time to relax and make lasting memories, so you need to make sure that your guests are well-watered. But, how do you go about this? Well, there are a few options. You could set up your own DIY wedding bar, which sounds simple in theory. However, you might be surprised as to how much is involved. You will need a bar, refrigeration, enough booze, glassware, people to serve the drinks, ice, washing-up facilities, and then there’s all the clearing up. Plus, there’s always the fear of running out of drinks, or you may overestimate the alcohol and buy too much, spending a fortune. It’s not always the best idea when you’re working on a budget. A professional bar hire company will take the hassle out of all of that. The Little Horse Box is a beautiful mobile horse box bar, offering couples something uniquely special. We provide bespoke drinks packages, and every event is individual to us. When you first make contact, we love hearing all about your big day, from the venue and number of guests, to your theme and favourite beverages. We would then have a chat about how you would like your drinks to be served and presented, and go from there. We can assist with everything from arrival drinks and toasts, to reception drinks, glass refills and drinks in the evening.

To advertise call 01953 456789

We are passionate about keeping it local, so where possible, we will source Norfolk tipples for you, giving you and your guests something different. Nelson’s Gold Caramel & English vodka is a real favourite with our brides. Then there’s the gorgeous Bacchus wine, produced by Flint Vineyard in Earsham. Both of these companies are newly launched and Norfolkbased husband and wife teams. Norfolk ales and craft lagers are often winners with the grooms and their guests. The beer company we use is The Norfolk Brewhouse, and we just can’t get enough of their Moon Gazer Golden ale, DewHopper Norfolk lager and StubbleStag Premium lager. So, be inspired to make your day one to remember by creating your own drinks package tailored to suit your every requirement. Choose from our gorgeous wine list, fill the horse box with your favourites, or why not come up with your own signature his and hers cocktails? Past favourites have included Champagne popsicles, cotton candy Champagne cocktails, royal wedding punch, and raspberry limoncello prosecco. It’s all in the detail, so make sure you don’t overlook this very important element. After all, nobody wants to see an empty glass at a wedding! For further information on The Little Horse Box, call 01362 420491 or visit



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SO, WHAT’S IN YOUR SUITCASE? Written by Sarah Morgan @SarahLoisRelove

Personal stylist Sarah Morgan shares her holidays packing guidelines, and maybe she’ll be able to follow her own advice?

White Stuff Celia linen jersey tee, price on request, at Blossom & Green



White Stuff Little Pot jersey shirt and Rosie shorts, prices on request, at Blossom & Green


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’ll confess, I’m useless at packing. I’m an intuitive dresser, I like to open my wardrobe and wear what I feel like wearing. Being confined to a predetermined selection is my idea of misery. And despite knowing the rules, the night before a holiday inevitably finds me in my dressing room, on the floor with a sherry, wondering if it wouldn’t be easier to stay at home. So, I’m writing this as much for me as you.




I have a ‘hot’ holiday coming up, so I’m going to pretend I am my own client, and quite frankly, get a grip. Here goes!




Dressing from the feet up is very important if, like me, you’re not great at loafing under a sun brolly. Hot weather makes the comfiest shoes give me blisters, so I always take old sandals I can walk miles in. I’ll also take a slightly higher pair for evenings. Many ‘how to pack’ blogs tell you to take non-creasing clothes in synthetic fibres. Having lived in the tropics for a while, I can tell you this is a hideous idea. Any sniff of humidity, and man-made fibres will stick to your clammy bits, and that’s never attractive. Opt for cotton, linen or silk. You’ll just have to get over the fact they’ll be creased when you take them out of your case. Hang them in a steamy bathroom for a while, and anyway, who really minds a bit of wrinkle if it means you’re cool? Keep it really simple. I tend to take around five dresses for a week, and ring the changes with accessories. Actually, that’s what I do most of the time, whether on holiday or not. It means I have a very small wardrobe of simple clothes, and a million scarves. It works for me. Cheap dress, expensive shoes, never the other way round. This nugget was bestowed on me by my Aunty Betty, a very stylish lady. And it works. On holiday, that applies to bags, sunglasses, sandals, hats and jewellery. Good quality accessories will elevate any outfit and take up very little space. Photography. Might sound daft, but chances are the camera will come out more often than it does at home. So, before you go, get the hard skin scraped off your heels, moustache touched-up, roots done, and nails painted. You’ll feel so much more glamorous, and it will save you having a paddy when you see your snaps! Actually, the truth is, the only person worrying about any of this is you. If you wear the same bikini and sarong for a week, and have a darn good time, return with happy memories and the minimum of blisters, that’s a holiday from heaven!

Sarah Morgan is a personal stylist and owner of Lois Reloved boutique dress agency. For further information, call 07919 608692 or visit

To advertise call 01953 456789



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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay test-drives the Ford Fiesta ST200.

To advertise call 01953 456789



he ST200 has only one power unit – and it’s exactly the same 1.6-litre turbo-charged petrol engine found under the bonnet of the ‘ordinary’ Fiesta ST. The big difference is that Ford has given it a shot-in-the-arm so that it has 17 more horses than usual, producing 197bhp rather than 180bhp. You can ratchet clout up even further, albeit briefly, to 212bhp. It is only enhanced for 15 seconds by utilising the Fiesta ST200’s overboost feature, but, behind the wheel, it’s noticeable – and huge fun. As with the regular Fiesta ST, the ST200 comes equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. The gear shift action is smooth and positive, and the quick changing cogs help to propel the car from zero to 62mph in just 6.7secs. Top speed is a sizzling 143mph.That makes the ST200 0.2secs quicker than the normal Fiesta ST on the 0-62mph dash, and 4mph faster at the top end of the dial. Official fuel economy is 46.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 140g/km. The standard ST’s figures are 47.9mpg and 138g/km respectively. Aesthetically, the Ford Fiesta ST200 radiates masculinity, with a special grey paint job, or ‘Storm Grey’ to give it its sexier moniker. The spicier-than-usual hot-hatch is also

furnished with smart brightware in the cabin, and it comes fitted with 17inch matt black alloy wheels and sporty red brake callipers. Other factory-fitted kit comprises semi-leather front sports seats and an infotainment system that can be operated with your voice. As with the Fiesta ST, Ford’s ST200 provides optimised cornering and dexterity using up-to- the-minute technology. This includes Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control and three-mode Electronic Stability Control, unique front and rear spring and damper settings with a 15mm lower centre of gravity, a sharper steering ratio, and an enhanced braking system. The Fiesta ST200 can be ordered now and is making its way to UK Ford showrooms as you read this. Pricing for the ST200 starts at £22,745... That’s £5,000 more than the standard Fiesta ST! The Fiesta ST is still up there with the best in the hot-hatch segment, making it a tough car to beat. But, the ST200 is the one enthusiasts will go for – if they have the cash. It brings a grin to your face when it accelerates, and embraces corners warmly and tightly. What’s more, the Fiesta’s sports seats keep you in place securely when tackling the bendiest bits of blacktop.



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Max speed: 143 mph 0-62mph: 6.7 secs Combined mpg: 46.3 Engine layout: 1596cc 4-cylinder 16v turbo petrol • Max power (bhp): 197 • CO2: 140 g/km • Price: £22,745

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Issue 58

SHIRLEY VALENTINE Written by John Bultitude

Thirty years since she first arrived in Greece on a holiday that changed her life, Shirley Valentine is set to visit Norwich Theatre Royal on a major UK tour. Jodie Prenger tells John Bultitude why she cannot wait to take on the role.


he ultimate bored housewife, stuck in a rut with the highlight of her life being food preparation for her distant husband, excitement was sorely lacking for Shirley Valentine. So, when her friend wins a fortnight’s holiday in Greece, she decides to go with her, and that journey changes her life for ever. The inspirational, bittersweet and (at times) hilarious story has been a West End hit and a famous film. And with Willy Russell’s beautifully crafted production celebrating its 30th birthday in 2017, what better way to mark the anniversary than with a major UK tour featuring top theatre, TV and radio star, Jodie Prenger, as the heroine in this one-woman show? Having this opportunity is a dream come true for Jodie. She said, “I can remember watching the film. It has that fantastic Northern humour, and Shirley just says what us girls would say. She has so much warmth and truth behind her, and I think everyone has a bit of Shirley in them.” It may seem a bit daunting taking to the stage on your own, but that will not be a new experience for Jodie, as she spent part of this year in Tell Me On A Sunday. She laughed, “All these one-woman shows. I don’t think anyone wants to work with me!” As preparation, she also met up with Willy Russell and Glen Walford, who directed the original production and is returning for the birthday tour. Jodie said, “I didn’t know what to do. I thought I needed to curtsey. I know Willy’s work through Blood Brothers and Educating Rita. In fact, Glen originally commissioned Willy to write a musical. He turned up with this one-woman show with no music in it whatsoever. When you sit there and hear Willy speak, you just think this man’s hand has written To advertise call 01953 456789

said, “I have so many ‘pinch me’ moments, and every day, I think about how lucky I am.” And she credits her love of performing to her early life in Blackpool, the place where many say showbusiness is in the water. Jodie added, “I can remember all these huge summer seasons with big stars like Russ Abbot and Danny La Rue. My Nan took me to these shows and I was just amazed. I think it has definitely contributed to me wanting to step on the stage.”

this Olivier Award-winning show. I am very honoured to be a part of it.” And the respect is clearly mutual, as Willy himself believes Jodie is absolutely perfect for the part. He said, “When I was first introduced to her, I knew in an instant that here was a formidable actress. She is the one who possesses the grit and the warmth, the drive and the vulnerability, the energy and the heart to make Shirley Valentine really live again.”

So, is she looking forward to stepping onto the Norwich Theatre Royal stage for the first time? Jodie said, “I have definitely missed out by never having been to Norwich before. I like a bit of sight-seeing, and I hear it is good for that!”

It is the latest role in a long career for Jodie, who first shot to fame after winning BBC One’s I’d Do Anything, landing the role of Nancy in Cameron Mackintosh’s revival of Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. From there, the stage work flooded in with roles including The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot, Dolly in One Man, Two Guvnors, and the title role in Calamity Jane. She is also no stranger to TV, working on the likes of This Morning, Strictly Come Dancing, The Chase, and All Star Family Fortunes, as well as guest-presenting for Elaine Paige and Paul O’Grady on BBC Radio 2. Ever-modest, Jodie admits she still can’t quite believe how successful she has become. She

Shirley Valentine is at Norwich Theatre Royal from Tuesday 5th to Saturday 9th September. For further information, call the box office on 01603 630000 or visit


based in attleborough, our distribution areas cover the whole of norfolk, particularly north norfolk, norwich, attleborough, diss, wymondham and dereham, as well as bury st edmunds and the county of suffolk we print over 50,000 local interest magazines each month

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dispatch, fine city, norfolk on my mind and suffolk on my mind are some of the most well-respected magazines throughout norfolk and suffolk


Issue 58



DISCOVER THE BEAUTY OF LINCOLNSHIRE Norfolk On My Mind has teamed up with Belton Woods to offer one lucky reader the chance to enjoy a spa break at the hotel worth over £200.


et in 475 acres of stunning Lincolnshire countryside, Belton Woods in Grantham is the perfect place to escape for a relaxing short break. Whether it’s business or pleasure, get away from it all thanks to the hotel’s tranquil surroundings. Plus, there are lots of fun-filled activities to keep everyone entertained, from a spot of quad-biking to a round of croquet, or simply a walk in the woods. Perhaps the pièce de résistance, the hotel spa is guaranteed to leave you feeling instantly reenergised. Let the weight lift from your shoulders as you step inside. Complete with heated indoor swimming pool, whirlpool and steam room, sit back and unwind as your worries are soothed away. Be sure to treat yourself to an indulgent spa treatment, from a luxurious ESPA facial, to a deeply relaxing massage therapy. And then there’s the golf. A PGA championship approved venue no less, Belton Woods is a

golfer’s paradise! There’s nothing quite like that final chip over the water to the 18th hole for the perfect finish. With three challenging courses to play, you won’t find anywhere else like it in the East Midlands. Combining the finest of food made using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, and comfortable rooms with everything you could need for a memorable stay, Belton Woods is the ideal retreat to recharge those batteries. Belton Woods is offering two people the chance to experience a one-night stay in a double or twin room together with a twocourse dinner in the Brasserie, full English breakfast, spa treatments, and full use of the leisure facilities. What could be more tempting? To find out more about Belton Woods, call 01476 593200 or visit our-locations/belton-woods

ENTER THIS COMPETITION To enter, send your name, address and daytime telephone number on a postcard to: Norfolk On My Mind, Queens House, Queens Square, Attleborough, Norfolk NR17 2AE or email your details to: Competition rules: 1) One winner will receive a one-night stay at Belton Woods for two people including spa treatments, full use of the leisure facilities, breakfast and a two-course evening meal up to £28 per person (excludes alcohol). The Winner will be notified after the closing date of Thursday 30th November 2017. 2) There is no cash alternative, non-transferable or refundable, and subject to availability. Pre-booking is essential. Prize must be taken within three months of win. Excludes Friday and Saturday night stays. 3) Open to residents in the UK aged 18 or over; employees of Norfolk On My Mind and the TA Hotel Collection and their agencies are not eligible for entry. 4) Only one entry per person. 5) The Editor’s decision is final. 6) Winner will be selected at random from entries received before the competition closes. 7) Allow eight to ten weeks from selection to completion. 8) Correspondence may be entered into unless marked ‘no offers’ .




Meet Johnny Wyndham, owner of mobile wine tasting company, VanVino, based in Wymondham. How long have you lived in Norfolk? A. I have lived here all my life. A Norfolk boy, born and bred. Q. What’s VanVino all about? A. We are a mobile company, and tastings take place at the customer’s choice of venue. VanVino hosts all sorts of events, from corporate wine evenings and the latest private gin tastings or Norwich Gin Club gatherings, to parties that embrace the underground rum revolution. Q. Explain the story behind your business. A. I started VanVino in February 2016. I initially took the sensible route in life, with a corporate career. But, during board meetings, I would often find my mind wandering. It was during one of these mind-wanderings that the idea for VanVino was born, and I immediately started plotting my great corporate escape. However, it would be many years and quite a journey before VanVino became a reality. The rest, as they say, is history-in-the-making. Q. What are your top three things to do here in Norfolk? A. Hiring a boat on The Broads. I have spent many a happy Sunday afternoon either on a boat or enjoying a lazy pint in one of the many waterside pubs. If you like your real ale, you have to visit the Fat Cat in Norwich. It is mine and my dad’s favourite drinking hole. It has a brilliant atmosphere and the best selection of real ales I have tasted (not all in one go!). Then there’s a day trip to Wells-next-the-Sea. I have been going to Wells since I was 11. Crabbing


Issue 58

“THE WONDERFUL THING IS BEING AROUND PEOPLE WHO ARE HAVING A GOOD TIME” at the harbour is a particular fond memory of mine. Wells has it all… Lovely beach walks, 2p machines and entertainment, fresh donuts, and tasty fish and chips!

Q. Which is your favourite beach, and what is so special about it? A. Winterton is my favourite. It was here that the now Mrs Wyndham accepted my proposal of marriage when I went down on one knee in the sand dunes. Q. What’s your favourite Norfolk tipple, and why? A. There are far too many tipples I enjoy, it’s tricky to choose just one! I adore Pell & Co’s Hopton gin at the moment. Norfolk Gin is another beauty and makes a great souvenir. On the wine front, we are spoilt for choice in Norfolk, as we are lucky to have a great range of refreshing and light Bacchus. If I had to choose, Humbleyard Vineyard in Mulbarton produces a stunning white wine. Q. What’s your favourite event in the Norfolk diary, and why? A. One of my favourite events is Fakenham Races on New Year’s Day. It is a fantastic day-out with friends and family, and just the way to start the New Year. As you can imagine, it can be cold, but one must dress up warm and load the car with lots of tasty goodies for a picnic. Q. What do you love most about your job? A. The wonderful thing is being around people who are having a good time, whether it be celebrating a birthday, wedding anniversary, or enjoying a hen party. There are always smiles and laughter. For further information on VanVino, call 01953 797556 or visit

Norfolk on My Mind - Summer 2017  

The Mid Summer edition of Norfolk on My Mind Magazine for North Norfolk Towns and Villages